Lovebooksgroup.blog #AuthorSpot
Author Guest Post, Book Blog, Crime Authors, No Exit

#AuthorSpot Leigh Russell #Exclusive @LeighRussell @noexitpress #CrimeFiction

Today on the blog I start a new feature, an ”Author Spot’. Every week we will have an exclusive article written by the author for Love Books Group. We will also be sharing the author’s novels, with sneak peeks and order links for you.

To launch the new feature we have crime fiction author Leigh Russell, Leigh has sold over a million books. I am so grateful and honoured to have Leigh stop by today.

SO cut the red ribbon Leigh and let’s begin.

Kelly xoxo

Leigh Russell 

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Leigh Russell’s Geraldine Steel crime series has sold over a million copies. Together with her Ian Peterson crime series, and Lucy Hall mystery series, she has written sixteen novels, and is currently writing her seventeenth. Described as ‘a rare talent’ (The Daily Mail) and author of ‘one of the best titles hitting the shelves’ (The Times) Leigh has received numerous similar accolades from critics. Fellow author Lee Child calls her books ‘unmissable’ and Jeffery Deaver calls her ‘a brilliant talent’. Leigh has been shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award, long listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library, and has twice been a Finalist for the Peoples Book Prize. Leigh chairs the Debut Dagger judges and coordinates the CWA Manuscript Assessment Service and was co-opted to the Committee of the CWA in 2017. She is a Royal Literary Fellow.

Author Guest Spot ~ Leigh Russell 

DO BOOK COVERS MATTER? –  ADVICE FROM A SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR

We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ I’ve always thought of books as being rather like people. Some of them we like instantaneously, while with others it can take longer to get to know them. And so it is with books. Some draw us in from the very first line, and others may take longer to engage our interest. So not judging a book by its cover is similar to saying we shouldn’t judge people by their appearances. We all know that’s a superficial way of making assumptions about what someone else is really like, yet we can’t help being influenced by appearances.

These days, with millions of books competing for attention, how important is an initial impression? Yes, there are reviews, and blog tours, and word of mouth recommendations, but if we’re just browsing, hoping something will catch our attention, the cover is going to be our first introduction to a book.

With the various editions and translations with different publishers all around the world, my sixteen books have many covers. My debut novel, CUT SHORT, is currently displaying its fourth cover in the UK alone. In total there must be more than a dozen different covers for that one book around the world. (And yes, I do have a copy of most of them, hidden away on a shelf at home!)

So have I learned anything at all that might help other writers considering what design to use for their own books?

Images on my early covers were chosen to place the books clearly in the crime genre. On later covers, the designer has been free to use more subtle images, as I’ve become established as a crime writer. In fact a few years ago my publisher ended a debate over the title for one of my books by saying: “The title doesn’t really matter because it’s Leigh’s name that sells her books now.”

All the same, the design of a book continues to be very important, in my opinion, and if I were to pass on one piece of advice, it would be to trust your publisher, especially if you are new to the industry as I was with my first book. If you are making the decisions yourself, I would suggest you employ a reputable designer who specialises in book cover design, to ensure your cover looks as professional and attractive as possible. Research this as carefully as you would a literary agent, and find out what designers other authors have used, and whose covers you like. Because, just like a random encounter with a stranger, you may only have one chance to make a good impression.

Leigh Russell’s Books 

Here is a sneak peek of Leigh’s current book and order link ~

Connect with Leigh ~
Twitter
Website
Sign up to Leigh’s newsletter for exclusive book news and giveaways ~ Click Me

Massive thanks to Leigh Russell for being on the blog today and launching my new feature.

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Book Blog, Crime Authors, Interview

Crime Fiction #Exclusive #Interview with Mac Logan ~ @MacLogan_writes

Good day to you, and joining me for an exclusive interview is none other than Mac Logan.  So settle in and enjoy.

Kelly xo

Mac Logan ~ Crime Fiction ~ Interview 

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

Voodoo River by Robert Crais. It has just about everything: humour, investigation, memorable baddies, love interest, a deep South setting, horrible baddies and monstrous danger. Great crime writing.

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

History, Rugged, Green, Fabulous

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

Elvis Cole. He has: humour, wit, self-depreciation, humanity, a smart mouth, cares for others, falls in love and can screw-up. He’s a loveable fool (but smart) in a hard line of work. Who else would have a Mickey Mouse phone and a Jiminy Cricket clock in his office?

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

The part where my grandkids live. Stone and mortar never match up to “Grandpa, tell me a story with your heart …” (I don’t know where that phrase came from).

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

Elvis Cole, Eilidh Duncan, Tonka Waberthwaite, Mma Precious Ramotswe.

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

Today, money is more important than people. Judging by the recent election and tragic events we don’t like it. I find inspiration and hope in our citizens’ immense kindness and caring.

Such a loving explosion of generosity shows a stark contrast to the mendacity and self-serving nature of many of our leaders. Corruption, inept procurement and the ineffectiveness of successive governments ice a rancid cake.

The lack of facts, distortion of information and general disrespect for citizens is so sad. Even though corrupt people hurt me in the past, I wish them no harm. In fact, at one level I’m grateful to such deceivers for providing, as they do, the basis of The Angels’ Share series.

There’s content at Jyngs Website  if you want to know more

It’s good to have a solid foundation for my fiction: rooted in grievance and amplified by a surging (if somewhat graphic) imagination.

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

Stiltskin –  Inside – Video Link here. It offers clues to a 20-year-old murder mystery in Devils Due.

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.

You never stroll towards a corpse, you stalk it. First impressions are everything. I sniff the early-morning breeze, like a wild dog, and inch forward. My eyes absorb the scene as the stillness of the dozing city wraps the Mound with vestigial calm. Closer now, a moist draft licks my neck, its icy breath tainted with a tang of blood, and worse. I ignore the Wash Bar and shiny black railings along the dressed stone wall. A corpse lies posed on the flagstones at the top of the last flight of steps from the Lawnmarket. At brutal rest: a middle-aged man lies face up, arms spread like St Peter’s crucifixion, his shiny suited legs sagging above crossed, wrinkle-socked, ankles. Fingers of breeze ruffle his sparse grey hair. Bloodshot dirty brown eyes bulge above the horror of a slashed throat, head almost severed. His bald crown rests one stair down, neck at an impossible angle, spine glinting in the early light. Down the stairs and over the flags a wash of sticky blood congeals, having sprinted almost as far as the cobbles. His tartan tie flutters, an ill-fitting, failed, tourniquet. The stalk-end of a banana, unpeeled, protrudes from the contorted ‘O’ of his lips and bursts out of the dark gash in his throat like a bright yellow alien. A sudden gust makes a sheet of paper flutter towards me. I trap it with my foot. It’s a flier: a photo of Greyfriars Bobby headlined with a blood-smudged happy hour invitation, I might look in. My body jerks as a wild soprano shriek from the upper stairs shreds the quiet, almost concealing the hasty strides charging up behind me.

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

Radio Interview: 23rd August 2017 with Wendy Jones on Mearns FM [http://www.mearnsfm.org.uk/schedule] for Wendy’s Book Buzz where she interviews authors about their books and favourite music. Think Desert Island Discs meets books.

I’m involved in setting up a series of authors’ events at Colinsburgh Galloway Library, in the East Neuk of Fife, for the autumn and winter. These will include:

  • crime
  • author sessions and readings
  • a genuine Enigma machine and a bug from the wall of the US embassy in Moscow, and an on the use of encryption and surveillance devices back in the day.

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

I’m currently writing Devils Due, the third Sam Duncan thriller – coming soon. The inspiration is Establishment corruption and its negative impact on us all. Sam Duncan investigates. Tonka has his back.

As for style: imagine lurching along on a rickety rollercoaster, wheels squealing, the stench of smouldering brakes. Death howls alongside, swiping at you with his scythe … the safety bar comes loose in your grip … up ahead a chunk of crumbling track falls away … and only you can save the day.

Check out book 2 in the Angels Share series and read a sample.

 

Thank you so very much to the talented and genuine Mac Logan for being on my 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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Accent Press, Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview

Caroline Dunford ~ Exclusive #Interview #CrimeFiction @verdandiweaves @AccentPress

Happy Sunday everyone, today I have Caroline Dunford popping in with a wee interview. Don’t forget to check out Caroline’s latest book A Death Overseas: A Euphemia Martins Murder Mystery (Euphemia Martins Mysteries Book 10).

Kelly  xoxo

Caroline Dunford ~ Crime Fiction Exclusive Interview 

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

  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Conan Doyle, which I read as a child. I remember vividly falling into the story, walking on the windswept moor and seeing the terrifying beast coming towards me. I was always stunned (as a kid) about how Holmes always used logic to defeat superstition and even when everyone else was scared witless he wasn’t.

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

  • Home. Diverse. Busy. Inspiring.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • Aside from Holmes, I’m rather fond of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. She’s a bond agent, trapped in a love triangle, permanently getting herself into and out of trouble, and surrounded by a mad set of characters she adores.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • The easy answer is my home. It’s by the sea and we’re now managing, after extensive building work (when I did feel like killing people for real) to get it in the shape we want. Other than that, I have fond memories of the University, where I’ve studied on multiple occasions and now teach in a very part time basis.

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

  • I think like a lot of authors I’d very much like to meet some of my own creations in the flesh. Other than that I’m not at all sure most fictional crime characters would be much fun at a dinner party. Poirot, I suspect, would be patronising. Holmes would quickly get bored and start filling his pipe or even leave. Mrs Marple would correct me on my baking shortcomings and lack of pride in my housework. And for the villains, you wouldn’t want to invite anyone who had a penchant for poisoning, would you? Or even someone who might get a bit worked up if they didn’t like the soup you offered. No, I think I’ll keep my characters on the page at dinner time, thank you! 🙂

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

  • My Euphemia Martins Mysteries are inspired by my Great Grand Mother’s decision to run away from home and go into service. I have two parallel sections in mind when I write. One is the main characters and their continuing lives and the other is the puzzle that will form the heart of the mystery. Both run side by side and need to be intertwined. So as well as thinking about how my characters are being changed by their experiences I am also looking at what is going on in the world around. My favourite themes are when I can use a historical event that also reflects something that is going on in the modern world. Although whether my readers pick up on that I don’t know.  I’m also a psychologist and psychotherapist by training, but I don’t practice anymore. However, my understanding of how personality is shaped, how mental health issues affect people and even how body language works, can all be found in my stories. Especially the more modern ones.

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

  • Vertigo by U2 (It’s a contemporary novel)

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.

Jimmy McGinty lay dead as the proverbial dodo outside The Wash Bar. People walked by and laughed. Some of them put money in his hat. No one seemed to realise that the man inside the bright yellow banana costume, with the carefully drawn split on the side, had bled his lifeforce away. That is, until, four year old Billy, spotted the red liquid seeping out from under the figure of the banana lying on the pavement. His mother, who had him secure in rains, was trying to decide whether or not she wanted to tow Billy all the way down the mound only to have to convince him to come back up again for the Festival show they had booked in the museum that afternoon. Billy bent down, stuck his hand in the redness and then put one finger straight in his mouth. He then set up a huge wail, when he discovered, it wasn’t as he had hoped raspberry sauce, and in fact tasted quite nasty. His mother turning round, saw her son’s face overhead in blood and began to scream. When help finally arrived and the paramedics carefully undid Jimmy’s banana skin, they found a leaflet protruding from between his lips, inviting people to join a site seeing group at Grey Friar’s Bobby. Although this was a curiosity in itself, more baffling yet, was the serious head wound that had Jimmy’s brains spilling down the back of his previously zipped shut costume.

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

I’ll be at the Portobello Book Festival on Sat 7th Oct in the evening. Exact time tbc. I’ll also be at the Society of Authors in Scotland Conference on September 22-24 at the Westerwood Hotel talking about psychological motivations and finding inspiration for writing. Society Of Authors Website

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

  • I’m currently writing the story of an Ex Military Policeman, who finds himself investigated the reported murder of a man, who is apparently still alive. Daniel ‘Uneasy’ Truce is extremely poor at relationships. He’s a nice guy, but a background in foster homes and orphanages hasn’t exactly equipped him with good people skills. Instead, he has become an expert in reading body language – to the extent that a lot of people feel somewhat ‘Uneasy’ around him.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter

You can purchase A Death Overseas the most recent in the Euphemia Martins Mysteries

The collection ~  click here to order.

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Caroline, thank you so much for being on my blog today. I always enjoy talking with you at events. Hope to see you again very soon.

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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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

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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?

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  • I run weekly creative writing workshops in Newcastle so if anyone would like to attend, they can email me at Victoria.watson@elementaryvwatson.com 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 

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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, Blogger, Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview, Saraband Books

*Crime Fiction Takeover* Cross Purpose By @ClaireMacLeary @SarabandBooks #Exclusive #Interview

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

Today on the blog, is

Claire MacLeary ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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

  • That’s a hard one. There have been a number: from the USA, Scandinavia, UK. Of contemporary crime novels, Louise Welsh’s The Bullet Trick is memorable.

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

  • Georgian, elegant, historic, atmospheric.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  •  William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw. He set the benchmark for the tortured male detective and was the founding father of Tartan Noir.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • For me, Stockbridge is hard to beat.  It combines a wealth of quirky shops and restaurants with open spaces and the Water of Leith, feels like a village, yet is within walking distance of Princes Street.

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

  • Laidlaw and Rebus for their experience and wealth of stories, Jack Reacher to add machismo, Kay Scarpetta to throw a hard-nosed female into the mix.

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

  •  I find inspiration in all sorts of things: past experience, newspapers, TV, conversations overheard. It’s all about close observation, listening, always keeping a notebook to hand. Even the tiniest snippet can generate an idea.

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

  • My current novel, Cross Purpose, has been described as “Tartan Noir Meets Happy Valley” in that it features two women of a certain age, so the theme tune from the television series would be perfect. It would have to be tweaked, of course, so as not to infringe copyright!

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.

She was sitting, head bowed, in a corner of The Wash Bar when a shadow loomed over her.
    ‘Wilma?’
    Her head jerked up. ‘Huh?’
    He was tall, six four at least. Jeans, leather jacket, builders’ boots. Wilma had a thing for boots, brought her out in a lather. Jet black hair, square jaw, the merest hint of dark stubble.
    ‘You’re needed,’ he said.
    ‘What? Now?’ Wilma eyed the banana split in its shallow glass boat. The ice cream was already beginning to melt and she’d hardly made a dent.

     ‘Aye. There’s been a…’ For a moment he hesitated. ‘Incident.’ Wilma looked longingly at the slick of chocolate sauce. Looked up. ‘Where?’

     ‘Up the road. Greyfriars Bobby.’

‘What sort of incident?’ If she kept him talking she could mebbe sneak another spoonful.

      He scowled. ‘Not for me to say. You’ll find out soon enough.’

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

  •  Harrogate Book Festival on 20 July. Details on my website. I also have a blog tour in the offing via Gordon McGhie @grabthisbook. Watch out for it on Twitter.

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

  •  I’m currently finishing the first draft of the second in the Harcus & Laird series. It’s called Burnout, again features the unlikely PI combo of Maggie and Big Wilma, and is about domestic abuse.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter
Claire’s Website

CROSS PURPOSE BY CLAIRE MACLEARY

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When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour Big Wilma . And so an unlikely partnership is born. . But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers.. Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds.

Purchase your copy today ~

Thank you so much to Claire MacLeary for taking the time to be on my blog today. Claire was one of the first people I went to see at a book festival in Linlithgow, when my blog was just a wee dream. Claire is so approachable and very generous with her time. When I hear that she is going to be at any events I attend I get goosebumps.  A genuine, talented and friendly lady.  I am most definitely in the Claire MacLeary fan club!

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?

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  • 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.

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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
them.”
“What did they do?”
“It was hard to see them from where I was, on the floor. But I heard them clapping their
hands.”
“Like a round of applause?”
“Yes.”
“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!

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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, Scotland

*Crime Fiction Takeover* ~ Truestory ~ @cath_simpson13 @sandstonepress #Exclusive #Interview

Crime Fiction (1)

We are continuing our successful Crime Fiction theme takeover of the blog. I have lot’s more to share with you this week. 

Today on the blog I have Catherine Simpson, author of Truestory. 

Catherine Simpson ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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

  • I was 24 and training to be a journalist when my lecturer recommended we read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, both are recountings of real-life murders. They were examples of ‘The New Journalism’ – real-life stories told using fictional devices – and have stayed with me ever since. I probably didn’t have a view on capital punishment when I read these books nearly 30 years ago but I’ve been vehemently against it ever since.

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

  • Edinburgh is a seductive, alluring, irresistible show-off.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • I’m a bit in love with Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie – a Yorkshire-born, Edinburgh-dwelling Private Investigator, played rather beautifully by Jason Isaacs in the tv series, Case Histories.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • This is like asking ‘which part of a Yorkshire pudding is your favourite?’ – All of it! Where ever you look in Edinburgh, at whatever time of day, at whatever time of year, there is the city doing its wonderful stuff. (Although see Q 9)

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

  • I would have dinner with Jackson Brodie (for obvious reasons), Sherlock Holmes (for his insight) Stella Moon, of The Confession of Stella Moon, (for atmosphere) and Roddie Macrae, of His Bloody Project, (to ask: What’s the score, Roddy?’)

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

  • Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere: art, observations, personal experiences, overheard conversations, musings, wonderings, wanderings, anything.

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

  • I’ve just checked the playlist I put together when writing Truestory ( a novel about a woman struggling to raise her son who has Autism). Kooks by David Bowie is on there – a song Bowie wrote for his son – so that seems about right.

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.

The body lay sprawled in The Wash Bar, clutching a banana etched with the words ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby.’

….No…

The body lay sprawled on Greyfriar’s Bobby clutching a wash bar etched with the word ‘banana’.

…No…

The body lay sprawled on a banana clutching Greyfriar’s Bobby etched with the words ‘The Wash Bar’.

…No….

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

  • I’ve just had a short story included in the ‘Echoes of the City’ Project. This is a lovely idea – you can download the app ‘Podwalk’ and listen to trained actors read you a story set in different parts of Edinburgh as you walk around the city. My story is called ‘Giuseppe and Rosa go up in the World’. It is set on Easter Road and inspired by my in-laws who immigrated to Scotland from Italy in the late 1950s. Echoes Of The City

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

  • I am currently working on a memoir called ‘When I had a Little Sister’. I’ve been lucky enough to receive nine-months’ mentoring from Scottish Book Trust to help me work on it. It’s about loss and grief and mental illness and about how weird and funny-haha and funny-peculiar families are.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter
Scottish Book Trust

Truestory By Catherine Simpson 

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On a remote Lancashire farm, eleven year old Sam seeks answers to life’s big questions online. His mother Alice’s life is dictated by Sam’s strange ways and her husband’s fecklessness as their money runs out. When Duncan brings home a stranger to help with his latest scheme, Alice is furious. Sam can’t cope with change. But Larry beguiles Sam with his maps and, as he works his magic, Alice falls for him too.

By turns hilarious and tragic, Truestory examines how we are all trapped in our own lives, yet sometimes have more options than we realise.

Quote from James Robertson: ‘Catherine Simpson does not waste words. She has that rare ability to conjure up people and places, how they look and how they sound, in just a sentence or two. Her writing is vivid perceptive and acute and she deserves a wide readership.’

You can order your copy today ~

Thank you so much for being on my blog today, Catherine, you are so inspiring, genuine and gentle. You have been incredibly supportive of my wee blog and I will always be very grateful.

Kelly xx

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

*CRIME Fiction Takeover* Moira Cormack @cormackmoira The Witch Of Land & Sea #Interview #Exclusive

Crime Fiction (1)

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

Today on the blog, is

Moira Cormack ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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

  • Duplicate keys by Jane Smiley. It ousted In cold blood by Trueman Capitol which was some achievement.

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

  • Eclectic, grand, creative and formal

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • Jackson Brodie who appears in a few novels  by Kate Atkinson. He is a male detective in touch with his Feminine side.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • The Grassmarket at the moment but I am fickle so it might change by the time you write this up.

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

  • Miss Marple, Jackson Brodie, Rebus and Salander. To see what she makes if them and they her.

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

  • My inspiration comes from my day to day life. If something stands out for me I write it now. I have a soft spot for images.

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

  • Five beans by Rozi Plain

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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Bobby hunched down at the gates to Greyfriars Church yard. He sniffed the air and he smelt of petrol fumes, damp ground and something else. Something elusive. He breathed in again but whatever it was burrowed away in his mind like an earthworm escaping back into the soil. Uncertain for a moment he snapped the end off his banana, monkey style, then took a bite letting the soft flesh squish against the roof of his mouth. When the time was right it would come to him but for now he must wait. 

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

  • Bizarrely I can’t remember where the inspiration for my second novel has come from. I can only think of small snapshots of writing which have formed into a bigger picture in my head.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter ~ @cormackmoira

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Ruby is unhappy at home and excluded by the girls at school. She goes to the forbidden bay to be alone little knowing that she is walking into a trap set by the Witch. On land life is vibrant and strange and the Witch’s cottage appears to be welcoming but all is not what it seems.

Join Ruby on her adventure in this thrilling story.

Welcome to ‘The Witch of land and sea’ a book for anyone from age 8 to 108 or over.

Order your copy here ~ Etsy Shop

Huge thanks to Moira for taking part in my special event.

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

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Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview

*Crime Fiction Takeover* Baby Dear @LindaHuber19 @Bloodhoundbook #Exclusive

Crime Fiction (1)

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

Today on the blog, is

Linda Huber ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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

  • Which crime novel, stayed with you long after you had finished?
    A Cry In The Night by Mary Higgins Clark. It’s about Jenny, a single parent who married Erich, not knowing he would put both her and her children through months of terror before abducting her little girls. Jenny’s horror and helplessness is chillingly portrayed.

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

  • Historical. Vibrant. Fun. Multi-culti.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • I think Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway is fabulous. She struggles with her weight (which makes her sympathetic to millions, me included!), she has to juggle motherhood and a job, she’s independent and feisty and clever – I wish I was more like her!

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • The Royal Mile, tourists and all. You get such a buzz walking up towards the castle. Just think of all the millions of feet that have walked across those stones over the centuries – it’s mind-blowing.

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

  • Ooh, great question. Ruth Galloway (see nr.3), Hercule Poirot, Val McDermid’s Tony Hill, and Inspector Rebus.

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

  • Everyday life. There are plenty of odd, unexpected, emotional things happening all around us. The idea for one of my books (Chosen Child) came at a wedding while I was chatting to someone who worked with problem families, for example. Another is more inspired by setting – it begins on the lovely Isle of Arran, where I spent all my teenage summers.

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

  • The title is Baby Dear, so how about a rather spooky nursery rhyme – Bye, Baby Bunting.

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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  1. Dusk was falling as he ran up the Mound. He was late, and he was starving. Heart pounding, he pushed the door of The Wash Bar open and stepped in, scanning tables and panting. She wasn’t here, oh God, she must have left without him. No, no – she would never cope alone. Wheeling round, he grabbed a banana from the bowl on the bar and tossed a pound coin at the astonished barman. Quick, quick, up to Greyfriars. Cutting between buildings, he took the fastest route towards the Kirk. Into the kirkyard now, how spooky it was in the dark. And how deserted. He ran, calling her name now, she must be here… But she wasn’t. For a moment he bent double, his breath clouding cold. He had failed. Hot tears on chilled cheeks, he trudged back to the street. And that was where he saw her. Crumpled beneath the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a pool of blood around her head.

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

  • Not at the moment, though I’m hoping to visit the UK this summer. Anyone wanting info about my books, or contact details, can find visit my website lindahuber.net

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

  • Baby Dear is my sixth psychological thriller. It’s about three women – Caro, who’s desperate to have a baby, Sharon, who’s eight months pregnant and unsure if she really wants to be a mother, and Julie, single mother of a small boy and a baby – she doesn’t have two pennies to rub together. Then there’s Jeff, Caro’s husband, who is infertile – but rich… I was inspired to write this one by news stories of a women who lost a baby, and subsequently abducted one from a hospital.

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Baby Dear: a gripping psychological thriller

Caro and Jeff Horne seem to have it all until they learn that Jeff is infertile. Caro married Jeff because her biggest wish was to be a mother, and he had the means to give their children a better life than she’d had. Jeff, who is besotted with Caro, is terrified he will lose her now they can’t have a baby.

Across town, Sharon is eight months pregnant and unsure if she really wants to be a mother. Soon her world will collide with Jeff’s. He wants to keep Caro happy and decides that getting a baby is the only way.

Then Caro is accidently drawn into an underworld of drugs…

Meanwhile, Jeff is increasingly desperate to find a baby – but what lengths is he prepared to go to?

Is Sharon in danger, and will Caro ever have the family she’s always dreamed of?

Purchase your copy today  ~

Huge thanks to Linda for being on our Crime Fiction special.

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

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