Blog Tour: After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott @franwritesstuff @TitanBooks

Release date: March 5, 2019

Publisher: Titan

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb:

Two solar eclipses. Two missing girls.

Sixteen years ago a little girl was abducted during the darkness of a solar eclipse while her older sister Cassie was supposed to be watching her. She was never seen again. When a local girl goes missing just before the next big eclipse, Cassie – who has returned to her home town to care for her ailing grandmother – suspects the disappearance is connected to her sister: that whoever took Olive is still out there. But she needs to find a way to prove it, and time is running out. 

Good morning everyone! As part of the blog tour for After the Eclipse I have a fabulous guest post from the author to share about powerful places!

Guest Post:

Powerful places

 

As part of my research for After the Eclipse, which is set in a small English town cobbled from some of my favourite Derbyshire villages (and which also has a strong preoccupation with the superstitious) I spent a lot of time reading about common superstitions people hold, and how they differ around the world. For instance, did you know that many 19th century Vermont farmhouses were built with slanted windows so witches couldn’t fly in? Or that in Egypt leaving scissors open is bad luck? And sleeping with them beneath your pillow is believed to prevent nightmares? Superstitions are a part of most cultures, and they vary from place to place.

 

Solar eclipses, it seems, are viewed differently from culture to culture but the consensus is generally negative. In Bishop’s Green they have become synonymous with loss and grief. But on a lighter note: below is a fun collection of what I like to call Powerful Places located around the world. These are places you’d definitely want to see for yourself if you were nearby.

 

1. The Charles Bridge – Prague, Czech Republic

The 14th-century bridge that connects Old Town and Mala Strana is lined with statues – an impressive sight to behold. Perhaps most interestingly, a travel superstition that endures is that rubbing the plaque below the statue of the martyred St. John of Nepomuk will bring you good luck and a safe return to the city. I visited Prague a few years ago and even I wasn’t immune. I’ll think myself very lucky if I get to go back!

 

 

(photo credit: https://www.amazingczechia.com/sights/charles-bridge/)

 

2. The Blarney Stone – Cork, Ireland

Here’s one for the introverts among us. An old superstition says that if you climb the steps of Blarney Castle, lean backwards and upside down, and kiss the Blarney stone (a rock that’s been in the castle since 1446) then you will be blessed with the gift of the gab. That is, the ability to flatter and speak with eloquence – perfect for salesmen, or booksellers, might I add! It used to be that visitors would risk life and limb to kiss the stone, hanging precariously over the edge with the aid of an assistant, but now there’s a very sensible guard rail. Clearly a research trip to Ireland is in order, though I don’t fancy the upside down part…

 

3. Carnac Stones – Brittany, France

In Brittany more than 3,000 stones have stood in careful rows since as early as 4500 BCE. One popular legend has it that when the Roman army was marching on Brittany the wizard Merlin appeared and turned them to stone. Or they could simply have existed to delineate a sacred space and lead people towards an area of worship, but where’s the fun in that? As with many of these megaliths, it’s the mystery that has always intrigued me.

 

 

(Image credit: https://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/06/the-carnac-stone-alignments.html)

 

4. Hagia Sophia – Istanbul, Turkey

Christian cathedral, Ottoman mosque, and now modern museum, the Hagia Sophia is renowned for its stunning mosaics and revolutionary dome. But perhaps what intrigues me most is the legend that if you stick your thumb in a small hole in the “Weeping Column” and it emerges damp then all of your illnesses and ailments will be cured! Mhmm maybe I won’t do that.

 

5. Stonehenge – Wiltshire, England

No list on Powerful Places would be complete without it! I went here one summer and it was stunning. The size of the stones is remarkable (each one is 7 feet high and weighs 25 tons!), and you do feel a little buzz, although whether that’s just the reverent atmosphere is hard to tell. Once again some legends credit that fabled wizard Merlin with its creation, but any which way you look at it, it’s something special. The Triplet Stones in After the Eclipse have nothing on this beauty but they’re certainly inspired by it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image credit:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/06/20/stonehenge-builders-used-pythagoras-theorem-2000-years-greek/)

Blog Tour: The Man on the Roof by Michael Stephenson @filmbooksbball #TheManOnTheRoof #TMOTR

Release date: June 22, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they’ve done terrible, terrible things.

“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk’s dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When detectives divine blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for.

Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.

A taut domestic mystery-suspense thriller, The Man On The Roof propels the reader through a tangled, volatile and suspenseful thicket of deception, murder and friends, inviting the reader to discover the murderer and who hides which lie. First there was Gone Girl. Then there was The Girl on the Train. Now, there’s The Man On The Roof.

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Man on the Roof! I have a guest post from the author to share today.

Guest Post:

The Great Lure of Mystery: Why we’re Enamored with Mysterious People

Eve probably only ate the fruit because she wanted to know what it would taste like, or why it was forbidden. Scientists say that it’s one of the reasons we even began to build tools, and also why we were able to evolve to dominate the world. It’s why we learn, why we ask questions when we look up at the stars and why we sometimes find ourselves eavesdropping conversations of strangers on trains, planes and buses. Curiosity is to the brain what appetite is to the stomach, and it is no better, no easier satiated than by solving a good mystery. But why, out of all the wonderful mysteries in this great big universe, are we most enamored by the one that seems most easily understood: people? That is the great modern curiosity.

“Every one is a mystery, sometimes even unto themselves.” That is the premise on which I based my latest novel The Man On The Roof. A psychological mystery-thriller, The Man On The Roof follows in the footsteps of other recent hits like Gone Girl, In A Dark, Dark Wood, The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window, challenging readers to discover who is lying and who has really committed the heinous crime. Here, it is in its simplest form that we find out why we love not only a good mystery but a good mysterious person.

We’ve all heard the saying a woman must maintain an aura of mystery about her when it comes to courting. In other words, ladies can’t share all their secrets with their beau even after marriage. Why? Because he’ll get bored? Is that it? Are we obsessed with mystery simply because it keeps us from being bored. Maybe, but I believe there’s more there.

A good mystery keeps us active, keeps the brain churning, invites us into a world of new experiences. All of those things counter boredom. They also help us to think, learn, desire. When a potential lover maintains a mystery about them, it makes us work and shows us just how interested we are in keeping them. It’s a primitive form of testing our heart. Still, it goes deeper than that.

Mysteries in book form have a set structure. Authors introduce the players, set the stage, give them a puzzle to solve (a murder in the case of The Man On The Roof), then go about deconstructing the way and/or reasoning behind said puzzle. There is a concrete beginning, middle and end. In that way, mysteries supply us with structure to chaos in a world that increasingly seems to have little structure or cause for any effect. These fictional stories allow us to see justice done when in real life real justice is such a fleeting concept. But a psychological mystery-thriller is often different.

A psychological mystery-thriller thrives on the idea of people as mysteries. Instead of always supplying justice, they give us an often bleak look into the mind of the person who committed the crime. One might think that morbid, yet we’ve become engrossed in this genre of mystery now more than ever. Look on TV and you’ll find a glut of true crime stories, mysteries that didn’t always end with the right verdict. These allow us to sit in judgment of those around us, comparing and contrasting our own life to theirs. We can lose ourselves in wondering if we’d do the same as them, in trying to piece together the puzzle of a person.

Speaking of, there’s a feeling of accomplishment that we get from solving mysteries, from learning something new, from putting together the last puzzle. Time drips away at such a fast interval that we often need something to stake within the ground in order to feel as if we aren’t wasting it. During our schooldays we would burst at the seams at having accomplished passing from one grade to the next. There was always something to look forward to. In adulthood, there are not as many milestones. Years can float by where one feels as if they’ve done nothing. Mysteries give us a definite goal to achieve before the novel’s counterpart does. People are similar in that their mystery unfolds to us like a video game. We are able to notch our progress by recalling just how much we’ve been allowed to learn or “solve” about this person. It’s one thing to look out your window and see your newlywed neighbors and think they are happy. It’s an entirely different thing to look out and see her cheating. Level up! You just got a secret achievement.

Ultimately, we are drawn to mysterious people and look forward to the unknown in other humans because they make us feel and do it so effortlessly. We feel accomplished. We feel aroused. We feel a little smarter. We feel a little more accepted. We feel we’ve learned something. We feel a little less bored with our own lives. We feel alive! A person is a most pure mystery because they’re always changing, always challenging, always filled with secrets just waiting to be found out and explored. And in doing such exploration, we discover just as much about ourselves as we do about them. Mysteries, and mysterious people allow us to remember that we are so much more even on days when we think less of ourselves. I believe that everyone is a mystery, sometimes even unto themselves, so it is our duty to go out, have an adventure and discover the secrets we didn’t know we had. But first read The Man On The Roof (tee-hee)!

Check out the other stops on the tour!

Blog Tour: Forget Her Name by Jane Holland #GuestPost @janeholland1 @rararesources

Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK

Release date: January 25, 2018

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

Rachel’s dead and she’s never coming back. Or is she?

As she prepares for her wedding to Dominic, Catherine has never been happier or more excited about her future. But when she receives an anonymous package—a familiar snow globe with a very grisly addition—that happiness is abruptly threatened by secrets from her past.

Her older sister, Rachel, died on a skiing holiday as a child. But Rachel was no angel: she was vicious and highly disturbed, and she made Catherine’s life a misery. Catherine has spent years trying to forget her dead sister’s cruel tricks. Now someone has sent her Rachel’s snow globe—the first in a series of ominous messages…

While Catherine struggles to focus on her new life with Dominic, someone out there seems intent on tormenting her. But who? And why now? The only alternative is what she fears most.

Is Rachel still alive?

I’m so excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Forget Her Name today! I have a fabulous guest post from the author to share.

Guest Post:

A Day in Your Life by Jane Holland

Although I do the same things most days, the order in which I do them is usually different, and that’s the way I like it. I enjoy the routine and discipline of daily writing. But I’m easily bored, and anything too same-old or rigid would drive me crazy. So though I write every day, for anything between one to five hours, it tends to happen in a different place and at a different time from day-to-day.

I get up early with the kids, two of whom go to school. My first hour after they’ve left is usually spent on answering emails, dealing with admin, and social media (a must these days for writers who want to find and keep a readership). I then either write during the day, or put it off until the evening, depending on daily circumstances.

Some days I go out to a café and write there, straight to my laptop. In spring and summer, I sit on my decking in the sunshine and write long-hand, much to the fascination of our two cats, who often come to see what I’m doing! I also rent a Cornish beach hut fifteen minutes away, with a stove to make coffee, where I can work all day, weather permitting.

Sometimes I sit up in bed to work. Sometimes I use my desk. Sometimes I stay up to write after everyone else is in bed, late into the night. Occasionally, I will dictate rather than type, to save my fingers!

I take numerous hotel breaks where I work flat-out over the kids’ half-term or a long weekend. I also rent a cottage twice a year for a week or two, and hunker down there on my own, achieving a great swathe of fast writing without interruption while my husband holds the fort.

After a year’s break, I’m currently home-schooling my youngest daughter again – I have five kids altogether – so that’s made work a little complicated. Luckily, Indigo also loves cafés and the beach hut! So we sit opposite each other, and I write my book for an hour or two while she does school work or perhaps some sketching. (Art is her favourite subject, and she’s very talented at it; she wants to be a professional artist when she grows up.) During school days, I tend to write later in the day, so I can spend more time teaching her. Then I catch up with my word count late at night or at weekends!

As you can see, my only constant is the fact that I get the writing done on a daily basis. Everything else is subject to change! My minimum daily word count is 1000 words, which is an industry standard, but I always hope for double that. On good days, or on retreat, I write nearer five thousand. I tend to edit as I go along, getting everything as perfect as possible, rather than write a ‘dirty fast’ draft. This is because I get bored with a book after it’s done, and hate rewrites!

In the afternoon, all my kids return to the house, and things get too rowdy for work. I usually cook the children their meal earlier than ours, so I spend at least an hour, sometimes more, in the kitchen most evenings. But that means I get to hear what everyone has done during the day, which I love, being a very hands-on mum. Often our conversations turn into an impromptu lesson about politics, history or science … a hang-over from the days when all my kids were home-schooled! But my teenage twin boys are autistic, and love accumulating facts, so they seem to enjoy the extra learning time.

Later, I eat a meal with my husband, and we watch the news, or a film or television show together. That’s an important time for us, to reconnect and share anecdotes about our day. We’re both screen fiends, so we’re often also online while watching a boxset or Netflix, sharing news developments or other internet stuff.

If I’m up against it with a deadline, I might then crack on with my novel or network on social media or write a blog post like this for a couple more hours after my husband’s gone to bed. (He has to get up much earlier than me!) Otherwise, I’ll go to bed and devour a couple of chapters of my current reading book until my eyelids close …

And that’s essentially a typical day for me as a novelist.

Love getting a peek into a typical day for Jane, thanks so much for sharing!

About the Author:

Jane Holland is a Gregory Award–winning poet and novelist who also writes commercial fiction under the pseudonyms Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Beth Good and Hannah Coates. Her debut thriller, Girl Number One, hit #1 in the UK Kindle Store in December 2015. Jane lives with her husband and young family near the North Cornwall/Devon border. A homeschooler, her hobbies include photography and growing her own vegetables.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/janeholland1

https://www.facebook.com/jane.holland.1253

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaneHollandAuthor/

Blog Tour: The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd @AmyLloydWrites #TheInnocentWife

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: January 25, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

A young schoolteacher falls for a man on Death Row whom she believes is falsely accused, only to begin wondering after their marriage – and his release.

Twenty years ago Dennis Danson was arrested for the brutal murder of Holly Michaels in Florida’s Red River County. Now he’s the subject of a Making a Murderer-style true crime documentary that’s taking the world by storm – the filmmakers are whipping up a frenzy of coverage to uncover the truth and free the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

Samantha may be thousands of miles away in Britain, but she is as invested in Dennis’s case as any of his lawyers. Perhaps even more so, as her letters to the convicted killer grow ever more intimate. Soon she is leaving her life behind to marry Danson and campaign, as his wife, for his release.

But when the campaign is successful, and Dennis is freed, events begin to suggest that he may not be so innocent after all. How many girls went missing in Red River, and what does Dennis really know?

I’m so delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Innocent Wife! I have a wonderful guest post from the author to share.

Guest Post:

My Top 5 True Crime Reads

This list does not include In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. We all know we’re supposed to read In Cold Blood and we totally will! No need to keep banging on about it here.

1. Killing For Company – Brian Masters

Brian Masters has written a few great true crime books but this was my personal favourite. It’s about Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer active in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s. Nilsen murdered young men and kept the bodies in his home, dressing them up and sitting them on the sofa for company. If that isn’t the darkest thing you can imagine then I am afraid of you.

Brian Masters shows an incredible amount of empathy towards Nilsen and a lot of people have been critical about the way in which he writes about him in the book. It’s a unique dynamic between writer and subject and offers a deep insight into the mind of a serial killer.

2. The Stranger Beside Me – Ann Rule

There will never be another true crime like this. Ann Rule was an established true crime author when one of her friends (a fellow volunteer on the crisis helpline she worked at a few nights a week) became a suspect in a series of local murders. Surely good-looking, mild-mannered Ted Bundy couldn’t be involved in anything like that?

How much Ann Rule suspected Bundy’s guilt and the ethical problems that arise from her continued friendship with him only makes this book more fascinating.

3. Columbine – Dave Cullen

The Columbine high school shooting was one of the most shocking crimes of my lifetime.

In an attempt to understand the horrific killings a narrative was quickly written to explain the motives of the teenage boys responsible. We were led to believe these were misfits, bullied relentlessly by their classmates, and taking revenge in the most brutal way imaginable. It was a fake narrative perpetuated by Bowling for Columbine and one that made me, as a teenager, believe that I had anything in common with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

This book completely destroys that narrative and offers a well-researched account of what happened and what really motivated the killers.

4. The Adversary – Emmanuel Carrère

One day Jean-Claude Romand killed his entire family with a shot gun and set fire to their home in order to cover his tracks. Friends are shocked and confused. Jean-Claude can’t possibly have done this. He’s a loving father and husband, a doctor working with the World Health Organization, a perfectly happy and ordinary man.

The Adversary tells the story of a double-life and seeks to understand Jean-Claude on a deeper level. A bizarre and dark story handled with genuine class and sensitivity.

5. The Fourth State of Matter – Jo Ann Beard

The less I say about this, the better. It’s my favourite personal essay/short story of all time and you can read it on the New Yorker website.

Blog Tour: The Wrong Side of Twenty Five by Kate Armitage @itskatearmitage @HelloChickLit

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: December 28, 2017

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

With newsfeeds full of perfect pouts, hot-dog legs and the self-proclaimed hashtag-blessed, it’s hard not to feel inadequate. How has everyone figured out how to live their best life except you?

That’s what Kylie wants to know. She thought she would spend her twenty-fifth birthday having a mini-break not a mini-breakdown. After an evening of finger-food and snide remarks, Kylie decides that things must change. Naturally, Alexa disagrees. She doesn’t think anything needs to change and is quite happy plodding on with her best friend by her side. So, when everything changes for the better for Alexa, while it’s going from bad to worse for Kylie; will it tear them apart?

Hey guys, I hope the New Year is treating everyone right so far! I have a fabulous guest post from the author to share today.

Guest Post:

Girl-Meets-Girl

The Wrong Side of Twenty-Five is a love story. It might not be obvious looking at the title, front cover or blurb, but it is. It’s a love story, but not a romance. It’s not a romance and it’s not a boy-meets-girl. In fact, it’s a girl-meets-girl. It’s a girl-meets-girl-and-they-become-lifelong-friends kind of non-romantic love story. Wait, did I just create a new genre?

When I started writing this story, I knew I didn’t want it to be a romance. There’s nothing wrong with romance or stories about romance, but I just knew instinctively that this story wasn’t destined to be one. Maybe it’s because I’m not particularly romantic myself. I don’t care much for flowers and outlandish displays of affection. But love is different. Love isn’t only demonstrated by valentine’s day cards and romantic getaways. I don’t believe that the love you might have with a friend or family member is any less valid than one with a romantic partner.

In The Wrong Side of Twenty-Five, Kylie and Alexa are best friends. They have a kind of friendship where they know each other inside out. It’s a kind of friendship I’ve never experienced, which is possibly why I chose to write about it. I imagined a kind of best-friendship between Kylie and Alexa that was all-consuming and comforting. I imagined them talking all day, and knowing what the other is thinking and doing at any given time. It’s an intimate relationship without a sexual aspect.

As both Kylie and Alexa are single, they turn to each other as their primary source of love and reassurance and happiness. They like to consult one another on life choices and seek approval of the other in everything they do. This is normal, but not always healthy. When Alexa gets a promotion at work, she can’t wait to tell Kylie her news. That is, until Kylie finds herself fired. Alexa doesn’t see how she can tell Kylie given her new circumstances. The same happens soon after when Alexa starts seeing Shaun, just as Kylie is dumped. Although uncomfortable and awkward, Alexa should find a tactful way to break her news to Kylie. But instead, she feels so responsible for Kylie’s happiness that she instead decides to lead a double life: One where she is devoted entirely to Kylie and one where she is Kylie’s friend but also has an independent life. What could go wrong?

When Kylie inevitably finds out, she’s hurt, which is understandable. But she isn’t an appropriate amount of hurt, she’s lay-in-bed-eating-emergency-nutella devastated. She feels cheated and betrayed. A woman scorned, she confronts Alexa and like an atom splitting in to two, they blow up. After a huge fight, they separate, and their worlds change forever. So, actually, it’s a love story and a break-up story. It’s a girl-meets-girl-and-they-become-lifelong-friends-and-then-fall-out kind of non-romance love story. Catchy!

About the Author:

uthor: Kate Armitage

Author Bio: Kate Armitage is a writer from England who has three cats, two children and one husband. She lives an alarmingly conventional life which surprises everyone who speaks to her for more than five minutes. She spends her days knee-deep in play-doh and spends her nights elbow deep in manuscripts. Sometimes she lets the children also use the play-doh but only if they promise not to mix the colours.

You can find Kate on social media under @itskatearmitage or through her website www.katearmitageauthor.com.

Guest Post: Counting Down The Days Until Christmas? by B.J. Daniels

Hey everyone! I have an extra special treat today, author B. J. Daniels has written a guest post as part of a really fun tour called Winter Holiday Traditions and Reads with Harlequin. There are some amazing authors participating so be sure and check out the other stops, the schedule can be found on TLC Book Tours.

Daniels latest book is called Cowboy’s Legacy, here’s some more information about that before the guest post.

Amazon

Blurb:

Nothing will stop a Cahill cowboy from protecting what’s his

After a rocky marriage and even rockier divorce, Sheriff Flint Cahill finally has something good in his life again. Maggie Thompson’s down-to-earth charm and beautiful smile hooked him from the start. When she disappears on the day they plan to start their lives together, all signs point to abduction—and his ex-wife.

Functioning on adrenaline and instinct, Flint must call on his every resource to bring Maggie home before it’s too late. His past and future are blurred. Maggie’s only chance at surviving her abductor and a raging winter storm depends on an old vendetta that could destroy it all. But the Cahills don’t give up easily, and Flint’s love will have to be strong enough to conquer anything, including the unimaginable.

Guest Post:

Counting down the days until Christmas? You and a lot of children.

My stepdaughter had an inexpensive way to make counting down the days more fun. She took construction paper in red, green and white and cut the paper horizontally into inch and a half strips.

Next, she got the children to help put the strips together in loops to form a chain – like we used to do as kindergarteners to make garland for the tree.

If there were 30 days until Christmas, she had the children make thirty loops out of the strips, connecting them with either tape or staples.

Once done, the chain is hung up. Each day, the kids get to take turns ripping off one of the loops as Christmas approaches.

She said she’d tried other things involving candy and little presents but found they were unnecessary. Also she has eight children.

Her “Countdown to Christmas” was so popular that other mothers liked the idea and so did they children because they got to make the chains.

And when Christmas arrives, the last loop of paper goes in the trash. There is nothing to store.

I too am counting down the days until the holidays. We will be going up into the mountains to get a tree. Decorating the tree is something my husband and I do together. Our ornaments have been collected during our 25 years together so there are a lot memories attached to each.

I will also be baking. The holidays are a perfect time to try all those recipes I’ve been saving.

Mostly I will be counting down the days at my computer writing my next book. Like Santa, this is a busy time of the year for me. My latest book, COWBOY’S LEGACY (HQN) is on the shelves already, but with the New Year there is the need for more books.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with love, laughter, good food and of course, something fun to read curled up in front of the fire waiting for the big day to finally get here.

What a fun way to countdown, I’ll have to try that with my kids next year!

About the Author:

www.bjdaniels.com

www.facebook.com/bj-daniels

twitter: @bjdanielsauthor

Blog Tour: And a Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills @LilacMills @NeverlandBT


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: September 30, 2017

Publisher: Lilac Tree Books

Genre: Chick Lit

Blurb: 

Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.

A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother’s loved-up, newly-wed status and brand-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects, isn’t what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!

 

Daisy, bless her, thinks things can’t possibly get any worse, but when her ancient great-grandmother persuades her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck, Daisy is about to discover that they most definitely can.

I’m thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for And a Sixpence for Luck today! I have a fabulous guest post from the author to share.

Guest Post:
Most of us like routines, and most of us stick to them, whether it be a regular game of squash on a Thursday night (nope, not me), or going out for a drink with friends on the third Saturday in every month (that’s more like it!), we all tend to do set things, at set times, on set days.

Now, some of us have no choice – like having to get the kids ready for school and/or going to work – and others, such as my elderly mother, enjoy the familiarity of knowing what they will be doing today when they get up in the morning.

As for me? I’m the Routine Queen. I wouldn’t be able to survive without one! Aside from the work thing (meh!) which I can’t avoid if I want to pay the bills, now that I’ve become an author as well I find I have more and more to shoehorn into my day.

I start at 6am (before that if I wake earlier), and quickly check my emails to make sure nothing untoward has happened overnight (it never really does…), then a swift look on social media, and a glance at the sales figures (I often have to psych myself up to do that), then I give myself a stern talking to get myself to write, because if I was left to my own devices, I’d sit and read a couple of chapters of someone else’s hard work instead of concentrating on my own.

Then the family decide to come downstairs purely to annoy me. Okay, that’s a lie – they’ve got to get ready to face their own working day, but it feels like they’re interrupting my stream of thought on purpose.

As usual, I leave it to the very last minute to hop into the shower, and then it’s a frantic dash to get to work on time.

During my lunchbreak I write if I can find a quiet corner to hide in, or I do some marketing and promotional stuff, or check my emails again (and sales, but I don’t want to talk about it because it sounds as if I’m slightly obsessed), if all the quiet corners have been appropriated by others wanting to hide from their managers for five sneaky minutes.

Then, finally home-time and some peace to write a few words more before the family descend on me again, demanding to be fed, and wanting to have clean clothes for tomorrow, and annoying stuff like that. At the end of a long day I get to luxuriate in the bath and, if the mood takes me, I scribble away some more, but it’s not easy balancing my phone on the edge of the bath, and paper tends to get a bit soggy from all the steam.

But if I’m really tired then I crawl into bed, and try to sleep. I say “try” because those darned voices in my head are louder than an elephant snoring, and sometimes they won’t let me snooze until they’ve had their say.

Ah well, I’m not going to knock it, because without the characters in my head I’d not have any stories to write, and writing stories, I’ve found, has become a bit of addiction.

 

 About the Author:


Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!
She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…
When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.
Website: http://www.lilacmills.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lilacmills

Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/LilacMills/

 

 

Blog Tour: The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne @Abigail_Author @Bloodhoundbook


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: November 13, 2017

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Blurb: 

Billie is hiding from the world in fear of a man who nearly destroyed her. But a chance meeting with budding journalist, Adam, sparks a relationship that could free her from her life of isolation and fear.


Unbeknown to Billie, Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives he believes she has ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him. As an unwanted attraction blossoms between them, Adam comes to realise that all is not as it seems.


Who is really pulling the strings? And are Adam and Billie both being played?


One thing is for sure, The Master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Puppet Master! I have a guest post from the author to share today. 


Guest Post:

Why I used Scrivener to Write ‘The Puppet Master’

 

There is no doubt that you can use the good old-fashioned pen and paper or even just a blank word document to write a novel. But my full-time job is centred upon using technology to make lives easier for people with disabilities. So, I feel drawn to using software and apps in my writing process. Scrivener is the most important of these when writing my book.

 

I tried to use just MS Word to write my book but I don’t like to write in order. I write the scene that is in my head at the time. This was causing me to feel chaotic as I would either have 20 word documents with different scenes or I would have to spend time navigating an excessively long document where nothing was in order and I kept losing sections or repeating myself. This was too stressful and after some research, the answer to my prayers came in the form of Scrivener. I’m not going to go into too much depth as you can find all you need to know about Scrivener on YouTube and lots of writing blogs. But for me, Scrivener is great because it allows me to break my work down into sections, even chapters or sub chapters. Whatever way you want to break your ideas down it gives you a visual and easy way to do it. These sections are then represented by a post-it note on a virtual cork board. Which means I can move sections around and reorder them any way I want, without having to copy and paste anything and I don’t lose anything or repeat anything because work is organised and accessible very easily. I can easily flick between sections and add things here and there.

 

The other way it works for me is that I can set word targets and it will let me know when I have reached my goal. This helps with productivity as I can feel like I’ve accomplished something when I meet my target and I am less likely to write until I burn out which will then stop me writing for days. I break up writing periods so that I can write little and often. It also allows me to analyse my own work and make notes of things I need to add or change without having to do this in the manuscript. Goodbye yellow highlights and caps locks in the document and the worry I hadn’t deleted them all!

 

Scrivener also has the capacity to hold your research. You can easily add word documents and pictures to your research sections. By using this, I was able to have a section for each character and the locations. This was beneficial because it means when writing a section about a particular character, I can have the picture I selected as my influence on how they would look on the screen as well as my manuscript. This is great for helping write detailed descriptions and saved me time printing everything out or flicking between the picture and my writing. It kept me in the zone and help with my visualisation of what I was writing about.

 

These are the main things I love about Scrivener but it has a lot more to offer than what I’ve described. It even has a handy little name generator which is fascinating and fun to play with. I would definitely give this software a try even just for your first draft. It’s not too expensive and if it works for you it can be the key to unlocking that novel hiding within you.

 About the Author:


Abigail is originally from the Lake District but moved to the West Midlands for University where she completed an English Literature & History degree and also met her husband. She is a passionate reader and has an unsustainable collection of books. This obsession with books has led to her creating her own Dewey decimal system and she has been known to issue fines to family and friends if her book is not returned on time. ‘The Puppet Master’ is Abigail’s debut novel and has unleashed a passion for writing. When not writing or reading Abigail is usually playing her violin or hiding from her much too energetic cats. She also works as a Needs Assessor for disabled university students in the West Midlands.

https://www.facebook.com/abigailosborneauthor/

https://twitter.com/Abigail_Author?lang=en-gb

http://abigailosborne.co.uk/

Blog Tour: Blood Rites by David Stuart Davies @Urbanebooks


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: November 9, 2017

Publisher: Urbane

Genre: Crime Fiction 

Blurb:

Blood Rites is the latest gripping DI Paul Snow thriller from renowned crime writer David Stiart Davies. 1980s Yorkshire. DI Paul Snow has a personal demon. He is a homosexual but is desperate to keep it secret, knowing it would finish his career in the intolerant police force. As this personal drama unfolds, he is involved in investigating a series of violent murders in the town. All the victims appear to be chosen at random and appear to have no connection with each other. After the fourth murder, he is removed from the case for not finding the killer but continues investigating the matter privately. Gradually, Paul manages to determine a link between the murder victims, but this places his own life in great danger. Can Paul unmask the killer as he wrestles with his own demons? 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Blood Rites! I have a fantastic guest post from the author to share today. 


Detective Inspector Paul Snow

 

 

Paul Snow is homosexual. He is also a high ranking police officer. In the 1980s when Blood Rites is set, to be gay in the police force was not something one could admit to without the admission having a detrimental effect on career and standing within the force. It was an era when gays kept their sexual preferences under wraps. As Peter Tatchell observed: ‘In the past, LGBT+ police officers were closeted and repressed. They were agents of a homophobic institution and lived in fear of being outed and sacked’. Indeed Snow has the constant worry of being outed. As a result, he lives a celibate life and fuels all his passions into his police work, but the danger of exposure is always present. There is another danger, of course: that of dropping his guard and giving way to his natural impulses. He tries hard to prevent this happening, but sometimes fate intervenes. Paul is only human after all.

In Blood Rites, however, Paul has a girlfriend, Matilda, of whom he is very fond but his emotions go no further than that. She does not interest him sexually. He feels guilty in his relationship with her because he realises it gives him a shield of acceptability behind which to hide. He is aware that a man in his thirties without a wife or a girlfriend may very well raise suspicions within the police as to why this might be the case. Things become even more complicated when Matilda’s brother arrives on the scene. He is also gay and takes a shine to Paul and this stirs our hero’s emotions.

Of course there is more to Paul Snow than his sexuality. He is a bright, dogged and perceptive policeman and he certainly has to be in Blood Rites, which concerns a series of murders in Paul’s patch, the Yorkshire town of Huddersfield. There is no apparent link between the victims which gives him nothing to go on in tracing the killer. After the fourth murder, he is removed from the case, but continues investigating the matter privately. It is a matter of pride with him now to solve this case and bring the murderer to justice. As he comes closer to a solution both his private and professional life spiral into free fall and the climax of the novel is shocking in the extreme.

Snow is a good man and a good police officer but sometimes circumstances force him into behaving badly. He is tall and thin, gaunt even, which reflects his Spartan life style. In general, even in police work, he keeps his own counsel. He dresses simply but smartly in a conventional fashion. While not exactly good looking, he is quite attractive. He a sensitive quiet and a gentle man. Despite his weaknesses and failings, I do believe the reader will side with him during the course of the story.

As a writer, I conjure characters out of my imagination but I believe it is essential that they ring true as real people. As soon as I began to sketch in the character of Paul, I found him a fascinating fellow. He is an iceberg creation. There is much more below the surface than is visible. During the course of the novel as we learn more of Paul’s thoughts and motives, we are allowed to dip below the waterline a little. But even I, as his creator, have not yet been able to probe all his feelings and secrets. That is what makes him such a fascinating character. I hope you get to meet him.

 Oohh Paul Snow sure sounds interesting to me, I’ll definitely be adding Blood Rites to me TBR! 

Blog Tour: The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen @antti_tuomainen @orendabooks


Goodreads|Amazon US|Amazon UK
Release date: October 10, 2017

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Crime Fiction 

Blurb: 

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists. With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, markinng a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir. 

I’m so delighted to be helping to kick off the blog tour for The Man Who Died today! I have a fantastic guest post from the author to share today. 


Guest Post: 
 The Truth is a Funny Thing

 

Two and a half years ago I found myself at another curious crossroad. Life has a habit of doing that: taking you down one road as far as you can go, then suddenly announcing that this where it ends. ‘Thanks a lot’ you might say, but it doesn’t really solve the geographical problem.

I had recently published my fifth novel The Mine, and I was trying to think of the next book. I wanted to write and needed to write – because that is what I do and have to do in order to be happy – and I was trying to get started, but it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t happening for several reasons.

 

One reason was that by that time I had written five very dark novels ranging from the icy North of The Mine to the dystopia of The Healer and I honestly felt I had given all I had in that direction, at least for the time being. (You never know about the future. I might decide tomorrow that I’m going to write something that is darker than all those five books combined.) I also realized a far more serious predicament. I had held back.

 

I had been restraining myself in my writing. I vividly remember a scene in one of the earlier books that I was writing and suddenly saw that I could make it funny. Very, very funny. But it didn’t fit the overall mood of the story. It would have stood out like a pink suit at a funeral. So I kept that alternative scene to myself and actually forgot about it for a while. Then, as I was searching for a new story, I remembered the scene and the feeling I had had at the time. It was almost an epiphany. It was obvious what I needed to do.

 

What are some of my greatest loves as far as artistic influences go? Noir. Comedies.

 

So there.

 

I was on my way. I watched and re-watched all that I had always loved so much, starting from The Marx Brothers. I love their lunacy, intelligence, sheer lovable insanity. I watched Fargo again. What a great, great film it is. (The television series is brilliant, especially season 1.) I re-read Elmore Leonard’s novels. I discovered they were even better than I remembered. He was one of the writers that got me into this writing life to start with. Same with Lawrence Block. He’s written both dark books (his Matt Scudder books are simply great noir novels and highly recommended) and lighter, funnier books starring burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. I returned to those as well. It was like finding a well of fresh water all over again.

 

Most importantly, I followed my instinct. It’s such a cliché – to follow one’s heart – but there you go. It is true. Especially if you’re a writer. You simply have to write what you have to write. No way around it. And so many happy things followed that turn in the crossroads.

 

I told my literary agent what I was going to do. He said go for it. I didn’t have much in the beginning. Just a man going to see his doctor about flu-like symptoms and then hearing that he has been poisoned over a very long period. Then: enter the mushrooms and the mushroom business that was perfect for a host of reasons. One: I didn’t know anything about it. Two: I made nearly all of it up. Three: it had just the perfect amount of absurdity to it.

 

At first I was unsure of the setting. I had previously set all my novels in Helsinki and had made the city I love one of the characters in the books. Now I wanted to change that with everything else. I only had to look in my own past. I spent my childhood summers in Hamina, a small seaside town about two hours from Helsinki. I made it the golden, sunny, offbeat place that I remembered.

 

I had a blast writing the book that became THE MAN WHO DIED. By that, I don’t mean that writing was easy. It never is. But I knew I had a good story and the tone I had been missing even though I hadn’t really known it. I felt free. I was able to paint with all the colors, to go as far as I wanted, because now it all fit. It was the kind of story I wanted to tell.

 

I think I learned my lesson. As a writer, I need to trust my heart and instinct. If I love to laugh and be moved, and if I find life both tragic and comic I can’t exclude neither one. And what I hope to achieve as a writer – what I would like to do – is make the reader see the same and make the reader laugh and perhaps cry while enjoying a wild ride filled with twists and surprises.

 

Because, sometimes, the truth is the funny thing, and vice versa.

About the Author: 


Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labelled The Healer – the story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – ‘unputdownable’. Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. The Mine, published in 2016, was an international bestseller. All of his books have been optioned for TV/film. With his piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and The Man Who Died sees him at his literary best.