Hot Air by Geoff Nelder

Hot Air by Geoff Nelder

Erica is a nine-to-five office temp with flaming red hair, emerald eyes, and black lipstick. The highlights of her day usually include coffee meetings and intoxicated fumblings. An adventurer at heart, she hires a hot-air balloon ride for she and her boyfriend, complete with a champagne lunch.

While in the air, she witnesses an unsavory crime happening on the ground below. The perpetrators spot the balloon, and begin shooting at it, hitting the pilot and killing him. Somehow, Erica and Paul manage to land the balloon but their troubles are not over. They are tracked down and abducted by a gang engaged in human trafficking, and taken to an island in the Mediterranean. Erica soon adapts to gangland ways and uses her charms to escape. Along the way, her life shifts from bored office temp to a feisty Lara Croft now living on adrenaline and dangerous men. She is chased by a rogue named Dean, who is annoyed by Erica but falling for her at the same time.

Hot Air is a contemporary crime novel and a winner of both the Wuacademia Silver Award in 2007 and Prix d’Or (Gold) 2008 for best unpublished novel.

Book Review: Award Winning action, adventure, contemporary crime novel Hot Air by Geoff Nelder will keep you on the edge of your seat as a romantic hot-air balloon ride for Erica and Paul turns ugly as they glide over an active crime scene.

Shots ring out and their pilot is killed leaving Erica and Paul to not only land the balloon, but run for their lives as their romantic endeavor escalates into their abduction by a human traffic king. Erica learns quickly and uses her sexy adventurous spirit to study her captors’ behavior in order to escape and then she must turn to crime to survive.

Author Geoff Nelder finds himself looking down the barrel of a gun while in Mallorca Spain doing research for Hot Air. BBC.co.uk (radioscotland) does an interview where Geoff explains:

“For the main purpose of my fact-finding trip I needed to get up close to a watchtower, a torre, of which there are dozens on the island built to look out for pirates and invaders.

Ironically, in my book, Hot Air, I have the Gorda, a local Mafia, using one to look out for the police authorities.

I had to scramble up a mountain to reach the torre. Hooray, I could see it. Oh no, there was a new fence to stop me reaching it. Traversing the top I discovered a gap in the fence. So hands on the tower was achieved along with lunch in its shade.

This was rewarded by the sight of a gun barrel up my nose. It belonged to a security guard demanding to know what I was doing there. He said the mountain was privately owned and he had to arrest anyone trespassing and taking photographs of the villa below.”

Confiscating Geoff’s camera and giving him a stern warning the judge let him go.

Thanks to Geoff’s tenacity he came away with the research needed to give Hot Air the authenticity that it needed.

His hands on research taught him that the locals are German, the English are Scottish, the sheep wear cowbells, the beach grows Christmas trees, the sage and wild lavender fill your nose with heavenly aromas as you climb the hills, the police arrest you if they catch you photographing them, the rich buy mountains (Actress Claudia Schiffer bought an entire mountain in Mallorca to protect her and her £2 million villa from prying eyes) but the riffraff still climb them and most important to the book, the watchtower is made of limestone.

Theodocia McLean endorses Hot Air by Geoff Nelder for its action, adventure, contemporary fiction crime that brought about the author’s escapades that allow his readers to experience the validity of his research while enjoying this fast paced novel. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on September 2, 2015.

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Author and Co-Author Geoff Nelder’s Published Books
ARIA: Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 1)
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 2)
ARIA: Abandoned Luggage (ARIA Trilogy Book 3)
Dimensions
Escaping Reality
Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology Of Alien Worlds (Chaosium Fiction)
Exit, Pursued By A Bee
How To Win Short Story Competitions
Hot Air

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The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates

The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles is the sequel to Finding Billy Battles. I jumped right into this book without reading the first in this trilogy and found it to be a compelling story based on fact and expanded by narrative fiction.

Ted Sayles who is the great-grandson of Billy Battles inherits Billy’s journals and while writing this trilogy he stays very true to the language of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. While this book opens in 1894 with William (Billy) Battles heading for the Orient aboard the SS China it covers his time in the Far East, Latin America, and Europe.

It is aboard the SS China that Billy meets German Baroness Katharina von Schreiber. She is gorgeous and regal, far out of reach of a Kansas scribbler (journalist). Since you have probably read the book’s description I wrestle with what to share with you from this amazing story and journey that Billy Battles is about to embark on. So I have decided to quote this passage to whet your appetite. I quote:

“Katharina’s cabin was a bit larger than mine was, and like mine, its walls were covered with dark mahogany panels. In addition to the two overstuffed chairs and writing table, she also had a small dining table. That is where we settled, she on one side and me on the other.

“I’m sorry, I have nothing to offer you to drink.” Then she paused, stood up, and walked to her wardrobe where she produced a tear-shaped bottle of Glenglassaugh single malt Scotch whiskey and two heavy cut crystal glasses. “Except for this.”

She returned and placed the glasses on the table in front of us. “May I?” she asked, and then uncorking the bottle, she poured two fingers in each glass. “This was my late husband’s favorite.”

I shuddered imperceptibly at that remark but pulled the glass toward me anyway. Images of Katharina pushing Baron von Schreiber over a cliff or poisoning him with arsenic-laced Wiener schnitzel flooded my mind.

I forced those macabre thoughts out of my mind by focusing on the rich amber hue of the whiskey as I uneasily swirled the glass around and around in front of me.

What was I doing? I found myself thinking. Why was I in Katharina Schreiber’s cabin about to drink expensive single malt Scotch whiskey with a woman who had just admitted she had killed, but not murdered, her husband?”

Murder, mystery, intrigue, people, places and events that were intended to divert Billy’s attention from his past soon gets him embroiled in Katharina’s past, with the German government, not to mention Chinese and Malay pirates. Later on he finds himself perhaps the first American to be involved in the Anti-French insurgency in Indochina which will later be called Vietnam and involve America. War will not end there as he is forced into the Spanish-American War while in the Philippines.

Just as life takes many unexpected turns for Billy Battles so will your desire to keep turning the pages of this book to find out what is it about Billy Battles that causes him to try to escape his past, endure his new reality and find measured peace as he heads into the twilight of his life.

I invite you to read The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles as it is a journey worth your time. Be sure to read Finding Billy Battles (book one in this trilogy) while waiting for the author to write the final book in this amazing trilogy.

Author Ronald E. Yates life experience as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America gives him the authority with which he writes. It is important to point out he won “three Pulitzer Prize nominations and several other awards, including the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; The Inter-American Press Association Award for coverage of South America; and three Edward Scott Beck Awards for international reporting. He is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. He lives in Murrieta, California.”

Theodocia McLean endorses The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles (Trilogy Book Two) by Ronald E. Yates. Ronald E. Yates is the author of the Finding Billy Battles (book one in this trilogy) and The Kikkoman Chronicles: A Global Company with A Japanese Soul, Aboard The Tokyo Express: A Foreign Correspondent’s Journey Through Japan as well as three journalism textbooks: The Journalist’s Handbook, International Reporting and Foreign Correspondents, and Business and Financial Reporting in a global Economy. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on June 17, 2016.

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milijun by Clayton Graham

milijun by Clayton Graham

Mankind has always had a fascination with extraterrestrials which dates from ice-age cave walls, ancient Egyptian carvings all the way to milijun by Clayton Graham.

This well written novel explores our deepest darkest fears that as a planet we are not ready for an alien incursion, in fact we pretend our intellect can save us. However, in Australia 2179 AD main character Laura Sinclair is faced with the unimaginable when she and her son Jason witness aliens descending to earth.

It is earth’s exploration and mining on the lunar surface that begins the conflict that ultimately results in the alien incursion into the Australian outback. Laura and her son Jason are faced with alien-driven technology that severely tests a mother’s love and resolve to protect her offspring at whatever cost.

It is my intent to share a quote to show you the author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “It was almost 6:30 pm when Laura came across what would later be called the Rawlinna nest. The sun was dropping in the western sky as she staggered wearily to the top of a modest incline and surveyed the collection of old aluminium shacks spread out before her.

She dropped to the ground, partly to avoid detection but also from sheer fatigue. Her face was covered with sweat and there were several dirt marks down both cheeks where she had attempted to clear bothersome flies from her face. Closing her eyes briefly, she sat in silence, not wanting to act in haste but acutely aware that time was crucial. Earlier, she had made a brief stop to drink water from the choppa’s emergency rations but now felt the need for more. She quenched her thirst then nibbled at a foul tasting energy bar as she thought through her next move.”

I invite you to the Australia outback where things are not as you might imagine.

Milijun is a striking name for this novel. I dare you to find its meaning. It is an Australian aboriginal word which also has a Serb-Croatian context.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘milijun’ a science fiction debut novel by Clayton Graham. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 9, 2016.

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