Tuesday, 21 January 2014

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK: RAGS DANIELS



This week my Author of the Week is the amazing Rags Daniels.

This fascinating man recently suffered a stroke, but his legend continues in the books he had written. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the eccentric and original RAGS DANIELS.



Rags Daniels was Born into a working class family, the second of four children in Salford 1944. He migrated South 1956. Wild and curious, he ran off to London, where he met the majority of the characters he writes about.

The swinging sixties and early seventies played a major roll in his insatiable thirst for adventure, and against a backdrop of mini-skirts, mod’s, rockers and Muhammad Ali, bore witness to an era of crazy fads, culminating in Britain’s first ever woman Prime Minister in 1979. And of whom Lord Acton said, ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely, ’ and by the end of her era, Thatcher was case in point. And while the Nation paddled through rubbish, bodies unburied, strikes, power cuts, spiralling inflation, limited working weeks, abysmal production, etc, etc, the real money was going into the pockets of fraudulent corporate boards and City Yuppies. (Groomed to Kill), his first book was written against a backdrop of inner city poverty and tells of lad who became a government assassin.

Rags worked in Norway on timber frame construction, where he met John Millen, a naval architect who designed Pearl Harbour after the war. He became a ‘minder’ for his mother-in-law, both on and off his motor yacht in which he and his wife toured the world. Returning home, he then attended Brunel University and passed I.O.C.W.(GB) exams. Rags started working with Borough Architects Dept.; resigned; got married and built his own house in South Devon while running several companies. He has also constructed a steel mill in India and a tiger compound in Nepal for the World Wildlife Trust.

When widowed, he returned to writing and investigative journalism… It is from his diaries of the 60’s and 70’s he wrote ‘Foxy Lady’, creating a fictional account of one such tale of political intrigue, and one for which he was interviewed by M-I6. His latest book ‘Salford Sunrise’, is ready for publishing. And ‘Lallapaloosa’ is currently being scripted for the silver screen. He resides with his son, an A level English teacher, and Roxzan, his 13 year old adopted Granddaughter.


Author Pages


R. Murray Review of Lallapaloosa 


Goodreads Author Page


Amazon Author Page


Facebook Author Page



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The Rags Daniels Website


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I SEE A GEMINI MOON RISING!



An Italian woman, a cop and a Gypsy woman.... no, it's not the beginning of a joke. It is some of the cast of characters in the book Gemini Moon by Maria Grazia Swan.

For the next 3 days I'll be promoting this highly intriguing book. Just so you can buy the book and get thrown into a world of twists, turns and knarley surprises.






SYNOPSIS


When Italian-born widow Lella York gives her best friend’s birthdate to a gypsy, casting charts on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, the last thing she expects to hear is that the chart belongs to a dead woman.
But the prediction might already be true, as Lella learns when she arrives home to Orange County, California where Ruby has gone missing. The whole world seems turned upside down. To her horror, Lella’s own son is arrested for kidnapping Ruby, and no one knows if her friend is dead or alive. The mysterious drowning of a woman in Arizona seems an unrelated matter according to her lover, the homicide detective investigating the case. Yet even as Lella catches him in small lies and half truths, his sweet deceptions seduce her as effectively as his lovemaking. All alone on a stormy night she finally comes face to face with the terrible reality of what’s happened. Has her soul always known the truth? Can her heart possibly heal from the brutal wounds? Will Lella even survive her connection to the exotic, dangerous woman born under a Gemini Moon?


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5.0 out of 5 stars Danger, Mystery, Romance. December 23, 2013

REVIEW By S. J. Smith
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
Maria Grazia Swan has a knack for pulling the reader into the character then taking both for a little ride down Who-Dunnit Lane. Lella York is widowed, trying to determine who she is without her spouse. A trip to her beloved Italy doesn't help, drawing even more memories of things past into her heart and mind. On the last night of her trip, a gypsy casts an astrological chart, conveying the ominous message he's just cast the chart of a dead woman. If Lella is to believe the gypsy, the dead woman in question is Lella's best friend, Ruby. Is Ruby really dead? She's certainly missing. If alive, is she even still Lella's friend? Everything is upside down when Lella returns home to Southern California. Ruby's husband has died of a gunshot wound. Ruby's gone missing. Lella's son has been implicated and arrested for kidnapping. And now, someone's stalking Lella. Caught in the middle of it all, Lella stumbles across the perfect topper--namely, a sexy police detective who keeps secrets from her while he's setting her pants on fire. Nothing like a little romance to distract a girl while she's trying to locate a missing person, solve a possible homicide, get her son out of jail and stay two steps ahead of danger. It's a deftly plotted, satisfying read. Buy it. You'll like it.


MEET MARIA GRAZIA SWAN










Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona—but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?
As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for—ooh-la-la—haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people find happiness.
Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, tasty Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco—but then, who doesn’t?
Maria has written short stories for anthologies, articles for high profile magazines and numerous blogs tackling love and life. She engaged her editorial and non-fiction skills for Mating Dance-Rituals for Singles Who Weren’t Born Yesterday. Her romantic suspense novels Love Thy Sister and Bosom Bodies are available at Amazon.com.


MINGLE WITH MARIA






Website: http://www.mariagraziaswan.com


Contact Maria: mariagswan@gmail.com


-or- touch base with her on here:

















FROM GEMINI MOON

EXCERPT


I tend to do my crying in the car.
On this starless, moonless night, without a car or a Beatles song to cry to, I spent my last night in Florence, Italy, as anonymous as any other tourist.
An outsider in my motherland.
I stamped my feet on the old bridge, trying to keep warm. Memories of Nick and our last time in Italy filled my head and pained my heart.
The glow of a candle caught my attention. On impulse, I crossed Ponte Vecchio and walked toward the man sitting by the candle, the heels of my boots clicking against the quarry slabs. The stranger didn't move. He stared at the worn book that lay in front of him on a table covered in red velvet.
Around us, Florence's underground nighttime economy thrived. Peddlers displayed their wares and called out to the tourists on the walkway. Most of the sellers were African and donned colorful native cottons. The smart ones wore overcoats.
The candle flickered in the wind and cast leaping shadows on the man's bony face. Thick lashes framed his eyes and a deep furrow crossed his forehead. I stood, intrigued yet hesitant. Cold sneaked down the back of my neck and spine. I pulled the collar of my mohair coat up to my chin. The fuzzy wool chafed my skin.
"What are you selling?" I asked in Italian.
He focused his dark eyes on me. Their intensity reminded me of my friend Ruby's eyes.
"I am an astrologer." He returned his attention to his book.
"You are?" I felt silly, not sure why. "Quanto costa?"
"Ten euros." About $15. A pittance.
"Va bene."