Q and A: C.R Berry and his Book Million Eyes

Happy New Year! I hope you have a good one with plenty of good books to read.

For  this decades first post I am excited to share something different – C.R Berry has visited to talk about his exciting new book Million Eyes but first here is the information about this exciting sci-fi, conspiracy novel.

Million Eyes Cover Large

Million Eyes

Title: Million Eyes

Author: C.R Berry

Publisher:

Genre: Sci-fi, conspiracy

Blurb for Million Eyes

How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.

Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

Purchase Links

http://bit.ly/Million-Eyes

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Million-Eyes-C-R-Berry-ebook/dp/B082QNFPFN

https://www.amazon.com/Million-Eyes-C-R-Berry-ebook/dp/B082QNFPFN

Q and A with C.R Berry

  • Hi C.R Berry. Welcome to From Under the Duvet. Can you tell me a bit about Million Eyes and the world you’ve created for it?

It’s a sci-fi conspiracy thriller set in a world where time travel has been invented (secretly) by a huge global conglomerate called Million Eyes. It’s also a world where many of the conspiracy theories you’ve heard about are true and involved Million Eyes in some way. So, Princess Diana’s death, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, the replacement of Paul McCartney and Queen Elizabeth I with lookalikes (among many others) all happened because of Million Eyes.

  • So you cover all those conspiracy theories in the novel?

Not all of them. Princess Diana’s death and the Princes in the Tower are in the novel. The conspiracy theories about Paul McCartney and Queen Elizabeth I actually feature in the Million Eyes short stories, which have been published separately by Elsewhen Press as a collection, Million Eyes: Extra Time. It’s free to download in all ebook formats and offers readers an initial insight into the Million Eyes world and its time-travelling villains. This came out in October 2019.

Also, Million Eyes is the first in a trilogy. So there are more conspiracy theories to come in the next two books!

  • As Million Eyes has time travel in it, are you aiming it at sci-fi fans?

Not exclusively, no. I know people who’ve enjoyed Million Eyes who don’t like sci-fi at all. I don’t think the time travel is alienating for people who aren’t into that. I’m hoping it’ll be a bit like Game of Thrones was for non-fantasy fans. GOT had such wide appeal, probably because it told the story through the eyes of normal people with real problems. Million Eyes does the same thing.

  • Are there other authors whose work Million Eyes could be compared to?

I think Million Eyes shares a lot of similarities with Library of the Dead by Glenn Cooper. That was a conspiracy thriller that incorporated real historical events and had an element of fantasy to it. I also think if you’re a fan of Dan Brown, Doctor Who or the TV series 24 (which had a lot of conspiracy thriller elements), you’ll like Million Eyes.

  • Why did you write Million Eyes and what gave you the idea?

Million Eyes came about by meshing together three loves of mine: conspiracy theories, time travel and history. There were three events in history riddled by mystery and conspiracy theory that I wanted to tie together. The probably-not-accidental shooting of King William II in the New Forest, the still-unexplained disappearance of the Princes in the Tower (both of which I learned about at school), and Princess Diana’s car crash, one of the most shocking things to happen while I was growing up.

Inspired in part by a short-lived TV series called Dark Skies, which took real American history and ‘explained what really happened’, I wanted to take these three events in British history and do the same. And since the three events were approximately five hundred years apart, there was really only one way to do that—time travel!

  • Tell us a bit about your main characters, Gregory Ferro and Jennifer Larson.

Ferro’s in his 50s, has a wife and two kids and used to be a history teacher. An incident at his school led him to give up teaching and write history books. He wants to do his best by his family but he’s fiercely dedicated to his work and doesn’t always get his priorities right. This becomes a problem when he starts finding evidence that time travellers were behind the death of William II.

Jennifer’s in her 20s, fresh out of uni, and is working in a call centre because she’s not sure what to do next. She’s hot-headed and she doesn’t always think before she speaks, which sometimes lands her in hot water. She loves history as much as Ferro and, when she learns about his theories, can’t resist reaching out to him.

  • I understand Jennifer’s a lesbian. How common is it to have a gay female protagonist in these kinds of stories?

I’m sure there are some but it’s not common. I don’t think there are enough LGBTQ protagonists full stop. But I should note that Jennifer’s sexuality is really not relevant to her story. She just happens to be gay. It’s normal and it’s a non-issue, which was exactly the point.

I did make an effort to include as many female characters as possible and that’s not just because I enjoy writing women. Nearly all the sci-fi/fantasy/conspiracy books I’ve read have failed the Bechdel Test because women are so thin on the ground. With Million Eyes, I was determined not only that the book would pass the Bechdel Test, but would also contain such an abundance of female characters there could be no question of under representation.

  • Where does your interest in time travel come from?

Star Trek, Doctor Who, Back to the Future, Somewhere in Time, The Butterfly Effect, Looper, Lost… I could go on! I just love the idea of being able to go back in time and see first-hand how things were, or go forwards and see how things might turn out. If it were possible, I’d be a time traveller myself!

  • When is Million Eyes available and where can readers get their hands on it?

Million Eyes is available now from Elsewhen Press in ebook formats. It can be purchased for £2.99 RRP from Apple, Amazon and other eBook platforms. On March 9th, it will be released as a paperback and be available to buy for £9.99 RRP from bookshops and online. I’ll be hosting several book launch events around the time of the paperback release. The first will take place at Waterstones in Farnham on Friday 13th March (Yes, I know—Friday the 13th! It’s a conspiracy!)

Author Biography

Million Eyes Author

C.R Berry

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.

After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.

He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.

He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.

Social Media Links –

Website: https://crberryauthor.wordpress.com

http://millioneyes.co.uk/

https://gregoryferro.home.blog/

https://twitter.com/CRBerry1

https://www.facebook.com/CRBerry1/

Thank you for coming and talking about your book. As a huge fan of Glenn Cooper’s Library of the Dead, it has been added to my TBR and I look forward to hearing more about your series in the future. Good luck with your book launches.

Happy reading!

Love

Book Review: Hamartia by Raquel Rich

Last month, I was lucky enough to meet Raquel Rich to talk about her book Hamartia, and her writing and I was given a copy of her book to read. The post can be found here. I have finished Hamartia and excited to share my honest and unbiased review with you.

Book Review: Hamartia by Raquel Rich

Hamartia Book Cover

Title: Hamartia

Author: Raquel Rich

Genre: Sci-Fi, fantasy

Publisher: Words Matter Publishing

Release date: 15th August 2018

BOOK BLURB:

Grace’s nine-year-old son, Jordan, is dying. First, the Metagenesis disease will tear his soul from his body, and then it will kill him. Desperate for a cure, Grace agrees to take part in an illegal clinical trial cloning souls. Supported by her best friend Kay, the two embark on the ultimate “Vegas Vacation” to the past in search of the right soul to clone, racing against time to save Jordan’s life. But someone is trying to stop them and when they discover why, Grace must make a choice: let her son die or kill her husband. If she kills her husband she triggers widespread Metagenesis, sealing the fate of the human race with a new plague. Humanity is counting on Grace choosing to let her son die.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hamartia-Raquel-Rich-ebook/dp/B07GJXT4SG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

My Thoughts

My first thought as I finished this book was “Bloody hell, what a ride!”  quickly followed “How do I review this?” It is quirky, clever and overwhelmingly unique. Time travel is difficult topic to get your head around and the addition of the theory of reincarnation  should have made this novel complicated but it is told in a way that makes perfect sense. The descriptions of how Grace goes back in time are vivid and highlights the strength of Raquel Rich’s imagination. The pace quickens as the hunt for the cure progresses and the novel twists and turns in many unexpected ways; I was kept on edge throughout. I have never read a book like it. It thrilled, questioned my morals and made me consider what I would do in the same situation.

This is a story of love, soul mates who meet time and again in different life times and the strength of maternal love. The first couple of chapters require the reader to suspend their disbelief and go with the flow until a connection is formed with Grace, Kay and their predicament. It is heartbreaking and emotional. With time travel books I have a habit of  getting confused with paradoxes and my mind gets filled with what ifs and implausibilities so I decided to just read which added to the enjoyment and the questions I did have were answered as the story developed.

The pair go back to the year 2000 and it is scary how much things have changed in the last nineteen years. Her vision of the future, eighty years from now is in some ways reassuring as I watch programmes on plastic and climate change but horrifying in others. The terminal disease Metagenesis sends shivers down my spine and even now, days after I have finished this novel, it unnerves me.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes. This is a gem of a book which deserves to be shouted about, seen and not hidden by obscure Amazon algorithms. If you love quirky, thoughtful reads and the premise of reincarnation sparks your interest, grab a copy, and then comment below as I would love to chat. It would be an amazing book to analyse, dissect and discuss at a book club meeting because there is so much to say.

It is on my forever shelf and I am desperate to read her next book when it is released.

Author Biography

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Author Raquel Rich

Raquel Rich is the author of the award-winning novel, Hamartia. She loves to travel, suntan, walk her dog, and is obsessed with all things Beauty & the Beast. She despises cold weather, balloons, and writing about herself in the third person but noticed all the real authors do that. Born and raised in Canada to Brazilian parents, she lives in the Toronto area with her family. Married to the guy she’s been with since she was fifteen (her baby daddy), her superpowers include being a mom to their two awesome grown-ass boys and one fur baby.

Social Media links

Raquel’s website: https://www.raquelrich.com/hamartia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41397476-hamartia

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRaquelRich/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rich.raquel/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaquelRiosRich

 

Happy reading!

Love