Monday, August 1, 2022

Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ LAST STAR STANDING by Spaulding Taylor

Last Star Standing
by: Spaulding Taylor
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: February 18, 2021
Publisher: Unbound Digital

Aiden has always felt like an outsider. After the rebel assassin is captured and imprisoned by the world’s galactic overlords, he awaits execution. Then a mole working for the occupying regime alerts him to a plot that could destroy the entire resistance…

Engineering a daring escape, Aiden’s growing feud with the new rebel leader leaves him out in the cold and smouldering with resentment. Faced with deceit and betrayals on every side, he recruits a group of overlooked outcasts and stakes everything on one last mission.

Can the restless, reckless Aiden take a stand long enough to save humanity from enslavement?

10 things most people don't know about me...

  • I was born in South Korea, of US diplomatic parents, and grew up in Asia, until I was a teen.
  • I’ve lived in seven countries and visited 44. (This was not only because of the said diplomatic parents but also because orchestras in London do a helluva lot of “hit-and-run” tours. In other words, if it’s Tuesday it must be Helsinki.)
  • I had a REALLY tough time when I was 13, managing the transition from Myanmar’s International School (pupils in Sixth Grade: seven) and Longfellow Intermediate School, McLean, VA (pupils in Seventh Grade: 400)
  • My only degree is in cello performance. It was at a famous conservatoire: Jacobs School of Music, at IU. But I do wish now that I’d done a double major in English Lit and cello, instead.
  • I spent years buzzing around the world with London orchestras, instead of writing. This was because I came to London to study cello with Jacqueline du Pre for a single year, got married, and stayed for decades…
  • I had an IVF baby on our seventh attempt.
  • The film rights to my first novel – about to be re-issued in a new edition – were sold to UK’s Channel 4. (Turned out that While the Music Lasts was too expensive for a TV series.)
  • Filming orchestras really is expensive. Having said that, I had a walk-on role in the MGM film Electric Dreams, the first known film when a computer falls in love with a cellist.
  • No, I wasn’t the cellist!! That was Virginia Madsden, who was and still is waaaaaaaay prettier than me. But I DID get a couple of lines as “Ruth, another cellist”. This was probably because, to save money, it was filmed in London instead of L.A. and no one else sounded as American as I did…
  • When I played with the Royal Philharmonic for Jose Carreras, the entire orchestra was penned in, in order to save him from his crazed female fans… And were those fans ever crazed! Two of them even threw their underpants over the barrier! The insane fans weren’t the only memorable thing about that concert. Carreras himself arrived by helicopter but we in the Royal Philharmonic just drove to Castle Howard. Which meant, given the zillions drawn by Carreras’ fame, that I didn’t even get out of the car park until 2 a.m., arriving back at London just as dawn was breaking…

Nothing. Clean as a whistle. Until my massive hand grasped hold of something, something which must have blended into its background so perfectly that I hadn’t even spotted it. Something alive, nestling under the co-pilot’s seat. I couldn’t believe it. A live gromeline. Trembling, possibly with fury, and trying in vain to squeeze back. Grabbing my trophy – I could feel its hot little heart throbbing like an injury against my palm – I hopped out of the plane so fast that my wound protested.


Bully raised one eyebrow. Two would have been overkill.

‘Bully, you are not going to believe this. I found a gromeline!’ The gromeline – only about fifteen centimetres – bit my finger, hard, even though I could have easily crushed its entire body with my fist – and probably would have, had I been a tester, and not merely disguised as one.

Feisty little gromeline. I flicked it lightly with my sausage-sized finger. When it protested, I growled, ‘Cheese it, munchkin,’ though I could feel it struggling obstreperously against my palm.

Bully was intrigued. ‘Is it genuine?’ ‘Of course it’s genuine. It just bit me, didn’t it?’

Bully probably considered this no proof. But they’re rarer than clean air these days and his fascination was obvious. Now gromelines come from the farthest galaxy so far discovered, can speak any tongue and own enviable mental powers. They are also brave to the point of stupidity and ludicrously small. This one was mouse-coloured – they can be spectacular – with tiny red eyes. Few humans have ever seen one.

Purchase Last Star Standing from:

Alice (Spaulding Taylor) McVeigh has been published by Orion/Hachette in contemporary fiction, by Unbound Publishing in action/adventure and by Warleigh Hall Press in Austenesque fiction. Her novels have won Gold Medal/First Place is the Global, eLit and Pencraft Book Awards, been runner-up in the Independent Press Awards, finalists in the Eric Hoffer, Rone and Wishing Shelf Book Awards and selected by Shelf Unbound as one of the "top indies" of 2021. Two of her novels are currently finalists in the CIBA Book Awards (the Cygnus and Goethe Awards). Her most recent novel (Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation) was just selected as Editors’ Pick “outstanding” on Publishers Weekly.

A professional London cellist, Alice lives in London and Crete with her professor husband: their only child is completing her Masters in Chinese Literature. They also share two miniature long-haired dachshunds and an incurable addiction to tennis.

Places to find Spaulding Taylor:

You can follow the Last Star Standing Book Tour here.

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  1. Sounds like you've had an amazing and interesting life! I enjoyed reading about it and I enjoyed the excerpt, Last Star Standing sounds like a great book for me to read and I love the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a marvelous day!

  2. Thank you for sharing your guest post and book details, what an awesome thing to have traveled to so many places and to have performed at so many locales! I am sure that all of the wonderful experiences that you've had lends a depth and richness to your writing and I am looking forward to reading your stories

  3. I love the cover and think the book sounds interesting.

  4. Just want to say THANKS for choosing Last Star Standing!! As far as lovely comments go, very grateful to you all for taking the time to comment. So glad Stormy Vixen and Sherry liked the cover - a disabled artist in Poland did it - and Bea was v. kind about how my travels have impacted my writing. (Embarrassingly, one place I've NEVER been is, um, Australia, where I set Last Star Standing!!) Anyway, thanks so much, Alice S.T. McVeigh


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