Audiobook · blog tour · book review · British · comedy · humour · satire · series

Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – The Corridor

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Corridor by Vic Neal

Author: Vic Neal

Narrator: Jack Hardman

Length: 8 hours 32 minutes

Series: Oxford Uni Corridor Series, Book 1

Publisher: Nice Cake Publishing Ltd

Released: Feb. 14, 2020

Genre: Humor

Continue reading “Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – The Corridor”

blog tour · book review · family · satire · technology

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – XYZ (with International Giveaway)

XYZ

Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply ashamed of his son Geronimo, who lives life dressed as a bear.

When Jack’s daughter engineers a job for him at totally-lit tech firm Sweet, he’s confronted by a Millennial and Zoomer culture he can’t relate to. He loathes every detail – every IM, gif and emoji – apart from Freya, twenty years his junior and addicted to broadcasting her life on social media.

Can Jack evolve to fit in at Sweet, or will he remain a dinosaur stuck in the 1980s? And will he halt his slide into loneliness and repair his family relationships?

XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, and for everyone else who loves emojis … said no one ever.

Purchase Link

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TTWHYL2

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07TTWHYL2

Author Bio

William Knight is British born writer and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a portfolio career which began in acting, progressed to music, flirted with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology in the late nineties.

“I had my first feature published in Computing magazine back in 2003 and subsequently wrote about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. I now work as an IT consultant, and write blistering content for technology firms :-)” says William

The Donated (formerly Generation), his debut novel and a Sci-tech Thriller, started in 2001 and was ten years in development. XYZ, “A mid-life crisis with a comic vein”, took far less time. “But I think it’s funnier and better. Yay. Jazz hands!”

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/WilliamKnightAuthor

http://www.williamknight.info

https://twitter.com/_William_Knight

Giveaway to Win $10 Amazon voucher and a signed copy of XYZ (Open INT)

*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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

My Review

4/5 stars

From only a few pages in, I couldn’t help but laugh at Jack’s view of life. Being Gen X with a background in IT, I totally understood his frustration with modern times. His new role at Sweet as a squad master who was not required to ‘manage’ his team was hilarious, aided and abetted by glorious chunks of sarcasm. Jack came across as believable, and pretty decent, if somewhat set in his ways. But why not? When his ways were tried and tested, and generally worked (there was an element of “touché” at the end of the story that brought some much-needed reality to his life and work). Sweet was one of those workplaces where social media dictated the pace of everything. Nobody actually spoke to each other, preferring to send messages via Lazy IM ( 😉 inspired naming) and employees were allowed to work on their own projects on certain days rather than get the job done for the company. There were many nods to the way in which such flexible working practices have infiltrated the workplace, the relaxed atmosphere and ‘unmanageability’ only emphasising the mess that Sweet as a company would soon encounter.

His relationship with his daughter, Em, was (for want of a better word) sweet, but when it came to his wife and son, things got a little dark. It was clear Jack still had feelings for his wife, and that his son’s lifestyle choices were a major issue between them. The early humour in the book vanished for a while during the middle of the story, and Jack himself succumbed to a mid-life crisis that he wasn’t in control of, bringing much more gloom and doom to the tale but without the sarcasm.

Readers who enjoy dry humour, with lashings of sarcasm and a hefty dose of satire will undoubtedly enjoy XYZ.

Thanks to the author, Netgalley and Rachel’s Random resources for my copy of this book which I have reviewed voluntarily.

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blog tour · book review · political · satire

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Rats

The Rats

by Douglas Board

The Rats: A White House Satire

Ros March, disabled lesbian mum and former Royal Marine, has just moved to Turnberry on Scotland’s west coast. Her cottage overlooks one of the world’s most famous golf courses – Trump Turnberry – as well as the scenic bird sanctuary Ailsa Craig. But idylls deceive. In truth Ailsa was once overrun by rats, who were exterminated at the end of the twentieth century, and Ros’s landlord turns out to be a delusional Islamophobic misogynist who calls himself ‘Potus Two’. When Potus Two announces that both he and Ros will have the chance to meet the President on Turnberry’s hallowed grounds, Ros hatches a plan. Even a slim chance to do something about one of the biggest rats in the world is not something she will pass by.

Purchase Link:

https://douglasboard.com/novels/the-rats-a-white-house-satire.html

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0789PC6LG

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0789PC6LG

Promotional Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq07R072IhU

Author Bio

Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.

Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.

As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @BoardWryter

https://douglasboard.com/home/

My Review:

As this is a short read, I decided to wait until today, June 4th, to read it, knowing that the “star” of the story would be in London on a state visit. Call me a glutton for punishment, but it seemed like a good idea at the time although I’m now feeling the side effects of too much Trump. At least, in the case of this book, I could refrain from the usual eye-rolling and enjoy a great story without the echo of “Fake News”.

Having read the book description, I had no idea where this story was going to take me, and without spoiling it for others I’ll just say that this was one of those times where the unexpected was deliciously satisfying. Anyone who picks this up will realise it’s a White House satire – it says so on the front cover – and so won’t be expecting the same pomp and ceremony that Trump himself is currently enjoying.

I relished every one of many delightful lines, such as these:

“he lived in a Cirque du Soleil world of private facts”

“and then, the windbag was with them, all grin, hairspray and hand gestures”

and ” the man who thought Armageddon was a fashion label”

The story compares Aisla Craig and the infestation of rats with what is going on – and fuelled by – POTUS 45 in the current global political climate. Someone, somewhere, somehow needs to put an end to the infestation – cue Ros!

In Ros we have a female, gay Royal Marine who served in Afghanistan (and paid the price in losing her leg). She represents all those groups who have borne the brunt of policy cuts and removal of rights, and is perfectly cast to exact the revenge she does. With her landlord being a POTUS fanatic (this chap is a basketcase missing a basket!), she gets the opportunity to meet the man – her private demon – in the flesh.

The results are dramatic, and the satire at this point is at its sharpest. We get a glimpse of the inner workings of the White House – the filled in swimming that now needs to be converted back again as well as other changes that are required after the “incident”. It’s fair to say that what happens after the “incident”, the actions and thoughts of 45 and his merry men do not portray any of these people in a good light. But, then again, what could?

As a short read, this packed a hefty political punch, perfectly timed to coincide with current events.

Totally recommended to anyone with a strong stomach – not one POTUS but two (the landlord) and then the real thing in London too. You have been duly warned. Enjoy!

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blog blitz · book review · political · satire

Blog Blitz ‘n’ Book Review – Time of Lies

Time of Lies

by Douglas Board

In 2020 the United Kingdom elects its own Donald Trump.

Bob Grant, former football hooligan, now the charismatic leader of the Britain’s Great party, has swept to power on a populist tide. With his itchy finger hovering over the nuclear trigger, Bob presides over a brave new Britain where armed drones fill the skies, ex-bankers and foreigners are vilified, and the Millwall football chant ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’ has become an unofficial national anthem.

Meanwhile, Bob’s under-achieving, Guardian-reading brother Zack gets a tap on the shoulder from a shady Whitehall mandarin. A daring plot is afoot to defy the will of the people and unseat the increasingly unstable PM. Can Zack stop his brother before he launches a nuclear strike on Belgium? And just what is ACERBIC, Britain’s most closely-guarded military secret?

A darkly comic political thriller, Time of Lies is also a terrifyingly believable portrait of an alternative Britain. It couldn’t happen here… could it?

Purchase Links:

30% off with discount code BLOGTOURLIES http://eye-books.com/books/time-of-lies

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Lies-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B07199TZQ5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Time-Lies-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B07199TZQ5

Promotional Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvExzv39qs8&t=37s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqBwnl4rtk8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_clB5pM7Gbw&t=48s

Author Bio

Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.

Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.

As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @BoardWryter

https://douglasboard.com/home/

My Review:

4/5 stars

The beauty of satire is that you can laugh at it – but then, oh my, sometimes this is too close to being true (and who knows if it isn’t?)

Despite a slow start (it is a little confusing given the changing viewpoints which aren’t immediately obvious) this gets much pacier in the middle, and infinitely more fun then. Although, it wasn’t the ending I hoped for! 😉

Jack and Bob Grant are brothers who are poles apart. Jack is now using his actor name of Zack Parris which helps to distance him from his “Britain’s Great – End of!” brother, latterly the new PM.

Set in the very near future, the run-up to the elections sees the “Britain’s Great!” rallies (very reminiscent of Trump & Farage) dominate the landscape, and a popular policy is to single out bankers who are blamed for just about everything. Forced to wear a visible “B” on their clothing, and with the CEOs of major banks arrested after yet another recession and a bailout for Britain from the IMF, the story takes events of recent years and spins them, which makes for a fun read.

With his brother now elected as PM, Zack is nigh on apoplectic with confusion, anger and frustration, so when the chance comes to knock Bob from that pedestal, he feels he owes it to the country to grasp the opportunity with both hands.

Further fuelling his anger is the desire to avenge the death of his friend Alan – a banker – and whose death Zack places firmly on the rising intolerance in the country. The opportunity to settle a score is too tempting to refuse.

Masquerading as Bob, after weeks of planning to act just like him, Zack visits the Prince Regent to tender his cabinet’s resignation after PM Bob threatens to nuke Europe. (Clever! It makes the case for cloning, don’t you think? 😉 )

The story is only a hair’s breadth away from being true, and while there are elements that could be considered far-fetched, in today’s political climate it’s abundantly clear that just about anything goes.

For instance: In the book, relations with Europe are pretty dire once Britain has left the EU, (isn’t that the truth already?) and France tells Britain the Channel Tunnel will be closed for 24 hours. What France doesn’t say is that they are going to let all the refugees and asylum seekers in the Calais camps into the tunnel, and even provide them with all the necessary services – loos, food, water – as they walk through the tunnel to England. Then France seals up the tunnel at their end. This is priceless satire – loved it (but only because it seems too fantastic to be true – then again, who knows? The Brexit shambles isn’t exactly going well, is it?)

This is an entertaining read, very much of its moment. If you’ve taken any interest in the political upheaval currently facing Britain, then reading this book will either make you laugh or cry.

You just have to love satire, especially when it runs so near to the knuckle that you can smell blood.

I’ll be posting my review of The Rats, also by Douglas Board, tomorrow. Why not pop by and take a look?

For more news and reviews, check out these blogs:

As always,