The Billion Pound Question by David York

[Author spotlight] David York, with tips on writing!

The Billion Pound Question by David York

Today I am excited to have a guest post written by David York, author of The Billion Pound Question. Here’s a synopsis of the story, and then read on for some of his great tips on writing for aspiring (or existing!) writers!

[Synopsis]

The unexpected death of reclusive businessman Tony Latimer in a plane crash after Christmas brings together an unusual mix of strangers from his unorthodox extended family. Their widely varied backgrounds in different countries and occupations, some legitimate, others very definitely not, contribute to the complex plot that emerges as the legalities of the intestate death are unravelled and Tony’s heirs move on with their lives and careers.

Frank Latimer, Bo Sung and Emily Tang are old school friends who have no idea that their families and fates are so closely connected, along with Thomas Latimer, until the aftermath of Tony’s death unites them again.

This family saga traces several generations of inter-related families in the UK, China and Hong Kong and examines in detail the logistics of drug smuggling, high finance and international relations. This fast-moving story comes to its conclusion with an exciting finale in a land-locked West African country.

The Billion Pound Question

[The Billion Pound Question – by David York]

My own life has included working in eighteen different countries, which has caused considerable disruption to what has turned out to be a happy family life. Whilst discussing an event that I and my youngest son had been involved in, we could not remember where we were when this event occurred. My son exclaimed that I must write about our family history to resolve future discussions, and I enjoyed doing just that and found writing quite easy. From this I was emboldened to try writing a novel. All fiction writers use their own life experiences, and those of other people who write or broadcast theirs, and that is just what I have done. I found it quite easy to start writing with only the haziest outline.

A tip that I would pass on to any aspiring writers is to create a list of characters and their details as you create them. I find that this is essential, as is a list of chapters and even paragraphs as the writing progresses. It was fascinating to resolve a dead end in the story by just creating a new character or killing off one already established.

The Lucky Banker, my first novel, established a billion pound fortune for a man who never married and whose illegitimate children, conceived at the request of their four different mothers, were never legitimised. His death in a plane crash without leaving a will raises a question regarding the beneficiaries who will inherit his billion pound fortune. The dead Billionaire journeyed in his life time from being a rather selfish loner, which helped in the accumulation of his wealth, to a generous guardian of a large happy family. My second novel attempts to relate the journey of two families from similar late nineteenth century poverty in Manchester, to their coming together as already wealthy beneficiaries of the Billionaire’s fortune.

The paternal Grandfather’s family reacts to poverty by justifying criminality, but with their own set of moral values. The maternal Grandmother’s family takes the Christian route, but never the less is drawn into illegality when their service to Britain’s intelligence services leaves them no choice. A Chinese family is drawn into the saga when the Manchester Methodist Missionary saves two boys from starvation. The older boy rises to become a highly placed communist party security official and over the period of his adult life he comes to recognise the similarities between Communism and Methodism, with a slight preference for Methodism as it seeks to achieve its aims peacefully.

Three beneficiaries meet when two of them start attending a British Public School at the age of eleven. The descendant of the Chinese official joins them under the guardianship of the third beneficiary who is older. During their successful time there and at Manchester University they become good friends and gradually work out their family relationships. Graduating some years before they receive their inheritance they are all drawn into their families illegal activities started by their previous generations, and they prosper, but not without considerable moral anxiety. Attitudes to; the European Union, the rise of Chinese Communism and its entry into world trade, the control of the worlds drug and other dangerous substances, the rise of modern terrorism, and the worlds refugee crisis; are all interwoven into the characters activities and thoughts.

With their inheritance after tax and their business success, the friends and their families control more than two billion pounds, but a series of tragedies forces the current generation to dig deep into the previous generation’s mistakes. This leads them into dangerous conflict with terrorism before they finally resolve to use their wealth for the good of all. My first novel ended in tragedy, but this one ends happily, but with just a hint that a third book could revive the dark side of the future?

For more information about ‘The Billion Pound Question’ please visit:
http://www.austinmacauley.com/book/billion-pound-question

See other books by David York on Goodreads.

Definitely one to add to your ‘To Read’ list!

The Billion Pound Question
Eaternity by Jason Wrobel

Eaternity [review]

Eaternity by Jason Wrobel

[Synopsis]

Vegan chef and wellness expert Jason Wrobel offers up a comprehensive recipe and lifestyle book with practical tips for creating drool-worthy dishes with specific nutritional benefits. While at its core Eaternity is a cookbook, it’s so much more than that. In it, Jason explains which foods contain active ingredients to support health and longevity. Now, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal about living a long time?” Well, if you’re having a pretty good time here on planet Earth, wouldn’t you want to stick around as long as possible to enjoy it? And wouldn’t you want to feel great the entire time?

Unlike most cookbooks that merely tell you what to eat and how to make it, Eaternity gives you the current research and science behind common public health concerns, and explains why you should eat certain foods based on your individual goals—whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy, sleep sounder, feel stronger, or get your libido running (ooh, la la!).

Eaternity has 150+ nutritious yet delicious meat-free recipes that will satisfy all of your insane comfort-food cravings, because let’s face it—not everyone is ready for wheatgrass shots, seaweed salads, and buckwheat granola! It features such fan favorites as Chocolate Avocado Jungle Peanut Pudding, Superfood Caesar Salad, Coconut Milk Asparagus Risotto, Spicy Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup, and—wait for it—Salted Caramel Waffles. One bite and you’ll be obsessed, Jess.

With a refreshingly light, no-pressure vibe, wicked humor, and stunning food photography, Eaternity makes it easy to get on board and feel friggin’ awesome! It’s Nutrition 101 meets jaw-dropping food porn, taught by a comedian in a chef’s coat. Boom!

Eaternity: More than 150 Deliciously Easy Vegan Recipes for a Long, Healthy, Satisfied, Joyful Life

[My Review]

So, having decided for a while that I wanted to cut the majority of the meat I eat out of my diet, I decided to watch Cowspiracy- I’d been told by loads of people to watch it, and I finally got around to it! As a result I’ve decided I’m definitely going to go veggie, and try and cook vegan meals too whenever possible. So Eaternity by Jason Wrobel seems like the perfect cookbook to get me started!

Firstly, can I just say the pictures in this book are divine! I always feel like really nice quality, clear photos are a must for cookery books, so I can see exactly what I’m making- and decide what to make too! Not every recipe has an image, otherwise the book would be twice as many pages, but many do, and they look amazing!

Eaternity starts with some info from Jason on eating healthily, plant-based food and how certain foods can solve particular health issues, and then it’s split up into sections with recipes for helping different issues. For example, there’s a section on energy-boosting recipes, recipes to boost brainpower, recipes to build muscle… even recipes to boost libido! Plus many other types as well.

The recipes range in difficulty but a lot seem really simple to make- and all look delicious! Don’t be fooled by the fact that these are all vegan; the recipes certainly don’t seem to compromise on taste and would make some great recipes that feel a bit indulgent but aren’t at all! I’ve tried the pad thai and Quinoa Tabouli so far (both really tasty!) and have many more lined up that I’m really looking forward to trying soon!

What’s great about this book is that for each section there’s an in-depth, really useful and informative explanation about how certain foods benefit the body and why they work so well; it’s cooking with real substance!

Overall I’m hugely impressed by this cookbook: a vegan cookbook with dishes I actually look forward to making! If you’re looking for new vegan, healthy recipes to make then this is definitely the book for you!

[Rating: 5/5]

Eaternity is out in the UK on 5th April 2016.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

Find her - Lisa Gardner

Find Her [review]

Find her - Lisa Gardner
[Synopsis]

Flora Dane is a victim.

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless.

…or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

Find Her (Detective D.D. Warren, #8)

[My Review]

Find Her by Lisa Gardner is the 8th novel in the Detective D.D. Warren series, so I was keen to see if this would have any effect on the way I enjoyed the book, or whether on reflection I should have started from the first novel, Alone. Having finished this (and raced through it pretty quickly!) I can say that I hugely enjoyed this novel, and though it referenced what I assumed to be past book’s events, I didn’t feel this hampered my enjoyment.

There are gruesome parts to this story, but it’s not horrendous- a lot is implied. You can imagine what’s happening to a Flora, though later in the novel the author spells out the sexual assault she goes through, and it’s quite disturbing, even as someone who reads a lot of crime. The characters were interesting to read about, though you don’t feel like you learn very much about D.D.’s personal life as she’s so focused on the case in hand- but I liked her. She isn’t perfect and has her faults but is interesting to read about and you are rooting for her and her colleagues to find the missing girls before it’s too late!

I found the kidnapper in this novel really chilling as you can imagine him being just an outwardly normal, but actually horrendous man who you could easily bump into anywhere. You really get a sense of Flora’s desperation as weeks go past locked up with him, but her determination to stay alive is amazing. She is a proper ‘bad-ass’ female character and it’s great to read about someone like this, and D.D too, instead of women always being helpless and in need of being rescued!

The narrative is fast paced but didn’t rush or feel too hasty, meaning I never felt bored or impatient and really enjoyed this novel. I would definitely read more from Lisa Gardner, and others from this series.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

The Girl You Lost - Kathryn Croft

The Girl You Lost [review]

The Girl You Lost - Kathryn Croft[Synopsis]

Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter’s six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them.

Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace – and can Simone trust her?

When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her baby and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts.

Simone is inching closer to the truth but it’ll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory.

Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?

[My Review]

Having read and hugely enjoyed The Girl with No Past (read my review here), another novel by Kathryn Croft, I knew I wanted to read her new offering, The Girl You Lost. I’m glad I did- it turned out to be another addictive psychological thriller!

The characters Croft has created are interesting and convincing, and though Grace makes some questionable decisions at times, you still know it’s because she’s so desperate to find out whether Helena is her daughter or not, and that desperation propels her into not only lying to her loving husband, but putting herself and others in danger too…

The story is really gripping, though a little far fetched at times- but then again, this is a thriller so that’s to be expected (and relished)! I really enjoyed reading about Grace’s struggle and the mystery surrounding what had happened to Helena and who she really was, as well as trying to work out who was lying and who wasn’t!

There’s twists, turns and lots of suspense- all in all, a great new offering from Kathryn Croft, who is definitely an author to watch!

[Rating: 4/5]

* Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review! *

Have you read any of Kathryn Croft’s novels? If so, what did you think?

Even The Dead - Benjamin Black

Even the Dead [review]

Even The Dead - Benjamin Black
[Synopsis]

A suspicious death, a pregnant woman suddenly gone missing: Quirke’s latest case leads him inexorably toward the dark machinations of an old foe

Perhaps Quirke has been down among the dead too long. Lately the Irish pathologist has suffered hallucinations and blackouts, and he fears the cause is a brain tumor. A specialist diagnoses an old head injury caused by a savage beating; all that’s needed, the doctor declares, is an extended rest. But Quirke, ever intent on finding his place among the living, is not about to retire.

One night during a June heat wave, a car crashes into a tree in central Dublin and bursts into flames. The police assume the driver’s death was either an accident or a suicide, but Quirke’s examination of the body leads him to believe otherwise. Then his daughter Phoebe gets a mysterious visit from an acquaintance: the woman, who admits to being pregnant, says she fears for her life, though she won’t say why. When the woman later disappears, Phoebe asks her father for help, and Quirke in turn seeks the assistance of his old friend Inspector Hackett. Before long the two men find themselves untangling a twisted string of events that takes them deep into a shadowy world where one of the city’s most powerful men uses the cover of politics and religion to make obscene profits.

Even the Dead (Quirke #7)

[My Review]

Even the Dead is the 5th novel in the Quirke series by Benjamin Black. It’s slick and atmospheric in its depiction of Dublin, and has a solid storyline that slowly builds. The novel unravels the mystery surrounding the car crash and a woman who says her life is in danger but won’t explain why or how. I haven’t read any of the others from this series so may be missing out on crucial information because of this- there was quite a lot of information that seemed to link back to previous books, and which I didn’t quite get the relevance of.

However, I still felt that Even the Dead is very well-written and descriptive, leaving you with a vivid picture of Dublin’s streets and its alleys where Quirke and his colleagues- and criminals- roam. Quirke himself was a character easy to imagine- a bit jaded and determined, much like other well-known Detectives, but still family-focussed when it comes to his daughter, for example.

I think the issue for me with this novel was that it was quite slow at times, and I felt my attention wandering which affected my enjoyment of it overall. Quite simply, I just wasn’t dying to find out who did what. At times it almost felt like there was too many different storylines, each with multiple characters, going on and some characters just didn’t interest me enough to want to read about them. As the novel goes on we learn that various cases are linked, but despite this I just wasn’t pulled in to this story like I often am with other crime. As I mentioned, this might have something to do with not having read previous books, but I often start further along a series and this isn’t always an issue.

I’m aware that I’m no doubt in the minority, especially looking at other very high reviews for this novel, and can’t deny that overall this is definitely well-written and worth a read for those who may have read other books in this series, but it just didn’t do it for me.

[Rating: 4/5]

* Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review *

Have you read any of this series? If so, what did you think?

Journey to Death - Leigh Russell

Journey to Death [New Novel Spotlight]

Bit of a spooky spotlight today- Journey to Death sounds like it’s got a great mix of dark secrets, action and tension- just what I enjoy reading!

Journey to Death by Leigh Russell

Journey to Death - Leigh Russell
[Synopsis]

Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island’s history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.

As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realizes that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones. A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.

Journey to Death

Author Leigh Russell
[About the Author]

Leigh Russell is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson crime series. She studied at the University of Kent, gaining a master’s degree in English. She has a Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties from the British Dyslexia Association, and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. For many years she taught English at secondary school, specialising in supporting pupils with specific learning difficulties.

Leigh is married, has two daughters, and lives in north-west London. In addition to writing, she guest-lectures for the Society of Authors, universities and colleges, and runs regular creative writing courses for the prestigious Writers Lab in the UK and Greece. She also runs the manuscript assessment service for the CWA.


 

This sounds exactly like the kind of novel I love to read- it’s going straight on my ‘to-read’ list!

Have you read any of Leigh Russel’s novels? If so, what did you think?

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel [review]

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello

[Synopsis]

‘LEARN TO SALSA DANCE,’ the card in the shop window read. ‘Experience the red-hot vibes of Latin America right here in the Lake District. Beginners and singles welcome.’

Lauren Scott lives in ‘The most romantic place in Britain’, but her love life is about as successful as her mountain climbing skills. The man she’s obsessed over for two years has proposed to someone else – and her only solution is to save up for six months to go travelling, so she never has to set eyes on him again.

But when her friends sign her up for a dance class – in the same historic hotel where her beloved dad worked and her most precious childhood memories were formed – Lauren makes a horrifying discovery. It’s been sold to a faceless budget chain, which has depressing plans in store. Worse, the entrepreneur behind it all turns out to be among a group of guys her friend Cate roped in to join the very same salsa class they’ve signed up for….

[My Review]

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel combines humour and fun with romance to create a really enjoyable novel that, I feel, is a great example of the ‘women’s fiction’ genre.

The story itself is fairly predictable and had quite a few clichés in there; from a few chapters in I had an idea of various elements but there were definitely some surprises in there too! The characters are all convincing and interesting to read about- I really like Lauren, despite feeling that some of her decisions were fairly questionable. She’s a loveable, slightly bumbling woman who seems very caring and a great friend- just perhaps a bit confused at times! I really felt for her friend Cate and the situation she went through, which also brought attention to the perils of today’s ‘instant share’ culture. I wasn’t aas keen on Emily (for reasons I won’t reveal here otherwise I’ll give too much away), but she seems good fun and coompletes a trio of funny, down to earth women that I would have happily read more about.

I have to say, despite being able to guess what was coming a mile off at some points, this novel really made me laugh, and I laughed out loud at various points (and got some strange looks too)! Lauren is a teacher and I loved reading about her experiences with the school kids- there were some hugely funny bits where, despite having no kids myself, I thought to myself: “I can imagine them saying that” or “I can picture myself wondering how to answer that, just like Lauren”!

Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel is very uplifting and, although it covers some more serious topics and themes, it still leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling at the end- which is what I expect (and really enjoy) about Jane Costello’s novels! If you love your chick-lit or just fancy a light-hearted, fun read then I’d definitely recommend this novel.

[Rating: 3.5/5]

Have you read any of Jane Costello’s novels? If so, what did you think?

My Current Favourites [books & more!]

Here are my favourites from this month- that includes books and other stuff too!

If I received any of the below products in exchange for an honest review I’ll mark it with a *- but rest assured everything here is a firm favourite, however I got it!

Favourite Books:
Bone By Bone – Sanjida Kay*: I loved this book! So full of suspense but also so relatable- I could imagine how I’d feel in both Laura and Autumn’s positions (well, try to imagine anyway!) and it really sucked me in. I couldn’t put it down! My review here.

The Girl in the Ice – Robert Bryndza*: this had the perfect blend of police procedures, ‘whodunnit’ and action. The characters made me want to read more and the police investigation was interesting to read about- overall, I just felt that this was a fantastic start to a great new series that I’d like to read more of. Here’s my review.

No Longer Safe – A.J. Waines*: I really enjoyed Dark Place to Hide, by the same author, and this was another great read- action-packed, riveting and entertaining! Read my review.

Favourite Beauty:
Bourjois Poudre de Riz
– this is a really nice, very finely milled face powder. It’s got a nice pale pinky colour and leaves an irridescent glow on the skin. I use it all over my face and in spots where I’d like to set my makeup (ie. on my under-eye concealer)

Topshop Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea – this leaves my cheeks with a rosy glow and looks really flattering. I dab it on with my fingers and blend it in, and sometimes use a brush to give it a bit of extra blending, if necessary!

Avon Make Up Setting Spray this is a great alternative to the more expensive setting sprays; giving my face a good mist of this means my makeup stays on a lot longer!

Gucci Bamboo
– my favourite fragrance ever. It’s not the cheapest but it’s so worth it for this smell. It’s one of those scents that anyone who has tried it has really loved it, man or woman, whatever age! It’s a soft, floral and woody scent that’s just lovely 🙂

Favourite Films & TV:
I haven’t seen a huge number of films in the last month or so, sadly; I did however watch Birdman starring Michael Keaton. It might not be a film everyone will enjoy as it’s quite strange and quirky, but I really enjoyed it.

I’m also watching and really enjoying the second series of Happy Valley– a great British drama- and re-watching episodes of Modern Family, my favourite US sitcom in years!

Fashion Favourites: 
Picked up this purse, card holder and earrings from River Island recently and I LOVE them, particularly the purse! I love all the clashing colours 🙂 I also went to a vintage fair a few weeks ago and picked up this amazing necklace, by Electric Eccentricity Jewellery!


Iphone Screen ProtectorRandom Favourites:
Iphone 5S tempered glass screen protector*: this is by far the best screen protector for my phone I’ve ever tried. I’ve had loads in the past which were cheap and rubbish but this one makes my phone look like a brand new device. The screen looks SO shiny and glossy but it does such a great job of protecting it from scratches and dirty. I am so impressed.

Kit Kat Cookies and Cream– my friend bought someof this which was the first time I’d tried it- it’s so tasty! It’s super sweet and sugary, of course, and no doubt really bad for you but I am addicted to it!

 

What are your current favourites (books and other bits)?

Jump Cut by Libby Hellman

Jump Cut [review]

Jump Cut by Libby Hellman
[Synopsis]

Hired to produce a candy-floss profile of Chicago-based aviation giant Delcroft, Ellie is dismayed when company VP Charlotte Hollander trashes the production and cancels the project. Ellie believes Hollander was spooked by shots of a specific man in the video footage. But when Ellie arranges to meet the man to find out why, he is killed by a subway train before they can talk. In the confusion, she finds a seemingly abandoned pack of cigarettes with a flash drive inside that belonged to the now-dead man. Ellie gets the drive s contents decrypted, but before long discovers she s under surveillance. Suspecting Delcroft and the ambitious Hollander are behind it, she s unconvinced when Hollander tells her the dead man was a Chinese spy. Ellie and her boyfriend, Luke, try to find answers, but they don’t realize how far they have ventured into the dangerous echelons of hidden power.

When Ellie s daughter is kidnapped and Charlotte Hollander disappears, it becomes terrifyingly clear that Ellie is in way over her head, and more lives are on the line including her own.

Jump Cut

[My Review]

Before reading Jump Cut I hadn’t read any others from the Ellie Foreman series, but have read Nobody’s Child, which is the fifth in her Georgia Davis series. So in my opinion doesn’t matter whether you’ve read others in the series- I still got what was happening, the characters were still developed enough for me to get them and what they’re like and the story, although perhaps making reference to previous books in the series, was self-contained enough to ensure I could enjoy it on its own. No doubt I may have picked up on more background if I had read the others but I felt it wasn’t necessary.The story was fast paced enough that I didn’t get bored or lose interest as I was reading, and was quite easy to read and follow. It had a good dose of action, a lot of suspense and, for those who like their conspiracy/ spy thrillers, Jump Cut is a lighter but really enjoyable offering.

The various characters were mostly believable and Ellie Foreman, though at times very forceful and rash at making decisions, seemed quite likeable and a strong female lead, which is always great to read about! I was rooting for her throughout – Libby Hellman makes you care about the characters enough to ensure you keep reading on, and I certainly got through this novel in no time!

I would recommend this novel for anyone that wants an entertaining, fun read with an element of mystery and plenty of action.

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

What did you think of Jump Cut, or any of the rest of the Ellie Foreman series? Have you read any other novels by Libby Hellman?

The Moral Line by Vanessa Bogenholm

[The Story Behind…] The Moral Line

The Moral Line by Vanessa Bogenholm

The Moral Line by Vanessa Bogenholm

The Moral Line, a romantic work of Women’s Fiction by Vanessa Bogenholm, opens readers’ eyes to the world of high-end escorts and the men who frequent them.

Vanessa describes the intense and sometimes deeply saddening process she went through in order to achieve the greatest possible accuracy: “I underwent extensive research while writing The Moral Line in order to fully understand the motivations and feelings of the people who participate in the high-end escort business. I interviewed the escorts themselves, pimps, and the men who commission these services. For the last set of interviews I even went so far as to meet men who wanted to pay me for sex and then would tell them the truth of why I was meeting them.  Some were mad, some were fascinated, and all were lonely just like me.”

 

[Synopsis]

After being rejected and left alone, Alexandria finds herself going down a moral line. Slightly desperate for money, she takes a one-time ‘job’ as a paid for companion by a not so attractive but very nice wealthy man. Is getting paid to be in the company of men really such a bad thing if it feels good? She falls into a world of clients that are wealthy, powerful, successful men with fancy cars and country club lifestyles. But she sees the fragility in all of these men, the loneliness and need for acceptance that is the human condition.

Alexandria becomes ‘Catherine’, a high-end escort with a beautiful laugh who finds the goodness and attractiveness in all men, falling in love with all of her clients just a little. By accepting these men and seeing the goodness in them, she pleases these men in many ways. Is it possible by pleasing others maybe Alexandria can find her true self and find happiness?

The Moral Line


[The Story Behind The Moral Line]

Most of my friends, after the book came out, were more fascinated with the back story then the book itself. In the eight or so months I was writing the book, I became a hermit, or so they thought. I wasn’t meeting my friends for drinks, was not dating, and just seemed to be living a very lonely life at home with my dogs. Well, that was true, kind of…

I was going out more in the evenings and meeting more people then I had in years. These were just different kinds of people then had been in my life before and I was fascinated. I made friends with two men, young business start-up kind of guys. These two men had created a network. This network included girls on the phones, websites, and over 80 women who worked for them around the country. I told them I was writing a book and they showed me how the modern day world of internet escorting worked. I learned how the money was taken care of, in call, out call, how hotels worked, the most efficient advertising, the business aspect. Because I had befriended these two business men, the women working with them as escorts were more then happy to talk about how their hour spent with a client and what really went down in that hour.

Most of the women were perfectly normal, educated, attractive women. The most successful women were over 32 years old and had college degrees. These were women billed at $200 or more per hour. They were well read and happy, the most important characteristic. The women looked at what they did as a service job, not as sex work. In fact, most women said the actual sexual activity was about 7 minutes per hour. Their ‘job’, was to make the man feel like a woman wanted him, like he was a man and attractive, it wasn’t so much about the sexual release, it was the build up and having the man feel he was taken care of. The men would put out wine and chocolates, wanted to be dressed nice, like a real date. The men were always not just financially, but emotionally, thankful for the attention the escorts gave them. None of them, and I met over 50 escorts, had ever had a man physically be abusive, they had a few be a little rough, but nothing that was out of control. This was due to the screening process done by the two business men. Most of the women loved their jobs, but didn’t love having to be secretive about what they did.

All high end escorts, $200 an hour and above, use some kind of screening service. The two business men would get the phone number or email of whomever was contacting the girl and see who it really was, i.e. his real name, what he owned, etc. using the same software that journalists and police departments use. The guy would have to be honest about who he was, not have a criminal record, or complaints from other escorts. It is a tight community. The women would go out and the guys knew where the woman was going and for how long. There was a check in system so the woman always felt safe.

I met over 40 men. They were nice polite and just looking for attention and acceptance. When my research was over, I missed my meetings with these men and women. This world had become my social outlet and I liked the people in it, I got them and they got me.

Author Vanessa Bogenholm


Vanessa Bogenholm[About Vanessa Bogenholm]

Vanessa Bogenholm has been writing Romance/Women’s Fiction, reviews and short stories for numerous websites and magazines for years. Her debut novel – The Moral Line – was published in March 2014 by AuthorHouse. It is available in eBook, paperback, and hardback formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AuthorHouse, and many other websites.

Vanessa lives in Los Gatos, California with her three dogs, and teaches tennis.

Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

[Praise for The Moral Line]

“Words to describe this book are Emotional, Sexy, Inspirational, and well written in a memorable fashion that will engulf the mind well after you are finished reading. The story line is also original and the plot was extremely entertaining.”Lazaro

“I went in expecting some titillating erotica, but what I got was an emotional depth that blew me away.”Kitty Smith

“Well written, delightfully sensual, and exciting in more ways than one.”Hawk

“If you are looking for an engaging and emotionally fulfilling read, Vanessa Bogenholm has nailed it with The Moral Line.”Red City Review

Do you like the sound of The Moral Line? If you’ve read it let me know what you think- it’s one I’ve got on my To Read list!