Sunday 31 March 2019

HUGE BOOK SALE! Entertaining and Insightful Reading! #99cent #booksale #RPBP #ASMSG @JohnSearancke via @rukiapublishing

A rescue mission originally thought of as lasting for a year or two turned into a 35 year lifetime love affair with a beautiful old building.

There were to be battles royal with neighbours not wanting their status quo to be altered, and with the local fire authority who sought to impose draconian new safety measures. 
John Searancke came to the role of hotelkeeper almost accidentally, and most definitely with much reluctance. After his parents’ marriage fell apart, he was dragooned in, at the age of 22, to pick up the pieces of their new venture, a barely-trading country house hotel that had, frankly, seen better days. Not only was it posting an annual loss, but the fabric of the building was crumbling and there was no money left to make improvements. 
Over the years, and with the steepest of learning curves, the grand old building was renovated and transformed to meet the requirements of the modern discerning traveller. Accolades for the hotel and its restaurant were won; together they became a well-regarded destination for a number of celebrities – and those that deemed themselves to be celebrities but were not. Stories abound featuring idiosyncratic guests, overbearing public bodies, fractured family life and animals of all shapes and sizes. The local fire station next door was demolished one foggy night, people were frightened by flying dogs and snakes in the long grass, and there were, as befits a country house, strange goings on in the night. Many were the guests who checked in who really should not have been seen together. 

This is a tribute to all the people behind the scenes who helped to make the hard-won transformation into a great success.

Now Available in wide distribution!

Meanwhile, for my part, I recalled the tale of how one morning, on the way to the new kitchen, and walking through what remained of the old original hotel kitchen, I thought that I had been transported into another lifetime, a cross between Dante’s Inferno and a Victorian Christmas. I had stopped dead in my tracks.

There at the far end of the room was an unrecognisable person covered almost entirely in feathers. Any feathers not attached to that person were swilling around the room like a cloud, all but obscuring the far doorway, before landing softly to form a light covering on the floor tiles, much as I imagine the interior of a duvet to be.

On closer inspection, the mystery person turned out to be my mother! What had got into her mind I do not know, but she had, unbeknownst to anyone else, decided that her contribution to that particular Christmas was going to be the plucking of all of the pheasants that had just been delivered. Swooping on the box of birds and snatching them away from the hapless potboy, she maneuvered herself into a spare space, which happened to be adjacent to the top of a chest freezer. Clearly, tidiness was not going to be her watchword during this process. Feathers were pulled out, legs and heads were chopped off with gay abandon, and finally, the right hand was plunged into the bloody interior, emerging clutching a large handful of intestines, slimy heaps of which adorned the top of the freezer. Cleaning up after her was a bit of a trial, but I was glad that she had made the effort. I suppose that she could identify that with long bygone times and tasks that she had undertaken all those years ago.

"The Reluctant Hotelkeeper by John Searancke is an engaging memoir that takes readers into the life of the author who ended up reluctantly being a hotelkeeper, and how his rescue mission ended up being a love affair with an old building. His parents had bought the place in the countryside to save their crumbling marriage, and the author was pulled into this venture when he was just 22. The role of a hotelkeeper is not as easy as many think because the reality of life in a hotel is very different, and the hours required to make it a success are punishing. The memoir is also a tribute to all the people who worked behind the scenes and helped in making this grand transformation a huge success.

The memoir is straightforward and honest, entertaining and insightful, and the author opens up about the difficulties he faced, and how he managed to keep his faith in long-term planning. There are a lot of interesting stories about eccentric guests, how many guests who checked in should not have been seen together at all, and how it ended up being one of the favored stops for a number of celebrities. The author goes through the entire process, speaking about transforming the hotel methodically and in detail, taking readers along with him and his experiences while getting the old building renovated to cater to the needs of a modern traveler. There is not one boring moment in this memoir and the positive narration and outlook make this memoir an encouraging and motivating read. The author's story and experiences are enriching, and the ups and downs of his life and the accolades he received for the hotel and its restaurant will encourage many readers out there to become hotelkeepers."Readers' Favorite(Mamta Madhavan)
‘Many years after the deaths of my parents, my aunt handed me a box filled with letters that my father had written to my mother over the period from 1940 to 1945. This was the starting point of a journey for me to rediscover the father I had never really known...’ 

This is the story of John Searancke’s parents, told mostly from the side of his father, Eddie Searancke, from the time of his calling up in early 1940 to his release from a prisoner of war camp in Germany in 1945, thence his return to England to try to pick up the pieces of his old life. Nothing could ever be quite the same afterwards. 

The letters take readers through five captivating years, telling of the ups and downs, the plots and counterplots, as Eddie rose through the ranks to end his war as a captain, elevated to that rank in the field as his troops faced the formidable might of the SS Panzers. The letters also reveal where his battle came to an abrupt end, in an orchard surrounded by the enemy and captured after a series of bloody skirmishes as the British army spearheaded its way from the beaches of Normandy. The journey as a prisoner across France and Germany in a truck, with comrades dying each day, may be as hard to read as it is to tell, particularly when a new life and new harsh rules had to be learned and rigidly enforced in a prison camp in northern Germany, the final destination. 

This is written as part memoir, part fictionalised retelling and partly in letter format; John draws together all sources to recreate the five years of war and hardship that the letters span.

Available in wide distribution:
On the brink of retirement, John and his wife Sally are determined to end a life at the grindstone in grimy and wet Lancashire. Together with their beloved Jack Russell/Staffie cross, Freddie, a rescue dog from the local RSPCA, they embark on the journey of a lifetime and relocate to the island of Tenerife. 

Selling up, they make the move to the north of Tenerife, a part almost unknown to the casual tourist – their very own hidden paradise, a world away from the 'tourist trap' that is the south of the island. Relaxed and surrounded by stunning coastal views, life in their new home, set amidst orange groves and banana plantations, is very different indeed! The weather is fantastic, the temperature idyllic, the people so friendly and the cost of living outrageously low… what more could they ask for? 
Adjusting to life abroad, and all of the costs that come with it, are explained in the book – from buying a new home and sorting out living taxes, to integrating into the local community and taking the dreaded Spanish driving test. Follow John and Sally as they learn a new language and take on a couple of new hobbies, while Freddie takes off on some unbelievable (but true!) exploits with his new canine friends. 
With a colourful collection of characters, travelling anecdotes that stretch from the English Midlands and all the way through mainland Spain in an old classic car, and some not so perfect moments that bring us back down to earth from time to time, this is a series of adventures that you will not want to miss. 
Dog Days In The Fortunate Islands is an ideal read for those contemplating retirement, moving to the Canary Islands or an extended trip through Spain. The book will also appeal to any dog lovers and holidaymakers who enjoy an interesting story. 

Available in wide disribution:

To learn more about John Searancke

Tuesday 26 March 2019

EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT! Annihilation-Imminent #extinction #earth #books #RPBP @JDDoubleTrouble

A Book of Badassery!
A Spy vs. Spy Space Odyssey Action Adventure
A weapon of immense power is stolen and millions of lives hang in the balance for the Alliance and the Confederation. 

New-found enemies strike to claim the nexus of dominance. 

Lines are crossed. Battles rage on. 
Annihilation— imminent.

Can Col Sec hold? Is all hope lost?

Annihilation(A Col Sec Thriller)
Jan Domagala
Available on Amazon Kindle
PURCHASE FOR 💥99¢/99£💥

Silo Six, Toldax.

The sudden blast from the alarm pulled him from his reverie.
“Luka get over here now, we’ve got an unauthorised intruder,” he said urgently. As soon as the words left his mouth he regretted them.
“Isn’t by its very nature of being an intrusion make it unauthorised?” Luka replied, his voice coming through as if he was standing next to him.
“Just get the fuck over here,” he said. In all the months the three of them had been stationed there this was the first time anything had broken through the boring routine.
The alarm was strident and he could hardly think straight. As the door opened behind him he heard Luka say, “Can’t you shut that thing off, can hardly hear myself think?”
He was already on it and the sudden quiet was almost as disconcerting as the alarm had been shocking.
“There’s someone in the elevator,” he said unable to tear his eyes from the bank of monitor screens in front of him.
“We’re not due to be relieved yet, are we?” Luka asked already knowing the answer.
“You’d better get Vasiliy up, this could get tricky,” he said.
“Have you got visuals on the intruder?” Luka asked as he accessed the three way comm channel they all shared whilst inside the silo via his Neural Interface.
“No, it’s being jammed,” he said. He took out his sidearm from the holster on his hip and jacked the slide to prime the battery clip. His Magerov P9 was now ready to fire.
He heard Luka standing behind him do the same.
“What now Tovaric, it’s your call,” Luka said.
Without taking his eyes from the monitor screens arrayed before him, he said, “Computer, initiate full lock down procedures, Captain Leonid Ilyich commanding, authorisation code Alpha Zero One.”
Without prompting Luka said, “Lieutenant Luka Petrovich, authorisation code Beta Zero One, implement.”
Leonid turned to look at the man behind him, his grey eyes wide in confusion as he said, “It’s not working.”
He saw Luka’s eyes dart back to the monitor screens, his brow furrowing in concern. He spun back around to what caused such concentration to see each screen go dark, one at a time.
“How are they doing that?” Luka asked.
“Somehow they’ve taken over the system. We have no idea where they are or how many of them there are.” 
Leonid stood up; his arms extended holding the P9 in a double handed grip. He nodded to Luka and they both headed for the door. They stood either side of it as Luka opened it ready to fire if a target presented itself. The corridor beyond was empty though so Leonid gestured to Luka to check it out as he gave cover.
He watched as his friend ventured out of the command centre looking first right then left.
“Clear.” Luka said so Leonid followed him into the empty corridor.
“Wait,” Luka held up a hand halting Leonid, “What’s that?” he added and Leonid heard it too. Before either of them could do anything a group of large, powerfully built men armed with assault pulse rifles rounded the bend at the far end of the corridor to their right.
“Halt, identify yourselves,” Leonid ordered aiming his P9 at the figure in front of the group.
“Take one more step and I will open fire,” he added when they ignored him. Seeing he had no choice Leonid gestured for Luka to follow his lead but before he fired he saw the lead intruder bring up the muzzle of his rifle and fire.
The pulsed plasma bolt struck Leonid’s torso and sent him crashing into Luka. The pain was immediate and overwhelming. He found his strength had deserted him and had difficulty in breathing.
The corridor had somehow tipped over onto the side until he realised he was lying on the floor.
He saw flashes from other rifles pass by him and heard a body hit the floor out of sight behind him and knew it must be Luka who had been shot.
Light was fading fast as his life drained away and the last thing he remembered was looking up into a pair of opaline green eyes before darkness engulfed him.

He stood on the Observation Lounge looking out at the vista of stars, waiting to die. 

In the mid-25th century the galaxy is split between 2 superpowers, the Colonial Confederation and the Elysium Alliance who are locked in a never ending cold war. 

Can a single soldier, the sole survivor of a secret program deemed too dangerous to continue turn the scales of power? 

This lone soldier must first decide whether to remain a pawn of his government or become a soldier with no master, a Ronin.


Monday 11 March 2019

There's no place like New Orleans to have a good crime! #Cozymystery #giveaway #kindledeals #IARTG @mooney_colleen @rukiapublishing

'No good deed goes unpunished as they say.'

In Brandy Alexander's case, no good deed goes without finding a body and a crime to solve. After work she joins her friend, Whit, to celebrate his Judge of the Year nomination. When she goes to return his jacket he left in the bar she finds herself smack in the middle of a crime scene. The doors to his home and security gates are wide open, his dog is nowhere to be found, the safe is empty, an ex-wife is standing at the top of the stairs and the Judge is face down in a pool of blood.

The problems only get bigger. The list of gang members the judge sentenced is longer than the line waiting for king cakes at Mardi Gras. 

Besides a list of felons with a long reach for revenge, the police find the Judge had a list of ex-wives, girlfriends and women he had wronged, not to mention enough gambling debts to rival the National deficit. 

Brandy is front and center at the crime scene when her ex boyfriend, NOPD Captain Dante Deedler, shows up. Will they reconcile their differences when she finds information regarding the case? Will Dante be willing to set aside differences and let her help the police in the investigation? 

New Orleans has long had a reputation for crime and corruption. Has Brandy stumbled into a world where doing a good deed might get her good and dead?

There's no place like New Orleans to have a good crime!

Chapter One  
Lancey’s restaurant and bar is one that many in the neighborhood couldn’t afford to frequent. This was not the place to celebrate anything ordinary.  Lancey’s hosted an influential crowd whose New Orleanian blood ran the shade of blue specific to the privileged class.  
The clientele was the political elite of the city.  Mirrors on the dining room walls allowed patrons to discreetly watch and observe every person at every table.  A former mayor eating with several council members was a regular.  Their caricatures appeared on the walls over the mirrors along with the famous and infamous New Orleans had to offer. Some were leaders in the community, while others’ malfeasance left them waiting for indictments or verdicts to be rendered. 
Frances Whitmer, I’ve known since grade school, now a Judge, made no secret about wanting his caricature on Lancey’s wall. He used or abused anyone he thought could help make it happen. After the local news rag published their Annual Best of New Orleans list with Whit as Judge of the Year, he was sure his face would soon look down into the room. It was the reason for today’s celebration. 
My name is Brandy Alexander, and no, it’s not a stage name nor am I an exotic dancer or stripper on Bourbon Street.  I work in an unglamorous fraud detection unit at a major telecom firm in downtown New Orleans.  My gift, or claim to fame, is I can find discrepancies in patterns—from numbers to just about everything.  
The traffic from my office on Poydras to Lancey’s uptown took only twenty minutes via Tchoupitoulas Street, a direct route along the river with very few signal lights. Jiff Heinkel, a criminal attorney and the man I am now dating, is also a friend of Whit’s, and waiting for me to join him in the bar. 
 The bar area was packed with those considered the inner circle and long-standing friends of Whit who worked to get him elected just two short years ago. At thirty-five he already had made a name for himself as a brilliant trial lawyer for the prosecution.  But he wanted the power and prestige only sitting on the bench would give him.  He’d run for Judge in New Orleans Parish Criminal Court and won.  
Whit sat at the bar holding court with his campaign manager and Jiff. When Jiff saw me, he motioned to the bartender and a drink was waiting for me by the time I squeezed my way past those vying for an audience with his honor. As I kissed Jiff hello, I felt a tug on my shoulder-length blonde hair from Whit trying to get my attention. 
“Well, if it isn’t Miss Brandy Alexander,” Whit’s said in his normal voice, which could be heard over jackhammers busting up concrete. He was at least a foot talker than almost everyone, except NBA players, which helped his booming voice to travel, a fact he was oblivious to.  My dad once described Whit’s six feet seven height as a long drink of water.  “If you’re ever gonna give me a kiss on the lips, this is the day to do it,” his voice bellowed over the din in the bar while his eyes darted over the crowd taking in those arriving, leaving or just watching, “I’m really popular today.”
“Never gonna happen,” I said kissing Jiff hello.  I nodded to Whit’s campaign manager, Justine—soon to be wife number four. She had a perpetual stoic expression on her face that never showed a hint of emotion. Could it be Whit’s attraction to Justine had to do with her name? It wouldn’t surprise me since he named his dog, Justice.
“Get over here, we’re saving a seat just for you, baby. That alone deserves a kiss,” he boomed over me until I gave him a peck on the cheek in greeting. 
Justine was the love interest du jour.  She started as his campaign manager, and was now his law clerk. Her job was to get him to meetings on time, home after celebrating, like tonight, or after the endless political dinner parties on his agenda.  I imagined her driving skills were not the only thing Whit appreciated about her.  She was Chinese, smart and twenty something.  Add a facial expression that made it impossible to know what she was thinking, plus she was tall, brunette and wore expensive clothes that showed off her dynamite figure.  Tonight she was wearing a body hugging sheath in a nude color which made her appear, well…nude. While Justine and I are the same height, 5’9”, I’m blonde and have what many call a great figure, men didn’t walk into walls looking over their shoulder at me, like they did staring at Justine’s exotic beauty.  
Justine decided it was time to go. As she ushered Whit by the elbow to the door, he boomed, “Don’t stay out late, all of you. Monday is a school night.  There’s a long week ahead of us.” 
 He glad-handed all his pals who showed up to celebrate with him on the way out. I spotted August Randolph and Pierre LeBlanc, two of Whit’ golfing buddies with serious looks on their faces as Whit shook their hands. They both left moments after Whit and Justine.
There were quite a few friends and colleagues who only showed up to stay in his good graces. Whit had a big mouth and would broadcast anything he thought would make someone feel uncomfortable under the guise of a joke. Many did not find him amusing. 
Jiff and I finished our drinks and started to leave when I noticed Whit’s jacket on the back of my chair. I picked it up and checked the pockets to make sure he didn’t leave his wallet or keys in one. All I found was a cellophane wrapped praline in a side pocket. It was from his run for office and said ‘Whitmer for Judge’ on the wrapper.
“I’ll drop it off to him,” I said to Jiff as we made out way out the door. “It’s on my way home.”  Jiff put his arm around my shoulders and even with four inch heels, he was still three inches taller than I was. 
“Brandy, it’ll take you an hour,” Jiff said rolling his eyes. “Getting past the security gate and in the front door adds fifteen minutes to your stop.  Gracefully avoiding an invitation to have yet another celebratory drink, will require a couple of white lies and a lot more time.”  He kissed me good night and added, “Try not to get sucked in. I’ll call you later.”  

I waited in the driveway for the gates to open after I punched in the security code of Whit’s home. It was the same code he’d used since high school—007.  I was about to call his cell when I noticed the front door was ajar by several inches. Something was off. If nothing else, Whit’s dog, Justice should be running around barking in the yard.  Then I saw the iron gate had not automatically closed and locked by the security system.  When I got to the massive leaded glass front door I pushed it open with the back of my hand far enough to step inside. The security panel was not blinking nor was the system displaying the green on light. It appeared to be disarmed. 
The feeling I was being watched made me look up to the top of the stairs. There was Suzette, the Judge’s second and third ex-wife—Whit married her, divorced her, remarried her, then re-divorced her.  She was standing with her hands on her hips staring down at me. 
“Suzette, what are you doing here? You scared me half to death,” I said and put a hand on by chest. The staircase in the grand center hallway started at the end of the first two room and the landing set it back two more rooms overlooking the beveled glass front doors and marble foyer.
“I could ask you da same thing,” she said in her unmistakable y’at accent. 
“I stopped by to drop off Whit’s jacket. He left it at the restaurant,” I said and held up my arm with the jacket draped over it by way of proof. “When I got here both the gate and front door were open and the security system isn’t on.” I said. “Did you disarm it?” 
“The alarm was already off. I came in da kitchen and went up da back stairs,” Suzette said. “He was probably drunk when he got home and forgot to lock up when he left to take Justice for a walk.” 
“Whit’s not here?” I asked and noticed the doors to his study just off the foyer were closed.  That’s odd, I thought.  I’ve never seen that door closed in all the years I’ve been coming to this house. 
“His office door is closed,” I said.  “Don’t you think that’s odd?”  
“Whit is odd.,” she said.  “I’m here for my son’s tuition money he’s supposed to have sent me a week ago.  Whit is always late sending it to me. I want to get it and leave before he gets back.” Suzette had a fiery temper and once she was revved up, she was hard to throttle down.   
“Was Justice here?” I asked.  “Did you see or hear him when you came in the back?” I asked wondering if Justice ran out the front door and gate. 
“Some watchdog.  You’d think he’d at least bark at me.  Dat dog never liked me,” she said turning to go to one of the upstairs rooms.
“Wait,” I said a little too loudly, but it made Suzette stop.   
“Whit is probably stumbling around da neighborhood taking his precious Justice for a stroll,” she snarled.  
“So, you haven’t seen Whit or Justice?” I asked. I had a cold feeling crawling up my back.  Whit never left the alarm off when he wasn’t home. All of us knew the code and just let ourselves in if he was expecting us. He only turned it off if he was home and let someone in.
“How many times I gotta tell you dat?” she snapped and puffed out a breath. 
Suzette stood at the top of the stairs while I opened the massive office doors that were normally left pocketed into the wall on either side.  
“Whit!” I gasped when I saw him on the floor in a pool of blood. I didn’t need to touch him to know he was dead.

~End Sample~
The New Orleans Go-Cup Chronicles Six Book Series is available on Kindle!

Colleen Mooney is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author. 

Born and raised in New Orleans. she started going to parades and watched them from sitting on my Dad's shoulders before she could walk. She's been in Girl Scout parades, high school parades, St. Patrick's parades, Mardi Gras parades, on dance teams in parades and just about any loosely organized group who deemed it necessary to parade. Colleen says, "I just can't help myself. I love parades."

She attended Loyola of the South in New Orleans so she wouldn't be far from a parade.

Colleen spent 20+ years working for and retired from AT&T. She has worked and lived in New York City, Madison, New Jersey, Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama returning home for the big parade every year--Mardi Gras. .jpeg copy

Colleen says, "Before Katrina, I moved away and back three times, four if you count rebuilding the same house at the same address after Katrina flooded my home. I did miss a couple of parades that year.

I'm an avid sailor and Scuba diver for many years, and made lasting friendships from sailing and dive trips. I love travel and if the opportunity presents itself, I'm there. Except for a brief stint where I had to own and learn how to ride a motorcycle, I've been a water baby. When I am not enjoying fun with friends in all New Orleans has to offer- sailing and racing with friends on Lake Pontchartrain, Mardi Gras, parties and festivals- I head to Florida. 

I am an ardent animal lover and direct volunteer breed rescue work as Schnauzer Rescue of Louisiana. I love to write and I write about what I know and love! You can take the girl out of New Orleans, but you can't take the New Orleans out of the girl!"

Visit Colleen on her website, sign up for exclusive email deals and connect with her on social media.


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02/13/2019 - 03/26/2019

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