#BlogTour #GuestPost A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon @TerriNixon @PiatkusBooks @annecater #ACornishInheritance

Hello lovelies! Today I have a fantastic guest post from Terri Nixon about the inspiration behind her novel A Cornish Inheritance but first a little about the book:

Title: A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon 

Publisher:  Piatkus 

Date Published: 5th December 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

Welcome to Fox Bay Hotel, where family fortunes rise and fall.

1920, Bristol. Helen Fox is happily married to the love of her life: charming, former playboy Harry. With their three children, glamorous lifestyle and extravagant parties, they have the perfect life. But after a tragic motorcycle accident, nothing will ever be the same…

Helen is forced to leave their home and move to the Fox family’s hotel on the Cornish coast – where she discovers her perfect life has been based on a lie.

Now Helen must find a way to build a new life for herself and her children with the help of a vivacious new friend, Leah Marshall.

But when the future of the hotel is threatened, Helen discovers that she hasn’t left her past behind after all, and unless she takes drastic action, she’s going to lose everything all over again…

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Inheritance-Fox-Bay-Saga/dp/0349423989

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Guest Post: Meet the Foxes of Fox Bay

1920s Fox Bay Hotel is a bit of a glamour trap. A former monastery, now a holiday destination for the most discerning of guests, and situated on the coast within a stone’s throw of a picturesque village. An art deco dream of a place… Too too perfect, darling, you simply must go! But sign up a lawyer first…

I was all fired up ready to write a fourth volume in the Penhaligon Saga; I’d written a detailed outline, which I loved (I still do) and was hoping my publisher would pick it up. But they decided the saga had run its course, had tied everything up nicely in book 3, and answered all the questions I’d asked in book 2. ‘We’d like you to write something new.’ 

So I plucked something out of mid-air and threw it at my agent. ‘Uh, how about a… a hotel? Set on the South Devon coast?’ It would be so wonderful to write something set in the area in which I was born, and a hotel would give me the opportunity to have any number of different types of guests, with their own interesting secrets and stories. I was buzzing already.

The publisher was equally enthusiastic. ‘Sounds great, send in a submission package. We particularly love that it’s set in Devon!’ 

Hooray! 

I wrote an outline and the first three chapters, and sent it all off. 

‘Yes please, we’ll take 3. Only please could you set it in Cornwall instead?’

So I happily re-set my fictional village on the west coast of Cornwall and began the exciting job of getting to know my characters.

A few years ago a good friend of mine moved into a gorgeous flat that had once been part of a military hospital here in Plymouth. He’d gone exploring up in a communal attic space and found this painted on one of the beams: 

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H & H, The Heavenly Twins… what’s not to love about that? He knew I’d be all over it, and he was right; when I realised I’d called my main character Helen, and her husband Harry, I knew I had to incorporate that mysterious, hastily-painted little slice of history somehow. 

And so the Heavenly Twins were born. 

Harry the bon viveur and former playboy, living – in modern parlance – his “best life,” in the years immediately following the Great War, and throwing the biggest and glitziest parties, with the brightest and smartest friends.

Helen, not quite timid, but certainly no social butterfly, could hardly believe he’d chosen her at first, and she wasn’t the only one, but in the years since they married they have defied expectation and silenced the critics. Their marriage has been passionate and rock-solid, and their three children are adorable but headstrong individuals, who have grown up rich in matters both material and emotional. Everyone loves the Foxes.

But of course this can’t last; it’s a family drama! If this family existed in a soap you’d just know there was something nasty in the woodshed; some shade from the past, or a terrible decision, is going to shove a spanner in the spokes, and the fates just sit back and watch with a sly grin, while everything collapses.

So it is with the Foxes. When Helen has to take the children away from the home they’ve known all their lives, and even the memories of those halcyon days are tainted, she has to re-evaluate her situation, and, at the same time as she’s coming to terms with her own “new normal,” she has to protect her children’s futures. 

She makes a new friend, Leah Marshall, a widow with a shady past, but such a talent for mimicry and play-acting that the Foxes warm to her immediately. She brightens everything, becomes an honorary aunt to the children, and later, when Helen has cause to question her honesty and her intentions, I hope the readers will feel the conflict as deeply as if Leah is a real member of the family. She’s a question mark, hidden by the brightness of her own smile. 

Helen herself is unused to standing her ground and having to fight for what’s hers, and all we can do is watch, and will her on. The family motto is Vulpes latebram suam defendit – The fox defends his lair. Helen has a lot of work to do…

The second half of the first book, A Cornish Inheritance, prominently features one of the now grown “children,” and each of the next two books will do the same for the others. It’s been interesting to see how the sudden change in lifestyle has affected the “cubs” during their formative years, and each of them has their own individual set of interests and ambitions, which can lead them into dangerous, potentially deadly, situations. But will they listen to me, the mere author? As if! They’re just going to go right on with what they’re doing, and if they won’t listen to me, what do you suppose chances are that they’ll listen to Helen?

So hold on to your hats; those Fox cubs are going to shake things up at the bay, and the shockwaves might well stretch across the whole of Cornwall!

About The Author: 

Terri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9, she moved with her family to Cornwall, to Terri Nixon Author Picthe village featured in Jamaica Inn — North Hill — where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.

As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice.

Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book.

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Twitter @TerriNixon

Website : http://www.terrinixon.com/

#BlogTour #AuthorInterview Jupiter’s Fire by William Osborne @rararesources @ConradPress

Hello lovelies, today I have a fantastic Q&A with author William Osborne but first a little about his new book:

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Title: Jupiter’s Fire by William Osborne

Date Published: 1st December 2019

Publisher: Conrad Press

Genre: YA Historical Adventure

Description:

When Franco, a teenager living in the monastery at Monte Cassino in 1944 uncovers a long-lost Roman Eagle, the fabled Aquila for the Jupiter Legion, he sets in motion a desperate struggle to prevent the Nazis from using it to win the war. In a do-or-die mission, Franco and Dulcie, a teenage mountain girl, must steal the Eagle back and escape before its deadly power is unleashed. Pursued by the implacable forces of the SS they will discover not just the secrets of the Eagle but also themselves.

Q&A with William Osborne:

Can you tell me a little bit about your book? 

It’s the third book in a trilogy, all featuring a teenage boy and girl who get caught up in an exciting adventure set in World War Two. In Jupiter’s Fire the two protagonists must steal a mystical and dangerous Roman artefact before the Nazis use its power to win the war. So, not much at stake then!!


Where did the inspiration for your book come from? 

A trip to Naples, learning about the city, Vesuvius and remembering a quote from my time as a screenwriter.  “Start with a volcano and work up to a climax!” Unfortunately the volcano is at the end in my story. 


If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be? 

Amazeballs.


What is a typical writing day like for you? 

I don’t really have one. Some days I start early, some days late. But always put in two to three hours minimum.

 

If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why? 

HMS Ulysses by Alaistair Maclean. I’m not sure why because it is dated and old and nobody has heard of it any more, but it’s depiction of the North Atlantic Convoys going round the Arctic Circle to Russia in the Second World War while being hunted by U Boats is shattering in its verisimilitude. 


Who are your favourite authors?

Scott Fitzgerald

Boris Pasternak

William Boyd when he’s on form.

George McDonald Fraser

Mal Peet

I have so many… 


Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job?

I started life as a barrister, then became a screenwriter which I still do though I am concentrating now on my fiction writing. 


Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)

I collect old Military helmets from the German and British Empire time, ie, pre 1914.


What are you currently working on? 

I have two screenplays on the go, a romantic comedy set in 1980s England and a dark thriller set in up state New York in 1960.  I am also planning my next novel where the hero is a young woman secret agent in yes, World War Two!!

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About The Author: 

William Osborne – Born 1960 – educated at Greshams School, Holt, Norfolk and Robert Louis Stevenson, Pebble Beach, California,  studied law at Cambridge,(MA),  barrister at law, Member of the Middle Temple. Screenwriter and member of Writers Guild of America (West) – Author (published works, 1994, 1998, Hitler’s Angel, Winter’s Bullet, Jupiter’s Fire).  Lives in Norfolk, enjoys life, film, dog walking, cold water swimming, lego, collecting odd stuff, driving his beach buggy.

#BlogTour #Review The Case Of The Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke @carmenradtke1 @Books_n_all

Hi lovelies, today I’m celebrating the re-publication of the fabulous novel The case of the missing bride and resharing my review but first a little about the book:

Title: The Case Of The Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke

Date Re-published: 1st December 2019

Genre: Historical Mystery

Description:

It was supposed to be the start of a happy, new life …

1862 – a group of young Australian women set sail for matrimony in Canada. Their presence is withheld from the male passengers and all but a select few members of the crew. But their worlds collide when one of the gentlemen stumbles over the women. 

When one of the intended brides goes missing, only Alyssa Chalmers, the one educated, wealthy woman in the group, is convinced the disappearance is no accident. She sets out to find out what happened. 

Has there been a murder? 

Alyssa is willing to move heaven and earth to find out the truth. She is about to discover that there is more to her voyage into the unknown than she bargained for …

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Case of the Missing Bride

Review:

This book is set in the late nineteenth century when girls, especially orphaned, ones had little or no prospects in Australia. They’re only choice was to set sail to Canada in hopes of finding a husband.

Alyssa Chambers is not like the other girls. She was raised in relative luxury, until her father, a high ranking official, spoke out against the treatment of prisoners in Port Philips prison and then her mother died leaving her alone. Boarding the ship she hopes to get to Canada then back to England to find her long lost relatives.

She is put in charge of a small group of girls whom she grows fond of then one the girls, goes missing.

With the help of Dr Bryson and first mate Mr Kendrick she must find the killer before he strikes again.

I loved this Agatha Christie style mystery. There wasn’t a lot of action but it didn’t need it, the mystery kept me interested all the way through. The setting on the boat helped a lot, the author really got that feeling of isolation across and terror of being trapped in the middle of nowhere with a murderer.

Alyssa was a fantastic character too, with a tendency to speak her mind and defend herself, which was not a good trait in a woman back in those days.

There was also a little bit of a love triangle going between Alyssa, Dr Bryson and Mr Kendrick which I enjoyed immensely.

My only complaint was that it was quite a short book and I wanted to read more!

I’m very much looking forward to the next book in this series, Glittering Death out the beginning of 2020!

About The Author:

Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously highCarmen11 (1) pile of books and newspapers by her side.

She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.

When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.

“The Case of the Missing Bride” is a former Malice Domestic finalist, inspired by a true event. Its heroine Alyssa Chalmers will soon return in “Glittering Death”.

When Carmen is not writing, reading or dreaming of travel, she is busy acting as resident cat servant.

She’s currently working on her first contemporary crime novel.

Follow Carmen on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carmen-radtke

Or on Twitter: @carmenradtke1

Her website (very much a work in progress) is carmenradtke.com

 

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow @AlixEHarrow @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TenThousandDoors

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Publisher: Orbit

Date Published: 12th September 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

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Review:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is beautifully written historical novel, with an almost poetic feel to it.

January is a compelling character who finds it hard to fit in, which I think a lot of people can relate to. She has a bit of a wild, untameable, personality but on the other side of that she’s lonely and has a need to be accepted and loved.

I can really tell that the author has put so much research into this novel, it’s really underpinned with real historical events to give it that air of realism to the fantastical events through the novel.

What I would advise when reading is patience. It’s very much a slow burn, slow build novel that you have to immerse yourself in and not something you can rush through.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a nod to classical fiction and fairy tales.

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About The Author:

Alix E. Harrow is an ex-historian with lots of opinions and excessive library fines, currently livingclone tag: 4321375644802703302 in Kentucky with her husband and their semi-feral children. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter at @AlixEHarrow.

#BlogTour #Review Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw @DesBurkinshaw @rararesources #Giveaway

I’m very excited to be bring you my review of Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw along with a fab giveaway (see bottom of the post).

Dead & Talking Kindle sleeve FINAL DES

Title: Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw

Date Published: 10th March 2019

Genre: Mystery/Humour/Paranormal

Description:

If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do?

When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations.

The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead – if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else.

Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved – because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they?

Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1.

As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PLLNB4M

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PLLNB4M

Review:

Porter Norton is at the end of his tether. He’s lost his girlfriend, he’s about to lose his job and career as a solicitor and the worst thing a girl died because of his mistake. Unable to take it any more he attempts suicide, only to be saved by a ghostly robot called The Gliss.

He tells him that he’s invoked an ancient curse which means he has to make up for the hurt that his family has caused over the years. First is investigating the death of a young soldier Max Cartwright but someone or something doesn’t want the truth coming out and will stop at nothing to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Dead & Talking is an absolute gem of a novel! It doesn’t specifically fit into any genre which I really enjoy when an author shakes it up a bit. There’s mystery, ghostly happenings, historical scenes and sarcasm by the bucket load.

I found each and everyone of the characters memorable from Porter’s strait laced solicitor Namita, to Porter’s new friend Feng, the sceptic ghost hunter even Porter’s very unlikeable sister Cherry. I also loved the back and forth between The Gliss and Porter, genuinely had me chuckling out loud.

There is also some good historical research in the book too, it really gets across grim realities of the first world war.

Also just a little warning, there are some complex and emotional issues discussed during the  book, like rape and suicide that some people may find upsetting.

There was one very minor character who really annoyed me and I felt that he was just put into the novel to be vile but of course that’s just my opinion.

Dead & Talking is a book packed with action, ghostly goings on that had me fascinated from beginning to end.

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About The Author:

Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government. Dead and Talking - DES DARK

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too. 

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in. 

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again. 

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky. 

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire. 

He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax). 

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school. 

Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.

Social Media Links –

www.desburkinshaw.com

twitter.com/DesBurkinshaw,

facebook as Des Burkinshaw

Giveaway to Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BlogTour #GuestPost In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra @roshellie28 #damppebblesblogtours

Today I have a Q&A with Rochelle Alexandra as part of the blog tour for her new novel In Alexa’s Shoes but first a little about the book:

Title: In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra

Publisher: Author Academy Elite

Date Published: 25th June 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

In Alexa’s Shoes – a dramatic, uplifting true story of a teenage girl overcoming great odds to survive. A historical novel that beckons the reader to follow in the footsteps of a real-life individual one step at a time. Based on the true story of the author’s grandmother.

In the autumn of 1940, thirteen-year-old Alexa’s happy life is ripped from her as she, her mother, and many of the locals are rounded up by the Nazis in Poland. Loaded into trucks, they are transported to an unknown destination. Terror and uncertainty become the new normal. Life is a continuous nightmare as she is selected by the Gestapo officer’s wife, destined to become little more than their slave.

Separated from everyone she loves Alexa relies on her Christian faith, inner strength and courage, to endure through her long nightmare. Her story takes her on a treacherous journey across war-ravaged Europe in search of her family and the life she once knew. Despite living through unimaginable hardships and life-threatening danger, Alexa feels that someone or something seems to be looking out for her. Years later, she finds out that not all was as it seemed, as hidden secrets from this dark period in history are revealed to her.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=B07SVR7H36&qid=1560244696&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Alexa%27s+Shoes&qid=1560244667&s=gateway&sr=8-1

In Alexa's Shoes Blog Tour

Q&A with Rochelle Alexandra:

Where do you find inspiration for your novels?

I find writing about what I know is the best way for me to write. The inspiration for ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ came after hearing first hand from my Polish grandmother, about her true-life experiences during WWII. We were very close and each time I’d go over to visit her in Poland, she’d share a little more of her story with me. Each time she’d tell me more about the things she had gone through. I could visualise it in my mind’s eye, as if watching a movie of her life. I always said to her that it would make a great novel, to which she agreed but said that she was too old now to write it but that I should write her story for her. I promised her that I would one day and finally began writing it in January of 2018. Knowing the story so well, it was relatively easy for me to write, even though I had to translate it into English in my head first. I had a real passion for telling it and felt that I had a duty to do it in a way that highlighted the best qualities of Alexa and delivered it in a way that she would both approve and be proud of. Alexa’s story is one that I’ve told to many friends over the years at dinner parties or on my travels to strangers and it has always gotten an amazing response. This also gave me the encouragement to write my grandmother’s story down.

Who is your writing hero?

That’s a hard choice to make, but if I could only pick one author I’d have to go with Agatha Christie. I love her detective mysteries and the way her plots unravel, I always have. The murder, the suspects, the hidden secrets, the suspicions, the explanations and unexpected twist in her storylines. I like the way she always keeps you guessing who done it until the end. I like her use of locations, especially the foreign ones. It appeals to my love of travel.

Which book do you wish you had written?

Another hard to choose question, but I’d pick ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ if it’s an Agatha Christie work. I love a good murder mystery and I love the way her work has stood the test of time. However, equally I’d love to have written any of Ian Fleming’s Bond thrillers.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?

First of all, I’d say don’t be put off by the enormity of the task before you. Just start writing and keep writing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but keep the finish line in your sights. The only thing that can stop you – is you, so don’t let the negativity, fear and doubts set in. Do your research, know your characters and plot out the map of your book. Then start getting down your first draught. Don’t allow yourself to get held up by blocks, skip that part and move on to another chapter. You can always go back to it later when clarity has come, and chances are it will as you write more of your content. Keep moving forward, write, write, write you can edit it later.

It’s helpful to have a proposal written out, even if only for yourself. Include such things as a synopsis, comparison titles, unique selling point, your target audience. This will help as you write your novel, remember it’s a marathon but you want to complete it and cross the finish line.

If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?

Heather Morris who wrote ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person yet, but we have become friends on social media, and I enjoy our conversations. She’s written a fabulous piece of work and her next promises to be just as powerful.

Agatha Christie of course.

Ian Fleming would be my third guest of choice. What a fabulous interchange of conversation that would be around my dinner table with those three highly esteemed authors. Whatever would I serve on the menu?

What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?

Is there a message that you tried to convey in your novel?

The answer is Yes. Alexa had a real love for people, all people. She was very compassionate and emanated love in every part of her life. Despite the hardships and trials which she went through at such a young age, being taken by the Nazis and separated from her mother, she didn’t become bitter, resentful or allow breeding ground for hatred. She believed that hate was a poison which had detrimental effects, not only on the hater themselves but also on the receivers. She chose love over hate, which is something that is needed very much in our world today especially in light of all the hate crimes recently around the world. We need to remember the lessons of the past, or again we are destined to repeat them. Through the Nazis hatred for the Jews there were many other groups who were segregated against, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Alexa and her Christian mother were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they were wrenched away from life as they knew it, forever changed by that day. I hope my novel reaches the hearts of many, including our youths and millennials who doubt that the holocaust even occurred.

About Rochelle Alexandra:

Rochelle Alexandra was born in Glasgow, Scotland where she grew up, then moved to NewIMG_0967 York to live when she was eighteen. She had an early love for writing poetry, winning a National Scottish competition and later had a few poems published in the USA. She’s a talented artist and photographer with a real love for children, horse riding and travel. Her favourite jobs were in advertising, working for a newspaper, a photographer’s assistant and private chef. She ran her own freelance art business painting portraits, murals, abstracts and commissions.

She never set out to be a writer, but after hearing her Polish grandmother’s gripping true life history during WWII first hand, she made a promise to her gran that she would write her story in book form. Sadly her grandmother Alexa passed away aged 92, just two months before the novel ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ about her life was due to be published. Little did Rochelle know that she’d love the writing process so much and now has several future novels planned.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/roshellie28

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rochelle-Alexandra-Author-402257290515469/

Website: https://www.rochellealexandra.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ro_alexandra_author/

#BlogTour #AuthorInterview Martha’s Revenge by Joanna Larum @jolarum @Books_n_all

Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Martha’s Revenge by Joanna Larum. Today I’m going to be bringing you a Q&A with the lovely Jo herself but first a bit about the book:

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Title: Martha’s Revenge by Joanna Larum

Date Published: 5th April 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

Martha’s Revenge begins where Martha is pretending to have lost her memory after Dolly attacked her. She is finding playing the ‘angelic younger sister’ a strain but this is compensated by the adrenaline rush that she gets when she murders her next victim, Mrs Browne. This is so addictive she looks out for another victim and settles on Mr Gray, the inoffensive but rather weak printer who made such a mess of her advertising leaflets.

Martha and Daniel’s mother, Edith, falls ill as she pays for all the years she spent working in the damp laundry in the cold and wet. She dies and her husband Bob is devastated, as is Daniel. Martha doesn’t feel anything at the loss of her mother other than irritation at her failure to protect her children from the cruelty of their grandparents.

Georgie hero worships Daniel who rescued him from the work house and has been almost a father figure to him since he came to live in York Street with them. Dolly, a fat and unattractive older woman, was also taken in by Daniel and she adores him for being so kind to her. Her head is stuffed with Irish folk tales which she learnt from her Irish grandmother, as well as the conviction that she can see the kindness or cruelty in other people’s auras. Daniel is the innocent in this, as he believes that Martha has reformed and is the delightful sister he always hoped she was.

Both Georgie and Dolly want to protect Daniel as they know he would be devastated by proof of Martha’s wickedness and they both know that he won’t help them to trap her. When the printer dies, strangled during the night by an ‘unknown’ killer, they realise that they could be next on her list and start to plan how they are going to trap her.

Daniel finds Frank Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who has an alcoholic mother and younger siblings and has lost his father to the War, who is taken on as a shop boy to help Martha. Frank initially thinks that Martha is a wonderful person but, the more he sees of her behaviour in the shop, the more he realises how wicked and cruel she actually is. He mentions his concerns over Martha’s behaviour to Dolly and she recruits him as a spy in the shop. Martha moves on to another victim, murdering old Mrs Jessop in her own kitchen. Frank is now frightened of Martha and glad that he took his concerns to Dolly.

Lucy Renwick, who Martha blackmailed over her affair with the married David Dundas, has sunk very low in the world. Jobless and living in one room which she can’t afford, she spends her days looking for work, walking up to Normanby every day and then home again, still jobless. Mr Wilfred Chambers owns the manor house which faces Normanby Road and he watches Lucy every day. He has been invalided out of the Army and he wants to open a market garden on the land which surrounds his house, so that he can provide work and wages for those soldiers who have lost limbs to the War, or to the families of those soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. He goes to the Baptist Chapel one Sunday morning and sees Lucy and offers her the job of housekeeper and overseer of the garden. He has admired the way that she has never given in or up, despite losing everything and wearing out her shoes walking the streets looking for work. She accepts the job and moves into the manor house where she loses her high-handed attitude and is genuinely loved by the garden workers and their families and the staff of the manor house.

Martha writes a letter to Lucy, admitting to being the person who tried to have her framed for burglary in the pawnbroker’s shop. Lucy comes to the shop to see Martha and they make friends – genuine on Lucy’s part but false on Martha’s part. Frank is told to go home but he is frightened of Martha’s mood and reports to Georgie and Dolly. They decide to keep watch on Martha, even if that means taking turns at staying awake all night in order to see what she does.

Martha has been invited to a garden party at the manor house where she decides to make a play for Mr Chambers, but he has eyes only for Lucy.

Meanwhile, Daniel has fallen in love with Bob Prosser’s daughter and is devastated to learn that Bob is also his father. Their relationship is forbidden which plunges Daniel into a deep depression which worries Georgie and Dolly even more. Daniel is oblivious of all that is happening around him as he is so concerned about his love for Grace.

While at the garden party, Martha took the opportunity of taking an impression of the back door key in order to have it copied. Frank, Dolly and Georgie are convinced by Martha’s behaviour that she has planned on killing Lucy as retribution for the times that Lucy was rude to her in Reed’s shop. That night, when Martha sets off to storm the manor house, Georgie and Dolly follow her, unaware that Frank is following all three of them. Martha is also unaware that Mr Chambers has proposed to Lucy, although Lucy has to decline his offer as she is still married to her husband, the one who threw her out when he learnt of her adultery.

Martha reaches Lucy’s bedroom but doesn’t find Lucy as she is in her parlour next door to her bedroom, reliving Mr Chamber’s proposal. A storm arrives and lightning hits the barns which house the tender plants as well as one of them being a dormitory for the workers. Chaos ensues as they all try to extinguish the fires which result from the lightning strike but the water in the pump runs dry and Lucy goes to try and find an old well at the bottom of the manor’s garden. Martha accosts her there, away from anyone else and attempts to strangle her. SPOILER ALERT– Frank pushes Martha down the well and saves Lucy’s life.

Once the fire has been extinguished, Frank explains everything that happened and produces Martha’s suitcase which she had hidden in the garden. She intended killing Lucy and then escaping to London. She has a letter in the suitcase, stamped and addressed to Daniel which Georgie opens. It contains her confession of Lucy’s (and other) murders and explains she is going to move to a city. She has taken all the money she amassed with her blackmailing.

Lucy, Mr Chambers, Georgie and Dolly decide to use the money to rebuild the barns and extend the garden. They tip the detritus from the fires down the well and then seal it, so Martha’s body is never discovered and they all keep the secret of who killed Martha. The rest of the world, including Daniel, believes that Martha has moved to a big city, so no-one misses her.

Q&A with Joanna Larum

What inspired Martha and her story?

I was looking through a Victorian local newspaper at work one day, years ago, when I saw a report about an inquest on two children who had been found dead in their bed. The inquest decided it was as a result of their parents’ treatment of them. It struck me that, even though it was a typical Victorian piece of dramatic reporting, there was a real story behind it. I put it to the back of my mind for the future where it became the story of Martha and her brother Daniel who had a terrible childhood, being very badly treated by their grandparents.

Out of all of the characters in Martha’s Revenge, who is your favourite and why?

My favourite character is Dolly. I love her Irish background and her utter belief in her powers of soul reading. I think it is possible to read a lot about a person’s character in their faces and Dolly has a heightened sense of this. I also love her down-to-earth character and her store of old wives’ recipes.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I write every morning, 7 days a week. Afternoons are for housework, shopping, ironing etc. I miss it if I have to go out and can’t get any writing done. Writing lifts me out of myself and I can be whoever I want to be while I am pounding the keys!

If you could recommend one book that everyone should read (apart from your own of course), what would it be?

It would be an American children’s book which I read when I was about 8 years old. The Minipins by Carol Kendall. I remember struggling with the different words that are used in America but, once I got my head round them, the book was an absolute joy! I lent my copy to a friend at school who soon lost that title because she didn’t return it and stopped being my friend! I found a copy on Amazon about three years ago, pounced on it and read it again. I wasn’t disappointed, in fact, it was even better than when I had read it over 50 years previously! There were some wonderful episodes in it and it was where I first read the word ‘muggle’ – nothing to do with Harry Potter but I’m sure JK Rowling must have read the same book!

Who are your favourite authors?

Life long favourites – Tolkien, CS Lewis, Chaucer, Austen, Jean Plaidy, Barbara Erskine, Catherine Cookson the list goes on!

Modern day favourites – Joy Ellis, Charlie Gallagher, Stewart Giles, Ann Cleves, same comment as above!

From my twenties to my early forties I read the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings every summer and always found something new in them. Now that’s the sign of a great book!

What are you currently working on?

I’ve got two stories I’m working on at the moment. One is another story of life in a North East town at the time of the Great War where a mother has lost her husband to the War and the second is a children’s book about the magic surrounding the Leven Casket. (or Gasket, as a dear friend called it!) It’s the usual magic story where the children save the town ( and probably the rest of humanity!) And there is all the housework I haven’t done because my writing time has overrun!

About The Author:

I only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, byjo the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008340517522

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8338673.Joanna_Larum?from_search=true

Twitter: @jolarum