We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.
In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.
Today Geoff Le Pard shares and excerpt from his novel My Father and Other Liars.
About the book
When British freelancer Maurice Oldham saves American scientist Lori-Ann Beaumont from a pack of journalists at a ProLife conference in San Francisco, neither expects to see the other again. But six months on, Lori-Ann is on Maurice’s doorstep, bruised, penniless and desperate to find her boyfriend, Peterson, who has gone missing in England. Maurice soon realises nothing is as it seems with Lori-Ann. Why is she chasing Peterson; why has her father, Pastor of the Church of Science and Development sent people to bring her home; what is behind the Federal Agency who is investigating Lori-Ann’s workplace in connection with its use of human embryos; and what happened in Nicaragua a quarter of a century ago that is echoing down the years?
For Maurice and Lori-Ann the answers lie somewhere in their Fathers’ pasts. Finding those answers will take Lori-Ann and Maurice from England via America to Nicaragua; in so doing they will have to confront some uncomfortable truths about their Fathers and learn some surprising things about themselves
An excerpt from My Father and Other Liars
It was an apology. My father apologised.
“Sorry to keep you, Maurice.”
That was it. I’d travelled thousands of miles and spent thousands of pounds finding him and his first and only apology for putting me and Mum through years of hell was because he delayed me by going for a piss.
“Well come on.” He didn’t see the irony. “You’ll have to sit in with the rest of Joe Public. Up there.” He waved vaguely at a staircase to the right. “See you here, afterwards, Maurice. You can buy me lunch and tell me what you think of my style.”
“It’s Mo.” But he wasn’t listening; he was already heading for the door to the press section.
The press conference was already underway as I took my seat. The panel sat at a line of tables, covered in a white cloth; my eyes scanned along the speakers hunting for the one my Father had told me to look out for. That was my first sight of Lori-Ann Beaumont.
We had spent a fractious few hours driving from his home north of San Francisco. I had half listened to him bleat on about what he thought we’d hear. The only thing I’d really registered was her name and how he intended to make her squirm. That put me firmly in her camp before we arrived. Eventually we parked the car and headed south of Mission for the nondescript hotel where I now sat.
I was a long way up so had to scrunch my eyes to see her. All I really remember were the jet-black pigtails and the odd way her thick eyebrows curved down the side of her eyes. And her ruddy complexion, which may have been due to the unflattering lighting. Anyway it all put me in mind of Pocahontas. From the way she was hunched forward I guessed she expected the kind of grilling my Father had threatened, but to begin with the questions seemed pretty bland. Then, after 20 minutes or so my Father began his interrogation.
“Isn’t it hypocritical, Ms Beaumont, for a scientist such as yourself, used to experimenting on human embryos in the name of research, to be protesting against Prop Ten?”
“No. I believe in the right to life, but I also feel it would waste God’s Goodness and Love if we allowed those embryos that would otherwise be destroyed to be wasted…”
That was when the chair cut her off with a raised hand. He looked like an old-school preacher, all lumpy jaw and well-tended hair. The panel comprised ten people and it was pretty clear from their body language that Ms Beaumont was in the minority. Maybe of one.
There were hushed whispers and some head shaking. I checked the flyer I had been given on the way in: The Evangelical Churches Congress against Proposition Ten, Chair Senator, The Reverend George Gardiner. From his furious face the Reverend didn’t look to be a man of peace.
Dad had said he would create ‘a bit of a stir’. At least he had got that right.
I leant over the balustrade to see the press, sitting in the front four rows directly below.
Dad’s bald pate twinkled back at me. Some sixth sense must have made him look up; I bet he winked. I had a sudden rush of sympathy, or pity at least, for the isolated Ms Beaumont.
This felt like blood sport, not a conference on some dry piece of Californian legislation.’
©Geoff Le Pard
One of the five star reviews for the book
“My Father and Other Liars” is a thoughtful book full of twists and complex characters. The way author Geoff Le Pard develops characters to be both flawed and evocative is becoming a hallmark of his writing. The suspense in the book rises from a multitude tensions at the heart of which is political intrigue in regards of the use of stem cells in research. One of the thought-provoking aspects of the story is the crossroads between theology and science. It’s handled in such a way as to be believable and not offensive (unless one has a highly sensitive nature in regards to religion used as a medium in fiction).
The author even shares (at the end of the book) how he developed his fictional theology. Another tension arises from the idea of adult orphans and those who have absentee-fathers or poor relationships. It’s a theme that crosses global borders just as the book itself is set in England, America and Nicaragua. The pace is steady and picks up so that it is hard to deny the next chapter. This is the second published novel by Geoff Le Pard and while it is different from his first, “Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle,” his voice comes through as a writer and someone I will continue to follow as a reader.
A selection of books by Geoff Le Pard
About Geoff Le Pard
I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..
Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.
Thanks for dropping in today and I am sure you have enjoyed Geoff’s excerpt and will head over to check out his other books too.. thanks Sally.