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Azrael

Azrael

Azrael, the angel is my YA series ‘Angelic Business’ is interviewed in N.N.Light’s wonderful blog. Come and meet him! And remember, book 3 is out next week!

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Interview with Azrael (one of the characters in the trilogy Angelic Business)

Portrait of a young handsome male model Portrait of a young handsome male model

Hi Azrael. Thanks for agreeing to this interview.

It’s a pleasure.

It’s the first time I have an angel as my guest.

Well, I don’t get many interviews either. To tell you the truth, it’s my first one.

To tell the truth? You’re an angel. Don’t you always tell the truth?

“The Truth” is not  as clear cut as people might think. I guess you’d say it’s…relative. It’s not my area of expertise. The legal department would probably be better able to answer. But perhaps we should start with the questions. I have a busy schedule and we don’t want to lose track.

Yes, yes, of course… If you don’t mind, some of the readers had some questions…

Of course.

Here… OK, this is not me. It’s a reader. She…

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Hi all:

Tomorrow, the 15th of July, the second book in my YA trilogy, Angelic Business, ‘Shapes of Greg’ will be published.

Just last week, author and friend Hans Hirschi posted this amazing review of the whole trilogy. I have to thank him for his kindness and I’m pleased to see it made such an impact on him. Here is the link. Don’t miss it.

http://www.hirschi.se/blog/angelic-business-trilogy/

I shared the video last week, but putting it at the end of the post I think most people missed it. If you didn’t, I’m sorry, there it is again:

 

I leave you a longer sample, when Pink meets and old acquaintance, although she doesn’t quite realise it at first:

On Friday, I thought I saw a guy I’d never seen before standing opposite my house. When I came out he started walking towards me, I thought, but Seth went by driving his car and offered me a lift. I accepted. When I saw the same guy waiting at a distance when Sylvia, Lorna and I came out of school, I didn’t know what to think. I thought he’d disappear while we were at the library. And I didn’t see him when we came out or on the way to the bus stop. But as soon as the bus left, I saw him standing on the pavement on the other side of the road.

I was getting a bit freaked out by that guy. I hadn’t told Lorna and Sylvia because what could they do anyway? Sylvia would start talking about stalking, as usual, and Lorna would wonder if he might be relationship material. Or to be fair no, not, actually. He was tall, skinny, pale, Goth-like looking, dressed to not impress…No, not what Lorna would consider relationship material. And he must have been in his mid-twenties at least. Why was he following us? Or rather, why was he following me?

The mysterious stalker

The mysterious stalker

I don’t think I scare easy, but I started walking faster. It was getting dark and I still had a bit of a way to go before getting home, and although the neighbourhood was safe…He also accelerated. “Don’t panic. Don’t panic!” I kept telling myself. It didn’t quite work. I was seconds from running when the said guy called out:

“Pink…Pink!”

OK, now that was weird. How on earth did he know my name?

“Pink….” I had now stopped walking. He caught up with me. “It’s me.” I looked at him. Me…

“Who are you exactly?”

“I still like Lindt truffles.”

“G?”

Original G

Original G

He smiled and nodded.

“I thought you’d been called back…home? I didn’t realise they were just going to give you another body.”

He shrugged.

“Neither did I. No, they have given me another mission.”

“I see. Here again?”

He blushed, extremely noticeable as he was now so pale.

“Not exactly.”

“Where then?”

“Dallas.”

“What? That’s quite far. Are you off today, or is your charge around here, or what?”

“Off? We don’t get time off.”

“You have a rubbish contract then.”

He laughed and shrugged.

“Not so bad as contracts go with my boss,” he added. Now it was my turn to smile.

“So what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see how you were.”

Don’t you all go… “Oh, that’s sweet,” because we’re talking about a demon here.

“I’m fine. Thanks.”

“Good. Is Dashiell taking good care of you?”

“You could ask him. I’ve never been clear about what your lot are trying to achieve following me around. You’ve given me so many versions of the story…And Dashiell…he is more strictly business than you were.”

He sighed. His new body gave him a more vulnerable appearance.

“I miss being connected to you.”

Now he was taking things too far.

“If you remember the said connection was severed a long time ago. I should be going. It’s getting late.”

“I’ll walk you home.”

It was a very weird sensation to have G walking next to me, but looking nothing like he used to. Weird.

“How are Lorna and Sylvia?”

“Fine. Well, sort of. Lorna has decided it’s time she finds her perfect man, and Sylvia went all out to try to design a computer programme to help with that. And it produced a profile and even a digital portrait kind-of-thing. And it looks a bit like Dashiell, so now Lorna thinks he might be her perfect man. And he hasn’t helped much.”

“What has he done?”

Dashiell

Dashiell

I told G about his idea of a cover to keep in touch with me by getting us all to work on his project.

“They shouldn’t have taken me off the case,” he complained.

“Oh, I’m sure she’ll be all right. Lorna is a tough cookie.”

“And Sylvia?”

“I’m not so sure about Sylvia. She’s acting quite out of character these days. She told us she might have met somebody but won’t talk about it in any detail. And she seems preoccupied. I think there’s something going on, but for some reason she does not want to talk about it. I’m a bit concerned, although she’s usually very down-to-earth.”

He rubbed his chin that in his current body was quite prominent.

“I’ll see if I can find something out.”

“I’m sure you must be busy with your mission, whatever that is. I don’t want you to get into trouble with your boss for not doing your job and messing up with humans.”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“My “boss” as you keep saying, likes trouble. It’s what he thrives on. He can always find an advantageous angle in anything that at first sight seems to have gone wrong.”

“Very entrepreneurial. He sounds like a spin doctor.”

“You can say that again!”

I smiled and looked at him closely. Yes, it felt very wrong, because although of course, the voice wasn’t his either, and even the accent was very different —a Southern drawl the previous G didn’t have —to me he sounded like himself. Or maybe it was my brain playing tricks on me.

“Is your mission not keeping you very busy then? I assume I’m not allowed to know.”

He cringed. I’d touched a raw nerve.

“It is a bore. I’m supposed to be babysitting this young boy, he’s 7 or 8, because one of our analysts has come up with the suggestion that he has the potential to become a very dangerous guy in the future, some deadly and crazed leader of masses, or a supervillain, or master criminal…Something like that. To tell you the truth, so far he’s a very boring young child, not even particularly bad or naughty. Maybe Sylvia should come and work for us. Her programmes might be more useful than our research methods. Going through stories, legends, ancient books, looking at the stars… Hocus-pocus if you ask me.”

I had to laugh.

“I wouldn’t have taken you for a sceptic, after all that passion about the prophecy I’m involved in.”

“Well, one can’t take chances. And it is a very well-known and accepted prophecy, not some paint-by-numbers style of analysis.”

I looked at him trying to get to the truth.

“But it doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s not really about me. Isn’t that right?”

“Of course.”

Did he blush? He seemed to, but I wasn’t sure how much the host-body would show a demon’s emotions. Did they really have emotions? I did not believe him. I wondered if I would ever believe him again.

“Of course I trust your discretion with regards to the mission.”

“I have no details anyway. And I can’t see myself going to kill the young boy just in case.”

“You’d be surprised what some people might do.”

“Not really,” I thought. Instead I decided to try a different line of conversation. I was also curious.

“What name do you go by now?” I asked him.

“Peter Pratt.” I don’t know what I must have looked like, because he added: “Hey, it wasn’t my choice.”

“I can’t get used to how you look now.”

He looked at himself.

“Again, not my choice. Although I guess humans don’t choose how they look either, other than very rich people with plastic surgery and things, but even with that there are limits.”

I nodded.

“I know you’ve told me it’s not like in the stories and paintings and all that, but what do you really look like? Not when you take up a human body but as…”

“We don’t have horns, or a tail and pitch-fork and we aren’t red. We don’t have a physical appearance as you’d understand it. We are spiritual energy. A bit like the glowing light performance that Azrael puts on. Although in their case it’s that kind of bright light. In ours…it’s a darkness, a bit like a black hole. It’s not really a black hole but it’s that void, an absence of light, I imagine if I had to explain it.”

We were both quiet. We were very close to my street. He stopped walking.

“I’d better go now. Take care. And don’t tell Dashiell. This is not an official visit and he might not appreciate my coming here.”

“Bye.”

He squeezed my right hand in both of his and then left. It had been a very strange visit. And it would not be the last.

Pink

Pink

Before I forget, I’ll better leave you the links to the book, just in case:

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YHZ21O2

Apple:

http://apple.co/1AE2MQR

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1eFYYVB

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1AGqNHn

And as I know you enjoy them, I thought I’d leave you a song with Angels. Probably the most popular song with angels of recent years:

Thanks for reading and watching, and you know, if you have enjoyed it, like, comment, share and of course, if you fancy it, CLICK! 

Hi all:

As you know, I love books and I review books. I recently joined a team of reviewers I’d been following with interest for some time, Rosie’s Book Review Team (see the logo at the bottom of the page). They are a fabulous team and Rosie is a great team leader.

I was very intrigued by Vanessa Matthews’s The Doctor’s Daughter and you’ll soon see why. First let me tell you a bit about the author.

Author Vanessa Matthews

Author Vanessa Matthews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Vanessa’s debut poetry collection ‘Melodies of my Other Life’ was published by indie press Winter Goose Publishing in 2013. Since then she has been featured in several poetry publications, has won two poetry contests and has developed her fiction writing skills through training with the Arvon Foundation and mentorship from The Literary Consultancy. The Doctor’s Daughter is her first novel. When she is not writing fiction, Vanessa works as a freelance copy writer and marketing consultant. She lives in the South West of England with her husband and four children.

You can find out more about Vanessa Matthews, here:

SOCIAL MEDIA –

Facebook.com/vanessamatthewswriter

Twitter @VanessaMatthews

Goodreads.com/goodreadscomVanessa_Matthews

Instagram.com/vanessamatthewswriter

Pinterest.com/nessamatthews
And now, the novel:

The Doctor's Daughter by Vanessa Matthews

The Doctor’s Daughter by Vanessa Matthews

THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER. A prominent psychiatrist’s daughter realises insanity can be found much closer to home when she unlocks secrets from the past that threaten to destroy her future. 

It’s 1927, women have the right to vote and morals are slackening, but 23 year old Marta Rosenblit is not a typical woman of her time. She has little connection with her elder sisters, her mother has been detained in an asylum since Marta was born and she has spent her life being shaped as her father Arnold’s protégé. She is lost, unsure of who she is and who she wants to be. Primarily set in Vienna, this dark tale follows her journey of self-discovery as she tries to step out of her father’s shadow and find her identity in a man’s world. Her father’s friend Dr Leopold Kaposi is keen to help her make her name, but his interest is not purely professional and his motivations pose greater risks that she could possibly know. Marta’s chance encounter in a café leads to a new friendship with young medical graduate Elise Saloman, but it soon turns out that Elise has some secrets of her own. When Marta’s shock discovery about her family story coincides with her mother’s apparent suicide, Marta can’t take anymore. None of the people she has grown to love and trust are who they seem. Her professional plans unravel, her relationships are in tatters and her sanity is on the line – and one person is behind it all.

Here is my review (WARNING: It’s a long one. I’ve tried not to share any spoilers.)

I am a psychiatrist, and when I read the plot of this book I could not resist. A book set in Vienna about the early times of psychiatry, and a woman, the daughter of a psychiatrist, trying to develop her own ideas and become independent from her father’s overbearing influence. I had to read it.

The book is fascinating and very well-written. I suspect that somebody without my background might enjoy the story more for what it is, and not try and overanalyse it or overdiagnose it. Arnold Rosenblit’s theories are suspiciously reminiscent of Sigmund Freud’s. And of course, he also had a daughter, Anna, who dedicated her life to study and develop child-psychology. I’ve read some of Freud’s works, but I haven’t read that much about his life, although from what I’ve seen, his relationship with his daughter was much more congenial than the one Arnold (a man difficult to like, although the description of his relationship with his wife is quite touching) had with Marta, the daughter of the title.

The book is written in the third person and mostly narrated through Marta’s point of view, although there are chapters from her friend Elise’s perspective, her father’s, and Leopold’s, a physician and long-time friend of the family.

Marta is a very complex character, and one I found difficult to simply empathise with and not to try and diagnose. Her mother was locked up in a psychiatric asylum when she was very young and she became the subject of her father’s observation. The father tried to keep her as isolated as possible from his other daughters, but the oldest daughter looked after her, even if minimally, and they were all in the same house. (It made me think of the scenario of the film Peeping Tom, although Arnold does not seem to have been openly and intentionally cruel.) She appears naïve and inexperienced, at least in how to behave socially and in her role and feelings as a woman, but she is a doctor, a psychiatrist, attends and organises her father’s talks and lectures, and teaches outside, therefore she’s exposed to society and has always been. This is not somebody who has truly grown up in isolation, although she has missed a guiding female figure in her life and the close emotional attachment.

She has her own psychological theories and ideas, but finds it difficult to make her father listen to her. She has very low self-esteem, self-harms and has been doing so for a long time, and when she enters a relationship with a man, she’s completely clueless as to standards of behaviour or how to interpret this man’s attentions (a much older man than her, but somebody with influence and who promises to help her). Although she was not brought up by her mother, I wondered how realistic some of her behaviours would be for a woman of her social class at that period. However, the novel does paint the fine society of the time as a close set-up with a very dark undercurrent, with drugs and alcohol being consumed abundantly, and adventurous sexual behaviours being fairly common, and perhaps Marta is reflexion of such contradictions. On the surface, very controlled (the superego), but with strong and dark passions underneath (the unconscious).

Eloise, the friend she casually meets (or so it seems at the time), is a formidable character, determined, strong-willed, and resourceful, prepared to fight the good fight for women in a society of men. It’s very easy to root for her.

There is a classical villain, that you might suspect or not from early on, but who eventually is exposed as being a psychopathic criminal. The difficulty I had with this character was that I never found him attractive enough or clever enough to justify the amount of power he had over everybody. He is narcissistic and manipulative but even he at some point acknowledges that he uses people but has no great contributions or ideas of his own. It is perhaps because we’re privy to Marta’s thoughts and we see behaviours most people wouldn’t see that we don’t fall for him, but later on he’s revealed to have behaved similarly with quite a few people, especially women, and for me, it was difficult to understand why they would all fall for him. Marta is a damaged individual and he takes advantage of it, but what about the other women? And the rest of society? Leaving that aside (it might be a personal thing with me), he’s definitely somebody you’ll love to hate. (I’m trying not to spoil the plot for readers, although the description of the books gives quite a few clues).

The ending, despite terrible things happening and much heartache, is a joy. Considering what has gone on before, everything turns very quickly, and it’s difficult to imagine that in real life psychological healing would be quite so complete and perhaps so smooth. But it is a fairy tale ending, and although a dark tale, one of sisterhood triumphant.

A word of warning, the book can prove a tough read, as some pretty dark things take place, and there are some cringe-inducing moments. It is not an easy read, but it will challenge you and make you think. And that’s not a bad thing.

I was offered a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

And now, the links:

Kindle edition £2.54 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Y165LRQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0  (UK link but available worldwide)

Here the link in Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Matthews/e/B00JESTBAO/

Paperback edition £7.99 https://completelynovel.com/books/the-doctors-daughter–1 (A paperback edition will also be available on Amazon within 2-6 weeks but is available now on CompletelyNovel.)

Thanks so much to Vanessa Matthews for her thought inspiring book, thanks to Rosie Amber for co-ordinating and organising this wonderful team, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Ah, and as you know, the second book in my series Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg is due to be published very soon (15th July). I’ll be telling you more next week, but in the meantime, I thought I’d leave you a new video:

Hi all:

Yes! Today is really the day! Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters should be alive and kicking in Amazon and a few other places.

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

To celebrate… yes, I’d like to have a party or something, but I have the other two books to get ready too, so not much time. But still, I thought we should celebrate somehow.

First, I’d given you a bit of the conversation between Pink and G before, in a chapter called ‘Liar, liar’, for good reason, but I thought I’d give you a bit more:

“OK. You know the angel thing?” I said.

“You mean the thing you’ve never believed despite all evidence I’ve showed you? What about it?”

“Somebody told me it’s not exactly true.”

“You’ve told somebody? After I had to make your friends forget all about it and then…I thought we had a deal.”

“Calm down. I didn’t tell anybody. Somebody came to me. We were coming out of Lorna’s house yesterday and this guy…”

“You stop to talk to somebody you’ve never met before?” he asked, serious.

“I couldn’t do much else. He performed your favourite trick. The time-out thing. You know what I mean. Everybody stopped but me and him. He told me…”

“Azrael…” G had stopped pacing but instead of looking at me he was looking at the floor.

“Yep. That’s him. So you know him.”

“We’re a relatively small community.”

“Anyway, he told me…you’re not really an angel. Or not any longer. You’re a fallen angel. Or, to put it in another way, a demon. You’ve ever so slightly misrepresented yourself. If that’s true that is.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Same difference.”

“Come on, now. You rebelled against God following Lucifer that as far as I understand was his favourite. If one is to believe the stories…You lost and were cast down to hell.”

G looked up now, directly into my eyes.

“Well, God likes these casting outs. After all, if we’re to believe the story of Adam and Eve, humans have also been cast out.”

“Lucifer had something to do with it…If we do believe the stories, that is..…” For some unknown reason to me I wanted to laugh. Instead of feeling angry I was starting to think it was all rather funny. And it probably was, from an observer’s point of view, but that was exactly how I felt. As if all of that had nothing whatsoever to do with me. As if I was watching it all from a distance. I couldn’t help myself. “Does that mean your boss is a snake?”

“What?…” G looked genuinely surprised, but finally caught on. “Oh, the Bible is just a fiction, maybe faction is a better word…or an interpretation of facts. If he wanted to attract a woman, a snake isn’t necessarily the best option.”

“No. Maybe a nice pair of shoes or a handbag.”

“Or Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp,” G added also getting into the same slightly jokey mood.

We both laughed. If nothing else, G seemed lighter, more humorous and less ponderous than Azrael.

“So, does that change anything?” G asked.

“I don’t know. For one it makes you not very trustworthy. And I don’t mean because you’re a demon, that might not help, but because you’re a liar.”

“I just don’t think one should put too much stock on that kind of stuff. I see myself more as an anti-hero. Or a morally ambiguous hero. Maybe.”

And a few couple of songs with angels on them…

Here, Erasure ‘Send Me an Angel’ (This is the funniest, I was thinking of Eurythmics and I wrote Erasure, and hop, they have a song with angels too that I didn’t remember. I think angels are at play here…)

Eurythmics ‘There Must Be an Angel’ (This is a super video!)

Antonio Machín. ‘Angelitos Negros’ (Antonio Machín was a singer from Cuba who lived and sang in Spain for many years and was very popular when I was a child. This song, that is one of his most famous, it’s called ‘Little Black Angels’ and in it, he basically is asking a painter why he never paints black angels when everybody knows they also go to heaven. He has a very personal style but it’s a wonderful song).


Here are the links to the book, before I forget:

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YIHTW96

Apple:

http://apple.co/1Kuzdl8

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1LU77jt

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1eLMTOG

Thanks so much for reading and you know… like, comment, share and if you fancy it, CLICK!

Thanks to Chris Graham (a.k.a. The Story Reading Ape, also an angel in disguise) for having me as a guest. A shipment of bananas is on its way!

#Read about Guest #Author Olga Núñez Miret.

Thanks so much to MsM for daring to review the first in my ‘Angelic Business’ series ‘Pink Matters’. And then still had the energy to interview me! You’re a star!

Ms M's Bookshelf

The first book in Olga NúñezAngelicBusiness trilogy is available now for pre-order on Amazon.  I was given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.  Pink Matters is a lighthearted look at what happens when an angel and a demon (fallen angel) each vie for manipulative control of a 17-year-old girl named Pink.  Well, O.K., her real name is Petra because her father was into archaeology, but she prefers Pink and everyone, including her teachers, call her that.  Pink and her two best friends, Lorna and Sylvia, are fairly ordinary, average girls who happen to be excellent students and therefore are not part of the “in” crowd, made up of cheer leaders and other gorgeous girls, and football players and other sports heroes.  But the most popular member of the “in” crowd is Seth, who happens to live next door to Pink, is gorgeous, but…

View original post 1,158 more words

Hi all:

You know I’ve been pestering you all about my new YA series ‘Angelic Business’ and asking questions about marketing to try and put a plan together. OK, I’m not sure it’s a fully-fledged plan, but I’ve decided a few things.  As I’ve written already the three novels, I will put them in Amazon in pre-order this weekend (with about a month in between the releases of each part), at low prices to begin with and then they’ll go up. I might later on make the first one free (either temporarily or permanently, but we shall see). I haven’t yet decided on the KDP Select thing. Might try initially (I haven’t had any of my novels in Select for a while) but…

I want to give a go at having somebody organise a blog tour for me at some point, but I think it’s probably best to wait until  the first novel is out already. So here it goes. I’ve seen people organise an unofficial tour for their books, and I thought I’d ask if any of you could share a post about ‘Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters’ some time in June. I haven’t set a date for the release yet (I’ll do this weekend) but it should be around the 24th or 25th of June. I will create an html post that just needs to be copied into the blog. I am not planning on making it too long or elaborate. If I can manage to get my wits about me I might try and create a book trailer of sorts, but otherwise it will be the cover, description, link, and perhaps a bit of a sample…

I had already asked if anybody would want to have a look at the book and had a couple of replies. If anybody has the time and feels up to it, do let me know and I can provide it in any format (although it will be a draft version and home conversion so…). But if you can just fit the post somewhere…

I’ve been saving a few appearances in blogs to try and time them up with the release, so I’ll be a bit busy but…

Oh, the cover of the first book was featured in this guest post, by the wonderful Sally Ember but of course, I also had to share it with you. Thanks to my friend Lourdes Vidal for her creation.

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

I’ve updated the description so…

You are Pink, not the prettiest girl, but smart and with plenty of resources. What do you do when your best male friend offers to have sex with you, because he thinks you’re a lost cause? You plot your revenge with your two best female friends, of course!

It seems you’re in luck when a new and mysterious student appears. And, to top it all, he seems interested in you too. He could take part in the plan. But then, he seems to have a plan of his own… He insists he’s not just an ordinary boy. And what seemed so easy to begin with, gets more and more complicated when Heaven and Hell come knocking at Pink’s door.

PINK MATTERS is the story of Pink, a 17 year old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been the centre of attention or made the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, ‘special’, fight for her attention and help and tell her she is the key to the future of the universe, she can’t help but ask: Why me?

And now, as a treat, I thought I’d leave you this:

Thanks so much for reading, if you’re interested in featuring a post, I’d be eternally grateful, so please, just leave me a comment and contact me here or wherever, and of course, if you’d like the book, let me know, and share, like, comment… and may the angels be with you!

Rich Marcello

Author of The Beauty of the Fall, The Big Wide Calm, and The Color of Home

GALDIN

Tras miles de años de paz y armonía, una guerra entre dos razas desata la desolación en un territorio que quedará yermo. Tras tanto odio, muertes y residuo del poder arcano, surgirá un mal que hará que las razas que viven en Rahaylimu se unan de nuevo para combatirlo.

lucinda E Clarke

My blog - My books - and other interesting stuff about my adventures

throughdanielleseyes

Words, thoughts, and snapshots of life.

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