#Excerpt : Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 by Nick Albert @rararesources @Nickalbertautho

Hello readers! I’m happy to share excerpt from Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 by Nick Albert as part of blog tour organised by  Rachel’s Random Resources. Read more about this memoir and excerpt in this post.

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 – Still living the dream in rural Ireland by Nick Albert
Book 2 in a series
Publication Date: 11th June 2018
Genre:  Memoirs, Humour

Synopsis :

Nick and Lesley’s desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but moving to rural Ireland was only the beginning of their story.


Foreigners in a foreign land, they set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs. But their dream home was in desperate need of renovation, a mammoth task they attacked with the aid of a DIY manual, dwindling funds and incompetent enthusiasm. With defunct diggers, collapsing ladders, and shocking electrics, what could possibly go wrong?


Will their new life live up to expectations, or will the Irish weather, dangerous roads, and a cruel twist of fate turn this dream into a nightmare?

Excerpt:

An exclusive extract from Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2, written by bestselling author Nick Albert and published by Ant Press.

Although Nick and Lesley Albert moved to Ireland on a whim, their desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but getting to Ireland was only the beginning of their story.

Now foreigners in a foreign land, they soon set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs.

In this scene, Nick decides it’s time to cut the front lawn for the first time.


Before leaving England I had purchased, second-hand, a solid American-built petrol lawnmower, which had done sterling work keeping the grass of our British garden under control. It had a powerful Briggs and Stratton motor, a 14 inch rotary cutting action, powered wheels, and a handy grass box. After giving this sturdy steel thoroughbred machine a good service and oil change, the engine was purring efficiently and the freshly-sharpened blade was whirring in eager anticipation. Confident everything was working as advertised, I began cutting the half acre of front lawn at Glenmadrie for the first time.

After just three paces, the engine stalled. Several hard pulls on the starter cord failed to restart it and, on further inspection, I discovered the blade was completely jammed by a large chunk of grass. I cleared the obstruction and began cutting again, with a similar result. Growling in frustration, I pulled the grass away by hand and re-started the mower. Three more steps and the engine stalled again. As I screamed in frustration, the self-assured smile quickly left my face, to be replaced by a grim scowl.

This mower was obviously a well-designed machine, perfectly suitable for the neat cutting and collection of dry grass in the heat of California, or Texas, or even Essex. But it had no chance of coping with the lush and constantly dew-wet meadow grass growing in Ireland. Clearly, I needed to do some modifications – or buy several goats.

To upgrade our mower to Irish conditions, I attacked it with a hammer, a saw and a recently acquired electrical gismo called a disc cutter. This evil-looking toy made a terrifying noise and vibrated like a live snake, but it produced a delightfully pretty spray of sparks as I chomped through the steel case of the mower. The end result of my modifications, looked rather like a family car with the boot cut off. It would surely have reduced the manufacturer to tears, as well as breaching most European health and safety rules. Nevertheless, with all of the obvious impedances to the free movement of wet grass removed, I began a test run.

With its gaping backside on show for all to see, my American lawn mower bellowed into life. A few inches from my toes, the cutting blades spun into a blur and buzzed like a swarm of angry hornets. I made a mental note to take shorter steps, or I would soon have shorter legs. Aiming at a thick swathe of tough looking grass, I pulled the lever to engage the drive wheels. As I pushed forward, there was barely a dip in the roar of the motor to signal the successful cutting of grass. There was no sign of tangling nor a suggestion that the motor would ever stall again. It was safe to say my modification was a triumphant success – with one minor exception. The moment I began to cut, a torrent of wet grass and other unidentifiable debris hit me full in the face.

Ever the practical fellow, and determined to make my modifications work, I closed my eyes to the merest slit and pressed on. Unfortunately, with the blizzard of grass adding to my already-restricted vision, I went slightly off line and collided with a tree. Plan B was to turn my head sideways, shut one eye and use my sizable proboscis to deflect most of the flying debris from entering the other eye. Although my nose did a splendid job protecting my eye, there was now nothing preventing the grass and grit from filling my exposed ear and threatening to deafen me. Plan C was to lower my height sufficiently to remain below the level of the flying debris. To do this I had to bend my knees and walk like an aged orangutan with a bad back. Whilst this method was partially successful, I quickly began to feel like an aged orangutan with a bad back. Pulling myself upright and trying to shake some life back into my wobbly legs, I reluctantly conceded the need for some robust protection and made a trip to our local hardware store.

So, two hours behind schedule, decked out in overalls, thick leather gloves, ear protectors and goggles, I began cutting the lawn again. Apart from the frequent need to wipe my goggles, and my bright purple overall slowly changing to chlorophyll green as I was sprayed with wet grass, my redesigned mower worked splendidly. Admittedly, the constant stream of fragments hitting my face was annoying, but after swallowing something that may once have been a slug, I soon learned to cut the grass with my mouth shut.

  After an hour of hard walking and breathing through clenched teeth, my modified American mower had transformed a scruffy patch of grass into a neat front lawn. It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely an improvement. To finish the job, I did a final lap of the garden, just to tidy up the edges. As I mowed these last few yards, I cast my eye over my handiwork. “At least it looks like someone lives here,” I thought, quietly proud of my resourcefulness.

Just then the mower hit a patch of rough ground, perhaps a clod of earth pretending to be a clump of grass. I was instantly enveloped in a cloud of muddy dust and, as the mower groaned in anger, there was a sharp ting and a large pebble shot out. This rocky ballistic missile, travelling only slightly slower than the speed of light, would surely have broken a window, had it not hit me squarely in the groin. Cross-eyed and knock-kneed in agony, I let go of the lawnmower, grabbed my ‘crown jewels’ and collapsed like a man shot. Fortunately the mower stopped without hitting anything valuable, or running me over. I’m pleased to report that apart from a slightly dented blade, there was no permanent damage to the mower, but it was quite some time before I was able to uncross my eyes.


Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Kindle https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DFNF3K4/

Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1721005226/

Audible https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0844YCGSS/

Amazon USA

Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFNF3K4/

Paperback https://www.amazon.com/dp/1721005226/

Audible https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0844GYPSQ/

About Author:

Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in 2020.

Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

Social Media Links – Amazon | Facebook | Facebook-Author Page | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Blogspot | Youtube | Website | AllAuthor Website


I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book, if you have read previous book in series or any book by the same author.

Happy Reading!

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#GuestPost: Stumbling blocks to writing a long series by Sherryl D. Hancock, author of #WeHo Series @vulpine_press

Hello Readers! Today I’m excited to welcome Sherryl D. Hancock, author of WeHo Series to celebrate release of 16th book in series, Darkness Past, on Books Teacup and Reviews to talk about Stumbling blocks to writing a long series. The series is packed with strong, kick-ass women who deal with real issues and overcome a lot of adversity. Check out this interesting guest post and more about book in this post.

Stumbling blocks to writing a long series:

Writing a long series means never having to say goodbye!

As a writer you fall in love with the characters in your books, and writing interconnected series means you don’t have to stop seeing your characters. When I wrote my first book in what was to become the WeHo series, When Love Wins, I had no intention of writing a series. My character Tyler Hancock was inspired by my wife and her time spent in the United States Air Force. She was negatively affected by the military’s stance on gays in the military (they weren’t allowed!). At that point I just wanted to get that story out there. My second book, When Angels Fall, didn’t have the same characters. It was only when I began visualizing my third, Break in the Storm, that I saw a way to bring back Devin and Skyler from When Angels Fall. Even then, I didn’t really plan a “series.”

One year out of high school, before WeHo ever came about, I accidentally began writing my first series of books. The very first book I wrote from beginning to end was called Building Empires, which turned out to be the first and second book of my MidKnight Blue series. Building Empires was so long I had to split it into two books, when I finally got published many years later! That’s when I fell in love with the main character Midnight Chevalier; I didn’t even know I liked women then! In Midnight I had a strong female character, a woman who took no crap from anyone, and who was tough enough to hold her own against anyone! I found that after writing about her exploits, I didn’t want her story to end! I wanted her to grow, change, live and love! I wanted other characters in the book to grow up, and become their own people.

When I began writing WeHo number four, Turning Tables, I saw how I could bring characters from my other series, MidKnight Blue, into my WeHo universe. Even bringing a supernatural element to the books, using a character I’d previously developed who has the gift of premonitions. I think that’s when the idea of writing a series starring recurring characters and centering them all in West Hollywood (WeHo), California really took hold. Thus, the WeHo series was born!

By the time I started the third Midnight Chevalier story, I realized that I needed to add characters who’d grown up in the previous two books. So I started adding new characters, while developing the ones I already had. Giving them love lives, letting them change and grow as people. As it turned out, the characters changed me too. As I explored the options for their lives, what they could do, how they could find love, I realized what was truly missing in my life: REAL LOVE! Right around the time I started to write the story about Kana Sorbinno meeting the love of her life, a woman, was about the same time I discovered my preference for women. As I explored the gay lifestyle for my characters, I learned more about myself.

It took me another ten years to finally end my marriage to a man, and live the life I’d wanted for so long. That’s when I met my soul mate, and a few years later, finally decided to write a lesbian romance! And we all know what that led to!

Now, you’re probably wondering… I thought she said this was about the stumbling blocks to writing a long series… Well, yes, there are stumbling blocks and that is MANAGING so many characters and trying to keep track of their stories. There are over forty women in the series! With more to come! It’s not always easy to wrangle so many personalities, habits, backgrounds, jobs, cars, and music preferences (if you read the WeHo series you’ll see I’m all about the music and the cars!). It only becomes worse when your publisher moves to audio books! Then the poor narrator has to come up with different intonations for each character.

How do I keep track of all of them? Well, I have a book, and that book has notes from the books, from research on the books. The book also has a list of characters by name, age, the vehicles they drive. I know that probably seems silly if you haven’t read the series, but the cars are featured heavily in many of the “group” scenes! I even have pictures in this book. The pictures are of women that inspire the characters, shots of the cars they drive, random things like an article for an apartment rental in New York, or a picture of the Colonel’s Insignia for Kai Temple in Quid Pro Quo, or a picture of a tattoo one of the characters has. The pictures can be anything I need or want to remember about the character.

The music is a whole other arena! I have so much music downloaded from what the various characters listen to. I have playlists for certain characters, or at the very least a playlist of a type of music. I have a classic rock playlist for when I need to get into the head of Jericho Tehrani (from Turning Tables) when she’s driving her Dodge Challenger Hellcat down the road. I also have a house music playlist for getting into the mind of Memphis McQueen (In Plain Sight)! Music is very important to me and can stir up so many emotions and memories. Many people who have read my series have told me how they discovered Breaking Benjamin, or Linkin Park because they read the names of the songs in the book and downloaded it. I love sharing my passion for music with my readers!

The most important thing about writing a long series, is enjoying the feeling when another book is ready to come out and people are anticipating it! I love seeing the excitement of my readers when I post that a new book in the WeHo series is coming out! It fuels my need to write, even if it means adding another name to the growing list in my book! I am starting a new series, about fire fighters working for Cal Fire here in California…maybe I won’t use the same characters over and over again, but maybe you’ll see characters you know too!

Book Detail:

Darkness Past (WeHo series #16) by Sherryl D. Hancock
Publication Date: June 22, 2020
Publisher: Vulpine Press
Genre: LGBT romance

Sierra Youngblood’s life is in danger. After being threatened and stalked by an old client, Kashena Marshal is assigned as her protection. But Kashena isn’t just any security officer, she’s an old flame that Sierra could never forget.

After years apart they soon discover they still share a spark, despite Sierra now being married to a man with a son. Eventually, she realizes she can’t live without Kashena and chooses to leave her husband. But when Jason turns violent, Kashena is forced to protect Sierra once more.

As the dust starts to settle, could there be yet more Darkness in the Past?

Series detail – https://www.vulpine-press.com/we-ho

About the Author:

Sherryl D. Hancock lives in Sacramento, California, and has been writing since she was a teenager. Sherryl’s bestselling WeHo series deals with a number of important topics, such as abuse and problems with mental health. Sherryl’s books are filled with strong, inspiring women in the hope of helping and inspiring others.

You can find her latest book, Darkness Past, here.


I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this guest post and if you have read any book in this series or are you going to add it to TBR.

Happy Reading!

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#BookReview : From the Shadows (Monica Kennedy #1) by G.R. Halliday @HarvillSecker @GR_Halliday #FromTheShadowsBook

From the Shadows (Monica Kennedy #1) by G.R. Halliday
Publication Date : April 18th 2019
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Genre : Scottish Noir / crime fiction
Pages : 432

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A stunning, atmospheric police procedural set against the grit of Inverness and the raw beauty of the Scottish Highlands, this is the first book in the DI Monica Kennedy series.

Sixteen-year-old Robert arrives home late. Without a word to his dad, he goes up to his bedroom. Robert is never seen alive again.

A body is soon found on the coast of the Scottish Highlands. Detective Inspector Monica Kennedy stands by the victim in this starkly beautiful and remote landscape. Instinct tells her the case won’t begin and end with this one death.

Meanwhile, Inverness-based social worker Michael Bach is worried about one of his clients whose last correspondence was a single ambiguous text message; Nichol Morgan has been missing for seven days.

As Monica is faced with catching a murderer who has been meticulously watching and waiting, Michael keeps searching for Nichol, desperate to find him before the killer claims another victim.

From the Shadows introduces DI Monica Kennedy, an unforgettable new series lead, perfect for fans of Ann Cleeves’ Vera, Susie Steiner and Peter May.

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Mia @vintagebooks for tour invite and providing review copy. ***

From the Shadows was intriguing crime fiction that revolved around Monica trying to solve murder and a social worker trying to find his missing client.  It was about work-life balance, trying to find peace with traumatic past, and race between killer and detective.

From the Shadows was written in third person narrative mainly from Monica and Michael’s POV and occasional killer’s perspective under title ‘watcher’. Atmospheric setting of Scottish Highlands and Inverness beautiful yet remote with its weather and history of missing people added more darkness to story of murders by a delusional psycho killer.

Story took place in one week that started with, as synopsis said, Robert arriving late at home who was found murdered next day. D.I. Monica could tell this wasn’t killer’s first murder and it won’t be last. At the same time, a social worker, Michael, was trying to find his client who was missing for a week. A gruesome murder, marks on body, and mysterious stone that Michael saw with Nicol made him fear the worst. And then another body was found. It made me curious to find out where was Nicol, did he knew these dead boys, how he had that stone that were found in dead boys’ body, had killer kidnapped him or was he next, how would Monica find killer and how Michael find Nicol. With killer observing their all moves and staying two steps ahead of them made the story thrilling and intriguing.

All characters were interesting. They had traumatic past. Their flaws and vulnerability made them realistic. Monica was clever, observant, and strong but she had her issues. Her past made people gossip about her. Her height references and her uncomfortability related to her height and shoe size was a bit too much but her doubts as a mother, trying find work-family life balance was genuine. I liked her intuitions and logic in this case, she was right most of the time. Her mistakes and ‘not-so-perfect’ character made her more realistic. The only complain I had about her was her decision in climax. It was actually stupid, looking at her concerned motherly nature.

Michael was great character. Lonely, affected by past and tragedy in life, still couldn’t find closure and messed up many things in life. He was different from his colleagues. He cared too much and was empathetic but also reckless social worker. He had many flaws but it was admirable how much risks he took in finding a boy who probably didn’t want to be found.

Michael and Monica, made story interesting. They had their differences but at the end they started supporting each other. Monica’s colleagues D.C. Connor Crawford and D.C. Ben Fisher were also different from each other. There was competitive tension between these two, one didn’t care about appearance and showing superiority while other was orderly, prim and proper, doing everything by book. They made unusual team but I liked how they all worked in the case. There wasn’t much story about them so it was hard to connect with them but I hope I can know them more in next book.

Description of murders was gruesome but not unbearable or overly graphic. Suspense was solid. I couldn’t identify killer till climax. There were not many suspects and we can rule out if they were really culprit or not from killer’s narration which made it more difficult to figure out who he was. Climax was tense and surprising. I didn’t like Monica’s decision but it made me fear for her and her daughter for the first time. I liked surprise at the end. I wish I could see Lee’s (criminal psychologist, who was made to dislike) reaction for being wrong about everything. That would have been satisfactory.

Why 4 stars-

That height references were too much. It made Monica look like some freak woman. And also reference popped at really unexpected time, like when they were visiting Robert’s father to hear his side of story and to let him know his missing son is dead. Monica’s decision near climax was biggest complain. She was smart capable of making better decision but this made me rethink that because no parent would do that.

Overall,

#FromtheShadows was compelling, dark and interesting #ScottishNoir with many twist and turns. It was commendable debut novel and definitely recommend it.

Book Links:

Goodreads

Affiliate Links: Amazon.(IN) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Book Depository


I hope you enjoyed this post and review. Let me know what do you think about the book or if you have read this already and what are your thought on this book, which is your favorite Noir Fiction?

Happy Reading!

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Rewritten cover

#GuestPost: Where Do Good Story Ideas Come From? by Tara Gilboy #Rewritten #MiddleGrade #Fantasy @JollyFishPress

Hello Readers! Today I’m pleased to share guest post from Tara Gilboy, as a part of blog tour for Rewritten. Rewritten is Middle Grade Fantasy, second book in Unwritten series. If you missed my review on this book, check it out➡ HERE ⬅.

Guest Post: Where Do Good Story Ideas Come From?

One of the most common questions writers get asked is “where do you get your ideas from?” Often when I hear this question I freeze, because I’m not sure I have a good answer to it. I get ideas for stories all the time; I believe one of the requirements of being an author is to remain forever curious about the world.  Or perhaps writers are all a bit prone to anxiety. One of my professors in graduate school remarked that she thought ideas often come from a writer’s neuroticism. We are always imagining the worst that could happen in any given situation, and then rather than letting our worries develop into severe phobias, we write stories about them.

Recently, I was hiking on a mountain trail near my house, and as the sun started to set, I began imagining all the things that might jump out of the trees just beyond the next ridge. Axe murderers? A bigfoot creature? (Local legends call this creature a ‘zoobie.’) Ghosts? My mind started wandering about what would happen if something did leap out from behind a rock, and suddenly I was making up a story in my head about campers who stumble on a cell phone while hiking a trail, and on the phone is video footage of what happened to its owner…

So ideas are all around us all the time. Getting good ideas for stories is another thing entirely.  Most of the ideas I come up with are terrible, as my writing friends can attest. (Well, who wouldn’t want to read a story about a mountain-dwelling zoobie?)

The idea for Rewritten evolved from a variety of factors. When I finished Unwritten (for those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s a middle grade fantasy about a girl named Gracie who is a character from an unpublished fairy tale, whose parents took her out of the story, and into the real world, as a baby, to save her life), I knew if I wrote a sequel, Gracie would need to go into another story world, but I wasn’t sure what this story world would be. Would she go back to Bondoff, the fairy tale land of her birth? Somewhere else?

As I was struggling with these ideas and working on some other writing projects, I was also performing improv and taking classes at a San Diego comedy theater. A couple of the classes I took were on longform improv. One of the things we talked about was how to perform an improvised full-length play in a particular genre. It could be science fiction, Shakespeare, horror, film noire, musical…. You get the idea. As an exercise in class, we sat down and listed “tropes” for every genre, things that are common to each. For example, in Shakespeare, there are a lot of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, metaphors, love stories, etc. In film noire, there is usually rampant sexism, chain-smoking detectives, and dialogue that uses words like “dame” and “ace.” These lists got me thinking a lot about what genre might provide the highest stakes for Gracie, and it wasn’t long before I zeroed in on gothic horror, which also happens to be one of my favorite genres to read.

I spent a lot of time reading classics like Dracula and Frankenstein and making lists of tropes and clichés. I knew I needed a setting that was very contained, claustrophobic even. I imagined an old manor house, which I named Blackwood Hall. I wanted a creature that haunted the night. I listed spooky imagery like cemeteries, dark woods, shadowy hallways. Even then, though, the book hadn’t taken shape: I was stuck. I kept starting and stopping: even though I knew where Gracie’s journey would take her, I hadn’t figured out yet what that journey meant for her. In other words, I hadn’t figured out what Gracie’s goal was.

It wasn’t until I started delving deep into Gracie’s character, figuring out what her emotional wounds were that she needed to resolve, and thinking carefully about what she wanted (which ended up being about grappling with the events of Unwritten and who she was) that I was able to complete the novel. It was only then that I understood what impact traveling into the world of Blackwood Hall would have on Gracie.

And that brings me back to my point about what makes a good story idea. In order to have an idea that is sufficient to create a whole story, you have to know what your main character wants. This is the through line that will sustain your novel and hold all the events together, so that it feels like a cohesive story. Every time I’ve started a novel that floundered (I’ve written A LOT of partial novels that I abandoned halfway through), it’s because my protagonist didn’t have a strong enough goal. Ideas are all around us, and if you keep your eyes open and your curiosity sharp, you will find them. Once you’ve found your idea, think carefully about what that idea means for the main character. If you’re writing about time-traveling opera singers from outer space, or a town built of cotton candy, or a family of misunderstood mountain monsters, make sure you know what that journey means for your characters. That’s how you turn a random idea into a story readers won’t be able to put down.

Book Details:

Rewritten (Unwritten #2) by Tara Gilboy
Expected publication Date: April 7th 2020
Publisher: North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy

“After learning the truth about her own fairy tale, twelve-year-old Gracie wants nothing more than to move past the terrible things author Gertrude Winters wrote about her and begin a new chapter in the real world. If only things were going as planned. On the run from the evil Queen Cassandra, the characters from Gracie’s story have all been forced to start over, but some of them cannot forget Gracie’s checkered past.

Even worse, Gracie discovers that as long as Cassandra has her magical book, the Vademecum, Gracie’s story is still being written and none of the characters are safe, including her mom and dad. In a desperate attempt to set things right, Gracie finds herself transported into another one of Gertrude’s stories—but this one is a horror story. Can Gracie face her destiny and the wild beast roaming the night, to rewrite her own story?”

Book LinksGoodreads | Jolly Fish Press

Affiliate Links : Book Depository | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (IN) | Amazon (US)


What do you think about the book and post? Have you read this book already or any book in this series? Are you going to add it to TBR?

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#BookReview : Proximity (iMe #1) by Jem Tugwell @SerpentineBooks @JemTugwell #Scifi #Technothriller

Proximity (iMe #1) by Jem Tugwell
Publication Date : June 6th 2019
Publisher : Serpentine Books
Genre : Science-Fictions / Thriller / Dystopia
Pages : 352
Stars : ★★★★★

iMe NOTICE – TO ALL NEW ADULTS
Your compulsory iMe implant will be performed by your fourteenth birthday when you become an adult.

Your iMe will track and save your location to keep you safe and remove crime.
It’s integrated health monitoring diagnoses issues early to provide you with the best possible care.
Combined with iMe’s tailored diet and fitness programs – you are always at your best.
Your consumption is optimal, your waste is negligible – better for you, better for the environment.

iMe – enabling a better you.

In the world of iMe, you can’t get away with anything. Least of all murder.
DI Clive Lussac has forgotten how to do his job. Ten years of embedded technology – ‘iMe’ – has led to complete control and the eradication of crime.

Then the impossible happens. A body is found, and the killer is untraceable.

With new partner Zoe Jordan, Clive must re-sharpen his detective skills and find the killer without technology, before time runs out for the next victim… 

*** Note : Many thanks to publisher for providing e-copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. ***

Proximity, first book in iMe series, was thrilling dystopia, science-fiction thriller that revolved around iMe technology and detective inspector and his partner trying to solve missing person case. It was about power, technology control vs liberty, freedom vs safety and security, and impact of technology on life and world.

Writing was compelling that hooked me from the beginning. It was fast paced that instantly put me on those empty desks of PCU (proximity control unit) office along with DI Clive Lussac and his young partner Zoe Jordan with their age gap and world that relied on iMe technology. Proximity was first person narrative from Clive, Zoe and Thief’s POV. Thief’s perspective was most interesting and chilling. They should be titled psycho than Thief but I guess psycho kidnapped people so maybe we can go along with it.

I wouldn’t say much about plot or how it started as that synopsis did great job with it. I was curious how Clive and Zoe were going to solve the case as they needed to change methods and not everything from old world was working. Thief was not leaving any evidence behind and soon one missing person turned to two, later a murder case and it was obvious Thief was not going to stop there unless they both do something real fast.

Side characters, suspects and villain were amazing. I enjoyed reading what they thought about technology, how they were related to victims, and why Thief picked particular victims. They added bits of information about world along with their story. Both Clive and Zoe were my favorite characters.

Clive was old school, grumpy inspector who regretted bringing iMe in police department that caused job loss of many of his colleague. He hated this new technology that couldn’t give him his comfort food and drinks. No policing was needed with iMe as it could monitor everything and so criminal that made zero crime world possible which meant his job was now boring, no use of brain, no thrill of chasing criminals, no solving cases. His wife left him because of his lack of change with technology and grumpy, depressing nature.

Zoe was young, iMe generation, who loved conveniences of technology with safety, security, and healthy life. She couldn’t understand why Clive hated iME or why he wouldn’t live healthy and why less work, stress and more relaxing time with nobody dying or no crime was problem for him. She didn’t like him or working with his grumpy, moody nature until the case.

I loved this duo. They both had contrasting nature and opinion yet when case required them to work together without relying on technology, they both came over their differences and started caring for each other like partners of old days. Zoe was smart and fast. She learned to interview and interrogate suspects, how to find clues when there was no physical evidence. As she worked with Clive, she started enjoying the thrill of finding culprit, her faith in iMe and technology shattered and understood why Clive kept complaining about it. I enjoyed the way Clive’s mind worked and got out of tricky situation.

Setting of near future UK with compulsory iMe chip in body allowed government to monitor everything you do including your health with food and drink intake. Drones for all work, no phone required, machines and home securities, even fridge, restaurants and bars were synched with technology that delivered food and drink as per your health statistics and allowances… iMe signals, how it worked and its data…. it all made the world both fascinating and intimidating. I loved the way pros and cons of iMe was described here through characters’ situation. How this world too had corruption, those who had money and power could get away or find a way to cheat iME.

I loved the convenience iMe provided but when it comes to food and system- both safety, policing, and health, I agreed with Clive. I wouldn’t give up my freedom for health and security. It was too controlling and suffocating. I laughed and also felt relatable with that man attacking fridge with axe situation (I could picture myself in his place doing the same thing). The most epic one which made me laugh- car speed. Clive and Zoe were reaching at location to catch culprit, guess what their car speed was… 20 mph. 😳 They had to apply for chase mode and it took 5-10 minute to run authorization and that too wasn’t helpful much. 😂

Twist and turns were amazing. I couldn’t guess who the next victim was or who was Thief until climax which was at 85% of the book. Climax was tense and nail-biting. I couldn’t tell how they were going to stop Thief from playing last game or if it will be too late to save victims until last chapter. End was perfect.

Overall, Proximity was clever, thought-provoking and riveting techno thriller with brilliant world building. I highly recommend this to fans of dystopia and sci-fi books.

Book Links:

Goodreads

Affiliate Links: Amazon (IN) | Amazon (US) | Amaon (UK) | Book Depository


What do you think about the book? Have you read this already or any book by the same author? Which is your favorite techno thriller?

Happy Reading!

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