Book Tour + Giveaway: MALAK DESERT CHILD by PAUL O’GARRA! @RABTBookTours

 photo unnamed_zpsrqkiung7.png MALAK DESERT CHILD

The Boy Who Sailed to Spain Book 2
Date Published: January 19, 2019

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A five year old girl-child living in poverty defends her family against the aggressive advances of a drunken and scheming father.
Set in the Moroccan and Algerian Sahara. Malak escapes with her family, to the Saharan birthplace of her mother Tanirt, guided and protected by a mysterious giant.
The feisty child has an unexpected effect on powerful people and becomes a mystically motivated catalyst in events that will have earthshaking consequences for the mysterious desert


An excerpt from chapter The General
“There was once a land ruled over by tribes, in a loose yet efficient fashion, so that the many travellers who came to her shores marvelled at the wonder of it all. And even though invaders came and over the century’s left their mark, the real damage was never done until the Turkish invaders arrived, an arrogant empire seeking to grow and to trample whatever people lay in her path. Then, in their wake came the French, who actually made our country a part of their own, but refused to grant our people equality of status and used us as slaves, Eventually we rebelled, after having had our young men go to fight their battles in foreign lands, giving their lives, only to return and see their fellow countrymen slaughtered at Setif and all the surrounding towns and villages. And after the French, with our new freedom, we will be enslaved by our own, by the selected few, in a new form of colonisation being used by the Western powers to crush the poor hungry and helpless of the world under their jackboots. This last, the most insidious of all invasions must be stopped, all over the world, and I believe there are millions of souls out there who are and think as I do.
“Wow,” exclaimed the older woman, ”That’s quite a piece; but surely most intelligent human beings in today´s world think more or less along those lines, only that they realise there is little that can be done as the problem is humanity itself.”
“That precisely Madame is what I refuse to accept, the acceptance of people all over the world, their acquiescence, their participation in their own end, their own eventual destruction. We live at the start of the era of technology and we must create a free and just world to use this new power for good. With it, as a race we can survive the future and all it may hold, once we have a properly governed world.”
“Dreams, one day you will begin to awaken to the harsh reality of things and will become as others.”
“With due respect Madame you hardly know me. All I can say is that I will dedicate my life to being a true Algerian and follow in the footsteps of those men in our history who´s lives and examples I hold sacred.”
1994 Algeria.
A dark night lighted occasionally by brisk breezes drawing back the cloud curtain and a glimpse ,momentary of tall palms leaning at angles into the wind and the night, and the actual roundness of the orb and its watery faltering light cast in swathes over the sand green, dun colouring of the camouflaging of the hovering aircraft, the sand crazily flying in roundabout formation and the surrounding hive of hurried activity set in the oppressive blackness of the desert night. Not a twinkle nor a solitary gleam from theheavens of some rebellious and recalcitrant star wishing to be seen, not a glimmer as if all heavenly eyes were turned away. The orders, screamed out in clipped barrack room style, the actions, speak of a military force yet the figures milling about clambering with precision on to the craft that were settling on the sand were civilian in their makeup with glimpses of burnooses and chilabas and other trapped headware flying haphazardly in the slip made by the churning rotors; the lie, told by the assault weapons they carry, selective fire and semi´s, Zastava M70´s and Colt AR15 carbines
“All loaded and ready for take off Sir” he screamed countering the effect of the wind which suddenly died down so that his voice rang echoingly in the sudden hush..
The younger of the two men he had reported to, a very tall straight individual returned his salute and in an aside to his companion.”What the f… is this Louari, why all the secrecy and where are we going.”
“No idea Sir, we have been ordered to deploy and wait for details. Sir, here we are now.” A paper is pushed into his hand.
”We are to subdue a town due west , Zonthilma?” The aide lifted his eyebrows questioningly, “seems It´s not really a village, rather a training camp for terrorists.” He speaks clearly, enunciates, did time in France, they think in the old mother country, old habits, where do his loyaltys truly lie ? The portable is brought up to him on a fighter´s back in the form of a rucksack,” HQ sir, he answers ,listens , acknowledges .He clears his throat loudly as if delaying the moment, the other man is looking at him forehead creased demanding.
“Sorry sir that was his aide,”
“Spit it out man what ….?”
“ There are to be no survivors,” His words hang ominously, visions of things passed, old hatreds men gouging out eyes of other men lying wounded.
The choppers come down a distance from the target, out of earshot, the ramps are lowered and the fighters troop out , the platoons of armed men saturate the night, targeting the village silently and effectively. trained in colonial times, various battalions which once formed part of an elite regiment of colonial military history, tonight they are civilians.
Like a rush of dervishes, pouring out of the orange groves onto a sleeping village where a handful of local Islamic party members caught unawares try fatefully, dismally to detain the flood but are wiped out instantly and like them men throwing themselves uselessly out of the abodes where they lay sleeping, women screaming and rushing to find the child, the children an old lady tottering along on her spindly legs clubbed clinically the death blow no feeling, just orders , children screaming running and shot down indiscriminately, no survivors, none; They look up from the deathbed in which they lie hundreds of them, looks of terror amazement hysteria snapped as if in an instance in time. A group of officers just standing dazed” Cease fire, cease fire” , the colonel his hands to his head covering his eyes yet looking again to see the horror his people, his own battalions have wreaked. Nights full of pain and terrible dreams, of his father and his stories, yet he carries on, the state must be served, the will of the people the latest junta the dark forces from abroad the same ubiquitous shadows as ever. And in his head and even in his dreams the screaming the screams never cease.

About the Author

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Paul O´Garra was born in Gibraltar on the 8th May 1952. So many Gibraltarian people exiled by war to the Uk, and to further off, and more exotic places such as Madeira, French Morocco, Jamaica, and Northern Ireland, were returning on troopships, heavy with tears of nostalgia for a homeland which had been, and would never be again.
They, Paul and his three siblings were the children of schoolteachers and were reared with English discipline, learning romantic literature on the one hand, with a large local family of uncles, aunts, cousins and a doting grandmother, who was Spanish from Cadiz, on the other.
Childhood was spent roaming across the Up South, Rosia, and Europa point areas of Gibraltar engaging in childish games and adventures, reading extensively books such as Enid Blyton’ adventure series, ‘Famous Five,’ ‘Secret Seven,’ ‘Swallows and Amazons Forever,’ John Buchan and the ‘Gorbals Die-hards.’ Saturday mornings were a day for avoiding the displeased grimaces of monocled and overweight colonels, delving and searching through the shelves of the old Garrison library to discover new horizons, characters, and stories. The journey of discovery that had begun with Baba the Elephant eventually began to grow richer as the classics were devoured.
 In 1967, he looked on as fellow students of Jewish persuasion prepare to leave for Tel Aviv to defend Israel. Shortly after, the arrival of General Moshe Dayan at the gates of Cairo, signaled to the world that Israel´s direst moment had been overcome. Paul, at the earliest time possible, set off in a steamer from Tangiers, sailing to Southampton. After a spell in London, he left the UK to discover his roots in Malta. In 1974 he wept with the crowds in the Athenian Coliseum the night the Colonels fell, and Nana Mouskouri sang a song to freedom, Verdi´s Nabuco. Later it was a case of returning to Gib. Only to fly away again to discover new places. He alternated callings as a tour guide of Morocco and recoverer of broken down rented cars in the desert, tour guide of south Spain and eventually running a flamenco club on the Costa del Sol, in the days when the Costa was still a new and exciting place to visit.
Eventually, he set off again to discover new places in the Middle and the Far East and the Philippines, and when Perestroika and Glasnost finally arrived at the hands of Mihail Gorbacheff and the Soviet Union was open, set off to discover the East there. He studied Russian at St Petersburg and spent time travelling to the Republic of Udmurtia, Kazan, Siberia and up an uncharted river to meet Tribes that still lived in the area. Nizhny Novgorod and the South Volga. Then to the Ukraine travelling from city to city, falling more and more in love with the great Russian writers and painters as he went. Seventeen years ago at the age of fifty, Paul contracted renal cancer. He was operated on successfully at the Bullfighters Hospital in Pamplona in North Spain. The operation had been a success as the tumour had been totally encapsulated within the removed kidney. Metastasis was practically impossible the surgeons happily reported. Two years later the cancer metastasised to his lungs on which he was duly operated, and half of his lungs were removed. Later for reasons undefined he suffered strokes in both eyes and lost partial sight in one eye and total in the left which he duly recovered by swimming and praying. Seventeen years have gone by since the renal cancer was first discovered, and seven years since his last operation and everything is fine, remission seems to be total.
Paul’s still swims at least one or two kilometres per day all year round, travels, practises martial arts and fervently believes that the Lord leads him by the hand. After leaving the hospital he spent some time in Tangiers, hairless, gaunt and on crutches, but enjoying the warmth and affection of many new friends there. Then off to Prague to study filmmaking, made several shorts but finally decided that he would first write and then make movies when the time came.

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