#BlogTour #Extract Lucifer’s Game by Cristina Loggia @RandomTTours @lume_books

Lucifer's Game BT PosterWelcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Lucifer’s Game by Cristina Loggia. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour. You can read an extract from the book below.


Lucifer's GameAbout the Book

Rome, 1942. Cordelia Olivieri is a young, determined hotel owner desperate to escape Mussolini’s racial persecution. But as Fascist leaders gather in Rome, Cordelia is suddenly surrounded by the world’s most ruthless and powerful commanders.

In an effort to keep her Jewish heritage a secret and secure safe passage out of Italy, Cordelia forms a dangerous alliance with the British army who want to push the Axis out of North Africa once and for all.

Going undercover, Cordelia begins obtaining and leaking military intelligence to a British agent, hoping the intel will secure her freedom. But the more Cordelia uncovers, the greater the risks – especially for one handsome German Afrika Korps officer.

How far must Cordelia go to protect her identity and secure passage out of Rome?

Format: ebook (340 pages)                Publisher: Lume Books
Publication date: 14th October 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction

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Purchase links
Hive | Amazon UK
Links provided for convenience only, not as part of an affiliate programme


Extract from Lucifer’s Game by Cristina Loggia

Prologue

Gazala, North Africa, June 1942

Erwin Rommel removed the goggles that had been sheltering his eyes from the desert sand, stepped out of his Horch armoured cabriolet and walked to the edge of the cliff perched over the East Mediterranean Sea. He was a sober man, of medium height. His sharp, inquisitive eyes scanned the horizon as if his next military target were due north, rather than west. His gaze remained fixed across the water.

In a day that was coming to an end, the General inhaled a deep breath of the fresh and humid air blowing from the sea, a sudden relief from the heat of a scorching and unforgiving North African sun. His lungs felt an immediate balsamic cooling. The evening dew was starting to appear on the few blades of surviving grass. He could hear the soft backwash of the waves crashing on the narrow beach at the bottom, foamy and shining in the glow of the last rays of light.

Von Mellenthin, his intelligence officer, had travelled with him up there, just outside Gazala, after a twenty-minute car trip on the road along the rugged east coast of town. He handed the General a cup of mint tea that Rudolf Schneider, Rommel’s driver, had rushed to pour from a field thermos as soon as they stopped. The Desert Fox, as he came to be known for his daring manoeuvres that routinely outwitted an enemy in far greater number, had adopted this habit from the Berber tribes that had been roaming over those lands for centuries. He found the drink quite refreshing, despite the heat of the liquid.

Von Mellenthin lit a cigarette, observed the spiral of smoke that came out from his lips, then looked at Rommel. He wondered if a Roman General, or a Persian, or even a Carthaginian Commander before him, had stood in that same vantage point to admire the vastness of the sea, while plotting his next move. Time and time again, Libya had been a land of conquest by the powerful empires of the ancient past, and now it was the turn of the mighty Third Reich.

Rommel turned around and began to observe the hauntingly beautiful dunes of the desert. A hawk was screaming, high in the silent, clear sky, which was rapidly turning to a deeper blue now. What a stark contrast with its earlier blinding whiteness, the clouds of dust and the infernal noise of the heavy artillery in the battle that had raged until a few hours before.

The Panzers of the German Afrika Korps and the Italian Ariete Division tanks had defeated the Eighth Army of the British Forces, which was left flying in disorder. In a relentless attack, his men, fighting like devils, had conquered the all-important Gazala line, west of Tobruk, taking a substantial number of enemy prisoners. A landslide, an overwhelming victory, achieved despite the desperate situation of his supply lines: Rommel had been receiving a third of what was necessary.

That’s what was on his mind right now. And he was furious.


Cristina Loggia Author PicAbout the Author

Cristina started her career as a newspaper reporter for L’Eco di Biella and La Provincia di Biella in Piedmont, Italy. After a spell running the press office of an MP, she moved to London, where she worked for several years as a public affairs and media relations professional, advising major multinational corporations on communications campaigns. Cristina read English Literature and Foreign Languages at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Writing and reading have always been her greatest passion. Lucifer’s Game is her first fiction novel. She currently lives with her husband in Berkshire, United Kingdom.

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Lucifers Game Graphic 2

#BlogTour #Extract The Garfield Conspiracy by Owen Dywer @midaspr @libertiespress

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for The Garfield Conspiracy by Owen Dywer which was published on 7th September by Liberties Press. I’m delighted to be able to bring you an extract from the book. My thanks to Sofia at Midas PR for inviting me to take part in the tour. Do be sure to check out the reviews by the other book bloggers taking part in the tour.


The Garfield ConspiracyAbout the Book

Richard Todd, an award-winning writer, is outwardly successful but inwardly plagued by uncertainties. Worst of all, he can’t seem to write anymore. When a bright young editor, Jenny Lambe, arrives on his doorstep to work with him on his latest book, about the assassination of US president James Garfield, his life is sent spinning off in a new direction.

President Garfield was killed by Charles Guiteau, who was tried and hanged for the murder. But was he acting alone, or was there a more sinister force at work? Richard hears Guiteau’s voice in his head, and as his relationship with Jenny deepens, he is visited by other characters in the drama. Are they helping Richard solve the mystery surrounding Garfield’s murder – or pushing him further towards the edge?

A remarkable, disturbing portrait of a middle-aged man torn between his carefully constructed life and new adventures which may beckon, in the present and the past, from one of Ireland’s most exciting emerging authors.

Format: Paperback (256 pages)            Publisher: Liberties Press
Publication date: 7th September 2021 Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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Extract from The Garfield Conspiracy by Owen Dwyer

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs.” Richard, picking up Jenny’s copy of The Bell Jar, read its opening sentence aloud. Aware of his weakness for distraction, he threw it on to the armchair and returned his attention to the laptop. Following some time considering the eternity of its dark grey screen, he turned it on. This he did with a sense of achievement, for having done something.

The terror of hearing Guiteau the previous day had sent him running back to bed. Once safely under the duvet, he pressed his hands over his ears and tried to expel the voice from his head. The memory of the conversation – for Guiteau could not talk directly to him under the “bed is safe” rule – kept replaying itself over and over, at varying speeds and volume. Eventually, and with mystifying suddenness, the loop stopped, and common-sense, creeping into the silence, told him the voice had not been real and therefore could not hurt him. Buoyed with this certainty, he had a shower and functioned normally for the rest of the day – which meant staring at daytime television until Jenny got home.

The Bell Jar was just another book now, in his collection, though at the time of its purchase, this small paperback had been a well-thought-through instrument of seduction. How had Leonard Cohen put it? “Seems so long ago.” Picking up his notebook with a sigh, he began to read the half-page of mangled prose he had written that morning. With neither the conviction to scrap it nor the energy to sift through it for something salvageable, he sat reading it softly to himself, returning to the beginning as soon as he had finished. Twenty minutes passed on the clock on the bottom of the screen, before his concentration was broken by the shadow of a crow passing over the skylight, followed by the clattering of its claws on the rooftiles. With the delicacy of ritual, he slowly closed the book and replaced it on top of some printed pages of nonsense from the previous week, and returned his attention to the laptop. With another sigh, this one through his nose, he clicked open the photo-gallery. There, a growing collection of snaps of him and Jenny formed the beginning of a new history. Even her photos – those images of her smiling face – were enough to give him hope. Somewhere inside the muffled chambers of his conscience, he knew he was exploiting her youth: she was fresh; he was stale. Her future was like a colourful bunch of balloons in a bright blue sky; his, a used condom in a gutter. And he was feeding on her vivacity like a parasite, shrivelling her heart as he engorged his own.

“My dear chap.” It was the original American voice, with its slow edge of sadness. “You mustn’t be too hard on yourself.”

Richard turned, and this time there was someone in the armchair. Someone who looked like James Garfield. He was flipping through the pages of The Bell Jar but put the book down to look directly at Richard.

“Oh, I think I can be hard on myself, Mr President.” Richard began shaking, like a wounded beast.

“Please, you must call me James when we’re alone. And you must not be afraid. You have nothing to fear from me.”

Garfield filled the armchair with his imposing bulk, but his eyes were what captivated. Though tired and sunken, they emanated an intelligent steel-blue sympathy. “I’m afraid I’ve screwed everything up, James.”

“You are not the first.”

“No, I don’t suppose I am. Still, doesn’t stop the pain. It rings in my head like a bell.” Garfield nodded his great head slowly. “I too had a liaison, you know. Not dissimilar to your own.”

“I know. I came across it in Millard’s biography.”

“Yes,” he said distantly, rubbing a forefinger and thumb through his beard. “Milliard.” They proceeded to have a discussion about Destiny of the Republic. Garfield, though impressed with the book, was not comfortable with some aspects of the treatment of the “spoils” issue. Blaine, he felt, had been unfairly depicted, and he thought the complexity of Conkling’s personality had not been fully explicated. They settled presently into an agreeable silence, which was broken by Garfield.

“Yes, old fellow,” he said, eyes mellowing. “I too have known transgression. She, like your Jenny, was much younger, and very striking.”

“How did it come about?” Richard asked, not knowing what else to say.

“I was away from home at the time, and in truth my relationship with Lucretia was at a particularly low point.”

Though feeling awkward to hear such a revelation from someone he had just met, never mind someone of Garfield’s stature, Richard politely enquired: “What was the problem?”

“There is no need for you to feel uncomfortable, old boy. I’m pleased to have someone to talk to about this.”

It was evident Garfield was the type of person who rarely took offence and was happy to discuss any subject in a relaxed way, Richard was feeling more and more comfortable in his company. “Please,” he said, in his telephone voice. “Do go on.”

“When we were married at first, Crete was quite cold, you know. Like me, she came from a Church of Christ background, and her mind was so filled with the convoluted axioms and biblical interpretations of that religion, that she found it difficult to allow joy into her heart.”

“Did it manifest itself in the bedroom?” Richard was curious to know if the indifferent sex between himself and Valerie, after he had fallen for Jenny, was a universal consequence of the transition from one woman to another.

If that small taster has whetted your appetite, you can find purchase links below.


Publisher | Hive | Amazon UK
Links provided for convenience only, not as part of an affiliate programme

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Owen DwyerAbout the Author

Owen Dwyer is a prize-winning short-story writer who has won the Hennessy Emerging Fiction Prize, the Silver Quill (twice), the Smiling Politely Very Very Short Story competition, the South Tipperary County Council Short Story competition and the Biscuit Fiction Prize, and has had stories published in Whispers and Shouts magazine. His previous novel, Number Games, was published to glowing reviews by Liberties Press in 2019, and follows The Cherry-picker (2012) and The Agitator (2004). Owen lives in Dublin with his wife and their three children. (Photo/bio credit: Publisher author page)

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