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“Some secrets should never be kept…

A Suitable Lie AW.indd

Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive.  Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love.  Then he meets Anna.  Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems.  Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.  A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller,  A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…”

You can buy a copy of A Suitable Lie here.

I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on Michael Malone’s A Suitable Lie blog tour.  Michael has written a great guest post on writers and how they write, if like me you appreciate his sense of humour you will love the commentary.

How do you write? Any weird habits?  A favourite position (ooo, er missus)? Do you need complete silence, or do you rock out to Black Sabbath? Or can’t you even think about it until you have 3 coffees, melba toast and a wee slice of smoked salmon?

Truman Capote, who arguably wrote the best true crime “novel” ever, couldn’t write unless he was lying down, in bed or on a couch with a cigarette and a coffee. As the day progressed he moved from coffee to mint tea to martinis. As he described it, he had to be puffing and sipping.

Hemingway used to write 500 words every morning, to avoid the heat. Living in Scotland, I SO don’t have that problem.  He is quoted as saying he wrote one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit and that he aimed to put the shit in the wastebasket. I’m thinking the toilet would have been preferable.

Nabokov wrote his novels on index cards – they would then be paper-clipped together and stored in wee boxes. In the Paris Review he said he liked lined Bristol cards and well-sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.

Thomas Clayton Wolfe, the early 20th century novelist was so tall he used to write leaning over a refrigerator.

Ben Franklin liked to write in the bath. (I’ll bet he was very careful. Soggy paper?)

Voltaire used to place his parchment on the back of his naked lover.

John Cheever only had one suit, so he would go to his writing space, hang his suit up and write in his boxers.

My writing space? When I moved in to my current home about eight years ago, one of the attractions was the floored and lined loft space. I imagined it with bookcases, a wing-backed chair and a corner desk where I would write until my little heart was content.

I made all that happen, but then I also filled it with all kinds of stuff – empty suitcases, Christmas decorations, old clapped out techie junk, skiing equipment and an assortment of other bric-a-brac. So much so that the space is an eyesore – and I write at my dining room table.

As you can see from the esteemed writers above, there is no perfect space. What matters is that you show up, just like it’s work and put the time in.

As for my writing space? One of these days I’ll reclaim that loft. I will. Honest.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for some brilliant posts by Michael as well as more about #ASuitableLie

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About The Author:

bobmcd13

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes:
Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage. Michael is a regular
reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

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Author: Frances Brody

Published: 6th October 2016
Reviewed: 6th October 2016

Copy supplied by Piatkus / Little, Brown Book Group in return for an honest review

 

Description:

Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton feels like she deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.

Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.

And they say nothing happens in August . . .

My Thoughts & Review:

When I think of cozy mystery novels I instantly think of the work of Agatha Christie and her endearing creation Miss Marple.  So when I encountered this book I was inquisitive to see what sort of detective Kate Shackleton would turn out to be.  The idea of the story being set in the 1920s in Whitby was another factor in my interest in this book.

Kate Shackleton heads to Whitby for a well deserved break, but as is the case for most private investigators, trouble is never far away.  Not long after arriving Mrs Shackleton pulls on her investigating hat and begins to look into the disappearance of her god-daughter Felicity, which subsequently leads her to the discovery of a dead body in the local jeweller’s shop.

This being the first encounter I’ve had with this character I was intrigued to see how her investigations would progress, what methods she would employ to get to the truth as well as how the limitations of the era for females would impact upon her.  Death at the Seaside is the eighth outing for Kate Shackleton, and I would be quite keen to catch up with her in one of the earlier books to see how she has progressed but also to enjoy this style of mystery again.
Cozy mysteries may not be for everyone, some people might prefer their crime thrillers to be fast paced, action packed and highly dangerous, but despite not being any of those things, this book is still very good.  The mystery element is engaging, the story itself is well written, the characters are incredibly well created and interesting and the pace is steady.

An enjoyable change of pace, and a lovely easy read.

You can buy a copy of Death at the Seaside here.

 

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About The Author:

Frances Brody is the author of the Kate Shackleton mysteries, as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and four sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse, and Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.

 

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savoyblogtour

 

It is my pleasure to welcome you to my stop on the Girl From The Savoy blog tour and to round off what has been a wonderful tour.  Without further ado, I’ll hand you over to the lovely Hazel and the beautiful playlist that helped inspire her writing.

 

While I was writing The Girl from The Savoy, I often listened to music from the era. There is something so haunting about these high-pitched, warbling voices and something so exciting about the music of the emerging jazz bands such as the Savoy Orpheans, the resident band at The Savoy during the period  in which the novel is set. I hope you enjoy discovering some of these forgotten songs, most of which you can listen to through YouTube while watching some fabulous footage of the era!

Good-bye, Good Luck, God Bless YouHenry Burr, 1916

If You Were the Only Girl in the World (and I Were the Only Boy)’ Henry Burr, 1917

There’s a Broken Heart for Every Light on Broadway
Elsie Baker, 1916

Parisian Pierrot’ from London Calling! 1923

Fascinating Rhythm’ from Lady, Be Good, Carl Fenton Orchestra, 1924

Look for the Silver Lining’ from Sally, Marion Harris, 1921

The Merry Widow Waltz’ Marek Weber and His Orchestra

The Charleston’ various recordings, but I love the Savoy Orpheans, HMV recording, 1925

Charleston, Charleston, Show Me the Way’ Savoy Havana Band, 1925

It Had to Be You’ The Savoy Orpheans, 1924

Tiger Rag’ The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, 1917

Limehouse Blues’ Gertrude Lawrence

I Don’t Believe It, But Say It Again’ The Savoy Orpheans, 1926

Baby Face’ The Savoy Orpheans, 1926

Yes Sir, That’s My Baby’ Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra, 1926

 

You can order a copy of The Girl from The Savoy here.

 

About the Author

Hazel Gaynor, copyright Deasy Photographic

Hazel Gaynor’s 2014 debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME was a NYT and USA Today bestseller and winner of the 2015 RNA Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award. Her second novel A MEMORY OF VIOLETS was selected by WHSmith Travel as a ‘Fresh Talent’ title and was also a NYT and USA Today bestseller.

Hazel is one of nine contributing authors to WWI anthology FALL OF POPPIES – Stories of Love and the Great War. Her third novel, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY is available now.

Hazel writes a popular guest blog ‘Carry on Writing’ for national Irish writing website writing.ie and also contributes special guest features for the site, interviewing authors such as Philippa Gregory, Kate Mosse, Sebastian Faulks, Cheryl Strayed and Rachel Joyce among others.

Hazel was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers and was selected by Library Journal as one of ten big breakout authors for 2015. Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

To keep up-to-date with Hazel’s latest news, visit her website www.hazelgaynor.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hazelgaynorbooks

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