A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “Killer Reads”

Guest Post by Alex Day

I am pleased to welcome Alex Day to my blog.  ‘The Missing Twin’ was published as an eBook by Killer Reads in August of this year and has had a lot of good feedback so far.  It is out in paperback tomorrow, the 5th October 2017.  Alex has written a guest post which I hope you all enjoy.

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Psychological thrillers are such big news in the book world at the moment that most people will have read one or two or ten. I love to read this genre so it seemed a logical step to write my own and, amazingly, as soon as I’d had this thought the plot for The Missing Twin appeared before me like a mirage. I know, that sort of thing doesn’t happen often – even in a psychological thriller!

The great thing about the genre is that it’s very broad so as a writer, I didn’t feel limited about what I could or couldn’t write, or that I had to include certain things in order for it to be ‘accepted’ into the fold. I’m not a fan of graphic violence in books of any type, and I simply couldn’t go into the gory details of a bloody murder or gruesome torture or anything like that. That’s not to say that there’s no violence at all in The Missing Twin. Sadly, there is – but I hope that readers will understand how and why it happens and will appreciate how and why sexual violence is so often used as a weapon of power and control over women.

It’s interesting to be writing this guest post now, after the first reviews for The Missing Twin have come in. The level of engagement with the story is fantastic, with Fatima fast becoming a firm favourite. The most gratifying thing is that many readers have said how her experiences have made them stop and think about how lucky they are in their cosy lives, and made them more aware of, and sympathetic towards, the refugee situation in the world today.

Poor Edie, bless her, is often misunderstood. I hope that readers will understand, as they progress through the book, why she is the way she is and why she does the things she does. Her character arc – what she experiences, and how she deals with it, and how she comes out the other end – is hugely important to the narrative. I really love Edie, who has so many demons to overcome, and I was rooting for her just as much as for Fatima as I was writing the tale.

I always love to hear how other authors research their work, and I have to confess to being overcome by jealousy when I hear of those who can spend six months living in a refugee camp so that they can better write the character of an asylum seeker or whatever. It would be great to have the opportunity to do this but unfortunately it simply isn’t possible for me or for the vast majority of writers. I have a home and three children to support and to do this, I must work full time as a teacher in an inner London secondary school. My writing is something I shoehorn into whatever time is left after the commitments of ten to twelve hour working days and my own kids’ needs.

As with many authors, my dream is to make enough from my writing to give up the day job – but that dream is still a long, long way off. Most ebooks sell for just £1 or £2, on which 20% VAT is payable, unlike print books. So if you buy a book for £1, 20p of what you’ve paid goes immediately to the Exchequer. The publisher takes the bulk of what’s left, with the writer getting only a small percentage, some of which goes to their agent and some to the tax man when they do their own tax return. You can do the maths and work out that it’s hard to make serious money. Writers rich as Croesus in the JK Rowling model are rare indeed.

So, to get back to the research, for a story like Fatima’s it involved hours on the internet, studying news reports and blogs and videos and photographs. I also drew on my own experience of teaching the children of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in London schools. Many of them have horrendous, and desperately sad, stories but what is amazing is their tremendous resilience and their ability to keep going. Having said that, the Syrian children I’ve met have clearly been deeply traumatised and I simply cannot imagine how that country is ever going to recover and rebuild after everything its citizens have been through.

All the research in the world, however, does not make a fiction book and the icing on the cake is one’s own imagination. How does it feel to be sure that someone’s out to get you, to know that you’re being lied to but not to know by whom? What is it like to be fleeing for your life, with no idea what new dangers lie around every corner, always fearing that you, or your children, won’t make it?

If you can imagine those scenarios, and write about them, then you can write a psychological thriller – or any kind of book, for that matter. I’m hugely excited about The Missing Twin and I hope that you will be, too, and will enjoy the experience of reading. You can follow me on Twitter at @alexdaywriter.

 

About Alex Day

Alex Day is a writer, teacher, parent and dreamer who has been putting pen to paper to weave stories for as long as she can remember. The Missing Twin is her first psychological thriller but she is a bestselling author of fiction under the name Rose Alexander.

Inspired by a real pair of identical twin girls, The Missing Twin also draws on Alex’s experience of teaching newly arrived refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in a London comprehensive school.

 

‘The Missing Twin’ is available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Missing-Twin-gripping-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B072TYXKLB/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1507053705&sr=1-1

It can be pre-ordered in paperback here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Missing-Twin-Alex-Day/dp/0008271291/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1507053705&sr=1-1

 

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Blog Tour – ‘Ice Lake’ by John A Lenahan

‘Ice Lake’, the first of a series, was published as an eBook on the 7th July 2017 by Killer Reads. I was invited to take part in the blog tour for this book and was very kindly sent an ARC for review.

This story is set in Pennsylvania. A man is found murdered in the woods by a local kid. But what was the motive for killing him? Harry Cull a psychologist with a tragic past is called in to help with the murder investigation. Arriving at the picturesque town of Ice Lake he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.

A few days later another body is found and Harry finds himself on the trail of a twisted killer who will do absolutely anything to keep the town’s darkest secrets buried.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Ice Lake’ and I think this book is a promising start to a new series. I liked the writing style although it took a little bit of getting used to. The snippets of information at the beginning of some of the chapters were quite interesting and I actually felt that I learnt something. I wouldn’t have minded living near Ice Lake. The view from the house Harry was staying in sounded spectacular. I’d probably get fat from eating too many donuts though.

I warmed to Harry Cull almost instantly and I liked the banter between him and Trooper Cirba. Cirba was another favourite of mine. There were a few people who could have been responsible for the murders and it did seem as if the investigation wasn’t really going anywhere for a while. But Harry was smart and Cirba knew this. I thought the author did a pretty good job of keeping me guessing who the killer was. He kept me intrigued.

I am delighted to have been given the chance to discover yet another new author and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I hope Harry Cull gets involved in many more investigations.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

 

About John Lenahan

John Lenahan is a popular TV magician who became the first person in 85 years to be expelled from the Magic Circle. He has had a prime time BBC1 TV show called ‘Secrets Of Magic’ and also a BBC2 series ‘Stuff The White Rabbit’. He was the voice of the toaster in ‘Red Dwarf’ and has made guest appearances on numerous variety shows. He has toured with Jack Dee, Lenny Henry and Victoria Wood. Shadowmagic was an award-winning podcast novel prior to being signed to The Friday Project.

 

 

‘Ice Lake’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ice-Lake-gripping-guessing-Psychologist-ebook/dp/B06XBKYTB7/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499750704&sr=1-1&keywords=ice+lake+by+john+a+lenahan

 

Halloween Poem by S. Williams

Halloween Ghost

I hope that you are all enjoying the event so far.  There’s still loads to come, but now I think it’s time we had some poetry.

 

Well tap, tap, tap the ghosts are back
You thought you’d seen them off but now you’re under attack
They’re coming down the chimney, and up through the cellar floor
they’re screaming at your window, they’re moaning at your door
ell tip-y tap, toe you’ve got nowhere to go
You’ve set your heart in concrete but it’s all just for show
You know the name of every skeleton you hid under the bed
Every broken promise that you shot down dead
The way you murdered all the love and all the dreams they gave you
All you did was take, well now they’re here to repay you
Well tap, tap, tap the ghosts are back
And they’re not leaving ‘till it’s done

Well tap, tap, tap the ghosts are back
They’ve got a bell, book and candle and a Hessian sack
They’ve got a spade, and some salt and two pennies for your eyes
They’ve got a box made of Apple-wood to store up all your lies
There’s a ghost on a bike that’s racing round and round your head
Leaving streaks of pain across your sight
Making you wish you’d never said
There’s a body in your arms that you don’t remember kissing
And there’s fingers stroking through your hair but all the nails are missing
And if you’d only ever stayed with me, you wouldn’t have to pay
And I wouldn’t make you weigh your life; you’d live another day
Well tap, tap tap the ghost is back
And I’m not leaving ‘till it’s over

Well tap, tap, tap the ghost is here
And I’ve come to play a parlour game of consequence and fear
I’ve come to sit upon your chest and squeeze out all your life
I’ve come to watch my dying husband; watch my dying wife
Yes here I come a-tapping, the ghost of your love
The one you broke and buried, but not quite deep enough
The one for whom eternity meant forever and a day
But to you just meant the packaging, a thing you throw away
Here I come a-weeping and a-stumbling to you
The ghost of everything you did to me that wasn’t true
Here I come to kiss you, to take away your breath
To take your arm in mine, my love
And walk you into death

Copyright © S. Williams, 2015

 

‘Tuesday Falling’ is S. Williams debut novel.  It is available to buy on Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tuesday-Falling-S-Williams-ebook/dp/B00R0RGSHU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445367511&sr=1-1&keywords=tuesday+falling

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