The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup #BlogTour @cxviAngie @Bloodhoundbook #AuthorInterview @sarahhardy681

I am thrilled to be joining in with Angie Smith’s The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup blog tour! 🙂

The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup blog tour poster

Many thanks to Angie Smith and Sarah Hardy for the opportunity to take part.

Q&A with Angie Smith…..

Angie Smith (2)

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

Hi there everyone. First of all may I take a moment to thank Kerry for inviting me to speak.

I’m Angie Smith, and after surviving breast cancer in 2013/14 I became an author of crime fiction / international thrillers. My catalogue to date:

CXVI The Beginning of The End

CXVI Secrets Broken

CXVI Desperate Measures

The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

My ideas come from experiences, the people I have known or met, the places I have visited and many sleepless nights developing and enhancing plots! I mull things over for hours and hours. The settings I use tend to come from my travels. I really don’t like to write about a place unless I have been there and had first-hand experience of the sights, the smells, the sounds and not least of all the people. I’m often drawn to a particular location and immediately begin to imagine what type of storyline could be born there.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

I’m not admitting to that, but one character in particular is (loosely) based on my husband. However I’m not revealing which one. These days the characters in my later books are purely figments of my imagination, which develop as the story unfolds and they take on their own traits. You could say they wrestle with my emotions.

How do you pick your characters names?

This is something I agonise over. I like to keep the names distinctive and memorable. Also, I suppose it is a bit like naming a pet – it has to fit. I wouldn’t be choosing a name like Doris for a sassy female character for example!

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

When I first started writing, I composed a storyline and tried to stick rigidly to that. However, more recently that approach has gone out of the window, The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup started with one scene and developed from that. I like to see where the story takes me!

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

I always duck out of this question because there are so many great authors out there. Sorry.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

If he was still alive I’d love to meet Stieg Larsson and ask him where his inspiration for The Millennium Trilogy came from and what would he have written after that.

Were you a big reader as a child?

Not at all. I was more interested in my pony and being outdoors with him all the time. It was only later in life that I discovered reading. At first my passion was for true crime, in particular books with a great deal of technical forensic information or the psychology of murders. Two of my favourite books were Forty Years of Murder by Professor Keith Simpson and Paul Britton’s The Jigsaw Man.

When did you start to write?

My first book, which I will never publish, was written in early 2013 – let’s say it was just a practice and led to better things.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

This is one thorny issue for me personally, because a number of readers didn’t like the ending to book 1 of the CXVI trilogy. The cliff hanger appeared to be one step too far. Therefore, with hindsight I would have done things differently.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

The best non-fiction book I have ever read. Raising The Dead by Phillip Finch. It’s a true story of death and survival. Two friends dive into a 300 metre deep water-filled crater in South Africa to raise the body of a diver who had perished there. The outcome was both devastating and tragic.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

I’d invite my own favourite creation, Mr Rupert Bartholomew Faulkner-Brown, and it would have to be at Claridge’s. Of all the characters I have created I absolutely adore Faulkner-Brown. I love the way he antagonises nearly every person he comes into contact with – he reminds me so much of someone I know. Hint, hint.

What are you working on right now?

At the current moment I am focusing on the publication of my latest creation. However, I have some very early thoughts on another thriller. Possibly with a strong psychological aspect.

Do you have a new release?

Yes, yes, yes! The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup. An international thriller which is available on Amazon.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

This time I have left it to Bloodhound Books to do the launch, so it will be wine all the way hopefully!

How can readers keep in touch with you?

I’m on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Angie-Smith-Author-329405637261363/

I have a web site: www.cxvi.co.uk

And, I’ve been known to frequent Twitter @cxviangie

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

I love writing and, in addition to spending time drifting in and out of storylines, I also adore my horse. Surviving cancer gave me the will to do the things differently – so I now have my beautiful Nasharra (a thoroughbred chestnut gelding with a cheeky temperament) and writing to occupy my time.

Writing helps my mental well-being and keeps me focused on living.

I’m offering your followers a FREE eBook (Book one of the CXVI Trilogy)! If anyone would like to take advantage of this, please contact me via any of the above methods quoting offer KERRY.

WOW! Great offer! I hope you will all take advantage of Angie’s generosity. Don’t forget to leave a review when you’ve read it!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Angie 🙂

China teacup 1.1

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (18th May 2017)

Arms dealing. Murder. Corruption.

In Africa, Taylor Hudson reaches the stark realisation that she is in
imminent danger. Time is nearly up when, out of nowhere, she is thrown a
lifeline.  Left with little option, she places her trust in a complete
stranger. But who is this stranger and why the interest in saving her?
The answers lie 6,000 miles away, deep inside the British Secret
Intelligence Service, where a former, disgraced, senior officer is
attempting to work his way back into the heart of the organisation. But
what are his real intentions?

What ensues is a deadly game of bluff, double-bluff and triple-bluff.
Can The China Teacup survive this time?

Buy a copy…..

Author bio:

Angie Smith, having recently survived locally advanced breast cancer,
discovered that her lifelong desire to write had been rekindled.
Consequently, her love for international crime thrillers became the
springboard to the creation of the highly acclaimed CXVI Trilogy.

Her passion for travelling to exotic places greatly inspires her work. A
recent trip to Southern Africa inspired her fourth novel, The Spy Who
Chipped The China Teacup.

Angie, born in 1961, was educated at Huddersfield University where she
graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Education and Training.
She was nominated for an award on her knowledge transfer partnerships
work, during which she co-produced and presented a journal article at
the International Social Work Conference in Durban.

Angie Smith’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

Underneath #BlogTour @Annecdotist @InspiredQuill #AuthorInterview

I am delighted to be joining in with Anne Goodwin’s Underneath blog tour! 🙂

Underneath Blog Tour banner

Q&A with Anne Goodwin…..

Anne Goodwin

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

I’m a former clinical psychologist who has found her niche as a book blogger and author of over seventy published short stories and two novels in the genre of literary-commercial / accessible literary fiction. I’m interested in themes of secrets, identity, mental health and how the past influences the present, but mostly I aim to write fiction that people will want to read. My first novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity secret for thirty years was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. My second, Underneath, about a man who thinks he can resolve a relationship crisis by keeping a woman captive in a cellar, is published next week.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

Ideas often come to me while I’m out walking, or are sparked by things I’ve read. For example, Sugar and Snails partly came from reading a newspaper report about an eminent psychologist who died of anorexia without any of her friends or family where she had a problem (although my character, Diana, self-harms through cutting). Underneath began with an image of an unhappy little boy sitting at the bottom of a staircase which then merged with my musings about how a baby might experience being left alone to cry. Needless to say, there’s a lot more head work involved in transferring these ideas into a readable story.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

Generally, I think of them mostly as alternative versions of myself. Although, now I think of it there is a very minor character in Underneath who’s a bit of a hero for my narrator and is loosely based on my husband.

How do you pick your characters names?

Other than avoiding naming characters after friends and family, and trying to match them with the period and culture in which they were born, I’m not sure. Sometimes I’ve had to change a name that wasn’t working for that character but often their name is part of a process of getting to know them. I do worry about the possibility of inadvertently repeating a particular name and saddling a new character with the baggage of the previous one.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

Ah, if only I could! It seems to me that my fiction evolves through the interaction of character, language and situation through multiple drafts until I can carve out some kind of narrative arc. Or, more prosaically, it’s a matter of repeatedly writing and rewriting and writing again until it gets to look like something some people might even pay to read. With every draft I get deeper into the character and the emotional climate of the story, which I find extremely satisfying.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

I’ll read anything by Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Alison Moore, Jane Rogers and Chris Cleave. (Yes, all women apart from Chris.)

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Of my top 5, I’m proud to say I’ve been taught by Jane Rogers and meet up with Alison Moore now and then as we’re based in the same region.

As she’s been dead a few years it’s never going to happen, but I’d like to chat with Carol Shields about the extent to which her final novel, Unless, reflected her own experiences of being undermined as a writer by gender stereotypes, and to reassure her that her fans still appreciate her storytelling prowess.

Were you a big reader as a child?

Absolutely! With five children our small house was fairly crowded and I suspect that a period of deafness I had the age of around eight or nine was psychosomatic in origin to ensure me peace and quiet to absorb myself in a book.

When did you start to write?

I’ve been secretly scribbling since I was a young child, but have been writing seriously – by which I mean editing in response to feedback – for about fifteen years. I had my first short fiction publication ten years ago and my first novel almost two years ago.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

Fascinating question! Sometimes I might not be happy with an ending because it either ties things up too neatly or leaves too much unresolved. (I imagine many readers feel the same, but we probably differ in how much ambiguity we like.) I love it when the ending is unexpected, but nevertheless seems true to the story. My most memorable disappointing ending was in novel by Jonathan Coe (it might have been The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, but I couldn’t swear to it) where we’ve followed a rather poignantly lonely character for several hours only to be served up a post-modern copout in which the author intrudes into his own fiction to show it was all made up. I knew it was made up! But I didn’t want my willing suspension of disbelief to be thrown back in my face!

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Thousands, even Jonathan Coe’s! There are lots of novels I admire but could never have written because the themes don’t resonate with my own life, but of those that do – although I’ve never experienced anything like the hostage situation that gives it its structure – I’ll choose Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Another intriguing question that made me think! I decided to invite Jane Eyre for a walk on the moors finishing at North Lees Hall, thought to be the inspiration for Thornfield in Charlotte Brontë’s novel, on one of the Heritage Days when it’s open to the public. Over Diane’s delicious home baking I’d try to persuade Jane that, regardless of his marital status, she’s far too good for Mr Rochester and, besides, there’s no shame in being a teacher in a school for the mill workers’ offspring. Depending on how she took that, I might ask if she’d like to hear his “mad” wife’s side of the story through Jean Rhys’s novel, The Wide Sargasso Sea.

What are you working on right now?

An Eton mess of disjointed scenes about a brother and sister separated for over fifty years while she’s in a mental hospital which I hope will eventually come together well enough to be my third novel. I’m also assembling a collection of short stories around the theme of identity to fill the gap before my next novel’s ready for publication.

Do you have a new release due?

My second novel, Underneath, is published on 25th May. Here’s the blurb:

He never intended to be a jailer …

After years of travelling, responsible to no-one but himself, Steve has resolved to settle down. He gets a job, buys a house and persuades Liesel to move in with him.

Life’s perfect, until Liesel delivers her ultimatum: if he won’t agree to start a family, she’ll have to leave. He can’t bear to lose her, but how can he face the prospect of fatherhood when he has no idea what being a father means? If he could somehow make her stay, he wouldn’t have to choose … and it would be a shame not to make use of the cellar.

Will this be the solution to his problems, or the catalyst for his own unravelling?

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Lovely question: what do I generally do (because of course I’m such an old hand at this malarkey)? For short stories, I do the admin stuff of linking it to my website and promoting on social media. For my first novel, I enjoyed the online reviews that were coming in and continued with the preparations for my launch party. I don’t know yet what I’ll do for Underneath, but probably just mark it quietly at home with my husband while getting on with ordinary things. The big celebration is at my launch party in Nottingham on 10th June.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Come over to my website Annethology (http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/) and blog, which is all about reading and writing and psychology, Annecdotal (http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal.html ) or connect on Twitter @Annecdotist.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

My blog tour is running until 10th June, with loads more opportunities to find out about me and my writing.

There’s a pre-publication Kindle reduced price offer (£1.99 / $2.48) on both my novels until 24th May:

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X9VN6CD

Amazon USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X9VN6CD/

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Anne 🙂

Underneath by [Goodwin, Anne]

Publisher: Inspired Quill (25th May 2017)

Praise for Anne Goodwin:

A dark and disturbing tale of a man who appears ordinary on the surface, but is deeply damaged. Clever and chilling; [Underneath] is a story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
– Sanjida Kay, author of Bone by Bone

[Underneath] is a compelling, insightful and brave novel of doomed, twisted romance driven by a sustained and unsettling voice.
– Ashley Stokes, author of The Syllabus of Errors

This secret tantalisingly grips the reader, gradually being pieced together bit by bit, so intrinsically and poignantly mapped out that I truly cannot praise this novel highly enough.
– Isabelle on The Contemporary Small Press

Fiction delivered by a writer who knows not only how to craft her words but also what those words should be communicating.
– Dr Suzanne Conboy-Hill in The Psychologist

An absorbing, clever and heartening debut novel.
– Alison Moore, author of Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse

I loved this book. Sugar and Snails is beautifully written and a truly impressive debut by Anne Goodwin. It reminded me a little of Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs. The character of Di, at first frustrating, grows more endearing as you begin to understand her. Her friend Venus and lover Simon are well-drawn; there as foils to Di’s story. A beautiful and gripping read.
– Fleur Smithwick, author of How to make a Friend

Sugar and Snails is a brave and bold emotional roller-coaster of a read. Anne Goodwin’s prose is at once sensitive, invigorating and inspired. I was hooked from the start and in bits by the end. Very much to be recommended.
– Rebecca Root, actor and voice teacher

Anne Goodwin’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

Abi’s Neighbour #BlogTour @JennyKaneAuthor @AccentPress #AuthorInterview

I am thrilled to be a part of Jenny Kane’s Abi’s Neighbour blog tour! 🙂 I’m the last, so make sure you check out the previous posts on the tour, if you haven’t already.

Abi's Neighbour blog tour banner

Q&A with Jenny Kane…..

Jenny Kane

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

With a background in history and archaeology, I should really be sat in a dusty university library translating Medieval Latin criminal records, and writing research documents that hardly anyone would want to read. Instead, I tuck myself away in various cafes in the South West of England, writing contemporary fiction and romance as Jenny Kane stories of medieval crime, erotica as Kay Jaybee (over 18’s ONLY), and medieval tales steeped in mystery, with a side order of romance, as Jennifer Ash.

Jenny Kane is the author the contemporary romance Abi’s Neighbour (Accent Press, 2017), Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), Christmas at the Castle (Accent Press, 2015), the bestselling novel Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the modern/medieval time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent, 2016). These three seasonal specials are now available in one boxed set entitled Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection (Accent, 2016)

Jenny is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015)

As Jennifer Ash, Jenny’s first medieval murder mystery, The Outlaw’s Ransom, (Accent Press, 2016) was published in December 2016. A sequel, The Winter Outlaw, will be published in Nov 2017.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere and anywhere!

It’s usually the simplest things that trigger my imagination. A hairbrush in the wrong place (why is it on the floor?), an abandoned spoon in the freezer section of a supermarket (has someone been having a sneaking scoop of ice cream?), an overheard sentence in a cafe (what did “our Beryl” actually do?), and so on…

I also borrow heavily from my own life experiences. All of my books are set in places I have been to, and all are based on things that have ‘not quite’ happened to me.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

Oh yes!

Each and every character in my Another Cup of… series (Another Cup of Coffee, Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas at the Cotswolds, Christmas at the Castle, Another Glass of Champagne), is based on a friend of mine- all my friends from university in fact. I should add that they all know they are in the books, and they all gave me permission- even Jack! (You’ll have to read the books to see what I mean.)

In Abi’s House and my latest novel, Abi’s Neighbour, the personality of the character, Abi Carter is basically my own. Max, Beth, Jacob and Cassandra, are entirely made up, but the pensioners Stan (Abi’s House and Abi’s Neighbour) and Dora (Abi’s Neighbour) are based on some of the members of the WI group my Nan used to belong to, and their ever patient husbands.

How do you pick your characters names?

They pick themselves really. The names have to fit the characters, and they just arrive in my head. I usually like them- but not always!

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

I arrive at my desk in the corner of a local cafe at 7.45 am- order black coffee and toast- turn on the laptop and write until about 11am. After that I edit, blog, and write workshops for my creative writing company (Imagine- which I run with fellow author Alison Knight), until about 9pm.

Once I have a novel drafted, I spend a long time on the rewrite and the edits. I am very old school about it. I print out the entire book and go through it with a red pen. Then I type up my edits before going through the document another three times. Only then do I even dare to think it might be finished.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

(In no particular order)

Kate Griffin

Katie Fforde

Terry Pratchett

Colin Dexter

Elizabeth George

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I have been lucky enough to meet both Kate Griffin and Katie Fforde in the past – and have shared curry with them both! (I can’t believe my life sometimes!) I would have loved to have spoken with Colin Dexter. I’d have asked him how he manages to get so much information across to his readers with such an economy of words – genius!

Were you a big reader as a child?

I read nonstop. I’d sit in my room all day and get through a novel between breakfast and bedtime.

When did you start to write?

Not until I was 33. My youngest child had started school that day- I had no intension of writing at all- but I was in a coffee shop on my own, and an idea came to me from nowhere. I wrote it on a napkin…three months later the story I wrote was published….I can’t believe how lucky I was to have the very first short tale taken up by a publisher.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

That’s tricky! Possibly I’d add a bit to the end of Another Glass of Champagne– but I can’t say what that would be in case I decide to actually do just that one day…

Is there a book you wish you had written?

There are loads! Most of all, I wish I’d written Kitty Peck and the Musical Hall Murders by Kate Griffin. It is a Masterclass in fiction.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Robin Hood – I might let him have ale though. Can’t see coffee sitting well in his stomach! I’d invite him to sit on my sofa to watch Robin of Sherwood, so he could see how far his legend has come. (I wonder if he’d approve?)

What are you working on right now?

I am getting ready to receive the editor’s edits for my second work as Jennifer Ash (medieval crime). The Winter Outlaw will be out late this year. It continues the story of Mathilda of Twyford, a potter’s daughter who finds herself living with a family of wealthy criminals called the Folvilles.

Mathilda was first introduced in The Outlaw’s Ransom, which was published last year.

Do you have a new release due?

On 4th May the second of my Cornish romances, Abi’s Neighbour came out. I’m so excited! The first book, Abi’s House, which centres around the life, friendships, and adventures of Abi Carter, is my bestseller so far. I felt a big responsibility to get book two perfect for the readers who so enjoyed book one.

(And don’t worry – the dog isn’t dead!!)

Blurb

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.

Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, Abi’s Neighbour is the PERFECT summer escape.

Buy links-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Abis-Neighbour-Jenny-Kane/dp/178615028X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487006698&sr=1-1&keywords=abi%27s+neighbour

https://www.amazon.com/Abis-Neighbour-Jenny-Kane/dp/178615028X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487006868&sr=1-1&keywords=Abi%27s+Neighbour+by+Jenny+Kane

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

I like to have a book launch if I can- but obviously that can be expensive, so it isn’t always possible. I always raise a cup of coffee with my family however, and treat us all to a takeaway.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

I’d love you to keep in touch at-

Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl

Web site- www.jennykane.co.uk

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jenny-Kane/e/B00HYZIL1E/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1492502979&sr=8-2-ent

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7255618.Jenny_Kane?from_search=true

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Many thanks for inviting to me to drop by on my Abi’s Neighbour Blog Tour Kerry!

You can follow the rest of my tour at these venues…..(SEE PIC ABOVE)

Jenny xxx

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Jenny 🙂

Abi's Neighbour cover

Publisher: Accent Press (4th May 2017)

Complete with sun, sea and a gorgeous Cornwall setting, Abi’s Neighbour is the PERFECT summer escape.

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door.

Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business.

Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

Buy a copy…..

Enjoy!

Previous post featuring Jenny Kane…..

Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection #BlogTour @JennyKaneAuthor @AccentPress *EXTRACT*

 

#CoverReveal Aphrodite’s Closet by @suzy_turner

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a cover reveal for Suzy Turner’s recent release…..

Aphrodite's Closet

Publisher: Suzanne Turner Publishing (6th May 2017)

Aphrodite’s Closet

Agatha Trout didn’t even know she had a Great Aunt Petunia, so imagine her surprise when she finds Petunia left her a corner shop in her will. But it’s not just any old corner shop—it’s a corner shop that needs something unique, something the town of Frambleberry has never seen before. Influenced by her confident best friend, Coco, Agatha is soon convinced that there’s only one way to go: an adults-only sex shop.
While some of the townspeople are clutching their pearls in horror, others are open to the new experiences this shop offers. But not everyone in Frambleberry is convinced. Will the women soldier on in the face of violent threats or will their fears get the best of them—and their new venture—before it even gets off the ground?

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2qJYIyB
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2pYZK7a

About the author…..

Suzy Turner

Born in England and raised in Portugal, Suzy lives with her childhood sweetheart Michael, two crazy dogs and a cat.
Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy worked as a trainee journalist for a local newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she took the job of assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher before becoming editor of a monthly lifestyle magazine. Early in 2010 however, Suzy became a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo, We Stand Against Evil (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless, And Then There Was You, Stormy Summer and her latest, Aphrodite’s Closet.
In 2015 she launched her popular 40+ lifestyle blog which continues to go from strength to strength, while just over a year later, she trained to become a yoga instructor. Suzy continues to write, blog and teach yoga in one of Portugal’s loveliest settings – the Algarve.

Lifestyle Blog: www.suzyturner.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/suzyturner
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/suzyturner
Facebook: www.facebook.com/suzyturnerbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/suzy_turner
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzyturnerbooks
Book Blog: http://www.fictiondreams.com

Suzy Turner’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

 

The Liebster Award

liebster-2017

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by the very lovely Jo, who blogs at Jo’s Book Blog. If you don’t follow already, you really should 🙂

It’s taken me a while to get around to joining in, but a big thank you to Jo for my nomination.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person/blog who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions they wrote for you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Give them your set of 11 questions to answer

Jo’s 11 questions to me:

A nice easy one to start you off – what are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Winter Downs by Jan Edwards. I will be sharing my review as part of Jan’s blog tour, on 3rd June.

Product Details

Who is your favourite author?

Oooo, that’s a harsh question!! I have many, many favourite authors. To avoid upsetting those who I know more personally I’m going to say Stephen King as I have enjoyed his books since my early teens.

What was your favourite book of 2016?

Another harsh question! I read some amazing books last year, but I’m going to go with Moondance by Diane Chandler.

Product Details

My main reason being that it provoked very conflicting emotions. I really didn’t like the main character, but was totally engrossed in her story, which I think is a sure sign of brilliant writing. You can read my review here, if you wish: Moondance by Diane Chandler @Dchandlerauthor @Blackbird_Bks #BlogTour #Review #Q&A #Giveaway

Where do you like to read?

I read anywhere, pretty much (I have the kindle app on my phone if I don’t happen to have my Paperwhite with me), but I mostly read in bed, on the sofa or sat at the kitchen table whilst I’m sorting dinner out.

Are there any fictional characters that share your name?

Not that I’m aware of. Do you know of any called Kerry Parsons? Or Kerry Bowen (my maiden name)?

What books did you like to read as a child?

I loved Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton.

What is your favourite bookish quote?

So many books, so little time!

What book would you recommend to someone who doesn’t enjoy reading? (Yes, I believe that there are such people out there!)

It would depend on the person really, but I think The Boy in the Striped Pajamas would be a good choice for anyone.

Why did you start your blog?

Mainly to keep track of what I’ve read and to hopefully encourage others to buy and read the books I’ve loved.

More generally, what do you like to do when you’re not reading?

I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. I like to walk, cook, bake, watch TV/films, listen to music….. the usual things really.

If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?

If I had the power to heal, that would be pretty cool.

I nominate:

One Bookish Girl

A House Of Books

Frona’s Reads or Else

Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading

The Geeky Bibliophile

The Blonde Likes Books

Lavender Books

Short Book and Scribes

Clues and Reviews

BrizzleLass Books

Baatty About Books

My questions are:

1 – When did you start your blog?

2 – What was your first blog post?

3 – Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

4 – Who are your top 5 favourite book bloggers?

5 – What has been your favourite read, so far, this year?

6 – If you could interview any author, who would it be and what would be the first question you would ask them?

7 – If you wrote an autobiography what would your title be?

8 – Who’s autobiography would you most like to read?

9 – Do you read books more than once?

10 – What other hobbies do you enjoy, besides reading?

11 – What is your favourite thing about book blogging?

 

#LITTLEGOLD #BlogTour @Alliewhowrites @Legend_Press #AuthorInterview

I am delighted to be joining in with Allie Rogers’ #LITTLEGOLD blog tour! 🙂

Little Gold Blog Tour Banner

Many thanks to Lucy, at Legend Press, for the opportunity to take part.

Q&A with Allie Rogers…..

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For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

I’m a Brighton-based writer of fiction. I work part-time as a librarian at Brighton University and write with the rest of my time. My flash fiction and short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies.

My first novel, Little Gold, is published by Legend Press. It’s a coming-of-age story set in Brighton in the summer of 1982. The novel’s main protagonist, Little Gold, is a boyish girl of twelve. At the heart of the book is a friendship she has that summer with an elderly neighbour called Peggy Baxter. The book is about how we learn to survive in difficult times and the power of love, in all its forms, in enabling that survival.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

The process usually starts with a single image – almost like a memory. That will be followed by a character and the character brings me the story. It feels like something arriving rather than an act of conscious creation at that point. There’s plenty of conscious creation later on though!

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

I think characters are always an amalgam of people we have encountered in life and aspects of ourselves. If I am aware of straying too close to a single real person then I will address that. I think it’s vital to connect well with your characters, to try to engage some level of empathy, no matter how unpleasant their behaviour may be. If you don’t understand your character’s motivations then they won’t have depth.

How do you pick your characters names?

Sometimes they just pop into my head – Little Gold is an example of one of those. At other times I have to pick names that fit with a specific era, age or background.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

Ah, well, that’s an evolving thing! When writing short fiction I often just wing it for the first draft. When writing longer pieces I have tried a number of approaches. At the moment I favour a rough plan – chapter by chapter – but I would never let the plan stop me from going with an idea that feels powerful as the work is evolving. I write a complete first draft and then (after a deep breath or two) start again from the beginning to get a second draft. I have always been someone whose first drafts are too thin and I usually find that the second draft is a process of adding meat to bones. I write whenever I can – sometimes late into the night.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

That’s really hard! Ali Smith, Carson McCullers, Patrick Gale, Catherine Hall and Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) are current favourites. It does change over time though. I read widely and include fiction of all sorts and poetry too.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

That would be Carson McCullers. She died in 1967 at the age of just fifty. I’d ask her if she was writing in the afterlife and had anything I could read!

Were you a big reader as a child?

I went through intense phases – often when I discovered an author I loved. Reading in the tree in my garden (something the character Little Gold does) are some of my happiest childhood memories.

When did you start to write?

I have a school report from when I was eight years old that says I wrote interesting stories. I didn’t like school much and it was a wonderful escape when they let me write my way out of the classroom. I’ve written, off and on, all my life.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

I don’t think I would do that. I think there’s something to learn from every book as it is.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

No. I can’t really identify with that idea at all! Books are born from particular brains. I’m just glad that the books I love got written by someone.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Hmmm. Well, I think I’d ask Miss Celie from The Colour Purple down to Brighton beach for a coffee and to watch the people go by. It’s a world away from her world but I think she might like the diversity and be interested in what everyone wears these days.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve just finished a book told in the voice of a four year old, imaginative, super-clever, dinosaur-obsessed little boy called Danny. So it’s another adult novel with a child protagonist.

Do you have a new release due?

Watch this space!

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Publication day for Little Gold falls when my writing group happens to be meeting. I shall be drinking a bit too much with my pals!

How can readers keep in touch with you?

I have a website http://allierogers.com and a Facebook author page. You can find me on Twitter as @alliewhowrites.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

I don’t think so!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Allie 🙂

Little Gold

Publisher: Legend Press (2nd May 2017)

‘Life affirming and triumphant’ Mark A. Radcliffe

‘Wonderfully moving and atmospheric’ Catherine Hall

‘Vivid and touching… this book left me haunted long after I put it down’ Umi Sinha

‘Brilliantly handled… a great first novel’ Bethan Roberts

‘I found myself engrossed… a vibrant, moving tale’ Alison Smith

The heat is oppressive and storms are brewing in Brighton in the summer of 1982. Little Gold, a boyish girl on the brink of adolescence, is struggling with the reality of her broken family and a home descending into chaos. Her only refuge is the tree at the end of her garden.

Into her fractured life steps elderly neighbour, Peggy Baxter. The connection between the two is instant, but just when it seems that Little Gold has found solace, outsiders appear who seek to take advantage of her frail family in the worst way possible. In an era when so much is hard to speak aloud, can Little Gold share enough of her life to avert disaster? And can Peggy Baxter, a woman running out of time and with her own secrets to bear, recognise the danger before it’s too late?

Buy a copy…..

Allie Rogers’ Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

Hitler’s Forgotten Children #BlogTour #GuestPost @TimTateBooks @eandtbooks @alisonmenziespr

Today I have the pleasure of taking part in the blog tour for Hitler’s Forgotten Children: The Shocking True Story of the Nazi Kidnapping Conspiracy.

hitlers-forgotten-children-blog-tour-banner

Tim Tate has very kindly written a guest post for me to share with you all…..

Bad Arolsen is a small, picture-postcard town in the heart of Germany. Its main street runs in one perfectly straight mile from east to west, lined by 880 oak trees in strict military formation. Exactly half way down, set back from the road in an unprepossessing piece of post-war architecture, is the one of the most important locations for an understanding of Hitler’s Third Reich. The archives of the International Tracing Service, spread haphazardly over several floors and spilling out into satellite buildings, contain more 30 million individual files recording the fate of those who fell victim to the Nazis’ 12-year madness.

In August 2013 a small, quietly-determined woman came to Bad Arolsen in search of answers to the confusing jigsaw puzzle of her life. Her name was Ingrid von Oelhafen; she was on a journey to investigate one of the darkest and least understood stories of Nazi Germany. The Lebensborn program was an attempt to create a new Master Race of pure-blooded Aryan children, who were to be raised as the future aristocracy of Hitler’s intended ‘Thousand Year Reich’. For more than seventy years Lebensborn had been hidden behind a veil of official secrecy, post-war shame and wild (false) stories of secret breeding stations where SS officers mated with blond, blue-eyed German maidens.

But the truth about Lebensborn was, if anything, even more horrific than the sensationalist rumours. Although it did run secretive maternity homes where Aryan women gave birth to babies, who were then handed over to be raised in the ‘care’ of the SS – “children for the Führer”, as the Nazis termed them – most Lebensborn children were kidnapped into the program.

They were stolen by the SS from families in Eastern European countries which had been occupied by Hitler’s troops. Some estimates claim that up to half a million babies in Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were snatched from their parents and transported to the Fatherland where their true identities were replaced by fictional German ones.

In summer 2013, I travelled across Europe meeting and filming the survivors of the Lebensborn program for a television documentary. Their stories were harrowing: the bravery of their individual journeys into their own origins and the troubled past of Nazi Germany was humbling. Yet even amongst these remarkable accounts Ingrid’s story stood out.

From the age of 11 she had known that Ingrid von Oelhafen wasn’t her real name. She discovered then that her mother and father were actually her foster-parents. Neither of them ever discussed how she had come to their family: for the next 48 years the only clues she possessed to her real identity were a small pink vaccination certificate and a contract handing her over to the care of foster-parents. Both were dated 1944, and bore not her name but that of someone called Erika Matko. One had been stamped by Lebensborn.

Ingrid was 58 years old when, in 2000, she began investigating. By the time we met she had discovered she had been stolen in 1942 from what was then Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia (now Slovenia).

On June 25, Heinrich Himmler – the second most powerful and feared man in Nazi Germany – issued orders to his secret police and SS officers for the elimination of all resistance to the occupation. Partisan fighters were publicly executed; then, in August, the SS ordered families to report to a local school. Johann and Helena Matko were amongst the hundreds of families who arrived at the schoolyard with their three children, Tanja, Ludvig and Erika. Heavily-armed soldiers quickly separated them into three groups: one each for the men, women and children.

Inside the school, SS “race assessors” decided that Erika matched an extensive tick-list of Aryan characteristics: she was taken away – transported hundreds of miles to a Lebensborn home inside Germany. There, officials erased her true identity and subsequently handed her over to a suitably German family: Erika Matko became Ingrid von Oelhafen.

Neither of her foster parents ever told Ingrid about her past: it was only after they died that Ingrid found the vaccination slip and the Lebensborn papers which allowed her to begin investigating her origins.

Television documentaries are constrained by time and the need to explain the big historical picture as well as telling individual stories. By the time I started editing, I realized that Ingrid’s story was simply too big to fit within my Lebensborn film. Her investigation had taken her deep into the dark heart of Hitler’s obsession with race and blood; but it had also required a physical and emotionally-ambiguous journey into the history and geography of Eastern European countries brutalised first by the Second World War and then by the Cold War.

And so, with a heavy heart, I apologized to Ingrid for leaving her story on the cutting room floor, but asked instead if we could tell it in the less circumscribed form of a book. Neither of us knew, as we began writing in 2014, that her journey had not ended. When she travelled to modern-day Slovenia she obtained scientific confirmation that she was Erika Matko and met the remnants of her family. But she also made a terrible final discovery: that there was another Erika Matko – a baby who had been handed by the Nazis to her parents as a substitute and who had ever since lived the life which would have been Ingrid’s but for her kidnaping by the Lebensborn program.

I have, over almost 40 years, been lucky enough to travel the world, making more than 80 films and writing thirteen books. Few of the people I have met affected me as much as Ingrid. Her courage and quiet determination to investigate some of the darkest times in modern history and find the truth about who she really is are – quite literally – inspiring. I am deeply privileged to know her – and proud that our book, “Hitler’s Forgotten Children”, has now been published in ten countries and several different languages.

Details of all of Tim’s books – as well as viewable copies of many of his films – can be found at http://www.timtate.co.uk

Wow, I think shocking is an understatement. I’m fascinated and I will be reading this book asap. Many thanks to Tim Tate for taking the time to write this piece and to Alison Menzies for the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.

Hitlers Forgotten Children cover

Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (14th May 2015)

‘More than 70 years ago I was a “gift” for Adolf Hitler. I was stolen as a baby to be part of one of the most terrible of all Nazi experiments: Lebensborn.’

The Lebensborn programme was the brainchild of Himmler: an extraordinary plan to create an Aryan master race, leaving behind thousands of displaced victims in the wake of the Nazi regime.

In Hitler’s Forgotten Children Ingrid von Oelhafen shares her incredible story as a child of the Lebensborn: a lonely childhood with a distant foster family; her painstaking and difficult search for answers in post-war Germany; and finally being reunited with her biological family – with one last shocking truth to be discovered.

Buy a copy…..

About the Author

Ingrid von Oelhafen is a former physical therapist living in Osnabruck, Germany. For more than 20 years she has been investigating her own extraordinary story and that of Lebensborn. She is in contact with other Lebensborn survivors and has been invited to give talks in schools about the programme and its effects on those who were part of it.

Tim Tate is a multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker and author. In 2013 he produced and directed Lebensborn: Children of the Master Race, which was broadcast on Channel 5. He is the author of twelve books, including the best-selling Slave Girl (John Blake, 2009).

Tim Tate’s Amazon Author Page

 

Bells On Her Toes by @DianaJFebry #BookReview

Bells On Her Toes by [Febry, Diana J.]

Publisher: Wings ePress (1st September 2014)

Bells On Her Toes is another book which has been waiting ever so patiently on my kindle. I’m so glad I didn’t leave it any longer. This is an excellent murder mystery which kept me guessing until the very end.

The story starts with a barn fire on a country estate. A man’s remains are found in the barn and it’s initially thought it might be an insurance scam gone wrong. Perhaps a homeless man sheltering. However, when the man is found to have been shot, it soon becomes clear this was no scam or accident. As we follow DCI Peter Hatherall, his partner, Fiona, and their team’s investigation, all sorts of secrets are revealed, but nothing seems to be adding up.

The characters involved in and/or suspected of the murder are an interesting bunch. Gladys especially! There are plenty of twists and turns and short chapters which make this a fast-paced and suspenseful read.

Bells On Her Toes is a brilliantly written police procedural, with mostly likeable and some very quirky characters. Peter is a very believable character. He’s a devoted police officer, but has his flaws and personal struggles which can affect his work as much as he tries to separate his work and personal life. I really warmed to Fiona. There is an obvious attraction between the two of them, but one that neither of them seem to want to admit to. Will there be a sequel? I’d be interested to see what happens next!

Many thanks to Diana J. Febry for my review copy. I am now off to add her other books to my TBR list.

Buy a copy…..

DCI Peter Hatherall is called in to investigate a shooting on the Earl of Ditchburn’s country estate. The Earl’s activities have angered animal rights and environmental groups but subsequent deaths suggest Elmsgrove Racehorse Yard is the target. There is more at stake than a horse race and time is running out for Hatherall to solve the case before the culprit kills again.

Diana J. Febry’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

#FlashbackFriday with @simonmaltman @KitdeWaal @JulieannDove @CathedralOfLies #BookReviews

Hi and welcome to my #FlashbackFriday feature.

On the first Friday of each month I like to have a little look back at what I was reading at the same time last year.

Here are the book reviews I published in May 2016…..

Political SuicidePolitical Suicide

My Name Is Leon

My Name Is Leon

 

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A Reason To Stay

 

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Field Of Lies

Have you read any of these books?

What were you reading this time last year? If you do a #FlashbackFriday post please do share your link with me in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Watch You Burn by K. A. Richardson #BlogTour @karichardson77 @Bloodhoundbook #GuestPost @sarahhardy681

I am delighted to be joining in with K. A. Richardson’s Watch You Burn blog tour 🙂

Many thanks to Sarah Hardy, at Bloodhound Books, for inviting me to take part.

Watch You Burn blog tour banner

Guest post…..

Being asked to do a guest blog post in advance of the blogger tour for my fourth novel, Watch You Burn, is a great honour – thank you so much to Kerry Ann Parsons for being interested enough to request one! Blog’s are a funny thing for me – I do a monthly blog on what’s happening in my world but I feel like a guest blog should be something special. Something different.

So I thought I would do this one on characters.

Characters are so important to me as a writer – if I don’t like how the character grows throughout the story it can throw my plot off completely resulting in massive rewriting and pondering – and occasionally even binning the work off. It’s not always immediately obvious that the character is what’s at fault either so I can spend hours wondering why a story isn’t doing what I want it to do without even realising why. It’s because she doesn’t drink coffee, or he isn’t the kind of person to deal with something the way he should be, or that I’ve written someone as a she when in fact they might be better as a he. There are so many ways that characters impact on my writing and in truth, it took me some time to realise this.

I used to just start with the names I wanted to use (a feat in itself!) and go from there, never paying a second thought to how they look or the person they were. In days gone by this is why those particular stories never worked – because if I didn’t know the character, how could I expect a reader to relate to them?

When I did my MA a revelation hit – a major component of one module was characterisation and the lecturer, a writer herself and extremely knowledgeable (Carol Clewlow was her name though she’s now retired), asked us all to do character profiles. Now I’m sure there are different ways to do character profiles, but the way she taught me was an eye-opener. All of a sudden my characters could become real people, I could see them in my head, know them as a person and understand how they would react to a situation based on the profile I built of them. That was when I started planning out my characters before they even appeared on paper. I knew their names, how old they were, where they were from, what family they have, who their friends were, their strengths, their weaknesses, what scared them and what they would die fighting for. I can’t convey enough thanks to Carol for the input on this when I was learning – this knowledge helped develop me into a writer – and enabled my characters push my plots forward.

I do this now with every main character in every book or story I write – because I want them to be real to the reader – I want people to be able to relate and think ‘wow that could happen to someone I know or even me’ – I want readers to believe, while they’re reading, that the person they’re reading about could actually be real. I hope I’ve achieved that in the books I’ve done so far. I absolutely loved learning about Edina Blaze, the fire investigator in my upcoming novel, Watch You Burn. She’s feisty but also a little vulnerable, and so family orientated! And she rides a Harley Davidson and wears leathers – she’s definitely not run of the mill!

If anyone reading this is contemplating being a writer, that would be one of my push points – know your characters before you start. They will help you write the book that’s in your head.

Thank you so much for writing such a fab guest post, Kerry Ann (great name by the way! 😉 ), and for the opportunity to be a part of your blog tour.

Watch You Burn cover

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (2nd May 2017)

Someone is breaking into Fire Investigator, Edina Blaze’s, home and leaving deadly messages. When Glen Peacock is burned alive, she has to put her own problems aside and attend the location with Crime Scene Manager, Kevin Lang.

As the body count rises, Edina’s sister Heather becomes involved. Is it her setting these gruesome fires? Or is she a target too?

Kevin has seen it all in his years on the force, but when a young girl is found burnt to dead, even he is shocked.

Who is taking pleasure in watching people burn? Why are they doing it? And will they be caught?

DI Alistair McKay and the team from North East Police have to work quickly to stop the killer, before they all end up in flames.

Buy your copy…..

About the author…..

K A Richardson

My name is Kerry-Ann Richardson (generally known as Kerry) and I write as KA Richardson. I started writing the North East Police series in 2010 when I was working towards my MA Creative Writing – I used the first 15000 words of With Deadly Intent as my dissertation. I passed my MA in 2011 and kept on writing. This all came about from working as a Crime Scene Investigator – I’d always written but when I was a CSI I went to see a psychic, Anthony, and he wanted to know why I wasn’t writing. He reminded me that it was my passion and said he could see me signing in Waterstones in 5 years. That was 5.5 years before my first ever signing in Waterstones so he wasn’t far wrong!

I did the normal things writers do when their book is ready to go out into the world – submitted to agents etc. I got a few nice personal responses back – still saying no but being constructive and polite about it. I approached Darren Laws from Caffeine Nights whilst at a crime festival and he asked to see my work. He agreed to publish With Deadly Intent from there, and once that was out I approached Bloodhound Books as wanted to know if there was any other interest in my novels. Bloodhound came back within 24 hours and offered me a 3 book deal!  And I’ve since signed an additional 3 book deal with them which covers the series up to and including book 7!

K. A. Richardson’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!