A Lover of Books

Guest Post by Angelena Boden ~ @matadorbooks

I am delighted to welcome the lovely Angelena Boden back to my blog.  Her latest book, ‘Edna’s Death Cafe’ was published last September as an eBook by Matador and it has been getting quite a few good reviews.

Angelena has written a post about the fear of dying for my blog.  There is also the chance to win copies of the book.  First though, lets take a look at what ‘Edna’s Death Cafe’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

As in life, death is not without its agenda. This is something seventy-nine year old Edna Reid finds out when her partner, Ted, suddenly dies.

To cope with her loss, she sets up a Death Cafe to break down the taboo around death and to encourage other members of the community to discuss it openly. Over tea and cake, the participants hide their fears behind a veil of dark humour.

Religious fanaticism clashes with Victorian spiritualism as Edna’s meetings trigger lively conversations on the fragility of life, anxiety over dying, cost of funerals, and making sure long-lost greedy relatives don’t benefit from inheritances.

Soon, a series of events begin to unfold which threaten to undermine Edna’s livelihood and the Death Cafe meetings. These events just happen to coincide with the arrival of a mysterious stranger into the village.

Who is she and why is she so hostile to Edna?

~~~~~

‘Edna’s Death Cafe’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2Q046aN

 

Guest Post

THANATOPHOBIA – The Fear of Dying

Death isn’t something we like to talk about. If it pops up in conversation we suddenly find the floor covering very interesting. In researching for my new book, Edna’s Death Cafe I talked to many people about how they feel about death, particularly their own, and the response was the same – they didn’t want to think about it because it made them feel anxious. I can relate to that as I suffered for a long time with a similar affliction which verged on panic, usually in the early hours of the morning.

I would spring out of bed, grabbing my throat, unable to swallow or breathe. Breathing into a paper bag or my cupped hands helped to calm the nervous system enough to make a cup of tea and put things back into proportion.

Now in my sixties I’ve experienced many losses as you would expect.  When my father died a few years ago, I realised on a very conscious level that I would be next in line (according to the natural order of things). It’s a sobering thought.

I became obsessed with everything to do with the dying process, funerals, body disposal and the age old question of whether consciousness really continues. I read voraciously the stories of near death experiences, the works of doctors such as Pym Van Lommel and Raymond Moody. My mind was having great difficulty in accepting that death was the end – hence the anxiety. I no longer had control over my life at that point.

For two years it made living in the moment impossible.  Every waking thought was controlled by the ‘horror’ that one day I was going to be no more – such is the power of the ego. I thought I was going crazy but death anxiety is very, real and very common.

In trying to avoid my own premature death I took ridiculous precautions.  Germs were monsters and my hands became raw from scrubbing them clean. I feared leaving the house in case a bus happened to mount the pavement and squash me. Everything I did had to be risk assessed until I found myself sobbing in front of my doctor. Fortunately she was understanding and suggested something to calm me down as well as a grief counsellor who was trained in this field.

My condition was exacerbated by the fact I had post- traumatic stress syndrome which, despite therapy, was recurring especially when under stress. Death of a loved one is the number one stressor so my thought processes were understandable.

As well as these excellent therapies which help sort out the muddle between the rational and irrational I discovered my own path through the nightmare.

I trained as a funeral celebrant which put me in contact with the fundamentals of the dying process and of course with grieving relatives. I had to be the strong one and keep things together for the families. My work desensitised me to the fear of dying but strengthened my new belief that you can die well following a fulfilling life. Being at a burial site or in a crematorium for the final goodbye is a privilege but also provides a form of exposure therapy. It’s the fear of the unknown that gives the demons something to play with.

Writing about those things that make us anxious can be healing. My novel, inspired by the international death café movement provided succour and support. Through the main character Edna, an octogenarian who sets a good example of how to celebrate life we learn how we can talk about this last taboo. I think we need to name it properly: – death, dying and dead as opposed to the many euphemisms we use to lessen the impact of the reality.

We might not wear black or cover the clocks and mirrors as the Victorians did or have a religious belief – many funerals result in natural burials in woodlands – but we need to allow ourselves to mourn and not stiffen the upper lip or maintain a dry eye when someone kindly asks us how we are doing.

The only way to get through grief is through that painful, but necessary act of grieving, in our own time and at our own pace. We need to allow ourselves to feel the tidal wave of emotions knowing that we won’t drown. Grief doesn’t mean neglecting everything and everyone or shutting ourselves away in a darkened room. It means nurturing yourself with good food, fresh air, walks in nature and slowing down to appreciate that we’ve been lucky to be given this opportunity to experience life in all its glory.

The best things we can do for ourselves when faced with crippling anxiety over our eventual demise is to learn to relax. Yoga, gentle exercise, breathing exercises, meditation all help. When things get overwhelming, you can focus on counting backwards or reciting a bit of poetry – whatever will distract your mind from the mental pain.

So if you can relate to any of these feelings, don’t despair. You are normal and it will get easier.  ‘Sometimes a bit of humour can really help too. This is what Mark Twain had to say,   ‘I do not fear death: I had been dead for billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.’

 

Competition

Angelena is giving away 4 eBook copies of ‘Edna’s Death Cafe’.  2 lucky winners will receive their book via Amazon UK and 2 will receive an iBooks code.  To enter just leave a comment and let me know how you would prefer to receive your book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 31st March 2019.

Winners will be randomly chosen within 7 days of the closing date and their email addresses will be sent to Angelena Boden.

 

About Angelena Boden

Angelena Boden has spent thirty-five years as an international training consultant, specialising in behavioural management and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

She originates from the Peak District which is where her new book is set. Angelena has spent a life time travelling and living in places as far apart as Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Seville and Iran. Now semi-retired in Worcestershire, she writes every morning, walks the hills and paints landscapes, fitting family and reading in between.

Angelena is writing stories for her new grandson about a little dachshund called Digger who is a very special sort of detective!

She is the author of two traditionally published novels and many articles and blogs.

Her most recent novel, Edna’s Death Cafe is published as an e-book by Matador. A new Edna Investigates will be available for Christmas 2019.

Angelena is keen to meet readers, old and new, and is available for book talks, events, and always chatting over a cuppa (within 60 miles of Worcester).

 

Links

Website – http://angelenaboden.com/

 

Cover Reveal – ‘A Wanted Man’ and ‘Morte Point’ by Rob Parker ~ #LoveBooksGroupTours #BenBracken @LoveBooksGroup @robparkerauthor @EndeavourQuill

Have I got a treat for all of you today or what!  Rob Parker’s covers for his books, ‘A Wanted Man’, the first in the Ben Bracken series and ‘Morte Point’, the second book in the Ben Bracken series, both of which have been published in paperback and as eBooks by Endeavour Quill, have had a makeover and they look absolutely fabulous.

Together with a few other book bloggers I am helping to share them for Kelly Lacey of Love Books Group, the author and the publisher.

Right, are you ready to see them?

Was that a YES??

Are you sure???

Okay, I won’t keep you waiting any longer…….

 

Book Blurb

It’s down to fathers and fatherhood.

Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady.

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place.

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in London.

But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages. Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

~~~~~

‘A Wanted Man’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B072333TYM?pf_rd_p=71cb17e9-f468-4d3f-94d5-a0de44c50a7e&pf_rd_r=1T3VSCZ1Q6NCZSHXQXSH

 

Book Blurb

Morte Point is a wonderful spot for a holiday. Only that’s not why Ben Bracken is here.

He’s here because in this sleepy part of England, events are now unfolding that could cause death and mayhem, and not just for the unfortunates in the plane that has just crashed into the sea off the North Devon coast.

Sent to locate the source of the problem, ex-soldier and patriot Ben finds himself both hunter and hunted. But who is after him, and why do they want to capture him so desperately?

It’s only when, on the edge of physical and mental exhaustion, he meets a young Kosovan microbiologist, that he begins to understand the scale of the plot he has been drawn into, and the weight of responsibility that the authorities have placed on his shoulders. So it’s probably just as well they don’t know about his slightly shady past.

But then, as Ben is rapidly finding out, those in authority aren’t always what they seem, either.

Morte Point is an original, non-stop action tale with twists and turns that will keep you enthralled from start to finish, and a memorable lead character who is far from the typical action hero. Fans of Lee Child and Andy McNab will be hooked!

~~~~~

‘Morte Point’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Morte-Point-explosive-thriller-Bracken-ebook/dp/B07F8ZNR2G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

Coming Soon….

 

About Rob Parker

Robert Parker is a married father of three, who lives in a village near Manchester, UK. The author of the Ben Bracken books A Wanted Man and Morte Point, and the standalone post-Brexit country-noir Crook’s Hollow, he enjoys a rural life on an old pig farm (now minus pigs), writing horrible things between school runs.

He writes full time, as well as organising and attending various author events across the UK – while boxing regularly for charity. Passionate about inspiring a love of the written word in young people, he spends a lot of time in schools across the North West, encouraging literacy, story-telling, creative-writing and how good old fashioned hard work tends to help good things happen.

 

Links

Author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/robparkerauthor

Publisher

Twitter – https://twitter.com/EndeavourQuill

Book Launch – ‘Crossing the Line’ by Laura Wilkinson ~ @ScorpioScribble @AccentPress

Big congratulations to Laura Wilkinson whose book, ‘Crossing the Line’ (previously called ‘Public Battles, Private Wars’) is out today in paperback, published by Accent Press.  I just love that cover.

I read ‘Public Battles, Private Wars’ a few years ago and am posting my review again.  First though lets look at what ‘Crossing the Line’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

Miner’s wife Mandy Walker lives a quiet life. She’s hopeless at everything apart from looking after her boys and baking. Life is fine.

But she knows it could be better.

Her husband’s a drinker and best friend Ruth is busy with a teaching career. Mandy dreams of a different life – an impossible, unachievable life. Only Ruth’s husband Dan believes in her and, after serving during the Falklands war, he’s damaged.

But when the men come out on strike, Mandy joins a support group. She finds friends and strength in surprising places. And secrets and enemies where she least expected them.

Mandy must decide which side of the line to stand on and determine her fate.

 

My Review

‘Crossing the Line’ is set in Yorkshire, Fenley Down in the 1980’s, and tells the story of the miners’ strike.

Mandy is 23 years old, married to Rob who works in the mines, and has children.  Mandy feels as if she is stuck in a rut and wants to do more.  However, a life as a housewife and bringing up the children seems inevitable.  Mandy’s childhood friend, Ruth, who left Fenley years ago, returns with her Falkland’s war hero husband, Dan.  But something just doesn’t add up and Ruth isn’t the person she appears to be.

Conflict with the Coal Board turns to war and the men go out on strike.  The community and its whole way of life is badly threatened and Mandy finds herself joining the Fenley Action Group (FAG) which gives her a whole lot of confidence.  As the strike goes on relationships are tested and Mandy discovers just who her true friends are.

This book is just so different from Laura Wilkinson’s debut novel.  I really enjoyed it and I liked her writing style.  I could actually hear the Yorkshire accent.  Whilst this story was about the miners’ strike it also took a good look at the people affected by it and their families, bringing with it a couple of interesting plots.

Mandy was one of my favourite characters.  She was of strong character no matter what life threw at her and a woman to be admired.  The cakes she baked and the descriptions throughout the book are enough to make anyone’s mouth water.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

~~~~~

‘Crossing the Line’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crossing-Line-Laura-Wilkinson/dp/1786157381/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1552505894&sr=1-5&keywords=laura+wilkinson

 

About Laura Wilkinson

Laura Wilkinson is a feminist and lover of ginger hair. A resident of an unfashionable quarter of Brighton, she likes to write stories which entertain and provide food for thought. Her novels are Crossing the Line, The Family Line, Redemption Song and Skin Deep. Her work has been described variously as ‘compelling’, ‘poignant’, and ‘emotional’. Alongside writing, she works as an editor and mentor, and speaks at events nationwide. She has a passion for fashion and anything which glitters. In another life, she’d make a good magpie.

 

Links

Website – http://laura-wilkinson.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ScorpioScribble

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laurawilkinsonwriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7170702.Laura_Wilkinson

Book Review – ‘A Letter From Sarah’ by Dan Proops ~ @urbanebooks @Dan_Proops

‘A Letter From Sarah’ is being published in paperback and as an eBook on the 7th March 2019 by Urbane Publications.  I would like to thank the publisher for my review copy of this book.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about ‘A Letter From Sarah’.  First though, here is the blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Adam’s sister, Sarah, has been missing for seven years, but he hasn’t given up hope of finding her. He is a sculptor and lives with his bedridden father who is a bully and a curmudgeon.

One morning, as the anniversary of Sarah’s disappearance nears, Adam receives a letter from her and she is apparently alive and well, living in New York. Adam travels to Brooklyn to search for Sarah as he’s desperate to see her, but she seems determined to avoid him.

Sarah’s letters arrive weekly, but she continues to remain elusive. Adam is perplexed by Sarah’s requests for secrecy, as is his father and his girlfriend, Cassandra.

He is determined to find her, whatever the cost to his wellbeing, health and sanity….

 

My Review

I really liked the sound of this book and was looking forward to reading it. The author has written a beautiful and poignant story. I found it to be very thought provoking and different to other books I have read.

When Adam received a letter from Sarah out of the blue I really wanted to believe that it was from her. It seemed too good to be true though. After all he hadn’t heard from her at all in the past seven years. But then as the letters started arriving regularly I had no doubt that they were from her, especially with the things she was mentioning in them. Like Adam, I found myself eagerly awaiting the next letter from Sarah and I hoped that one day she would say she wanted to meet up with him.

There were some interesting characters in this story. I liked how the author portrayed them along with their flaws. I really wasn’t very keen on Adam’s friend at all and felt he took advantage of things. Yes, he had problems but the way he behaved wasn’t great.

As I was reading this book I had a number of questions going through my mind. Something just didn’t add up and I was right. I have to say I never expected the story to unfold as it did though and was quite shocked.

‘A Letter From Sarah’ deals with many issues including loss, family and mental health. It will not let go of you even when you put the book down and you will find yourself thinking about it often and wondering what is going to happen next. This is not a story that you will be likely to forget either.

I look forward to more from this author.

~~~~~

‘A Letter From Sarah’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letter-Sarah-Dan-Proops/dp/1912666219/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1551723199&sr=8-1&keywords=a+letter+from+sarah

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Letter-Sarah-Dan-Proops/dp/1912666219/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=a+letter+from+sarah&qid=1551723262&s=gateway&sr=8-3

 

About Dan Proops


Dan Proops has been a full time writer for six years and has completed four novels and a memoir. Previous to this he was a professional artist, organising a one man show at the age of fourteen. He has had many exhibitions over a long career and his artwork was purchased by internationally acclaimed art dealer, Eric Franck. His artwork appeared frequently in the national press and his painting was featured in Image of the Week in the Times. One of his exhibitions was previewed in the Telegraph by columnist Colin Gleadell.

Dan is a Twitter influencer and has a following of 22,000; last year 1.2 million people read his tweets, and he currently attends the advanced writing class at Morley College, run by the renowned radio four dramatist Mike Walker. Dan Proops is also the grandson of legendary advice columnist, Marjorie Proops. He lives and works in London.

 

Links

Website – http://dan-proops.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Dan_Proops

Book Launch – Guest Post by Julie Shackman ~ @G13Julie @foreververlag

Big congratulations to Julie Shackman whose book, ‘A Room at the Manor’ is published today as an eBook in Germany.  Julie has written a guest post all about it, but first you’ll be wanting to see the cover in all its glory.

 

Gorgeous isn’t it!  Over to Julie now….

 

Guest Post

Forever Grateful to Forever

Being told by my agent that my first traditionally published novel, A Room at the Manor, had been bought by a prolific publisher in Germany, was a very special moment.

The romance imprint of Ullstein, Forever, have a genuine passion for the genre and so when they said they loved my story and declared that they wished to release it in both kindle and paperback, I was delighted.

I can’t quite believe that on 4 March, the kindle is out, with the paperback following on 2 May.

From the beginning, the lovely Forever team, headed up by my wonderful editor Caroline Funke, have enthused about A Room at the Manor, titled in Germany as Das Kleine Café Im Gutshaus.

When I took a browse through their website, I was struck by how beautiful and original their covers are, as well as the talented family of authors that are published by them.

They produced a gorgeous cover for my German edition; drew up a comprehensive marketing plan and messaged me frequently, expressing their excitement and enthusiasm for Lara and Vaughan’s story.

(I should admit at this point, that my knowledge of German is extremely limited and is something I think I should rectify!)

There is a real team effort to what they do and seeing “my baby” in their creative hands, is a wonderful experience.

Knowing that A Room at the Manor is being introduced to another audience in another country, is a very humbling experience and one which I am very excited about.

I hope that German readers enjoy reading about Lara and Vaughan every bit as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

Thank you to everybody at Forever for allowing me to bring my story to German readers!

Julie XX

~~~~~

Here is the purchase link for readers in Germany:-

https://www.amazon.de/Das-kleine-Café-im-Gutshaus-ebook/dp/B07J2NH287/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1549367682&sr=8-1

 

About Julie Shackman

Julie trained as a journalist and studied Communication & Media.

Her first two novels, Rock My World & and Hero or Zero were published digitally by Not So Noble Books. A Room at the Manor is her first traditionally published novel.

When not writing women’s commercial fiction, she also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies.

She is an avid reader and is currently trying to reduce her To Be Read pile.

Julie has a passion for handbags and pretty stationery and is married with two teenage sons.

 

Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/G13Julie

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/julie.shackman

Blog – http://julieshackman.wordpress.com/

 

Blog Tour – ‘An Abiding Fire’ by M. J. Logue ~ @SapereBooks @Hollie_Babbitt

I am absolutely thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘An Abiding Fire’ by M. J. Logue, the first Thomazine and Major Russell Thrillers book, published in paperback and as an eBook by Sapere Books.  I would like to thank Caoimhe O’Brien for inviting me to take part.

I have an extract for you to read, but first here’s what the book is about.

 

 

Book Blurb

How do you solve a murder when you are one of the suspects?

1664, London

Life should be good for Major Thankful Russell and his new bride, Thomazine. Russell, middle-aged and battle-scarred, isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect husband for an eligible young woman but the moment Thomazine set eyes on her childhood hero, she knew they were destined for one another.

But Russell, a former Roundhead, now working for the King’s intelligence service, was never going to have a simple life in Restoration London.

Unable to shake suspicions of his Parliamentarian past, someone seems hell-bent on ruining his reputation — and his life.

Whispers about his sister’s violent murder follow him and accusations of treason abound.

When more deaths occur Russell finds himself under suspicion.

He is ready to escape from the capital, but Thomazine is determined to find the truth and clear the name of the man she loves.

But who is the real killer and why are they so keen to frame Russell? More importantly, will they succeed?

And has Thomazine’s quest put them all in mortal danger?

 

Extract

Prologue

Four Ashes, Buckinghamshire, England

November 1663

She looked up as he entered the room, her eyes narrowing to see him in the gloom of a few meagre tapers. A paltry display for such a family, and on such a bitter midwinter night. It gave him enough light to see her clearly, though, and he was astonished at the change in her: but then it had been ten years and they had not been kind years for Fly-Fornication Coventry.

She had always been for the King, during the late wars, and it must have gone hard with her to have had a brother who was not only a most notorious rebel and subversive, but who had narrowly escaped being executed for his political beliefs with a pack of fellow Dissenters and horse-thieves calling themselves the Levellers. And he had not had the grace to slide into obscurity after his grudging pardon, but instead had gone on to serve quite conspicuously in the Army of General Monck after the King was restored.

It must have been bitter as wormwood for her to know that he was still out there in the world, that those sins of which she had spoken, at such length, with such contempt, had gone unpunished and that he was still unrepentant.

Bitterness had withered her. Her hair was hidden by the same stiff starched cap, untouched by fashion or flattery, but her eyebrows were as dark and uncompromising as ever. She was not an unattractive woman for a widow in her late fifties. She was as tall and slender as her brother and her shoulders were straight. He found himself quite admiring her, actually. Not as a woman, but as a fierce thing of beauty, like a falcon or a well-made sword.

“Well,” she said. And that was all.

He bowed with as much ostentation as he could because he had been on the peripheries of court these four years and more and he had learned the weapons of vicious courtesy. “I am glad to see you well, Mistress Coventry. After so long absent.”

“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly. Should I say I am as glad to see you? Well, I won’t.” She smiled, which was unexpected. “I do not lie, sir. I am not in the least glad to see you. Prinked out in your degenerate finery — ‘For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness.’ Do you seek to impress me, you nasty, womanish thing?”

“Good lord, no,” he said mildly, and she lowered her head and glowered at him.

“Less of your blasphemy. This is a godly house. What do you want?”

She had not invited him to sit or offered him hospitality and he was glad of that. She still made him nervous, for all he had not set eyes on her in ten years, though she had no power over him because for all her malice she was no more than a woman, and a thin, bloodless, bitter one at that.

“I wanted to assure myself of your continued good health,” he said and dropped his eyes to hide that particular lie.

“Did you. Well. I wonder why, since you never did before when you were drinking and whoring all over the county, keeping your low company?”

“They say hereabouts that you are grown … odd, mistress. That you grow overly zealous, even more than you were previous, and that none of your servants will stay longer than a few weeks with you, for your harshness. That you can be cruel and whimsical in your ways.” He took a deep breath and went on, “That you are often alone in this house at night, for such staff as can bear your intolerance will not stay under the same roof. Is that true?”

Her dark eyes, ringed about with tender blue shadows, lifted to his face. “True? What concern is it of yours?”

He was still on his feet. It was easy to go and stand over her and set his hands on her shoulders. Such slight, narrow shoulders, for all their straightness. Her bodice, close to, was shabby: a little shrunken at the seams, unevenly faded, as if it had been remade from another garment and covered by an old-fashioned linen collar that had a darn at the fold. A fine darn, but a darn, nonetheless. “There is not the money here to pay a servant’s hire, is there, mistress?” he said gently. “You have lost all, since the wars. Have you not?”

She almost rose from her seat, an unlovely blush mottling her cheeks and her neck. “How dare you, sir —”

And he put his hands about her slight throat and snapped her neck, as simply as that. Like snapping a coney’s when it was snared, and with as little emotion.

She was not expecting it and she did not struggle, after that initial convulsion; she only hung between his two hands with her dark eyes blank and staring at him and her mouth slightly ajar.

He was not as frightened as he thought he would be. She was dead and it had been easy. He did not feel anything, apart from a slight repulsion as a sliver of saliva drooled from her lolling mouth.

Such little bones. So frail. Not like her brother, not at all like her brother, in the end. For Thankful Russell was still alive and Fly was distinctly dead.

~~~~~

‘An Abiding Fire’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

http://getbook.at/AnAbidingFire

 

About M. J. Logue

M. J. Logue (as in cataLOGUE and epiLOGUE and not, ever, loge, which is apparently a kind of private box in a theatre) wrote her first short novel on a manual typewriter aged seven. It wasn’t very good, being about talking horses, but she made her parents sit through endless readings of it anyway.

Thirty-something years later she is still writing, although horses only come into it occasionally these days. Born and brought up in Lancashire, she moved to Cornwall at the turn of the century (and has always wanted to write that) and now lives in a granite cottage with her husband, and son, five cats, and various itinerant wildlife.

After periods of employment as a tarot reader, complaints call handler, executive PA, copywriter and civil servant, she decided to start writing historical fiction about the period of British history that fascinates her – the 17th century.

Her first series, covering the less than stellar career of a disreputable troop of Parliamentarian cavalry during the civil wars, was acclaimed by reviewers as “historical fiction written with elegance, wit and black humour” – but so many readers wanted to know whether fierce young lieutenant Thankful Russell ever did get his Happy Ever After, that the upcoming series of romantic thrillers for Sapere Books began.

Get in touch with MJ

She can be found on Twitter @Hollie_Babbitt, lurking on the web at asweetdisorder.com, and posting photos of cake, cats and extreme embroidery on Instagram as asweetdisorder.

Blog Tour – ‘Sea Babies’ by Tracey Scott-Townsend ~ #LoveBooksGroupTours @LoveBooksGroup @authortrace @Wildpressed

It is a real pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour.  ‘Sea Babies’ was published as an eBook on the 21st February 2019 by Wild Pressed Books and will be available in paperback from the 1st May 2019.  I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Group for inviting me to participate in this tour.

I have an extract from ‘Sea Babies’ for all of you.  First though, here’s what the book is about.

 


Book Blurb

Lauren Wilson is travelling by ferry to the Outer Hebrides, about to begin a new job as a social worker. When somebody sits opposite her at the cafeteria table, she refuses to look up, annoyed at having her privacy disturbed. But a hand is pushing a mug of tea towards her, and a livid scar on the back of the hand releases a flood of memories.                                                   

Some people believe in the existence of a parallel universe. Does Lauren have a retrospective choice about the outcome of a terrible recent accident, or is it the bearer of that much older scar who has the power to decide what happens to her now? 

 

Extract

I picture a slightly older Sheena with a toddler in her arms, the little girl’s skin the colour of toffee just like in the photos of Sheena before she messed up her face with piercings, and her neck with a foster-brother’s attempt at a home-made tattoo.

The ends of my fingers go numb from pressing so hard into Sheena’s handiwork.

I’ll lose myself in my book. I wish I could revisit my young self and give her some helpful advice like Henry in The Time Traveller’s Wife. He also visits his future wife when she’s only six years old, and gently eases her into the difficulties to come. If I could go back in time there are several things I’d put right. One would be rectifying the biggest regret of my life. Another would be to stick with Sheena – see her through her troubled adolescence. If I could only pay her a visit when she was six, take her away before things got too bad. In the end I gave Sheena five years, which is more than I gave the other special girl in my life.

The ferry lurches. My fingers tighten on the Kindle and I concentrate on breathing steadily in, out. It feels cold in my head. But I read doggedly on and before long I’ve re-immersed myself in the story of Henry and Claire. I’m at the part where Claire sees Henry in the present for the first time when she’s visiting the—

What the…?

Some bawheid is sliding into the seat opposite me. Plonking a couple of mugs of tea down, both of which overspill slightly when a galumphing foot nudges one of the metal poles that hold up the table. For God’s sake, it’s not as if there are no empty tables around. I deliberately came in late for this reason. I just wannae be alone. So I keep my head down to avoid acknowledging whoever’s squeezed himself (I catch a glimpse of a hairy hand) into the bench opposite me and is now, I notice from the corner of my eye, pushing one of the mugs towards me.

The cheek o’ it!

Despite my struggles to avoid looking, something about the hand nudges my consciousness.

The thing that’s familiar. A scar, running across the back of it from the bottom knuckle of the forefinger to just below the wrist bones.

It’s Neil’s scar, the one I gave him with the vegetable knife shortly before we split up.

~~~~~

‘Sea Babies’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2S4gydb

 

About Tracey Scott-Townsend

Tracey is the author of The Last Time We Saw Marion, Of His Bones, The Eliza Doll and Another Rebecca. Her fifth novel, Sea Babies will be released on 1st May 2019 in paperback. Her poetry collection, So Fast was published in January 2018.

Tracey is also a visual artist. All her work is inspired by the emotions of her own experiences and perceptions.

Tracey is the mother of four grown-up children and now spends a lot of time travelling in a small camper van with husband Phil and their rescue dogs, Pixie and Luna, gathering her thoughts and writing them down.

 

Links

Author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/authortrace

Publisher

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Wildpressed

 

Blog Tour – ‘Death Will Find Me’ by Vanessa Robertson ~ #LoveBooksGroupTours @LoveBooksGroup @Ness_Robertson

Back in January I took part in the cover reveal for ‘Death Will Find Me’, which I absolutely loved the sound of.  It was published as an eBook on the 20th February 2019 by Wild Justice Press and is also available in paperback.  Today I am taking part in the blog tour.  I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Group Tours for inviting me to participate and both the author and Kelly for my review copy of the book.

I will tell you all in a minute exactly what I thought of this book.  First though, here is a reminder of what its about.


Book Blurb

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

This book will be perfect for anyone who’s enjoyed the work of Catriona McPherson, Sara Sheridan and Jessica Fellowes.

 

My Review

When I first read the blurb of this book I just knew I was going to like it. One thing that really appealed to me was its setting, i.e. Scotland. I actually fell in love with Edinburgh the very first time I went there on holiday. It is a place I would like to visit again and again. It is just so beautiful with lots of history.

The opening, i.e. the prologue was absolutely fantastic and I thought it was a great start to the story. It was literally a wow moment and I couldn’t wait to read more. I totally loved the author’s style of writing. Her descriptions were simply wonderful; from what Tessa wore to the property she lived in.

I thought Tessa to be an extremely astute and courageous woman. Life knocked her down but she didn’t give up at all. She just dusted herself off and got up again. She fought for what she thought was right just like during the war. Her husband might have had several affairs with other women but it still didn’t mean that he deserved to die. Divorce would have been enough. Naturally Tessa wanted to see justice done and also to prove that she didn’t murder him.

As the body count rose, I found myself fearing for Tessa as it seemed she could also be in real danger. The finger could no longer be pointed at her though and I think Inspector Rasmussen was just glad of her assistance. Together with the help of her friend they tried to work out what the motive for murder really was and along the way made some rather startling discoveries.

‘Death Will Find Me’ is a gripping read that you really won’t want to put down for too long.

I am truly delighted that there is another Tessa Kilpatrick Mystery to come. I can’t wait to see what happens with Tessa next. If you like mysteries and historical fiction then I really recommend reading this book.

~~~~~

Like the sound of this book?  It is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2T79REr

 

About Vanessa Robertson

I grew up in the Midlands where my main interests were horses and drama. Being a writer was a dream from childhood but I gave up on the idea of writing when I was a teenager, not long after I abandoned other childhood ambitions of being a trapeze artiste or a spy. After acquiring a couple of degrees and trying various ‘proper jobs’, I realised that I am fundamentally unsuited to office politics, bad coffee, and wearing tights.

My husband and I founded The Edinburgh Bookshop, winner of many awards. Bookselling is a wonderful profession and a good bookshop is a source of pure joy to me. I love independent bookshops and the amazing job they do in championing reading, supporting authors, and building communities. But, after a few years, it was time for a change and we sold the bookshop to make way for other projects.

I took the opportunity to start writing again and was a winner at Bloody Scotland’s Pitch Perfect event for unpublished authors in 2015. It was a fantastic opportunity and getting such positive feedback about my ideas gave me the push I needed to take my writing seriously.

I live in Edinburgh with my husband, our teenage son and an unfeasibly large Leonberger dog. I can usually be found walking on windy Scottish beaches, browsing in bookshops, or tapping away on my laptop in one of the scores of cafes near my home.

 

Links

Book Funnel – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nkzqkoy5in?fbclid=IwAR3qIZZZqnHDKMWd3u50Jvp2rDFdcRKof80PnmIMMeBK5QaqvkIVfkk9Xow

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Ness_Robertson

Blog Blitz – ‘Hunter’s Chase’ by Val Penny ~ #LoveBooksGroupTours @LoveBooksGroup @crookedcatbooks @valeriepenny

I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog blitz.  ‘Hunter’s Chase’ is the first book in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, published as an eBook by Crooked Cat Books and also available in paperback.

I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Group for inviting me to participate in this blog blitz.  Val Penny has written a guest post for my blog which you can read in a minute.  First though, here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

DI Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city and he needs to find the source but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.

Available to buy from Amazon UK – myBook.to/HuntersChase

 

Guest Post

Reasons to Write a Crime Novel

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today.

I write crime novels, largely because that is the genre I like to read. I enjoy puzzles, mysteries, crosswords and crime novels. I like to try to work out ‘who done it’ before the author tells me: and I am not alone!

Lots of people like crime, at least in novels! Often, I meet dentists and bank managers with clever plot ideas, or nurses who read every crime novel they can lay their hands on. If I visit a writing group, there are always members keenly producing new murderous plots. Lawyers and convicts show equal enthusiasm for this genre. For those who want to write a crime novel, there are several reasons to want to do so. Here are a few of them.

Emotional Release

Often, those who write crime novels find an emotional release in their craft. Crime novelists deal with the dark things that people usually push to the side of their minds in order to get on with every day life. The cathartic attraction of writing can be decisive.

Some crime authors tell of poor sleep patterns, punctured by night-mares that are repaired when they start to write. Others, panic, constantly scanning doorways for signs of danger. The stiffening fear that afflicts them resolves when they are busy writing crime.

The Story-Telling Urge

The sources for crime novels are many and varied. Ideas can spring from the news and current affairs; memories from the past and historical events or things that puzzle or fascinate the writer. Once an author begins to exercise their creative muscles, they often find that they run into stories demanding to be told. The stories demand to be told and will not stop coming.

For Companionship

It is often said that writers can be difficult people: gloomy, competitive and quarrelsome. However, for the most part, I have found crime writers to be an inclusive and convivial bunch. They are certainly hard-working. The pressure of producing a book a year is intense, yet they never seem to turn their backs on fun. If you have a chance to go to a crime-writers’ convention, do take it. They are exhausting, exhilarating and irresistible.

An Outlet for Aggression

Most crime-writers will tell you that they are good company because they channel all their belligerent thoughts into their stories, so in real life, the authors are meek and mild. It is not always true, but I can confirm a crime novel is an excellent place to park your rage! The prospect of giving vent to righteous anger in a safe form can be a particularly pleasing device. When characters require to act in a violent way or commit violence the reader is willing to witness this on the page but they would shy from it in real life. Crime writers can let rip on the page in a way they avoid doing in the real world.

The Thrill of Research

I can personally confirm that the research you do for crime novels and for academic purposes are equally satisfying. It is also extremely diverse. It may involve visiting prisons, refuges, police stations or drug dens. Police are often very willing to be of assistance to crime writers, even if it is just to avoid being irritated when otherwise the writers would get police procedures wrong. This information is most useful and helpful. Indeed, when you are writing a novel, no information or experience is wasted!

 

About Val Penny

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ and Hunter’s Revenge are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The third book in the series, Hunter’s Force, follows shortly.

 

Links

Website – www.authorvalpenny.com

Facebook:-

http://www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

Twitter – https://twitter.com/valeriepenny

 

Purchase Links

My books, The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, are all available to purchase from Amazon.

Hunter’s Chase – http://myBook.to/HuntersChase

Hunter’s Revenge – myBook.to/HuntersRevenge

Hunter’s Force – mybook.to/huntersforce

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Death Will Find Me’ by Vanessa Robertson ~ #LoveBooksGroupTours @Ness_Robertson

I am delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal organised by Love Books Group Tours for ‘Death Will Find Me’ by Vanessa Robertson.  This is the first book in the Tessa Kilpatrick Mystery series and it is being published on the 20th February 2019 as an eBook by Wild Justice Press.  I personally cannot wait to read this book.

Right, its time to see the cover.  I hope you like it………

 

Book Blurb

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

This book will be perfect for anyone who’s enjoyed the work of Catriona McPherson, Sara Sheridan and Jessica Fellowes.

 

Links

Book Funnel – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nkzqkoy5in?fbclid=IwAR3qIZZZqnHDKMWd3u50Jvp2rDFdcRKof80PnmIMMeBK5QaqvkIVfkk9Xow

You can pre-order this book from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2T79REr

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Ness_Robertson

 

Blog Tour – ‘Shadows of Regret’ by Ross Greenwood ~ @CarolineBookBit @greenwoodross

‘Shadows of Regret’ is Ross Greenwood’s new book.  It was published as an eBook on the 20th January 2019 and is also available in paperback.

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank Caroline Vincent of Bits about Books for inviting me to participate.  Thanks also to Ross Greenwood and Caroline for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute what I thought of this book.  First though here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

If your life was ruined, would you seek redemption or take revenge?

 

From the #1 bestselling author of Fifty Years of Fear, SHADOWS OF REGRET is the unforgettable story of a woman’s struggle to rejoin society.

Katie committed a terrible crime. Sixteen years was the price she had to pay.

Once released from prison, she finds the world has changed. Her chances appear bleak, but Katie is a survivor.

Isolated and alone, she struggles to make sense of her new life. Starting again isn’t easy, especially after what she’s done.

Despite not feeling free or safe, Katie overcomes her fears and confronts the future. But history won’t remain forgotten.

Gradually, memories of the past are revealed. When Katie finally exposes the awful truth and sees there are others who share the blame, she must choose her path.

Will she seek redemption, or will she take revenge?

 

“If you enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant’s journey but prefer your stories darker, this is perfect for you.”

There are writers, good writers and ones that have the power of words to captivate you in an instant. Ross Greenwood has this in spades.”

 

My Review

This is the third book I have read by Ross Greenwood. I really do like his style of writing and I found ‘Shadows of Regret’ to be extremely thought provoking. The chapters were mostly very short which was great because it meant I could sneak in a couple here and there.

The story starts with Katie who is being released from prison after sixteen years, having committed a terrible crime. I was intrigued as to what exactly she had done to have been given such a long sentence. Through her memories I learnt about her childhood and what led to her being imprisoned. I felt so very sad for her. At one point it seemed that her life was changing for the better. She at last had the same opportunities that other children had; a loving family, days out, and then just like that her happiness was snatched away from her. Tragic really.

Out of all the characters I liked Sally and Katie the best. I was really routing for Katie and wanted her to be able to start afresh and make some sort of life for herself. Easier said than done though as she was about to find out. Sadly she can’t forget the past and as memories of what happened to her surface, she realises that others were also at fault. She has to decide what to do and it’s not an easy decision to make.

Although what Katie and other women like her did was unacceptable in the eyes of the law, they were actually just as much victims as they were criminals. What some of them went through was horrific. You can surely only take so much before you snap.

‘Shadows of Regret’ will keep you reading on. It’s dark, gripping and a real eye opener. Ross Greenwood certainly knows how to tell a good story. I hope that there will be many more books from him.

 

About Ross Greenwood

Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. The year 2018 saw the publication of his next psychological thriller, Abel’s Revenge. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Please feel free to get in touch on www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com

 

Author Links

Author Website: www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RossGreenwoodAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenwoodross

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/RossGreenwood

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/ross-greenwood

GoodReads: bit.ly/RossGreenwood-GR

 

Books by Ross Greenwood

The Dark Lives Series:
#1 Fifty Years of Fear – Getbook.at/FiftyYearsofFear
#2 The Boy Inside – Getbook.at/TheBoyInside
#3 Lazy Blood – Getbook.at/LazyBlood

Abel’s Revenge – Getbook.at/AbelsRevenge
Shadows of Regret – Getbook.at/ShadowsofRegret

Blog Tour – ‘The Puppet Show’ by M. W. Craven ~ @BethWright26 @LittleBrownUK @MWCravenUK

I am absolutely delighted to be back blogging.  I really didn’t think I would miss it too much, but I did.

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for ‘The Puppet Show’, the first book in the Washington Poe series.  Originally published in hardback and as an eBook last June by Constable, it is being released in paperback tomorrow the 24th January 2019.  For those of you who like listening to books, you will be pleased to know that it is also available as an audiobook.  I would like to say thank you to M. W. Craven for contacting me about ‘The Puppet Show’ and to Beth Wright for both sending me this book and inviting me to participate in the tour.

I will tell you my thoughts on this book in a moment.  First though it’s time to tell you what its about.

 

Book Blurb

Welcome to the Puppet Show . . .

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive …

 

My Review

Every now and then a book comes along that just totally blows your mind. I really needed to find my love for reading again without any pressure and ‘The Puppet Show’ succeeded in doing just that. For that I would like to thank the author.

I loved the cover of this book. The flames literally tantalised me to open it and delve straight in. Was I in for a treat or what! It had all the right ingredients; horrific murders, a serial killer, cryptic clues and great characters. This was such a gripping and at times grisly read with a dark sense of humour. There were a number of twists and turns throughout the story and the often quite short chapters just made it all the more exciting. I loved it, loved it, loved it.

Tilly Bradshaw really grew on me and before long she became one of my favourite characters. There was so much more to her than met the eye. Poe taking her along with him and Flynn to help with the investigation was one of the best things he ever did. She needed to get out of the office and in doing so it did her confidence the world of good. She was an absolute star throughout and surprised even me. I really liked Poe as well and the way he did his own thing despite being told not to. If he had a hunch about something he would follow his instinct. Quite often he would be on to something concrete. That is what made him such a genius. I was so pleased that some of his story came out as I was actually wondering about a couple of things.

Since finishing ‘The Puppet Show’ I have been having total withdrawal symptoms. I am really missing Poe and Tilly and I can’t wait to catch up with them in the next book in the series, ‘Black Summer’, which is out in June of this year. It’s torture I tell you having to wait!

‘The Puppet Show’ is definitely going on my list of top books this year.

If you are a fan of crime fiction then I really recommend you grab yourself a copy of this book.

~~~~~

Hopefully by now you are running around the room screaming, ‘I have to read this, I have to read this!’.   Well, as mentioned previously it is out in paperback tomorrow.  It is available to pre-order from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2HnBhVd

Of course, if waiting a day is too much for you don’t forget you can get it now straight to your kindle.  Here is the link:-

https://amzn.to/2AW2856

 

About M. W. Craven

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

 

Links

Website – https://www.mwcraven.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MWCravenUK

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MikeCravenAuthor

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/m.w.craven/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17850464.M_W_Craven

 

A Heartfelt Thank You and Blogging

So, a couple of days ago I made the decision to quit blogging.  Do you want to know what happened next?  I totally regretted it and was basically a total misery guts.  I actually felt empty inside.  ‘What am I going to do without my blogging?’ I asked myself.  It was like a big part of my life had gone.  Then I came home today to some wonderful book post and that seemed to whet my appetite for all things books.

I have received so much love from publishers, authors and book bloggers and received some good advice.  I definitely need a break where I can read for pleasure without rushing.  The plan is to still review the books I read on Amazon, Goodreads etc. and then when I feel ready I will start blogging again.  It could take several months but I will be back.

In the meantime I will still support you all as much as I can on social media.

The moral of the story……..don’t be so hasty when making a decision.  Sleep on it instead.

Best wishes

Sonya x

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Bridge to Burn’ by Rachel Amphlett ~ @RachelAmphlett

Today is a very exciting day indeed.  Do you want to know why?  Well, Rachel Amphlett has only gone and written yet another Kay Hunter book.  ‘Bridge to Burn’ is being published in paperback and as an eBook by Saxon Publishing on the 13th January 2019 which means a great start to the new year.  There will also be an audiobook.

I am thrilled to be helping to reveal the cover.  Here it is in all its beauty.

Book Blurb

When a mummified body is discovered in a renovated building, the gruesome discovery leads Detective Kay Hunter and her team into a complex murder investigation.

The subsequent police inquiry exposes corruption, lies and organised crime within the tight-knit community – and Kay’s determination to seek justice for the young murder victim could ruin the reputations of men who will do anything to protect their business interests.

But as Kay closes in on the killer, tragedy strikes closer to home in an event that will send a shockwave through her personal life and make her question everything she values.

Can Kay keep her private and professional life under control while she tries to unravel one of the strangest murder cases of her career?

~~~~~

‘Bridge to Burn’ is available to pre-order from:-

Kobo – https://tinyurl.com/y9ehoudg

 

About Rachel Amphlett

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

 

Links

‘Bridge to Burn’ Website Page – https://www.rachelamphlett.com/books/kay-hunter-series/bridge-to-burn/

Rachel Amphlett can be contacted via:-

Email – info@rachelamphlett.com

Website – http://www.rachelamphlett.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rachelamphlett.author/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachelAmphlett

Instagram – @RachelAmphlett

 

Lynne Milford’s (aka LM Milford’s) Monthly Guest Post – November 2018 ~ @LMMilford

What better way to end the month than with Lynne Milford’s latest post where she talks about what is next for her.  Links to Lynne’s previous posts are towards the bottom of the page so do check them out if you haven’t done so already.

 

What’s next?

Well, it’s getting on towards the end of 2018 – scary, eh? – and it’s time to reflect back on the year as well as gearing up for the next one.

2017 was the big year for me, having published my book in October, but this year I got to celebrate its first birthday. Sales haven’t been huge, but then I never expected that. The fact that it’s sold and has some good reviews on Amazon is, quite frankly, enough for now.

This year it’s been much less glamourous. I’ve spent most of my writing time working on the second book in the Allensbury series. It’s been a very long, very involved process of taking a book I wrote several years ago without any planning and unpicking it to make it into a proper book. The first draft of both my books were absolutely awful. When I wrote them my editing skills were also not good, which means both were in a bit of a mess.

Back in April, I sent Book Two to a professional editor for a structural edit. This meant a report with some very necessary (if not uncomfortable) feedback. I felt a bit embarrassed that I’d allowed this book to go out to anyone in such a state, but that’s what the editor is for. Since then I’ve been very slowly turning the book into something fit for human consumption. It’s not an easy process – it requires blood, sweat and tears – but I finally feel like I’m getting there. I’m also starting to get inquiries about when the second book will be out, so the pressure is on!

Looking forward to 2019, things are a bit vaguer. Next month I’ll no doubt get the usual planning calendar from Charlie at the Urban Writer’s Retreat. This is a document designed to help you review the past year and set your goals for next year. I’ll have to look out my 2018 plans and see whether I achieved any of it. Planning over a whole year is tricky, particularly when you’re writing alongside a full-time job. I also have the problem that there’s so much that I want to do. One of the useful aspects of Charlie’s planner is that it gives you space to write down everything that you’d like to do. Then you can go through the list and look at the projects you’ll have the time to do. For me, it’s a little frustrating because I have so little time to allocate to projects! I know that it’s not possible to do absolutely everything I want to do and that means side-lining some projects until the following year and that’s a hard decision to make.

So, at present my priorities will be finishing the second book and starting work on the third. As I said I have loads of other ideas and projects I want to work on, but these have to take precedence as the most important next steps in my writing and publishing career. I know better now how to set writing deadlines and I’m sure that spending a lot of time planning Book Three that will make the writing and editing process much easier.

Wish me luck – and hopefully that will help me in my quest for new books.

~~~~

A Deadly Rejection is available in ebook and paperback from Amazon. UK address is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0768WP1SB

Catch up with me on Twitter @lmmilford or visit my website www.lmmilford.wordpress.com

 

Previous Guest Posts

First guest post (January 2018) – My writing journey

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/lynne-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Second guest post (February 2018) – Where did A Deadly Rejection come from?

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Third guest post (March 2018) – Creating the perfect cast for A Deadly Rejection

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-march-2018/

Fourth guest post (April 2018) – Why you should write a series

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-april-2018/

Fifth guest post (May 2018) – What I do when I’m not writing

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-may-2018/

Sixth guest post (June 2018) – Extract + Competition

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-june-2018/

Seventh guest post (August 2018) – Why I love writing

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-august-2018/

Eighth guest post (October 2018) – All about Allensbury

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-october-2018/

Cover Reveal – ‘The Last Dance’ by Aimee Brown ~ @Aria_Fiction @AimeeBWrites

I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for Aimee Brown’s new book, ‘The Last Dance’ which is being published as an eBook on the 16th April 2019 by Aria Fiction.

Feast your eyes on this gorgeousness….

 

Book Blurb

Can you truly forgive and forget?

Ambri and Henry have been best friends forever. They’ve been through the highs and lows of life with each other by their sides.

The worst? When Henry’s wife, and Ambri’s sister, died. Together, they can face it all. Until one night destroys everything. Two years after he stepped out of it Henry walks back into Ambri’s life and she’s more than a little shocked.

But as old friends fall into even older habits they need to decide whether they can forget the past and embrace their future.

Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult and Anna Bell.

~~~~~

‘The Last Dance’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK –  Mybook.to/TheLastDance

 

About Aimee Brown

Aimee Brown is a writer of romantic comedies set in Portland, Oregon, and an avid reader. She spends much of her time writing, raising three teenagers, binge-watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal. Aimee grew up in Oregon, but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets. She is a lot older than she looks and yes, that is a tattoo across her chest. (In the Portlandia spirit, yes, I lived many years in PDX and I do indeed have a bird tattooed on me (2!)) Aimee is very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!

 

Links

Aimee Brown

Twitter: @AimeeBWrites
Instagram:@authoraimeeb
Facebook: @authoraimeeb

Aria Fiction

Website: www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

 

Guest Post by Gina Kirkham ~ @GinaGeeJay @urbanebooks

It’s a real pleasure having Gina Kirkham back on my blog.  Her latest book, ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ was published in July of this year in paperback and as an eBook by Urbane Publications.  Gina has written a wonderful and touching guest post which I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I did.

 

SECOND TIME AROUND

“I’m sure it’ll be a lot easier second time around..” I dunked my Aldi biscuit into the mug of steaming tea, waited a millionth of a second too long and groaned as it drooped and fell onto my leg with a resounding slap. I gave my hubby a sickly grin as he raised his eyebrows, either in amusement or disgust, probably the latter. I handed him the new Publishing Contract for book 2, my excitement as fresh now as it had been when I’d signed my first book deal.

*****

Fast forward three months and I’m now remembering that little pearl of wisdom as I sit in front of the keyboard staring into space, twisting my unbrushed hair around my fingers with my tongue hanging out. I vaguely remember cleaning my teeth this morning, but that’s about as far as my personal appearance goes, there are more pressing matters to deal with.

Here I am, 34,216 words into the sequel to Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong and I don’t know where I’m going with it, I don’t even have a title. My central character, Mavis, is not playing ball, she doesn’t want to go where I want to send her and my great idea for a fanfare finale now doesn’t seem so clever…. and the biggest blow of all, I don’t feel ‘funny’.

My heart isn’t into laughter. The giggles have gone, my sniggers have sneaked away. For a writer of humour, this is a disaster.

I am lost.

I want to scribble down all the ridiculous slapstick experiences I have had, the farces, the black humour of policing… all through Mavis’s eyes, but they just don’t want to be told. Not yesterday, not today and maybe not tomorrow.

A solitary tear slowly trickles down my cheek. I nudge it away with the heel of my hand, cursing my one rogue eye that since childhood will only cry on its own. Oh how I longed to weep buckets with both eyes like a normal person. Deep down, I know where my mojo has gone and I hope it’s only temporary. I care for my Dad who has Dementia. It’s a terrible, impactive disease that can sometimes suck out all the joy and laughter in life when it catches you off guard. Lately it’s sucked so hard it has deflated me.

I close off my PC, watching the screensaver family photo fade. I won’t write today. Today I will take Dad out for lunch.

******

“Don’t get me too much, I’m not hungry.” Dad harrumphed in annoyance as he sat down at his favourite table in the café.

“I know Dad, your usual, ham sandwich on brown and a cup of black coffee. Are you okay here whilst I go and queue?”

Grabbing his handkerchief he blew with gusto, inspected the contents and shoved it back in his pocket. “I’m not away with the mixer just yet, lass, stop fussing.” he barked as I ambled off to the food area, content in the knowledge he couldn’t get up to mischief in a place that was familiar to him with no sharp objects or steep steps.

Or so I thought.

Eight minutes, just eight minutes into queuing – that was all it took. Eight minutes for pandemonium to descend upon Milly Wainwright’s Wee Tea Rooms courtesy of my Dad.

******

“He’d moved tables, he was sitting at another table eating a complete strangers full English breakfast, can you believe it?” I dunked my biscuit, throwing it up to my mouth before it could droop. Hubby sat quietly knowing that to add conversation to my pique would not be a smart move.

“I mean, come on, WTF was I supposed to do apart from pay for another breakfast? I wouldn’t mind but all he did was take one bite out of the sausage…. and he’d taken his teeth out to do that, propped them up on the pot plant in the middle of the table! It was disgusting.”

I looked at hubby for sympathy, but instead our eyes met and we both burst out laughing.

Leaning over to kiss my forehead, he smirked. “Maybe this is something Mavis should experience, take away the taboo, find the humour in adversity, what do you think?”

******

One moment, just one moment to lighten your heart. That’s all it takes. I switched on my PC and waited. Mavis wouldn’t fight against me for this one. Humour in adversity, it’s how we survive….

…. and much to my delight, I now had a title for the sequel too.

 

About Gina Kirkham

Gina Kirkham began her career in front-line policing as a single parent in her thirties. During her time with Merseyside Police she was awarded several commendations for bravery, courage and compassion, and in 2000 she became Police Officer of the Year for her services to the people of Merseyside.

Her debut novel, the humorous HANDCUFFS, TRUNCHEON AND A POLYESTER THONG, was published in May 2017 by Urbane Publications.

In July 2018 her second book in the series, WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT The Further Adventures of Constable Mavis Upton was launched at Waterstones in Liverpool.

Gina is now retired from Policing and lives on the Wirral with her long suffering husband and two wayward, unruly dogs.

 

Links

Blog – http://www.ginakirkham.wordpress.com/

Author Page – https://urbanepublications.com/authors/gina-kirkham/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GinaGeeJay and https://twitter.com/MavisUpton

Mavis Upton’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/MavisUpton1/

 

Purchase Links

‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Handcuffs-Truncheon-Polyester-Thong-adventures-ebook/dp/B06XZCV123

‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot-Adventures-Constable-ebook/dp/B07DFCF2NR

Guest Post by John Mayer ~ @CarolineBookBit @johnmayerauthor

I am delighted to welcome John Mayer, author of the Parliament House Books to my blog.  This series sounds really interesting and is one I hope to read at some point.  Links to the books are towards the bottom of this post.

John has written a guest post for my blog which I hope you enjoy.

 

Guest Post

On Writing – John Mayer

Writing is precious, or at least, it was. When people first began to write what we would call books – which was in Sanskrit – the technique was open and free for anyone to learn. As soon as writing spread to Europe, words were used to influence and even scare people into beliefs they didn’t have before and didn’t actually want.

With the advent of Amazon Books, I think book writing has come full circle and is once more open and free to learn. As a life-long learner though, I’d prefer the openness would not cause ‘us’ writers to dismiss the learning curve – with each book we write we strive to make it better than the one before.

A carefully crafted story which suspends the reader’s disbelief is a very difficult thing to do well and has to be both learned and practised regularly. After all, attentive readers appreciate and recognise quality when they see it. I’m proud to say that many reviewers of The Parliament House Books feel this way about my books. That’s very satisfying because quality lasts in the mind of readers and makes them eager for more, the next book of their favourite author. I imagine it is like dining out in a nice restaurant or eating a fast-food meal: the latter is to stop your stomach from rumbling, the first is as much food for thought as it is enjoyable to digest.

I like to think that my stories actually help people to shape their own opinions on the subject matter of my series, ‘injustice in high places.’ I feel very strongly about this. I have had feedback from readers saying that my books are different and that pleases me as my books and writing style are an intrinsic part of who I am.

How do I write? I don’t plan, or plot or stick to any kind of formula. I start with a single word: but that word has to be an important one which contains many ideas; not just legal ideas, but social and personal ones too. For instance, the words Cross, Cycle, Boots, Trial, Order, Bones, Trust all contain multiple ideas. Of course, I write about Parliament House and legal cases, with my twenty years’ experience as an Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland which gives me a unique depth of insight. I then develop the single word by imagining how it applies to people in a court case as well as how the court case impacts on their lives and the lives of those around them. The American lawyers who write books are all office lawyers, which is a world apart from Parliament House in Edinburgh. When I’ve got the word at the centre of a number of ideas, I then start to sculpt the word – which is like a stone block at this early stage – into a shape which, I imagine and hope, readers can appreciate from many angles.

My central character, Brogan McLane QC, lives in two worlds. One is the grandness and splendour of Parliament House in Edinburgh where he practises law at the Bar of the Court. The other is the Calton Bar in Glasgow where he grew up and has his blood brother – Big Joe Mularkey – by his side. The stories reveal how the low life in high places in the old town of Edinburgh are often disguised by their finery and the characters in each book have to look to another kind of Bar for help in getting justice. Mind, my books are fiction and this is not to say that all Advocates and Judges in Parliament House are corrupt or incompetent: but some are and they casually wreck lives on a regular basis.

Perhaps injustice sounds boring to you but to me, the burning pain of injustice is what motivates and drives me – imagine your loved one wrongly convicted. Anyone in that situation will tell you that the long hard slog trying to turn injustice into justice is a very humiliating and lonely place to be. Similarly in civil cases, trying to get justice for a wrongful act done to you in a few seconds, can take years and drain you of all your hard earned money. Those trying that task will tell you, that it eats into your soul so that you live and breathe the injustice, often for years or decades. There is an old Arabic curse which says ‘May your life be filled with lawyers.’ Anyone who’s had that experience will tell you that it wrecks you emotionally, financially and spiritually until many people surrounded by injustice take their own lives. Any politician will tell you that there are no votes in fighting injustice; but there should be. I think so.

I hope you will never have your life filled with lawyers. May you only experience that curse through the world of Brogan McLane QC in The Parliament House Books.

Best wishes,

John Mayer.

 

The Parliament House Books

Welcome to the Parliament House Books. John Mayer’s protagonist is Brogan McLane QC – who lives in two worlds.

McLane inhabits two worlds. One is the rarified world of Parliament House in Edinburgh, where he practices law, while the other is in Glasgow where he frequents the Calton Bar. To get in to the Calton Bar, you’ll need to first understand its ways. Those ways are to be found in the first and second prequels to the Parliament House Books, The Cross and The Cycle respectively.

The motto of the series is ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ and there is plenty of both in this series and, according to the author, in reality. Some Judges and Advocates in Parliament House are fine, intelligent and honest people. Others are mere pretenders. They are the schemers, members of secret societies from which they improve their chances of rising up the slippery pole of legal ranking.

 

The Prequels:

The Cross
The Cycle
The Boots

All three prequels are free to download at https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/

The Books:

#1 The Trial                http://getbook.at/TheTrial-JohnMayer
#2 The Order             
http://getbook.at/TheOrder-JohnMayer
#3 The Bones           
 http://getbook.at/TheBones-JohnMayer
#4 The Trust              
http://getbook.at/TheTrust-JohnMayer
#5 The House
            http://getbook.at/TheHouse-JohnMayer

 

About John Mayer

Like his leading character, Brogan McLane, John Mayer was born in Glasgow, Scotland and spent much of his time in the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds.

Having as the owner of a record company had a court battle with global giants, John decided to study law and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland – yes, at Edinburgh’s Parliament House. John acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.

John’s experiences as an Advocate are the foundation for his Parliament House Books, his battle to seek justice is what motivates and inspires his protagonist, crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane,  who fights injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.

 

John Mayer on Social Media:

Author Website:           https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/
FB Author Page:          https://www.facebook.com/JohnMayerAuthor/
Twitter:                         https://twitter.com/johnmayerauthor
Instagram:                    https://www.instagram.com/johnmayer_author/
Amazon Author Page: https://author.to/JohnMayer

 

Blog Tour – ‘Hush Hush’ by Mel Sherratt ~ @AvonBooksUK @writermels

‘Hush Hush’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Avon on the 18th October 2018.  I have heard so much about Mel Sherratt’s books and was delighted when I was invited to take part in this blog tour by Sabah Khan.  I would like to thank Avon for my review copy.

I will tell you in a minute what my thoughts on ‘Hush Hush’ are.  First though, here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

An unforgettable thriller that fans of MARTINA COLE and CARA HUNTER won’t be able to put down.

 

My Review

Wow! What a book. This was one fast-paced, gripping and gritty read. I literally turned the pages and wondered to myself why I hadn’t read any of Mel Sherratt’s books before. I totally loved the style of writing and the short chapters made this story all the more exciting. This book was so very hard to put down.

When DS Grace Allendale moves back to Stoke-on-Trent and starts a new job, she really doesn’t expect her first case to be quite so close to home. She has to confront her past which is naturally very hard, but she is made of much stronger stuff and isn’t about to give in. As the body count rises, Grace and her team are under pressure to find the killer before any more murders take place.

There were a number of characters in this story, many of them not very nice at all. The Steele family definitely weren’t the sort you would want to mess around with. Having said that, they also went through things in their childhood that they shouldn’t ever of had to. My favourite character was DS Grace Allendale and I really enjoyed getting to know her. Things weren’t made very easy for her because of her connection to the Steele’s. Despite all this she remained fairly level headed. She wanted justice for the people who were murdered and she wouldn’t give up until it was served.

I thought it very sad how things happened. Years of abuse led to desperate measures which in a way was a shame. I was a bit shocked at who the murderer turned out to be.

Mel Sherratt has got herself a new fan and I am already really excited to find out that the next book in the series is coming out next spring. Somehow I get the feeling that we will be hearing from the Steele family again.

~~~~~

‘Hush Hush’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hush-million-copy-bestseller-gripping-thriller-ebook/dp/B07CKQV675/ref=la_B006L2BMLC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1541349447&sr=1-1

 

About Mel Sherratt

Mel Sherratt is the author of ten novels, all of which have become bestsellers. In 2017, she was named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.

 

Links

Website – http://melsherratt.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MelSherrattauthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writermels

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5376849.Mel_Sherratt

 

Lynne Milford’s (aka LM Milford’s) Monthly Guest Post – October 2018 ~ @LMMilford

Lynne Milford won my Twitter competition to feature on my blog for a whole year with a series of guest posts.  There was no post last month sadly as it was my turn to take a break, but Lynne is back this month talking about the setting of novels and where hers came from.  I hope you enjoy it and please do feel free to let us know what you think of these posts.

 

All about Allensbury

Developing the setting of novel is important. Right out of the gate the setting will tell the reader what sort of book to expect. For example if it’s set on a space ship or involves dungeons and dragons you can probably assume that it’s sci-fi. Whatever genre you write in the setting immediately tells the reader what to expect.

It’s as important to get your setting right as it is to get your characters right. You want your work to be believable and as well as characters being realistic, your setting must fit the bill. I’m not just talking about a sense of place – atmosphere etc – I mean the actual stage where your story is set.

My first novel A Deadly Rejection is set in the fictional Kent town of Allensbury. I couldn’t tell you where the name came from. It’s been so long since I first wrote the book that the reasoning behind the name has vanished into the mists of my memory. But what I can say is there is a clear reason why the town looks the way it does.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog series, I’m a big fan of Agatha Christie. I love the tight social circles and country house settings and the tension that brings. I’m fascinated by the fact that in a place where everyone knows everyone’s business or can’t get away from each other, it becomes claustrophobic. Tempers can begin to flare and there’s extra pressure for those who have secrets they desperately need to keep.

So what I created was a medium-sized town, which looks very respectable. This was important because I wanted it to be a place which looks innocent on the surface but underneath it’s hiding a seedy side. It’s somewhere that bad things could happen without it seeming unlikely that the crime rate could be so high. It had to be big enough for a local daily newspaper – less common now than when I was first writing the book – but as my main character is a journalist I didn’t want him getting too bored. In reality, the Allensbury Post almost acts as a moral compass for the town, wheedling out the sins of its residents and holding them up to scrutiny.

Knowing that I wanted to use it in a series, the town needed to have a lot of different locations. Allensbury is a historic town, with a castle and an old fashioned town hall. It’s growing gradually as developers buy up land and build more houses -see A Deadly Rejection for what happens there.

We haven’t met a lot of these locations yet – a theatre which hosts plays and musical concerts, a museum and a dance and drama school. I’m sure there are other locations – perhaps the Fenleys department store – which may find themselves at the heart of Dan’s investigations or under the sharp eye of Detective Inspector Jude Burton and Detective Sergeant Mark Shepherd.

Will Allensbury turn out to be new Midsomer Murders with the highest body count in the south east? Who knows. All I know is that Allensbury has a lot more secrets to give up, whether it wants to or not. I just have to go and dig them out.

~~~~

A Deadly Rejection is available in ebook and paperback from Amazon. UK address is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0768WP1SB

Catch up with me on Twitter @lmmilford or visit my website www.lmmilford.wordpress.com

 

Previous Guest Posts

First guest post (January 2018) – My writing journey

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/lynne-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Second guest post (February 2018) – Where did A Deadly Rejection come from?

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Third guest post (March 2018) – Creating the perfect cast for A Deadly Rejection

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-march-2018/

Fourth guest post (April 2018) – Why you should write a series

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-april-2018/

Fifth guest post (May 2018) – What I do when I’m not writing

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-may-2018/

Sixth guest post (June 2018) – Extract + Competition

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-june-2018/

Seventh guest post (August 2018) – Why I love writing

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-august-2018/

 

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