Blog Tour ~ Extract ~ The Penance List by S C Cunningham. #Giveaway

The Penance List - Ebook

This one comes with a warning – a steamy suspense-ridden psychological thriller – think Silence of the Lambs meets 50 Shades and hold on tight! S C Cunningham writes with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Grab a glass of wine, close the bedroom door and read alone! What happens when opposites attract – when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a gorgeous sexual tour de force – when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge – when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay – when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder… and he’s just getting started!

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I would like to thank S C Cunningham for visiting booksaremycwtches today with an extract from her novel The Penance List. 

Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

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The Penance List
by S C Cunningham

Three fun loving friends meet regularly for lunch at the glamorous Cellini’s Restaurant in Chelsea. They have no idea that they’re being watched by a killer with a penance list.

Click, click… hidden in a cafe across the street, he pulled on the focus, fitting all three into shot.
Tara and Helen had met as juniors at a convent boarding school for young ladies, upsetting a multitude of nuns in their wake. Josie had been adopted by the feisty twosome years later at college. Her cheeky up-front London cockney savvy and their self-effacing Sloaney wit made an entertaining mix. They’d stuck together through thick and thin, enduring life’s roller coaster; a good team.
Their bond was about to be tested. Evil was entering centre stage of their cosy, comfortable lives. It had been sitting on the periphery for years, plotting, planning, patiently waiting. It was watching them now; they only had to look up through the restaurant window to see it, hiding behind the large black lens that focused directly on them.
Click, click… the shot pulled in tight, slender fingers wrapped the stem of her glass.
The girl’s witty banter moved at a gallop, sprinting through sentences that didn’t need completing, interspersed with giggles, tears and hugs. They ‘got’ each other with intuitive precision.
Tara did sometimes wonder how they could talk such utter rubbish for hours on end; she put it down to a necessary form of free DIY therapy from those who actually loved, cared and understood you. Knew how to make you laugh and what made you tick. She believed in avoiding shrinks whenever possible, buy a friend lunch; it was cheaper and didn’t keep the drug trade in business, too many unnecessary pills out there.
“I hate BJ’s… I hate the taste, the feel, the pressure. I am SO useless at them, they make me gag, which is SO not such a good look,” complained Helen, pulling a very unattractive gagging face.
The girls giggled; Josie put her fork down, giving up trying to eat.
“No, seriously,” continued Helen. “I try really hard, but I can’t swallow to save my life, and my hand jobs are a nightmare. I get into a nice rhythm, everything’s going fine, then it starts, the insecurity creeps in. Am I doing it right? Am I holding too tight, too hard? Am I yanking too fast? He’s not saying anything, not helping, except the odd sharp intake of breath or animal-like groan. Was that a ‘pained’ intake of breath or a ‘pleasurable’ intake of breath? A ‘yeah, good’ groan or an ‘ouch! fuck that hurt’ groan? How the hell do you know? You have to be a mind reader. My hand gets tired, my knees ache, my jaw starts to lock, my teeth get in the way, I remember that he pees out of it and …”
She takes a slug of wine, soldiering on with her regular moan about her disastrous sex life.
“… whoosh!…I lose it, hand-to-mouth coordination gets all out of sync and I go into a blind panic, knowing that he knows, that I know, that I’ve lost it. It’s like reverse parking; start analysing it and I mess up, every time…”
The girls look at her quizzically, trying to keep up with her line of thinking…reverse parking?
“And, to make it worse, he’s looking impatiently down at me, like, ‘come on, babe, get a move on,’ probably waiting for the footy to start, spotting my roots need doing, and trying not to laugh at the farting noises my mouth is making…urrgh!! It’s all SO unattractive.”
She sighs, serious faced, topping up wine glasses, the girls trying not to laugh.
“How do you know if you’re doing it right?” she pleaded.
“Hey relax gal, you don’t ‘ave to do it, it’s not mandatory. Some guys don’t like blow jobs, having a set of gnashers around their privates fills them with terror, and some guys don’t like to go down on us for the same reasons; we pee out of it, and the little ‘panic button’ is hell to figure out,” Josie tried to calm her, but she wasn’t listening.
“And why the hell is it called a ‘blow job’? Granted, it’s a bloody job, but there is no bloody blowing involved, unless I’m doing it wrong,” she stopped in her tracks and looked quizzically up at the girls.
“Do you blow in the hole?” they both shook their heads, trying not to laugh.
“I don’t want to force a bloody air bubble down his tubes, he’ll go blue… try explaining that to an ambulance crew. No one teaches you these things, its real trial and error stuff.”
“Well maybe that’s what the older man is for, hun… to teach a girl the sexual basics,” piped up Tara.
“That’s even worse, they take Viagra and never bloody stop… they have a hard on for days, your bits are sore as hell… and they never bloody come, where’s the fun in that? To top it all they end up having a heart attack,” Helen gulped more wine, shaking her head.
Josie giggled. “We’re a bit old for older men don’t ya think? Ours would come with a wheelchair and bus pass. It would be more useful to learn a few resuscitation techniques… a good bit of slap’n tickle and a cheeky bit of CPR, very sexy.”
Click, click… the frame catches their three heads rock back with laughter, a cauldron of witches.

The Penance List can be purchased from Amazon

Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed Copy of The Penance List (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Giveaway link. 

About the author. 

The Penance List - Author Siobhan C Cunningham (2)

British Crime Investigator & Crime Writer, Siobhan C Cunningham creates stegamy psychological thrillers and kick-ass paranormal romance with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the very industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction. An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub). Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker who haunted the streets of London, the seed for The David Trilogy was sown, book one is The Penance List, and has been adapted to film screenplay.
She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and is owned by three dogs.

You can follow the author on her websiteTwitter and Facebook.

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Blog Tour ~ Review ~ The Golden Bunny of The Lake District by Sibel Beadle and illustrated by Fernado Arias.

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Miranda’s fifth daughter, Kai, desperately wants a pet. Wherever she goes she collects stray animals from bugs to snakes, however, none of these satisfy her dreams of having an animal she can really look after and call her own. Thankfully, a solution unexpectedly appears when their friend Richard reveals that his grandson —a golden rabbit who lives in the Lake District— has the gift of making children’s wishes come true. And so, armed with some spells and a lot of camping equipment Miranda, along with her daughters Kai and Viva, embark on an adventure. The only question is will they manage to find the giant waterfall where Richard’s cheeky grandson lives and return with a cuddly pet for Kai?

Review

This is charming tale is part of a series of books about Miranda and her seven very special daughter’s.
I must admit, I am a little in love with this wonderful series of books because they capture the world from the child’s point of view.

This the third, is as  exquisite as the first two in the series and captures the essence of what a children’s book should be, magical, innocent and heart warming.
I loved how in this book we got to focus on another of the daughter’s. This time it’s Kai and her wish for a pet.
My favourite part of this book was was the way it says to young reader’s that dreams can come true, if you just believe.  Yet maintains a simplicity to the story, which is a hallmark of the series and that makes it accessible to young readers. Here as in the first in the series the writer celebrates the fact that adventures and travel are grand things and that books can open up the world to children.

Special mention must to the illustrator Fernando Arias whose illustrations are bold and colourful.

It’s a beautifully written story and I am certain it will inspire young readers to want to visit the setting of the book, it certainly made me want to. I smiled throughout and loved the way the writer gave it a big hearted feel.
I would recommend this book to parents to read to their young children and also to older independent readers.

This delightful book can be purchased from Amazon

About the author.

SibelBeadle_AuthorPhoto

Living in Billericay, Essex with her two daughters Sibel Beadle previously worked as a senior banker for the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development in Central London before becoming a full time children’s author. Previous titles in her Witchy Travel Tales series include; The Seven Sisters andSleepless in Stonehenge (Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd 2017). The third, The Golden Bunny of the Lake District is published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd March 2018.

Sibel Beadle can be followed on her Witchy Travel Tales and Twitter.

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Blog Tour ~ Review ~ Sleepless in Stonehenge Sibel Beadle and illustrated by Fernado Arias.

Sleepless in Stonehenge

The series “Witchy Travel Tales” tells the story of a witch and her seven daughters.

This book is the second in the series. One of the witch’s daughters, Viva, is scared at night and struggles to fall asleep every night. Her mother, the witch, takes Viva on a trip to Stonehenge, to activate an ancient spell hat helps the little girl, fall asleep going forward.
Review

Many thanks to the author Sibel Beadle, Grosvenor House publishing and blog tour organiser Rachel Gilbey for the ARC of Witchy Travel Tales, Sleepless In Stonehenge in return for an honest review.

This is a charming tale of a witch called Miranda, her seven daughters and their quest to help one of those daughters viva find a way to beat her nighmares.
I must admit, I am a little in love with this wonderful series of books. This the second is exquisite and captures the essence of what a children’s book should be, magical, innocent and heart warming.
I loved how in this book we got to focus on one of the daughter’s. The author is showing her young reader’s that nightmares can be banished.
My favourite part of the book was was the way it says to young reader’s that there are ways to deal with nightmares.  Yet maintains a simplicity to the story and that makes it accessible to young readers.Here as in the first in the series the writer celebrates the fact that adventures and travel are grand things and that books can open up the world to children.

Special mention must to the illustrator Fernando Arias whose illustrations are bold and colourful.
It is a beautifully written story and I am certain it will inspire young readers to want to visit the setting of the book, it certainly made me want to. I smiled throughout and loved the way the writer gave it a big hearted feel.
I would recommend this book to parents to read to their young children and also to older independent readers.

Sleepless In Stonehenge can be purchased from Amazon

About the author.

SibelBeadle_AuthorPhoto

Living in Billericay, Essex with her two daughters Sibel Beadle previously worked as a senior banker for the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development in Central London before becoming a full time children’s author. Previous titles in her Witchy Travel Tales series include; The Seven Sisters andSleepless in Stonehenge (Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd 2017). The third, The Golden Bunny of the Lake District is published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd March 2018.

Sigel Beatle can be followed on Twitter

She can also be followed at Witchy Travel Tales

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Blog Tour ~ Review ~ The Seven Sisters by Sibel Beatle and illustrated by Fernado Beadle.

SevenSisters

The series “Witchy Travel Tales” tells the story of a witch called Miranda who has seven beautiful daughters. Miranda and her daughters cross seven seas in search of a better home. One stormy night they land on the Seven Sisters Cliffs, south of England.

This book is the first in a series of books that tells the travel tales of the witch and her seven daughters, who explore the beautiful land they have arrived in and visit ancient sites throughout England and the World in search of magic.

Review

Many thanks to the author Sibel Beadle, Grosvenor House publishing and blog tour organiser Rachel Gilbey for the ARC of Witchy Travel Tales, The Seven Sisters in return for an honest review.
This is a charming tale of a witch called Miranda, her seven daughters and their quest for a forever home.
I must admit, I am a little in love with this wonderful children’s book. It’s exquisite and captures the essence of what a children’s book should be, magical, innocent and heart warming.
I loved all the characters in this book, all of whom have very different personalities. The author is showing her young readers that it’s okay to be different, to celebrate who you are and be valued and loved.
My favourite part of the book was this very fact, the way it celebrates diversity and it does so with spoonfuls of emotional insight. Yet maintains a simplicity to the story that makes it accessible to young readers. I also loved how the writer celebrates the fact that adventures and travel are grand things and that books can open up the world to children. Special mention must to the illustrator Fernando Arias whose illustrations are bold and colourful.
It is a beautifully written story and I am certain it will inspire young readers to want to visit the setting of the book, it certainly made me want to. I smiled throughout and loved the way the writer gave it a big hearted feel.
I would recommend this book to patients to read to their young children and also to older independent readers.

The Seven Sisters can be purchased from Amazon.

About the author.

SibelBeadle_AuthorPhoto

Living in Billericay, Essex with her two daughters Sibel Beadle previously worked as a senior banker for the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development in Central London before becoming a full time children’s author. Previous titles in her Witchy Travel Tales series include; The Seven Sisters andSleepless in Stonehenge (Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd 2017). The third, The Golden Bunny of the Lake District is published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd March 2018.

You can follow Sibel Beadle on her Witchy Travel Tales and Twitter.

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Blog Tour ~ Review ~ Godsend by J.A.Marley.

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It has been eighteen months since Danny Felix pulled off the robbery of his life.  His plan brought London to a standstill, but at a heavy price.

Now, living a quiet life running a charter fishing business in the Florida Keys, Danny is trying to come to terms with the death and destruction he had unwittingly unleashed. However, the low profile is beginning to wear thin and he soon starts to crave the adrenalin rush of his former criminal ways.

Little does he know that three very different women are about to enter his life and turn it upside-down. Soon Danny finds himself right back in the action.

But why has he been chosen? And does he have the appetite to pull off another job where the stakes are so lethally high?

Review

Many thanks to Bloodhound Books, J A Marley and blog tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC of Godsend in return for an honest review.

I feel like simply saying I loved this book.

There you go that’s my review. I loved it. I really thought it was fabulous. It is everything a thriller should be. You should read it.

I should definitely write more though. Because this book deserves it.

It’s fun.

It’s exciting.

It’s action packed.

There is a hero, sort of an ‘anti hero’ in fact, who you shouldn’t really root for, but I can’t help it. I know he is a criminal, but from Standstill, the first in the series, I could sense his vulnerability and just liked him. Danny is one of my all time favourite characters. I was chuffed that J A Marley didn’t just leave him as the action packed criminal mastermind, but has given him more emotional depth in his second outing. His heart is hurting in Godsend and it makes him all the more appealing as a character.

The story romps along like a high speed train. With has a villain I just loved to hate. No heart, no vulnerability, just pure evilness. You need that in a thriller. Someone you just want to meet a nasty ending, who makes you angry, makes your skill crawl. He is there in Godsend and I hate him as much as I love Danny Felix.

Godsend works well as a standalone, but I would personally start with Standstill and you get two servings of a fabulous character and you take a roller coaster ride with him.

I still maintain that he would be perfect film material, just not Tom Cruise okay! Don’t ever cast Tom Cruise as Danny Felix!

Godsend can be purchased from Amazon

About the author 

John Marley, 27April2016, photographer Bronac McNeill

John A. Marley’s writing career started with a poem about two brothers who both liked sausages…their names were Butch and Dutch and his Primary School teacher Mr. Murray liked it so much it made the main noticeboard at the entrance to Holy Child Primary School in West Belfast.  A little older but none the wiser, he ended up as a film journalist in his native Northern Ireland, contributing to local newspapers, BBC Radio Ulster and latterly writing as the main film critic for the glossy magazine, Northern Woman.

John’s love of good stories came from the Irish predilection for telling a good yarn and the fact that there was nothing quite like sneaking away his Dad’s battered paperbacks to read even though he knew they were meant for adults and not kids. And so pulp fiction such as The Edge Westerns by George G. Gilman, the adventure novels of Alistair MacLean and the thrillers of Jack Higgins all served to whet his appetite for a good story told at pace.

These days, his reading tastes still focus on thrills, spills and good plot and he can’t walk by a James Lee Burke or an Elmore Leonard without pausing to read a few pages…even if it is in a busy bookshop.

John A. Marley is also a TV producer with a proven track record in creating and producing distinctive, original entertainment and factual programming and formats for both a UK and international audience. His eclectic portfolio of high-profile shows include Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAFBritain’s Flying PastStaraokeBest of FriendsSkatoonyNoel’s House PartyThrough the KeyholeSMTV:Live/CD:UKHow Euro Are You? and live coverage of “The Oscars” with Barry Norman.

John runs his own production company Archie Productions which he launched in 2008. Prior to setting up his own indie, John enjoyed a wide and varied career in television will creative roles at Talent Television, Planet 24, Carlton Television and Walt Disney UK. John’s broadcast media career started in his native Northern Ireland as a radio host.

Godsend is the follow up to John’s debut novel, Standstill in which we first met master thief Danny Felix.

J A Marley can be followed on his website and Twitter.

B L O G B L I T Z

Blog Tour ~ Competition~ Win a signed copy of Without Consent by Sid Spencer.

Without Consent Cover

A childhood in the care system, a boarding school in the remote countryside, a boy forgotten and abused.
This is the true story of how I, as a small boy, went from my neglectful, volatile parents, to controlling, uncaring foster carers and to a boarding school rife with sexual abuse, perpetrated by the adults there.
Experience the court trial, the fear of having to face my abuser, my fight to be believed and the final outcome.
This is a story of hope, of strength and of justice. This is a story that, sadly, too many children experience.
This is a story that should never have to be told by anyone again.

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I am very proud to be able to run a competition today to win a copy of Without Consent by Sid Spencer as part of the blog tour organised by Anne Cater.

To be in with a chance of winning, go to the pinned on Twitter and like and share the pinned tweet at @Walescrazy

All those who share this blog directly to Twitter will ask be included in the draw. The competition will be open until midday on Sunday 22nd of April.

**  Entering is limited to UK and Northern Ireland only

Good luck to all entering.

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You can purchase Without Consent from Amazon.

25% of ALL Sales will be donated to Survivors UK.

About the author.

Sid Spencer Author Photo

Sid Spencer has been a father since 2010 when, with his husband, they fostered an adopted their two children.
Sid soon realised that in order to help his two children to heal, he needed to help the boy that we was to heal as well.
Sid leaves in West Sussex where he writes, paints and if the dad at home.

The author can be followed on Twitter.

Without Consent Blog Tour Poster

Blog Tour ~ Review~ The Last Friend by Harvey Church.

The Last Friend - Harvey Church - Book Cover

The Last Friend – Harvey Church

The Knock on his Door…That Changed his Life

Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity and says she made a promise to tell him about their friendship.
The Last Friend to hold His Daughter’s Hand

When Monica claims to know where his daughter’s remains are buried, Donovan is immediately committed to doing whatever this last friend needs from him, regardless of the warnings from his family and friends.

The Friend Who Can Help Him Seek Vengeance

And when Monica claims to know where he can find the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess, Donovan knows he will stop at nothing to get his vengeance.

What Cost Will He Ultimately Pay?

Monica claims she can show Donovan a lot of things about his daughter, but what price will Donovan ultimately pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?

Review Quotes

“An unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.” -The Booklife Prize
“The short chapters and fast pacing coupled with an intriguing storyline made this a page turner that I could not put down.” – novelgossip.com
“There’s no way to read this and not feel the gravity of it.” 5-star review, an Amazon reader
“You know it’s a 5-star book when you can’t put it down and stay up way too late reading!” 5-star review by an Amazon reader
“This book was a fast read . . . if you like psychological thrillers, then this will be right up your alley!” Goodreads Reviewer
“The plot hummed along at an incredible rate.” 5-star review by an Amazon reader

Review

Many thanks to the author Harvey Church and blog tour organiser Caroline Vincent for the ARC in return for an honest review.
I have been thinking about this novel from the moment I finished it! How it made me feel and the things I liked about it and any elements I didn’t. Honestly, I couldn’t find one single fault. It’s a first-class, well crafted thriller, with outstanding characters and a gripping storyline.
The characters are all highly believable and written with an assured touch. The leading character Donovan perfectly embodies the sorrowful image of a father desperate to finally discover the fate of his daughter. I loved that he is flawlessly described as unable to move on with his life, but still functioning enough to have hope of a life with meaning. If only he can escape from the ghosts of his past that haunt his present. Then we have the last friend of the title. Almost perfectly revealed to us, like the complex layers of an onion, we get to know her and her connection to Donovan’s daughter. Yet parts of her remain elusive and you never know if she can be trusted.
The storyline is hard hitting in that it deals with the kidding napping of a young girl, but Harvey Crouch doesn’t seek to shock us with cheap imagery. He’s telling a story rooted in the depth of his characters suffering. It’s about emotions, grief, anger, pain and the journey each takes to gain retribution and final answers to questions their hearts are struggling to form.
The tension builds up slowly and needing answers as much as Donovan, I read on and on, feeling like I was taking the journey with him.
If you are looking for a solid and intelligent thriller, give the Last Friend a read. I enjoyed it so much; I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it any of my thriller reading friends.

The Last Friend can be purchased from Amazon.

About the author. 

Harvey Church Author Image

Harvey Church has a background in finance, which is how he found himself writing about the people and ridiculousness (sometimes the same thing) of that field in his Edwin Burrows light mystery series. Although he considers himself retired from that field (aka not working), he’s planning another three Edwin Burrows novels for 2018.
His first “serious” novel, The Last Friend, is a Kindle Scout writing competition winner and was published by Kindle Press on January 9, 2018. The BookLife Prize called it “an entertaining read for mystery and thriller fans alike,” and said it is “an unexpected and exciting series of events that will grab readers.” Harvey plans two sister novels to The Last Friend in 2018, one titled The Last Night (Spring 2018) and the other tentatively titled The Last Survivor.
For fun, Harvey likes to practice street magic and spends hours engineering tricks to wow his audiences. He is also an avid hockey fan (Go Leafs Go). He has a wife and two kids. His favorite color is blue, but he drives a black car because he read somewhere, back in the 90’s, that radar detectors have a tough time seeing them. Interestingly, he never speeds because he’s too busy singing like nobody’s watching, or maybe it’s that everybody is deaf.
He’s a supporter of double-chins, double-dates, and double-dipping (though never on double-dates), and obviously enjoys writing about himself in the third person, in the voice of the narrator from The Royal Tenenbaums.
Connect with Harvey Church by searching Harvey Church Mysteries on Facebook, at @hashtag_harv on Instagram, and @harveychurch1 on Twitter. You can also find him wandering the streets of Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or the Lido deck of a Princess Cruise ship. If you ever meet Harv, ask to see a magic trick!

You can follow Harvey Church on his website Harvey Church MysteriesTwitter and Instagram.

 Book Blog Tour Poster The Last Friend - Harvey Church

Blog Tour ~ Extract ~ Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon by Tim Marshall.

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Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon

The top wheelchair athletes of today enjoy the same high-profile exposure and admiration as their able-bodied counterparts. This has come about partly through wheelchair participation in mass fun-running events such as the Great North Run. Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon charts disability sports pioneer Tim Marshall MBE’s journey from the rock-climbing accident which left him paralysed, to becoming a trailblazer for wheelchair racing. The fun-runs of the 1980s enabled wheelchair road-racing to flourish, and Marshall took part in marathons and half-marathons where wheelchairs were welcome to compete. This did not, however, include The London Marathon, from which wheelchairs were banned for the first two years. This is the story of how this prohibition was overturned, told from the competitor’s point of view. Tim and many others campaigned for the inclusion of wheelchairs in The London Marathon in the face of huge opposition from the organisers. Finally, in 1983 the efforts of sportsmen and women, the press, the Greater London Council and members of parliament resulted in a breakthrough just ten days before the 1983 marathon, which at last agreed to wheelchair participation. Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon reveals the tenacity and resolve required to achieving sporting greatness in the face of adversity. Tim Marshall’s story — and the legacy he has helped build for disabled sports — are a testament to his love of racing and his passion for disability equality.

 

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My thanks to Tim Marshall for visiting my blog today with an extract from his book Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London  Marathon.

Extract

Context: Brasher announced the intention to organise a marathon, on the lines of the New York Marathon, in 1979. I had come across the Wheelchair Boston Marathon, then in its 4thYear, in 1978. I wrote to Brasher suggesting a wheelchair section in London; he replied non-committedly, but it soon became obvious that there wouldn’t be a wheelchair event.
Magazine articles followed over the next few years, and early in 1982 I wrote to John Disley at the Sports Council putting the case again. He wrote back, rather irritated, saying no. But there was a wheelchair in the 1982 race, so I wrote again. The first extract follows.

Dear John Disley, My apologies for taking things up again quite so soon, but really! A pantomime horse, a three-legged affair, a penny farthing, roller skates, an ostrich, a pram ….and a wheelchair. ….After last Sunday more extensive wheelchair participation is bound to be attempted next year, and it would be far better that it were organised properly than that you try to cope with a bunch of gate-crashing cowboys. …..
Disley replied thus: Dear Tim Marshall, Thank you for your comments about the “clowns” in our marathon. [NB I had made no comment about the “clowns”, merely describing their presence or their means of locomotion]. Although we are not best pleased with ostriches and pantomime horses [why not? Don’t they add to the gaiety of the occasion?] at least they did not commit perjury when they signed their entry forms, as Mr Thornton apparently did [perjury? PERJURY! This is getting heavy! The reference is to signing “I agree to abide by AAA Rules” on the entry form- which include running]. ……Next year we will again run our race under IAAF, AAA and WCCA rules which do not admit to wheels of any kind – cycles, prams or chairs. Yours Sincerely….

Context We are now on race day, April 17th, just after the race had finished. In looking for partners to support our cause, we had approached the Greater London Council (remember them?). Faced with evidence that London was falling behind other places, both in this country and abroad, in not having a wheelchair section in their marathons, the GLC came out strongly in our support – and after all, the race took place on their roads. But they were refuted in late January 1983 by being told by Brasher and Disley that it was against international regulations to have a wheelchair race running alongside the main running race – this was a line they had stuck to for months.
I had written to the press about the issue, and the Sunday Times picked it up. Then it was taken on by The Guardian and the London Evening Standard. Eventually, 19 days before the race I was told there would be a wheelchair event, though this wasn’t finally confirmed until 10 days beforehand. I assumed that all my niggling away had eventually caused Brasher and Disley to give in. Not a bit of it. After the race I was approached by Illtyd Harrington,deputy leader of the GLC, a governor of the race and someone who had been much in favour of a wheelchair event..

(Harrington speaking)…”They (the Sunday Times )were so astonished at Disley’s reaction to their approach that they thought there must be something more to dig into. …they went to the IAAF in Richmond and asked them what was their position regarding the participation of wheelchairs in road races. (The Sunday Times): If a wheelchair race were run in parallel with a running race, that would be OK, wouldn’t it, not a problem? (The IAAF) Not for us it wouldn’t be.
“What happened next” Illtyd continued “is that the Sunday Times came to us armed with this information from the IAAF. As you can imagine, we found this very interesting indeed – we were sympathetic to your cause almost right from the start, but had been completely stymied by the ‘against international regulations’ argument.”(Brasher and Disley were called to a meeting, and the subject of a wheelchair section was reintroduced). “Not this one agan”, said Brasher and Disley, “we’ve already explained that it’s against international regulations, why can’t you accept that?” “Are you sure of that?
“Absolutely” “Well, this is what your own international governing body says.” and we showed them the statement the IAAF had written down for us. …”For months you have peddled this line to us. Now it appears there are no such regulations forbidding the parallel running of such an event, and your own international governing body says so. What you told us wasn’t true. What else have you told us that isn’t true?” [What a devastating question – what have said in response?]
(The GLC) “…We all know that, despite what you told us, having a wheelchair section running alongside a running race is not forbidden. If you persist in refusing to allow a wheelchair section in this year’s race, we may have to reconsider our application to the police to havethe roads closed for the event.”

© Tim Marshall 2018
Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon can be purchased from Amazon.

About the author.

TimMarshall_Author1

Tim Marshall was born in 1946 and gained an M.Sc in Statistics from the London School of Economics, working at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris before taking up a position at Birmingham University. His lectureship in the Medical School followed by his appointment as Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Public Health ended with his retirement in 2006. He has enjoyed a lifelong love of sport including wheelchair racing, skiing and sailing.

Monika Cover 2

Cover Reveal ~ The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali

I’m thrilled to be part of the cover reveal today for the novella The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali. I will be reviewing it here on booksaremycwtches on 5th of May.

 

The Weekend Spa Break Cover Reveal

 

THE WEEKEND SPA BREAK

Friendships Online Series
Part Two

 

The Weekend Spa Break Cover

After finally meeting in person at the publishing party of the season, Constance and Estelle are determined not to let their friendship return to mere virtual champagne bottles and uploaded pictures of food.
It’s been a busy year, and Constance feels it’s time to reward herself with the spa break Estelle gave her for Christmas. Naturally, Constance wouldn’t dream of taking anyone other than Estelle, and this will provide the perfect opportunity to bond with her new chum.
As the excited pair spend some quality time together, they realise it’s not just writing books they have in common, but something that goes much deeper. After a few Jacuzzi sessions, facials, pedicures, and a massage by sexy Senior Therapist, Julio, everything seems to be peachy until an unexpected visitor turns Constance’s weekend of bliss … on its head.

A two-day spa break.

Sparkling water on tap.

And the perfect massage.

But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

You can  pre-order The Weekend Spa Break from Amazon.

About the author. 

Meet Anne

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.
Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series.  Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.
Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

You can follow the author on Facebook, Twitter and her Blog.

Cover Reveal ~ The Picture by Roger Bray

I’m excited today to be part of the cover reveal of Roger Bray’s new book The Picture. It’s an exciting thriller I will be reviewing on booksaremycwtches the 28th of April.

The Picture - Cover Reveal

 

The Picture

The Picture

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.
But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

You will be able to buy The Picture from Amazon soon.

About the author

Author photo

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops. My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider. Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing. Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school. So here we are, two books published and another on track. Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Roger Bray can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and his website Roger Bray Books.