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Another Monday has rolled around, and so that means that that it’s time for another exciting First Monday Crime evening in London!  The authors featuring are superb, each brilliant in their own right and have all written some fantastic books!

So I shall attempt to share my review of Blue Night by Simone Buchholz, from February …

The Quiet Knitter

Today to Celebrate Indie Publishing I am delighted to share a book from the amazing Orenda Books, a publisher who brings exceptional books to the hands of readers around the world and I’m pleased to say that today’s offering is one such book!

Blue Night cover final

** My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

Description:

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and…

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** My thanks to the wonderful Karen Sullivan for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Clever claustrophobic reads are in, and this book falls under that heading.  What Louise Voss has done here is write a superbly intelligent thriller that makes you wonder what to trust and who to believe.

I want to avoid saying anything that relates to the plot of this book through fear of hinting as to what goes on in this book, but suffice to say, this is one book that caught be completely off guard.  There’s a creeping unease that leeches from the pages, the reader knows that Ed’s diagnosis of early-onset dementia could shatter the idyllic world that Lynn and Ed have created, but there’s no way of knowing how bad it might get.

Lynn Naismith is a character that I found that I wanted to understand, the early hints about her made me curious.  Just how did she meet Ed, what was it that she saw in him when they met, what did she give up to be with him?  There were times whilst reading that I didn’t quite understand her motivations and could not necessarily agree with her actions but nonetheless, this didn’t stop me from caring about the character.  And as I read on, I found that I became more invested in her, I was soon caught up with what was happening to her and frantically trying to untangle the events around her to make sense of what she was facing.  Don’t you just love when a character becomes so tangible and you try to work out what might happen to then if various things occur?

The plotting of this is excellent, the build up is paced perfectly.  The reader is lulled in, not realising that Louise Voss has woven a web of intricate darkness around them until it’s too late.  There’s always a point in a book that you get to where you know that you’re not going to be able to put the book down and absolutely have to keep reading to find out what happens and Voss really knows how to bait the chapters perfectly.
It’s slick, it’s impressive and it’s addictive reading!

Louise Voss is a name that will be appearing on my “must read” list from now on!

 

You can buy a copy of The Old You via:

Amazon UK
Orenda Book eBookstore

Today’s Celebrating Indie Publishing features a brilliant book that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and I am so thrilled to share an extract from Rebellious Spirits with you.

Rebellious Spirits was published by Elliot and Thompson on 19th April 2018 and is available to purchase now via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository
Waterstones


Description:Rebellious Spirits PC rev.indd

A delicious taste of the secret, exciting and often dangerous history of illicit spirits

Britain has always been a nation of enthusiastic drinkers. Any attempt to regulate, limit or ban our favourite tipple has been met with imaginative and daring acts of defiance: selling gin through pipes in a London back alley; smuggling brandy across Cornish clifftops; or dodging bombs and shrapnel running whisky in the Blitz.

The history of spirits in Britain has more illicit in it than licit – and that history has shaped these isles. Packed with wild stories, as well as authentic recipes from the past, Rebellious Spirits reveals the colourful characters and tall tales behind Britain’s long and lively love affair with booze.


The extract that I have to share with you today is on wartime cocktails, so sit back and enjoy!

We’ll Drink Again extract – Rebellious Spirits by Ruth Ball

It wasn’t just alcoholic drinks that were in short supply: production had stopped of most fizzy drinks and cordials too, leading to a terrible shortage of mixers for long drinks. Creativity and substitution came into their own here as well. No lime cordial to make a gimlet? Try a teaspoonful of lime curd! None of that either? Luckily the Ministry of Food were offering a recipe that made the best of a limited supply of citrus and egg to make an economy curd.

Lemon Curd:

1oz margarine; 1 level tablespoonful cornflour; 1 lemon (2, if small); ¼ pint water; 5oz granulated sugar; 1 egg

Peel the rind off the lemons, put into the water and bring to the boil. Beat the egg and cornflour, add the lemon juice and strain the boiling water over. Return to the pan, add the sugar and stir over heat 3 mins. Add the margarine and stir it in well, bottle immediately.

Ministry of Food advisory (1943)

THE ALCHEMIST’S VERSIONS

For the gimlet:

2 tsp lime curd (you can make the wartime curd below, or use shop-bought)

25ml water

50ml gin

Spoon the lime curd into the bottom of a short tumbler and add the water slowly, stirring well as you do. Add the gin and give it another good stir, then add ice and serve. It’s not quite the same as it was before the war, but it’s not too bad.

For the lime curd:

Zest and juice of 2 limes

150ml water

1 egg

1 tbsp cornflour

150g sugar

30g margarine

Put the lime zest and water into a large pan and bring to the boil. While it is coming to the boil, beat the egg and sprinkle over the cornflour a little at a time, stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Then add the juice of both limes, a little at a time. Once the water has boiled, pass it through a sieve into a jug, then immediately add it to the egg while stirring. Transfer everything back to the pan and add the sugar. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 mins. Mix in the margarine and then bottle as for carrot marmalade (see page 188), or simply pour into a small bowl for immediate use.

Technically, for authenticity, your margarine should be made of whale oil; but since this is both disgusting and now illegal, it is fine to stick with something based on vegetable oil.

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It’s always exciting when you get a sneaky peek of a new book cover, and I have to say that when the AWESOME damppebbles told me she was organising blog tours and had a book cover to share I jumped at the chance……and she’s a real book fairy cause she’s offering you the chance to get a free short story written by Russell Day!  Read on my bookish chums…..

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Book Blurb:
Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn’t her husband.

Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the

adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.

Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.

No one except Doc.

Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

 

You ready for the cover?!

 

 

 

 

needle song

 

FREE RUSSELL DAY SHORT STORY IN EXCHANGE FOR A TWEET:

Russell Day came to Fahrenheit Presses attention when they asked for submissions for their NOIRVILLE short story competition.  A panel of judges placed Day’s stories in first AND SECOND place!  Only one of the stories features in the NOIRVILLE anthology which means we’re giving the second story away for FREE, you lucky people!…….(well, free in exchange for a tweet!).

To receive a copy of Russell Day’s award-winning story, make sure you’re following @damppebbles (so you can receive the DM with the download links) and then tweet the following:

NEEDLE SONG by Russell Day (@rfdaze) published by @fahrenheitpress in eBook on Monday 30th April! #NeedleSongBook | @damppebbles.

http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_fahrenheit.html

No retweets, it has to be a shiny new tweet otherwise it won’t count!  Any problems then please contact @damppebbles.

 

About the Author:

Russell Day

Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.

Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.

Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.

 

 

Today I have a mini review to share as part of the blog tour for Kjell Ola Dahl’s The Ice Swimmer.

The Ice Swimmer AW.indd

** My thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my copy of this & Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

 

Description:

When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder.
With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort. Dark, complex and nail-bitingly tense, The Ice Swimmer is the latest and most unforgettable instalment in the critically acclaimed Oslo Detective series, by the godfather of Nordic Noir.

My Thoughts & Review:

I do love dipping my toe into Nordic Noir, and what better author to act as lifeguard than the awesome Kjell Ola Dahl.  For those unfamiliar with this author, I would urge you to check out his books, they are utterly brilliant and authentic.

The Ice Swimmer is a well plotted police procedural that keeps readers guessing throughout.  There’s a darkness that this book exudes, it’s so cleverly twisted and and full of suspense.  Whilst the pacing may not be breakneck speed, it works perfectly with the plot, complimenting it.  The investigation is thrilling and complex, but the glimpses into the lives of the team are what really makes this a such an enthralling read.  There’s something so realistic about the characters, but more so when you see the looks into their personal lives, this authenticity makes them come alive, even if their names are almost impossible to get your tongue around.
The atmospheric setting is beautifully written, Oslo is so crisp and vivid.

The translation by Don Bartlett is as ever seamless, none of the subtle nuances are lost when the work was translated into English.

You can buy a copy of The Ice Swimmer via:

Amazon UK
Orenda eBookstore

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MARK OF THE DEVIL final .jpg

** My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my copy of this and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

While Inspector Jim Carruthers and team are busy investigating a series of art thefts they receive an anonymous tip about the body of a young woman on a deserted beach.

The bizarre clues to her identity, and what might have happened to her, include a strange tattoo, a set of binoculars and slab of meat left on the cliffs.

The team’s investigations lead them to a local shooting estate and its wealthy owner Barry Cuthbert. However, Carruthers suspects Cuthbert is not all he seems and the DI soon starts to wonder if the cases of the missing works of art, the dead woman and the estate are connected.

Then when the body of a young gamekeeper is pulled from the sea tensions boil over. The trail of clues lead the team to the unlikely locale of Tallinn and into the sinister world of international crime and police corruption.

Needing answers Carruthers must look further afield than Fife. However, the closer he gets to discovering the truth the more danger he finds himself in.

Since everyone who crosses the vengeful killers seem to end up dead, can Carruthers solve the case with his life in tact?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

From the outset I have to admit to breaking my own rule of reading a series in order, this is the first book of the Jim Carruthers detective series that I’ve read and in all honesty, it reads pretty well as a stand alone novel.  There are enough details about past events revealed to allow readers to understand the characters and their back stories without bogging down the plot in the current novel. 

Jim Carruthers is an interesting character and one that I really took a liking to, he cared about his team (the ones that wanted to be there and actually do the job), he cared about the investigations he was working on and wasn’t afraid to push himself to the limit to get answers, even when it meant putting himself in the line of danger.
There are some truly damaged characters in this novel, some who have managed to move on from the events in their lives and exist more comfortably, but there are some who carry the scars and thoughts with them in their daily life.  The struggles make these characters more relatable and gives them a layer of reality that readers need to connect with them.

The plot is a whirlwind of action and intrigue, a dead body on a beach, binoculars and chunks of meat on a clifftop….just how do these connect?  And with artworks being stolen from their wealthy owners this makes for a case that Carruthers and his team need to solve quickly before anyone else ends up dead.
The investigation leads Carruthers to Estonia and I have to say the pace really does gallop merrily onwards from here, and I found that I was equally intrigued by the events occurring around our protagonist as I was the events from the hotel’s history.  Having an interest in the cold war, I found the links to the hotel’s past fascinating and will definitely be looking into this further.

The descriptions of the settings were really fantastic, having been to some of the wee villages around Fife, I found that I could well imagine the coastal settings and the isolated beach, the steep climb to the tattoo shop (reminded me a little of Pittenweem), giving the reader a wonderful feeling of being able to “see” things in this book.

You can buy a copy of Mark of the Devil via Amazon UK

 

About the Author:

Profile Picture 2017

Edinburgh based Tana Collins is the author of the popular Jim Carruthers detective series set in Fife. Her debut novel, Robbing the Dead, published February 2017, became a No 1 Amazon bestseller for Scottish crime fiction.  Care to Die, the follow up in the series, also became a Top 10 Amazon bestseller. Published on 1st June 2017 Care to Die was described by Peter Robinson, author of DCI Banks,  as  “A finely plotted mystery. Tana Collins racks up the suspense on this one. DI Jim Carruthers is a cop to watch.”  In September 2017 having won one of the coveted Spotlight places at Bloody Scotland Tana supported Lynda La Plante on stage.

Her third novel, Mark of the Devil, is to be published 24th April 2018. Author Leigh Russell writes of it, “A cracking read. The suspense never lets up.”

Tana is a trained Massage Therapist and Stress Management Consultant.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: tanacollins.com

Twitter: @TanaCollins7

Author Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tana-Collins-490774634440829

 

B L O G B L I T Z

Today I am thrilled to share a guest post written by John Marley for the blog tour for his latest book Godsend.  Not only does Godsend sound like a really interesting read, the author behind the book has a wonderfully delightful sense of humour but I do think he should maybe look into buying some ear plugs for his wife….

Description:J.A. Marley - Godsend_cover_high res

It has been eighteen months since Danny Felix pulled off the robbery of his life.  His plan brought London to a standstill, but at a heavy price.

Now, living a quiet life running a charter fishing business in the Florida Keys, Danny is trying to come to terms with the death and destruction he had unwittingly unleashed. However, the low profile is beginning to wear thin and he soon starts to crave the adrenalin rush of his former criminal ways. 

Little does he know that three very different women are about to enter his life and turn it upside-down. Soon Danny finds himself right back in the action.

But why has he been chosen? And does he have the appetite to pull off another job where the stakes are so lethally high?

You can buy a copy of Godsend via Amazon UK

 

Shhhh! Don’t wake the Mrs!

 

When I finally managed to become a full-time writer, the one thing I wasn’t expecting was the lost sleep.

It’s not so chronic that it could be called insomnia, but there are long periods when I’m writing my books that are clearly defined by one thing. Bleedin’ characters waking me up at around 4.30am to poke and prod me about a plot point or development.  An idea for a set piece sequence might rouse me, or the motivation for a secondary character’s sudden burst of violence might cause me to toss and turn. I might have to sit bolt upright because of a sudden realisation that a I have to kill this one or that one to give my plot an added burst of momentum.

So why are you complaining, you ask…. isn’t this all adding to productivity, the onerous word count, the dreaded deadline? Well, yes…but why does it have to come to me with such a bolt at an indecent hour? I quite like my sleep…I definitely like my bed.

In an effort to facilitate a swift return to the land of nod, I have tried all sorts of things.  First was the pen and notepad by the bed.  Now, in theory that is all well and good, except I tried to do this without putting the light on so as not to wake the Mrs.  I’d scribble down my creative titbits and nestle back into my pillow secure in the knowledge that the inspiration had been captured for use later.  Except… at that time of night my handwriting is a bit like a spider who has enjoyed a few light ales, a half bottle pf whiskey and a late-night curry before knocking over an inkpot and scurrying across my notepad.  Indecipherable?  Pretty much.  It might as well have been written in hieroglyphics.

Next up I tried using the voice notes recorder on my phone. Scrabbling half-awake to get to my phone, wake it up, remember my lock screen code, find the app, get it going and then start whispering into it like a wildlife presenter in the midst of a whoop of gorillas. This didn’t work.  Because when I listened back to these mid-night musings, I sounded like I had downed the beer, the whisky and the curry.  It also caused the Mrs to stir…not good!!

So, what’s an insomniac scribbler to do?  I gave up and gave in. I get up, pad to the bathroom, get my dressing gown, affectionately known as Wuffly Bear in my house, and descend the stairs. Now this sounds all well and good right? Wrong!  We have two cocker spaniels.  They sleep at the foot of our bed.  If I get up they instantly assume it is either a) breakfast time or B) breakfast time.  Our bedroom has wooden floors. The food dance then breaks out, where our dogs spin in celebration of their imminent feast.  This sounds something like a Hollywood studio floor when Fred and Ginger are going at it for all their tap dancing worth. Little claws pinging about the place at four in the morning.  Needless to say, the Mrs stirs.

So, I have now developed an almost stealth like method of sliding soundlessly from under the sheets and across the bedroom to fetch Wuffly Bear.  As you can imagine this takes patience and time. When I eventually make it down the stairs, it’s laptop powered up, kettle on, backside in chair and write. Phew!

My first two books have been crafted in this manner, and whilst I am usually a grumpy sod due to lack of sleep, I have to admit that in these moments, I am actually quite chipper, because at the end of the day I’m very blessed to be able to spend my days (and nights) pursuing my dream of being an author.  So what if it wakes me up? So what if I have to creep round my own house like Santa Claus on the 24th December?  I’m the lucky one. I get to be creative and hopefully, along the way, readers will be thrilled, enthralled, surprised and entertained.  I can think of no other pursuit that it’s worth losing sleep over.  I’m very blessed.  The Mrs on the other hand…

 

About the Author:

John Marley, 27April2016, photographer Bronac McNeill

John A. Marley’s writing career started with a poem about two brothers who both liked sausages…their names were Butch and Dutch and his Primary School teacher Mr. Murray liked it so much it made the main noticeboard at the entrance to Holy Child Primary School in West Belfast.  A little older but none the wiser, he ended up as a film journalist in his native Northern Ireland, contributing to local newspapers, BBC Radio Ulster and latterly writing as the main film critic for the glossy magazine, Northern Woman.

John’s love of good stories came from the Irish predilection for telling a good yarn and the fact that there was nothing quite like sneaking away his Dad’s battered paperbacks to read even though he knew they were meant for adults and not kids. And so pulp fiction such as The Edge Westerns by George G. Gilman, the adventure novels of Alistair MacLean and the thrillers of Jack Higgins all served to whet his appetite for a good story told at pace.

These days, his reading tastes still focus on thrills, spills and good plot and he can’t walk by a James Lee Burke or an Elmore Leonard without pausing to read a few pages…even if it is in a busy bookshop.

John A. Marley is also a TV producer with a proven track record in creating and producing distinctive, original entertainment and factual programming and formats for both a UK and international audience. His eclectic portfolio of high-profile shows include Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAFBritain’s Flying PastStaraokeBest of FriendsSkatoonyNoel’s House PartyThrough the KeyholeSMTV:Live/CD:UKHow Euro Are You? and live coverage of “The Oscars” with Barry Norman.

John runs his own production company Archie Productions which he launched in 2008. Prior to setting up his own indie, John enjoyed a wide and varied career in television will creative roles at Talent Television, Planet 24, Carlton Television and Walt Disney UK. John’s broadcast media career started in his native Northern Ireland as a radio host.

Godsend is the follow up to John’s debut novel, Standstill in which we first met master thief Danny Felix.

Social Media Links:

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time to celebrate another independently published author and their book.  Today’s book in the spotlight is The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter written by Cherry Radford.  It was published by Urbane Publications on 5th April 2018 and is available to purchase now.


Book Feature

Description:

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After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to start a novel, she wants to be alone until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle or tragedy of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is a unique book that opens with a wonderful playlist of tracks to play whilst reading the book, giving the reader a glimpse of the important role that music plays.  The connection of music is what draws two characters together, one a musician in Madrid and the other a journalist/author in Beachy Head.  The discovery of a CD in a borrowed car leading to a friendship between the two and setting off a chain of events that lead to self discoveries and uncover long buried secrets.

Imogen has sought the sanctuary of her aunt’s lighthouse following the break up of her marriage, relishing the peace and tranquility that the remote setting offers her, despite missing her teenage son terribly.  However, her sadness is only magnified when you realise that the lighthouse she is staying in has another in it’s view, the one that her father worked at and subsequently lost his life at.
The backdrop of the setting is poetically offset with the struggles that Imogen has to work through.  Heartache is something that Imogen has experienced before, but the diary extracts she reads from her father rock her and throw her into a deeper turmoil.

Musician and actor Santiago Montoya in Madrid is working on a soap opera and not able to spend as much time working on his music as he’d like, his band no longer performing.  He begins learning English in the hopes that it might open new opportunities up for him in his career and is one day surprised when a tweet comes from a woman in England saying how much she connected with this music, how it made her feel alive, made her “feel”.

Their connection through Twitter is like the beginnings of a modern day love story, social media linking them from one country to another.  Imogen’s personality shines through her messages to Santiago, her chatty happiness positively glows from the pages.   The easiness of their friendship makes for enjoyable reading, the budding friendship between them grows, Imogen helping Santi with his English and he in turn helping her with her Spanish.

The story of Imogen’s father is one that slowly unravels throughout the book, and one that I found I was desperately hooked upon, wanting to discover what drove him to take the course of action he decided upon.  The diary extracts give a great insight into the mind of her father, and an alternative view to Imogen of events from her childhood.

Themes of relationships and emotion are a huge part of the plot, this is a book that takes readers on a journey along with the characters.
Vivid descriptions of the settings help to transport the readers, from the rocky, windswept Beachy Head to the sunny and continental Madrid.

An enjoyable escape.

You can buy a copy of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter via:

Amazon UK

 


Author Feature:

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Cherry Radford was a keyboard player in a band, a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet School and an optometrist/post-doctoral researcher at Moorfields Eye Hospital before suddenly starting her first novel in the middle of a scientific conference in 2009.

Following the publication of Men Dancing (2011) and Flamenco Baby (2013) by a small Brighton-based independent, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is her first novel with Urbane Publications.

Cherry lives in Eastbourne and Almería (Spain).

She chats about writing and other passions on her BLA BLA LAND blog (https://cherryradforddotblog.wordpress.com), Twitter (@CherryRad), Instagram (cherry_radford) and website (http://cherryradford.co.uk).

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

My favourite thing is being immersed in the world of my novel, particularly in the last few chapters. At that point, I’m way past the dreadful 25K doubting stage, I’ve come through the plot-tangling developments, and I pretty much know how it’s going to end – but love watching how the characters take over and decide the final details. This isn’t the favourite thing for people around me, however; apparently, I behave like a woman in that antsy stage of labour, and… well, on all three occasions I’ve been encouraged to book into a hotel!

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

Although I love Twitter, Instagram and running my BLA BLA LAND blog, I have far too many technotantrums about things like managing photos, uploading stuff and trying to figure out how the hell Goodreads works.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

I love unusual romances that are written for both men and women – what I call People Fiction as opposed to Women’s Fiction. It would have to be one of the stellar examples, such as Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. I am totally in awe of that novel.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

If I’m not plotting, I’m researching, writing or editing a novel – or possibly two of these, on different novels! I’m always reading something – a novel or some non-fiction for research – but spend far too much time Tweeting and Instagramming with all sorts of wonderful people e.g. other authors, flamenco musicians and an engineer who goes around the country fixing lighthouses! I try to swim or walk each day (both great for ideas), and two afternoons a week I have my lovely piano pupils.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

Oh yes. I developed stationeryphilia through years of doing scientific research, and this condition was easily transferred to my writing when I started it nearly ten years ago. I have to write in pocket-size elasticated leather notebooks you can stick a (colour-matched, Pentel) biro into. The sight of a white screen page makes me nervous; I’m much happier scribbling by hand and later filtering as I transfer to the laptop. It also stops me fussing about word count, which I think is a daft way of measuring progress (does a painter count how many tubes of paint he’s using up?). It’s getting through the chapters that counts –  and not irritating readers by having too many words in them. I’m a recumbent writer – bed, sun-lounger or beach rug – but always get my break-through ideas when in the bath or swimming.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

More seaside! I’m writing a saga about a family who own a pier, starting in 1930. At least, I hope I am; I’m still in the dreadful doubting stage.

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?  

Put down the phone and read – there are so many great novels out there, and only one lifetime to read them in!

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://cherryradforddotblog.wordpress.com)
Twitter: @CherryRad
Instagram: cherry_radford
Website: http://cherryradford.co.uk

 

 

 

 

It’s always exciting when you get to do a cover reveal for a book that you can’t wait to read, even more exciting when you’re the ONLY blogger revealing said cover……talk about an honour and huge vote of trust from the author.  I am absolutely thrilled to be able to share the cover of Robert Enright’s Bermuda, the prequel to the massively popular and successful Doorways and The Absent Man.

As if the first chance to see the cover of Bermuda isn’t enough, I am so pleased to say that Doorways is currently free on Kindle via Amazon UK and The Absent Man is 99p on Kindle via Amazon UK.

 

Discover how it all began…

Franklyn Jones is a devoted husband, a loving husband and a middle manager working in London. His only secret is he can see ‘The Otherside’, a world that hides in the shadows of our own. After his claims of these creatures leads to the loss of his family and his commitment to a mental health facility, Franklyn’s life came to a complete stand still.

Eventually, Franklyn is recruited by the BTCO, a secret agency that monitors and maintains the truce between both worlds. Thrust into an advanced training regime based on his ‘gifts’, Franklyn soon finds himself out on his first case, investigating the disappearance of several people in Elvedon Forest in Suffolk.

Closely monitored by his trainer, Denham, Franklyn edges further into this new world, hunting a violent entity that lives within the trees, whilst also being watched by a mysterious warrior.

The explosive prequel novella to DOORWAYS and THE ABSENT MAN, BERMUDA provides a look back at where it all started. Are you ready for the answers?

 

And now, for the all important cover…..

 

 

 

Bermuda Cover

Isn’t it stunning?  Ties perfectly with the previous covers and looks amazing!  Now to wait for the publication date to roll round so I can read it!

 

 

About the Author:

Author Photo

Born and raised in North West London and now residing in Hertfordshire, Robert Enright has been writing for over 10 years. His debut novel – ONE BY ONE – was self published on Amazon in March 2015, receiving critical acclaim and was nominated for Books Go Social Book of the Year 2015. The violent, revenge thriller gave Rob a path into crime fiction, but the constantly embraced geek within him went a different way. 2016 will see the release of DOORWAYS – published by Urbane Publications – the first in the Bermuda Jones series, a dark sci-fi about an agency dealing with the threat of a parallel world. He can’t wait to write the whole series – if he can put down his Xbox controller or his Nerf Guns!

For more information about Rob and his upcoming books, feel free to check him out on social media:

Twitter – @REnright_Author
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robenrightauthor

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Isabel Ashdown’s latest thriller Beautiful Liars which will be published on 19th April 2018 but can be preordered now!

 

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Eighteen years ago Martha said goodbye to best friend Juliet on a moonlit London towpath.
The next morning Juliet’s bike was found abandoned at the waterside.
She was never seen again.

Nearly two decades later Martha is a TV celebrity, preparing to host a new crime show… and the first case will be that of missing student Juliet Sherman. After all these years Martha must reach out to old friends and try to piece together the final moments of Juliet’s life.

But what happens when your perfect friends turn out to be perfect strangers…?

 

Guest Post: LOCATIONS

As a novelist, I’m constantly discovering new things about myself and the way I write.  With experience I find that I must be fixed on a location before I can write a word, and being a coastal girl at heart, it’s no surprise that most of my books share a coastal theme.  Beautiful Liars is my first departure from the sea – taking us to the diverse locations of rural Derbyshire, modern London and importantly, the Regent’s Canal.  Arguably, you could say that I still find myself gravitating towards water …

Beautiful Liars is a psychological thriller of multiple perspectives, and it’s a story concerned with the power of lies.  Martha Benn, our main protagonist, is a TV investigator attempting to launch a cold case review into the disappearance of her childhood friend Juliet, who went missing on along the Regent’s Canal eighteen years earlier.  In the present day, Martha has a privileged life, living in a plush city apartment with views across London, earning an enviable salary and the respect of her peers.  But our journey into the past shows a very different story.  Having grown up in relative poverty, with an absent mother and an alcoholic ex-policeman father, Martha lived for the moments spent outside the home, with her best friends Juliet and Liv.  The Regent’s Canal was an area they frequented, whether walking to school together or meeting at the Waterside Bar where the staff turned a blind eye to underage drinkers.  It was after a night out there that Juliet was last seen, when Martha left her to cycle home alone after the pair had exchanged cross words.  In the years that have passed, dreams of the moonlit Regent’s Canal have haunted Martha, and it’s now time to put those nightmares to rest.

She’s been here before, recognises the still-water tang of the moonlit path, the creaking murmur of houseboats and wooden decking moored along the frozen bank. It’s a shortcut home, one they’ve always taken in warmer months, but to be avoided alone after dark for fear of unseen dangers lurking in the shadows. To her right the frosted path meanders alongside the black water, disappearing into nothing as it stretches beyond the bridge. Her shallow breaths billow out in hot white clouds, misting her vision. To her left a homeless pair sit huddled beneath sleeping bags on the wooden bench, not looking in her direction, more interested in the sandwich packet and steaming tea they’ve just been handed. ‘You’re an angel,’ one of them says, to no one in particular, his hand raised like that of a stained-glass saint. ‘You’re an angel.’

A key suspect in the case is David Crown, a local landscape gardener and charity worker, who was known to the girls and went missing at around the same time as Juliet.  It was this fact that led the police to scale back their investigation so quickly, believing her vanishing was a simple case of a 17-year-old running away with an older man.  Martha, however, is not convinced, and she follows David’s trail back to his childhood home in Derbyshire’s Peak District to seek out anyone who might know where he is now – and ultimately lead her to discover the whereabouts of her best friend.

From where I stood, her home was in view, not three hundred yards from the clearing, a large stone farmhouse set against the backdrop of the mountains and dales beyond. Out in the open air, the sun was still warm and bright in the sky, and it would be several hours more before darkness descended. I gazed down at the girl, taking in the way her slender arms trailed at her sides, palms upturned, fingers curled as though in restful slumber. One of her yellow clogs had tumbled away to reveal the soft pink underside of her small foot; the other remained in place, incongruous and ugly. I removed it, placed it with its partner neatly at the foot of the nearest birch. It struck me how young the girl suddenly appeared in death, how the absence of life lifted years from her, and how, lying there in her pastel summer dress, her skin sun-kissed and downy with fair hair, she seemed no threat at all. Where was her power now?

Preorder your copy via Amazon UK

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