Press Release: In The Gleaming Light

Press Release

In the Gleaming Light
By: HR Moore

What happens when the robots steal our jobs? Speculative fiction novel “In the Gleaming Light” gives a much needed plausible imagining of the world thirty years from now.

Automation, robots, and job stealing are topics that capture the imagination of many, but the big question is this: what’s to be done when these things start to have a meaningful impact on our lives? Universal Basic Income, the favoured solution of entrepreneurs and academics alike, has been creeping into the press, but if you stop someone on the street and ask them about it, the chances are you’ll get a blank look.
“In the Gleaming Light” gives an engaging, pacey, intrigue-filled look at the world thirty years from now, complete with a clear representation of the complex and controversial political issues that underpin it all.

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Here’s the blurb:
It’s 2048.  Automation has stolen vast swathes of jobs, and the government pays everyone a no-strings-attached income, enough to live on, in order to keep the economy going.  Society is split into those who can get jobs; engineers, managers, creatives, and those who cannot.
Iva Brooksbank, Senior Investigator of the Enforcement Office, has made a career of taking down corporate moguls who flout the rules, and now she has Guy Strathclyde, CEO of Cybax Technologies, firmly in her sights.  She’s sure he’s up to something, and races to find evidence that will stick, before her time runs out.
Lulu Banks, a world famous artist, uses her work to highlight the deep inequalities and injustices the world now faces, perpetuated, she thinks, by the relentless march of technology.  But when she finds herself the object of Guy’s affections, she has to decide if she can trust his intentions, or if he’s just the same as all the other corporate big dogs.

HR Moore, author, explains:
“In the Gleaming Light was born out of my experience and observations in life and at work, and also through a general interest in the not-too-distant future of our world.  With a background in financial services and change management, I’ve seen first-hand the unrelenting pace of change and drive towards automation, that is having, and will continue to have, a significant effect on everyone.

The changes that have taken place in the last twenty years are mind-boggling, and there’s no evidence of the pace slowing down.  Indeed, automation is predicted to put significant numbers out of work, and, if that happens, the social consequences will be extreme.
Automation and Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a solution, are areas gaining a great deal of traction, with entrepreneurs and academics shouting about the need for governments to step in, governments running UBI trials in response, and the media starting to step up their coverage.  However, the topic is currently stuck in (relatively boring) academic and political channels, and I think there’s a real need to bring these important topics to life through engaging, fictional portrayals.  In the Gleaming Light aims to do this in a plot and relationship-driven way; it’s book club fiction, designed to stimulate conversation, with drama and romance throughout.

Importantly, “In the Gleaming Light” is not passing judgment on the march of technology, or UBI as a potential solution, but I feel passionately that this is a conversation that effects everybody. The more that can be done to get people involved from all backgrounds, now, as opposed to after the fact, the better.

And given the gender skews of people working in technology, I’m especially passionate about engaging women in this conversation. The workplace is biased, and it’s important that women utilize technology to help level the playing field. The worst case scenario would be a future world that’s dictated (passively and accidentally) by a relatively small handful of (mostly) men. Now is the time for us to talk about these issues, and it’s essential that the debate is equally open to all.”

In the Gleaming Light will be released on Amazon on 1st March, 2019 in both eBook ($4.99 / £3.99) and paperback ($10.99 / £7.99) formats.

The eBook is currently available for pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Dt5oVY

Excerpt:
Lulu flopped to the ground as she crossed the makeshift sprint finish line in the sand, her chest heaving as she tried to regain her breath. It was a glorious morning, even at this early hour, the sun reflecting furiously on the flat calm of the sea, playing about as the water moved gently up and down, slivers of silver light trying to fool onlookers into believing it could be warm. Tiny waves lapped lightly at the beach, the sound calming Lulu’s exhausted body, helping her settle her racing heart.
‘Darling, you’re a little distracted this morning,’ said Bertie Baqua, her slight, Asian fitness instructor, as he caught up with her. He was renowned the world over and in great demand, but he and Lulu had been friends for years, Lulu having attended his classes before he was famous, their friendship secured on the dance floor of a dubious Salsa club in Brighton.
‘I opened my exhibition last night,’ she replied, as though this were enough.
‘And?’ he replied, clearly requiring more.
She thought about keeping Guy a secret, but knowing Bertie, he probably already knew. ‘And Guy Strathclyde came.’
‘Did he indeed?’ flounced Bertie, laughing with his eyes.
‘He keeps asking me out,’ she shrugged, as though this were obviously a problem.
‘And?’
‘And, I thought he was a typical corporate mogul. I mean, he was obviously given his job by his dad.’
‘Which is frowned upon these days,’ said Bertie, frivolously.
‘Which is illegal these days,’ snapped Lulu, rolling over and propping herself up on her arms.
Bertie raised an eyebrow and a shoulder simultaneously. ‘Touchy,’ he said. ‘You must really like him.’
‘I don’t know him. But I was surprised about his opinions on certain topics.’
‘In a good way?’
‘Yes.’
‘Well, what’s the problem then?’
‘I just never thought I’d even entertain the idea of dating someone like him. And I think he might be dangerous.’
‘Isn’t that a little prejudiced?’
Lulu rolled her eyes. ‘Maybe,’ she pouted, playing with the grains of sand between her fingers.
‘What harm can come from going on a couple of dates? If you like him, then great; you’re not breaking any rules by dating him…apart from ones you’ve perhaps created for yourself for no good reason.’
Lulu huffed as she brushed the sand away. ‘I suppose so.’
‘You’re welcome,’ he said, reaching down to help her up.
‘You’re insufferable,’ she said, refusing his hand and throwing a towel at him instead. Bertie snickered, and didn’t stop. ‘What now?’ she asked, not understanding the joke.
‘Looks like you’ve got company,’ he said, nodding up the beach.
Lulu’s head whipped round. ‘Oh God,’ she breathed.
‘I’ll say,’ said Bertie, nodding his head in approval.
Guy reached their workout spot and held his hands up; they were full of coffee and paper bags. ‘Hungry?’ he asked hopefully. She paused, considering another refusal. ‘Oh, come on,’ he said, ‘of course you’re hungry; you’ve been working out for ages.’
Bertie nudged Lulu towards Guy. ‘I’ve got another client, so I really must be going,’ he said, as though the breakfast invitation had also been extended to him, which of course they all knew it hadn’t. ‘Have fun,’ he said, suggestively. He stuffed dumbbells, balls and elastics back into his bag, hoisted it over his shoulder, and headed back up the beach, throwing Lulu a double thumbs up, complete with accompanying indelicate head nod behind Guy’s back.
Lulu ignored him. ‘You’ve been watching me work out?’ she asked, not sure whether to be flattered or a little bit freaked out.
Guy laughed. ‘Not really. I’ve been working in the café up there,’ he said, pointing to the beach’s edge where a Chutney Café stood, the chain that had gained supremacy when it innovated the old players out of the market by replacing humans with robots. ‘They’re not technically open yet, but the manager took pity on me and let me in early.’
‘Charmed by your smile, no doubt.’
‘I am very charming,’ he said, flashing her his best grin. ‘I’m so glad you’ve noticed.’

in the gleaming light author pic.pngAbout the Author:

Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, her family returning to the UK, to Dorset shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don’t understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.

Then there was Scotland; stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she’d never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.
At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in lycra, training 6 days a week and competing at events around the country.
After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the change elements of her course and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think). She worked as a Project Manager on large change programmes before founding her own consultancy in 2015.
Harriet has since worked on a number of insurance related projects that helped influence and inspire In the Gleaming Light, specifically around the use of connected devices in the home, data collection and utilisation within financial services, and how automation can both reduce costs, and significantly improve vast swathes of tiresome, long-winded processes.
Harriet has recently moved from Bristol in the UK to Portsmouth in New Hampshire, with her husband Chris and two young daughters. When she isn’t writing, editing, eating, running around after her kids, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a springer spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.

Release Blitz: The Blood Prince

Blog Blitz

Release Day Blitz:

The Blood Prince (Sovereign Book III) by Josie Jaffrey

The price of freedom is always paid in blood.

The sovereigns of the Silver have awakened, but the Queen is a fractured shell of the woman Cam remembers. He hopes to put her back together by finding her son, the missing prince. At least, that’s what he tells his friends when he leaves for the Red.

Back in the Blue, Julia’s old tormentor Rufus is hounding her at every turn. She’s sick of feeling powerless, but she has a plan that will bring the Nobles to their knees.
All she needs is blood.

The Blood Prince is the final book in Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy, set in a dystopian Europe where vampiric Nobles control the last remnants of the human race.

Publisher: Self-published
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Cover Art: Martin Beckett Art
Page Count: 285
Word Count: 101,000
ASIN (Amazon): B07M82KNW6
ISBN (E-book): 9780463877159
ISBN (Print): 9781792012860
Release Date: 20 February 2019
Rating: Young Adult

Excerpt

Julia sipped at her tea, relishing the warmth as it spread into her chest.
‘I just thought he was going to change things,’ she said. ‘I thought the Queen was supposed to come back, wake up the King and bring us a cure for the contamination.’


‘But you know what the contamination really is now. We both know what it really is.’


The Weeper vaccine. The Silver cure.


Julia had told Livia the truth the moment she’d returned from the Red.
‘I know,’ said Julia, ‘but still, shouldn’t something have changed? All the lives lost and battles fought and still things are happening exactly as they used to. The Candidates are still being cast, the Attendants are still bleeding, the Servers are still slaving, and above it all the Nobles are still taking exactly what they want from us. How is that fair?’


Livia settled back in her seat.
‘Well, now, that depends on what you’re asking. If you’re asking how it’s fair that they’ve used us for this long, then the answer is it’s not. It’s never been fair, and there’s no wiping that blame away from them. But if you’re asking how it’s fair that they’re still allowed to use us when you know very well what has the power to make them stop… Well, that’s a different question, isn’t it?’
Julia put her tea aside, no longer thirsty.


‘What are you saying?’ she said.


‘You know what’s in the blood of them o
utside the Blue. The way I see it, you’ve got a choice: either you accept things as they are, or you do something about it.’
Julia couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Yes, she’d resolved to change the way that things were in the Blue, and yes, the thing that had motivated her was the knowledge that the contamination could be used as a weapon against the Nobles, but she hadn’t quite put the two together into a course of action. The thought of actually using that weapon felt too extreme to contemplate.


But it was the logical end point, one Julia knew she’d have to accept.

 

 

Interview with Margaret Rogerson

Author Interview

Blogger Note: Hi everyone! I am super excited today to share with you my interview with An Enchantment of Ravens’ author Margaret Rogerson! *squeeeee*

 

authorphoto.jpgMeet Margaret Rogerson.

Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. Her books draw inspiration from old fairy tales, because she loves stories in which the beautiful and the unsettling are sometimes indistinguishable. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms. She studied anthropology at Miami University.

Author Links

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Website

Now onto the interview!

What would you say is the main inspiration behind the creation of An Enchantment of Ravens?
An Enchantment of Ravens was primarily inspired by my love of folklore and my own background as a portrait artist.
How long has this tale been waiting to be written? That being said, how long did it take to write and edit?
Enchantment happened quickly; I had the idea for it while I was in the shower one morning, and by the time I got out of that shower, I had come up with most of the plot, setting, and characters. It took me about two weeks to write the outline, three and a half months to write the first draft, and another month and a half to edit it before I began submitting the manuscript to literary agents. Once a publisher accepted it, we edited it a little bit more—I think developmental edits took me about two weeks, and copyedits only a few days (the copyeditor did the hard part for me). However, many of those stages involved months of waiting in between. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but honestly, I couldn’t have written Enchantment so quickly had I not lost my day job and moved in with my parents! I try to make sure I tell people that because I don’t want other writers to compare their schedules to mine and feel bad. I had a LOT of free time, not to mention familial support. I wrote one book before Enchantment (another YA fantasy that’s now gathering dust on my hard drive), and it took me about a year and a half to finish while I was also working a full-time job.

Tell us about your journey from half feral child to author. How did it feel to get that acceptance email or call and later your first contract?
Ha! I see you’ve read the bio on my website. I’ve dreamed of becoming an author ever since I was a little girl running around in the woods eating bugs, but I never imagined it would be possible. Even after I’d finished Enchantment and started querying literary agents, it still didn’t feel possible. So the feeling of signing with my agent Sara was indescribable—part of me was convinced I’d hallucinated the entire thing. The publishing contract was a little easier to digest because I was already so dazed with happiness that nothing could have really surprised me at that point. For about a month straight, I walked around smiling and bumping into things.
How has your view of writing and reading changed as you went through the publishing of your debut novel?
Writing feels more like work now, but even before getting published, I had to learn how to treat writing like work; otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the discipline to finish a book. Reading is a bit different too, because I tend to read more critically now, picking apart the strategies that other authors use to achieve tension or foreshadowing, or how they construct a good action scene, that sort of thing. I read a lot more slowly than I used to.
How do you tackle world building and setting in An Enchantment of Ravens? Did you base the fae world off of your desire to live in a forest that has a touch of witchery?
The fairy world was definitely inspired by my love of nature, especially the autumnlands, since fall is my favorite season. There’s just something special about the forest during fall: whimsical, enchanting, a little bit haunted, with those rainy, misty evenings that make it easy to imagine a sinister presence slumbering beneath the fallen leaves… Interestingly I came up with a lot of the fairy court-related worldbuilding several years before I wrote Enchantment, for a personal RPG-type project I created for some friends. Needless to say, I’m a huge nerd! My friends enjoyed picking out details they recognized when they read the book for the first time.
What challenges did you face while incorporating the themes of sorrow and mortality in your world?
Great question! In Enchantment, I wanted to convey the idea that mortality and the ability to feel emotion and create art are profoundly intertwined. Because the fair folk are immortal, they have a certain hollowness to them, a desperate, horrible emptiness that drives them to crave human Craft in the hope and fear it will make them feel something genuine. It was a little challenging creating a wide range of fair folk characters who all possessed that shallow emotional range while also giving them distinct personalities. But it was a fun challenge, and I really enjoyed writing side characters like Lark, Hemlock, and Aster—and especially Gadfly.
What is something you want your readers to take away from An Enchantment of Ravens?
Enchantment has some stuff to say about art and love, about the value of mortality and the importance of staying true to oneself no matter what, but in the end I’m not sure it matters whether readers take any messages away from the book. I’d much rather it simply make someone happy on a chilly night, preferably with a mug of hot chocolate and a crackling fire.
Is there anything else you want to share?
Sometimes people get confused by the title when they hear it out loud, and mistake it for “An Enchantment of Raisins.”
Congrats on the your debut novel release!
Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog, Rae!

Happy Release Day An Enchantment of Ravens!

Go get your copy ASAP!

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