11 July, 2019

Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw Blog Tour and Giveaway! @rararesources

Dead & Talking

If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do? When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations. The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead - if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else. Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved - because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they? Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.

Purchase Links:

US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PLLNB4M
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PLLNB4M 

Author Bio –
Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton,

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too.

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in.

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again.

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky.

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire. He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax).

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school.

Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.
The following extract is from my debut novel, Dead & Talking. Porter Norton, whose life has become a mess, was saved from suicide by a strange spirit that only he can see or hear. The spirit, a very sarcastic take on Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life, tells Porter he has to atone for generations of suicides in the Norton family, by righting some historical injustices. To help, The Gliss gives Porter the gift of being able to hear the last words of the dead – if he is near their remains. To test out the gift, Porter has travelled to Wales to visit the grave of Max Cartwright who The Gliss says was unjustly shot for spying in WW1. Porter has contacted the vicar, and as this extract begins, the pair of them are heading out to find the unmarked grave. Porter has no idea what will happen if they find it. teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government.
Read an Extract

St Dyfnog Church, Llangenneth, Swansea
Tuesday, 21st March, 2017: 12pm

They entered the cemetery. The be-robed Gossamer sashayed through the tombstones like Montserrat CaballĂ© arriving at her retirement party. “The vicar at the time must have been very tolerant, allowing a spy to be buried on consecrated ground. Then again, there’s no gravestone, so it wasn’t exactly red carpet. Maybe he knew the family. What’s your interest?”
Porter, having spent precisely 23 minutes on Google and Wikipedia boning up on the executions, had no ready answer.
“Oh. I. Err.”“Say you’re paying respects or something,” said The Gliss. “You represent people in court. You know how to lie.”
“Shsssh,” said Porter.
Gossamer looked up. “Excuse me?”
“Not you,” stammered Porter. “I was thinking how, er…still it is here.”
“Yes, very,” said the vicar, realising anew how desolate his churchyard could be. “The grave should be around here somewhere. Look for a depression in the earth." Gossamer cross-referenced his chart. After a bit of weed pulling, it turned out there was only one disturbance without a gravestone.
“This is most likely it,” said Gossamer.
“What do I do now?” said Porter to The Gliss.
Gossamer, assuming the question was aimed at him, shrugged as if to say, “How the hell would I know?”
“Stop talking,” said The Gliss. “Go and stand on it and be ready for a jolt.”
“I’ll do that,” said Porter. “And I can’t stop talking, can I? You’re giving me instructions.”
The vicar checked to see if someone new had snuck up behind him. Porter approached the edge of the plot, pinched his nose like a virgin swimmer preparing for the deep end, and hopped in.
“Are you ok?” said the astonished vicar, surveying Porter in a crouch in the middle of the depression.
“Nothing,” reported Porter.
“Lay down,” said The Gliss. “Are you mad? It’s damp.”
“Do it.”
He did. His back got wet but nothing else.
“Now look what you’ve done. Nothing.”
He looked up to see the Reverend bending over and staring down at him.
“Of course, it’s hard to be exact with an unmarked grave,” said the shaking vicar. “It’s supposed to be forgotten. Look, seriously, are you ok, Mr Norton?”
Before Porter could answer, The Gliss surprised him by singing Pick Yourself Up, ordering Porter to jig around a bit.
“Jig? You mean dance? Are you mad? He’ll think I’m nuts.” A quick glance at Gossamer, however, confirmed this process was well underway.
“Dance, Porter. It’ll help.”
Porter’s dancing experience consisted of one best-forgotten school disco, a slow dance with Tania that ended with her big toenail hanging off, and a Runyon’s awayday in which he and various colleagues had line-danced like broken marionettes.
“Copy Fred,” said The Gliss. “As long as you generate some energy and move around a bit.”
With a sigh, Porter started to dance. He had the movement and agility of A Stair, not Astaire. Gossamer moved backwards, looking around hopelessly for help.
Porter stopped, took a step back and with some justifiable annoyance, said, “Nothing. Absolut….”
Three equally disagreeable things happened at once. First, someone tried to drown him by rapidly dunking him face down in a bath of viscous, white gloss paint. Second, the same malefactor attached his eyes and ears to the mains, quickly flicking the on-off switch. Thirdly, this someone or something, which quite definitely had it in for him he now realised, filleted his brain into thin slices, squeezed Naga chilli and grit onto each layer before grinding everything back together: A blinding vortex of pain and light, all to a cymbals and timpani accompaniment Hans Zimmer would have thought OTT. Yet, through the cacophony, Porter became aware of another sound. It was a voice.
Max Cartwright. He didn’t know how or why he knew that for sure, he just did. Max said: “I’m scared. Mum. I didn’t do it. God help me. I’m scared. Mum. I didn’t do it. God help me. I’m scared. Mum. I didn’t do it. God help me.”
The ferocious lights began to clear, and Porter started to adjust. The pain remained, but the balance had see-sawed back in favour of Porter’s senses. He was ready to focus, allowing the pictures to come.
He had a faint vision of a soldier tied to a post. The image was foggy, so he concentrated on the voice, letting its message dissolve into his consciousness like butter on crumpet. Once it was in, Porter allowed himself to think. These are his last thoughts. He’s about to die. Flip. The picture was beginning to come into focus when the spell suddenly broke. Porter found himself lying in the gravel, a dirty stick jammed between his teeth, the vicar sitting on his chest.
“Don’t struggle there’s a good man,” said Gossamer.
The Gliss deadpanned, “He thinks you’re having a fit.”
Porter struggled back. The vicar finally got the message. They stood up, Porter clasping his temples and spitting out bits of bark.
“You probably got a mouthful of squirrel piss from that,” said The Gliss.
Porter pointed at his own head and said, “Migraine.”
“Migraine? You were in spasm, gibbering,” said Gossamer.
“I get it pretty bad.”
“Very. Are we done? Unless you want a photograph?”
“No, thanks. I’ve seen what I need to.”
They walked back to the church, both in discomfort. 

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Giveaway to Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking (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.

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