#BlogTour #GuestPost Q&A Noah’s Lament by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author

Hello lovelies! My first post of the day is a fantastic Q&A with Jim Ody as part of the blog tour for his latest book Noah’s Lament but first a little about the book:

Title: Noah’s Lament by Jim Ody

Date Published: 15th August 2019

Genre: Young Adult

Description:

Noah Thomas is seventeen and his world is flawless. He’s handsome, his grades are great

and he’s in love with his best friend Rosie. All is perfect until his dad is caught having an affair with Rosie’s mum.

Unable to cope, his mum runs back to America to a place called Escape; taking him with her. Now, broken hearted in a foreign country, he’s no longer the popular ace student and is struggling to fit in.

Tahli is a troubled soul. Dark and mysterious, she attaches herself to Noah. Instead of finding his feet, he thinks he’s losing his mind. Slowly, he begins to spiral out of control.

In the place that everybody escapes to, could Noah be the first to have a reason to get away?

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Q&A with Jim Ody:

1. Where did the inspiration for Noah’s Lament come from?

The interesting thing about Noah’s Lament is that I had defined parameters. This is #28 of a long running series set in the Colorado town of Escape. This meant that there was a lot of information that I had to be mindful of in regards to lay out, and business owners and locals. I had free rein for the genre, and story content, but everything else had to fit nicely into the series.

At first, I found this a daunting task, but as the story evolved, I became less worried about the details, and more about intertwining the backstory. This was the first time I had a go at writing a YA novel. I was careful to keep to my usual dark style, whilst watering down the content so as it could be in secondary school libraries.

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

A dark take on the a-fish-out-of-water scenario, with a bit of a twist.

3. Out of all the characters in Noah’s Lament, did you have a favourite to write?

Stevie is a great character. He is the new next-door neighbor to Noah in Escape. He is a nerd who instantly sees Noah as a hero. When he gets angry he shouts, “Flat White!” instead of a profanity.

4. What is your favourite genre to write and why?

I touch on many genres, but most are shoot-offs of dark psychological/thrillers. I love to lead the reader, and then whip them around when an unexpected ending. I deal in the relationships of people, as they are so fascinating. Humans do such strange things depending on what their goal is. I observe and use the characters I see in real life to help tell my stories.

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

I work full time as a Business Analyst, and have three children, therefore my writing starts usually at about 8:30pm. I write for about two hours. It might be new chapters of going back over the writing from the night before. I’ve got into the habit of doing this every day of the week (apart from Saturdays as I tend to watch boxing!).

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

This is a very hard question. I’m sure my answer would change every six months. Currently, I love You by Caroline Kepnes. I think the raw observational narrative is a good example of exceptional writing. I would also add The Bottoms by Joe R Lansdale as it’s thought-provoking, touching, and funny telling the tales of turn or the century America where money allowed the rich to bully the poor, racism and sexism was accepted, and yet a poor family, does it’s best to get through it. Wonderful emotive writing.

7. Who are your favourite authors?

Again, I have many. The two I’ve mentioned (Caroline Kepnes & Joe R Lansdale), also Dean Koontz, and CJ Skuse. I have to stop there because once I get started, I cannot stop. I enjoy authors who are not scared to push boundaries and who have a unique voice.

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

I play the drums. I’m self-taught and have played them since I was seventeen (a long time ago!), I even played a couple of gigs! I am a huge fan of music, but it’s the beats and rhythm that I really feel. I listen to music to calm me down when I am feeling anxious. At work, if I cannot put music on then you will see me spinning my pen like a drum stick. I’ve perfected three different ways to spin them.

9. What are you currently working on?

I’ll keep this brief. I have a book called Mr Watcher coming out in November (this is a cross between You and Eyes Wide Shut), then another book coming out in January called The Revenge of Lisa Lipstick (This is a dark revenge vigilante/thriller). However, I’m currently writing a book called The Loss. This is about an accident that affects the lives of three people forever. The story deals with the effects of each character, and eventually comes back in full circle, as we find out the whole truth. Then, I have a more adventure/thriller called Mystery Island, which is about the relationship of a couple who go looking for buried treasure only to end up on an island that holds a huge secret. I expect to release at least five books in the next twelve months.

10. Is there a question you’d wished I’d asked and what is the answer?

Perhaps, What do you like most about writing? My answer is: I write books to produce stories that I want to read. I love to think that these stories are now available for others to enjoy too. I really love seeing people add my books to Goodreads. It makes it all worth it every time I read reviews, either good or bad. The fact that somebody has invested their time in to reading my books is great.

About The Author:

Jim was first published in an English School Textbook in 1987. He won a competition to draw a dog-walking machine. Having won an art competition the year before, he felt that at the age of

For 10 years Jim wrote for a number of websites reviewing and interviewing bands in his own unique way, as well as contributing dark poems and comedic features.

He writes dark psychological/thrillers that have endings that you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written three novels and a novella all released by Crazy Ink. He has also contributed to around a dozen anthologies. He has a new book called ‘Mr Watcher’ coming very soon!

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife and three beautiful children in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

#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 #GuestPost Three by K.J. McGillick @KJMcGillickAuth @rararesources

Today I have a fab Q&A with K. J. McGillick as part of the blog tour for her book THREE: Deception Love Murder but first a little about the book:

Three Front Cover

Title: THREE: Deception Love Murder by K. J. McGillick

Date Published: 5th January 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

Inviting a stranger into your home can be dangerous. Inviting a stranger into your life can turn deadly.

How would you feel if you discovered your death was meticulously planned by someone you loved? You didn’t know how or when or even why. All you could do was wait.

Emma has it all-a job she loves and a man who professed to love her.

Or did she? How could she be so blind?

When her lover’s car is found burned and abandoned in another state, the police come asking some hard questions. What she discovers upends her world completely. Jude had been living a double life right under her nose. A deceitful life, a treacherous life. Who was this man that had already groomed another woman to take over Emma’s life? A woman who was Emma’s body double and now dead.

Why had she so easily trusted this psychopath with her heart? Betrayed on every level, consequences not of Emma’s making were nipping at her heels. Tick. Tock.

THREE is a gripping crime thriller that will have you hooked. A fast-paced psychological thriller that has been compared to the works of Dan Brown. It can be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the Path of Deception and Betrayal series.

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078VFT9PJ/

UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078VFT9PJ/

Three will be 99 p/c for the duration of the tour.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/nxVD9MOsLss

Three Full Tour Banner

Q&A with K. J. McGillick

Can you tell me a little bit about your book?

My book is about an ordinary woman who gets caught up with a man who has targeted her for her expertise in art. The man is part of a criminal organization who launders money for terrorist activities by selling forged art.


Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

My curiosity about how easy it is to launder money and wanting to know more about it. And the criminal elements of the art world. It amazes me the amount of money people will pay for some swirls of paint.


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

Inviting a stranger into your life can turn deadly, be judicious in your trust.


What is a typical writing day like for you?

I normally am up by 4 a.m. and start writing. In the evening I review the material and make some preliminary alteration.

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

The DaVinci Code because it is a thriller and yet really makes you question the foundation of religion.

Who are your favouriteauthors?

Dan Brown, John Grisham, Scott Pratt, Lee Child, David Baldacci.


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

I still practice law on a part-time basis but have placed more emphasis on writing since last year.


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

I spend most of my disposable income on travel and over the last twenty years have been to Europe over thirty times and Russia once. I am an art and history buff.


What are you currently working on?

A thriller about a stolen Boticcelli by a person with a rare genetic disorder that evades being captured for two murders because of that disorder.

About The Author:

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.Three head shot

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/KJMcGillickauthor/

Kathleen McGillick

@KJMcGillickAuth

http://www.kjmcgillick.com/

https://twitter.com/KJMcGillickAuth

https://www.goodreads.com/Kmcgillick 

#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:

DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL

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

 

#BlogTour #BookPromo #Giveaway Q&A The Raven Tower by Emma Miles @EmmaMilesShadow @rararesources

Today I’m excited to bring you an interview and giveaway with new author Emma Miles as part of her first ever blog tour! A big thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour. Before we jump into the Q&A, a little about the book:

Title: The Raven Tower by Emma Miles

Date Published: 29th October 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Description:

What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement?

The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall.

Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.

Purchase Links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Tower-Fire-Walker-Book-ebook/dp/B07HLPCGX3

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raven-Tower-Fire-Walker-Book-ebook/dp/B07HLPCGX3

The Raven Tower Full Tour Banner

Q&A with Emma Miles:

Can you tell me a little bit about The Raven Tower?

The Raven Tower is based in a world with four lands, each with very different societies and theologies. Chem; the mountainous and snowy land of sorcerers where women are considered property. The Borrows; a series of small rugged islands whose people survive by raiding. Elden; a kingdom of relative wealth and peace. And the Fulmer Islands where the people are ruled by a woman and live closely with nature. When the small and independent islands of the Fulmers come under attack, they are forced to go to their much larger neighbour, Elden, for help. The king of Elden has a sorcerer, a man who was rumoured to have been washed up by the sea as a baby; he has a reputation of being a powerful and frightening man.

The book mainly follows three characters. Kesta, who is a fire-walker, gifted with a rare magic that allows her to see other places through the flames. She’s fiercely independent and has quite a temper.

Dia, who is Kesta’s mother and the ruler of the Fulmers.

And Osun, a merchant in Chem who is really the spy of an unknown and dangerous master.


Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere! I’ve always had very vivid dreams and spent too much time daydreaming. Without giving away any spoilers, I’d started writing a book with a similar basic theme some years ago, but it didn’t quite take off. I started toying with the idea again but with a darker undertone and when I made a start on it, it just really took off.


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

Ha ha, are you trying to torture me? A lot of writers hate writing blurbs and synopsis with a passion and I’m one of them; one sentence is even worse!

Seriously though, I’ll give it a go.

Strangers from conflicting societies are forced to work together to save their lands from a vile and evil magic and an Overlord who would enslave them.


What is a typical writing day like for you?

Because of the job I do and the fact it’s shift work and long hours I find it hard to have a typical day. Sometimes it’s just squeezing in a quick email to myself, other days it’s taking a walk and sitting out under the sky seeing scenes unfold like movies in my head. On those occasions where I do get a few hours to write I’ll usually start my music playlist for that book to lose myself in and, if I’m lucky, immerse myself in the ‘writing zone.’

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

It’s always hard to pick one! I think I’d have to say ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers. It’s a self-help book that really turned my life around. I wish I’d read it years before I did.


Who are your favourite authors?

JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett and Marion Zimmer Bradley.


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

I’m a railway guard. I’ve been on the railway now for 18 years. I’ve had to deal with a huge variety of incidents and events including a train fire.


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

Despite being incredibly shy, I did do a bit of acting and singing on stage when I was younger and had some voice training. When it came to doing my degree, though, my shyness won out and I went for backstage theatre work rather than front of stage.


What are you currently working on?

The sequel to The Raven Tower. It was originally meant to be a standalone but I fell in love with the characters and couldn’t leave them where they were at the end of the book!

Author Bio-

I presently live in the stunning county of Dorset where I’m a cat slave to Wolfe and Piglitt I The Raven Tower 0332lr (1 of 1)spend as much time as I can outside in nature and love exploring and learning about new cultures and languages. I’ve visited Greece, Serbia, Transylvania, Sicily and Norway as well as making several road trips around our beautiful United Kingdom. I paint, sculpt, dabble in photography and do a little archery but most of all – whenever I get a chance – I write.
My writing started from a very young age when I often found myself being the one taking charge of and entertaining all my younger cousins. They loved to hear my stories and although they mostly called for ghost stories it was fantasy I fell in love with when I read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten. I went on to write stories and short ‘books’ for my friends through school and college; then one evening whilst I was waiting for my aunt and uncle to visit an image came to my mind of a boy sitting beneath a bridge. I didn’t know who he was or why he was there, but from exploring those questions ‘The Wind’s Children’ trilogy blossomed and grew with roots going back into his far history as well as stretching out to his future. The boy’s name was Tobias.

I have since left Tobias’s world of ‘Naris’ to explore the Valley with Feather in the ‘Hall of Pillars’ which is now available through Amazon. I am now presently finding my way through Elden, the beautiful Fulmer islands, the ravaged Borrows and haunted Chem with Kesta Silene; a shamaness of sorts with a big journey ahead of her. I hope you come along to share her story and join her adventure; she needs you and you won’t regret it.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/TheWindsChildren

Twitter @EmmaMilesShadow

Giveaway – Win 5 x Paperback copies of The Raven Tower (Open Internationally)

The Raven Tower Front Cover

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Just click the link to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494164/?


#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 

#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

 

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