#BlogTour Q&A The Spy’s Gamble by Howard Kaplan #LoveBooksGroupTours #TheSpysGamble

Today I’m bring you an exclusive Q&A with Howard Kaplan author of The Spy’s Gamble, but first a little bit about the book:

Title: The Spy’s Gamble by Howard Kaplan

Date Published: 5th June 2018

Genre: Thriller

Description:

When the Israeli Prime Minister boards a new stealth submarine in Norfolk, Virginia intending a celebratory ride and the sub vanishes, it sets in motion a suspenseful story that intertwines the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a story of what could be.

Shai Shaham—an Israeli intelligence officer—contacts old friend and adversary Ramzy Awwad—a former PLO intelligence officer and one of the great writers of his people—for help in locating the missing prime minister. But can they trust each other? Can their friendship withstand the turbulent political landscape?

Eli Bardin—an agent who is feeling the strain of being away from his wife and children for so long in the field—is also tasked to contact Ramzy for the help in finding the missing sub. It seems the Russian have great interest in the technology, and he must locate the prime minister…because losing him is a national calamity that threatens to upset a delicate political balance in the most terrifying ways.

Starkly depicting the excesses of both sides and moving through actual events, THE SPY’S GAMBLE relies on in-depth research to weave a thrilling tale of suspense of reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spys-Gamble-Jerusalem-Spy-ebook/dp/B07DF86VDS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532875846&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Spy%27s+Gamble

spy's-gamble

Now here’s my Q&A with Howard Kaplan:

1. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

I like to travel first with a notepad and camera and go to the locations I’m thinking about writing about, in this case both Israel and the West Bank, into Palestinian refugee camps, towns and villages and through the underside and less seen parts of Jerusalem so I can create a novel around what I hope are interesting places.

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

The Israeli and Palestinian peoples hope and quest for peace.

3. What is a typical writing day like for you?

I’m a morning person and these days seem to fall asleep a bit too early with the television on. I grind some coffee beans and start with two strong cups, before too long in the summer heat it’s the remainder over ice. I work from about eight until noon, force myself to take an hour for lunch; if I go back to work too quickly then I get tired a bit sooner than I’d like. I work until about 3, take another break, ride my bike or such and then typically make a few notes for the following day. I sometimes use a trick I learned from Hemingway—to not finish a scene so I have a place to start the following morning.

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

I’m in the thriller genre and it would be LeCarre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and then the Alec Guinness miniseries of the novel. LeCarre is unsurpassed in both character, plot and themes. He’s a joy to read.

5. Who are your favourite authors?

There’s a lesser known American thriller writer Charles McCarry who is just great. I like Jennifer Egan, who wrote Visit From the Goon Squad, I read all her novels. I love the old greats: Eric Ambler and Graham Greene. I like smart intelligent suspense which is what I attempt. And what can be better in title and theme than The Heart of the Matter.

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

I got married in my 40’s was worried I might not have children and ended up with a fabulous son and dedicated The Spy’s Gamble to him, with great pleasure.

7. What are you currently working on?

The Spy’s Gamble is part of a 3 book series, that are all stand alones. I think it’s best read first then one can go back and read the prequel set 30 years earlier, Bullets of Palestine, and the central book in terms of when it takes place, To Destroy Jerusalem is just about out.

About The Author:

HOWARD KAPLAN, a native of Los Angeles, has lived in Israel and traveled extensively through Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. At the age of 21, he was sent on a mission into the Soviet DSC_0460 retouchedUnion to smuggle a dissident’s manuscript on microfilm to London. His first trip was a success. On his second trip, he transferred a manuscript to the Dutch Ambassador inside his Moscow embassy. A week later, he was arrested in Khartiv in the Ukraine and interrogated for two days there and then two days in Moscow, before being expelled from the USSR. The KGB had picked him up for meeting dissidents and did not know about the manuscript transfers.

He holds a BA in Middle East History from UC Berkeley and an MA in Philosophy of Education from UCLA. He is the author of five novels.

DAMASCUS COVER is now a major motion picture starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sir John Hurt and Olivia Thirlby.

Visit Howard’s websitehttp://www.howardkaplanauthor.com

Author Page on Facebook for photos of the DAMASCUS COVER film shoot and other updates: https://www.facebook.com/HowardKaplanauthorDamascusCover


Twitter:

@kaplanhow 

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#BlogTour Q&A Married Lies by Chris Collett @JoffeBooks @crime_crow @Books_n_all #NewRelease #TeamJoffeBooks

Today I’m excited to bring you a Q&A with the lovely Chris Collett as part of the blog tour for her latest novel Married Lies, first a little bit about the book:

Title: Married Lies by Chris Collett

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 13th May 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Description:

Do you love gripping mysteries with great characters? Discover Detective Tom Mariner in this critically acclaimed series.

‘Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character.’ Yorkshire Post

Lucy Jarrett is terrified. Someone is watching her every move, following her home from work and making threatening phone calls. But her husband doesn’t believe her and no one else is listening.

Lucy’s married life is proving anything but blissful. Her musician husband is perpetually away on tour and doesn’t want to start a family.

Lucy finally calls on DI Tom Mariner for help, and he takes her fears seriously because of the recent murder of another young woman by her ex-partner.

Mariner himself is already on the hunt for a sadistic killer. Nina Silvero, wife of an ex-police officer, was duped into sipping sulphuric acid disguised as celebratory wine. Grappling with her apparently motiveless killing, Mariner delegates Lucy’s case to Millie Khatoon.  Is someone out for revenge against the police?

Can DI Tom Mariner track down the stalker and catch the killer before anyone else dies?

Discover an absorbing crime mystery full of stunning twists and turns.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the fifth book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!

THE SETTING

Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

THE DETECTIVE

Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.

THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “STALKED BY SHADOWS.”

DI MARINER SERIES

Book 1: Deadly Lies

Book 2: Innocent Lies

Book 3: Killer Lies

Book 4: Baby Lies

Book 5: Married Lies

Books 6-7 coming soon

BLOG TOUR - Married Lies

Q&A with Chris Collett

For those readers who have never read your Tom Mariner series, can you give them a brief overview?

The series is a police procedural set in the city of Birmingham, UK. DI Tom Mariner works out of a suburban police station on the range of complex cases that might be expected in a huge multi-ethnic conurbation. As one reader/reviewer recently put it: If I was the victim of a crime, Mariner is the detective I’d want to investigate!

Can you tell us a bit about Married Lies?

Often the inspiration for the Mariner books comes from a news story or magazine article I’ve read. Married Lies followed on from a piece I saw about women who had been stalked, and eventually murdered, by someone close to them. I’m intrigued by the mentality of the stalker and the lengths that (usually) he will go to. Married Lies is primarily about a young woman who is being stalked by person(s) unknown.

Where did the inspiration for Tom Mariner come from?

The simple answer to that is I don’t know! When I embarked on the first book in the series – Deadly Lies – he really was an unknown entity. I knew how the story would unfold and what I wanted my detective to do to solve the mystery, but Mariner himself ‘evolved’ during the course of that book, and I hope he has continued to do so. While not based on any one person, I suspect that I’ve taken Mariner’s character traits and foibles from all sorts of people I’ve known – including me! His name also went through several previous incarnations, none of which felt quite right. But given that I grew up by the sea, and my great-great grandfather was a trawlerman, I like the idea that my protagonist is also a Mariner.


If you were to recommend one book everyone should read, what would it be?

The most affecting book I’ve read is Chris Mullin’s ‘Error of Judgement’ about the six men wrongly convicted of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings (an event touched on in the third Mariner book ‘Killer Lies’). The revelation of such blatant (and violent) prejudice inside the institutions designed to protect us, along with that feeling of ‘it could happen to anyone’, is terrifying. It kept me awake for nights.

My fiction recommendation would be ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel. In Thomas Cromwell Mantel has taken an unprepossessing man and somehow created an enormously attractive and charismatic character. I found the book totally gripping. I was later lucky enough to see the RSC dramatisation at Stratford too.


What is a typical writing day for you?

I think because (like many writers) I started out when I was working full-time and had a young family, I’ve never had a regular writing routine. Instead it had to be fitted in with other things. What this does mean is that I’m pretty flexible about when and where I write. I do have a designated ‘office’ space, but often end up elsewhere. What has changed since I retired from the day job is that I have the freedom to spend much more time each day writing, which feels like such a luxury!


Tell us something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!). In my teens I was football mad and played in a women’s football team.


What are you currently working on?

While continuing to revise the original Mariner series for Joffe, I’m in the very early stages of the next (#9) Mariner outing. I’m also working another crime novel – working title Pure Evil – which I hope will be the start of another series with two new protagonists.
CHRIS COLLETT – AUTHOR BIO

I was born and grew up in a Norfolk seaside town, almost as far east as it’s possible to go inChris Collett author photo jpg England without falling into the North Sea. There I worked variously in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). I graduated in Liverpool, then for twenty-five years taught children and young people with learning disabilities, including autism, before going into higher education as a senior lecturer.

Mindful of its reputation, I moved somewhat reluctantly to Birmingham, where I met my husband, in 1981. But just a few years later DI Tom Mariner was created to police its mean streets, and these days I relish the vibrancy and rich social history of the city. After eight outings for Mariner, I still feel as if I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Recently retired from lecturing and I’m currently luxuriating in the time I now have to continue the Mariner series, alongside published short stories and academic works. In my spare time, among other things, I’m a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.

#Author #Interview with K.C Tansley @KourHei

So today I’m excited to bring you an interview of lovely K.C Tansley, the author of the fantastic Unbelievables series. 

The-Girl-Who-Saved-Ghosts-B&N


Book Summary

She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.

After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead.

Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past.

As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

***

One sentence summary:

When an ancestor’s ghost begs her for help, Kat risks herself—and the friend who’s sworn to protect her—by traveling in time to nineteenth-century Vienna.

You can read my review here.

 

Interview:

I have recently read the second book in the Unbelievables series, The girl who saved the ghosts, could you tell me a little about the series?
The Unbelievables series are fast-paced YA time-travel murder mysteries that combines time-traveling, paranormal, and gothic mystery genres to weave a tale full of ancestral curses, powerful spells, strange connections, and inherited surprises.

My best friend Anthony and I came up with the concept for the first book when we were in 7th grade. We just put everything we loved in books into our own concept. We wanted to tell the story of four families who were linked across time by bonds they couldn’t escape, so we always saw it as a series.

In Book 1, prep school junior Kat Preston accidentally time travels to 1886 Connecticut, where she must share a body with a rebellious Victorian lady, prevent a gruesome wedding night murder, disprove a deadly family curse, and find a way back to her own time.

What inspired the series?

I was a big fan of ghost stories and Gothic stories as a kid. I remember reading about banshees and thinking there was nothing cooler. One of my all-time favorite reads is Wuthering Heights with its Gothic love story. Agatha Christie mysteries were a must-read for me too. I loved the intricate plotting and how it all came together so perfectly in the end.

As an adult, I read The Woman in Black, and it probably contributed to some of the creepier moments in the story. The Harry Potter series played a big role in my writing this book because I was distraught over Hermione and Harry leaving my life. I realized if I wrote my own books, my characters would be with me forever.



This is probably one you’ve heard a million times, but do you believe in ghosts?

I definitely believe in the unbelievables—ghosts, spells, time travel.

When I lived on Wall Street, there were several nights in that haze between dreaming and fully awake where I saw ghosts at the end of my bed. People dressed in clothes from another era and exuding an eerie bluish light. It turns out there were some horrible fires that destroyed buildings down there. I think when people die tragically something of them remains.

In my apartment in Washington, D.C., I used to hear people walking in the living room at night. At the time, I lived alone. It scared me so much I would throw the covers over my head. Because as we all know that protects us from the supernatural. I never went to investigate, but to this day, I think ghosts were moving around in there at night.

I know you also write for adults, what made you take the leap into young adult fiction?

It felt right for the story and the characters. At its heart, The Unbelievables series is about finding out who you are and where you belong. I think that’s a coming of age theme that is best suited to YA fiction.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors like myself?

Enjoying a great story and learning how to write a great story are two very different things. Take writing classes, attend workshops, read craft books, read writing magazines, and keep writing and revising. Every word you write makes you a better writer!

 

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m outlining Book 3 in the series. I like to spend a couple weeks playing with the major plotlines and story moments. It’s big picture stuff and character emotional arcs. I create a 3-4 page synopsis that I use as a guide when drafting my story.

I love this part of the process because I get to try out different scenarios and if I don’t like it, I can erase a few sentences and change it. Once I am drafting, it’s harder to cut entire scenes and rework plots. I still do it, but it’s just so much easier to do it now.

I have been going through books of baby names to name my new characters. I really enjoy figuring out their names and their backstories. 

Bio

K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and two quirky golden retrievers on a hillIMG_7858 somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is her award-winning and bestselling first novel in The Unbelievables series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

You can find out more about her at: http://kctansley.com

 

Links

Amazon

iBooks

Nook

Kobo

Author Website

 

Also available in the series, The Girl Who Ignored The Ghosts:

girl