Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Currrently Reading The Gatekeeper's Challenge by Eva Pohler

During all of the holiday hustle and bustle, and the Lupus flares, I have started reading The Gatekeeper's Challenge by Eva Pohler.
Thank you Ms. Pohler for your contest on Goodreads! Thank you for sending me a copy of your fantastic book! I am loving it! My only con, is that I cannot bring it to work and have my employer pay me to read it!

Just wanted to let everyone know what is on the reading table right now... Back later with a full review!
The Gatekeeper's Challenge (The Gatekeeper's Trilogy, #2)

So far behind, I can see the front!

UGH. Lupus has been winning lately, but it usually does during the holidays. A bright spot though, while I have been stuck on the couch, I have had time to read some totally amazing books! I even managed to score  a couple Advanced Reader Copies! (Yes, I know it happens, just usually to other people! So it made me feel really special! :) )

Anyway, the first book I want to tell you about is When the Siren Calls by Tom Barry. This is an all-consuming book. You will not want to, or even be able to, put it down! Buy it! Read it, you will LOVE it!
Also, if you are on Goodreads, the author is kind enough to have a drawing going on so you can win a copy. Enter, buy it, borrow it, JUST GET IT! I loved it. 5 out 5 books!
When the Siren Calls

When The Siren Calls:
A sensational story of seduction, deception and betrayal

Tom Barry’s debut novel, When The Siren Calls, is the first book in the Siren Series trilogy, set for publication in November 2012.

When The Siren Calls has already attracted fabulous feedback from fellow authors and avid fiction readers.

The novel has also registered on the radar of literary agents A.M. Heath who were quick to sign Tom to an international translation rights deal for When The Siren Calls, two months ahead of publication.

Publication of a free online prequel creates pre-publication buzz

Thanks to a brave decision to publish the prequel, now available to download as an e-book free of charge, Tom has already become a focus of attention on the literary scene, ahead of the official publication in all good book stores (including Waterstones and WH Smith) and online as an e-book from November 1st 2012.

Published by Matador and distributed by Troubador, Tom is very well connected after decades working with global brands including Apple and Disney in the professional services sector, with more than 260 Facebook ‘likes’, 2500 Twitter followers, 500 connections on LinkedIn and XXX friends on Goodreads.

Tom says: “My decision to invest in a pre-publication awareness campaign for When The Siren Calls is paying off. I’ve built up a strong network of people who have read the prequel and are patiently awaiting the official publication of the novel on November 1. I’ve learnt a lot about self promotion, as well as writing and publishing, over the past year and I’m happy to share my lessons learned on my blog (http://www.tombarrywrites.com) and social networks.”

A selection of reviews…

“A pacy, racy, romance novel.”
 Tom Fletcher, The Leaping

“I thoroughly enjoyed the way the strands come together.”
Matthew Branton, The Love Parade

“It is exciting to find a new writer who tells life like it is, but with a delectable twist of romance, sex and humour.”
Stephanie J Hale, Millionaire Women, Millionaire You

“I see a lot of books that are described as page turners, and for once I agree. 'When the Siren Calls' draws you in and keeps you guessing. I genuinely enjoyed it and if you want a lighthearted but well written read, this is for you too. Nearly as good as chocolate and no guilt.”
Ella Fitzerald, Amazon review

“This is a high octane suspense story and a roller coaster of a ride as the headstrong heroine goes from one crisis to another. And a dashing stranger to lead her into mischief. Think Lady Chatterley meets Christian Grey. Or Audrey Hepburn meets Gordon Gekko. But this is no romantic comedy. It is high tension and suspense from the opening line, with innocence thrown amongst the devious. The characters are real and believable, I was really sucked in, rooting for Isobel from the start.

Somewhat surprisingly, the author brings the characters and scenes to life, while leaving much to the imagination. We learn more as we move along, with back-story cleverly drip-fed on a need to know basis. By the time the author tells us what we need to know about the characters, we care enough to want to know. Sexual tension lurks on every page but there are real moments of humour, and some great one liners.”
Anonymous review from Amazon


When the Siren Calls: story of seduction, deception and betrayal...
When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat owned by the suave and streetwise Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business intrigue, and ruthless ambition, while controlling Jay encourages conservative Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.

But all is not as it seems in the hilltop paradise and as her lover battles for survival, she finds herself a player in a dangerous love triangle. Unable to know who she can trust, she must fight to control both her own cravings and to save what little of herself is left. As her life falls apart, she is torn between the consequences of infidelity, her love for Jay, and fear that he will be her nemesis. For both Isobel and Jay, the excesses and confusions of an uncertain and largely amoral age are about to be brought home to roost, right in the heart of their lives.

Witty and smattered with the best sort of irony, with twists and turns that keep you guessing, When the Siren Calls is a sensual and moving emotional drama that titillates the senses while racing along like a Grisham thriller. The novel will appeal to adult readers of romantic suspense and to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey.

About the author: Tom Barry

A published writer at University, Tom Barry spent 20 years in management consultancy with Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC, advising the Boards of leading global brands such as Apple, Disney, Toyota and Vodafone. His career prompted a specific interest in the art of persuasive communication.  He is passionate about nurturing young talent and has supported a number of UK and overseas schools, including the Nordoff Robbins Centre for Music Therapy. He lives near London and is currently working with the Brit Writers’ Awards, a charitable initiative to promote creative writing in our schools.

From consultant to author
You become a writer because you think you’ve got something to say worth listening to. I chose to be a novelist because I want to entertain my readers, not preach to them. The challenge is to transport readers to times, places and events where they can lose themselves in stories about heroes they can identify with, who triumph against the odds and who change and grow in the process; but most of all readers want to enjoy the ride.  

Back in my consulting days, it was a great buzz to work for household name companies and to meet industry icons like Bill Gates. Not many careers offer that opportunity to you when you are in your twenties and thirties. But like your first born, few things beat the thrill of holding your debut novel in your hand.
Five facts about Tom

          •        One of eight kids, my life story is the classic immigrant tale of seeking to live up to parental expectations, while working to mark out your own trail.
          •        I have aspects of an obsessive personality, establishing a work-life balance was a major challenge.
          •        I gave up on my business career in my mid-forties, I just didn’t tell my boss! Find something you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work another day.
          •        I tell my kids education is the best gift I can give them, it’s no weight to carry and no one can take it off you.
          •        I almost bought Northampton Town Football Club (my birth town) in 2001.

Suggested media angles (Tom is open to editorial commissions)

1.       Beware the siren call of the expat life in the sunshine – editorial example available upon request. Could include Tom’s personal experiences as a property owner in Tuscany, Mallorca and San Diego. It is estimated that 5.6 million Brits live abroad, with another half a million living abroad for part of the year.

2.       Can infidelity be justified? Is it better to leave a devoted husband or waste a life?

3.       Wealth and boredom lead to a search for an exotic and decadent lifestyle (as happens in When The Siren Calls). Peter (Isobel’s husband) values his career, money and status more than his relationship, it seems, and the lifestyle his wife enjoys is compensation for his lack of work-life balance. Discuss how the main characters manage these dynamics and Tom’s personal experiences.

4.       Tom and his experiences of writing a novel, self publishing and self promotion versus successful professional services career.

5.       Finding your feet in your 50s…life after heart attacks (Tom had two heart attacks before writing his first novel), a successful corporate career and bringing up three children.

6.       Breadwinner identity crisis: how to break the connection between your self worth and your position in your job.

7.       Why Tom chose to publish a prequel to my first novel…for free.

8.       More about Moll Malone, Tom Barry’s pen-name for his Erotic Seduction stories, his reasons for writing erotic fiction based on the characters in The Siren Series, responses from readers who may not categories themselves as erotic fiction readers, but who read – and enjoyed – 50 Shades of Grey.
Syndicated interview with Tom Barry:
Q: What prompted you to write WTSC
A.It was a goal of mine to write a business book about the art of persuasion, and I've been encouraged to do that. But when the opportunity came, I decided that, if I was going to be a writer, I'd rather entertain my readers than lecture them!

Q. Where did the idea for When the Siren Calls come from.
A. Once I had the idea of a character - a master persuader who would use his skills for business and pleasure - I thought about context and setting. I've lived and worked abroad much of my life, and I have bought property in Italy and Spain, amongst other places. I know a lot about the siren call of living in the sun, having answered that call myself, and I also know a lot about the perils and pitfalls of overseas property investment. So I set my story against the background of a dream holiday condominium for expats. It could be anywhere you find Brits in the sun, but I chose Tuscany because I love visiting there, and i knew stereotypical Italians add plenty of spice to my story.
Q. Other than your experiences overseas, what else qualified you to write this particular story?
A.  People tell me I'm a salesman by nature and i've spent twenty years in management consultancy, or what I prefer to call the persuasion game. My only tool was my pen, so what I was really selling was hope, hope to corporations looking for salvation. And that is what the master persuader appeals to in my story, to people's hopes,  and  to their dreams.
Q. But the master persuader is not your protagonist. What made you give the story a female lead?
A. I wanted the book to be about the characters and what happened to them, not a training manual in the art of persuasion or in living the expat life. The more the characters came to life as I wrote them, the more I fell in love with Isobel, the the more I wanted to tell her story.
Q. And what is that story?
A. Isobel is quintessentially english. A modern day Lady Chatterley. When she meets my master persuader, Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage and free of her workaholic husband. When the Siren Calls tells what happens next – a tumultuous, dramatic story of sexual awakening set beneath the Italian sun, intertwined with all the intrigue of a business thriller.
Q. What makes your story different to all the other romantic suspense novels out there?
A. Several things. First, as I've indicated, I've written cross-genre. My book is a romantic suspense and business thriller brought together around three common threads, seduction, deception and betrayal. Second, it's written from multiple point of views; we don't see the story just trough Isobel's eyes. And every character is the hero of his own story. The result is a story with twists and turns that keep you guessing. But more importantly it is fresh and original because it does not follow the formulaic approach that all publishers now demand before they will even consider a manuscript from a debut author. The reader sees characters' actions through the characters' point of view, and the point of view of their adversaries, and it is for the reader to decide who the good guys are.
Q. So are you saying different readers will view characters differently?
A. Exactly. Take Isobel for example. I hope every reader will find her an empathetic character and I think most will be rooting for her. But not everyone will agree with how she behaves.
Q. How difficult was it to put yourself inside the head of a female protagonist?
A. That was probably the biggest challenge in writing the book. I immersed myself in the genre, and I had the help of my local book club which acted as a focus group. In the end my final court of opinion was my wife, who says she loved the book !
Q. WTSC is the first book in a trilogy. When can we expect book two?
A. Book two, Saving Jay is already written. The timing on the release is something I discuss with my agent regularly. We haven't set a date yet,but hopefully you will see Saving Jay in bookshops late spring 2013.

Notes to editors

Media contact: Helen Lewis at Fully Booked PR: Helen@fullybookedpr.co.uk / +44 (0) 7904801669.

PDF and paperback copies of When The Siren Calls are available to members of the media upon request. Images and extracts from the book are also available upon request. Tom Barry is available for interviews and comment. More information about Tom Barry can be found at http://www.tombarrywrites.com.

More about Tom:






Published 1st November 2012
RRP £7.99
Pre-order at selected retailers including online via Amazon, Waterstones and WH Smith for £5.99

ISBN 9781780883106
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
Distributor: Orca Book Services.
Tel: 01235 465521
Email: tradeorders@orcabookservices.co.uk

BIC subject category: FRD Adult & contemporary romance
Paperback: 320PP 216x138 mm Portrait