#Interview with #author Greg Smith @GregVSmith48

Hi all!

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Greg Smith to Chat About Books.

Greg Smith

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

I’ve been an artist all my life and the transition to writing, imagination-wise, has been quite easy. My main trouble is my mind that never stops concocting ideas for stories or characters.

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

Capt. Kramer, USMC is very loosely based on my son, Jason, who is a major in the Marines. Others, I suppose, could be regarded as amalgamations of various people from my past while some are straight from my imagination. While Shadow doesn’t resemble our beloved dog who passed some 2 years ago, I named him in honor of Shadow who is sorely missed.

How do you pick your characters names?

I’m always on the lookout for interesting character names — from any source. But I’ve been known to garner some from the phone book … a first name here, a surname there.

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

I generally have a reasonable concept of a story before I put ‘pen to paper.’ As I make it a point to have factual material, places, etc in my writing, the next and major step is to carry out as much research as possible until I’m satisfied I have enough to begin writing. Unlike some fellow writers and not in accordance with the lessons I received from my online course with James Patterson, I do not plan my story out but simply begin writing. I try to follow the idea-in-mind for the storyline but generally find the characters will quite often take control at times and dictate new directions. My wife laughed when I announced my surprise on one occasion there had been an unexpected murder.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

A tough question, that. My top 5 (and not in order of any preference) would be James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Edward Rutherfurd, Jack Whyte, and Lee Child.

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

If I had that opportunity I would have to choose Jack Whyte. I’m enthralled with his Arthur series. And as I am tackling my own historical fiction at present I would be intrigued to learn from him how he pieced together his fiction and historical fact so intrinsically.

Were you a big reader as a child?

When I wasn’t deep in drawing I read an awful lot. Back in the day it was mainly science fiction, but in later years I moved over to historical fiction, crime, mystery and thrillers.

When did you start to write?

My “career” has its early roots in the assignments given out by my teachers in primary and high school (I grew up in Australia). I always achieved 10/10 or A+s for my writing. It might astound your readers to learn back then I wrote with a nib pen and inkwell. It wasn’t until about 8-9 years ago that I actually put my artwork aside to try my hand at writing ‘seriously’.

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

Good question. Surprisingly enough, I don’t think I would consider re-writing the end of any of my books. Even though my wife and some friends have scolded me for killing off some favored characters, the endings have reached the point pre-ordained, even if slightly manipulated by a character or two.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Jack Whyte’s Arthur series struck such a deep note within me that I would like to have written those books. Hopefully my own historical fiction will achieve at least a modicum of success compared to his.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

That’s a tricky question. Right at this particular moment in time and my current frame of mind I guess the title could be OF TWO MINDS.

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

He would be King Arthur and I would walk him through contemporary England so he and I could bemoan the shortcomings and massive failures of his ancestors and celebrate their well-deserved achievements.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.

I grew up in Papua New Guinea just a few years after the end of WWII.

What are you working on right now?

THE ARCHER’S DIARY is the title of my current 2-book historical fiction. I have been working on it for some 7 years, most of that time being spent on research. Right now I am tackling the 5th rewrite.

Tell us about your last release?

LEX TALIONIS was released Dec., 24, 2017 and is the 3rd book in my action crime series featuring Capt. Kramer, USMC and his Anatolian shepherd dog, Sgt. Shadow, USMC. It has these two confronting their nemesis, Shelley Harper, who vows to bring America to its knees for the death of her husband and crime boss, Valdiron and their daughter. There could be a 4th book to follow if I gain an appreciative following.

Do you have a new release due?

THE ARCHER’S DIARY, Book One will be my next release but no date is fixed as yet. I am hoping for possibly late 2018.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

My wife and I generally go out to dinner and celebrate over a good meal and wine. Oh yes, and catch my breath before diving into the next book.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Everyone, readers in particular, have an open invitation to visit my web site where they can find my contact information. I welcome any and all comments, suggestions, ideas, etc.

https://gvsimages.wixsite.com/gregsmith-author

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

I would like to take this opportunity to ask anyone interested to become a Beta Reader for me to visit my web site and drop me a line. I’m hoping to have THE ARCHER’S DIARY available some time soon.

I also want to thank Kerry for inviting me to this interview. Without the likes of her, and her interest in our work, us writers would be lose many an opportunity to reach a wider audience. Thanks Kerry.

You’re very welcome, Greg. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions 🙂

Lex Talionis

LEX TALIONIS
 
 Greg Smith has written a strong story with an intriguing premise; one that can easily become all too real in this day and age. LEX TALIONIS takes the reader into Kramer’s doubts and struggles with his own demons as he leads his team against a malevolent opponent. They face an almost untenable situation with survival questionable.
 
 Kramer and his dog, Shadow (both former US Marines) are forced to confront their nemesis and international crime boss, Shelley Harper, when they learn of her plans to exact retribution from America on a monumental scale with help from ISIS. She plans to bring America to its knees. People on all sides have their own scores to settle. Who will be left standing after the dust settles? This story could very easily be tomorrow’s headlines—for real.

Purchase link…..

Greg Smith is the author of action crime crossover novels. He is a student of James Patterson’s school of writing. To date he has written and published three novels; KILLING SOFTLY (2013) – an erotic thriller, THE PITS (2013) – an action/crime crossover, and YOU CAN RUN (2016) – an action/crime crossover. His book, THE PITS, the first in his Kramer and Shadow Series won Runner-Up in the Shelf Unbound 2016 Best Indie Book.
 
LEX TALIONIS is his latest novel.
 
He has over 30 years’ experience as a graphic designer and book designer in the publishing industry both in Australia and United States. Smith was born in Sydney, Australia and has lived in America since 1999.
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#CoverReveal #ThePerfectFriend by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait @bookouture

I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Bookouture in revealing the cover and description for Barbara Copperthwaite’s THE PERFECT FRIEND: A gripping psychological thriller.

She’ll do anything for you…

My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.
My husband has left me.
My children won’t speak to me.
My friend Carrie is the only person I have.
She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.
She’d never do anything to let me down.
Would she?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

Check this out ⇓⇓⇓

 

The Perfect Friend cover reveal

Out on July 5th but you can pre order your copy here: 

I have already! Get clicking people 🙂

mybook.to/TPFBCSocial

 

 

 

One to Watch: A Detective Kay Hunter mystery, Book 3 by @RachelAmphlett #BookReview

One to Watch Cover LARGE EBOOK2

I am absolutely loving the Kay Hunter series! It has been a little while since I read books one and two, but having the upcoming blog tour for book six to look forward to, in July, has given me the perfect opportunity to catch up 🙂

Rachel Amphlett’s writing is just so easy to get on with, the stories are so gripping and the character’s (on the most part) are so likeable that I find I tend to read these books fairly quickly. The short(ish) chapters always end in a way that makes you have to keep reading.

In One To Watch, Kay and her team find themselves investigating the devastating and brutal murder of sixteen year old Sophie Whittaker. There are so many suspects, all with different motives, and it seems like they might never get to the bottom of what happened, but when they do, OH MY! A jaw dropping conclusion to an excellent murder mystery.

I feel like I get to know Kay Hunter a little bit more with every book. She’s a very committed detective and has the mutual respect of most of her colleagues. However, one seems to have it in for her and I still don’t really know why. This keeps me intrigued. We also see a personal side to Kay in her relationship with her partner and the fact that they are grieving for a baby she miscarried some months before. Kay is quite a private person and chose not to tell anyone at work, but it’s obviously something that’s never far from her mind and makes her all the more sensitive to this current murder investigation.

The family secrets revealed in this story are shocking. It’s quite scary the levels some people will stoop to, to get what they want! It makes you question if you can ever trust anyone, ever!

Brilliantly written. I highly recommend!

I’ve already started Book 4.

About the book (Via AmazonUK)

Sophie Whittaker shared a terrifying secret. Hours later, she was dead.

Detective Kay Hunter and her colleagues are shocked by the vicious murder of a teenage girl at a private party in the Kentish countryside.

A tangled web of dark secrets is exposed as twisted motives point to a history of greed and corruption within the tight-knit community.

Confronted by a growing number of suspects and her own enemies who are waging a vendetta against her, Kay makes a shocking discovery that will make her question her trust in everyone she knows.

One to Watch is a gripping murder mystery thriller, and the third in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. SCARED TO DEATH
2. WILL TO LIVE
3. ONE TO WATCH
4. HELL TO PAY
5. CALL TO ARMS (2018)

A page-turning whodunit for fans of Jeffery Deaver, Peter James, David Baldacci and James Patterson.

Praise for One to Watch:

Gripping and full of unreliable witnesses” ~ Have Books Will Read

“Fast-paced, enjoyable and intriguing with twists and turns throughout” ~ Relax & Read Reviews

“This series is one of the best of the crime genre” ~ Chocolate n Waffles

“A brilliant and fast paced addition to this series” ~ Novel Deelights

Praise for books 1 and 2 in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

Thrilling start to a new series. Scared to Death is a stylish, smart and gripping crime thriller Robert Bryndza, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl In The Ice

“Moves along at breakneck speed with twists and turns” ~ Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series

Praise for Will to Live:

Will to Live gave me that same adrenaline rush I get when I read the Helen Grace series by M. J. Arlidge” ~ P. Turners Book Blog

Will to Live does not disappoint and yet again brings something unique and intriguing to the genre. A must-read for crime fiction fans everywhere” ~ Books of All Kinds

About the author…..

rachel-amphlett

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza, Ken Follett, and Stuart MacBride.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Her novels are available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats from worldwide retailers including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.

A keen traveller, Rachel holds both EU and Australian passports and can usually be found plotting her next trip two years in advance, usually with a crime fiction festival tacked on for good measure! You can stay in touch with Rachel via her Reader’s Group at http://www.rachelamphlett.com.

My Reviews for books one and two in the Kay Hunter series (including links to buy!)

Scared to Death (Detective Kay Hunter series Book 1) by @RachelAmphlett #BookReview

Will To Live (Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series Book 2) by Rachel Amphlett @RachelAmphlett #BookReview

 

Danube Street by Linda Tweedie & Kate McGregor @DanubeStreet #BlogTour #AuthorInterview @FledglingPress #LoveBooksGroupTours

Danube Street poster

Hi all!

Today I have the pleasure of joining in with the Danube Street blog tour!

Danube Street banner
Many thanks as always to Kelly @ Love Books Group Tours for the opportunity to take part.

Interview…..

Linda Tweedie and Linda MacGregor

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

Kate & I have been friends for many years and worked together on and off for over twenty. We’re like an old married couple. In fact, an old married couple who should have divorced nineteen years previously! All joking aside, we are complete opposites but know exactly what the other is thinking. Despite our differences we work well together writing mainly crime/family sagas set in Scotland.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

We are both ex-landladies who spent many years in the licensed trade. I owned a large country inn with my husband and Kate had a slick, city bar. This gave us a fund of stories and urban legends to draw upon. Customers were always telling us to write a book and our answer was always – if we did you’d never believe it.

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

Yes and almost, without exception, the more despicable the character the more people laid claim to it being them.

How do you pick your characters names?

We have come across many nefarious creatures in our working life and picturing their characteristics usually throws a few names or nicknames into the mix.

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

We spend days, in fact sometimes weeks deliberating the who, what and where; outlining the plot and protagonists. Then, as we put pen to paper, it all goes out the window and the story often takes a completely different path. This can happen several times until it feels right.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

Linda: Val McDermid, Patricia Cornwell, Ian Rankin, Dean Koontz and Agatha Christie.

Kate: Patricia Cornwell, Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown, Steig Larsen and James Paterson.

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

Barbara Cartland. The woman wrote over seven hundred bodice-rippers and we’d love to know how she did it and more to the point, how much money did she make?

Were you a big reader as a child?

Kate was never to be seen without her nose in a book and me? I was forever caught reading under the blankets by the light of a torch, desperate to finish my latest page-turner.

When did you start to write?

We were both late developers, never believing for a minute we had the ability. We first dipped our toe in the water writing Life Behind Bars; a collection of short stories based on our time in the licensed trade. We were shortlisted for The Peoples Book Prize for Humour and that set us on our path.

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

Fifty Shades of Grey, and by re-writing the last chapter it would have been a one off and not a trilogy!

Is there a book you wish you had written?

See above – think royalties!

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

Chocolate After Midnight Doesn’t Count.

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

Oliver Twist. Forget the coffee we’d take him to an all you can eat buffet.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.

I have been married to the same man for forty-six years and Kate has never been married – lucky devil.

What are you working on right now?

Due to my open heart surgery (Kate still doesn’t believe I have one) we have been out of commission for the past three months. But, I’m delighted to say I am well on the way to recovery and about ready to get back to work.

Tell us about your last release?

Stepping Up – a novella featuring the women of the Coyle family (from our bestselling Coyle Trilogy). The men were out of the picture and to avoid lengthy prison sentences it was time for the women to step up and they did.

Do you have a new release due?

Yes, Danube Street is out on the 4th June. This is the story of Scotland’s most infamous bordello and its even more infamous inhabitants.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Retail therapy with a vengence.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Through our Facebook page.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

No, I think you pretty much covered everything.

Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! 🙂

Danube Street cover

Buy Link: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Danube-Street-Linda-Tweedie-ebook/dp/B07D7KH8PC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527507776&sr=8-1&keywords=danube+street

Synopsis


From the authors of the bestselling Coyle Trilogy comes a fantastic new title.


Danube Street tells the tale of notorious Madame, Stella Gold, and her mission to turn the infamous number 17 Danube St into Edinburgh’s most exclusive brothel.


The house, situated in one of Edinburgh’s most exclusive streets, was known the length and breadth of the country; a magnet for red-blooded males, single or otherwise. Danube Street was always the first port of call when Merchant or Naval ships docked in Leith, and was the attraction, never to be missed by visiting clergymen of every denomination.


Stella Gold began life far from the bright lights of the city. Born Agnes McLeod, she was reared in the wilds of Ayrshire. The only daughter of a tenant farmer, she endured a harsh, rugged upbringing. Now, although the darling of Edinburgh’s glitterati, she finds herself the victim of a vendetta by the city’s most dangerous and violent criminal brothers,and a corrupt Chief of Police.


Survival was a constant challenge which Stella thought she had under control. How wrong could she be?

Danube Street front and back

The Killing Time by m j lee @WriterMJLee #BlogBlitz #Extract @canelo_co @ElliePilcher95

Hi all!

Today I have the pleasure of joining in with M J Lee’s The Killing Time blog blitz!

The Killing Time.png

Many thanks to Ellie Pilcher, at Canelo, for the opportunity to take part.

Title:

The Killing Time

Author Name:

M J Lee

Previous Books (if applicable):

The Murder Game

Genre:

Historical Crime

Release Date:

23rd April 2018

Publisher:

Canelo

The Killing Time cover

Book Blurb:

As tensions simmer in Shanghai, children go missing…

Shanghai 1932: Inspector Danilov hasn’t recovered from the death of his child… but across a Shanghai riven with communal tensions, children are going missing.

Missing, and then murdered. Who is responsible? Why have the children’s bodies been exhibited for all to see?

Just as Danilov thinks the stakes couldn’t be higher there is a new dimension, Japan, a rising power flexing its muscles. In fractious Shanghai, an explosion is long overdue. With the clock ticking can Danilov and his assistant Strachan solve the case? The fate of Shanghai may be at stake. So is Danilov’s job… And his sanity.

The latest instalment of the Inspector Danilov mysteries will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Philip Kerr or Rory Clements.

Extract…..

Outside on the street, a cigarette already rolled and ready to be lit, Danilov breathed in the fresh, coal-smoke-riddled air of a Shanghai winter. It was cold, with a dampness that slithered through the inspector’s thin overcoat and lodged itself between his ribs.

Opposite, an old man selling roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes was stirring his pot, releasing the fragrant smells of charcoal and roasting vegetables. Trolley buses, cars, lorries and small motorised carts pumped fumes into the streets between the crowded houses, the gases hanging over the city like a dirty brown shroud. Infused through it all, like the top note of an expensive perfume, was the stench of mankind. Twelve million of them, crowded into the narrow streets and alleys, loving, working, living and killing. Each person adding their own particular addition to the fragrant assault on the nostrils that was Shanghai.

Danilov didn’t notice the smells any more. In his five years in the city, his nose had become accustomed to the peculiar odour of the place. It was the stench of death he couldn’t stand. That and the formaldehyde Dr Fang used in such copious quantities.

Across the road, a tea merchant was opening his barrels of tea: oolong, lapsang souchong, jasmine, tit koon yum, green tea, pu erh. With reverence, he placed compressed cakes of tea in the shop window, each wrapped in white muslin with colourful designs on the cover. The best teas from all of China, Japan, Ceylon and India.

Danilov lit the cigarette and inhaled. Immediately the sterile formaldehyde was expelled from his lungs, to be replaced by the warmth of nicotine. He was happy to be out of the morgue. He respected Dr Fang and his work immensely, but anybody who spent his life surrounded by corpses was not a person who was comfortable with life.

His thoughts were interrupted by Strachan stamping his feet, trying vainly to force some warmth into them.

‘Not a pretty sight, sir.’

‘They never are, Strachan. And it never gets easier, no matter how many you see.’

‘The missing ear… ’

‘Not cut off in a struggle, but removed ante mortem, Dr Fang said.’

‘He should know.’

In the distance they could hear chanting and the sound of cymbals and drums. Danilov ignored the sound, taking another long drag on his cigarette.

‘And why mutilate the boy’s face after death?’

‘To conceal his identity?’

‘But why? What does Inspector Sheehan’s report say?’

‘Not a lot, sir.’ Strachan held up an extremely thin brown paper file. ‘I don’t believe he had time to complete a full report before he was called away. His constable is doing it for him as we speak.’

The chanting was getting louder. A small group of young men, students possibly, came round the corner carrying home-made signs, accompanied by a man crashing a pair of cymbals and another playing the raucous sounds of a Chinese flute. They advanced along the pavement, forcing pedestrians to jump out of their way into the street.

For a moment, even the traffic stopped to watch them, before continuing on its way, cars, lorries and rickshaw drivers inching their way forward.

Strachan ignored them and read from the file. ‘The body was found at a building site in Hong Kew.’

‘The Japanese area?’

‘Apparently, sir.’

Shanghai, and especially the International Settlement, was a series of small villages rather than one city. The Japanese lived in Hong Kew. The English and Americans in the area sound of Soochow Creek. The French in their own concession. The Jews around the Ohel Moshe synagogue. All the other nationalities, and Chinese from every province in the country, were spread amongst them. Surrounding everything was China itself, the sick man of Asia, weakened by the debilitating diseases of corruption, warlords, factions, poverty and the galloping virus of Japanese militarism.

Within the International Settlement, tension between the competing nationalities, dialects and races was always bubbling beneath the surface, with the Shanghai Municipal Police providing a thin barrier of protection, like a sticking plaster over a deep, gaping wound.

Recently, though, the Japanese annexation of Manchuria, and the subsequent influx of refugees, had destroyed the careful balance in the city, bringing all the tensions to the surface.

Danilov raised his head to listen to the cymbals and drums. It reminded him so much of Minsk in 1917 after the tsar had been deposed.

‘Let’s be careful with this one, Strachan, it smells almost as bad as a Shanghai sewer.’

‘Yes, sir.’ Strachan returned to the crime notes and scanned them, reading out the details. ‘There were no marks on the boy’s clothing and no ID. According to the report, all they found was a nail in the right-hand pocket.’

Danilov held up his right hand with the thumbnail showing.

‘No, sir, an iron nail, about two inches long.’

‘Strange, Strachan, very strange. Why would an educated boy carry an iron nail in his pocket?’

Strachan shrugged his shoulders. ‘Sheehan had the crime team examine and photograph the scene. The pictures and fingerprint report should be back from the lab soon.’

‘Get them as soon as you can. And where are the clothes he was wearing? Dr Fang mentioned nothing about clothes.’

‘I’ll check it out, sir.’

‘When you get back, give that constable a kick in the backside. He should have finished the report before he left the station last night. You would have done so.’

Strachan thought about saying something but eventually decided it wasn’t worth the effort. The inspector was right: he would have stayed to finish it.

The small crowd of students stopped outside the tea shop. The cymbals and flutes continued to play while three men detached themselves from the main group and entered the building. The detachment was headed by a tiny Chinese man wearing a blue cord cap, accompanied by two stockier men, their muscles evident even through their padded blue jackets.

Danilov stared across the road. ‘What’s going on here, Strachan?’

Link to Book:

 

Author Bio:

M J Lee

M J Lee has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a university researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.

He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the north of England, in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning advertising awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and the United Nations.

While working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarters of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in the 1920s.

When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practising downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake, and wishing he were George Clooney.

Author Social Media Links Twitter: @WriterMJLee

Change of email address and Twitter handle….

Hi all,

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve set up a separate email address for my blog – chataboutbooks15@outlook.com

I will still be keeping my other email address, and I have linked the accounts, so hopefully I won’t miss anything during the crossover.

I have also changed my Twitter handle to @chataboutbooks1

My apologies to the blog tour organisers who already have posters/banners ready for upcoming blog tours with @bellaboobos11 on them. There was never going to be a great time to change it really!

My apologies for any inconvenience caused by making these changes. Thanks in advance for your patience with me.

Kerry x

Poet Laureate of Stoke-on-Trent #localnews #localtalent @SoTLibraries @sot2021 @Sotlive #localandproud

Hi all! I thought I would share this news I received from Emma at City Central Library…..

SOT Libraries

I’m very pleased to let you know that Stephen Seabridge will be the first Poet Laureate of Stoke-on-Trent. Stephen, who grew up in Sneyd Green, is a poet and PHD creative writing student at Keele University. You can find out more about him, and about the post, here:

https://www.stoke.gov.uk/news/article/241/stephen_to_champion_creative_writing_as_city_s_first_poet_laureate

Stephen’s first official appearance will be at the Festival in a Factory event at the Emma Bridgewater factory on Friday 8 June, 2pm. He will be appointed to the post by the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, and there will be readings and discussion from Stephen and two other local laureates.

For more info and to book tickets…..

https://festivalinafactory.co.uk/

Seven Bridges: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 8) by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview

Seven Bridges

I was SO excited to read Seven Bridges! If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I have absolutely LOVED this series and this book has been no exception. I’m just sad that it’s over already and book 9 isn’t ready yet.

I feel like I know the regular characters in this series really well now and I love catching up with them all. I think I said this in a previous review, but I find myself talking to my husband about these people as though I actually know them! I think that’s one of the signs of an excellent writer and L J Ross is definitely one of my favourites. She just has a knack for bringing characters to life, making them very real and believable.

In Seven Bridges DCI Ryan and his team are faced with finding a killer who is targeting the bridges in the city, seemingly for ransom initially, until one attack leaves four people dead. They need to find this person and fast!

Along with everything else going on their much loved colleague, Lowerson, is looking like the prime suspect for murder, but he’s just not the murdering type. Or is he? Ryan is determined to discover the truth and OH MY WORD, the truth is nothing short of shocking. I was absolutely gobsmacked!!

Seven bridges is full of action, shocks and surprises. Brilliantly written as always. It’s everything you could want from a mystery/police procedural which is also funny at times. The banter between Ryan and Phillips is particularly amusing. There’s also a bit of romance which is never a bad thing. I absolutely LOVED it from the first page to the last and I can’t wait for book 9!

If you haven’t read this series as yet then I highly recommend that you do. You won’t be disappointed!

Many thanks to LJ Ross for my mobi copy of Seven Bridges. I am honoured to be on your advance readers list.

Via AmazonUK…..

FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND AND DARK SKIES

Ryan’s most explosive case yet…

It’s been five months since a killer walked free and DCI Ryan is preparing to leave Newcastle to hunt him down – this time, for good.

But Ryan’s plans are scuppered when events take a dramatic turn and he is forced to stay and face his past one last time, or watch a friend suffer the consequences.

Amid the chaos, another killer is preparing to strike. When the Tyne Bridge explodes, Ryan’s team are faced with a frantic race to uncover a deadly foe who won’t stop until every bridge is burned, along with everybody on it…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

“LJ Ross keeps company with the best mystery writers” – The Times

“A literary phenomenon” – Evening Chronicle

“LJ Ross is the Queen of Kindle” – Sunday Telegraph

Biography

Louise Ross

LJ Ross is the author of the international #1 bestselling series of DCI Ryan mystery novels. Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon Kindle UK best sellers chart.

Since then, she has released a further six full-length novels in the DCI Ryan Series, all of which have been top three bestsellers. Cragside, Dark Skies and Seven Bridges (due for release 25 May 2018) were all #1 in the UK on pre-orders alone.

The novels are available to purchase in e-book, paperback and audiobook formats on the Amazon store, as well as in selected independent bookshops. Holy Island is also available in German translation.

Louise was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate Law at King’s College, University of London and studied abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a regulatory lawyer for a number of years before taking the decision to change career and pursue her dream to write.

Now, she writes full time and lives with her husband and son in Northumberland. She enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

If you would like to connect with LJ Ross, she would be very happy to hear from you:

https://www.facebook.com/LJRossAuthor
https://twitter.com/ljross_author
http://www.ljrossauthor.com
http://www.lovesuspense.com
lj_ross@outlook.com

My reviews for the previous books in the DCI Ryan series (all include links to buy)…..

Holy Island (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 1) by @LJRoss_author #Review

Sycamore Gap by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyanMysteries

Heavenfield by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyanMysteries

Angel by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyan #Book4

High Force by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyan #Book5

Cragside by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyan #Book6

Dark Skies by L J Ross @LJRoss_author #BookReview #DCIRyan #Book7

 

#FlashbackFriday with @Jancoledwards @SteveScaffardi @MTilburyAuthor @RachelAmphlett #LesleyWelsh & @kerrywk

Hi and welcome to my Flashback Friday feature 🙂

On the first Friday of each month I like to have a little look back at what I was reading during the same month in previous years (since starting my blog).

Here are my reviews from June 2017…..

Winter Downs #BlogTour #BookReview @Jancoledwards @penkhullpress @BunchandDodo

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The Flood (Sex, Love and Dating Disasters Book 2) @SteveScaffardi #BookReview

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The Eyes of the Accused #BlogTour @MTilburyAuthor @Bloodhoundbook #BookReview @sarahhardy681

EYES OF THE ACCUSED 2

Scared to Death (Detective Kay Hunter series Book 1) by @RachelAmphlett #BookReview

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The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh #BlogTour #BookReview @bookouture @KimTheBookworm

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Two Sisters #BlogTour #BookReview @kerrywk @bookouture

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Flashback Friday June 2016…..

#FlashbackFriday with @StinaLL @RebeccaJBradley @TillyTenWriter @SELynesAuthor

Have you read any of the above?

What were you reading this time last year?

Please feel free to join in with Flashback Friday and don’t forget to share your link with us in the comments if you do 🙂

Kerry x

#WeOther by Sue Bentley @suebentleywords #BlogTour #AuthorInterview #Giveaway @rararesources

Hiya! 

Today I have the pleasure of joining in with Sue Bentley’s #WeOther blog tour 🙂

With thanks as always to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources.

We Other banner

Interview with Sue Bentley…..

Sue Bentley

About myself and my books? I began by writing for adults – most of those early books are out of print. I’ve also written for existing children’s series under a number of pen names. My own magical animal series, under my own name, still sells around the world. I’m currently writing for YA/Adults. We Other is the first in a new direction – it’s part thriller, part para-normal romance – with pitch-dark fairies you wouldn’t want to meet while walking alone at night.

My ideas? They come from all around, from everyday experience, things I hear or read or people tell me. I’m influenced by books, Art, Film, TV, talking to friends and generally keeping my eyes and ears open. I always have a notebook with me to jot down stray thoughts and scraps of dialogue. I ask myself lots of questions and try to come up with unusual answers.

My characters? Are compilations of everyone I know, have ever met, or encountered in any medium over my lifetime. I like to give them interesting ambitions, interests, hang-ups, problems – so I enjoy writing about them. They’ll be with for a long time, certainly for months, perhaps years while they’re journeying through my books. I suppose there’s a little bit of me in every one of them – although I’m not always aware of it until someone points it out. I’m not telling you which bits. You can judge for yourself!

Characters names? Sometimes just pop into my head. Other times I work hard to find the right one. It’s important that they feel right. I check for names online, or if my eyes need a rest, I’ll skim down lists of actors in TV and Film mags. If I hear a lovely name, I’ll make a note of it for later use.

My writing process in a nutshell? Get up, quick wash, dress – or put fleece over PJs, stick my feet into slipper-boots and put the kettle on. Take tea to my desktop, work on WIP in the morning, try to avoid social media. After lunch, answer emails, go for a walk or to a café (with book and notebook) Evening social media, writing business or TV, socialise with friends. Read in bed. It doesn’t always work out like that.

My top 5 favourite authors? There are so many, but here goes. Frances Hardinge, Holly Black, Philip Pullman, Hannah Kent, Susan Cooper.

If I could meet any author? It would be Susan Cooper. I took part in a Twitter Readathon of ‘The Dark is Rising’ over Midwinter 2017 to New Year. It was perfect for how I was feeling as I love winter and snow, but the Christmas commerce-fest? Not so much. I’d love to talk to Susan about this book, as I feel we have a lot of interests in common.

Was I a big reader as a child? Absolutely! And then some. I never had my head out of a book. I worked my way through the entire children’s section of the public library. Fabulous.

When did I start to write? Not until my own children started school. Before that I was growing up, living life, incubating my talents, while exploring good fiction. Reading is the best apprenticeship for any budding writer.

Re-writing the ending to any book? It’s never occurred to me to want to do that. The ending is whatever the writer intended and I’m happy with that – even if it leaves me feeling sad or disappointed, that’s fine. Life’s full of ups and downs.

Any book I wish I’d written? Oh yes lots. Every time I read a page of beautiful prose or an insightful, well-observed chapter, I wish I’d written it. But I really believe that you can only write the book that’s within you, not focus on passing trends or try to be like anyone else. We all have our own voice, which is as valid as anyone else’s.

The title of my autobiography? If ever I write one? ‘Burrowings of a Bookworm.’ Or maybe ‘A Life in Words’. I’d have to give it a lot more thought.

Inviting a fictional character for coffee? I’d take Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon, disguised as a moth, to Starbucks. She’d have a milkshake and we’d talk about her adventures and I’d be very jealous that I didn’t have a daemon of my own to accompany me. If I had one – it would be a grey cat with orange eyes.

What I’m working on right now? I’ve just delivered Second Skin to my agent. It’s been 3 years in the writing and is another para-normal romance/thriller and quite dark in places. Second Skin asks, what is the shape of love? Aledra is a Drakkoni, a conquering race of twoskins, people able to transform into winged beasts. Jubal is a Native Esran, who hates the Drakkoni for slaughtering his people. The book explores what happens when two races collide and gets quite dark in places.

Do I have a release date? Not yet – Second Skin is doing the rounds of publishers. While I’m waiting for it to be placed, I’ve begun writing Scar You – a sequel to We Other, which can also be read as a stand-alone. We meet many characters from We Other, and continue with some of their stories. I’m also introducing some strong new characters, too. Very excited about these!

How do I celebrate publication day? Well I might dance around the kitchen grinning inanely and whooping, while hugging a copy of my book. I might go out to lunch with writing friends or my agent. I might have a book launch/signing in my local Waterstones. I’ll probably announce how delighted I am and post pics on all my social media. Then I might have a special meal and eat too much chocolate.

How can readers keep in touch with me? I’m working on that one. My website needs a major update and I intend to add a blog and a facility for people to leave their details. Until then, readers can ‘like’ my author page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, Goodreads, and Instagram – just click on the links provided. I love interacting with readers and I’m always grateful when someone who enjoys my books takes the time to write a review.

Thanks very much for hosting me on the We Other blog tour, and for the interesting questions.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Sue 🙂

We Other cover

We Other

Family secrets, changelings, and fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.

Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic. When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of Jess’s worries.

Purchase from Amazon UK –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/We-Other-Sue-Bentley-ebook/dp/B07D19PRGL/

Purchase from Amazon.com –

https://www.amazon.com/We-Other-Sue-Bentley-ebook/dp/B07D19PRGL/

Author Bio –

Sue Bentley discovered a love of books at an early age. She worked for Northamptonshire Libraries for many years, while teaching herself the craft of writing. She is the author of the worldwide bestselling Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies, Magic Bunny series for age 5-9 years. She also writes for children and adults under various pen names. A lover of English Folklore, her books often contain elements of the otherworld and the darkness within the everyday. Her books have been translated into around 20 languages. We Other is her first book for Young Adults.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/suebentleywords

https://facebook.com/suebentleyauthor

https://instagram.com/therealsuebentley

https://www.suebentley.co.uk

https://Goodreads.com/suebentleyauthor

Giveaway –

Win a signed copy of We Other and a personal letter (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Follow the rest of the blog tour for reviews, and more, with these awesome book bloggers…..

We Other

Enjoy!