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The Lights of Time by Paul Ian Cross - Book Tour + Giveaway

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The Lights of Time

Engella Rhys is alone, adrift and on the run. Pursued by a secret agency, known only as the Hunters, she must stay ahead to stay alive.

As she travels through space-time using dangerously experimental technology, she only has one wish: to be reunited with her lost parents. After a close shave with a Hunter on the streets of New Shanghai, Engella escapes to find herself on a deserted beach. When she meets a kind stranger, who offers her food and shelter, Engella feels safe and protected for the first time in years.

But who is this woman? And why did their paths cross at the most convenient of times?

Engella soon discovers their lives are intertwined in more ways than she could ever imagine.

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1998-JAN-22 16:07 – Rubha Shlèite, Skye, Scotland

Engella opened her eyes, awoken by the distant crash of waves. She found herself on her side, her face pressed against the cold ground. She could feel damp clumps of sand between her fingers and a cool spray in the air. It wasn’t long before she realised she’d arrived on a beach, and that it was intensely cold.
As she lifted her head, she scanned the surrounding area. Pieces of brick and dust lay in the sand. They must have been caught in the portal as she shifted away. The Hunters had never made it so close before. Their attacks were becoming more targeted, finding her location in space-time with improved accuracy. At least it had taken them several weeks to find her this time. Yet, it was a concern she couldn’t brush away lightly.
Engella sighed. ‘Still wet,’ she said.
Rolling onto her back, she gazed at the sky. The cumulus clouds looked like candy floss. A freezing wave splashed over her, forcing her to focus on the task ahead.
‘Time to move,’ she muttered.
The beach was relatively silent except for the squawks of seagulls hovering on the upwind. It was late evening; the sun was low and the sky was turning pink.
Engella dawdled along the sand, her cape catching the wind. She placed her hand on her belt, and then reached inside her rucksack, eager to check she hadn’t lost any of her gadgets or supplies.
The chilly air began to bite. Feeling uncomfortable in the cold, she wrapped her long coat tightly around her body. In addition to her braces and fitted T-shirt, she wore a grey-tinted utility belt fitted with various objects, cargo pants and black boots with silver laces. Engella was particularly proud of her belt and lace combination. She’d chosen the colours to match her current choice of hair colour. Silvers, greys and a dash of purple too. Super stylish. After years on the run, many of them on the streets, Engella still knew how to accessorise.
The wind picked up, and Engella shivered, so she lifted the hood of her cape covering her hair. The waves tumbled over the shore with a splash. White foam washed away to reveal glistening sand which reflected light from the sunset. She remembered how she’d always loved the beach as a child; going on day trips with her parents, building sandcastles, and eating ice cream. It was always a treat to get away from London’s metropolis.
Engella remembered her mother’s face.
‘At least the weather’s better here,’ she said. She paused as her favourite holomovie came to mind, The Wizard of Oz. She smirked as she thought of a quote which was appropriate for the situation.
‘We’re not in Kansas anymore, that’s for sure.’
Engella had always pretended to be the little girl with the pet dog while her father took on the role of the Tin Man. She reached for her wristband, anxious to check it was still there, and was relieved to feel the cold metal between her fingers. A red warning light flashed, so she clicked the reset button. Engella had never shifted through space-time without coordinates before, so she didn’t know what it meant.
Along the beach, a figure came into view. Engella’s neck prickled. She usually tried to avoid people, it was easier that way, even though she often pined for human contact. The loneliness had continued for too long. Using a device which she removed from her utility belt, Engella scanned the area to identify the approximate space-time coordinates. She didn’t have time to find the exact date, but the scan quickly determined it to be sometime in the late twentieth century.
As she activated her holoprojector, her real clothes were quickly concealed by a hologram: a grey hooded jumper, black jeans and black Converse trainers, which suited the timeframe perfectly. Her plaited hair was now neatly placed inside a holographic pink bobble hat. She looked at her reflection briefly, using the metal of her wristband as a mirror.
‘Retro!’ she said.
As they approached each other, Engella could now make out the other person: an older woman, walking a chocolate Labrador who was splashing through the surf. They eventually met halfway along the beach.
‘Good evening, dear,’ the woman said, as she surveyed Engella through her black spectacles. She was probably in her fifties, her curly brown hair greying at the roots. Her skin was pale white, yet she looked slightly red-faced and flustered, wrapped up in her winter coat and scarf. The Labrador bounded toward Engella, panting and tail-wagging, before he sniffed her holographic trainers.
‘Sorry about Rupert! He does get overexcited now and then!’ the woman said.
Engella patted Rupert on the head. ‘It’s okay. He’s very sweet.’
‘We don’t often get visitors around here, you see.’
Engella nodded. ‘Where exactly is here by the way? I’m a little lost.’
‘Rubha Shlèite, dear. My favourite place on the Isle of Skye.’  
‘The sky?’ said Engella, a little unsure of what she’d heard. ‘Erm, yes, of course. I remember now.’ Engella pretended to know what the woman was talking about, but she had no idea.
‘Did you travel here via the road or by ferry?’ asked the woman, who then proceeded to rearrange her scarf so it was almost touching her bottom lip.
Engella looked away, not sure how to answer. She had hoped she wouldn’t need to explain her sudden appearance. Although she was used to it by now. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last either.


Author Bio –
Paul Ian Cross is a multi-award-winning children’s author and scientist from London, UK.

Paul works in clinical research (developing new medicines) and he’s also involved in science communication; presenting science to non-scientists. He enjoys his science career but he also has a real passion for writing stories! He likes introducing children to the wonders of science, especially reluctant readers. By introducing science creatively, he aims to spark their interest; allowing them to gain confidence with their reading. As a previous reluctant reader himself, he understands how hard it can be. But it’s all about making reading fun and interesting!

Paul’s nephew Hayden influenced his decision to become a writer. He loved seeing Hayden’s reaction when his sister Michelle first read one of Paul’s stories to him!

In his spare time, Paul likes to visit new and exciting places. One of his favourite places is Scotland, especially the Isle of Skye.

Paul’s debut picture book, Praxx and the Ringing Robot, won second prize in the ‘Picture Books 5 and Younger’ category at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2017. The book trailer also won first place in the ‘book trailer’ category at the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards later that year.

Paul’s second book, Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons, won an honourable mention in both the ‘Picture Books 6 and Over’ and ‘Health’ categories at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2018.

And that brings us to now... Paul is currently working on several new books. Paul’s debut upper middle grade novel will be published in 2018. The Lights of Time is the first novel in a brand-new series: The Chronicles of Engella Rhys.

Paul hopes you enjoy reading his stories as much as he enjoyed writing them!

Social Media Links –

Giveaway – Win  a Kindle HD Fire 7” and a signed copy of The Lights of Time (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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