#BlogTour #Extract Until We Can Forgive (The Derwent Chronicles 3) by Rosemary Goodacre @HeraBooks

Until We Can Forgive

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre. Until We Can Forgive is the third and final book in The Derwent Chronicles series. Rosemary sadly died recently; you can read a tribute from her publishers, Hera Books, here.

I was looking forward to sharing my Q&A with Rosemary but instead I have an extract from the book for you to enjoy. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting to participate in the tour. On behalf of Rachel and Hera Books, I’d ask you, if you can, to share this post and those of the other book bloggers taking part in the tour, in memory of Rosemary. If you are minded to purchase a copy of her book or the previous books in the series, even better.


Until We Can Forgive FINALAbout the Book

They survived the Great War, but will life ever be the same?

Spring 1919: WW1 is over and a fragile peace has descended over the country. Now living in Cambridge with husband Edmond, Amy Derwent is settling into her new life as wife and mother to little Beth. But the shadow of the Great War looms large, particularly as the injuries Edmond sustained at Ypres still take their toll on him today.

Edmond’s cousin, Vicky, has now grown into a fine young woman, eager to help her country. Throwing off her privileged background to train as a nurse, she spends her days tending to the many soldiers still suffering the after-effects of their time on the battlefield.

Meeting Maxim Duclos, a young Frenchman who has arrived in Larchbury, fills her heart with joy – but when it is discovered that Maxim may be hiding the truth about his past, Vicky is faced with an impossible choice. Follow her heart’s desire and risk her family’s disapproval or keep her family – but deny herself the chance of true love?

The war may be over, but Edmond, Amy and Vicky must all face a new battle, finding their own peace in a country wounded by loss.

Format: Paperback (336 pages)           Publisher: Hera Books
Publication date: 15th October 2020 Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Find Until We Can Forgive (The Derwent Chronicles #3) on Goodreads

Purchase links*
Amazon UK | Hive (supporting UK bookshops)
*link provided for convenience not as part of an affiliate programme


Extract from Until We Can Forgive by Rosemary Goodacre

‘Is this car all right?’ Amy asked as they set off for The Beeches for Easter.

‘It’s in good order,’ he assured her. ‘Don’t worry, darling! It’s all fixed and we can travel properly, with Beth and some luggage!’

‘You won’t need the motorbike any longer.’

‘Perhaps I should keep it for a while longer, just for emergencies.’ He had first ridden a motorbike in France, and she knew how he loved it.

There were around a hundred miles to travel, so they stopped the car at a modest inn just north of London for lunch. They continued, skirting the capital to the east and crossing the Thames by the Woolwich ferry before continuing into Sussex. By late afternoon they were driving into Larchbury. Now we’re back we’ll be staying with Edmond’s family, but we’ll be able to visit my parents too, Amy thought.

Soon Edmond was driving up the avenue of great beeches towards his family’s imposing stone house. On the hill ahead was the forest, mainly of pines, from which the family made their business. Back to The Beeches, Amy thought. How I used to long for us to leave there and get a home of our own!

For much of her married life Edmond’s mother and sister had been distant towards her. Not only was she not of Edmond’s class, but they disapproved of her pre-war involvement with the Suffragettes. She did not regret demanding the vote for women, but wished she had stopped short of joining friends in a provocative prank. They had broken into the cricket pavilion and scrawled slogans there, which had led to her having to serve a week in prison.

As Edmond parked the car in front of the house, Pa came out to greet them. Mr Derwent had encouraged Amy to call him Pa, and his wife Ma. He had been the first one of Edmond’s family to accept her, and she greeted him warmly as he said a smiling hello to Beth and looked over Edmond’s Ford car a little dubiously. It was clear that the bodywork had been patched up here and there, in some workshop where the mechanic was prepared to make a quick but adequate repair to keep costs down.

In the hall, Ma greeted them brightly.

‘You’re looking much better now,’ Amy said. She was no longer thin and drawn, as she had been after the influenza. However, her face still looked a little pasty.

‘I believe I’m almost recovered now.’

Beatrice, Edmond’s sister, smartly dressed as usual in a blouse and skirt which showed off her good figure, also hurried to greet them.

‘Auntie Bee-trice!’ cried Beth, happy to receive a cuddle from her.

Before long they were sitting in the wooden-panelled dining room and Cook was serving vegetable soup. In the middle of the table was a splendid arrangement of pink tulips, which could only be the handiwork of Beatrice.

‘Beth has grown so much since I last saw her,’ Ma said, smiling at the plump-faced little girl.


Until We Can Forgive Portrait Rosemary GoodacreAbout the Author

Rosemary Goodacre previously worked in computing and teaching. She had a novella published, entitled A Fortnight is not Enough, and a science fiction story in the anthology Telescoping Time.

Her father’s family came from continental Europe and Rosemary always loved languages and travel. In her spare time, she enjoyed country walking, bridge and classical music.

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#BlogTour Son of Escobar: First Born by Roberto Sendoya Escobar @MidasPR

EgMp1UMXgAc5-2oWelcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Son of Escobar: First Born by Roberto Sendoya Escobar. My thanks to Bei at Midas PR for inviting me to take part in the tour. Unfortunately I was unable to fit the book into my reading schedule but I’m delighted to share with you an extract from what sounds like a remarkable story.


Son of Escobar_Book Jacket_smAbout the Book

Pablo Escobar was the most notorious drug lord the world has ever seen. He became one of the ten richest men on the planet and controlled 80 per cent of the global cocaine trade before he was shot dead in 1993.

In 1965, a secret mission by Colombian Special Forces, led by an MI6 agent, to recover a cash hoard from a safe house used by a young Pablo Escobar culminates in a shoot-out leaving many dead. Escobar and several of his men escape. Only a baby survives – Roberto Sendoya Escobar. In a bizarre twist of fate, the MI6 agent takes pity on the child, brings him home and later adopts him.

Over the years, Pablo Escobar tries repeatedly to kidnap his son. The child, unaware of his true identity, is allowed regular meetings with Escobar and it becomes apparent that Roberto’s adopted father and the British government are working covertly with the gangster in an attempt to control the money laundering and drug trades.

Many years later in England, as Roberto’s father lies dying in hospital, he hands his son a coded piece of paper which, he says, reveals the secret hiding place of Escobar’s ‘missing millions’. The code is published in this book for the first time.

Format: Hardcover (288 pages)       Publisher: Ad Lib Publishers
Publication date: 6th August 2020 Genre: Memoir

Find Son of Escobar: First Born on Goodreads

Purchase links*
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*links provided for convenience not as part of an affiliate programme

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Extract from Son of Escobar: First Born by Roberto Sendoya Escobar

Prologue

I had two fathers. The one I called Dad – and loved dearly – was my adoptive father, Patrick Witcomb. I knew him as an English businessman who had made a successful life for his family in Colombia. That was only half the story. It wasn’t until years later that I found out he was also an MI6 agent working undercover for British intelligence. But hearing that still wasn’t my biggest shock.

I learned that my biological father was Pablo Escobar, the most notorious gangster in the history of the world. I had met him only fleetingly, unaware of our connection or that there were times he was prepared to kill to win me back. This is the story of how the lives of my two fathers became inextricably intertwined. Good and evil. Light and darkness. This story has it all.

When I was a child I knew nothing of all this. I just thought Patrick – Pat to everyone who knew him – was a regular dad. There were an awful lot of guns and strangeness going on around our beautiful mansion in Colombia but my dad worked for a firm that printed banknotes for governments and ran an armoured car business and as an employee he was subject to attack from criminal gangs. It was just part of our life, although sometimes it felt like violence followed us around and I was grateful for my round-the-clock armed protection.

There were also a few occasions on which my father took me to a place called Medellín where I met a younger man who took a keen interest in me – this was Escobar. And there was the day I saw huge bags of money being loaded on to a plane. Little did I know of the murky dealings that linked these two powerful figures in Colombia’s turbulent history – and the millions of dollars that passed between them.

Only when I was twenty-four did my father – Pat – sit me down to tell me the true story of my extraordinary life. It was 1989 and by then I had left home and was living in Sotogrande on the Costa Del Sol of Spain, near Gibraltar. Until that day I had always been Phillip Witcomb, although I did know that I was adopted. It hadn’t worried me. I always looked upon Pat and his wife, Joan, as my dad and mum. They had told me I had been born in Colombia, which explained my darker hair and features, but until this point both had said that nothing was known about my real parents and I had always accepted it. Now Pat prepared to turn my world upside down. ‘What we told you wasn’t the whole story,’ Dad said. ‘It’s time you knew the whole truth.’

He revealed I had started life as Roberto Sendoya Escobar. They had adopted me from a Catholic orphanage. My mother was dead and they believed my father had given up any claim for me. It was then that he explained how he had come to cross paths with Pablo Escobar.

Dad had been tasked with setting up the Colombian arm of the banknote printing company De La Rue and, as part of his work, he needed to infiltrate the criminal gangs then gaining a foothold in the country’s fledgling economy and pass back intelligence. Some of this information made its way back to UK secret services but the main beneficiaries of the elaborate, sophisticated and devastatingly effective operation were their US counterparts in the CIA.

Dad explained that the armoured car division often came under attack and their consignments of newly printed Colombian banknotes would be stolen. After one such robbery, Dad received intelligence about the whereabouts of the missing money. With the backing of his bosses in London and his employers in UK intelligence, he mounted a daring and heavily armoured mission to recover the cash.

It was in the course of this most bloody of expeditions that I was discovered as a helpless baby in the gang’s hideout and the link with my biological father, Escobar, was established. At the time Pablo Escobar was a teenager and nothing more than a low-level criminal, but as he rose through the criminal ranks he would go on to be a useful asset for the intelligence services who sought to influence the growing gang networks in Colombia.

It was the 1960s and the cocaine trade was in its infancy. There was no way of predicting the way that its cultivation and supply would become one of the biggest industries in the world – or of knowing that the secret services would play a key role in allowing the gangs to flourish, creating the cocaine cartels that brought so much misery to so many people. At the time Pat’s goal was simply to safeguard his company interests and provide intelligence for the services back home.

Enter one more figure who would much later become notorious on the world stage. An ambitious Panamanian, then just an officer, named Manuel Noriega not only assisted Dad on the fateful mission that led him to Escobar but would also go on to help him in his dealings with the criminal gangs. Noriega and Escobar were quite the pair, between them overseeing the rise of narcotic trafficking to a global level.

What had begun as a low-level operation in aid of securely transporting government-issued banknotes exploded into a dangerous game: trying in vain to control drug gangs that nobody could have known would become so big that their resources outstripped those of entire nations. Yet for years, US Intelligence’s attitude to the cocaine flooding the USA verged on the relaxed. It was only when the amount of dollars for drugs pouring out of the USA – then the largest economy in the world – reached dangerously high levels, that action was at last taken.

The once primitive criminal gangs had by then morphed into huge drug cartels that made more money than they knew how to spend. By the time that I began to find out the truth of my life, Escobar feared his grip on power was slipping and had hidden millions of dollars in secret locations. When Dad told me all of this and hinted that he knew where some of the money was, it was at first too much to take in.

It was only slowly that this incredible story began to make sense to me. For years I had been plagued by vague dreams of what I thought were explosions and a woman’s screams. Were these somehow related to real events, to that armed mission that Dad had mounted and that had led to my rescue? I remembered our trips to Medellín. Suddenly, conversations I’d had with a mysterious man with a magnetic presence took on a new significance. Was this Escobar? My biological father?

That wasn’t all. Many years later, as he lay dying, my father imparted perhaps his most sensational secret – clues to the location of Escobar’s legendary missing millions.


Roberto Sendoya Escobar_Author Photo_23 April 2020About the Author

Roberto Sendoya Escobar lives with his wife in a remote finca on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca under his adopted name of Phillip Witcomb. He works as an acclaimed fine artist, and his work sells for many thousands of pounds.

He plans to donate a substantial percentage of profits from this book to charities which benefit young people.