Friday, December 3, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: A Moment in Time (Alex Trueman Chronicles #1) by Martin Dukes

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for A Moment in Time by Martin Dukes. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post about superhero powers from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: A Moment in Time
Series: Alex Trueman Chronicles #1
Author: Martin Dukes
Publication Date: October 23rd 2021
Print Length: 281 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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Alex Trueman has just turned fifteen. He's a typical teenager, a bit spotty, a bit nerdy and he's not exactly popular at school, not being one of the 'cool' kids. His tendency to day-dream doesn't exactly help him to be cool. either! But being cool isn't as good as the talent Alex discovers he has - stopping time.

Yes that's right. Stopping time!

Well, for everyone except Alex, that is, who finds that whilst everyone else is caught in a moment in time, he is able to carry on as normal. Maybe not quite 'normal', after all, he's able to stop time, and whilst that's not exactly as good as a certain 'boy wizard', it's pretty close!

The only trouble is that reality for Alex isn't always what is seems, and being plunged into an alternative can be a bit tricky, not to mention the fact that he makes an enemy almost as soon as he arrives, which tends to cause a problem.

Will Alex Trueman, nerdy daydreamer, be able to return to reality or will he be stuck forever in his alternative? Is a moment in time enough for Alex to discover the superhero he needs is probably himself?

A Moment in Time is the debut novel of author Martin Dukes, and is the first in a series of Alex Trueman Chronicles, which take the reader, along with Alex, into a bedazzling world of time travel, alternative reality and flying sea creatures. His further adventures include the past, possibly the future and definitely a fight to save reality itself.

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EXCERPT
Seen up close, Cactus Jack was a rather scruffy middle-aged man wearing torn jeans and the famous T-shirt by which he was known. He had close cropped hair and about a week’s worth of greying stubble. Cactus Jack was nothing out of the ordinary to look at except in one respect. Morlock and Minion had eyes like sparrows. Cactus Jack had no eyes at all. Where there should have been eyes there were simply expanses of smooth skin. Morlock raised a hand in vague greeting as Cactus Jack strode past. There was no hesitation in his pace, and he showed no sign of having even noticed Alex’s existence. This was fine by Alex. He felt the iron grip on his heart relax as Jack splashed heedlessly through the river and followed David into the scrap yard. Alex had a feeling David would soon be coming back. The scrap yard was surrounded by a high, chain link fence on its further side, and the gate was locked. Sure enough, David tumbled out of bushes into the river a little way downstream. Moments later he was back with Alex, clutching his ribs, his legs torn by thorns and barbed wire. It was clear he was exhausted. Alex wondered how far David had already run with Cactus Jack in pursuit.

“Got… to... hide,” he gasped, his eyes darting about madly until they fastened upon Alex’s skip. This he clambered into, even as Jack reappeared between a stack of gas cylinders and a pile of broken wooden pallets. It was no use. David was doomed.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’ve always been a writer. It’s not a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Lots of childish scribbles in notebooks, lots of rejection slips from publishers and agents testify to a craft long in the making. In addition, it has proved necessary to earn a living by other means whilst those vital skills mature. For thirty-eight years I taught Art and Graphic Design, thirty-seven of them in a wonderful independent girls’ school in Birmingham, UK. For much of the latter part of this career I was Head of Department, which gave me the opportunity to place my own stamp on Art education there, sharing with the pupils there my own love of Art and the History of Art. Over a decade I was able to lead annual visits to Florence, Venice and Rome (some of my favourite places on the planet) as destinations on my Renaissance Tour. These visits created memories that I shall cherish for the rest of my life.

I love history in general, reading history as much as I read fiction. I have a particular interest in the ancient world but I am also fascinated with medieval times and with European history in general. This interest informs my own writing to the extent that human relationships and motivations are a constant throughout the millennia, and there is scarcely a story that could be conceived of that has not already played itself out in some historical context. There is much to learn from observing and understanding such things, much that can be usefully applied to my own work.

Teaching tends to be a rather time-consuming activity. Since retiring, I have been able to devote much more of my time to writing, and being taken on by the brilliant Jane Murray of Provoco Publishing has meant that I am finally able to bring my work to the reading public’s attention. I like to think that my ideas are original and that they do not readily fall into existing tropes and categories.

I am not a particularly physical being. I was always terrible at sport and have rather poor physical coordination (as though my body were organised by a committee rather than a single guiding intelligence!). I tend to treat my body as a conveyance for my head, which is where I really dwell. My writing typically derives from dreams. There is a sweet spot between sleeping and waking which is where my ideas originate. I always develop my stories there. When I am writing it feels as though the content of my dreams becomes real through the agency of my fingers on the keyboard. I love the English language, the rich majesty of its vocabulary and its rhythmic possibilities. My arrival at this stage could hardly be describes as precocious. However, at the age of sixty-two, I feel that I have arrived at a place where I can create work of value that others may appreciate and enjoy.

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GUEST POST:
I’m sure that one reason for the success of Marvel and DC comics is that they tap into a deep vein of human aspiration, the desire to be in possession of a power that sets us apart from our fellows. How many of us have daydreamed about such a scenario? I know I have! Some of the superpowers that writers have endowed their characters with are decidedly niche, one might argue. There is a little-known superhero called Squirrel Girl, whose superpower (if we might politely term it as such) is to enlist armies of fierce squirrels to her cause. Those who fear the menace of arboreal rodents might well tremble at her name. Oddly, this character has not achieved the same fame and popularity as Wolverine and Spiderman. Another example might be the wonderfully named Arm-Fall-Off-Boy (does what it says on the tin). This character, as the name suggests, is able to detach his arm and use it as a bludgeon in time of crisis; an ability of questionable utility, one would have thought.

An ability very commonly found amongst superheroes is superhuman strength, of course. I can see how this might occasionally be useful to me, when relocating rockery stones, for example, or when required to carry large amounts of groceries. However, my life so far has not brought me face to face with muscular super-villains, and so I’m not sure such ability would be of much use to me on a day-to-day basis. It would be vaguely disappointing to spend all day pressing fingers to the keyboard, when each formidable digit contained the power to hurl trucks or tear up the streets. I should feel that I was underachieving. And I’m sure there might be downsides, too. In fact, were I to be miraculously granted the powers of the Incredible Hulk, I don’t doubt that I should spend an inconvenient amount of time and money on replenishing my wardrobe.

Powers of an elemental kind might also be of dubious utility. I’m sure the Human Torch rarely ever has to fire up his central heating, but I’d imagine he must find it awkward to get house insurance, and you’d have to be so so careful taking a swim down at the local pool. Likewise, being Iceman would be cool on those hot summer days, and my drinks would always be refreshingly chilled, but I’m not sure I’d be that popular in the midst of winter. The trick would be to find a superpower of genuine use to someone not typically engaged in fighting crime and bringing justice to the oppressed. My life has so far developed otherwise, and my lifestyle might be described as sedentary (or even sedimentary, if we want a really strong term for physical inactivity over time). Accordingly, the more dramatic superpowers might not suit me. A more commonplace superpower might be more appropriate. My wife’s superpower, for example, is the ability to notice and identify things that need doing.

After consideration, it appears to me that a very useful superpower would be the ability to fly. In these days of green consciousness, I could independently fly to Ibiza and leave zero carbon footprint. A nice tan and a clear conscience. How cool would that be? Superman, who made his first appearance back in 1938, combined superhuman strength, as well as the ability to fly. This latter ability seems to be something that people have always dreamed of, and it is surely significant that the first superhero was gifted with it. Ever since the caveman looked up from his mis-thrown spear, to watch the bird he had aimed at take refuge in flight, it must have been the universal dream. From the Montgolfier brothers through to the Wright brothers, we have always aspired to take to the air, but to do so without recourse to technology would be the ultimate high (in a very literal sense). What possibilities would open up? How exhilarating it would be to launch oneself into the skies and swoop and zoom with the effortless ease of the gull or the peregrine. It would certainly make the daily commute a delight, freed from the crawl of traffic, the tyranny of roadworks and the frustration of traffic lights. And what of the potential for sheer exuberant fun? I imagine myself alighting on an airliner at 30,000 feet and squeegeeing the windows, to the shock and bemusement of the passengers inside. Alright, I know smart alecs are going to point out that I’d freeze to death and suffocate up there, but hey, we’re dealing in fantasy here! So anyway, after due consideration, I’m off to equip myself with some decent flying goggles, a leather helmet and the ambition to add a new tweak to the concept of the mile-high club.
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GIVEAWAY:
Martin Dukes will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions assumes all responsibility for this giveaway.)

37 comments:

  1. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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    1. Hi Slehan, thanks for your comment. I'm very glad you think it sounds like an interesting read and I hope you make the decision to put it to the test!
      All the best
      Martin :)

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  2. Hi Heather, thanks for hosting me today. Martin :)

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  3. Your book sounds fantastic! I am looking forward to reading more!

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    1. Hi Amy, many thanks for your comment. I do think I've come up with a unique premise for a story. Anyway, I do hope you will take the plunge and see if it matches your expectations! Thanks again, Martin :)

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    1. Hi Leonie, thanks very much for your comment. I wrote it with the YA readership in mind but it’s pretty much a crossover book that adults will enjoy too. Thanks again! Martin :)

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  5. The book A Moment in Time in the Alex Trueman Chronicles series by author Martin Dukes sounds like a fascinating and engaging read.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Hi, I'm glad you think so. It was very exciting to write it! Thanks very much for your comment! Martin :)

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  7. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi Ann, thanks for your comment. My son Jack, who features in the cover, will be pleased to hear that you approve! 🙂 Martin

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  8. Looks like a very interesting book and I love the cover.

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    1. Hi Sherry, thanks for your comment and thanks for your support during this tour. I feel very lucky! All the best. Martin :)

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    1. Hi Rita, thanks for your comment, your engagement and your support during this tour. It's been much appreciated! All the best! Martin :)

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  10. Martin, I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt! I also enjoyed following the tour and learning about A Moment in Time and your book sounds like a fantastic read for me! Thanks for sharing it with me and I hope the tour was a success! Good luck with your book and have a magical holiday season!

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  11. Hi Stormy, thanks for your lovely comment and for following me on this tour. It's been great to have you along. You have a brilliant holiday season, too! All the best. Martin :)

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  12. sounds like a fun one

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  13. This book looks amazing! Happy Holidays!!

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    1. Hi Zelda, thanks so much for your comment. Happy holidays to you, too! Martin :)

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  14. What a fun fantasy. Good work

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    1. Hi Paige, thanks for your comment. It was certainly fun to write! I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it! Martin :)

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    1. Hi Peg, thanks for your comment. I think it’s a really fun read that people will enjoy. All the best! Martin:)

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  16. Sounds like an interesting book and I love the cover.

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    1. Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. It is a unique book in terms of its basic premise so I guess that helps to make it interesting. The cover seems to have been well received, too. Thanks again! Martin :)

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  17. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hi Dian, thank you for your comment. I'm glad my book appealed to you!
      Martin :)

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  18. David HollingsworthDecember 3, 2021 at 8:14 PM

    Congrats on the book! It sounds great.

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    1. Hi David, thank you for your comment. I'm really glad you like the sound of it!
      Martin :)

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  19. Hi Drea, thank you for your comment. It's my kinds book too! When you can't find one that exactly ticks your boxes, sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands and write one that does. Thanks again. Martin :)

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  20. Hi Heather, thanks again for hosting me today! Lots of positive feedback! Martin :)

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