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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

A Moment in Time by Martin Dukes - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

A Moment in Time

by Martin Dukes


GENRE: YA Fantasy



Alex Trueman has just turned fifteen. He's a typical teenager, a bit spotty, a bit nerdy and he's not exactly popular at school, not being one of the 'cool' kids. His tendency to day-dream doesn't exactly help him to be cool. either! But being cool isn't as good as the talent Alex discovers he has - stopping time.

Yes that's right. Stopping time!

Well, for everyone except Alex, that is, who finds that whilst everyone else is caught in a moment in time, he is able to carry on as normal. Maybe not quite 'normal', after all, he's able to stop time, and whilst that's not exactly as good as a certain 'boy wizard', it's pretty close!

The only trouble is that reality for Alex isn't always what is seems, and being plunged into an alternative can be a bit tricky, not to mention the fact that he makes an enemy almost as soon as he arrives, which tends to cause a problem.

Will Alex Trueman, nerdy daydreamer, be able to return to reality or will he be stuck forever in his alternative? Is a moment in time enough for Alex to discover the superhero he needs is probably himself?

A Moment in Time is the debut novel of author Martin Dukes, and is the first in a series of Alex Trueman Chronicles, which take the reader, along with Alex, into a bedazzling world of time travel, alternative reality and flying sea creatures. His further adventures include the past, possibly the future and definitely a fight to save reality itself.



Seen up close, Cactus Jack was a rather scruffy middle-aged man wearing torn jeans and the famous T-shirt by which he was known. He had close cropped hair and about a week’s worth of greying stubble. Cactus Jack was nothing out of the ordinary to look at except in one respect. Morlock and Minion had eyes like sparrows. Cactus Jack had no eyes at all. Where there should have been eyes there were simply expanses of smooth skin. Morlock raised a hand in vague greeting as Cactus Jack strode past. There was no hesitation in his pace, and he showed no sign of having even noticed Alex’s existence. This was fine by Alex. He felt the iron grip on his heart relax as Jack splashed heedlessly through the river and followed David into the scrap yard. Alex had a feeling David would soon be coming back. The scrap yard was surrounded by a high, chain link fence on its further side, and the gate was locked. Sure enough, David tumbled out of bushes into the river a little way downstream. Moments later he was back with Alex, clutching his ribs, his legs torn by thorns and barbed wire. It was clear he was exhausted. Alex wondered how far David had already run with Cactus Jack in pursuit.

“Got… to... hide,” he gasped, his eyes darting about madly until they fastened upon Alex’s skip. This he clambered into, even as Jack reappeared between a stack of gas cylinders and a pile of broken wooden pallets. It was no use. David was doomed.



The cover of Alex Trueman in A Moment in Time

Reading is an intensely visual experience. On first impression, one might conclude that looking at a cartoon strip or a picture book is more of a visual experience than reading a standard printed book, but I believe that the opposite is true. When we read a comic book, for example, our eyes provide to our brain an exact representation of the writer’s/illustrator’s vision. We only need to absorb that vision. On the other hand, when we read a standard printed book, our visual cortex is stimulated to create a vision that is an interpretation of what the writer saw, rather than an exact reproduction. Vision is truly the queen amongst the senses.

Accordingly, as writers, we wish to provide our readers with some visual clues as to the content and style of our work, in order to tempt them to engage with our work in the first place. It is for this reason, that the design of a book cover is a very important exercise. The book cover offers clues as to the nature of the story within. Is it dynamic and exciting? Is it elegant and sophisticated? Does it call to mind particular cultures or periods of history? Making a successful cover design allows us to signal to our target market that this book is intended for them.

Doubtless, many writers, while interested in this process, will be obliged to outsource this activity to those with the necessary visual skills and experience. My own journey has been different, because my background is in Art and Graphic Design, subjects that I have taught for the best part of four decades. Consequently, I was well-equipped to take care of the design work myself, with the advantage that there was no intermediary to stand between me and the visual representation of my book. Naturally, the concept for the book cover and the publicity material arose from discussion with my publisher. She was keen to stress the fact that Alex Trueman’s books were part of a series recounting his adventures, and that the branding should stress his central significance in this. Because of this, my first task was to design a logo that would be at the core of what we might loosely describe as his ‘corporate identity. Alex’s logo combines the upper-case initials of his name encompassed in a circle. The strokes of the letterforms terminate in arrows which represent the directions of time experienced in the ‘real’ world and in Intersticia, the world Alex finds himself trapped in, which conceptually cross at right-angles. I hope that this is a bold and effective design solution that works well in any conceivable context and scale.

The book cover itself incorporates this logo but the front makes use of an interplay of typography, photography and background elements. The main photograph is of my son, Jack. In the photographic studio sessions, I banked a large number of static and movie images that I can use for future books and for their associated publicity. Jack has become ‘Alex Trueman’ in my mind now! The photograph used on the cover shows him running into the image. First, this suggests that the book contains a lot of action. Second, the viewer feels involved in the action and drawn into the world, a visual technique that is as old as the visual arts themselves. The background contains swirling visual elements of a vaguely psychedelic nature (suggesting other-worldly or fantasy content) and contain pocket watches with the hands set to 2:23, a moment of particular significance in the content of the book. Finally, the font used is a serif one. Serif fonts are often associated with tradition or the past. Given that time-travel is an essential element in Alex’s adventures it seemed appropriate to make this choice. The arrangement of text elements creates a style that can be tweaked and re-used when designing the covers for subsequent books.

In conclusion, you can see that every element in the book cover makes sense in the context of the story content and also in the wider context of the series as a whole. You’ll have to read the book before you can judge if it properly represents the story!



I’ve always been a writer. It’s not a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Lots of childish scribbles in notebooks, lots of rejection slips from publishers and agents testify to a craft long in the making. In addition, it has proved necessary to earn a living by other means whilst those vital skills mature. For thirty-eight years I taught Art and Graphic Design, thirty-seven of them in a wonderful independent girls’ school in Birmingham, UK. For much of the latter part of this career I was Head of Department, which gave me the opportunity to place my own stamp on Art education there, sharing with the pupils there my own love of Art and the History of Art. Over a decade I was able to lead annual visits to Florence, Venice and Rome (some of my favourite places on the planet) as destinations on my Renaissance Tour. These visits created memories that I shall cherish for the rest of my life.

I love history in general, reading history as much as I read fiction. I have a particular interest in the ancient world but I am also fascinated with medieval times and with European history in general. This interest informs my own writing to the extent that human relationships and motivations are a constant throughout the millennia, and there is scarcely a story that could be conceived of that has not already played itself out in some historical context. There is much to learn from observing and understanding such things, much that can be usefully applied to my own work.

Teaching tends to be a rather time-consuming activity. Since retiring, I have been able to devote much more of my time to writing, and being taken on by the brilliant Jane Murray of Provoco Publishing has meant that I am finally able to bring my work to the reading public’s attention. I like to think that my ideas are original and that they do not readily fall into existing tropes and categories.

I am not a particularly physical being. I was always terrible at sport and have rather poor physical coordination (as though my body were organised by a committee rather than a single guiding intelligence!). I tend to treat my body as a conveyance for my head, which is where I really dwell. My writing typically derives from dreams. There is a sweet spot between sleeping and waking which is where my ideas originate. I always develop my stories there. When I am writing it feels as though the content of my dreams becomes real through the agency of my fingers on the keyboard. I love the English language, the rich majesty of its vocabulary and its rhythmic possibilities. My arrival at this stage could hardly be describes as precocious. However, at the age of sixty-two, I feel that I have arrived at a place where I can create work of value that others may appreciate and enjoy.











Goodreads Author Page:


Provoco Publishing Author Page:




Amazon US Kindle eBook:


Amazon US Paperback:


Amazon CA Kindle eBook:


Amazon CA Paperback:




Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Martin ~ Good morning! Welcome to FAB! It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

  2. Hi Ally, thanks for your warm welcome. I'm looking forward to a great day here!
    Martin :)

  3. Hi Rita, thanks for your comment. I think it is a great story that many would enjoy. Thanks again for your support! Martin:)

  4. I love the cover, synopsis and excerpt, this is a must read for my teen-aged grandchildren and I. Thank you for sharing your guest post and book details and for offering a giveaway, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and am looking forward to reading your story

  5. Hi Bea, thank you so much for your comment! It’s lovely to get such positive feedback. All the best to yourself and your grandchildren- I do hope you all enjoy the book! Thanks again. Martin :)

  6. I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt, the book sounds exciting and the cover is great! I can't wait to read A Moment in Time! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a magical holiday season!

  7. Hi Stormy, thanks so much for your comment and thank you for your support. I do hope you enjoy the book and I wish you and and your family all the best for the holidays! Martin :)

  8. Thanks very much for hosting me today, Ally!

  9. A Moment in Time sounds like an exciting book. I love the cover. It suits the blurb and excerpt very well.