#FlashbackFriday December 2019 with Claire Douglas @Dougieclaire , Lynda Renham @Lyndarenham , Jan Ruth @JanRuthAuthor , Mick Williams & Keith Bullock #BookReviews

Flashback Friday

Hi and welcome to my Flashback Friday feature! 🙂

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

Please do join in, I’d love to see your posts! Share your link in the comments if you do. 

Check out https://superfluousreading.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/flashbackfriday-december-2018/

Here are my reviews from December 2018 + a link to previous FBFs…..

#ShortReviews for #ShortStories by #PaulFinch #JeffreyArcher #ZaraStoneley #HelenRolfe #KairaRouda & #ThaliaNewland

 

The Text: A short story by Claire Douglas @Dougieclaire #BookReview

The Text cover

 

A Christmas Romance: A heart-warming Christmas story (The Little Perran Romances Book 1) by Lynda Renham @Lyndarenham #BookReview

A Christmas Romance cover

 

Home for Christmas by Jan Ruth @JanRuthAuthor #BookReview

Home For Christmas

 

A Reason To Grieve by Mick Williams #BookReview

A Reason To Grieve

 

Twelve Christmas Crackers and a Boxing Day Treat by Keith Bullock #BookReview #Christmas #ShortStories

Twelve Christmas Crackers

 

#FlashbackFriday with @AnitaCassidy76 @LJRoss_author @AuthorDThompson @BKDuncanwriter & @danklefstad #december #bookreviews

 

Have you read any of the above?

A #GuestPost by Colette McCormick @colettemcauthor #Author of #AnUncomplicatedMan

An Uncomplicated Man cover

The importance of a good editor

by Colette McCormick

 

Anyone who has ever written a book will tell you that you don’t just get the words down on the page and send it off to your editor, prospective publisher or wherever it’s going. By the time that I sent my first book Beyond the Light to Accent Press in 2015, I had re-written parts of it at least twice and I had edited the whole of it four times. I thought it was perfect.
What a fool I was.
When the line edits came back the page was awash with red and blue showing the things that had been changed or needed changing. I remember thinking I must have written a really bad book. Also, accompanying the manuscript was an email suggesting the name be changed to Things I Should Have Said and Done because my title sounded a bit ‘ecclesiastical.’ I’m not going to lie I was a bit put out by that because I’d thought that my title was clever. Anyway, I saw the point that the editor was making so I agreed and set my mind to the line edits and to be fair they weren’t as bad as I had thought, mainly a missing comma or a re-arranging of words. However, it was while I was reading through and correcting things that I had the ‘eureka moment’ and realised that Things I Should Have Said and Done was the perfect title after all. I immediately sent an email to the editor and thanked her for suggesting it. I now appreciated the value of a good editor.
I had a different editor for my second book and third books and then a different one again for my fourth but I think that they all did a good job. The editor of book two and three saved my bacon more than once by keeping the time line right and my last editor used to leave messages of encouragement in the margins when they liked something. An award-winning author told me early on that an editor is only as good as the last book that they edited and that helped me to not take their changes personally. We both had the same goal.
Like my first book, this one also started out with a different title. However, a few months ago the publisher decided that the title wasn’t as strong as the titles of my previous books and it was the editor that had to tell me. And so, it became An Uncomplicated Man. It took me a while to get used to it but I have now. I also have a ready-made title for the sequel.

Thanks for joining me on my blog again, Colette 🙂

An Uncomplicated Man

An emotional, uplifting story about one man split between two lives… Perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse.

What if the man in your life isn’t who he says he is?

Daniel Laither is a mild-mannered and uncomplicated bank manager, but when his boss asks him for a favour, things begin to get tangled. Introduced to businessman Arthur Braithwaite, Daniel reluctantly agrees to a financial arrangement that will create an unbreakable link between them.

When Daniel meets Lucy, Braithwaite’s daughter, he becomes a man obsessed. From the steamy afternoons spent together in hotel rooms, to evenings out with Lucy in fancy restaurants, Daniel’s life moves a million miles from the one he’d had.

He finds himself lying to his friends, his colleagues and, most importantly, his wife. He borrows money from a loan shark to afford this double life, but when the debt demands to be paid, he contemplates stealing from the bank. When Lucy falls pregnant and Braithwaite insists upon a marriage, Daniel has to choose between his two lives…

Readers love Colette McCormick…

‘Quite simply a brilliant read’ Amazon reader review

Extremely compelling’ Amazon reader review

‘As comforting as chicken broth on a cold afternoon’ Amazon reader review

 

Colette McCormick – Bio

Colette McCormick

Originally a city girl, Colette has made her home in a one of the many former mining villages in County Durham. When not working as a retail manager for a large children’s charity she will more than likely be writing, even if it’s only a shopping list. She also enjoys cooking, gardening and taking the dog on long walks in the countryside near her home. She has been married for almost forty years and has two grown up sons.

 

ICYMI

 

Ribbons In Her Hair by Colette McCormick @colettemcauthor #BlogTour #AuthorInterview

Not My Brother’s Keeper by Colette McCormick @colettemcauthor @AccentPress #BlogTour #BookReview

 

happy reading 🙂

 

 

Candy Canes and Buckets of Blood by @HeideGoody & @IainMGrant #BlogTour #BookPromo #LoveBooksTours

Welcome to my stop on Heide Goody’s and Iain Grant’s Candy Canes and Buckets of Blood blog tour, with Love Books Tours!

Candy Cane tour

Blurb

Christmas is a time for families to come together.

Guin Roberts can’t think of anything worse than visiting a Christmas market with her new family. Guin is perfectly happy with own company and doesn’t want that disrupted by her wisecracking stepbrother and his earnest mum.

Their Christmas celebrations are invaded by a sleigh full of murderous elves. And it doesn’t matter if they’ve been naughty or nice — these elves are out for blood.

Can the family band together to survive the night? Or will Santa’s little helpers make mincemeat of them all?

Candy Cane cover.jpg

Buy Link 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Candy-Canes-Buckets-Sprite-Brigade-ebook/dp/B07X9DTWG6/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Candy+Canes+and+Buckets+of+Blood&qid=1571339686&sr=8-1  

About the authors

Candy Cane authors Iain and Heide by Pete C b+w

Heide lives in North Warwickshire with her husband and a fluctuating mix of offspring and animals.

Iain lives in South Birmingham with his wife and a fluctuating mix of offspring and animals.

They aren’t sure how many novels they’ve written together since 2011 but it’s a surprisingly large number.

happy reading 🙂

 

Fighting Back (Battle Ground #4) by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher #BlogTour #BookPromo @rararesources

Fighting Back banner

Fighting Back (Battle Ground #4)

Fighting Back cover

Bex Ellman and her friends are in hiding, sheltered by the resistance. With her family threatened and her friendships challenged, she’s looking for a way to fight back. Ketty Smith is in London, supporting a government she no longer trusts. With her support network crumbling, Ketty must decide who she is fighting for – and what she is willing risk to uncover the truth.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence. 

Purchase Link –

http://tallerbooks.com/battleground/


Author Bio –

Fighting Back author.png

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.
She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.
Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.


Social Media Links – 


Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rachel_Churcher 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelchurcherwriting/
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/RachelChurcherWriting
Blog: https://blog.tallerbooks.com

Follow, like and share the book love with these awesome book bloggers…..

Fighting Back tour

happy reading 🙂

 

#MarcieIsBack :-) #TheSomerleySeries by Marcie Steele @marcie_steele #AvailableNow

The Somerley Series Marcie Steele

I am SO excited to help spread the word about the re-launch of these three awesome books by the fabulous Marcie Steele! 🙂

If you haven’t read these already then you don’t know what you missed out on! Add them to your reading lists now and enjoy!

Stirred with Love: A feel good novel of friendship, love … and taking chances (The Somerley Series Book 1)

Stirred With Love cover

‘Wonderfully warm with characters every woman can relate to. A fantastic read about overcoming life’s obstacles with friendship and love.’ Leah Mercer

Meet Kate – after the break-up of her marriage, she’s trying hard to mend her broken heart.

Meet Chloe – a young woman with the world at her feet, she’s struggling to know what to do with her life.

Meet Lily – still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband, she’s determined to do something with the time she has left.

As Lily embarks on a new venture in the market town of Somerley, the three women come together to open The Coffee Stop, the most charming café for miles around. But opening a coffee shop is never as simple as it seems, especially when you add loneliness, secrets and heartbreak to the mix.

When tragedy strikes, can the three women pull together to make the new business fly, or will Lily’s last chance disappear down the drain along with yesterday’s coffee grinds?

If you love an uplifting, moving story, then Stirred with Love is the perfect read. Fans of Hannah Ellis, Debbie Johnson and Emily Harvale will love this book.

Please note – this book has been re-published, so do check to see if you have already downloaded it.

Books in The Somerley Series
Stirred with Love, book 1
Secrets, Lies & Love, book 2
Second Chances at Love, book 3

 

Secrets, Lies & Love: A feel good novel of love, secrets and friendship (The Somerley Series Book 2)

Secrets, Lies & Love cover

Secrets have a habit of getting out…

Meet Sophie – she loves running her market stall with her friend Beth by her side. They’re right at the heart of the community – and always one step ahead on local gossip. But Sophie’s marriage is in a bit of a rut, and handsome stranger Damien has her wondering if the grass might be greener …

Meet Beth – she’s the life and soul of every party, but she’s hiding a broken heart, and worries about her beautiful but secretive daughter Charley. All she wants is someone to love – but could Mr Right be nearer than she thinks?

Just when Sarah and Beth need each other most, they suddenly have reason to wonder whether they ever really knew each other at all. Can the two best friends put the past behind them, and help each other find love and happiness again?

Please note – this book was previously published as The Little Market Stall of Hope and Heartbreak, so do check to see if you have already downloaded it.

While this is the second book in The Somerley Series it can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel.
Books in The Somerley Series
Stirred with Love, book 1
Secrets, Lies & Love, book 2
Second Chances at Love, book 3

An emotional and uplifting tale of love, secrets and the importance of having a best friend. Fans of Hannah Ellis, Debbie Johnson and Emily Harvale will love this book.

 

Second Chances at Love: A heart-warming novel of love, loss and new beginnings (The Somerley Series Book 3)

Second Chance at Love cover

A delightfully romantic tale of love, friendship and putting your best foot forward.

Meet Riley – all she wants is to meet someone who makes her happy. But attracting the right kind of man is not easy, and with her heart still hurting from her last break-up, she believes she’ll never find love again.

Meet Sadie – nearly a year ago, her whole world was shattered when her husband died. She has struggled to keep herself together for the sake of their young daughter, but with the anniversary of his death approaching, Sadie finds herself overwhelmed by grief.

Sadie and Riley work at Chandler’s Shoes in the market town of Somerley. But when the shop is threatened with closure, the friends are confronted with the loss of not only their jobs, but also their support network – the glue that binds them when they are close to breaking.

As they put together a plan to save their beloved shop, Sadie realises that she might be learning to live again. Could it be that new beginnings are just round the corner? The campaign also finds Riley unexpectedly crossing paths with charming photographer, Ethan. Maybe her second chance at love is right under her feet …

Please note – this book was first published as The Second Chance Shoe Shop, so do check to see if you have already downloaded it.

While this is the third book in The Somerley Series it can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel.

Books in The Somerley Series
Stirred with Love, book 1
Secrets, Lies & Love, book 2
Second Chances at Love, book 3

If you love an uplifting story, then Second Chances at Love is the perfect read. Fans of Hannah Ellis, Debbie Johnson and Emily Harvale will love this book.

 

About the author

Marcie Steele

Hi, I’m Marcie Steele – I also write crime thrillers as Mel Sherratt.

I’ve written three novels in The Somerley Series and I have a new series starting on Jan 1 2020, with The Man Across the Street, on preorder now.

Coffee, cake and friendship are three of my favourite things. You’ll always find me writing in a cafe, people watching.

I have already had the pleasure of reading The Man Across the Street and absolutely LOVED it! You are in for a treat in the new year!

Watch this space for my review!

happy reading 🙂

 

King of Hearts by Mark Stibbe @markstibbe #BlogTour #Interview @malcolmdown @LoveBooksGroup

Welcome to my stop on Mark Stibbe’s King Of Hearts blog tour, with Love Books Tours!

King Of Hearts tour

Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with Mark Stibbe…..

 

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

 

I’ve been a published author since I was 16. After that, I was a Vicar until 2009, and therefore most of my 50+ books have been religious nonfiction. In 2011, I began the transition to fiction. Since then I have been writing gritty stories with spiritual heart, such as The Fate of Kings, the story of a Vicar who becomes a spy in the French Revolution. King of Hearts, my latest, is in that vein.

 

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

 

The idea for King of Hearts came from a question I asked in 2011. If the Parable of the Prodigal Son were to be retold today, how might it be different? Answer? The father, not the son, would be the one who runs away from home. I was leading a charity that I founded at the time, dedicated to addressing fatherlessness. That answer pulled the rest of the story in after it.

 

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

 

I guess it’s true that you write what you know. There are some similarities between Jake (the protagonist) and me, and between Sandra (the prostitute who befriends Jake) and a girl who was murdered in Glasgow, whose funeral was taken by a friend of mine. The symbolism of the feathers in her portrayal comes directly from this true and tragic story.

 

How do you pick your characters’ names?

 

Names always come to me very quickly. In this case, some of them have symbolic or metaphorical resonances in the story world I’ve created. So, for example, Pete Marley’s surname is indebted to A Christmas Carol. I have structured the entire story of King of Hearts in the same way that Dickens designed A Christmas Carol. I could say more about the other names, but you’ll have to discover the significance of those for yourselves!

 

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

 

Briefly, it starts with inspiration (the germ of an original idea or question), then incubation, then investigation, and finally incarnation. I could spend all day talking about this (and frequently do in writing workshops and conferences), but I’ll leave it at that!

 

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

 

I am writing within a tradition of fiction writers whose faith impacts their storytelling in a subtle rather than a simplistic way: Flannery O’Connor, Graham Greene, CS Lewis (my adoptive father’s friend and teacher), Maurice West, John Irving, Cormac McCarthy etc. These would be go-to authors for me. I return to their work frequently, but I also love authors who expose the hypocrisy and abusiveness of some forms of organized religion, so Philip Pullman, Margaret Attwood etc. And I love the way Stephen King creates Christ figures in stories like The Green Mile, and pretty well everything he writes, for that matter.

 

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

 

Tolkien, my adoptive father’s English Professor at Merton College, Oxford. I would ask him how, in his own experience, the idea of being a “sub-creator” played itself out in the writing of The Lord of the Rings. I have a raft of other questions too! “What was Dad like in his 20s!?”

 

Were you a big reader as a child?

 

Yes. I started with Conan Doyle. I remember also reading Agatha Christie on a bus touring the Holy Land. I hope I don’t get struck down for saying this, but I was more impacted with the story than the landscape! My twin sister was on the same coach with her head in Watership Down, written by an author to whom our dad taught English. She’s a fulltime novelist today in the USA (Claire Stibbe). Look her up on Amazon. She’s amazing!

 

When did you start to write?

 

When I thought my Teddy was lost forever. I was probably around eight or nine. I wrote a ten-page story (handwritten in ink pen) called The Epic Adventures of Edward Bear. I found it recently in the garage in a box of things my mother had kept for me, and which were handed onto me after she died in 2015. One day, I’ll publish it!

 

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Is there a book you wish you had written?

 

Not the ending of a book, no. But I would rewrite the whole of series 8 of Game of Thrones which was a grave disappointment. I hope George R.R. Martin does a much better job! As for the Q, Is there a book I wish I’d written? The answer is no. I have always taken very seriously Toni Morrison’s statement that if there’s not a book written on something that you feel passionate about, then you should write it. Writing a book is revealing part of your soul. It is intensely personal. To want to have written another person’s book is an impossible thought for me; it implies that I want to be someone other than myself, which I don’t. I’m happy in my own skin.

 

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

 

An Orphan No More. I have started writing it in my head.

 

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

 

Sherlock Holmes, or Aslan.

 

What are you working on right now?

 

A fairy tale. And a psychological thriller about an abused Norwegian woman with a Viking spirit.

 

Tell us about your last release?

 

Home at Last… a nonfiction book about my own experiences being abandoned and abused at boarding school, with some keys from my own experience for getting free from boarding school pain. I’m humbled by all the letters and emails I receive from people who have found reading it very therapeutic and even life changing.

 

Do you have a new release due?

 

Yes, my American publisher is releasing a beautiful, hardback gift book of mine called The 100 Verse Bible on December 17th. Next year, I’m publishing the first in a series of Sci Fi MGF titles about an autistic boy on a faraway planet in a fantastical universe.

 

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

 

A quiet meal with my beautiful Irish wife Cherith, and a snuggle in front of a favourite film with her and our Black Labrador Bella. I’m not a big one for celebrations to be honest.

 

How can readers keep in touch with you?

 

I’m on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/mark.stibbe.54

I post my most personal memories on Insta

@markstibbeauthor

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-mark-stibbe-89247563/

And then there’s my websites

http://www.advice4authors.com (my blog site, for free advice for authors)

http://www.markstibbebooks.com (with all my most recent products, including my writing for The Times, my interviews with BBC, etc)

http://www.thebooklab.co.uk (dedicated to coaching emerging writers)

I do use Twitter occasionally but only when I absolutely have to

@markstibbe

 

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

 

King of Hearts is out now. It will make a GREAT Christmas gift for your friends and family. If you order one from my website, I’ll sign it for you.

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Mark 🙂

 

It’s a pleasure. Thank you for supporting those of us who are trying to make a living from writing. It’s a huge challenge. We appreciate it.

Mark Stibbe

King Of Hearts cover

Blurb

King of Hearts tells the gripping story of Jake Graystone, a struggling teacher, husband, and father, who looks for easy money playing poker. When his wife Sally exposes his secret addiction on Christmas Eve, he walks out and heads north for Casino City, leaving his family for a dark world of gambling, prostitution and murder.
How will the cards fall for Jake in this brutal, urban wasteland? And, as the stakes get higher and higher, will this modern Desperado ever come to his senses?

King of Hearts is a winter, festive story to sit alongside It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. Raw yet redemptive, it is a Christmas tale you’ll not be able to put down.

At the end of each chapter, you will want to twist, not fold.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/340M7qO

 

happy reading 🙂

 

The Devil’s Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen @K_B_Andersen #BlogTour #Interview @Love Books Group

Welcome to my stop on Kenneth B. Andersen’s The Devil’s Apprentice Blog tour, with Love Books Tours.

The Devil’s Apprentice tour

Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with Kenneth B. Andersen…..

The Devil’s Apprentice author

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I’m 43 years old and used to be a school teacher, now a full time writer. I was born in Denmark and I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two sons and a dog. I began writing in high school and published my first book when I was 22. Since then I’ve published more than 40 books in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction. My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies.

 

Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I often get inspired by reading books and watching movies. A good example of this is ”The Devil’s Apprentice”. Years ago I was reading a Danish novel called “Little Lucifer”, where the main character misbehaves and someone yells at him, that he’s the Devil’s apprentice. The moment I read those two words I thought that would be awesome: To write a story about a boy who literally ends up as the Devil’s apprentice in Hell where he is to be trained in evil by the Devil himself. Although my Hell differs a lot from Dante’s, it is very much inspired by The Divine Comedy.

 

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
No. It’s the idea the creates the characters. That being said – since I’ve created all the characters – a little part of me (for better or for worse) is in most of my characters.

How do you pick your characters’ names?
Sometimes I just go with a feeling, and sometimes I choose a name because of it’s meaning. In “The Devil’s Apprentice” I wanted Philip’s last name to be Engel, which means ‘angel’. I thought it was fun – an angel ending up in Hell 😊

 

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I begin with outlining the story very loosely – and think about how I want it to end so that I have a goal to steer towards. A sort of X on a map. A map that might change as the story takes shape. Then I try to get to know my main characters by answering five pages containing all sorts of questions about him/her. Then I find out what’s going to happen in the first five chapters. When I’ve written them, I find out what’s going to happen in the next five chapters and so on. I write four hours a day. I have an office in my basement and I write from 8 am – 10 am and then again from 1 pm – 3 pm. I don’t aim for a certain amount of words or pages. Sometimes I write half a page in two hours if things go slow, sometimes three pages. It depends.

 

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
It’s always difficult to a list like this, because there are so many I want to include. But these are some of the writers that have influenced me the most: Stephen King, Astrid Lindgren (Swedish writer), Ray Bradbury, Bjarne Reuter (Danish writer) and Philip Pullmann.

 

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
If I can also choose from those who are no longer here: Ray Bradbury. Brilliant mind, brilliant writer. I would ask him about his view on the world today – ups and downs – and on the future.

 

Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes. ”Narnia” and ”The Never-Ending Story” were favourites of mine, but mostly I was into horror when I was a kid. Still am, but now I’m more selective. I’m always excited when a new King-novel comes out. I’m also a big fan of his son Joe Hill. His graphic novel ”Locke & Key” is awesome. I try to read all different kind of genres, but I like things with a twist. I recently discovered the author Christina Henry. She’s very good. I like it when the world we know is turned upside down, but I value credibility above all else. Not in the sense of story, but the way the story is told. Credibility and language.

 

When did you start to write?
I began writing when I was 15 years old and I was terrible at it. But I kept on trying and trying and trying. It took me seven years and fifteen turned-down manuscripts before I finally got my fist book published. But I was never close to giving up – on the contrary. It became an obsession for me to write something that was good enough to get published. Which finally happened in 2000 when I was 22. Since then I’ve published more than 40 books.

 

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Oh, I don’t want to be judge, juror and executioner of other books. There are good books and there are bad books, and my focus is writing the best books that I can write. But a fun fact: When I wrote book 4 in The Great Devil War it was actually meant as the final book in the series. But I wasn’t quite satisfied with the ending and I discovered that I wasn’t done with the story, so I wrote two more books – and a new ending to the story. The right ending.

 

Is there a book you wish you had written?
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. A simple, but very powerful idea written in a simple, but very powerful way. Man, how I cried, when I turned the last page.

 

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
I think my autobiography would be boring as hell so I would never write that. But maybe that would be the title: Welcome to Hell 😊

 

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Oh, man, that’s a tough one. Or maybe not. Coffee in The Prancing Pony with Gandalf.

 

What are you working on right now?
I’ve written six books about the superhero Antboy. A story about an ordinary boy who gets bullied at school. One day he gets bitten by a very special ant and develop the most amazing powers: He becomes very strong, he can climb walls, his body is like a suit of armor – and he pees acid. The books have been turned into three movies (you can catch them on Netflix, they’re low budget, but high on charm). It’s been seven years since I published the last Antboy-book, but now my little superhero finally returns. There is going to be three more Antboy-books, which comes out next year – it’ll be the grand finale 😊

 

Tell us about your last release?
The Angel of Evil, which is book 4 in The Great Devil War series, has just come out. The series begins with “The Devil’s Apprentice”, in which Philip – a good boy – accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The story of Philip’s adventures in Hell continues in book 2 and 3 – “The Die of Death” and “The Wrongful Death” and the reader also gets to visit Death’s domain, Paradise, Hades, and other underworlds. In book 4 – “The Angel of Evil” – the Great Devil War breaks out. This is where all hell breaks loose …

 

Do you have a new release due?
A few months ago I published a book called GRIMM, co-written with Danish writer Benni Bodker. The book consists of ten of the Grimm brothers best and most gruesome stories, which we have rewritten in a way that’s faithful to the stories but told with our words and our imagination. A very beautiful book, illustrated by one of Denmark’s best illustrators John Kenn Mortensen (check him out on Instagram, he’s awesome!) Me and Benni have re-written ten more fairy tales and GRIMM II is my next release in Denmark. Hopefully the books will be out in English some day.

 

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Take my family out to dinner. Drink a beer. Feeling proud.

 

How can readers keep in touch with you?
You can sign up for my newsletter on my website http://www.kennethbandersen.com (and don’t worry, I won’t be spamming you). I also post a lot on Facebook (@WriterKennethBAndersen) where I sometimes do giveaways. The Great Devil War also has its own FB-page – @TheGreatDevilWar. I love hearing from readers and do my best to answer every single one.

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Kenneth! 🙂

The Devil’s Apprentice cover

Blurb

Multi-award winning series, published in more than 10 countries, movie rights optioned!

Welcome to a world like no other!

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy.

Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training Philip in the ways of evil. Philip is terrible at being bad, but when he falls in love with the she-devil Satina and experiences the powerful forces of love and jealousy, the task becomes much easier.

Philip finds both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld–but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

The Great Devil War is a gripping and humorous tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective, making the reader laugh and think. It’s filled with biblical and historical characters and set in a world beyond your wildest dreams. Or nightmares …

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/2pcbFlT

 

happy reading 🙂

 

Run by Jackie McLean @JackieJamxx #BlogTour #Interview #LoveBooksTours

Welcome to my stop on Jackie McLean’s Run blog tour, with Love Books Tours!

Run tour

Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with Jackie McLean…..

Run author

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

 

I live in Glasgow and as well as writing, I work full-time. My career background is pretty varied (I’ve been a government economist, a political lobbyist, and I’ve run a pet shop). It’s a bit like my writing habits – I like to jump from one thing to another, to try new things. I keep actively involved in all sorts of crime fiction events, and have spoken at Bloody Scotland, Newcastle Noir, Noir at the Bar Edinburgh, Crime at the Castle and Literally @ Newbattle. My third book (Run) has recently been published. Along with my first two (Toxic and Shadows), it forms a series featuring DI Donna Davenport.

 

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

 

Ideas for books come from everywhere – even from dreams! Sometimes a news story will catch my attention and spark off an idea, or something might happen that makes me wonder ‘what if…?’

 

I wrote Toxic because I wanted to base a story in my home town (Arbroath), and the idea behind Shadows came about when a friend asked me to write about some worrying things she was seeing at work. But, of course, the best source of story ideas come from eerywigging on other people’s conversations. Yes, you should never trust a crime writer!

 

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

 

Haha, good question! I generally don’t base my characters on people I know, except for one: the character Graeme Hunter in Toxic is a composite of two people I really didn’t like. I’d better not say any more…

 

How do you pick your charactersnames?

 

That’s an interesting one – sometimes it’s fairly easy. I might spot an interesting name on the credits at the end of a TV programme, or I might run through the alphabet for ideas. But sometimes in my books I’m looking to name characters whose ethnic origins are in parts of the world I’m not that familiar with, and so more research is needed to be accurate and properly sensitive to cultural norms. For instance, I might want to name a character who’s a thirty year old male from Ghana. I’ll do some reading on naming conventions, popular names for the time period, and whether names reflect different religions or other divisions. Then, when I pick what seems to be a suitable name, I’ll do some Google searching to check that people really do exist with that name, and that it’s not so unusual as to be unrealistic.

 

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

 

I work full-time, so getting time to write is difficult. With various family commitments, a set writing routine is out of the question, too. What I tend to do now, and I’ve found this works quite well for me, is to set myself a weekly word count target, and I write as and when I can to try and meet it.

 

When it comes to writing books, I tend to plan one-third of the storyline at a time. Planning out the full book can waste time, as I find when I get around a third of the way in, new characters and events have come into the story that change how the next part should go.

 

A crime fiction novel is generally around 80 – 90,000 words long. I write a first rough draft of about 50,000 words, and take some time to consider whether all the pieces of the story are in the right place – like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. I’ll then re-work the draft to about 70-80,000 words, which I give to my partner to read. She’s an avid reader, and is very good at spotting what works and what doesn’t. I’ll then do a further re-draft based on her thoughts, and once that’s polished up, it’ll be about 85,000 words and ready for sending out. In theory the process could be done in a year, but life often gets in the way…

 

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

 

  • Fannie Flagg (she’s a fantastic storyteller, and her books ooze Southern comfort);
  • Barbara Kingsolver (such talented writing);
  • Sarah Waters (her amazing attention to detail transports you into the historical settings she writes about);
  • Denise Mina (just superb);
  • Kathy Reichs (a real life forensic anthropologist writing crime fiction, wow!).

 

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

 

I did meet Kathy Reichs a couple of years ago at Bloody Scotland. I was armed with a whole set of questions (such as, ‘how on earth do you find the time?’), but when it came to the moment, I clammed up and wasn’t able to utter a sound!

 

Were you a big reader as a child?

 

A huge reader, and still am. Very early on, I had read every book in the school library… except for the Ladybird Book of the Human Ear, and eventually I caved in and read that, too. I was a frequent visitor to the town library, where I devoured pretty much everything I could lay my hands on, from the Mrs Pepperpot books to Solzhenitsyn.

 

When did you start to write?

 

I can’t really remember – I’ve always written as a hobby. When I was 14 I finished writing a novel that was a satire set in the aftermath of a third world war. The storyline was that the leaders of a few countries decide to hold a conference to figure out the way ahead, but one by one something happens to them and they send a substitute. Each of the substitutes thinks they’re the only ‘fraud’ and when the real leaders are ready to join the conference, they have to decide whether to ‘fess up. The manuscript is long lost, and I think about it often. Maybe I’ll re-visit the idea one day…

 

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

 

Oh, I hate a sad ending, so I’d change all the sad endings into happy ones.

 

Is there a book you wish you had written?

 

If I could pick just one, it would be Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. I was amazed by it, and it’s a book that’s stayed with me about 20 years on from reading it. An accessible course in philosophy, written as a novel – just wow! It should be compulsory reading, and I so wish I could write something even a fraction as clever.

 

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

 

It would be something along the lines of, Oops…

 

What are you working on right now?

 

I’m giving DI Donna Davenport a wee break, and I’ve started writing a brand new series. It features disgraced journalist Suzy Sangster, and she has a difficult relationship with her sister who’s a police officer (but might also be psychic), which gets her embroiled in things she shouldn’t get involved in.

 

Tell us about your last release?

 

Run is the finale to a trilogy featuring DI Donna Davenport. The first book, Toxic, tells the story of a desperate race against the clock to locate the illegal storage of MIC (the toxin responsible for the Bhopal disaster in 1984), and the escalating conflict between Donna and her colleague DI Jonas Evanton. In Shadows, Donna is drawn into the the murky world of people smuggling and organ harvesting, while waiting for Evanton to unleash his revenge. He does this in Run, by orchestrating a series of incidents that bring the police force to its knees. If there’s to be any hope of avoiding further bloodshed, Donna has to decide whether to accept his terms.

 

How can readers keep in touch with you?

 

On Twitter it’s @JackieJamxx

I have an author page on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/WriterJackie/

And there’s my website (with the odd blog and free short stories) on https://jackiemcleanauthor.com

I do love to chat!

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Jackie 🙂

Run cover

Blurb

RUN THE GAUNTLET
DI Donna Davenport and her team are under pressure.

With the hunt on for the country’s most notorious cop killer and an ongoing complex international investigation, the murder of a local thug during a football match is the last thing the police need.

But as more incidents overload the police, and fear brings vigilante mobs onto the streets, suspicion grows that the mayhem is being orchestrated.

CUT AND RUN
One man can make it stop. With the city heading towards chaos and disaster, Donna prepares to abandon caution and the rules, even if it means she is ostracised by her own team.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/33E1w00

 

happy reading 🙂

 

In The Wake by Helen Trevorrow @helentrevorrow @UrbaneBooks #BlogTour #Interview #LoveBooksTours

Welcome to my stop on Helen Trevorrow’s In The Wake blog tour, with Love Books Tours!

In The Wake tour

Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with Helen Trevorrow…..

In The Wake author

ABOUT HELEN TREVORROW

Helen Trevorrow is a graduate of the 2016 Faber Academy creative writing programme. She studied at Leeds University and has worked in marketing and public relations in London. She is a specialist food and drink PR. Helen’s debut novel IN THE WAKE is a feminist crime thriller about family, unrealised trauma and alcoholism. Helen has ghost-written many articles for newspapers, magazines and websites. She lives in Brighton, Sussex with her wife and child.

 

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

It has to have a foot in reality, and I have to be able to relate it to my life somehow. Where it progresses from there can be anything but I do like to start with a character. Ideas usually stem from everyday occurrences where you ask, what if? It will take some time for an idea to take hold, and show itself more fully.

 

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

I never write exact versions of people onto the page, but my characters will usually be (what I call) an amalgam – a bundle of two or three people that I know. I may add in a characteristic that is real and a habit of someone else that is close to me. It might be the way that they stand, or fiddle with their hair, or a phrase that they constantly repeat. People never ever recognise their own habits,or any trace of themselves in a story, but many people think (incorrectly) that characters are based on them when they are not.

 

How do you pick your characters’ names?

I love coming up with names. It takes me a long time and I can get to draft three or four before I get the right combination. I like alliteration and punchy names that stick. I try to avoid putting people off by picking anything too posh or too rough. I like my female protagonists to have a strong one-syllable name. I had one character in In The Wake who was changed shortly before publication, so I certainly think about her as being called something different. If it’s a peripheral character then I don’t name them because I don’t want the reader to be drawn into having a deeper relationship with a named character because the name lends meaning so it is important to get it right.

 

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

My writing style has morphed from an organic process into something that is much more planned. After an initial idea I will start to write from a couple of different points of view and try out the voice. At the same time I will work on the main plot points so I know the overall journey. This will morph into a chunk by chunk detailed plan of action and character. Only then will I start to write properly. It will certainly take a year to write and possibly longer but once I start this phase there is an overwhelming drive to write it all down. I use google docs and write / edit from my pc / laptop and phone. Once I complete a first draft I set it aside for anything up to two months, then read it and make notes, and update plot. I then edit for a few months. At that stage I will let a trusted friend read and critique. This is usually my friend, the author, Dan Dalton. He will give me a critique and I will make further changes. I think of it like cooking; reducing a stock or a sauce; bringing the story down so that what is left is bursting with flavour.

 

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

So many great writers that I admire and envy but my favourites are all women: Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, Naomi Alderman, Nell Zink and Toni Morrison.

 

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

I am lucky enough to know lots of authors but I have been a lifelong fan of Sarah Waters and I’d like to ask her how far she would be prepared to go reframing women and sexuality in history – where else could she go? How far back?

 

Were you a big reader as a child?

Yes, and I’m looking through some of my old books now with my daughter. I am shocked how sexist my favourite picture book, Usbourne’s Wizards, Princes and Gnomes is. It’s full of ‘ugly, fat princesses with moles on their noses’ who can never get husbands.

 

When did you start to write?

I started writing at age 8 (The Adventures of Ginger), and had my first novel published aged 42.

 

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

Wow, I would never rewrite someone elses work, however I do love a bit of fan fiction and once wrote extensive additions to Grey’s Anatomy!

 

Is there a book you wish you had written?

I am green with envy at many books; and bursting with admiration for many others. The only books I wish I had written are my own, I wish that they could be better, that I could write as fluidly and compellingly as many other writers. The writers I really admire for their simplicity are Alice Munro and Anita Brookner who tell a story slowly with a thundering punch at the end delivering so much more than you bargained for. Anita Brookner’s, A Start In Life is so sad, simple and beautifully written. I loved this book. It is so compelling that it draws you in and long after you feel so sentimental for the world and what could have been.

 

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

The Accidental Publicist

 

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

I’ve been reading a lot of hard core sci fi recently so I think it would be interesting to have Breq from Ann Leckie’s award winning Ancillary Sword series. Breq is the combined consciousness of a space battleship – could make for an interesting lunch?

 

What are you working on right now?

I am currently writing a sci-fi thriller based in Brighton. I’m in the latter stages of refining, editing and polishing. I’m very excited about it.

 

Tell us about your last release?

In The Wake is a feminist crime thriller about family, unrealised trauma, alcoholism, secrecy, and strong women teetering on the edge of disaster. The main character, Kay, devastated by her mother’s death, is struggling to maintain her high-flying career. When called upon to handle a gruesome discovery in London’s Royal Albert Dock on behalf of her client, she soon becomes entangled in the mystery she’s been brought in to manage. As she spirals out of control, long suppressed memories surface. What lengths will she go to in order to right the wrongs of her past?

 

Do you have a new release due?

I am working on a speculative thriller but there’s still a lot to do!

 

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

        I love to celebrate with a nice boozy lunch. My ideal place for that would be Riddle and Finn’s on Brighton seafront.

 

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @helentrevorrow or visit www.helentrevorrow.net

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Helen 🙂

In The Wake cover

Blurb

When a body is found floating in London’s Royal Albert Dock, successful public relations expert Kay Christie is sent to quiet the media, but things get complicated when it emerges that she knew the victim.

As events spiral out of control, Kay discovers that those close to her may be harbouring another secret – the story of a missing girl. Can Kay discover the truth before her life unravels and she risks losing everything?

In the Wake questions whether we can ever truly leave our pasts behind and explores the lengths that we will go to protect the people that we love.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/303×118

happy reading 🙂

 

A Phoenix Rising by Vivienne Brereton @VivienneBreret1 #BlogTour #Interview @LoveBooksTours

Welcome to my stop on Vivienne Brereton’s A Phoenix Rising blog tour, with Love Books Tours!

A Phoenix Rising tour

Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with Vivienne Brereton…..

A Phoenix Rising author

Thank you, Kerry, for inviting me onto your Blog today and taking the time to ask me some questions about my writer’s journey and my book. ‘The House of the Red Duke’. Book One. ‘A Phoenix Rising.’

About me:
I have always loved the Tudors, even when I was a small child. My parents even gave me the nickname ‘the little Tudor madam’ because I wouldn’t stop talking about them. I followed up this childhood and teenage passion with a degree in Medieval History. As an adult I’ve travelled widely with my husband and three sons (always working with words in some form) and have (for better or sometimes worse) lived in six countries in my life. It wasn’t always easy living in ‘challenging countries’ but I could always escape to the sixteenth century if the going got tough! Perhaps that’s why I wrote a novel based in four countries: England, France, Scotland and the Burgundian Netherlands because it reflected my own experience. Happily, my husband and I now live in a small French village which was built at the time of the French King in my novel.

1) Where did/do you get your ideas from?
The idea for my novel was a natural follow-on from my interest in the Tudors. The central character in my novel is the incomparable Thomas Howard, a grand old man of nearly eighty in the first part. He is the ‘Phoenix Rising’ because his life was full of trials and tribulations which he did his best to overcome. Two of his granddaughters, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were not so fortunate. He is the focal point of the novel but the story is told through the eyes of several others. I tried to produce a large tapestry with Thomas in the centre, joined to all the others by brightly coloured threads. I have read very widely; visited historical sites; museums; listened to medieval music; watched TV and movies; even cooked like a Tudor! All of this is to get a true flavour of the period. For my readers, I’ve even included a few original recipes, tried and tested by me.

2) Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
That’s a very interesting question, Kerry. I once read somewhere that the author is every character in the novel, or at least a facet of each one. I can see that but I was surprised that no, I didn’t base my characters on anyone at all. However, I can see a little of myself in Cecily, the young Cornish noblewoman who is about to discover she is to be the bride in an arranged marriage she knows nothing about.

3) How do you pick the names of your characters?
Another great question. As it’s a Tudor novel, the names have to be of their time but as there weren’t as many names back then, it could be tricky. I’ve just written an article about Tudor names and will be putting it on my website soon. I also had to choose names from the other three countries in which the novel is based, and again had to trawl through lists of sixteenth century names to ensure they were accurate.

4) Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I’m not a massive planner but have a very clear idea where the book is going. I love that feeling when you sit down in front of your computer, place your fingers on the keyboard and wonder where you’re going to be taken that day. Time passes very quickly.

5) Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Mm. I hope it’s okay if I keep it to historical as that’s always been my favourite genre. I can flit from serious to light depending on my mood. I love immersing myself in beautifully written prose as well as speed reading a great historical romp. My top five ever historical authors would have to be:
1 Anya Seton for her incredible ‘Green Darkness.’ It was written back in 1972 and was her last novel and most popular. It is a novel about reincarnation, switching between Tudor times and modern day.
2 Daphne du Maurier for ‘The House on the Strand’ 1972 A time slip novel set in one of my favourite places in the world: Cornwall.
3 Barbara Erskine for ‘The Lady of Hay’ 1986, another time slip novel. I’m beginning to see a pattern here.
4 Diana Gabaldon for ‘Outlander’ 1991. One of the best-selling book series of all time.
5 Elizabeth Chadwick for ‘The Wild Hunt’ 1990 For me, this is a timeless romance, still as fresh today after all those years.

6) If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Anya Seton. I’d love to ask her how she managed to produce such amazing novels able to transport the reader back in time. The detail is quite extraordinary, and all this way before the internet was invented.

7)Were you a big reader as a child?
Absolutely. Again, historical novels were a staple. ‘The ship that flew’ by Hilda Lewis and ‘The Wool-Pack’ by Cynthia Harnett. And of course anything by Enid Blyton etc; Followed by Jean Plaidy.

8) When did you start to write?
In my early twenties. I think I’ve still got the old notebooks somewhere with stories planned and begun…but not finished.

9) If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
‘Gone with the wind’. I’d give it a happy ending.

10) Is there a book you wish you’d written?
‘Outlander’.

11) If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
‘Home is where the heart is’.

12) If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Rhett Butler. And I definitely wouldn’t invite him round for coffee!

13) What are you working on right now?
The second book in the series: ‘The Lizard lurking in the Grass.’ What Thomas and all my characters do next.

14) Do you have a new release date due?
Sometime in 2020.

15) What did you do to celebrate on publication day?
I drank champagne with my family and friends at the book launch in my local bookshop.

16) How can readers keep in touch with you?
On Twitter @VivienneBreret1 or via my website http://www.viviennebrereton.com

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Vivienne 🙂

Thank you so much, Kerry. I’ve really enjoyed answering your brilliant questions.

A Phoenix Rising cover

Blurb

“If I have anything to do with it, we Howards will live forever.” Thomas Howard Charismatic head of one of the most powerful Houses in Tudor England. An indomitable old man approaching eighty: soldier, courtier, politician, a ‘phoenix’ rising from the ashes. After a calamitous period of disgrace, the Howards, renowned for their good looks and charm, are once more riding high at the court of Henry VIII. Set against the backdrop of the extraordinary 1520 ‘Field of Cloth of Gold’, it is a tale of ambition, love, and intrigue, with Thomas at the centre of this intricate tapestry Will Thomas’s bold vow be fulfilled? Danger stalks the corridors of the royal courts of Europe. Uneasy lies the head beneath a crown. Every other ruler – a fickle bedfellow…or sworn enemy. The action takes place in England, Scotland, and France. On either side of the Narrow Sea, four young lives are interwoven, partly unaware of each other, and certainly oblivious to what Dame Fortune has in store for them. “Nicolas de La Barre laid his lute to one side, hardly bothering to stifle a yawn of boredom. Nevertheless, he couldn’t escape the fact he’d agreed to take on a new wife….” Explosive family secrets are concealed behind the ancient walls of castles in three lands. But… “There are no secrets that time does not reveal.”

Buy Link 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Phoenix-Rising-House-Red-Duke/dp/2956653113/ref=sr_1_3?crid=LI2POF1E22OM&keywords=a+phoenix+rising+vivienne+brereton&qid=1571338420&sprefix=Phoenix+Rising+Vi%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-3  

happy reading 🙂