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 ~  rjbaileybooks.com

Twitter ~ @RJBaileyBooks

NOBODY GETS HURT PBB

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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Blogger, Exclusive, Interview

Duplicity @LisaJHobmanAuth #RealYou #QA

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Duplicity By Lisa J Hobman
Published 03/01/2017

I  would like to welcome Lisa author of  Duplicity to my blog today.  Thank you for being part of making my blog special.

The Real You ~ Interview

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Lisa J Hobman’s debut novel Bridge Over the Atlantic was shortlisted in the Romantic Novelists Association’s Romance Novel of the Year 2014 (The RoNAs) – Contemporary Romance Category. A happily married mum of one with two crazy dogs, Lisa especially enjoys being creative and now writes almost full time. In 2012 Lisa and her family relocated from England to their beloved Scotland; a place of happy holidays and memories for them and her new location now features in most of her books. Writing has always been something Lisa has enjoyed, although in the past it has centered on poetry and song lyrics. Some of which appear in her stories. The story in her debut novel, Bridge Over the Atlantic, was building in her mind for a long while but until the relocation, she never had the time to put it down in black and white. The move north of the border has certainly given Lisa the opportunity to pursue her dream. Being signed to 5 Prince Publishing in 2013 made that dream a reality but she has since self published works also.

 

Describe yourself using three words?

Untidy, creative, lovable

What inspired you to write your first novel?

Scotland! We moved up here in 2012 and I started to write and haven’t stopped since! Most of my books are set in this beautiful place I now call home.

What time of day do you like to write?

Any time of day the ideas come or the motivation strikes. I don’t have a set writing pattern but I probably should have!

What is your favourite book and why?

Yikes! So many. I think it would have to be Catcher in the Rye as it reminds me of my youth.

How did you pick the title of your book?

The main male character has two sides to his personality. And the title hopefully expresses that.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

Nope. Never. That’s not to say there aren’t elements of personalities  meet in the traits of some of my characters but I never base my characters on people I know.

What’s your favourite word?

Passion. The word just conjures up so many images, whether it’s a passion for something like writing or the passion between two people. It’s a very evocative word.

If you were a colour what would it be?

Red. My workspace at home is usually a mess! I should be surrounded by signs that say “Writer at work! Approach area with caution!”

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

I try to plan at the beginning but the story usually ends up going in a totally different direction! 

Who is your favourite Author?

As far as contemporary authors go it would have to be Melynda Price. Her words are just wonderful.

Are you working on a new project?

Always! I usually have several projects on the go at once and I move from one to another when the mood takes me in that direction.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

Dedicated Ink Author signing, Newcastle in June 2017

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Fin Hunter has spent his life striving for his father’s elusive love and approval by following a life path set out for him and not of his own choosing. However, when he is yet again blamed for something out of his control, he snaps.
Deciding to stand on his own two feet, he chooses to follow his true passion – music. But will he find real happiness?
Star Mendoza is living her dream in Edinburgh, a place she discovered in British novels while growing up in a small USA town. Now working in a city coffee shop, the tattooed, pink-haired young woman fantasises about the handsome businessman she serves daily. He’s totally out of her league but a girl can dream.
Suddenly he stops calling in only to show up again in the most unlikely of places. Could her fantasy now become a reality? Or is the attraction of opposites doomed to fail?

You can purchase your copy here Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Lisa for taking part on my blog. 

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

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Author, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive

#CrimeFictionTakeover #QA #Author #Exclusive @OwenMullen6

Crime Fiction

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

Today on the blog, we have Author Owen Mullen, check out his crime scene and discover what he thinks of Edinburgh

Owen Mullen~ Crime Fiction TakeOver Interview

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

The Hound Of The Baskervilles…read it when I was 15 and have never forgotten it. So much going on in it: the atmosphere of Dartmoor, Victorian London, Holmes and Watson and a phantom dug! Did I mention a family curse?

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

Historic – atmospheric – cosmopolitan – brammer!

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

The above mentioned Sherlock…unique!

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

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For obvious reasons, many people love the Old Town. I beg to differ. The New Town with it’s neoclassical and Georgian architecture, and beautiful wide streets; a real pleasure to just wander, absorb and admire. UNESCO can’t make up its mind; they are both World Heritage sites. So you’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!

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

Professor James Moriarty, John Luther, Dave Robicheaux and Philip Marlowe.

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

Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere. Games People Play began on a beach in Crete. Old Friends And New Enemies came from a trip to Loch Lomond. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead came from two articles in a magazine.

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

Funny you should mention this. My next book which will be published in October and set in New Orleans does have a theme tune. A background as a musician comes in handy sometimes!

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.

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The door of the Wash Bar burst open and a man stumbled in; wild eyed and breathless. He pushed his way to the front, through a crowd of women on a hen night. One glance at his ashen face was enough to make them draw away. His fist pounded the bar and his voice cracked with emotion.
     ‘Rum. Gimme a banana rum. Quick!’
     Somebody asked, ‘What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.’
     He threw the rum over and wiped his lips with a trembling hand. ‘It’s Bobby.’
     ‘Bobby who?’
     ‘Greyfriars Bobby. He’s gone.’
     ‘But he’s been there for over a hundred and fifty years.’
     ‘Maybe so. But he’s no there now. Some bastard’s took him.’
     ‘Don’t be draft, man. Who’d steal a statue of a wee dog?’
     ‘It’s no Bobby they want. It’s Whit’s inside him!’

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

No events lined up at the moment… working on it! Don’t suppose anyone fancies coming to Crete for a Noir At The Taverna?

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

My current novel and coincidentally one of the very first books I wrote, due out
in October was inspired by two things: my desire to see if I could write a good PI novel and my love of faraway places. New Orleans stays with me so it seemed right to set my guy there.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter ~ @OwenMullen6

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Check out Owen Mullens book ~

Old Friends And New Enemies (PI Charlie Cameron Book 2)

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The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron was looking for.

But it wasn’t a stranger.

Suddenly, a routine missing person investigation becomes a fight for survival. As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s underbelly he goes up against notorious gangster Jimmy Rafferty and discovers what fear really is.

Rafferty is so ruthless even his own sons are terrified of him.

Now he wants Charlie to find something. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants.

There is only one problem… Charlie doesn’t know where it is.

You can read this today ~ buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK

Thank you so much, Owen, for being part of my special event. I am so grateful to have you on board.

Kelly x

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Author, Promo, Q&A

Blind Side @Jennie_Ensor @unbounders @Unbound_Digital #QA #WeekendOffer

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Can you ever truly know someone? And what if you suspect the unthinkable?

London, five months before 7/7. Georgie, a young woman wary of relationships after previous heartbreak, gives in and agrees to sleep with close friend Julian. She’s shocked when Julian reveals he’s loved her for a long time.

But Georgie can’t resist her attraction to Nikolai, a Russian former soldier she meets in a pub. While Julian struggles to deal with her rejection, Georgie realises how deeply war-time incidents in Chechnya have affected Nikolai. She begins to suspect that the Russian is hiding something terrible from her.

Then London is attacked…

Blind Side explores love and friendship, guilt and betrayal, secrets and obsession. An explosive, debate-provoking thriller that confronts urgent issues of our times and contemplates some of our deepest fears.

My Q&A with Jennie Ensor 

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Jennie Ensor is a Londoner descended from a long line of Irish folk. She worked overseas for some years as a freelance journalist, covering topics from forced marriages to accidents in the mining industry. These days Ms E lives in London with her husband and their cuddle-loving, sofa-hogging terrier. When not chasing the dog through local woodland or dreaming of setting off on an unfeasibly long journey with a Kindle full of books, she writes novels, flash fiction and occasionally poetry (published under another name). She is working on her second novel, a dark and unsettling psychological drama.

Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey.

It took me a long time to get going as a writer. I wondered about writing a novel one day after my English teacher said my writing reminded her of Richard Hughes’ A High Wind in Jamaica. But it seemed a wildly unlikely thing to do, and that stayed a fantasy. After university I travelled widely and worked in all sorts of jobs overseas, not finding anything that really grabbed me till I into journalism as a freelance journalist. My passion was social justice issues, such as forced marriages.

I started writing a novel in my late thirties after returning to live in the UK. (I’d really wanted to find work in journalism here but got only one interview in nearly a year.) Getting published was a long slog. By 2015 I’d written three novels without finding an agent, which had been my goal, so I changed tack and submitted direct to publishers. Within a month or so I had an offer from the independent publisher Unbound, conditional on me crowdfunding the book production costs. Thankfully I managed to do this, though it was one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. Since then both an e-book and a paperback have been released, and I can at last say I’ve achieved my dream.

Describe yourself using three words?

Stubborn, rebellious, idealistic

What inspired you to write your first novel?

So hard to say, my brain is a murky place at the best of times. With hindsight…

Among other things, Blind Side is about the obsessive side of love and ‘the enemy within’ – whether oneself, another person or a community. It asks to what extent one can every really know anyone else, such as lovers and friends, even if one has known them for a long time. I’ve long been fascinated by people who appear normal on the surface but who have another completely different, secretive and possibly dangerous side to them. In 2005 after I read that the perpetrators of the London suicide attacks were all brought up in Yorkshire, I felt I had to put those events into my novel somehow.

I’ve also been in a few unnerving situations over the years, which have no doubt influenced me. Some involved hurt ex-boyfriends and infatuated friends – also strangers appearing unexpectedly. I was driving up a remote, very twisty road in Australia in my 20s when I noticed a car following mine after I stopped to fill up, which was scary.

What time of day do you like to write?

Ideally, straight after breakfast (anytime from 7-10am as a recovering insomniac) and for as long as it takes with short breaks for a walk/food/cups of tea. I’m a bit obsessive admittedly and love being right ‘in the zone’, unwilling to leave the computer for the loo or a ring at the front door (my office is 3 floors up so I have an excuse) With my first book out I’ve had to pay attention to other stuff lately but I’m looking forward to getting back in the groove again.

What is your favourite book and why?

Currently, it’s All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’ve been reading more historical fiction lately alongside a fair few psychological thrillers. I love his storytelling and imagination, the poetry of the language – and in places it made me want to weep.

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How did you pick the title of your book?

My first was ‘Nikolai’, the second Ghosts Of Chechnya, which my editor wasn’t keen on because it didn’t properly reflect my narrator’s experiences. Finding a third title was hell – it came after putting out various options for votes on Facebook and my blogs, anguished calls to fellow writers and much middle of the night mulling. But ‘Blind Side’ is apt in so many ways… and is conveniently short to type 😊

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

My scarred-by-love narrator Georgie isn’t based on any one person, but some aspects and situations have come from the lives of certain friends who have been heartbroken or burned by love. The traumatised soldier Nikolai came to me fully formed, right down to how he speaks. Julian, who’s secretly in love with Georgie, is a hotchpotch of several people I’ve known.

What’s your favourite word?

I use ‘splendid’ a fair bit – I like it’s old-fashioned, uplifting feel.

If you were a colour what would it be?

Deep turquoise, the colour of the sea on a cloudless day.

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

Novels – I mull over and make endless outlines of events, but a large chunk has to remain unknown, discovered through the writing process. Short stories – I like to start something with no idea what I’m writing about, just see where it goes.

Who is your favourite Author?

Some favourites: Kazuo Ishiguro, Helen Dunmore and Margaret Atwood

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

To be honest I’d prefer to have dinner with some of my favourite authors, such as Margaret Atwood, Stephen King and Haruki Murakami.

What book are you reading at the moment?

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie. We share the same publisher and have shared some of our publication experiences too. So it’s interesting to finally read this book (and a pleasure, I hasten to add).

 

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©Natalie Fergie By Kelly Lacey

 

Where in the world is your happy place?

The garden of my husband’s house in France. It’s bliss to relax with a book under a shady tree, listening to the gurgling stream and gazing at the mountains. I finished an early draft of Blind Side there years ago and last summer I made the final edits – also it’s inspired lots of poems.

If you had one superpower what would it be?

Flight (the solar powered/green option) would be cool. Alternatively, I’d instantly render all nuclear weapons useless.

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

Maybe I’m hard-hearted, I can’t think of any villains who didn’t deserve what they got. It implies no redeeming qualities? But out of those initially nasty characters who become more rounded, I might save Will in Me Before You – this book has way too much of a weepy ending!

Are you working on a new project?

My second novel is nearly done and dusted (I can hear a distant chuckle). It’s a dark, disturbing psychological novel, which won’t be for everyone. But it’s something I needed to write.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

I’m doing a panel event (Real Life: Real Books) in July with two other Unbound authors, Kerensa Jennings and Jesscia Duchen. Katherine Sunderland (aka Bibliomaniacuk) will be asking us questions on the real-life aspects of our books. There will be all sorts of stuff happening on the night including a raffle. Info: https://bibliomaniacuk.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/real-life-real-books-authorevent-july5th.html

Thank you, Jennie, for being on my blog today, please come back soon.

Kelly x

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Blind Side will be on special offer this weekend. Get your copy for only 99p ebook on Amazon UK.

 

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Giveaway Prizes, Launch Day, Q&A

Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong – @ginageejay @urbanebooks #Giveaway

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Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong? Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America. Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.

My Q&A with Gina Kirkham

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Describe yourself using three words?

Fun, quirky, caring

What inspired you to write your first novel?

I retired from Merseyside Police in 2012 after having a wonderful career as a front-line Police Officer. Over the years, I found that humour was one of the best coping mechanisms you could have to help you deal with the not so pleasant side of the job. “You couldn’t make it up” or “You could write a book’’ were two very familiar phrases you would hear after dealing with certain situations, so on my retirement I took the opportunity to do just that.

What time of day do you like to write? I tend to produce more words between 10 am and 2pm but I have my most exciting ideas for my characters at 3 am. When my mind is working overtime, sleep is impossible and my hubby’s snoring becomes too much to bear, I creep downstairs for a hot chocolate, a couple of biscuits and a stint in front of the keyboard. Two hours and 1,200 words later with another 2lb added to my already burgeoning derrière from the sneaky biscuits, I crawl back into bed, only to wonder what planet I must have been on when I re-read my nocturnal offerings at 10 am!

What is your favourite book and why?

To Kill A Mocking Bird, Harper Lee. I first read this as part of my English Class curriculum in the early 70’s. I remember being so strongly touched by the subject matter, I felt every emotion there is as I progressed from chapter to chapter. It dealt with such serious and intense issues, but still carried humour and warmth.

How did you pick the title of your book? Originally it was titled Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Primark Thong. The first part, Handcuffs, Truncheon, is a reflection of the police theme of the story and the Primark Thong is a reference to my main character, Mavis Upton’s love of cheap frillies from Primark. Once signed by Urbane Publications and after discussions, it was decided to replace Primark with Polyester to alleviate any potential snags with the trademark. So, my book is now titled Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong. I did wonder how it would all fit on the front of a book, but Matthew my Publisher, has done an amazing job.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

Yes, absolutely, it made the development of the characters so much easier too, as I could actually hear their voices and see their features, gestures, and mannerisms. I know there will be quite a few people desperately trying to find little traits to identify themselves. I hope I can keep them guessing!

If you were a colour what would it be? Gosh, now that’s a difficult one. I do tend to wear a lot of black or grey, as I feel it helps me to sort of ‘blend in’, but those colours actually belie my personality. I think I would have to say I’m yellow, as I’m very fortunate to be a happy person. I know I must smile a lot because I’ve got the most horrendous crows feet and ‘prinkles’ (as my granddaughters call them) around my eyes!

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow? I draft up an outline with bullet points and ideas on a whiteboard. It’s not set in stone, I have a basic idea of where I am going, but I take each day as it comes. Often I will have a fixed idea of what I want to write that day, and then suddenly one of the characters will become very awkward, like a naughty child, and I have to re-think their progress. I frequently tell them to behave or I might have to kill them off!

Who is your favourite Author?

Peter James. Although I write lighthearted humour, I’m actually a huge crime and supernatural/ghost story reader.

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

Bill Sikes in Olivier Twist. Even though he was Dickens most savage and violent book character, I’d like to think he was really a big softy at heart and just a bit misunderstood. I’d have him marrying Nancy and opening a home for wayward boys and girls after realising the error of his ways. I’m probably slightly biased in my view of Sikes, as I had a juvenile crush on Oliver Reed who played him in the musical Oliver!, so my observations are more likely based on my adoration for him rather than the character itself, if I’m honest.

Are you working on a new project?

Yes, I’m currently 45,000 words into the second book following Mavis’s adventures. I’m having a lot of fun with this one as the storyline I have chosen plays on my own experiences, whilst at the same time allowing me the opportunity to research an unusual aspect of his life for one of the characters.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

Publication date for Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong is the 18th May with a launch at Waterstones Liverpool One at 6.30pm that evening. It will be a fun event with Liverpool Actor Lynne Fitzgerald reading from the book as the main character Mavis Upton and an appearance by Luca Veste (Murphy & Rossi crime series) for a ‘Conversation with’. Complimentary Prosecco and cupcakes will be available and a gift of one of Mavis’s Humongously Large Thongs with each book purchased on the night. There are other events planned but as yet, dates have not been confirmed.

Twitter – @ginageejay (personal) @MavisUpton (book character)

Author Website – http://www.ginakirkham.wordpress.com

Amazon UK

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Giveaway 

Win a copy of Handcuffs, Truncheon, and a Polyester Thong & A THONG!!!

     CLICK TO ENTER ~ BEST OF LUCK

 

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Q&A

Always & Forever ~ @msogorman @aria_fiction #QA #Giveaway

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How can you find yourself again, when you can’t face what you’ve lost? Joanna Woulfe is looking to get her life back on track after her husband John leaves their family home. Once a high-flying Pr Director, Jo now looks after her son Harry and seeks support only from her mother Marietta and her best friend Nicole. But Nicole’s own marriage is facing its greatest ever crisis, and Marietta, too, is distracted by the reappearance of an old flame, ex-Showband-singer, and lothario Patrick Realta. Soon Jo enrolls with a colourful local amateur dramatics group and begins a flirtation with the handsome young Ronan Forest. But is she really ready to move on from her old life – and from her years of marriage to John? And what was it that happened three years ago that sent the couple into free-fall? Before long Jo will realise that is only by looking back that she will ever truly be able to move forward. . .

My Q&A with Sian O’Gorman

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Hello Kelly, Thanks so much for including me in your blog. I am really honoured to be a part of it! And I love the questions… they made me have to really think. Thank you!

Sian

 

Hello everyone… I am delighted to be here to answer Kelly’s fiendish questions and to tell you about Always and Forever, my new novel. It’s my second book after Friends Like Us and somehow I seem to have stumbled into my niche of stories examining the emotional lives of women with a dash of comedy and a generous slosh of romance.

Publishing my first book has been a brilliant experience and Friends Like Us has been far more successful than I could ever have dared to imagine with people all over the world, in Australia, America, the UK and Ireland, all reading my book. I ran the gamut of excruciated to exhilarated and enjoyed every second. A little biographical information about me is that I was born in Ireland, grew up in Wales and am back in Ireland, living in a small village along the coast from Dublin and it’s where I set my first two books and also the third which I am currently whipping into shape.

So… to the questions!

Describe yourself using three words?

Indecisive, impulsive, curious.

What inspired you to write your first novel?

Being in a real-life situation that I found I could write myself out of, if that makes sense. I had nowhere else to go and had reached a point in my life where I found writing was better than any therapy and highly enjoyable to boot. I couldn’t wait to get back to the page every day and find out what was going to happen to my characters.   

What time of day do you like to write?

I get up at 6am and try and get an hour done then. When I manage this I feel brilliantly virtuous. When I don’t, I am better slept!

What is your favourite book and why?

I have two. Persuasion and Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively. Persuasion because it is Jane Austen at her witty and perfect best with the most satisfying love story in any book, ever. And Moon Tiger because it is a power-house of a novel in deceptively slim form. Endlessly fascinating and thought-provoking and life enhancing.

How did you pick the title of your book?

I want my titles to be warm and inviting and reflective not just of the story but the tone of the book. Always and Forever can refer to many of the different relationships in the novel and is a phrase which can change its meaning over time. But in life sometimes it takes time to realise who is going to be around always and forever. It’s often not who you first imagine.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?  

No, no one I know, unfortunately. However, I wouldn’t mind meeting some of them in real life and staying well clear of some of the others. I would like to meet Fergal Forest and his brother Ronan who feature in Always and Forever as well as Coco Crawley, a performance artist who doesn’t quite know where her art ends and real life begins.

What’s your favourite word?

Onomatopoeia.  

If you were a colour what would it be?  

I would like to be a nice, bright tomato-red. Passionate and fiery. But in actuality I think I might be something a little less exciting, maybe Farrow and Ball Downpipe?

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

I definitely go with the flow. Even if I think I know where I am going, the story-telling always takes over and I just hold on and enjoy the ride. For me, it’s the most exciting and satisfying part of writing.

Who is your favourite author?  

Jane Austen, obvs, but also writers such as Marian Keyes, Laurie Graham, Anne Enright and Anne Tyler. Authors who tell interesting and important stories about women and know how to entertain along the way.

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

Ooooh… good question. Ummmm. Right, Owen Meaney because I would love to meet him, Anne Shirley because she would keep the conversation going, Mr Darcy so I can gaze on his lovely face and think of lovely Pemberley, and Madame Bovary so maybe I could stop her of going mad with boredom. She also might bring a nice bottle of champagne to accompany my crab tart.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. Brilliant writing, fascinating story, warm and rich and full of detail and love.

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Where in the world is your happy place?

Hanging out with my daughter, my bed, and any Marks and Spencer food hall. In that order. But not necessarily all at the same time.

If you had one superpower what would it be?

Topping up world empathy levels.

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

I would like Bertha Rochester (I realise she is not technically a villain but she is nonetheless a dark and mysterious figure) to get well and leave Rochester and Jane to their happy Thornfield ending (it doesn’t burn down). Bertha could live in a little cottage on the estate and become an artist and make jam and perhaps channel her inner Monty Don and create a lovely garden. Reader, she made it.

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Are you working on a new project?  

Yes, just finished draft one of my new book. Working title: The Cherry Blossom Tree. It’s the story of four generations of women and how sometimes it’s easier to connect with your grandmother rather than your own mother. Working on the romantic core of the story as well and a few side shoots and loving every moment.

Thank you so much for asking me to take part, Kelly!

 

Buy your copy here:
Always and Forever book jacketAmazon: http://amzn.to/2kqix7M

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2l1hG0f

iBooks: http://apple.co/2kWLQlI

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2kPPMCd

 

GIVEAWAY ~ ALWAYS & FOREVER ~ 3 EBOOKS UP FOR GRABS

CLICK TO ENTER ~ GOOD LUCK

 

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Huge thanks to Sian O’Gorman and Aria Books for letting me on this fabulous tour!

 

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Author, Interveiw, Q&A

Last Witness @CarysJAuthor @Aria_Fiction #QA

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The page-turning sequel to the best-selling psychological thriller Wrong Number. With her husband gone and his legacy in her hands, Amanda Thorne is hell-bent on revenge. Amanda Thorne is on a mission to avenge her husband. Restoring his honour and protecting his legacy will be dangerous, but she will not rest until all those who have hurt her loved-ones have been dealt with. Her only option is to go undercover in the murky world of the gang kingpin McAllister. So, with her loyal companion Shane by her side, she heads back to Scotland to finish what they started. McAllister’s world is one of seedy nightclubs, drug deals, and beautiful women, but he is a hard man to get close to. As Amanda gets deeper and deeper into his dangerous world, what secrets from the past will come back to haunt her, and will she be able to protect the last witness to the truth? A compelling, heart-stopping thriller which you won’t be able to put down. . .

My Q&A with Carys Jones

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Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

Describe yourself using three words?

Small, crazy, caring.

What inspired you to write your first novel?  

I wanted to write a story with heart. I’d spent years saying I would and then at 23 I was really well, due to a surgical complication I was on long term leave from work so suddenly had all this free time and writing was a welcome distraction from what was going on with my body.

What time of day do you like to write?

In the morning after breakfast.

What is your favourite book and why?

The Little House on the Prairie. My Mum gave me her copy of it to read when I was a little girl. I loved the connection of us both turning the same pages and also the way the story transported me away from rain soaked England to the wide open prairies of America. It felt magical.

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How did you pick the title of your book?

With Last Witness I can take no credit, the awesome team at Aria came up with it.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?  

No, never. I think that’s a dangerous game to play.

What’s your favourite word?  

Cellar Door. It’s two words, I know. Blame my love of the movie Donnie Darko (from which I’ve stolen my selection).

If you were a colour what would it be?  

The brightest shade of pink.

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

I plan out absolutely everything.

Who is your favourite Author?  

I’m a huge fan of Jodi Picoult and John Green. I love stories that pack an emotional punch.

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You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

Dracula so that he’d turn me into a vampire and I can become immortal. Yay. Shane from Last Witness to see if he lives up to how I’d imagined him to be. Fiver from Watership Down so that I could adopt him and give him a nice, comfortable life like he deserves and finally Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights as I’ve always had a bit of a literary crush on him.pic_detail52dc13e6ea8cf

What book are you reading at the moment?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and its so much fun. If you love anything 80s related you need to read it.

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Where in the world is your happy place?

Disneyland. When I can’t get there my pink writing room. It’s crammed full of Disney stuff.

If you had one superpower what would it be?

Teleportation. Think of all the time I could save and the places I could go!

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

Ooh. Tough one. I think most villains tend to deserve the endings they get… If Dracula counts as villain I’d let him have a happy ending since at the aforementioned dinner party he did give me eternal life so I feel like I owe him.

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Are you working on a new project?  

I am. I’m working on two really exciting projects at the moment. I can’t really say anymore at this point sadly.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?  

Not that I can think of but I always update my social media sites with news of any events I’m involved in.

You can purchase your copy of Last Witness here: Amazon UK

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Follow Carys Jones

Twitter: @tiny_dancer85

Facebook: @CarysJonesWriter

Instagram: tiny_dancer_8

Website: http://www.carys-jones.com/

 

Follow Aria FictionkvHhQsU9_400x400

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Facebook: @ariafiction

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Sign up to the Aria newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jQxVtV

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Excerpt

Perfect Summer ~ @karen_king @AccentPress #Excerpt #YALit

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In a society obsessed with perfection, 15 year old Morgan can’t help being a bit envious of her best friend, Summer.

Summer is beautiful, rich and seems to have an effortlessly perfect life. Whereas Morgan isn’t so rich, or beautiful and her younger brother Josh has Down’s syndrome, which according to the government, and society in general, is a crime.

Then Josh is kidnapped and the authorities aren’t interested, so Morgan and Summer decide to investigate. With the help of Jamie whose sister, Holly, has also been kidnapped, the two girls uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh and Holly before it’s too late?

Excerpt ~ Perfect Summer 

Summer and I hurried upstairs while Josh was busy watching TV. Summer plonked herself down on my bed while I got my things ready.

“Want some music?” I asked, pressing the silver button on the comm-panel. The latest hit from Krescendo, our favourite band, blasted out and a hologram of them playing beamed onto the wall.

Then I pressed the green button, my wardrobe doors glided open, and a rail of clothes slid out. I glanced over at Summer, feeling awkward as always, that my room was so small and my wardrobe so sparse. Summer’s wardrobe was a huge walk-in affair full of designer clothes. Luckily, she was sprawled out watching Krescendo so I quickly grabbed the clothes I needed for the weekend and shoved them in my rucksack. Thank goodness I’d found an immaculate emerald green Maliko dress at the recycle store the other week. That would be perfect for Roxy’s. I knew Summer would let me borrow her clothes but felt better if I wore something of my own.

I took out the dress and zipped it into a freshpack to keep it crease-free. I glanced at the image screen on my bedroom wall and grimaced. My make-up needed renewing and some strands of my chestnut hair were escaping from the ponytail I’d swept it into. I swiftly fixed it and applied more make-up. I didn’t want to turn up at Summer’s looking a mess, Tamara and Leo expected everyone to always look their best.  

“Ready.” I pressed the buttons on the CP again to close my wardrobe doors, and switched off the music.

“Have a nice weekend,” Mum said as we popped in to say goodbye. She looked so pale, with dark circles under her eyes. I could tell the visit from the Ministry had upset her and hesitated for a moment, wondering if I should stay. But Dad was due home soon and I was so looking forward to the weekend. I loved going to Summer’s house and being spoilt for a bit. It was like living in another world. She was so lucky.

“Thanks, we will.” I leaned over and tousled Josh’s chestnut curls. “Bye, Josh.”

“Play, Maw,” he said, scrambling up.

“Maw going out now. I’ll play with you when I come back.”  He puckered his face as if he was going to cry, but Mum took his hand. “Come on, Josh, let’s pick some tomatoes for tea.”  

Josh’s face lit up. He loved helping Mum in the garden. Everyone had a vegetable patch, compost and water butt by order of the Ministry as part of the Planet Protection Programme. I hated gardening but Josh loved helping Mum water the plants with the rainwater collected in the butt, and picking the vegetables. Summer’s parents had a gardener, of course.

Mum led Josh out into the garden while we went out the front door.  before Josh could realise I was leaving. I had no idea how much I was going to regret not playing with Josh one more time. Or not kissing him goodbye.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mMXTzI 

Meet Karen King KK Head and Shoulders (1)

Karen King is a multi-published author of children’s books and romantic fiction. She has had 120 children’s books published, three romantic novels and several short stories for women’s magazines. Her first chick lit novel with Accent Press ‘I do – or do I?’ is out now. Her second one, ‘The Cornish Hotel by the Sea’ is out in July.

Author links

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Young Adult Books

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en

Perfect Summer final

Thank you to Karen King and Accent Press for the honour of being on this fabulous blog tour! 

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Q&A

Isa’s Daughter @Katrine66 #MiniQA

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Although part of a series, each book is stand alone.
The Great War is over, and the inhabitants of Raumsey Island struggle to regain their livelihood. Seventeen-year-old Annie Reid is a spirited, ambitious girl, determined not to end up a herring gutter or go into service.
Annie befriends a young schoolteacher, Alexander Garcia, who promises to help her further her education but, after tragedy strikes, Annie pursues a nursing career amidst the political complexity of Glasgow. Garcia dreams of a return to his Spanish roots, but Spain is also in political turmoil.
Annie’s love for the teacher remains through the years, but will love overcome the barriers and prejudice of race, religion, beliefs and distance?

My Mini Q&A with Catherine M Byrne

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Hello Kelly,
I have had several short stories published in My Weekly, and won several awards for my writing. What I really wanted to write was novels, however. My first book, Follow the Dove,  won second prize in the Scottish Association of Writers Competition for best general novel. After publication, I was not eligible to enter again, until there was a new competition for best SP novel of the year.  I won second prize in that for my third novel, The Road to Nowhere.
One always strives to come first. 
I have written a contemporary novella Song for an Eagle and co-wrote a NF book, A five Takka Note which deals with the issue of modern day slavery and will be out later this year.

Describe yourself using three words? 

hard-working, honest, creative.

What inspired you to write your first novel? 

I have always wanted to write, but for many years, life got in the way. My first novel was based very loosely on factual experiences of a couple in my family tree, and on a fictional island, not a million miles from the island where I was born and brought up.

What time of day do you like to write? 

Anytime, whenever the muse visits me

What is your favourite book and why?

 Don’t really have a favourite. My reading preferences are varied.

How did you pick the title of your book?

I always have difficulty. Isa’s daughter is my latest book. Isa is the heroine of my other books but I thought I had put the poor woman through enough, so now is her time to be happy. However, her daughter is feisty, headstrong and ambitious, so the story continues with the new generation. 

You can order your copy here:

Amazon UK

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Thank you for being on my blog today Catherine, come back soon!

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