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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? 



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:-



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.




Twitter – https://twitter.com/authortrace


Twitter – https://twitter.com/Wildpressed


Extract from ‘Glass Houses’ by Jackie Buxton

Following on from Jackie Buxton’s guest post, I now have an extract from ‘Glass Houses’.


Book Blurb

‘When she sent that text, all our lives changed for ever…’

51 year old Tori Williams’ life implodes when she sends a text while driving on the M62 motorway and allegedly causes the horrific crash in which three people die. Public and press are baying for her blood, but Tori is no wallflower and refuses to buckle under their pressure or be a pariah in society. Instead, she sets about saving the nation. But can she save Etta, the woman who saved her life? Or will Etta’s secret be her downfall?

This incredibly topical and contemporary morality tale appeals across generations and will find favour with fans of authors such as Liane Moriarty, Marian Keyes and Kathryn Croft.



Extract from ‘Glass Houses’

Extract from ‘The Prague Ultimatum’ by James Silvester

It’s time now for a taster from ‘The Prague Ultimatum’.  I hope you all enjoy it.


Book Blurb

Fear stalks the newly reunified Czechoslovakia, the terror wrought by international terrorism and violent extremists overshadowing the forthcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Prague Spring, and threatening to burn the country in its wake.

Into this arena steps Captain Lincoln Stone, a disgraced British officer, humiliatingly scapegoated by his government for his role in the disastrous on-going Syrian Conflict. Plucked from his purgatory, Stone is teased with exoneration by British Foreign Secretary Jonathan Greyson, in return for his ‘off the books’ aid of Czechoslovak Prime Minister, Miroslava Svobodova. Stone, resentful of his treatment and determined to prove himself, is driven by deeper motives than the casual platitudes of his superiors, and finds himself at the epicentre as the country descends into chaos.

Cut off from the international community and isolated in the face of an expansionist Russia, and with the sinister Institute for European Harmony ever present behind the scenes, Czechoslovakia’s fate, and that of the world, hangs on the outcome to the Prague Ultimatum.



Extract from ‘The Prague Ultimatum’


Extract from ‘The Man Who Played Trains’ by Richard Whittle

Did you enjoy my interview with Richard Whittle?  I’ve now got an extract from ‘The Man Who Played Trains’ for you to read.


Book Blurb

Mining engineer John Spargo is distraught when his mother is attacked in her home and later dies from her injuries. Her home has been ransacked. Determined to track down her killer and discover the truth behind her death, John finds a connection between his late father’s wartime mine and the wreck of a U-Boat. The connection deepens when he discovers the diaries of the U-Boat captain and a wartime mission to spirit Göring to safety along with a fortune in stolen art. When John’s daughter Jez is kidnapped, he is contacted by a mysterious consortium her life hangs in the balance unless he can find the stolen art. What is the link with his father’s abandoned mine? Who was the U-Boat captain? Did he survive and hide Göring’s treasures? John races against time to discover the truth…and in doing so may unearth secrets that were better left buried…



Extract from ‘The Man Who Played Trains’


Extract from ‘The Secret Wound’ by Deirdre Quiery

I think you all deserve another treat.  So here’s an exclusive extract from ‘The Secret Wound’ by Deirdre Quiery.


Book Blurb

Deirdre Quiery’s follow up to the critical success of Eden Burning, The Secret Wound draws the reader into a complex web of relationships within the ex-pat community in Mallorca, discovering their dangerous secrets…and a potential murderer in their midst.

One of their number carries a dark and deadly secret from their past, and has murderous plans for a fellow ex-pat. Can any of the close- knit community discover the brutal plans before they are all put in mortal danger?

Deirdre Quiery’s gripping thriller is not just an addictive page turner, but provides a compelling exploration of human emotion and desires, and the terrible costs of jealousy and ambition. Perfect for fans of Jane Corry and Amanda Brooke.



Extract from ‘The Secret Wound’


Extract from ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’ by David John Griffin

Following on from my interview with David John Griffin, I now have a short story for you from ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’.


Book Blurb

Dogs are reported for their constant barking …and so begins one of the strangest stories you will ever read. Audrey Ackerman, sent to visit the dogs at a 17th century coach house, is unsettled by paranormal sightings. Stella Bridgeport – manager at The Animal Welfare Union – communicates with Audrey via emails. And those Stella receives are as startling as they are incredible: descriptions of extraordinary events concerning a science fiction writer’s journal; giant swans; bizarre android receptionist; a ghost dog. Insanity or fantasy? Fact or fiction? The only given is, it all starts and ends with two dogs at The One Dog Inn…and other stories: 12 short stories with aspects of the macabre, the surreal or the strangeness of magical realism to entertain and delight you.



Extract from ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’


Extract from ‘Spanish Crossings’ by John Simmons

Following on from my interview with John Simmons, I now have an exclusive extract from his book, ‘Spanish Crossings’.


Book Blurb

Spanish Crossings is an epic tale of love, politics and conflict, with the yearning but elusive possibility of redemption. A woman’s life has been cast in shadow by her connection to the Spanish Civil War. We meet Lorna in 1937 as she falls in love with Harry, a member of the International Brigade who had been at Guernica when it was bombed. Harry is then killed in the fighting and Lorna fears she might have lost her best chance of happiness. Can she fill the void created by Harry’s death by helping the child refugees of the conflict?

She finds a particular connection to one boy, Pepe, and as he grows up below the radar of the authorities in England their lives become increasingly intertwined. But can Lorna rely on Pepe as he remains deeply pulled towards the homeland and family that have been placed beyond his reach? Coming through the war, then the post-war rebuilding, Lorna and Pepe’s relationship will be tested by their tragic and emotive history.



Extract from ‘Spanish Crossings’


Extract from ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’ by Gina Kirkham

I hope you all enjoyed Gina Kirkham’s guest post as much as I did.  I love Gina’s posts and I really can’t wait to read her book when it comes out.  It’s time for a treat now, an exclusive extract from ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’.   But first, the book blurb.


Book Blurb

Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong? Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America. Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.



Extract from ‘Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong’


Extract from ‘The Gift Maker’ by Mark Mayes


I hope you all enjoyed my interview with Mark Mayes.  There are many more to come.  I have an exclusive extract from ‘The Gift Maker’ for you to read, but first here’s the book blurb.


Book Blurb

‘Gifts ought to be free, but they never are. They tie you to the wishes of others. To your own sad expectations. To the penitentiary of your dreams.’

Late one night, Thomas Ruder receives a strange package: a small blue box. Another such item is delivered to his friend Liselotte Hauptmann. These ‘gifts’ will change their lives forever. In the far-off border town of Grenze, a play is to be performed at the Sheol Theatre. Reynard the impresario expects a very special audience. Thomas and Liselotte, together with their friend Johann, are drawn into Reynard’s seductive web, as Daumen, the gift maker, must decide who his master really is.

The Gift Maker is a story about identity, about fulfilling your dreams and becoming the person you always were … at whatever cost.



Extract from ‘The Gift Maker’


Extract of ‘The Evil Beneath’ by A.J. Waines


AJ Waines has kindly provided me with an extract to her book ‘The Evil Beneath’.


About the book

The Evil Beneath went to No 1 in ‘Serial Killers’ in UK Kindle Charts and, in March 2015, to No 1 in the entire Australian Kindle Charts.

There’s a body in the water – and she’s wearing your clothes…

Impulsive and intrepid psychotherapist, Juliet Grey, can’t resist responding to an anonymous text message telling her to go to Hammersmith Bridge at dawn. But it isn’t simply the dead body in the water that disturbs her, it’s the way something uniquely personal to Juliet has been left on the corpse.

Another obscure message – another London bridge – and Juliet finds herself caught up with a serial killer, who leaves personal mementos instead of collecting trophies.

Teaming up with local detective, DCI Brad Madison, Juliet strives to find out why she has been targeted and how it’s connected to the accident that killed her brother, nineteen years ago.

Can Juliet use her knowledge of the human psyche to get inside the mind of the killer, before another body is found under a bridge? And how long before Juliet herself becomes the next target?




Sunday, September 20th 

She had been lying there, facedown in the water long before the tide had turned at 3.04 that morning. Her eyes were staring into the river, her blonde hair first fanning out, then drawing back under her head with the wash of the water, like a pulsating jellyfish. The belt of her raincoat was caught on the branches of an overhanging tree and she’d been hooked, destined to forever flap against the corner of the broken pier with outstretched arms. She wasn’t going anywhere now; she was simply bobbing up and down with the rhythm of the water – and she hadn’t blinked in a long while.

A male jogger came down the ramp from the main road and ran straight past her. Then a cyclist dipped under the bridge and pedalled at speed with his head down. He, too, passed the bundle tucked under the tree without noticing it. But by 7.15am, the creeping sunrise was opening up the scene for all to see.

Her arms were held away from her body forming the shape of a cross on the water and tiny pieces of weed and broken twigs were caught up in her hair, making her head look like the beginnings of a bird’s nest.

An old man with a poodle stopped to stare at the sodden shape in the water, then a woman who had been power-walking joined them, followed by a couple with their arms around each other.  Another cyclist, older and slower than the first, joined them. He was the boldest of the group so far. He was wearing black lycra shorts and without taking off his trainers, he began to wade into the river.

In the distance, standing on Hammersmith Bridge, someone was starting to feel pleased with themselves. From that position, you didn’t need the binoculars to see a group was starting to form at the water’s edge. Where was everybody coming from so early on a Sunday morning? It was like watching wasps gather around a spoonful of raspberry jam.

The cyclist went up to his thighs in the water, getting within a few feet of the body and then turned around shaking his head. He was shouting something to the woman who had been power-walking and she began reaching into her backpack.

The woman’s legs were sticking out from beneath the gabardine. They were covered in purple striped tights and she was still wearing both ankle boots. Everything looked intact.

No one would notice the binoculars now trained towards the towpath. She had to arrive at the scene any time now, to get a good view, before the body was bagged up and taken away by the river police.

Take your time, came a whisper from the bridge, we need a certain person to get here before the police tidy everything away.

Another woman, who seemed to have come from nowhere, doubled over and rested her hand against the tree. Someone put their arm around her. You couldn’t tell from this distance if she’d been sick.

Then she was there. The chosen one. On her own, walking tentatively towards the water. She’d got the message and she’d responded. All was well with the world. How long would it take her before she realised? Before the shit hit the fan. That was a good image; it had the ring of old Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Was it worth waiting around for that moment or not? She might not make the connection straight away. Some people’s brains didn’t work as fast as others.

There was a sound of a siren. An ambulance and a squad car pulled up and in a flash, she was lost in the tight little gathering. No point hanging around. The show was over, but the party was just beginning.

An eye for an eye; that’s how the saying went. Proper punishment where it was due. And this was going to be one hell of a payback.

Strains of idle humming came from the bridge. It was time to start dreaming of fried eggs and two pieces of toast – and perhaps even some beans on the side. Wasn’t that justified?


About the Author


AJ Waines writes Psychological Thrillers. She has an Agent and book deals in France and Germany. As a former Psychotherapist working with ex-offenders from high-security institutions, she has come face to face with the criminal mind. Her first two stand-alone novels, THE EVIL BENEATH and GIRL ON A TRAIN, feature strong intrepid women in modern, grizzly London settings.






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The Evil Beneath is in the Kindle sale right now at only 99p ($1.48). Grab it while you can. UK: Click here US: Click here.

Blog Tour – ‘Hellbound’ by David McCaffrey


I was invited by Crime Book Club to take part in this blog tour.  Below is an extract from ‘Hellbound’ which David McCaffrey has given me.  I hope you enjoy reading it.


‘All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible’                                  

T.E. Lawrence


Chapter Fourteen


He felt empty. Emptiness he had never before experienced. And it filled him with another feeling he had never known. Dread.

Obadiah had no idea where they were going, only that Eva had said this morning that they needed to get away. He needed to get away. She believed wholeheartedly that his seemingly flashpoint aggression and descriptions of murder were simply the end result of a man trying to come to terms with a terminal illness. And though Obadiah had allowed her to believe that, he knew his eruption of anger was due to the conflict going on within him, a conflict with the prize his very soul.

He glanced over at Eva in the driver’s seat before pulling down the sun visor and flipping open the mirror. He saw himself; his emerald eyes seemingly alight with crimson flames as though the battle within him were reflected there. The monster that was Obadiah Stark – or had been Obadiah Stark – felt lessened somehow, as though every breath he took expelled one more part of who he had been.

Before he found himself here, the shadowy corners of his heart had been sated with his desires and projections of strength and power. Now, in a place where he was powerless, with those wants and desires taken from him, he no longer knew how to fill those empty spaces. Even if what he thought he felt for Eva and Ellie was something abstractedly related to caring or even love, he had no concept of how to use those emotions for anything other than manipulation and suffering.

“Where do you want to go, Obi?” Eva flicked on the windscreen washer, scraping away the dead insects that had accumulated on the screen.

“I don’t know,” he replied distantly. “Where could we go?”

“Well, we could check into a hotel for a few days while we work out what we’re going to do,” she replied, trying to be cheerful. “Or there’s my parents cottage on Beginish. I mean, you know there’s not much to do for Ell’s, but she loves the grey seals and the Artic Terns, so she would be okay for a few days. I don’t mind sweetie, it’s up to you. Whatever you want, we’ll do. I just want to understand what’s happening.”

Obadiah remained expressionless. “You and me both.”

Staring out the window, he tried to focus on the images rushing past, their inherent images blurring into one, coalesced backdrop that seemed almost painted onto the window. Ellie sang a Disney tune in the back of the car that Obadiah recognised as ‘A Whole New World’ from Aladdin.

It most certainly is, he thought, turning to look at her.

She stared back at him, beaming a huge smile that threatened to split her face open. Obadiah tried to remain stoic, expressionless. Over the years he had perfected the art of a crocodile smile, able to produce a perfect image of kindness and compassion that ultimately served his goal of manipulation. Yet here, in the back of a car in this ethereal no man’s land, he found himself unable to stop the genuine response that was forming on his face. And he felt discomfort at the fact it didn’t feel unnatural. He knew he shouldn’t be having these reactions to such basic stimuli, but Ellie’s genuine look of love and adoration was a force more powerful than Obadiah had ever experienced. His smile quickly faded as he caught himself unconsciously enjoying a human moment, Obadiah quickly turned around and back towards the window.

“Obi, I think maybe we should speak to someone else,” Eva announced with a sigh. “The things you said, maybe they mean you’re getting worse. It’s something I don’t even want to think about, but we have to face that possibility.”

Obadiah nodded, but remained silent. That’s a fucking understatement.                    

“Obi,” Eva asked gently. “Please talk to me.”

“You want to talk?” He asked quietly without facing her. “Okay, we’ll talk. Did I ever tell you that when I was young I was always bored. Nothing really held any interest for me; girls, skipping school, smoking, none of it. The only thing I found could control my boredom were the holidays we used to take. We used to camp in the Black Valley near Lough Leane. I would spend a lot of my time climbing along the Hag’s Glen and then up Devil’s Ladder to the col between Carrauntoohil and Cnoc na Péiste. The lake there was home to hundreds of bullfrogs. I used to spend hours stabbing them with a pair of scissors or catching them in nets and lying them on their backs, stabbing their little bulging stomachs and turning them over to see their jelly eyes mist over as they died. Then I used to see how far I could throw them into the lake.”

“What? Obi, you’re not making any sense.” Her voice trembling slightly, Eva briefly glanced back at Ellie as though seeing her would make her feel secure and safe.

“Just listen,” Obadiah said, turning to face her. “Later on, I learnt that fireworks strapped to their backs made the most amazing sight, blood and lights all combined, flowerlike shapes in the sky. And do you know how that made me feel?”

Eva had pulled over onto the hard shoulder, her face one of incredulous shock at what she was hearing.

“Nothing,” Obadiah continued flatly. “I felt nothing. I realised I couldn’t feel anything, from that day onwards. And I never thought anything of it. Everything I ever did, I did without any consideration of the consequences, because, as far as I was concerned, there were none. But I was paying a concealed price for my actions. That was the tradeoff. I see that now. Everything I ever did required me to be emotionally bankrupt. I could never have achieved the things I did otherwise. But, now I wonder was the price to high? Was it a price I didn’t even know I was paying?”

Eva had shrunk as far towards her door as she could go, trying to place as much distance between her and husband as possible without leaving the car. She glanced furtively at Ellie, playing on her tiny laptop, the little girl unaware of what was being discussed before her.

“Oh my God, Obi.” Glistening tracks snaked down Eva’s face, her tears coming in slow intervals. “I’m trying to understand, but you’re scaring me. These things you’re saying…they’re terrible. I mean, you’re talking like you’re a monster.”

Obadiah dropped his head as he spoke. “I am.”

Eva reached out and touched his face gently. “No, you’re not. You’re sick, but we can get through this. You just need to let me in. Please, Obi, let me in.”

Reaching up, Obadiah placed his hand over hers and held it on his cheek for a moment before gliding it back towards her lap.

“You got in. You make me feel stronger than I have ever felt before, and yet I’m weak around you. And I should hate you for it, but I don’t.” Obadiah shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “You want to know the closest I’ve ever come to being afraid? Being here, with you and Ellie. And you know why….because you don’t see me. Everyone I’ve ever met, they all gave me a look, like they could see the real Me, the Me waiting to come out. The bad Me. The one not here with you.”

Tears in her eyes, Eva looked at Ellie, as though trying to get some comfort from seeing her daughter. “Obi, this is insane.”

“Just listen. Feeling that fear makes me relieved, relieved that someone can see something else in me besides evil. It makes me believe it could be real. It makes me believe that even someone like me can feel things. A little bit…a tiny piece of empathy. I always believed empathy was the greatest weakness mankind could possess, a vestigial limb, making people vulnerable. But I see now it isn’t a weakness, it’s your greatest strength.  Where it makes you strong, my lack of it left a hole in my psyche that I know now I can’t fill. Where I should have had the most evolved of all human functions, I ended up with emptiness.”

Eva looked as though her world were collapsing around her, but Obadiah held his gaze, as though trying to burn Eva’s face into his memory before turning to look at Ellie. He saw she had fallen asleep, her head resting against the side of the window. He wanted to remember this moment and their faces, feeling sudden apprehension for reasons he couldn’t explain. He realised that right here was his opportunity to experience something that he had never thought possible, a chance to exist outside the dark life he had fashioned so carefully for himself over so many years. But he knew now that it would be something he could never accept as anything other than a distraction. Obadiah had made his peace with who he was a long time ago. How could he ever expect anyone else to do the same?

“Compassion, Eva,” he said softly, as he looked at Ellie before turning back. “That’s what I should have, where instead there was…is…nothing.”

Smiling softly at her, he opened the car door and stepped out. The evening air was bracing, a cold breeze washing over him like a sign of approval at what he was doing.

Obi, where are you going?”   She gasped, moving hurriedly into the passenger seat.

“I have to leave,” he replied. “I know you don’t understand, despite what I just told you, but I do. It’s for your own safety, yours and Ellie’s. You need to leave me.”


“Because, if I stay…I’ll hurt you.”

About David McCaffrey


I am thirty-nine, live in Redcar in the North East of England and currently work as an Acting Lead Nurse in Infection Prevention and Control at a local acute hospital where I have worked for thirteen years. I have a Jakey, a baby Liam and a Kelly!!

I have always dreamt of writing a story and when the opportunity arrived I decided to put my money where my mouth was! Hellbound retains only one aspect of the story I originally had in mind, but through that and with some guidance from one of my favourite authors, I was able to craft my story into something more, something different. A serial killer story where lines of morality are drawn around the killer himself. Crafting the world of Joe O’Connell and Obadiah Stark was an exciting journey for me and I hope the reader finds it just as enjoyable.


Visit http://kdforsman.com tomorrow for the next stage of this blog tour.

Leigh Russell’s ‘Fatal Act’ Blog Tour

Blog Tour Schedule


Leigh Russell’s brand new book ‘Fatal Act’, the sixth and latest DI Geraldine Steel Mystery is being published by No Exit Press on the 29th May 2014.  This is Leigh Russell’s very first UK blog tour which I am honoured to be involved in.




A glamorous young TV soap star dies in a car crash. Returning for her sixth case, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is baffled as the driver of the second vehicle miraculously survives – and vanishes. Another young actress is murdered and, once again, the killer mysteriously disappears. Geraldine unwittingly risks her sergeant’s life in their struggle to track down a serial killer who leaves no clues.



All she wanted to do now was get home safely. She drove slowly, looking out for a side road she could turn into. With luck she could slip away before her pursuer realised what she was doing. She passed a turning on the right, displaying a no entry sign. She braked abruptly. Her phone flew off the passenger seat. The van slowed down behind her. Worn out and stressed, she couldn’t even remember why she had been so angry with Piers. It had been a stupid argument in the first place. She wished she was back at home, away from the road at night and its wildness. Leaning forward to retrieve her phone from the floor, she punched Piers’ speed dial key. His phone rang, but there was no answer. She glanced in her mirror and glimpsed the other driver, his face a black mask in the darkness.


As part of this tour I was interested in learning about Leigh’s writing space.

My Writing Space


My desk is by a window. I like to be able to look out at the sky when I’m writing. It gives me an inspiring sense of freedom. I sit here for hours and hours, when the mood takes me – and when I have that much time. If you spend a lot of time writing, as I do, you have to think about a comfortable seating position, in order to avoid back ache. To add to my physical comfort, my chair swivels, so when my anyone else is in the room, I can turn round and talk to them without standing up. (How lazy is that?!)

You would think just sitting down, typing, would be relaxing, but it can be mentally exhausting. So I usually have a cup of tea and a few snacks available… I even have a little thermos flask, to keep my drink hot. When I’m on a roll with my writing, I often forget to eat. If I lived alone, I would probably starve. Fortunately I’m well looked after, sharing a house with three people who love to cook.


Although I’m not normally a tidy person, I keep my desk clear of anything that is not essential to my current work. Everything else is packed away out of sight. Appropriately enough, the computer on which I wrote my debut, Cut Short, died soon after the book was finished. Since then I’ve gone through another PC and have finally abandoned desktops in favour of tablets. I now have an ipad at home and an ipad mini which goes everywhere with me. I never leave the house without it, just as I always used to keep a paper notepad and pen in my bag. You never know when you might have a few minutes free to write. When I work away from my desk, whatever I type on my ipad mini magically appears on the mother ship at home (my full size ipad). It saves having to worry about losing memory sticks…

Since I moved from PCs to iPads, my writing pattern has changed, because I can now write anywhere. The epilogue to Race to Death, which is available to download in May, was written in a cafe on a Greek hillside, overlooking the ocean. In fact, I could be sitting in a cafe right now, writing this post…

The truth is that it doesn’t matter where I am, because the real writing space exists inside my head.



Author Biography

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English. For many years a secondary school English teacher, she is a creative writing tutor for adults. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in North West London. Her first novel, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award in 2010. This was followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead and Fatal Act, in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series. Cold Sacrifice is the first title in a spin off series featuring Geraldine Steel’s sergeant, Ian Peterson.


Below are some useful author links:-

For information about Leigh Russell and her books, click on this link – noexit.co.uk/leighrussell

Leigh Russell’s website can be found here – leighrussell.co.uk

Facebook Page – facebook.com/pages/Geraldine-Steel-British-detective/713349595357054

Twitter – @LeighRussell



Stop Dead by Leigh Russell has been nominated for The People’s Book Prize.

If you have read this book do please take a couple of moments to visit http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1070 and cast your vote in support.


The tour continues tomorrow at the From First Page to Last blog – fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com.

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