A Lover of Books

Archive for the day “June 1, 2015”

Blog Tour – ‘Lullaby Girl’ by Aly Sidgwick

Blog Tour Banner

‘Lullaby Girl’ is Aly Sidgwick’s debut novel.  It is being published by Black & White Publishing in paperback this Thursday 4th June 2015 and is already out as an eBook.  I am so very excited to be part of this blog tour which I am kicking off.

 

Synopsis

Who is the Lullaby Girl?

Found washed up on the banks of a remote loch, a mysterious girl is taken into the care of a psychiatric home in the highlands of Scotland, Mute and covered in bruises, she has no memory of who she is or how she got there. The only clue to her identity is the Danish lullaby she sings…

Inside the care home, she should be safe. But, harassed by the media and treated as a nuisance by under-pressure staff, she finds the home is far from a haven. And as her memories slowly surface, the Lullaby Girl does her best to submerge them again. Some things are too terrible to remember… but unless she confronts her fear, how can she find out who she really is?

Taut, tense and mesmerising, Lullaby Girl is a shining debut from an exciting and very talented new author.

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Like the sound of ‘Lullaby Girl’?  Read on for an interesting guest post from Aly Sidgwick.

Guest Post

Pianos and lullabies

I can’t do a blog tour without mentioning the piano man! So, here goes…

About ten years ago, like many others, I was swept up by the mystery of a young man who’d washed up on a Kent shore with no memory. That sort of thing happens all the time, I’m sure. People have breakdowns, and go missing, and run away from problems… But one detail set this case apart, and that was the man’s skill at playing piano. For some reason, that part sent the public crazy. People took delight in concocting theories. A huge effort was made to find out who the man was. But no-one seemed to recognise him, and no solid leads were found. All of this added to the mystery. People’s imaginations ran riot, mine included. For me, I think the really electric detail was his fragility. He was like a stunned bird, huddled in the midst of all this activity. There was a romance to his predicament. A sadness, and a sense of great waste. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of ’madness,’ or losing one’s sense of self, probably because I feared it would happen to me one day. When I wrote Lullaby Girl, I wanted to write from the perspective of someone who’d tipped over the edge in that way. To walk a person past breaking point into the no-man’s-land beyond, and find out what happened next. I find great beauty in that fragile state. It’s so human. So honest. And the scary thing is that we’re all capable of it. With a big enough push, everything you know and everything you are can fly out of your grasp. The Piano Man made it through with a shred of his old self intact- namely his musical skill. It was a link to a part of himself that was possibly gone forever, and there were so many possiblities in that one, strange clue. I let Katherine keep a shred of her past too, in the form of the lullaby. Like him she becomes branded by it. Even after her real name is known, the public insist on calling her ’Lullaby Girl.’ You could argue that that’s because people love labels. But I think it’s more than that. In my mind, it’s the glamour of ’madness’ that draws people. There’s something irrisistible in that fall from grace.

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Now for an excerpt from ‘Lullaby Girl’ to give you a feel of the book.  It is taken from the first chapter.

Excerpt 

Rhona takes me outside. We walk round. She points her
finger. ‘That’s Loch Ghlas,’ she says, ‘and that’s the perimeter
fence.’

I look down the hill. The fence looks tiny. Wind blows on
my face. I close my eyes an’ breathe. Rhona keeps talkin’.

‘I suppose some folks might feel trapped by a fence. But
it’s actually a nice thing, because it means no bad people can
bother us. We’re safe and cosy in here, and you can walk
around the grounds without having to . . .’

Rhona’s coat swooshes. Quiet. She talks again. Slower.

‘You like it out here, don’t you? Well, we’ll be coming
out here a lot more. We can come out every day if you like.’

That smell . . . I know it. Where do I know it from?

I . . .

I open my eyes an’ see the sea. Far off. Grey. Iss further
than the perimeter fence. But somehow the sea is all I can
see. Suddenly I feel funny, like I can’t breathe. In my head, a
picture of waves. Cold. Heavy. A blackness under me, an’ no
place to put my feet. Iss the sea I smell. An’ . . . I’ve been
closer to it than this. Much closer. Not jus’ on the beach,
when the men came. I was in it . . . Far out . . . In the dark . . .

The funny feelin’ grows. I breathe out an’ can’t breathe
back in. My heart goin’ bump bump bump. Rhona’s mouth is
movin’. Can’t hear her now. I go backwards. I gasp. The sky
goes massive. All white, in my eyes. My ears are screamin’ an’
I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe . . . I . . .

Music plunging hard. I’m on the floor, pressed flat as possible.
Dust in my mouth, in the deepest darkest animal trap, and above
my head the screams keep coming. On and on and I can’t stand it
and Katty I can’t I can’t . . . Katty! His face bathed in red and the
words moving out of him . . . Slowww his hand comes up they will
get me and I know then I know I am done for . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. .

About Aly Sidgwick

Aly Sidgwick

Aly Sidgwick spent many years in Oslo as a tattoo artist and comic strip artist before turning to writing. She became obsessed and didn’t tell anyone she was writing for six months. She has lived in North Yorkshire, Norway, Sweden and Edinburgh. Her spare time is devoted to reading, painting, travelling, and drinking lots of black coffee.

 

You can buy ‘Lullaby Girl’ from:-

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lullaby-Girl-Aly-Sidgwick/dp/184502950X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1433074751&sr=1-1

 

Interview with Jane Isaac

Book cover

Congratulations to the lovely Jane Isaac whose book ‘Before It’s Too Late’ is out today.  To coincide with the release of Jane’s latest novel I interviewed her.

 

Firstly, congratulations on your new book.  Can you tell me a bit about it please?

Thank you. Before It’s Too Late opens with the kidnap of Chinese student, Min Li, who is walking the dark streets of Stratford upon Avon following an argument with her boyfriend. We follow her story as she is kept captive in a disused pit in the Warwickshire countryside, and the police investigation through the eyes of Detective Inspector Will Jackman as he seeks to find her. When another student is kidnapped, Jackman finds himself in a race against time to track down the kidnapper.

 

Where did you get your ideas from?

I like to play with the idea of putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. I’ve always been a great people-watcher and I like to imagine the ‘what if’ scenario: What if we were taken out of our comfort zone? How would we react? I’m fascinated by how detectives investigate too and like to write stories partly through the eyes of a lead detective, and partly through the point of view of someone else affected by the crime, so we see the case from both sides.

 

What sort of research did you need to do?

One of the nicest things about novel research is the people you meet along the way. For Before It’s Too Late I spent a lot of time with retired and serving detectives (which is always fun) and read a lot of true crime encircling kidnappings to find out how the victims really felt so that I could emulate some of this in Min’s incarceration. I also spent a lovely afternoon sitting under a tree in a local park with a Chinese student liaison officer from our nearby college who gave me a real insight into how students feel and behave when they come over here to study, and the cultural differences they face. Field trips to Stratford featured highly too and I trudged over the Warwickshire countryside and wandered the streets of the town. I also engineered many family weekends away there – book research can be such a hardship sometimes!

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

It always takes a lot longer than I imagine it will do: Probably about eighteen months from start to finish.

 

Can you relate to any of your characters?

My main characters always feel real to me and I often feel bereft when I finish the novel and have to leave some of them behind. I hope to work with DI Will Jackman again though – he’s a hopelessly addictive!

 

Have you got any other writing projects on the go?

I’ve recently sent outlines for two new novels to my editor, so I’m waiting with bated breath to see if she likes them!

 

Would you ever consider trying out a different genre?

The thought has crossed my mind. Maybe in the future, but I’m so passionate about the suspense and thriller genre that it feels the right place for me right now.

 

Do you read a lot?

Of course! Reading is an essential part of the writing process for me, and fiction provides a wonderful release too. I’ve just finished Normal by Graeme Cameron and am about to start Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson.

 

Do you prefer e-readers or printed books?

E-readers are so convenient when out and about or away on holiday, but I do love the feel and the smell of a printed book.

 

What are your thoughts on social media?

Social media is a wonderful medium to meet new friends and share writing tips and information on books. It can be addictive though and since I’m particularly prone to procrastination (I’m sure I have a gene!) I have to force myself to switch off every now and then to make sure I make time for writing too.

 

About Jane Isaac

Author Pic

Author of An Unfamiliar Murder (Nominated as best mystery in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards) & The Truth Will Out – selected as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-Thriller.com . New title, Before It’s Too Late, will be published by Legend Press on the 1st of June 2015.

Web:  www.janeisaac.co.uk

Twitter – @JaneIsaacAuthor

 

Competition

To celebrate the publication of Jane Isaac’s new book, I am running a competition in which one very lucky person will win a paperback copy of ‘Before It’s Too Late’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me why you want to read this book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 15th June 2015.

The winner will be randomly selected and notified of their win within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be passed on to Legend Press who will send the prize out.

 

Good luck! 🙂

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