Book Reviews, Giveaway Prizes, Uncategorized

The Joyce Girl @annabelabbs ~ #Bloomsday @ImpressBooks1 #WIN #Signed Edition

IMG_7633.JPG

To celebrate a year of publication Impress Books have given us a beautiful signed first edition of The Joyce Girl  and luxury chocolates to giveaway to one lucky reader of Love Book Group.

Here is the review we ran earlier this year, have a wee read and enter the giveaway at the end.

My Review ~ Spoiler Free 

Lucia_Joyce_dancing_at_Bullier_Ball_-_Paris,_May_1929
Lucia Joyce

Today I have my review of The Joyce Girl By Annabel Abbs. The book is beautifully written. It’s very enjoyable to read and it flows easily.  Actors say when they make movie biographies and they spend so long learning about the character they play that they get a special unique experience. If that’s the case then I hope it goes for writers too. Because I truly want to believe that the spirit of Lucia Joyce, was with Annabel Abbs as she wrote The Joyce Girl. Looking on with pride and love for Annabel’s wonderful work.

Normally, I start my book and I try to read as much as I can over two or three sittings. As I began the book I realised my normal reading practice of forming the characters in my head would not work. As Lucia and her family were real people. So I googled for some photos, then I found a voice recording of James Joyce and so I had it in my head. This is not necessary for the enjoyment of the book. It was just a person thing of mine.

The book takes us through the avant-garde Paris to London and Zurich. I have been to Paris and it is a City with a heartbeat of culture and love. It is captured exquisitely in the book.

As I turned each page, I grew more and more in love with Lucia Joyce and her passion for dance and love. The characters and their journey are brought to life. Her unusual family lifestyle and living in the shadows of Mr James Joyce.

The book would have taken a lot of research and you can tell it was written with care and attention to details.  It covers an array of many topics. With so many strong characters.

30be40bf0e106b83c1a52ffafd359dc1
The Joyce Family.
00077182-500
Lucia Joyce
James-Giorgio-Nora-Lucia-Joyce-Paris-1924
The Joyce Family

This is a must read, even if your TBR pile is so high.  After finishing the book I wanted to learn much more about Miss Joyce. Lucky there are some wonderful links on Annabel Abb’s website.

Twitter ~ @annabelabbs
Buy your copy of The Joyce Girl BY Annabel Abbs ~ Published By Impress Books ~ Amazon Click Here

 

The Cover & Description

510fuvQ9hRL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_

 

The Joyce Girl tells the fictionalised story of Lucia Joyce’s affair with a young Samuel Beckett and then a young Alexander Calder. The only daughter of Irish author, James Joyce, and Nora Barnacle, Lucia aspired to be a modern dancer. Talented and ambitious, she trained with many of the most famous dancers of her time. The novel switches between past and present as Lucia retells her story to the pioneering psychoanalyst, Doctor Carl Jung, who she was sent to by her father to take the ‘talking cure.’

A story of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father, The Joyce Girl is a true story but imagined where facts were unavailable.

Described by the author, Emma Darwin, as “a gripping and little-known story at the heart of one of the twentieth century’s most astonishing creative moments…researched deeply and brought to richly-imagined life.”

Profits from the first year UK royalties go to YoungMinds in memory of Lucia Joyce, who spent most of her life in an asylum.

(Source www.annabelabbs.com)

About Annabel Abb’s 

Portrait
Annabel Abbs

Annabel Abbs grew up in Wales and Sussex, with stints in Dorset, Bristol and Hereford. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia and a Masters in Marketing from the University of Kingston. After fifteen years running a consultancy, she took a career break to bring up her four children, before returning to her first love, literature.

Her debut novel, The Joyce Girl, won the 2015 Impress Prize for New Writing and the 2015 Spotlight First Novel Award, and was longlisted for the 2015 Caledonia Novel Award and the 2015 Bath Novel Award. Her short stories and journalism have appeared in various places including Mslexia,  The Guardian, The Irish Times, Weekend Australian Review, Elle, The Author, The Daily Telegraph, Psychologies and the Huffington Post. She has been profiled in Writing Magazine, Sussex Life, Next NZ, Litro and Female First, Her blog, www.kaleandcocoa.com, featured in the Daily Telegraph in August 2015 and May 2016. She lives in London and Sussex with her family and an old labrador.

(Source ~www.annabelabbs.com)

WIN SIGNED FIRST EDITION & CHOCCIES

IMG_7633

To enter our exclusive giveaway CLICK TO ENTER ~ GOOD LUCK

UK Only ~ Ends 23/06/2017 Winner picked at random by Rafflecopter

Miss Lucia Joyce 

images (2)
Lucia Joyce

One of the last photographs taken of Lucia Joyce (Source: http://www.annabelabbs.com/blog/ ) she died on the 12th December 1982, aged 75.

My heart is now etched with never ending compassion and love for  Lucia Joyce. Thank you so much, Annabel Abbs. I don’t think I would have gotten to know her if it hadn’t been for you. Much Love, Kelly xx

 

 

Uncategorized

Dangerous To Know ~ @anneebuist ~ @legend_press ~ JA Warnock Review

About The Book 

51fBhWHrcyL

Natalie King is back: back from a stay on the psych ward. Her reluctance to live a quiet life has contributed to a severe depressive episode, and now it’s time for a retreat to the country, and a low-key research job at a provincial university nearby.

But Natalie and trouble have a strange mutual fascination. Her charismatic new boss Frank is friendly, even attractive. But it turns out his pregnant wife is an old enemy of Natalie’s. And when Frank’s tragic personal history is revealed – then reprised in the most shocking way – Natalie finds herself drawn deep into a mystery. And even deeper into danger.

Buy your copy here ~ AMAZON UK

#Fav Five with Annie Burst 

Anne Buist

Favourite book cover by another author and why?

I don’t judge a book by its cover, so this is tricky. That said, certain covers say “pick me up” over others. (Of mine I just love the pin-cushioned heart on Dangerous to Know UK edition). My husband’s book The Rosie Project had an incredibly successful cover in that it was gender neutral, romantic and active: most of the 40 countries who bought it either kept it or altered it slightly. The Taiwanese edition was great—it included a wrap-around voucher for a Margarita! I like the idea of the chess piece on the cover of some editions of The Eight (Katherine Neville), but none of them ever quite grabbed me (the book however did!). There’s a version of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind that is very evocative of mood and the mystery of the book—it has a man with the shadow as a different, historical character in a cape. This problem wins outside my own and partners.

 

Favourite time to read?

Anytime and whenever I can. Many authors I know, find they can’t read anymore—they struggle because they start analysing and criticising, or else they are afraid they’ll be accused of plagiarism. Certainly, if I start something that is badly written I stop for the former reason, but I have read a book a week (at least) on average since I was eight and I’m not stopping now! I like to wind down with a thriller (this includes plane journeys, where I have been known to use a kindle because I travel on carry-on), always go sleep after reading, and also read when I need to be inspired. I mean as in lifting my game. I read Snowdrops (listed for the Booker) and then rushed off to write a description of outback Australia: Russia and snow are very different to the desert, but the tone and sensibility were what captivated me.

 

Favourite snack while reading?

Wine or a Margarita (one only) when I write and plan books—other than that, the book is all I need!

 

Favourite book character that has stayed with you after the book ended?

I have lived and breathed my own character Natalie King to the degree I get upset when I pass places where things went wrong for her! Some songs I relate to her issues make me nostalgic…

Beyond my own (and my husbands… I have lived with Don Tilman, Adam Sharp and Angelina Brown for quite a while too!)…wow, where to start.

Conchis in The Magus (John Fowles) fascinated me at eighteen.

So did Howard Roark and Dominique Francon in The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) at twenty-one, however politically incorrect the book and author is now considered.

She’s the bad guy in this, but really got under my skin—a wonderful portrayal—the mother, Cathy/Kate, in East of Eden (possibly my favourite book of all time, by John Steinbeck).

Owen Meany (Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving): exquisite at every level.

Catherine Velis (The Eight by Katherine Neville): might be frivolous fun, but I’ve read and re-reread it. Magical escapism—I am Catherine Velis!

Jack Reacher (Lee Child made an impression because I read 18 in a row. Now I just do him once a year).

 

Favourite book quote?

As quotes go this is a bit long and unwieldy but the essence of it has stayed with me ever since I read the book maybe thirty years ago (East of Eden by John Steinbeck). It’s ultimately what made the book so powerful for me, and something I have integrated into my own sense of what is important in the world.

‘But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—“Thou mayest”—that gives choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if “Thou mayst”—it is also true that “Thou mayst not”.’

www.annebuist.com

Twitter: @anneebuist

Review by Guest Blogger ~ J A Warnock 

Buist’s ‘Dangerous to Know’ picks up the story of troubled psychologist Natalie King which started in her earlier work ‘Medea’s Curse’. I’ll admit I found myself at a bit of a disadvantage, having not read the series opener, so would recommend readers start at the beginning rather than dive straight into this, the latest instalment.

Buist has found a different way of looking at the crime novel and very much concentrates on the psychological aspects of motivation and what we choose to reveal. By switching perspectives, the reader is privy to more information than each of the characters. I say information because, as much as we might suspect we know what is going on, answers and explicit conclusions are not presented to the very end. There were several moments in which I found myself asking; they wouldn’t, would they? Well….
The main characters are three-dimensional in that their own personal lives and histories are as much a part of the story as the immediate plot. Buist nicely captures the complexities and contradictions of real life as well as providing a nicely paced story of a criminal investigation.
‘Dangerous to Know’ is a subtle, measured and enjoyable read. If there were moments I expected the Cheshire cat to pop up and announce us all mad, blame my own psychosis, not the book. I hope we have not heard the last of Dr King.
Thank you to  @anneebuist for taking time out to visit my blog and to @legend_press  for the copy of the book for review.
Favourite Five, Uncategorized

#FavFive with Heather Robinson #Indiebook ~ Wall Of Stone

Wall Of Stone By Heather Robinson 

516dlRVJ61L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

In AD121 the Twentieth Legion of Rome stands at the northern frontier of Britannia. Forgotten, neglected and dour in spirit, they must still do their duty for an Empire whose meaning is becoming lost to them. As the lives of the local Teviot family intertwine with the legion, relationships of love and bitter anguish unfurl. Will the invading army push north? Will the disputing native tribes unite in an uprising? Can Marcus be with Jolinda? When peace is fragile, friendships count for everything…

(Source Amazon)

Heather’s #FavFive Spot 

What’s your favourite book cover by another author and why?

My favourite book cover is The Boar Stone by Jules Watson.  An understated yet effective cover.  The font, the boar and the bronze coloured edging all blend superbly to yell ‘Roman’ at me – my favourite period of history to read and write about

513PebOWcNL._AC_US327_FMwebp_QL65_

What is your favourite time to read?

My favourite time to read is the evening; I always read in the evening.

Do you have a favourite snack to nibble whilst reading?

I don’t have a favourite snack to nibble when I’m writing, but I do have a drip feed of coffee.  I should put it in a camel pack really.

Who is your favourite book character that has stayed with you long after the book ended?

The moles of Duncton Wood by William Horwood have stayed with me since I read the series three decades ago!  Boswell the moledom scribe is my absolute favourite.

61JHSkYAXEL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_

What is your favourite book quote?

The opening line from Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell gives me my favourite book quote: “Every day is ordinary,” Father Willibald said, “until it isn’t.”  That hits such a chord with me; you lope along innocently in life, then ‘bang’, something unexpected presents itself.

You can buy your copy of Wall Of Stone ~ Amazon

Thank you, Heather Robinson, for stopping by.

Kelly xx

 

Uncategorized

Our Q&A Spot ~ Author Tara Lyons @taralyonsauthor #NoSafeHome Published ~ @Bloodhoundbook

Thank you so very much to Tara Lyons for being on my blog today. Tara is the author of the thriller No Safe Home.

tara-lyons-jan-2017
Tara Lyons

Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. In the Shadows is Tara’s debut solo novel published in March 2016. She co-wrote The Caller and Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Parker novella with New York Times bestselling author, M.A Comley.

In August 2016 Tara signed a two-book contract with Bloodhound Books. The second book in the DI Hamilton series, No Safe Home, was published in January 2017.

When she’s not writing, Tara can be found at a local Wacky Warehouse stuck in the ball pit with her young, energetic son.

Sign up to Tara’s monthly newsletter for exclusive news, previews, and giveaways: http://eepurl.com/bN2KoH

Source ~ Amazon Author Page.

Questions & Answers with Tara Lyons 

Describe yourself using three words?

 Organised  Indecisive Fun

What inspired you to write your first novel? 

From a young age, I wanted to write and would always make up little stories for my dolls or in my notebooks. It was something everyone knew I loved. But, as it does, life took over and I got swept away with growing up, a full-time job and life in general. In 2012, I gave birth to my son and in 2013 my Grandad became ill. I accepted redundancy and helped my family. In 2015, my Grandad lost his fight with cancer, and the emotions I felt were like nothing before. I used those feelings and started writing. In the Shadows was born. 

What time of day do you like to write?

 Oh gosh – it used to be in the evenings, from about 8pmonwards, and now it’s during the day, from about 12.30… so actually, it has nothing to do with when I like to write, but when I can write around my very energetic son. I need absolute peace when at the computer, so he needs to be at pre-school or in bed. It will all change again come September when he starts full-time reception.

What is your favourite book and why?

 Too hard! I’ve read so, so many. But there are three that stick with me so, maybe it should be them? Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and Romeo & Juliet by Shakespeare. They are all books I’ve read more than once (and that’s a rare thing for me to do).

download

How did you pick the title of your book?

 No Safe Home just came to me one day, even before the story itself had fully blossomed. I knew I wanted to write about the fears of living alone with your child and I didn’t need to think about the title. It was there.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

 Yes and no… I have used names of family and friends – but those characters are not based on them, I’m just using their names. But, I guess, some of my characters have different traits that people I know do – compassion, a good listener, the joker of the pack – but it’s snippets of their personalities, not purely based on anyone

What’s your favourite word?

 Marrakesh (and I happened to slip it into No Safe Home), because I love how it sounds and it’s on my living list to visit before I’m 50!

If you were a colour what would it be?

 Blue – it’s my favourite. There are so many beautiful shades to the colour – warm and cold. It represents the stunning ocean and cloudless sky and I’ve always said I’d like to live near the sea.

seaside.jpg

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

 A bit of both. I need some form of outline written down and planned so when I sit at the computer I’m not just staring at a blank screen for hours. But then, once I’m in the writing groove, I’m flexible and go with my characters. In No Safe Home, a few things were swapped and added, because that’s what the characters determined as I got to know them more. 

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

 Adam from Flowers for the Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite. If you haven’t read it, you must! It’s not a spoiler that Adam is a serial killer, but what you learn in that book about him is heartbreaking. I joined a group of people in a book club that started the hashtag, Team Adam!

screen-shot-2016-05-27-at-13-27-25
#TeamAdam

Are you working on a new project? 

Yes, I currently writing book three in the DI Hamilton Series. I have a working title – as that came to me as quickly as No Safe Home – but I’m keeping that under wraps for now. 

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend? 

 I will be having an Author Afternoon Tea and Talk at Botwell Green Library on Tuesday 28 March between 1 pm and 2 pm. Hopefully, a signing in my local WHSmith (TBC) and I’ll be at Harrogate Crime Festival, so if anyone is there, please come and say hi.

c4x8a3iwiaaj_tg

If you would like to learn more about Safe From Harm or follow Tara Lyons. Here is the information you will need.

Publisher –  Bloodhound Books

Your Twitter –  www.twitter.com/taralyonsauthor

Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/taralyonsauthor

Your Author Website – https://taralyonsauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

No Safe Home By Tara Lyons

NO SAFE HOME final.jpg

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.

In a sleepy town in Hertfordshire, Katy has worked hard to rebuild her life after leaving behind everything she knew. But when her past catches up with her, and her young son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.

A home should be a safe place, shouldn’t it?

But sometimes it is hard to know who you can trust…

London’s murder investigations team return in the second novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows.

Snap up your copy here ~ Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Tara Lyons for taking part in my blog. I am very honoured that you took part.

tara-lyons-no-safe-home-books
Tara Lyons

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Learning to Love By @SherylBrowne ~ Published By @ChocLituk

9781781892756

It’s been a while since a book with a romantic thread throughout has captured my attention. Sheryl Brown’s writing style is imperative in my falling in love with the story.  You can feel her own love for the characters and her genuine care for them.

The story is a map of different roads. At the heart is the importance of family and love.  Andrea and David are very likeable characters and I found myself  investing my own emotions in them, which is very rare for me. However they have to overcome many obstacles throughout the book. Jonathan Eden is certainly an intricate part of the story and he will have you pulling your hair out at times.

The Kids in the book are awesome! Sheryl has them well written and true to form.  The neighbourhood biddies are fantastic and well how can I leave out Gran Dee, mothers always know best!

I would love to read a series of novels based on these characters. I want to know what happens in their next adventures!

If you’re a fan of Catherine Alliott, Fiona Walker then this is the novel for you.

Buy your copy here for Kindle or Paperback – Amazon UK

For more on Sheryl Brown

Sheryl’s Website

61ivemkjl4l-_ux250_
Sheryl Browne

Learning To Love

Source – Amazon

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places …
Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her earthly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well.

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with aftermath of the fire and in the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But, as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs …

Previously published by the author. Revised and updated by Choc Lit May 2016.

Wall-crowd-despair.jpg

Uncategorized

The Trial By John Mayer Review By J A Warnock ~ Feb 16/02

In The Trial, John Mayer masterfully recreates the atmosphere of Edinburgh’s old streets and halls as the backdrop to a gripping whodunnit. With short fast paced chapters, a glossary of legal terms and a plethora of characters with back stories the reader should be forgiven if their head is spinning by the end of part two but it is worth persevering. Using a cast of characters where class and honour are not necessarily related, truths, half truths and down right lies are woven together to keep the reader’s attention right to the end. Mayer’s characters have a tendency to be less than completely forthcoming and transparent in their encounters; this slightly pessimistic, though not necessarily unrealistic, portrayal of the human condition certainly keeps things interesting. Elements of the story are at the same time utterly unbelievable and entirely plausible which allows the reader to draw on their own preconceptions and stereotypes. Only as the story develops will you find out if what you think you know and what you actually know are even loosely related. All in all, The Trial is an enjoyable read and I would recommend giving it a go. Three stars.
J.A.Warnock
The Trial By John Mayer 
24892795
The Trial By John Mayer

When Glaswegian Brogan McLane completes many years of university education and legal training he crosses that great divide from Glasgow to Edinburgh. ‘Called’ to the Bar of the Scottish Supreme Court, he becomes a member of the most prestigious club in Scotland; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House.

When High Court Judge, Lord Aldounhill, is found dead after a transvestite party in his sumptuous home, those who know the killer close ranks and need a scapegoat – who better than ‘outsider’ Brogan McLane?

Out on bail with his career on hold, McLane and his band of blood brothers in the Calton Bar in Glasgow need to get ahead of their enemies or McLane will go down for life after Trial. But every time they discover a piece of evidence, it seems there is a mirror image to contradict it.

Through the murky world of Russian controlled transvestite hotels and with some unexpected police and judicial help, McLane battles against ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ until the killer is found.

But well protected and knowing all the tricks, will the killer ever stand trial in Parliament House

Purchase your copy here ~ Amazon UK

About John Mayer 

a1zubfz4u6l-_ux250_
John Mayer

John Mayer (b. 1952) was born in Glasgow, Scotland at a time of post-WW2 austerity. But in 1963 when he heard The Beatles on Radio Caroline, his life path was set. Aged 14 he walked out of school because, in his opinion, he wasn’t being well taught. Every day for the next year, in all weathers, he cycled 9 miles to and 9 miles from the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds.
While still an apprentice engineer he was soon teaching men two and three times his age.
But in the 1970s he ‘dived off a cliff’ and set out to become a Record Producer. He built his own record company trading in 14 countries. After a court battle with global giants, he went to the University of Edinburgh and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland. He acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.
As an author, John has written non-fiction, legal texts and articles; broadcasting to tens of millions of people on US and UK radio, TV and print media.
The Trial is the first novel in his Parliament House Books series. Set in Edinburgh, it’s an homage to Franz Kafka’s book of the same title. The Trial sees crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane, fight injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town. Source: Author Page ~ Amazon UK

Uncategorized

Helen Fields @Helen_Fields & Paul Finch @paulfinchauthor – #PerfectRemains & #Strangers @BlackwellEdin 15/02/2017

IMG_3656 (Edited).JPG

c4xwmuzweaa4j5v
Helen Fields & Paul Finch

I attended the talk in Edinburgh last night at Blackwells Book Store  of these two fabulous Authors. I have to say it was a very enjoyable event. Both Helen Fields and Paul Finch’s enthusiasm for their work is apparent in the way they express and talk about their books.

Helen Fields – Perfect Remains 

img_3662-edited
Helen Fields

Helen explained that she started out as Criminal Barrister for 13 years both prosecuting and defending.  She thought it was interesting that herself and Paul would have been on different sides of the court process as various times and that for her  she worked both with the police and the crown prosecution service. Helen spent 13 years dealing with the more difficult side of life when people had really reached their lowest ebb.  And police officers at the time were either her best mates or her sworn enemies depending on the day and the particular case. After Helen had her second child she found the experiences of having to watch various ugly and heart wrenching processes such as child autopsy videos too much and moved onto her Media company. Working for the likes of Hugo Boss and Coca Cola. She found that experience very draining.

She was on holiday with her husband and he asked her what she really wanted from life? And she explained she had always wanted to write a book. He gave her six months to make her dream a reality and that’s how Perfect Remains was born.

Perfect Remains, Helen explained is not drawn from one particular case but rather from a whole host of characters that she did meet over the years. She said it wasn’t all doom and gloom but there are certain people that stick in your head.   Helen said she enjoys getting inside the head of the bad guys and that’s the way she likes to write. Feeling their feelings and hearing their thoughts.

Perfect Remains 

16708471_10154129089847032_2885562750679570541_n

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

Purchase your copy here – Amazon UK

Paul Finch – Strangers 

img_3661
Paul Finch

Paul Finch – Strangers 

Paul explained that he is from Wigan, his Father was in the RAF and after he became a journalist and then found his way onto being a script writer for Coronation Street.  This lit a match for Paul. He joined the  Police in Salford in the 80’s which was a very busy area.  He suffered a very serious injury in 1988 which possibly would have meant him having to do a desk job. Which he didn’t particularly want. At the  time Paul had taken to writing in his spare time. Eventually a script called Knock Of Job, a story about a murder inside a police station sparked the interest of the television show The Bill and they asked him to join the writing team. Due to Pauls injury he left the Police and went into journalism. He was made redundant in 1998 and he was delighted. He continued to write for The Bill and Horror Stories for various magazines. Over the next couple of years work dried up. However he then found work writing Dr Who Audio Dramas for a while. Eventually his agent asked him why he didn’t make a start on writing a crime novel. Paul wasn’t 100% sold on the idea as the police force had become his past. His agent made him a deal he couldn’t resist. Write me a hard hitting crime novel and I will get it published with one of the best. So Paul took the challenge and his crime writing adventures began with the novel Stalkers. The book ended being published by Avon/Harper Collins so his agent was as good as his word.

Strangers

29359900

Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life: as PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is.

But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there’s no other option – and these murders are as brutal as they come. Lucy must step into the line of fire – a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line.

And, unknown to Lucy, she’s already treading it…

Purchase your copy  here ~ Amazon UK

 

Uncategorized

Q&A Guest Spot ~ Catherine Hokin @cathokin ~Blood & Roses ~ Yolk Publishing #RT

So lovely to have Catherine Hokin on my Blog today.  Catherine’s book is Blood & Roses and is published by http://yolkpublishing.co.uk/ .

About Catherine:

Catherine is a Glasgow-based author whose fascination with the medieval period began during a History degree which included studies into witchcraft, women and the role of political propaganda. This sparked an interest in hidden female voices resulting in her debut novel, Blood and Roses which brings a new perspective to the story of Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482, wife of Henry VI) and her pivotal role in the Wars of the Roses.  Catherine also writes short stories – she was a finalist in the Scottish Arts Club 2015 Short Story Competition  and has been published by iScot magazine – and blogs monthly for The History Girls. She is represented by Tina Betts of the Andrew Mann Literary Agency.

ch
Catherine Hokin

Wee Q&A with Catherine 

Describe yourself using three words? 

Northern, small, gobby

What inspired you to write your first novel? 

I think I have wanted to write for as long as I could read. Blood and Roses, my debut novel, is about Margaret of Anjou and her pivotal role in the fifteenth century Wars of the Roses – when I was a child my father was a wargamer (this is pre-internet so involved grown men playing with sand and tiny soldiers, madness) and he and his friends were obsessed with the Wars of the Roses, to the point where I thought the characters were still alive. They were also obsessed with Margaret and they hated her! I was intrigued, then I studied her at university and realised there was a feisty woman and a story there. It just took rather longer than I hoped to get round to writing it!

What time of day do you like to write? 

Morning – late afternoon is the worst bit so I do admin and less brain-demanding things then.

What is your favourite book and why? 

Wise Children by Angela Carter – it has everything I like: magical realism, fairy tales, Shakespeare done badly, two very tricky and hilarious female leads and early Hollywood. And it’s Angela Carter who was a genius.

download
Angela Carter Wise Children

How did you pick the title of your book? 

I wanted to get across the fact that it was about the Wars but also position it as a book that contains a lot of suffering – it’s not a romance. With hindsight I should have realised a lot of books about vampires have similar titles…

Are the characters in your book based on real people? 

Yes twice. Yes because they are historical characters and yes because I am a writer so I use traits from lots of people I know, including myself. My experience of parenting a boy was central to this story.

What’s your favourite word? 

Nefarious ~ (typically of an action or activity) wicked or criminal.

If you were a colour what would it be?

Dark purple with flecks of gold – party eyes meets something wicked this way comes.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

First draft is a research dump, then I take that and apply Robert McKee’s planning method (his book Story is brilliant) and do a complete re-write. I also like to write treatments from different characters’ viewpoints. It’s highly planned and highly flexible.

Who is your favourite Author? 

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – I love magical realism and South America. I also hate having to only choose one!

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

Lady Macbeth is really short-changed: all that wonderful plotting and manipulation and she doesn’t even get a death scene. I’d let her live and set her up as a relationship counsellor – think how much stress she would save Juliet and Desedemona.

Are you working on a new project? 

I am! My second novel is now with my agent and is also medieval with a strong female protagonist and Tina has me working on book 3 which is at the proper first draft stage. It is set in the twelfth century and is getting very dark…

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend? 

I do! On the 23rd February I will be in Edinburgh as part of the Audacious Women Festival talking about Powerful Women and the Challenges of Ruling – there will be lots of insults…

http://www.tracscotland.org/scottish-storytelling-centre/centre-events/6395/a-monstrous-regiment-powerful-women-and-the

HUGE Thanks so Catherine for her time and for the wonderful answers.  If you would like to contact Catherine here are the details you will need.

Social media links:

https://www.catherinehokin.com/

The History Girls

https://www.facebook.com/cathokin/

Twitter @cathokin

Blood & Roses By Catherine Hokin ~ Published By Yolk 

cover

Blood and Roses tells the story of Margaret of Anjou (1430-82), wife of Henry VI and a key protagonist in the Wars of the Roses. This is a feminist revision of a woman frequently imagined only as the shadowy figure demonised by Shakespeare – Blood and Roses examines Margaret as a Queen unable to wield the power and authority she is capable of, as a wife trapped in marriage to a man born to be a saint and as a mother whose son meets a terrible fate she has set in motion. It is the story of a woman caught up in the pursuit of power, playing a game ultimately no one can control…

You can purchase the book here Amazon UK

Uncategorized

Marie Macpherson @MGMacpherson – An insight into the background of writing the historical novel.

img_3647-edited
Marie Macpherson

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend Marie’s talk. I have to be honest my knowledge of the history of John Knox is little to none. I was interested to learn about him and I did. Marie is very knowledgeable and passionate about her work.  Her enthusiasm is infectious I wanted her to talk to me for hours.

I encourage you to pop on Amazon and snap up her books. Links are below. In due course  we will have a lovely review of The Second Blast of The Trumpet here on the blog.

First Blast Of The Trumpet ~ Amazon UK

The Second Blast Of The Trumpet ~ Amazon UK

If you would like to contact Marie Macpherson for more information on her novels you can using the following links:

Twitter: @MGMacpherson

Blog: http://bit.ly/2kuDqO8

 

img_3644-edited
Marie Macpherson
img_3645-edited
Marie Macpherson
Uncategorized

Author Q&A With Richard Wall @writinblues #FatManBlues

The Real You Author Blog Spot ~ By Kelly Lacey 

unnamed
Richard Wall hawking his wares at Upton Blues Festival 2016

I am delighted to have Mr Richard Wall author of Fat Man Blues as our first author blog.

I asked Richard some questions and here in his own words are his replies, enjoy.

Describe yourself using three words?

Tall, Proud, Magnificent, Deluded and Innumerate

 What inspired you to write your first novel?

A chance encounter with a fat man in a blues bar in Clarksdale, Mississippi USA

 What time of day do you like to write? 

Evenings mostly, but whenever I get the opportunity.

 What is your favourite book and why?

Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry.  It’s a superb western Odyssey, I urge everyone to at least take a look at it. It’s a magnificent book.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

The main character is based on me.  A couple of historic blues singers make an appearance, other characters are based on an amalgam of blues characters.

What’s your favourite word?

Magnificent.

If you were a colour what would it be?

Blue.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow? 

I go with the flow. I tried planning once, and wasted three weeks of my life. Dreadful business.

Who is your favourite Author? 

James Lee Burke

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose? 

I’d have Hannibal Lecter retire to run a B&B on the South Coast.

Are you working on a new project?

 I’m writing the sequel to Fat Man Blues, and a short story called Hank Williams’ Cadillac.

Twitter –  @writinblues

Facebook Page – Richard Wall Author

Your Website – I have an occasional blog at rawall.wordpress.com

Fat Man Blues  By Richard Wall 

Source ~ Amazon

51jboquudml-_sy346_

“Hobo John” is an English blues enthusiast on a pilgrimage to present-day Mississippi. One night in Clarksdale he meets the mysterious Fat Man, who offers him the chance to see the real blues of the 1930s. Unable to refuse, Hobo John embarks on a journey through the afterlife in the company of Travellin’ Man, an old blues guitarist who shows him the sights, sounds and everyday life in the Mississippi Delta. Along the way, the Englishman discovers the harsh realities behind his romantic notion of the music he loves and the true price of the deal that he has made.

Purchase your copy here ~ Amazon UK

Thank you Mr Wall for your time. I hope you see you back again with book two.