Avon Books, Book Blog, Book~Reviews, Kelly Talk

Perfect Prey By Helen Fields @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK #Review #Edinburgh


Hello Lovelies,
Today I have a review of Perfect Prey by Helen Fields. I was super excited for this book as Perfect Remains was my top read of 2017 so far….

Kelly xox


Book Jacket 

Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.

In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.

The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.

D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.

It’s only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.

My Review 

My expectations for book two Perfect Prey were so high. Perfect Remains had smacked me around the head and then nestled into my consciousness forever. I received my ARC from Avon Books UK and  I dived in.

Firstly I love the cover, it gives nothing away. Which I find is very important, to me anyway. The bright red of the blood catches your eye.

Starting on chapter one, I was greeted by the handsome D.I. Luc Callanach and the straight talking D.I. Ava Turner. It was truly AWESOME to be on an adventure (all be it bloody gritty and gruesome) again with them.  Callanach has to be one of my favourite literary characters ever, he has such a strong presence even on paper.

Helen Fields has done it again if I thought Perfect Remains was filled with the most heinous murders and memorable crime scenes, I was mistaken, that was just a wee taste of the mind bending, stomach churning murders that Helen Fields has up her sleeves.  When I started the book it was late at night, I was snuggled under the blankets with my wee book torch that didn’t last long, I had to get up and put the big light on.  I have to say it’s the first time a book scared me like that and I loved it.

I was at the Edinburgh book launch on Wednesday and I had the chance to hear Helen Feilds talk about Perfect Prey and I was delighted to hear that there are more books to come in the series. It’s the first crime series that I have really cared about what happens and I am truly invested in the characters especially Callanach (can you blame me?).

I urge you to dive into the series you will not be disappointed.  Helen Fields has done it again, Perfect Prey is bloody brilliant in every way!

Photos from Waterstones Edinburgh ~ Launch Night ~ Perfect Prey 

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Look who I met at the event, my friend and fellow blogger Sharon Bairden from Chapter In My Life ~ Blog

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For a sneak peek and to order, use these handy link below ~



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Guest Post ~
Author, Author Guest Post, Book Blog

The Revenge Of The Malakim By Paul Harrison @PHarrisonauthor @WillandWhiting #Guestpost

Copy of To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. (1).png

Thank you for stopping by today, I have a guest post for you by author Paul Harrison. His novel is Revenge Of The Malakim and is published by Williams & Whiting.

Kelly xox

Paul Harrison

Book Jacket

It’s high summer and the streets of Bridlington East Yorkshire are awash with tourists. A serial killer is on the loose. DCI Will Scott and his team embark upon a fast paced investigation to catch a killer with a unique agenda. As the body count rises the killer randomly moves location and the police are unwittingly drawn into a dark and sinister world where cover-ups and corruption reigns. A place where no one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems

Guest Post By Paul Harrison 


Everyone loves a good murder, right? Well, presumably everyone, with the exception of the victim, and their family and friends that is. As a retired detective, turned crime writer, I am often asked what my inspiration was for initially writing about crime?

Personally, it was real life experiences that had such a profound impact on me. When the media and in some instances, true crime authors, report or write on such abhorrent crimes, they inevitably forget those who are left behind. Reporting is generally all about the act, the killer, and their antecedents. Yet what of those who have to live, day and night, with such atrocities?  Is any consideration given to them?  In my experience, they are rarely given a second thought.  Yet they deserve a voice, their pain should be heard.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of people who have been ‘left behind.’  Collectively, the one thing these people wanted, was to understand ‘why’ their relative or friend, was a victim?

So, when the opportunity arose during the 1990’s, for me to interview, face to face, serial killers and killers of all types, I seized the opportunity with open arms. I wanted to try to understand what it was that could transform a normal human being into a murderous monster. I wanted answers directly from the mouths of the killers themselves.

Sixty plus interviews later, and I’m acutely aware that the monsters exist only in the minds of the media.  Each of the killers I met, male and female, were outwardly, anything but horrific. They were little more than egotistical cowards.  In prison, most desire the kudos of their murderous actions being regarded by their peers as terrifying. None of the killers I spoke with could tell me why they selected each victim, the closest I came to a genuine answer was that ‘opportunity’ played a major role in the crime.

The vast majority of the killers I’ve interviewed are anything but interesting, so when researching and writing a true crime book, there’s only so much one can write about them. Generally, they are boring people, who, prior to their crimes, led mundane lives, and were often regarded as insignificant in the workplace or socially.

With that in mind, I decided to turn to crime fiction, and to create my own ‘murderous monsters.’  This also allows me to raise awareness of the ongoing suffering, that acts of murder create for those left behind, and depict how it affects everyday people connected to the act.  My killers are loosely based on genuine experience, a selective mix of the genuine article if you like, all of whom are safely locked up in prison, for life, I hasten to add!  My victims are wholly fictional (well kind of, depends on how much you upset me), most are created to blend in and enhance the flow of the plot, likewise their families and friends. It’s the emotions that each protagonist endures, that is very real. That for me is important in drawing the reader in and living the story as it develops.

So, the next time you read sensational headlines about serial killers or murderers, spare a thought for those left behind.  Including, the emotional trauma caused to the coppers dealing with it. We do take our police for granted, however, the vast majority are a very special group of people indeed. My crime novel: Revenge of the Malakim (Williams & Whiting) gives an insight into that human side of policing. It’s no tear jerker, but it’s realistic and at time blood-curdling! Read it if you dare….


Q&A With Paul Harrison 


Paul Harrison

How did you get into the world of books?

I have a background in the Criminal Justice system, working as a police officer, covering three decades. Strangely, I worked alongside many officers who made it to the top, (to the rank of Chief Constable) on their way up the career ladder, including the CC of Greater Manchester, and the ex-Chief of Police Scotland, and one ex-Chief Inspector of Constabularies.  This was followed by a brief stay, as a High Court Judges Clerk, at the Royal Courts of Justice, London. I later worked in the Charity Sector, helping vulnerable adults and children.  In 2010, I won the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies ‘Outstanding Individual of the Year’ award, for my voluntary work helping victims of abuse.

I actually started writing, back in 1999 during my police career, when I had my first nonfiction true crime book published. Since then I’ve had 30 plus non-fiction books published. Now, it’s crime fiction books all the way.

Describe yourself using three words?

Honest, personable, loyal (to those I care about)

What inspired you to write your first novel?

It felt like a natural transition. The different career paths of life I have walked, have provided me with a wealth of experience to draw on, and what better way to use them, than in my novels. For instance, I’ve interviewed many serial killers, so many that they literally become quite boring. So it was great to be able to create my own.  My good guys are loosely based on a culmination of people I have met.

What time of day do you like to write?

It varies.  I like to work with a bit of background music playing, so it inspires me. It’s always upbeat but not to the point of distraction.

What is your favourite book and why?

Easy this one.  Moby Dick by Hermann Melville. I just love, the dark obsessive character of Captain Ahab, and how Moby Dick survived the conflict. I really don’t like to see animals persecuted, or hurt. So don’t expect to see any in my books.

How did you pick the title of your book?

I wanted a champion to protect children and came across the term Malakim.  This, effectively, is an angel, who wreaks vengeance on those who harm children.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

The good guys are, but not so the baddies. The latter are unique creations.

If you were a colour what would it be?

Wow, that’s a tough one. I think I’m more of a rainbow. Adaptable maybe.

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

I try to create a storyline, however, my characters do take over, and I just let them run. I like to think it keeps everything realistic.

Who is your favourite Author?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The original Sherlock Holmes stories are hard to beat, for me. I’m also very much into Agatha Christie.


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

Norman Bates, from Robert Bloch’s novel – Psycho.



Are you working on a new project?

Yes, I’m currently writing book two of the Grooming Parlour Trilogy (The Dark Web). After this trilogy, I have more exciting adventures planned for my lead Detective, DCI Will Scott, and his team.

website or on my Detectives site

Facebook Author Page – PaulHarrisonAuthor

Your Author Website –

To order and have a sneak peek please use these handy links ~

Thank you, Paul Harrison & @WillandWhiting for taking the time out for Love Books Group, see you again soon.

If you enjoyed the blog please leave a like and a comment. We would love it if you could share it on Twitter & Facebook.  It really helps us to grow. Thanks so very much.

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Connect with Chasing Time Writer Retreats for more information or to book yourself that much need writing getaway.  More writing retreats are available~

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Book Blog, Book Event News, Crime Authors, Detective Series, Guest ~ Reviews, Noir At The Bar Dundee

Noir At The Bar #Dundee #Author @ChrisLongmuir #Authors #Scottish 26th July 2017 #Guestpost


Hello Lovelies,

On the lead up to the big event on Wednesday, I have author Chris Longmuir here with an exclusive guest post for you. Enjoy.

Kelly xoxo

Chris Longmuir

Chris is an award-winning novelist and has published three novels in her Dundee Crime Series. Night Watcher, the first book in the series, won the Scottish Association of Writers’ Pitlochry Award, and the sequel, Dead Wood, won the Dundee International Book Prize, as well as the Pitlochry Award. Missing Believed Dead is the third book in the series.

Chris has recently published the first book in a new series set just after the Great War. This series features Kirsty Campbell, Dundee’s first policewoman. Her next book, to be published soon, is another Kirsty Campbell mystery set during the First World War.

She has also published a non-fiction book entitled Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution. This is an examination of crime fiction as well as an evaluation of independently published books in this genre.

Her crime novels are set in Dundee, Scotland, and have been described as scary, atmospheric, page turners. Chris also writes historical sagas, short stories and historical articles which have been published in America and Britain. However, A Salt Splashed Cradle is the only historical saga currently published. Writing is like an addiction to me, Chris says, I go into withdrawals without it. She is currently working on a new Kirsty Campbell novel.

Chris is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association and the Scottish Association of Writers. She designed her own website and confesses to being a techno-geek who builds computers in her spare time.


Life and Times of a Writer By Chris Longmuir 

Even when I was a child I wanted to write but never thought that was possible. I read voraciously but at that time the writer was invisible. A name on a book. There were no author tours, book signings, or promotional events. The writer was allowed to remain in his or her writer’s cave and concentrate solely on the next book.

How times have changed. We creep out of our caves into the full glare of publicity. Demands are made, and we become dizzy in the spotlight. For someone brought up in the Scottish ethic of hiding your light under a bushel, this is not very comfortable.

Don’t get me wrong. I love meeting readers. We have something in common. A love of books. I could quite happily spend the rest of my life reading if it wasn’t for that damned writing itch.

You don’t know about the itch? Let me enlighten you. Writing is like an addiction and many writers, myself included, suffer withdrawals if we are prevented from lifting our pen or pencil, or tapping on our keyboard trying to create the next blockbuster. Of course, blockbusters are difficult to achieve but that doesn’t matter because most of us are happy if readers enjoy our stories.

I used to suffer dreadfully before I gave up work to concentrate solely on writing. I was a social worker in quite a senior position so there were no 37 hour weeks for me. It was more likely to be 50 hours or over. So you can imagine the torment I went through when I was prevented from writing.

I’ve been writing now for over thirty years and before I became a full-time writer it was mainly articles and short stories which were published here and in America. Becoming a full-time writer allowed me to develop into a novel writer. Initially, it was a bit of a shock to the system because, as anyone who has ever tried to get a book published will tell you, the road is rocky and littered with rejections.

The first book I wrote was a romantic historical saga. I bet you didn’t expect that because I’m better known for my crime fiction. Anyway, the saga, A Salt Splashed Cradle, was considered by a publisher but that was the year sagas went out of fashion. It’s called ‘Sod’s Law’. So, although I had started the sequel I decided there was no point in continuing if no publisher would be interested. That was the reason I turned to a life of crime.

I’m quite interested in social history. How ordinary people lived in the past and I had researched the origins of women police for one of my articles. Did you know the first women police services were set up by the suffragette organisations? This fascinated me. And in the course of my research, I discovered that there was a policewoman in Dundee in 1919. That was enough to set the creative juices flowing and my Kirsty Campbell was born, fully formed, and in a police uniform.

Kirsty first came to life in The Death Game set in a bleak Dundee just after the First World War. In this book, Kirsty becomes involved in ritualistic murder, missing children, and a deadly game of sacrifice and death. I acquired a publisher for this book after it won an international competition for the best unpublished crime novel. It was one of twenty winners and we were all given a contract with the promise of publication within a year. But at the end of the year, only five of those books were published. My guess is that the publisher, who was a new kid on the block, overestimated what they would be able to do. It was Sod’s Law again.

I’m never one to give up without a fight so I thought to myself, ‘Well, the saga didn’t work, the historical crime hasn’t worked out, I’d better try contemporary crime fiction’, and that resulted in the first book of what was to become my Dundee Crime Series.

Since then my Dundee Crime Series has become really popular but that didn’t happen overnight. Night Watcher the first book went the rounds of the publishers with the usual round of rejections even though it won the Scottish Association of Writers Pitlochry Award for best crime novel. So I wrote Dead Wood. It suffered the same fate, rejection after rejection. But it too won the Pitlochry Award and then it went on to win the Dundee International Book Prize, and that was my breakthrough to publication because the prize came with a publishing deal. I’ve never looked back since that day.

Following the publication of Dead Wood, I published Night Watcher, as well as the third book in the series Missing Believed Dead. Then The Death Game was published and following that Devil’s Porridge.

So, you could say that when Dead Wood was published I became an overnight success. Such a pity it took me thirty years!

I’m off to scratch my itch again. You’ll find me in my writer’s cave.

Chris Longmuir

Connect with Chris ~

Amazon Author page

Check out Chris’s books ~ Amazon UK


Book Jacket 

Murder, Mystery, and Munitions

East London, January 1917:
“He pulled her into his arms and kissed her long and hard before he strangled her. With a last glance at the fire, he turned and ran for the door to escape the inevitable explosion.”

Sixteen-year-old Munitionette, Sally, witnesses the saboteur escaping from the explosion at Silvertown Munitions Factory. When their paths cross again at Gretna Munitions Factory, he knows she can identify him, and that he dare not hesitate to kill again.

The explosion has set off a lethal chain of events, and when Policewoman Kirsty Campbell, and MI6 agent Beatrice, join forces to protect Sally, they find themselves following a murderous trail that entangles them with saboteurs, Irish revolutionaries, a German spy, and a plot to assassinate the King.

The body count is rising. The clock is ticking. And the stakes are higher than Kirsty could ever have imagined.

To order your copy and have sneak peek, click below ~


Before you go please check out an interview we did with Claire MacLearly last month, Click to read.

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Book Blog, Giveaway, Sneak Peek

Twitter #International #Giveaway @DavidVidecette #Goodies – The Theseus Paradox – The Detriment

Hello Lovelies,

A fabulous new week ahead for you all to have some adventure. I have something to start your week off right. Our #giveaway this week is brought to you in association with David Videcette.

David has very kindly given us a plethora of wonderful prizes for you to win.

  • 1st Edition ~ The Theseus Paradox
  • The Detriment
  • Signed Photos
  • Limited Edtion Pens

Super easy for you to enter, head over to our Twitter Page and follow the instructions on the pinned post.

Good Luck

Worldwide  ~ Ends 17/07/17

Kelly xo

If you want to buy your own copies or read a sneak peak sample of the books here you go ~

The Detriment 


The Theseus Paradox


Connect with David Videcette on these platforms ~


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Book Blog, Excerpt, Legend Press, Sneak Peek

Rain Falls On Everyone ~ @clarnic @Legend_Press #SneakPeek

Today on the blog I have an excerpt of Rain Falls On Everyone by Clar Ni Chonghaile. Published on the 15th of July, 2017 by Legend Press.  I do hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.

Kelly xox


Rain Falls On Everyone ~ Sneak Peek


Theo ran. Feet pounding, arms pumping, chest heaving, heart

racing. In this frenzy of motion, the only still thing was his

mind. He had to get away. That was the only goal: to put as

much distance as he could between him and the pebble-dashed

house where a man he knew little, but enough to hate, lay in

a pool of sticky, gold-flecked blood. He had to get away from

Deirdre’s terrified eyes, from her outstretched hands with

the grazed knuckles. He sped through the estate and out onto

the main road, his open anorak flapping behind him like the

clipped wings of a giant crow.

He didn’t stop until he was heading west on a country road.

He had covered miles, at first frantically and then steadily with

his long, loping stride. He stopped, bent, placed his hands on

his knees, and still his brain did not engage. He saw the road,

noted its silvery greyness, looked up to the half-moon and

then over the stone walls, across the fields. He registered the

absence of cars. No surprise there at 2 am on a minor road

leading out of Dublin. To his right, a two-storey house – a

relic from the austere Ireland of the 1950s – loomed like a

sentinel, marking the boundary between the sin-filled city and

the countryside, where legend had it, maidens once danced at

crossroads while boys played hurling without helmets.

He needed transport. It was his first clear thought since the

gun went off. He would never make it on foot. Deirdre might

not set the Gardaí on him right away but it’d surely happen.

He’d done her a favour, no doubt about that, but sometimes

people didn’t want favours. In those first, freeze-framed

moments after the sharp crack that marked the beginning and

the end, no one had moved, no one had said anything. Deirdre

was the first to react.

“Go, go now!” she hissed, grabbing a notebook and writing

furiously. “Go to my father. He will look after you until you

can get out.”

She pushed the paper into his hands. Did her fingers

flinch as they touched his? She had written her father’s

address, just a few lines of scribbled instructions, a list of

villages to pass through, a left and then a right down a lane.

A roadmap to oblivion. Before he left, he tried to read the

moral relativities in her eyes but he found only fear. It hurt

him then and the memory stung now but there would be time

for a reckoning later.

He checked his phone. The battery was nearly dead but

who would he call anyway? He clambered over the nearest

wall, dislodging the top stone in his wake. It clunked dully

onto his toes. He cursed, but in Kinyarwanda. The words had

the force of a Taser, freezing him to the spot. He hadn’t used

his own language in years. The last time was when he was

around sixteen and went to a meeting for African immigrants

in a church near his home in Clontarf. Teenage identity crisis,

he supposed. He never returned. Instead of feeling at one

with the other young men, who sat awkwardly on squeaking

plastic chairs in the echo-filled basement down below the

world, he felt more like an outsider than ever. The social

workers – a pudgy woman in a tracksuit and garish pink

lipstick and a man in the kind of jumper most of the young

black kids wouldn’t be seen dead in – were kind and well-
meaning and utterly clueless about what made the lads around

them tick. It wasn’t their fault. They were offering practical

solutions – language classes, dole forms, counselling services

– when what the young men wanted was someone to wave

a magic wand over their heads to make them the same as

everyone else. All teenagers need to comply with the pitiless

rules that govern their world and they were no different. But

because they were black, and had funny accents, and strange,

sometimes tragic, tales of foreign lands, they would never fit

in. The boys knew it but they didn’t get this far by respecting

the limits of the possible. The social workers, who might well

have had teenagers at home with their own hang-ups about

belonging, didn’t recognise that same desperation in the boys

around them, though it was in every snazzily trainered foot,

every awkwardly mumbled Dublin colloquialism, every too-
sharp haircut.


Book Jacket 

Theo, a young Rwandan boy fleeing his country’s genocide, arrives in Dublin, penniless, alone and afraid. Still haunted by a traumatic memory in which his father committed a murderous act of violence, he struggles to find his place in the foreign city.

Plagued by his past, Theo is gradually drawn deeper into the world of Dublin’s feared criminal gangs. But a chance encounter in a restaurant with Deirdre offers him a lifeline.

Theo and Deirdre’s tender friendship is however soon threatened by tragedy. Can they confront their addictions to carve a future out of the catastrophe that engulfs both their lives?

Order your copy today ~


Huge thanks to Clar Ni Chonghaile and Legend Press for the opportunity to be on the blog tour.

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Book Blog, Crime Authors, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview

G.M Cameron ~ Divining The Lost Exclusive #Interview #CrimeFiction

Happy Saturday, today visiting the blog I have Gerry Cameron author of Divining Murder. Gerry is here with an exclusive interview.  Gerry has set the crime scene for us (contains some naughty sweary words) and it’s fabulous!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Kelly xoxo

Crime Fiction Interview with G.M Cameron

Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

There was a book by Nicci French, Beneath the Skin, about a murderous stalker and his three victims that made me think long and hard about the casualness of cruelty to women.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

Ancient, beautiful, self-confident and distant.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

I loved the classic noir detectives of Sam Spade (Hammett) and Philip Marlowe (Chandler) but my current favourite is Merrily Watkins, the C of E deliverance minister in the series by Phil Rickman. She’s troubled by doubt and inadequacy, yet she’s steady and brave in the face of evil. Her banter with her trying teenage daughter is also true and funny.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

The longest periods of time I have spent in Edinburgh are on Scotland Street (within the wonderful pages of Alexander McCall Smith’s very funny novels).

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

Philip Marlowe for the quick wit and possible flirting, Merrily Watkins for the girly friendship and spiritual support, Harriet Vane (from the Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novels) for the intelligent conversation, and the Burglar from the Lawrence Block Novels, also for the wit. If he had a job on I’d invite Elvis Cole, another wisecracking detective (Robert Crais novels)

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

It can be two strange lines overheard or an object. Anything really. Ideas arrived ready wrapped, and we shouldn’t ask how the angels deliver them. It’s rude.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

For my first book, Divining Murder, I think the freedom Annie finds in her paganism conjures up (excuse the bad joke) Midnight at the Oasis. For my current novel, the third in the series is about a missing baby and the working title is These Little Things, so the theme song is in the title.

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

‘Clockwork Banana, yes!’ said one of the two suits at the next table, looking at his flickering phone and pumping his arm.

‘Whit’s his problem?’ my companion said, crossing her long thin legs to get my attention again. She was trying to be off-hand and grown up, sitting in The Wash Bar with me, acting like this wasn’t her first time. Her makeup thick enough so that from this distance the barman couldn’t clock that she was about six years too young to be in here drinking Prosecco like it was lemonade.

‘Horses!’ I said shortly, brushing her thigh with my hand. She jumped a bit. I took my hand away. I had plans for her when we left this smart bar – but slowly, slowly catchee monkey.

‘Fuck!’ shouted the gambler again.

‘Greyfriar’s Bobby came in?’ The other suit said.

‘Ever fucking faithful.’ He waved a betting slip. The suits were proper, their voices loud, cause they owned the world. The happy gambler downed his pint and headed for the loo. A guy with that suit wouldn’t just have put on a pound each way. I was debating the cumulative odds whist looking at glossy twelve year old lips.

‘I’ll be back darlin’,’ I said leaning into her and she giggled. She smiled back at me, scared but trusting. I couldn’t wait. But business first.

Three minutes later, the Prosecco must’ve caught up with her, because she pushed the wrong loo door open and saw me – my bloody fist holding his head over a sink and my other hand clutching the slip.

Her eyes met mine. Her mouth opened, she turned and ran.

Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?

Between the 13th-15th of October in Wigtown, the Scottish book town, there is a murder mystery weekend where there will be a lot of detection plus some writers talking about their work – including me!

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

The second Andromeda novel, Divining the Lost, left many of the recurring characters in transition and I have a lot to say about how these various threads play out. The back story of the missing ex-wife of a police detective was inspired by the various faces of domestic abuse that I have talked about with women (and men) over many years.

You can order your copy of G.M Cameron’s book today!

Thank you, Gerry, for being on the blog today.

Check out the exclusive giveaway of a £15 Amazon Voucher courtesy of author Daisy James, in celebration of the launch of Sunshine After The Rain. See our pinned Twitter post for the details. Love Books Group ~ Twitter

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Author, Blogger, Crime Fiction Takeover, Interview

*Crime Fiction Takeover* The Piano @vpeanuts #Exclusive #Interview

Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.

Today on the blog, is

Victoria Watson ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview


Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

  • Defending Jacob’ by William Landay. I just loved the twisty, turny plot where you just didn’t know where to place your sympathies. I read it on holiday in Italy a couple of years ago and just found it utterly compelling. I still find myself thinking about it every so often. That said, I also think about ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ by Agatha Christie – I think that’s because I appreciate the way it was written. I guess there are crime novels that stay with you for different reasons. I fully expect that in several years from now, I will still regularly think about ‘Six Stories’ by Matt Wesolowski.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

  • Diverse, outstanding beautiful, fun.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • Sherlock Holmes. I love him so much that I chose my blog name with him in mind – ElementaryVWatson Blog . I think the fact that I share a name with Holmes’s sidekick also helped! Seriously, though, I find Holmes to be an utter dream.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • What a difficult question. There are so many wonderful parts of Edinburgh. I think my favourite area, though, is around the Grassmarket. I love the independent shops and cafes. Whenever I’m in Edinburgh, I like to visit the Grassmarket and mooch about.

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

  • Holmes and Watson – of course. I think it’d be fun to see how Poirot interacts with Sherlock – I reckon it’d be a real battle of wills. And, finally, I’d throw Harry Virdee in there too. Some classic characters with a brilliant contemporary one.

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

  • Like most writers, I get an idea from something I experience – whether it’s something I’ve lived through myself or have heard about and then take that small kernel and work with it. I like to play with the ‘what ifs’. It’s an oft-repeated phrase but I write about putting characters in difficult positions and seeing how they react.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

  • Black Skinhead’ by Kanye West. It’s such an angry song with a wicked rhythm, I think it’s perfect for my main character, Colin, who’s a heroin addict. When I’m struggling to ‘talk’ to Colin, I listen to that song to try and get in his mind-set.

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

As I walked back to my hotel following a particularly heavy session at Wash Bar, I had the most peculiar feeling. It was as if I was being watched, no, followed. Footsteps echoed behind me despite the emptiness of the streets. As my pace increased, so too the other footsteps. I considered how to best protect myself should I be attacked. I thought of my paltry defences, with possibly the most useful object in my bag being an under ripe banana. As I passed the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, I realised that the footsteps had ceased almost as suddenly as they had started. It could have been coincidence but I would swear that I heard the yap of a terrier echoing in the night.

Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?


  • I run weekly creative writing workshops in Newcastle so if anyone would like to attend, they can email me at for more info. I’m also responsible for the Newcastle leg of Noir at the Bar, the next one is on Wednesday, 5th July.

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

  • My current novel is still a work in progress. It’s called ‘Fix Me Up’ and I must be very careful how I answer this question because if I reveal what inspired me to write it, I would be revealing a major plot point! Let’s just say that I asked myself ‘what if…’ regarding something one of the main characters does and it went from there! Sorry to be so obtuse!

Thank you so much for hosting me, Kelly. It was a real pleasure to meet you earlier this week. I look forward to seeing you in Newcastle soon!

Twitter: @elementaryVW and @vpeanuts

Victoria’s Blog

Victoria Watson’s Website

Victoria Watson ~ Amazon Author Page

The Piano By Victoria Watson 


Winner of the 2012 Story Tyne Competition, ‘The Piano’ is a short story about a man suffering from the effects of dementia, told through the eyes of his pregnant daughter.

Order your copy today ~

HUGE thanks to Victoria Watson for being on my blog today, I met Victoria at the Noir@TheBar #3 Edinburgh earlier this year and we had an instant connection.  Victoria is so funny and endearing.  So happy that you are on my blog today, and folks don’t forget to check out Noir At The Bar ~ Newcastle.

Kelly xoxo

Author, Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview

*Crime Fiction Takeover* Toxic @JackieJamxx #Interview #Exclusive

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We have a few days left of wonderful interviews for you and today is no exception. Enjoy.!

Jackie Mclean ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

  • Ooh, just one? Night Chills by Dean Koontz. I’m fascinated by the power of the subconscious and subliminal messages, and he nails it in a terrifyingly realistic account of what could happen; for all we know, what’s happening right now…

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

  • Edinburgh in four words – nothing says it better than the well-known “Athens of the North.” I live in Glasgow, but I’m going to break the local bye law and say that I really love Edinburgh – it’s a wonderful city

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • I have all of Kathy Reichs’s books – she’s the only author whose entire collection I’ve read, so it must be Tempe Brennan. I met Kathy the year she was at Bloody Scotland, and was too star struck to utter a sound! If you’ve only ever come across Tempe Brennan in the Bones TV series, you need to read the books. They are far, far better.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • My favourite part of Edinburgh is the Grassmarket. It’s buzzing, and it’s steeped in history, with new hidden gems every time you look.

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

  • Four fictional crime characters to dine with would be Lisbeth Salander (needs no introduction); Lieutenant Mario Conde (of the Havana series) – he solves crimes and he knows lots about antique books; Çetin İkmen (of Barbara Nadel’s crime series set in Turkey); and I’d have to say Agatha Christie – how great would it be to have a chat with her (although I might not let her buy me a drink)! With regards to Conde and İkmen, I’d recommend reading crime fiction that’s set in countries whose social and political situations are more complex than our own. It’s a good way of getting a glimpse into why it can be really difficult to resolve problems that you might think should be simple.

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?.

  • Inspiration comes from lots of different places. For example, quite often a friend will talk about a situation at their work that leads to discussions about “what if…” If somebody annoys me, they become a victim in the next book. Also, it’s fun to watch people’s body language and try to work out what they’re hiding. Not to worry you if you’re friends with a crime writer, but that’s what we do…

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?


  • The theme song would have to be Britney’s Toxic, because the book is called Toxic! I’d love for her to read and review it. I’m secretly a big fan of hers. Well, it’s not a secret now, is it?

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.


And can you describe the banana?”
“About six feet tall, slender build, um, yellow. Oh, and he was waving a knife in the air. Quite a big one, but not as big as the claymore.”
“What happened next?”
“Well, he shouted for everyone to lie down on the floor, so we did. Everyone, except for
“What did they do?”
“It was hard to see them from where I was, on the floor. But I heard them clapping their
“Like a round of applause?”
“Didn’t that strike you as odd?”
“All sorts of odd things happen in the Wash Bar.”
“How would you describe the mood of the group?”
“Oh, they were in high spirits. They were downing the whisky like it was shots.”
“Did they seem aggressive at all?”
“No, although I can understand why the banana got scared. The claymore did look real, and I’d have run off, too, if they’d come rushing at me with it like that.”
“Do you know which direction they ran off in?”
“I can’t be sure, but they were going on about Greyfriars Bobby. You could hear them
shouting a mile away. You, um, said something about a reward?”
“If your information leads to us finding out how the hell five American tourists and a six-foot banana vanished somewhere between the Wash Bar and Greyfriar’s Bobby, it’ll be yours.”

Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?

  • I run Get Writing Glasgow, which is a kind of “weight watchers” for writers – that is, anyone who has written or who would like to try writing for the first time. I believe everyone can write – if it comes from the heart, it’s going to be good. Nobody should tell you otherwise. We’re a friendly, supportive group, and after we’ve had a catch-up chat, we spend some time writing. We don’t read each other’s work, as that can be off-putting for people who lack confidence. It’s in the Braehead Waterstones fortnightly on Monday evenings (right next to the cakes). Also, watch out for Murder & Mayhem, a tour of libraries and bookstores that I’m organising along with some fellow crime writers (Wendy H Jones, Chris Longmuir, Lesley Kelly, Tana Collins and Amanda Fleet). We’re
    hoping to do something a little different to the usual author Q&A, with a view to  introducing readers to some new crime characters.

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

  • My current novel, Toxic (published by ThunderPoint Publishing Ltd), is a race against the clock to find an illegal stash of the deadly toxin that caused the Bhopal disaster (the world’s worst industrial accident). The two senior detectives leading the hunt are as volatile as the substance they need to find. I began to write it because I wanted to write something set in my home town (Arbroath).  Famous for its cliffs, it lends itself to a smuggling story. When I asked my nephew, who’s a forensic toxicologist, about a suitably dangerous substance for my smuggling story, he told me about Bhopal. The more I looked into it, the more I became determined to highlight the terrible injustice that happened there – nobody was ever held to account for the disaster. My second novel, Shadows, is currently in the publication pipeline (also with ThunderPoint), and it’s about a murder hunt which starts out looking like a serial killer at work – but it’s worse, mwahaha!


In the Scottish university city of Dundee, life and all its complications are proceeding much the same as usual. The recklessly brilliant DI Donna Davenport, struggling to hide a secret from police colleagues and get over the break-up with her partner, is in trouble with her boss for a fiery and inappropriate outburst to the press. DI Evanton, an old-fashioned, hard-living misogynistic copper has been newly demoted for thumping a suspect, and transferred to Dundee with a final warning ringing in his ears and a reputation that precedes him. And in the peaceful, rolling Tayside farmland a deadly store of MIC, the toxin that devastated Bhopal, is being illegally stored by a criminal gang smuggling the valuable substance necessary for making cheap pesticides. An anonymous tip-off starts a desperate search for the MIC that is complicated by the uneasy partnership between Davenport and Evanton and their growing mistrust of each other’s actions. Compelling and authentic, Toxic is a tense and fast paced crime thriller.

You can purchase your own eBook or Physical copy here ~

Thanks Jackie for taking part in my wee special. 

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Author, Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview

*CRIME Fiction Takeover Event* Nobody Gets Hurt @RJBaileyBooks #Interview

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Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.

Today we have Mr & Mrs Bailey ~ AKA R J Bailey

RJ Bailey ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

  • It is characters rather than plots which tend to impress both of us. We agree that The Talented Mr Ripley stayed with both of us, wondering why we ended up rooting for a psychopath.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

  • Fun, friendly, foodie and (sadly) far away.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • Mrs Bailey nominated Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie, because he is a believable, well-drawn, vulnerable character. Mr Bailey goes for Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther, who is like Chandler’s shop-soiled Galahad, albeit in a far more lethal environment.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • Well every time we are in Edinburgh we seem to end up eating in Leith – last time at a great place called Norn (we had the set lunch – it’s not cheap otherwise), so it’s Leith for us (especially as we remember it before the likes of Martin Wishart pitched up).

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

  • John D MacDonald’s Travis McGhee, because we like the way he mixes a martini (must be Plymouth gin). Not quite crime maybe, but “Harry Palmer” (he doesn’t have a name in Len Deighton’s books) could help with the cooking, as could Robert B. Parker’s Spenser. I reckon Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski could hold her own with that lot.

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

  • A lot of them come from newspaper articles, often small, down-page stories. Also picking up on stories people tell us (see answer to Q. 10)

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

  • Everybody Hurts – R.E.M. (the book is Nobody Gets Hurt – which is a lie).

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

Keep a watch, the man said. Don’t move from your spot. Who the hell does he think I am? Bleedin’ Greyfriars Bobby? I’ve got better things to do with my time than stare at a doorway that had been painted a garish banana yellow. It was so bright it hurt my eyes. But the Big Fella was paying me top dollar, so in the end I sat in the shitty Hyundai he had hired for me and watched and watched till my eyeballs ached. How much the man inside owed – the guy whose picture sat on my passenger seat –  the Big Fella I had no idea. Not my worry. Just follow him and let me know where he goes. He didn’t go anywhere all morning, but lunchtime came and I walked down the road and bought an apple, a Kit Kat and a Fanta from a convenience store. I must have been out of sight of that yellow door for two minutes at most. Ninety seconds. But as I walked back I could see a note had been pinned to it. I dumped my lunch in the car, hesitated and thought, what the hell? I crossed over and read it. Man in silver Hyundai. You are being set up. I’ll be in the Washbar at five this afternoon. Take the rest of the day off.       So I did.

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

  • It is about the hero, bodyguard Sam Wylde, taking a job because she needs the money to continue the search for her missing daughter. It should be simple – drive the client from Normandy to Luxembourg for a meeting. But someone doesn’t want the client to arrive. Inspired by a (true, he claimed) story told by a relative who is an actor, about an armourer he met on a film set who had spent decades tracking down the men and women who murdered his wife and killing them, one by one.

How can my readers connect with you?

Website ~

Twitter ~ @RJBaileyBooks


Sam Wylde is a Close Protection Officer to the rich and powerful.

In a world dominated by men, being a woman has been an advantage. And she is the best in the business at what she does.

But has she taken on a case too dangerous to survive?

Pre-order your copy today

Great BIG thanks to R J Bailey for taking part in my special event. Come back soon.

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.


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Book Blog, Excerpt

The Beta Mum, Adventures In Alpha Land @NHyummymummy #Excerpt @SilverWoodBooks

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Here, it isn’t a battle of who has the Rolls-Royce of strollers … these children actually roll in Rolls-Royces! 

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet, sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep. 

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts The Beta Mum, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha mums?

The Beta Mum, Adventures In Alpha Land ~ Excerpt

A huge life-sized, plush, golden giraffe with scattered spots stared at me giving me the eye, as if to say ‘I know who you are, Sophie Bennett, you’re not one of them. You’re one of us. You’re an onlooker.’ The winding staircase of Serafina’s member’s club had led me down into Serafina’s nightclub where I had found myself face to face with the giant giraffe.

I had read up on (googled) Serafina’s before coming; it was an exclusive member’s club costing £3,000 a year for a membership and had welcomed everyone from Tom Cruise to Prince William through its doors with three bar areas, two restaurants, one nightclub and 16 hotel rooms. The restaurant had poached a chef from Nobu and served fusion- food classics including tuna tartare, lobster tempura and black miso cod. The bar areas channelled the Dolce Vita vibe, with white- uniformed barmen, serving Martinis to show off their mixology skills and drinks made with ‘absinthe.’

The nightclub had an upscale, louche, bordello-like feel to it, in keeping with its location, the old respectable (or rather unrespectable) red light district in Mayfair. It was dark and windowless, with its burgundy walls draped with red velvet curtains. On my left stood a glittering bar where late twenty-somethings with youthful aspirations were dressed to impress and stood drinking champagne and colourful cocktails adorned with edible flowers. On my right, I saw some familiar faces from the nursery pick-ups and drop- offs heading towards the direction of a private room.   

I squeezed Michael’s hand as we walked in their direction. My heart pounded just a bit faster than I wanted it to and my social anxiety increased with every step I made towards the private room. I wanted to be anywhere but here, ideally sitting in front of our TV with my Roots sweatshirt/sweatpants combo or in front of my laptop, hiding behind a screen rather than exposing my vulnerabilities to the Alphas. This was not the usual parents evening in the school gym with soft-drinks-and-pizza-slices.

‘Champagne?’ said a waitress in a black and white, fitted, cleavage- – enhancing dress as we entered the room and found a spot near the door. Another woman similarly dressed waved a tray across us. ‘Fig and goat’s cheese tartlet with manuka honey or foie gras with grape and mango chutney on sourdough bread?’ she offered.

We both grabbed a flute of champagne each and I sipped the golden liquid, calming my nerves as I scanned the room. The women looked ready for a ‘Hot-Or-Not’ Oscars fashion-off; there were feathers, leather, lace and petticoats. The men stood dominantly in their suits, clearly not from Topman. Finding my perfect dress -– the A-line black dress that hid my extras – muffin tops, bingo wings and post-baby-belly -– had been exhausting but worthwhile. I still felt out of place, but the champagne and the dress were enough to give me a confidence boost to face the party.

Purchase your copy here ~

Thank you to Isabella Davidson for being on the blog today and HAPPY publication day!


We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.


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