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Blog Tour – ‘After She’s Gone’ and ‘Sins of the Father’ by Sheryl Browne

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I am delighted to be taking part in Sheryl Browne’s blog tour for her books, ‘After She’s Gone’, published recently and ‘Sins of the Father’ which is out today, both by Choc Lit.  The covers alone should tempt you to buy these books, but here’s what they are about.

 

Are you ready to take a journey into the mind of a madman?

After She’s Gone.

Sins of the Father.

All-consuming thrillers that will eat you and spit you back out.

 

After She’s Gone

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.

When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.

But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

 

Sins of the Father

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.

But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.

When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

~~~~~

Sound good?  Just to whet your appetites that little bit more here’s an excerpt from ‘After She’s Gone’.

 

Excerpt – After She’s Gone

Matthew walked purposefully, his breath freezing and flying into the crisp air like a soft white djinn. He’d debated hard whether to make the call. One call and air surveillance could be hovering overhead in minutes, armed officers despatched and honing in on their target, ready to shoot Sullivan down if they caught so much as a glimpse of him. And where might that leave Becky and Ashley? His thumb hovering over his mobile, he’d factored in that Sullivan would use them as a human shield.

Matthew hadn’t made the call. Those were exactly the tactics the coward would resort to, and Matthew had no idea whether Becky was in there. Depending on the soundness of the roof, thermal imaging might have indicated how many people there were and pinpointed their location, but it couldn’t have identified who was who. Ashley he’d heard. Matthew’s heart sank afresh as he recalled her soul-crushing scream. Becky though … The thought of her imprisoned in some dank, confined space … an underground sewer, a box buried somewhere … and the only man who knew where, shot down and killed before he’d disclosed her location? That was the unbearable scenario that had decided him.

The gun, bought with one specific aim in mind, to destroy Sullivan like the vermin he was, was now useless. Matthew had it with him. Biting rain now slashing down, obscuring his vision and soaking him through to the skin, he checked his jacket pocket for the lump of cold metal. He’d abandoned the shoulder holster, thought about trying to secrete the gun, but then abandoned that idea too. Sullivan would search him. He’d find it in seconds. Ditto any other weapon Matthew had considered. He had no plan. His only hope, he knew, as did Sullivan, was to do as instructed. Turn up at the designated time. Wiping a hand over his eyes, Matthew squinted at his watch. Thereafter, offer himself in exchange for Becky and Ashley, beg Sullivan to release them, take whatever crap the sick bastard dished out. Nothing could be worse than the pain tearing Matthew apart now, except to lose the woman he loved. To know that she and Ashley had suffered and he’d been able to do nothing about it.

Rage smouldering steadily inside him, Matthew stopped directly in front of the property, making sure he was in full view. One clear shot and Sullivan could take him out in an instant. But Sullivan wasn’t about to do that. He needed to satiate his depraved appetites, play his perverted little game, and in the nightmare this game had become, Sullivan was winning hands down.

Five minutes ticked by, excruciatingly slowly. Matthew didn’t move, other than to blink away the rain falling from his eyelashes like icy tears from a frond. Trying not to imagine what might greet him inside, he scanned the outside of the building, mentally noting all available exits. Close up, it was more dilapidated than he’d thought: slates off the roof, the framework skeletal in places, empty sockets for windows upstairs, dark, like blind eyes watching him. There was a hayloft-door hanging off, rotting supporting beams interlacing the brickwork. Two windows downstairs, both boarded, bar a gap in one, through which Matthew had no doubt he was being watched. A sturdy front door, cast iron hinges … Matthew fixed his gaze on it and waited.

Eventually, he heard a bolt being drawn. Bracing himself, Matthew drew in a long breath as the door slowly opened, jarring on the uneven floor as it went.

 

About Sheryl Browne

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Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.

A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WHSmith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

 

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest | Choc Lit

 

Trailer Links

DI Matthew Adams series: https://youtu.be/0MqZ5TpBwGk

After She’s Gone: https://youtu.be/ujK0mFpYYrM

 

Guest Post by Louise Voss

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I’m delighted to welcome Louise Voss to my blog today.  Louise has written a very interesting guest post which I’m sure you’ll enjoy as much as I did.

 

The Seven Deadly Sins of a Writer

Although a writer’s life can be wonderful, most of us experience a whole raft of emotional side-effects to this perilous way of earning a crust. I suspect we all have a pretty full house of the Seven Deadly Sins bubbling away under the surface. But put a different slant to them, and you can, I reckon, turn each one into something positive… I hope this doesn’t sound too Pollyanna-ish – what do you think?

SLOTH – Whenever I say I’ve finished another book, people often respond with admiration and comments like, ‘wow, you’re so prolific!’ I confess that, without fail, this makes me feel like a fraud. Yes, I have written six novels and co-authored six more – but this is over a period of seventeen years. Compared to many of my crime-writing peers, my output is meagre, verging on embarrassingly so. I mean, some people routinely write two novels a year! But it’s all relative, and we all work at different paces, so I remind myself that it takes as long as it takes.

PRIDE – those rare but wonderful occasions when you get a great review, a sniff of film interest, or perhaps hit the higher echelons of the Amazon charts. My feeling is that pride, if kept in check, is actually the reward for all the other disappointments that a writer’s life inevitably brings – but obviously no-one likes a braggard. So if you do find you have something to boast about, best be aware of the fine line between self-promotion and arrogance…

ENVY – that’s a very obvious one, one which I challenge any living writer not to have experienced at some point or another. One of the things I most love about the writing community is how supportive we all are of each other, and we are all genuinely delighted when one of our number gets a fabulous new book deal or a No.1 chart position. It doesn’t mean we don’t secretly feel envy too on occasion. But it’s completely natural, and I reckon envy can be a good incentive to work a bit harder. A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone.

GREED – the constant ‘could do better’ness about the business – have I got into the top 500? Great, but I need to be in the Top 100! Top 100? Not good enough. Need to be in the Top 20….Top 10…how great would it be to get into the Top 5?…etc. etc. But again, is this greed or ambition?

GLUTTONY – yup. And many of us have a writer’s bottom to show for it. Come on, give me a break, it can be pretty tedious sitting at the kitchen table on a laptop all day long, with the fridge just yards away, calling to us. And yet, I know that I reward myself when I’ve worked hard, with a few chocs or a decent bottle of wine. That’s not gluttony, is it? My mum’s voice comes to me: ‘Everything, but in moderation…’

LUST… well, that’s one of the least of them, unless you bracket it with envy when lusting after someone else’s advance, book jacket, sales figures, TV appearances, killer twists, and so on.

WRATH is an interesting one. We’ve all read about these spats between authors, or authors and their publishers, or – often – authors and people who leave them horrible reviews. I guess that mostly comes down to personality though.

It’s all about the perspective, really, isn’t it, like most things in life.

Which would be the worst of your seven deadly sins?

 

About Louise Voss

Louise Voss is a no.1 best-selling author with twelve novels under her belt, encompassing both contemporary and crime fiction.   Six of the latter are co-written thrillers with Mark Edwards, the most recent being two DI Lennon titles, From The Cradle and The Blissfully Dead.   She has just completed her latest solo psychological suspense novel, The Old You , which will be out in 2017.

 

Links

Books on today’s Kindle Daily Deal:-

To Be Someone – http://amzn.to/2gBGH8aQ 

Games People Play – http://amzn.to/2fxGITm

Social Media:-

Twitter – @LouiseVoss1

 

Interview with Dr. Antonio Menzies

Dr Menzies

So it’s like this!  I was meant to be interviewing Geoff Nelder but instead my questions have been answered by Dr. Antonio Menzies, the main character in the ARIA trilogy…..

 

Dear Sonya,

I’ve been sent your questions to that reprobate author, Geoff Nelder, who is far too idle to answer them himself. I am Dr. Antonio Menzies PhD (HPV), DMS (liguria) and in between seducing rich patients I’m willing to pen some lurid but truthful answers on Nelder’s behalf.

 

How long has Geoff Nelder been writing?

Far too long. He scribbled jokes as a teen that were so awful they were picked for university rag mags. Eg When men smell it’s an accident. When women smell it’s a mystery.

 

What types of books does he write?

Nelder calls them science fiction but look at ESCAPING REALITY, that’s a humorous thriller. Oh, I forgot about that one, he says. Then HOT AIR is a serious thriller with a feisty female being shot down in a hot-air balloon. How can that work? It’s true that EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEE is pure science fiction baloney. Alien artefacts that had been buried for eons leave. Not at escape velocity but so slowly you could stroke them. They’ve been collecting time decoherences – heard of it? Nor me but they exist in a quantum sense. So when these spheres leave orbit, the Earth goes into spasms—argh. Nelder’s most famous—and then only in his street—for his ARIA Trilogy. It’s brilliant because I’m a main character in it. Allegedly, I go mad after being exposed to the antidote for an alien infectious amnesia bug. I know, infectious amnesia doesn’t exist, OR didn’t exist until Nelder invented it. Of all things to create: a bug that infects everyone such that they forget a year’s worth of memory, backwards, each week. You forget how to do your job, where you live, who you married! Eventually, how to read and speak. Pre-apocalyptic and post.

 

Can you tell me a bit about his latest book?

Nelder’s gone all historical fantasy in his latest novel. He holidayed in Malta, discovered my predecessors, Ottoman pirates, abducted the people of a whole island. Well, the spirits of those slaves are crying out for revenge aren’t they? Hence XAGHRA’S REVENGE is finished and looking for an unwise publisher to take it on.

 

Does Geoff Nelder have to do any research?

Don’t mention research! He’s obsessed by getting stuff right. He has to name streets, towns and rivers in the right places. I blame it on him being a geography teacher for 100 years. In ARIA he read every damn book on the brain, amnesia, Alzheimer’s, you name it. No don’t. So into research he emailed an astronaut, Leroy Chaio, for data on the struts of the International Space Station and get this, Leroy replied while he was in orbit!

 

Where does Geoff Nelder get his ideas from?

He steals his ideas from me. No question. Nelder says he oxygenates his brain while on his long cycling tours but I’ve no doubt at all that he sneaks a peek at my prescription pad and little black book for his ideas.

 

How long on average does it take him to write each book?

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I was in a pub the other evening and overheard a nerd bookreader say, “I read Geoff Nelder’s ARIA: LEFT LUGGAGE in just a weekend.” What? I happen to know that poor old Nelder spent two years writing that first book in his ARIA trilogy. Granted much of that was in research and another half a year going through his critique group in the British Science Fiction Association, but even so, TWO YEARS to write a book is ridiculous.

 

What is Nelder working on now?

You mean what is he cribbing off me? Shorts. He’s writing shorts as if they are worth reading. He’s written over 100 of them, 84 have been published including 7 this year. Against my advice he’s plotting a sequel to XAGHRA’S REVENGE.

 

Does he have a favourite place to write?

As an idiot researcher Nelder likes to write his stories in their setting. Hence if a scene is in Paris, that’s where you’ll find him, sat at an outside café table swimming in the language, atmosphere and booze. I encourage this, especially with his science fiction. Go to the Moon I tell him. Often.

 

What would Geoff Nelder’s reaction be if a character from one of his books came to life and turned up on his doorstep?

You’re kidding, right? I am here you know.

 

Where does Nelder see himself in five years time?

Never mind him. He’s a boring writer, whereas I’ll be having two or more synchronous affairs with gorgeous women patients all eager to please me to have their cosmetic ops done for half price. Luxury.

 

Hello, Geoff Nelder has spotted me writing these responses, I’ll get them to you and delete this document before he can stop me. While I’m at it I’ll delete some of his projects. Hah, there was one where he used me to promote his ARIA: LEFT LUGGAGE. There, gone.

 

For those who are bothered all Geoff Nelder’s books are in his Amazon Authors page at

UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy and tweets at @geoffnelder

http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

 

About Geoff Nelder

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Geoff Nelder is a professional liar, badass editor, and fiction competition judge. He was awarded Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society for his research into air pollution and microclimates. He taught Geography and IT to the ungrateful alive but escaped to write.

His publications include science fiction novels Exit, Pursued by Bee and the ARIA trilogy; and thrillers: Escaping Reality, and Hot Air. Many of his short stories have found homes in mags such as The Horror Zine, Ether Books, eFiction, Encounters, Jimston Journal, Delivered, Screaming Dreams and many anthologies such as Monk Punk, Science Fiction Writers’ Sampler and Zombified.

 

Interview with Trace Conger

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I would like to introduce you all to Trace Conger.  He recently contacted me regarding his book and was keen to be interviewed for my blog.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your book please?

My novel, THE SHADOW BROKER, introduces the world to Finn Harding (Mr. Finn to his clients), a PI who recently lost his PI license.

To make ends meet he begins working for criminals who pay in cash and don’t care if he’s licensed or not. Finn gets ensnared in a plot to take over a black market information brokerage and finds himself entrenched deeper in the criminal world than he ever expected.

With his own clients gunning for him, Finn (and his family) must evade a psychopathic killer, special agents from the FBI’s cybercrime unit, and a Detroit mob boss.

 

Did it take you long to write?       

I outlined the novel in November of 2013 and then began writing in January 2014. I completed the first draft in May. From there it went through review with my beta readers, editing by me, review from my editor, more editing by me, and then I had the final version published in October of 2014.

So it took about five months for the first draft and then another five months for reviews, editing, and all the other responsibilities (cover design, formatting, etc.) that comes with publishing a novel.

 

Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere. I find most of my ideas come while I’m writing or reading, as if those acts open up the part of my brain that generates ideas. The original idea for THE SHADOW BROKER came to me several years ago, and at the time, I thought it would be a short story. I wrote the story several times, but never really liked it, so I shelved it.

About a year or so later I had a conversation with a retired PI who explained that she used to work as a black market information broker for a very short time to make ends meet. In that role, she acquired illegal personal information for her clients who paid top dollar. After learning that these shadowy individuals exist, I was intrigued and disturbed at the same time.

I combined this plot point with some of the other plot elements from the original short story and THE SHADOW BROKER was born.

 

Did you have to do any research for your book and if so what did it entail?

I try to be as accurate in my work as possible and that can entail a lot of research. The “Mr. Finn” series is set in Cincinnati, and since I live there, scouting out the locals is pretty easy. I also have a few private investigators and law enforcement contacts who I work with at times to flesh out specific situations.

There is one scene in THE SHADOW BROKER where two FBI agents interview my protagonist at the FBI office in Cincinnati. I tried to get a visit through the FBI so I could see the inside of the building in an effort to capture it accurately (within reason) in the book, but as you can imagine the FBI didn’t go for it. They did hook me up with a contact though who answered a lot of my questions and helped me visualize the setting for the novel.

I understand that most readers wouldn’t know if I’m painting an accurate picture or not, but I’ve always tried to be as accurate as I can. It doesn’t matter if I’m describing how to pick a lock or how to steal a specific drug to cut heroin. It needs to be real.

 

Would you like to see your book made into a film or drama?

I think every author would love to see his or her work on the big screen (not to mention the cash that comes with it). I’ve visited several book clubs to discuss my novel and during every meeting someone has said they could see THE SHADOW BROKER as a movie.

It’s very fast paced, so I think it would lend itself well to film, but it was never something I considered while writing it. Of course, if Hollywood comes knocking, I’ll answer the door.

 

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the follow-up novel to THE SHADOW BROKER. It’s called SCAR TISSUE and picks up a few weeks after the previous novel ends. It’s been a lot of fun to write, and with my first novel out of the way, I feel much more confident about my writing process. The second novel dives deeper into the characters’ background and readers will learn a lot more about some of the ideas brought up in THE SHADOW BROKER.

In addition to SCAR TISSUE, I’m also outlining the third novel in the Mr. Finn series as well as researching a standalone novel that leans more to the horror side of suspense than the crime side.

I also enjoy writing short stories, so I have a few of those in the works as well.

 

What made you want to start writing?

It sounds hokey, but I’ve always enjoyed writing and never really saw myself doing anything else. I cut my teeth in the PR business in New York and my responsibilities included a lot of writing. It wasn’t the writing I wanted to do—I always gravitated toward fiction—but it was great experience and helped me discover my voice and taught me how to pitch journalists and work under the pressures of a deadline, all things I still have to do as an author.

 

Describe a day in your life.

That’s a tough one, because with two children, my days are anything but typical. As far as writing is concerned, since I’m also a freelance writer, I split my time between writing for clients, promoting THE SHADOW BROKER, and writing the follow-up novel, SCAR TISSUE.

I try to keep an even split with 50% of my week writing fiction and the other 50% writing copy for clients, but this ebbs and flows as any freelancer will attest. For me, one of the most important aspects of a writing career is to be consistent. While I strive to write fiction every day, sometimes life gets in the way and this isn’t possible, but at a minimum, I try for 1,000 words of fiction every day.

 

Where can readers connect with you?

The best way is through my website at http://www.traceconger.com. I love hearing from readers and answer all of my email (though it can take some time).

Readers can also connect via Facebook at (www.facebook.com/tracecongerauthor) or Twitter @TraceConger.

Readers can also sign up for my newsletter on my website or through my Facebook page to get updates on my work (and a free short story).

 

About Trace Conger

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Trace Conger is an author in the crime, thriller and suspense genres. His Mr. Finn series follows disgraced private investigator Finn Harding as he straddles the fine line between criminal investigator and criminal.

Conger is known for his tight writing style, dark themes and subtle humor. He lives in Cincinnati with his wonderfully supportive family.

Find out more about Trace Conger and the Mr. Finn series on his official website, http://www.traceconger.com.

 

‘The Shadow Broker’ is available to buy on Amazon:-

UK – http://alturl.com/6toob

US – http://alturl.com/8phqx

Guest Post – Karen Sullivan about Orenda Books

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Karen Sullivan recently left Arcadia Books and took the very big step of starting her own publishing business.  Karen has written a guest post for my blog in which she explains what led her to make this decision and what she has already achieved.

 

That mystical energy …

Karen Sullivan – Publisher and founder of Orenda Books

Sometimes the best decisions are made on the hoof, without really contemplating the logistics or the practicalities. And sometimes things fall into place so perfectly, you know that a decision was right – something that was simply meant to happen.

Eight weeks ago, I got news that Arcadia Books, where I worked as Managing Editor, would be postponing the vast majority of the 2015 publishing programme in a restructuring programme. My job would no longer exist in its original incarnation, and I would no longer be doing what I love – acting as a midwife for wonderful authors, producing fabulous, beautiful books. Within the space of 24 hours, I made a decision to go it on my own – start a little independent publishing company, which would allow me to do what I like doing best, and help to bring some extraordinary books to the marketplace.

I’ve always had a passion for translated literature, so I instantly decided that half of my six titles per year would be in translation. I’d just spent a fabulous few days at Bloody Scotland festival, where my enthusiasm for crime and thrillers hit an all-time high, so that seemed the right genre on which to focus. But I also knew that I’d love the opportunity to publish books outside these genres – fiction that resonated with me, and deserved to be recognised.

Then came the issue of funding, but my extremely supportive ex-FD husband managed to secure enough to support the publishing programme for the first year or so. Domestic and international print and ebook sales and distribution were soon negotiated, and then it was time to get some ‘talent’ on board.

When I was at Arcadia, I’d stumbled across David F. Ross’s self-published The Last Days of Disco – a brilliantly authentic, funny and moving story set in 1980s Ayrshire. Contracts hadn’t been signed, and I was fortunate enough that David was keen to join my new venture. That book has been edited, partially rewritten, polished to perfection, typeset and proofread, and is now ‘queuing’ to go live on ebook on 15 December, with the print version following early in the New Year. The amazing jacket has had Twitter ablaze with comments, and some very special people provided glowing quotes! David is a tremendous writer, and I feel honoured to grab him at the beginning of what is bound to be a long and successful career.

Next up was Ragnar Jonasson, an Icelandic crime writer who I’d met at CrimeFest last May. I watched with surprise as dozens of avid fans lined up to buy his book after a successful panel – a book that didn’t actually exist! This scenario was repeated at Bloody Scotland, and I thought to myself: Someone is missing a trick! Crime author Quentin Bates had produced a sample translation for each of the five books in the Dark Iceland series, and having worked with Quentin before, he was an obvious choice to translate the lot. I marched down to DHH Literary Agency, where I had to persuade David Headley that this talented author would be in safe hands in a brand-new venture. Fortunately, he agreed, a deal was done for two titles – Snowblind and Nightblind – and I had my second, marvellous author on the team! The first title is currently being translated, and we’ll be launching at CrimeFest in May, with books available for Newcastle Noir. Watch this space! The crime community definitely swung into action when the news broke, and this is one series that is bound to soar!

On the same day, a second pitch was made to the lovely Broo Doherty, of the same agency. When I was at Arcadia, my colleague Gary Pulsifer had raved about Paul E. Hardisty’s Yemen-set eco-thriller The Abrupt Physics of Dying. I’d read enough of it to know that it would not only fit perfectly on my list, but give me a chance to ‘grow’ an incredibly talented debut author. The deal was sealed, and to my complete astonishment, its announcement brought interest from literary scouts, agents and film-makers both here, in the US and in Europe. Not just for this title, but my others as well. While I was completely confident about this signing, nothing prepared me for the utter brilliance of this author – who had produced an exquisitely written, fast-paced page-turner with a perfectly rendered setting and a protagonist who was crying out for a series. Was there a sequel? I asked Broo. There was indeed, and I purchased it – The Evolution of Fear – sight unseen. Already ebooked and about to go live on 15 December, with a print publication date in early March, The Abrupt Physics of Dying is receiving loads of early rave reviews, and the Canadian/Australian author will be flying over for publication day.

Next up was one of my all-time favourite Norwegian writers, Gunnar Staalesen, ‘the Norwegian Chandler’. He’s sold millions of books around the world and the time was clearly ripe to place him firmly on the crime-writing map in English. Only four of his 20-something Varg Veum titles have been published in English (at Arcadia), and rumour had it that his latest three, We Shall Inherit the Wind, Where Roses Never Die and No One Is So Safe in Danger, were the best yet. To my delight, Gunnar and his agent Henrik Francke at Gyldendal Agency in Norway were keen to be involved, and a three-book deal for World English rights was negotiated. Just as exciting was the fact that Don Bartlett, who has translated some of the finest Norwegian literature around, including Nesbo, Knausgaard and Pettersen, was keen to be involved, and he’s been signed up to translate all three! We Shall Inherit the Wind will be published officially in June 2015, but launched at CrimeFest alongside Ragnar Jonasson’s gorgeous Nightblind!

One of my favourite books at Arcadia, was Finnish debut author Kati Hiekkapelto’s The Hummingbird, translated by David Hackston. Not only is Kati herself the most extraordinary woman (a performance artist and punk singer, as well as an immensely talented writer), but the sequel, The Defenceless, was also up for grabs and I did not even think twice about purchasing the rights from Otava Agency in Finland. The same translator is available, and he’ll start working on this gritty, gorgeously written novel, which sees the return of police detective Anna Fekete and her partner Esko, on the trail of another murderer in a Northern Finnish town. Published in September, we’ll hopefully launch her at a rather wonderful Scottish crime festival!

Since then, submissions have been flying in and I can hardly keep up with the reading – a wealth of undiscovered talent certainly exists, and the most difficult thing is going to be sticking to a six-title limit!

In May, every one of my authors will be attending CrimeFest (including David F. Ross, who will be my honorary guest), where Orenda Books will be officially launched. It’s unlikely that I’ll get authors from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Scotland and Australia in one place at the same time, so it’s an obvious moment to celebrate a venture that has filled me with more excitement and enthusiasm than I can ever remember. I hope you can all join us!

Ragnar and Kati will also appear at Newcastle Noir earlier in May, and we’ve had a clutch of invites for the Edinburgh Book Festival too, with Bloody Scotland still to come.

Things have come together in such a way that it feels as though it was meant to happen. That’s not too say that it’s all been easy. The admin is threatening to drown me, and there are many, many fiddly, ongoing negotiations to be undertaken, problems to be ironed out. I’ve got some great editors helping out, some interns supporting the marketing and PR plans, some seasoned experts giving lots of advice and helping to fill the (sometimes seemingly vast) holes in my experience and knowledge. But every moment of it has been gratifying and positive. That split-second decision was undoubtedly the right one. And it has all come together in eight short weeks.

As for the name – this was an obvious choice. Not only is Canadian author Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda one of my all-time favourite novels, but the word itself – which loosely translates as ‘the mystical power that drives human accomplishment’ – is a nod to my Canadian heritage and a First Nations word whose provenance is a tribe that settled in a part of Ontario where I’ve spent every summer of my life. It often seems that there is a ‘mystical power’ afoot here, and an almost surreal energy pulling together events in such an extraordinary way. I’m humbled and thrilled by the support we’ve received, and in just over a week, you’ll see what we’re doing and why!

Our website www.orendabooks.co.uk will be launched just before Christmas, with a beautiful short story from every Orenda author. That’s our treat for you, and it comes with a big thank-you to everyone who has helped to get Orenda Books on the right path.

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