Revolution Day on Sale!

I’m very excited to welcome back author Tim Taylor. Some of you may remember him from last year when he visited my blog in October. Well, now he’s back again to talk to us about a new scene from his book, Revolution Day.

Over to you, Tim.

T E Taylor (2)Hi Claire! Many thanks for hosting me! My novel Revolution Day is one of our publisher, Crooked Cat’s featured books this week, and available at only 99p/99c (as is my other novel, Zeus of Ithome). In honour of that, I thought I would share a scene from the novel with you today.

First, a bit of background. The novel follows a year in the life of ageing Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor, who is feeling increasingly insecure and paranoid as he clings on to power. His estranged and imprisoned wife, Juanita, is writing a memoir in which she recalls the history of their marriage and Carlos’s regime, charting its long descent from idealism into repression.

Meanwhile, the vice-President, Manuel, is burning with frustration at his subordinate role. When his attempts to increase his profile are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. But lacking a military power base, he must make pursue power not by force but through intrigue, exploiting his role as Minister of Information to manipulate the perceptions of Carlos and those around him and drive a wedge between the President and the army. As Manuel makes his move, Juanita will find herself unwittingly drawn into his plans. So will others close to Carlos, including his young mistress, Corazon, who maintains a discreet social life of her own while the President is asleep. In this excerpt, she receives an unpleasant surprise ….

“Leaving so soon? It’s only one thirty.”

Corazon faked a yawn. “I’m feeling a bit tired. And it would be bad to fall asleep in the fancy banquet that Carlos is laying on for the Chinese ambassador tomorrow.”

“Would be funny, though,” said Carmelita, laughing. The two women embraced, and Corazon walked languidly towards the bar, catching the attention of the barman as she did so. Many other eyes followed her progress, and the slight swaying of her hips that emphasised each step. Her skirt was a little shorter, her lipstick a little redder than usual this evening, and her face bore an expression not of weariness but of expectation.

“Tell Ramon I am ready to leave,” she told the barman, but he shook his head.

“Ramon has left us. We have not had time to find a replacement, I’m afraid. I will drive you myself this evening.” He gestured to one of the other bar staff to take charge in his absence.

“This is very sudden. He did not tell me he was planning to leave.”

The barman shrugged. “He didn’t tell us either, till I got an e-mail about three o’clock this afternoon saying he had quit. Didn’t figure him for a fly by night type, but a good looking boy like him is always likely to get a better offer.”

Revolution Day (2)On the journey home the barman talked constantly, but Corazon, unusually for her, said very little in response. Instead, she seemed preoccupied with her mobile phone, constantly tapping with her long fingernails upon its plastic screen, sometimes holding it to her ear before cursing silently in frustration. So preoccupied, indeed, that she almost forgot to give the barman his tip, remembering only at the last minute when he pointedly asked, “Will there be anything else, lady?” Apologising, she gave him both the roll of notes she had prepared for him and the one that had been reserved for Ramon.

The following afternoon, when she returned to her locker at the exclusive downtown gym that she visited twice a week, she found inside it an envelope that had not been there before. At first puzzled, then worried, and progressively overwhelmed by a tide of panic, she took it with her to a changing cubicle and tore open the seal. The first thing she saw was a photograph of herself in the toilet of the nightclub, snorting a line of coke. And for good measure, a second photo, a second line. Then there was a picture of her meeting Ramon at the bar, another of the two of them walking down the steps towards the car park, holding hands, yet another of him opening the door of the shiny Mercedes for her. Then, at last, came the money shots. Her kissing Ramon passionately, his back arched against the body of the car. The two of them in transitional pose, her blouse unbuttoned and breasts exposed. Then finally, Ramon from behind, his white buttocks framed between black trousers and black jacket. Either side of him, two stockinged legs, two arms, braced against the car door, and just visible to his left, a waterfall of straight blonde hair.

After the eight photographs, there was a single sheet of paper, bearing a typewritten message:

This indiscretion will have no repercussions, provided that you comply with a simple request …

 

If your readers are intrigued, they can find more information and excerpts on the Revolution Day page on my website

Thanks again for hosting me today, Claire!

You’re always welcome, Tim!

For Tim Taylor’s Links:

Why not visit his Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/timtaylornovels

Website: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/timetaylor1

Revolution Day on Amazon.co.uk

on Amazon.com

Blog: https://timwordsblog.wordpress.com/

Author Bio

Tim was born in 1960 in Stoke-on-Trent. He studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford (and later Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London). After a couple of years playing in a rock band, he joined the Civil Service, eventually leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing.

Tim now lives in Yorkshire with his wife Rosa and divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.

Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta, was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015. Tim also writes poetry and the occasional short story, plays guitar, and likes to walk up hills.

 

 

A Warm Welcome to Tim Taylor

T E Taylor (2)I am delighted to welcome fellow Crooked Cat author, Tim Taylor. Tim spent a number of years in the civil service, where he did a wide range of jobs, before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing.  He writes fiction, under the name T. E. Taylor, academic non-fiction and poetry. Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome, is set in Ancient Greece and follows the real-life struggle of the Messenian people to free themselves from Sparta. His second, Revolution Day, published by Crooked Cat Publishing in June 2015, is about an ageing Latin American dictator who is losing his grip on power.

Below, Tim has provided us with a description of his novel, Revolution Day and an excerpt which I know you will enjoy.

Book Description: Carlos Almanzor has been the ruler of his country for 37 years. Now in his seventies, he is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner. And with good reason: his Vice-President, Manuel Jimenez, though outwardly loyal, is burning with frustration at his subordinate position.

Augusto_Pinochet

“(c) Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional. This image of Augusto Pinochet of Chile gives a rough idea of how President Almanzor would look.”

Meanwhile, Carlos’ estranged and imprisoned wife Juanita recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once a liberal idealist, he changed over time into an autocrat and embraced repression as the means of sustaining his position.

In time, as Manuel makes his own bid for power, Juanita will find herself an unwitting participant in his plans.

Excerpt:

At six minutes past ten, the sun climbed above the Government buildings on the east side of the square. As the shadows lifted, the large number of people gathered there started to become uncomfortably hot. With the sunlight came a change in tone of the hubbub of the crowd, as the mood of thousands of individual conversations turned from anticipation to irritation. Like some great beast disturbed in its repose, the crowd ceased to purr and began to growl. Around the edges of the square, men in uniforms sensed the change and gripped their guns a little more tightly. As minutes passed and the crowd grew ever more restive, the men began to pace nervously up and down. Then, suddenly, at a sign from one of their number, they stood to attention. A door opened onto the balcony of the presidential palace, and a cheer arose from the back of the crowd, flowing like a wave through the square to engulf even those at the front who could not yet see, their view obstructed by the tall facade of the building.

Yet the balcony remained empty, and the cheer began to falter as people wondered whether anything was going to happen. At last, the figure of an old man stumbled onto the balcony. He appeared lost, confused, as if, in the grip of senile delirium, he had wandered onto the balcony by mistake. His body was so frail, so insubstantial, that it seemed to be held upright only by the starched creases of his elaborate uniform. But the cheer grew in intensity till it was almost deafening, and the old man drew energy from it, straightening his hunched back and stepping forward with new confidence to the lectern at the front of the balcony. With broad sweeps of his arms he first acknowledged and then stilled the cheers to complete silence. His face was now displayed upon large screens on either side of the balcony, revealing wisps of white hair beneath his peaked admiral’s cap, and folds of skin beneath his sad grey eyes. He took a deep breath, and from his mouth issued a voice of unexpected strength and sonority.

“My friends,” it said, prompting a fresh cheer which he allowed to bloom for a few seconds before silencing it with his open hand, “We are here today to celebrate the liberation of our great nation from despotism. Thirty-seven years ago today, people came to this square to express their anger at fifteen years of repression, of corruption, of injustice. They presented their grievances peacefully, but were met by vicious force.” At this point he paused, as had become his habit, to allow the crowd to boo at the atrocities of the long-dead dictator. He had often thought to himself that these events had more in common with pantomime than with politics. “But this time the people did not run away. This time a new spirit stirred in them, a spirit that would not be broken…”

Revolution Day (2)The story was familiar to everyone in the square. Even the words used to convey it varied little from one year to the next. Yet the President seemed to have control of the crowd as if it were an extension of his own body. His large, pale hands conducted the response to every time-honoured phrase, beckoning a cheer at one moment, imposing abrupt silence the next. Where there was content that differed from previous years: a denouncement of some foreign power’s machinations, perhaps, or the promotion of a government initiative, the hands made clear what noise was expected, and the crowd produced it without error or delay. With each cheer, they waved the flags and photographs of the President that had been provided for them as they arrived at the square.

Or most of them did. A small knot of people near the front of the crowd carried pictures not of President Almanzor, but of a prominent campaigner against his regime who had recently been imprisoned. Their chants were markedly less complimentary than those of their neighbours – not that anyone else could hear them above the prevailing noise of the crowd. But their placards did not go unnoticed. One of the policemen pointed them out to a colleague, and soon several of the uniformed men could be seen speaking into their walkie-talkies.

The end of the speech was always the same, and had been the same for so long that the older people in the crowd found themselves mumbling along with the words as the climax approached. They knew without prompting that towards the end a reverent hush was required, so the President’s closing words would ring out clearly around the square and on state television.

“…I say now once again the words we first uttered on that glorious day…” His right hand now rose in triumph and shook its clenched fist at the sky, and the voices of the crowd joined him in the final phrase. “Long live the revolution!”

After the speech had finished, there were a few minutes of chants and cheers, which the President acknowledged with yet more theatrical waves of his arms. Then a few fireworks streaked into the air from behind the palace, allowing the old man to take his leave and signalling to the crowd that the proceedings were over. They left the square quietly and quickly through its three broad exits, and in a remarkably short time it became once again a broad, empty space. Last to leave were the policemen, filing one by one into an inconspicuous grey door at the left-hand side of the palace. They all saluted the balcony as they passed, though there was no longer anybody there to see or return the courtesy. An observer with sharp eyes and a good memory might have noticed that, while forty-five officers had been stationed around the square when the event began, only thirty-three were now leaving it. The others had already departed, in the company of the people who had been carrying pictures of the dissident politician, as well as certain other members of the crowd whose faces were known to them, or who had behaved suspiciously, or shouted things that were not appropriate to the occasion. These people would have ample time to explain themselves, in the seclusion of the police station, during the afternoon and the next few days.

Once the people were gone, the pigeons began to arrive, quickly falling upon the fine coating of sandwich crumbs and sweet wrappers the crowd had left behind. They were joined after a while by a dozen or so cleaners with buckets and trolleys, who patiently cleared away whatever the pigeons did not want. Thus, as the sun began to set on the square a few hours later, its appearance had been restored miraculously to what it was before. The only remaining sign that today had been Revolution Day was on the two giant screens, from which the face of the President himself, subtly younger and more handsome than before, still smiled down benevolently upon the square that bore his name.

revolution-pre2 (2)

Tim ‘T.E.’ Taylor was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1960 and now lives in Meltham, near Huddersfield, with his wife Rosa and daughter Helen. As well as fiction, Tim writes poetry and plays electric and acoustic guitar, performing in public from time to time. He is chairperson of Holmfirth Writers’ Group and a member of Colne Valley Writers’ Group. He also likes walking up hills.

To find out more about Tim Taylor, please visit his popular website at: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/#!revday/cwpf

Why not check out his Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/timtaylornovels

Website: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/

Blog http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/#!blog/c1pz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/timetaylor1

Crooked Cat Author page: http://crookedcatpublishing.com/item/tim-e-taylor/

Revolution Day on Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revolution-Day-T-E-Taylor-ebook/dp/B0106GALR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435449288&sr=1-1&keywords=Revolution+Day

RD on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Day-T-E-Taylor-ebook/dp/B0106GALR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435512473&sr=1-1&keywords=Revolution+Day&pebp=1435512460458&perid=1CCVM4BE2J6WKH55WM9Y

The Most Excellent Worldwide Book Tour ~ Rachael L. McIntosh

Author Name:  Rachael L. McIntosh

Book Titles:

Security Through Absurdity

Book One: Little Yellow Stickies

Book Two: Bubbles Will Pop

 Book Three: The Big Show

Genre and Sub-Genre: Contemporary Literature  /  Fiction Political / YA>Fiction>US History>21st century

AUDIENCE : GenX, Young Adult, Conspiracy Curious

KEY SELLING POINTS

Based on a true story

Details of pre- 9/11 defense contracting, the US Housing Collapse, and the 2012 Republican National Convention (fictionalized), Dark Money, Black Budgets

Included school libraries in Rhode Island and Connecticut via RILINK system

Title is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and select bookstores in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Florida. 

Author Bio

untitledRachael L. McIntosh is an accomplished visual artist who also worked for a major US defense contractor during the lead up to the Iraq war. She acted as a national media coordinator during the politically significant December 16, 2007 “Money Bomb”; an online fundraising frenzy that became the largest single-day fundraiser for any political candidate in US history. She has also appeared in the feature length documentary FOR LIBERTY. Currently, she is writing novels and homeschooling her two children in Rhode Island. Visit her website at http://www.rachaellmcintosh.com

Book Blurbs

Security Through Absurdity

Originally written as one book, then divided into three books, SECURITY THROUGH ABSURDITY is the story of corporate shenanigans, an uneasy home life, and a quixotic presidential campaign. These situations propel Jocelyn through a believably bizarre journey and into dangerous psychological territory. In a matrix of life-threatening situations, she is forced to question the very fabric of her Gen-X American upbringing.

untitledBook One: Little Yellow Stickies – Jocelyn McLaren is a beautiful, hard working, yet naive visual artist who, through a twist of fate, ends up working for a major US defense contractor during the lead up to the Iraq war. She unknowingly witnesses and unwittingly participates in crimes that haunt her and are ultimately interlinked with the most nefarious psychopaths on the planet.

 

untitled2Book Two: Bubbles Will Pop –  Jocelyn McLaren, a former defense contractor, is now a new mother to twins! As she struggles to maintain what she imagines to be a normal family during the economic turmoil of the US housing collapse, she becomes involved in a political campaign and encounters troubling remnants of her life working for the military-industrial complex. These interactions haunt her, as well as the father of her children, and are ultimately interlinked with the most wicked forces on Earth.

untitled3Book Three: The Big Show – “The Big Show,” chronicles Jocelyn McLaren’s involvement with a presidential election. As her history of working for a US defense conglomerate collides with global finance and murder her future becomes increasingly unstable. Will she survive?

Review(s):

Amazon

By Carolyn Boyce on September 3, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Rachel L McIntosh is now my favorite author. This series of modern historical fiction is very entertaining, funny and timely. I look forward to her next book.

GoodReads

Billie James’s review   Sep 01, 15

5 of 5 stars

This series has three books. The first book “Little Yellow Stickies” is an absorbing look at the defense contractors of America prior to 9/11. The second book “Bubbles Will Pop” is the transition book and “The Big Show” is the culmination.

Jocelyn McLaren is central character and throughout the first book we learn about her role in the defense industry. In the second book she breaks away and in “The Big Show” she breaks into the political scene and becomes involved in a Presidential Election. Throw in thriller seeds like a murder and you’ve got yourself a thriller worth reading.

What I noticed most is that the author has become extremely close to the character of Jocelyn and makes her come alive. I would say that in terms of writing “The Big Show” is probably the best of the three. Read the first two and then make your way to this one for an exciting reading adventure. If you believe in the American dream you may want to stay away from this series though.

Book Links

 Website: http://www.rachaelLmcintosh.com   

Twitter: @EntropyPress

Facebook

Goodreads

Linked In: Rachael McIntosh  Author / Artist / Communications Specialist