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Author Q&A w/@markmorey5 + $10 GC #Giveaway | THE LAST GREAT RACE | @GoddessFish Presents #HistoricalFiction

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a virtual book tour for THE LAST GREAT RACE by Mark Morey, a historical fiction available now. Be sure...

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a virtual book tour for THE LAST GREAT RACE by Mark Morey, a historical fiction available now. Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning the giveaway featured below.

The tour dates can be found by clicking the banner.

The Last Great Race
by Mark Morey


GENRE: Historical Fiction



This story is based around the life of one of the most fascinating and enigmatic sportsmen of his era, Achille Varzi: multiple race winner, twice Racing Champion of Italy and a hero to his many followers. Told partly through the eyes of Varzi and partly by fictional Italian-Australian racing journalist Paul Bassi, we follow the many triumphs and tragedies of Varzi's life: his passionate love affair with Ilse, his tragic morphine addiction, his recovery from his addictions, his marriage to Norma and his re-signing to race for Alfa Romeo.

Only war intervenes, and Paul and his wife Pia leave Achille to spy for the British at the naval base in Naples. Paul and Pia endure hundreds of Allied air-raids, they join the partisans who fought off the German army until the Allies could rescue them, and then they survive in a near-ruined city as best they can.

By 1946 Italy is still shattered but life is returning to normal, and no more normal is Achille Varzi winning the Grand Prix of Italy that year. Over the next two seasons Achille Varzi scores more successes, until he makes his only ever driving mistake and is killed in Switzerland in 1948. Even though he died too young, Paul and Pia know that Achille Varzi would never have lived in his life in any other way.



Marshal Balbo sent a large, black Fiat for the victor, and Achille was surprised to share the big car with Hans Stuck. They were driven to the Governor’s residence which was more like a palace, and escorted to the banqueting hall. One large table was at the end of the hall, and Achille was to share the victor’s table with Hans Stuck; one at the left and one at the right and a space in the middle. The Air Marshal appeared from a side doorway and greeted both men, and then he stood between them and took a bottle of white wine from an ice cooler before pouring some. He raised his glass, and despite a room of hundreds it was hushed.

“I want to congratulate the true winner of the nineteen thirty six Gran Premio di Tripoli,” Balbo said before turning to his left. “Hans Stuck!”

Everyone stood and they all toasted Stuck and Achille couldn’t believe it. He won the race; he won it despite using only fourth gear, and Stuck was being feted for finishing second! Or first, because the team orders came from Balbo? Achille looked around the room and everyone who was anyone in motor sport was there; including the drivers: Caracciola, Chiron, Nuvolari, team mate Rosemeyer and everyone else. Team managers too, including Enzo Ferrari, Neubauer and that idiot Feuereissen. Watching him being made a fool! How could he share the victors table with Stuck feted as winner? How could he be humiliated in front of men he’d beaten over the years? Achille got up and left through the open door to the side.



Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

The Last Great Race is not genre fiction, so it will appeal to anyone who wants to read something that is quite unlike anything else available at the moment. It is historical fiction and I did little to embellish what really happened, because many parts of the story seem too strange to be true, only they are. The background to the story in European motor racing in the 1930s, but that is only a background and the real story is the people of the time, who often seem larger than life. The story is set in the 1930s, the Great Depression leading to World War Two and it's mostly set in fascist Italy, and this place and this time make The Last Great Race especially interesting.

I'm sure that all who read this story will remember it long after they come to the last page.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

The obituary for Achille Varzi included the words 'the last great race', and I thought that was appropriate for a man who had lived for speed and for success.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?

The cover art is a picture of Achille Varzi in an Auto Union racing car at Monaco in 1936, smoking a cigarette while he's about to go out on the circuit, probably for a practice session. Varzi was a heavy smoker and often raced cars while still smoking, so the picture was appropriate from that perspective. More appropriate was the timing of that picture. A few weeks after Monaco he suffered two great emotional blows which took him many years to recover from. When that picture was taken he would have been hoping for a successful season ahead, and he had no idea what fate had in store for him.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book:

There are two interesting facts which I incorporated into the story. The all-night phone call actually happened, which I find hard to believe but its true. Achille and Ilse had only been separated for a few days, and they spent all night on the telephone to make up for that. Later when Varzi had his career in free-fall, Benito Mussolini ordered that Ilse wasn't to be allowed into Italy, so she was stopped at the border. Achille went to her country of Germany instead! Mussolini getting involved in their relationship shows how important and successful Achille Varzi was.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

My website is, and there you will find details about this book, links to buy the eBook versions or the print on demand version, pictures of many of the characters in the novel which are quite interesting, and details of my previous novels which might be of interest.

What can we expect from you in the future?

My next story stays in Italy but in renaissance Venice where, in the year 1428, a young woman created a major scandal that rocked Venetian society to the core. That story is intertwined with sub-plots based upon oppression of gay men and oppression of women. I have completed a first draft of The Adulterous Bride but I still have a way to go.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Readers who enjoy this book, please post reviews on the sales sites you bought it from, and please post reviews on Goodreads. Also tell your friends, especially online friends.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Writing technical documentation and advertising material formed a large part of my career for many decades. Writing a novel didn’t cross my mind until relatively recently, where the combination of too many years writing dry, technical documents and a visit to the local library where I couldn’t find a book that interested me led me consider a new pastime. Write a book. That book may never be published, but I felt my follow-up cross-cultural crime with romance hybrid set in Russia had more potential. So much so that I wrote a sequel that took those characters on a journey to a very dark place.

Once those books were published by Club Lighthouse and garnered good reviews I wrote in a very different place and time. My two novels set in Victorian Britain were published by Wings ePress in July and August of 2014. These have been followed by a story set against the background of Australia's involvement on the Western Front, published in August 2015. Australia's contribution to the battles on the Western Front and to ultimate victory is a story not well known, but should be better known.

Staying within the realm of historical fiction, one of the most successful sportsmen of the 1930s, Achille Varzi, lived a dramatic and tumultuous life. It is a wonder his story hasn't been told before, beyond non fiction written in Italian. The Last Great Race follows the highs and lows of Varzi's motor racing career, and stays in fascist Italy during the dark days of World War Two.

Mark Morey



Mark Morey will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats on the tour; thanks for the excerpt, I enjoyed reading it :)

  2. I'm back and thanking you once again for the opportunity at winning your great giveaway

  3. I can't wait to read this book, it sounds amazing. I'll definitely be posting a review when I'm done :)

  4. What draws you to this genre?

    1. Truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction, and in some cases this truth is so strange that I can't be written about in a novel unless it really happened. The Last Great Race is a story like that. It is challenging to turn real events and real characters into a novel that flows, and I enjoy this challenge.

  5. Thank you for hosting this stop on my tour. I hope your visitors enjoy my book


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