Author Interview with Rebekah Dodson of the Life After US series

Daisy Song Cover

 

 

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Seven months ago, Vicki Morel was supposed to be happy, not in the midst of the apocalypse. She and her fiancé, Will, should have been married and about to celebrate the birth of their child. Instead, she is on the run in fear for her life and the life of her baby. Her only hope is Ambrose—the man she truly loves.

Vicki entered Ambrose’s life like a bomb and blew everything apart. Just when he thought they could get out of this hell hole alive, she walked away. Or did she? After a cryptic message on a satellite phone, Ambrose is willing to risk it all to find her. Through a plane crash, escaping crazy doomsday preppers, and invading a military base, Ambrose and his band of survivors is determined to rescue Vicki. He wasn’t born a leader, yet the people follow him, determined to carve their own path in this world.

When everything ends, the daisy’s song promises a new beginning, a different life, and a fresh path in this altered world.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

Rebekah Dobson author photo

 

 

 

*How did you develop a love for writing?

As a kid, I was homeschooled, which meant I had a lot of free time on my hands. Both my mother and I disliked math, so she always gives me an option to write a story about topics instead. Thus, I started writing historical romances from a very young age! This was cultivated over the years with journaling and writing poetry, but I never lost my intense obsession with historical figures and romance.

 

 

*Writer. Editor. Teacher. Mother. Wife…Is it hard wearing so many different hats?

 

Yes, definitely. I couldn’t do it without my husband, who is a disabled veteran who stays home to help with kids and things. Wearing so many different hats requires precise time management; my days start at 4am and end at 9pm, and in that short amount of time I have to fit in writing, editing, teaching, and grading. It’s very tiring, so I have to snatch a little downtime whenever I can steal it. And wine, lots of wine.

 

 

*How does being an editor and teacher influence your writing? And vice versa? 

Being and editor and teacher has influenced my writing because it made it more precise with the rules of grammar, and also concise and clear writing. As an editor I’m able to quickly fix my own grammar mistakes with commas and dialogue, and as a teacher (in technical writing and GED studies) I’m also able to say things with less wordiness. I can’t believe how much my writing has increased in quality just since I started teaching five years ago! My writing also influences my editing and teaching, because I’m able to look at things more creatively. When a client is stuck on a scene I can help them pull through with a new idea or piece of dialogue, and when my students are frustrated with assignments I’m able to communicate clearly how to overcome their issues.

 

 

*What do you love most about history? 

The fact that it’s ALWAYS changing, and most of what we know isn’t really what happened. What we know is never fact; it’s just based on anecdotal pieces of evidence that we have based on a triangulation of artifacts: painting, first-hand accounts, records, and all of that. But I’m more interested in the little details: what did people look like? How did they walk? What did they do for fun? Those are some things we have lost to time in many cultures.

Also, I’m really fascinated with food. In my book Mirrors I spend three days researching medieval banquets for a simple 3 paragraphs of writing! It was awesome to be able to describe it through my time traveler’s eyes! You’ll notice I’m always about the food in many of my books.

 

 

*Is it challenging writing in different genres? 

No, not at all. It’s very refreshing. When I’m stuck writing romance, or I don’t have any fresh ideas, I switch to fantasy to unlock my creativity. The (time travel) fantasy I write isn’t far from science fiction, so that seemed a logical jump. It’s also exciting to go back to plain ol’ romance where all I have to worry about is boy + girl, or boy + boy, or girl + girl or… well, you get the drift.

 

 

*There seems to be an underlying theme of love and romance in all of your series. One of your catch phrases is “Love even in the apocalypse.” Can you tell us more about this and how it bleeds into your writing process?

I think all my characters start with a small motive of love. In my Curse of Lanval series, I knew he was going to find Marie, who is based on the historical poet from the 12th century, Marie de France. I didn’t know they’d have such an epic time at figuring it out, however. In Life After Us, I knew Vicki and Ambrose were going to fall in love after the airport, I just wasn’t sure how it was going to happen.

Romance plays a huge part in my process because it makes everything more intense and dangerous, I feel. The dialogue is more exciting, and so is the body language. When friends fight, for example, they aren’t staring deep into each other eyes or wanting to hold the other person. I love writing a romantic angle because it shows us some raw human emotion: the need to be loved, held, and care for are fundamental, “lizard” brain stuff. It’s as old as time itself.

 

 

*Daisy Song in the Life After Us series is awesome. How did you take the initial idea and shape it into a compelling story?

Oddly enough, this book series Life After Us was born from the song “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” by John Denver. I was at the gym one day when the song came on and I started thinking about a couple embracing at an airport where one of them is leaving and not coming back (that became Vicki and Will).

I kept thinking about it all day – why wasn’t he coming back? What if he doesn’t love her, and he’s trying to escape? But why would he do that? Does he get kidnapped by terrorists? What if the airport was bombed and America was invaded, and one of them was lost?

It just rolled downhill from there: what if they had to escape the end of the world and flee Portland, Oregon, a perfect place for an invasion that no one ever considers. So, I sat down to write what became chapter two of Poppy Bloom that very day. Over a few months, a friend and I started bouncing ideas between each other, and Vicki, Will, and Ambrose as characters were born.

And actually, there’s a bit of a joke in there, as well. My best friend and beta reader at the time challenged me to sneak some WWE characters in there, so you’ll notice some names of famous wrestlers sprinkled throughout. Which ones? I won’t say…

 

 

*What is your creative process for characters? 

A LOT of looking at pictures and photographs! Before I even write much about them I make a graphic or teaser about the character, so I know exactly what they look like, so I can refer to it when they need to do something like rub their chin or push back their hair or something. Then – and this is weird, but – I write out a modified Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying sheet, where I know their alignment (morality, basically) and what they look like, their strengths and weaknesses, and what their fears and dreams are. When I get stuck in a scene, I have an arsenal of things to work with. No more dialogue? Well, talk about dreams. Run out of scenes? Drop them in their fantasy. It’s grand fun.  

 

 

*Tell us about the relationship between Vicki Morel and Ambrose Palamo. 

Vicki and Ambrose really have some things they have to get over in their past, and that prevents them from having a real relationship. In Lavender Dream, we learn Ambrose had his heart broken and hasn’t been able to move past that. In Daisy Song, we learn more about Vicki’s parents and her abuse as child, which lead her to an “easy going” man like Will. Both of them quickly learn they lacked affection growing up, and that’s what they truly seek from each other.

In the beginning, though, they hate each other. Vicki doesn’t like to be ordered around: she has an absent fiancé, so she does what she wants. Ambrose isn’t used to ordering people around but suddenly has to step up. After the airport attack, it’s all about not dying, but then Ambrose realizes that he’d like Vicki to die less, and one day he wakes up and realizes he can’t live without her (like I said, it’s that need for affection thing). That’s when the story changes (at the end of book 1, Poppy Bloom), when Ambrose realizes that there’s no one else he’d rather be stuck with than her. And even though they only spend a few short weeks together in Book 2, Lavender Dream, he will go to the ends of the earth to save her in our third and final book.

I guess you could say they are enemies turned friends turned lovers, but that’s not entirely true. I think they were both lonely for a long time and it took the end of the world to see that time was of the essence to be happy, or as happy as they could be. In the end Vicki ends up being very broken, and Ambrose becomes the leader, and so their roles change, and with it does their relationship.

I’m excited to show you what this means in the new Series release, which will include exclusive content with Vick and Ambrose a year after the Daisy Song ends. Look for it in March 2019!

 

 

*How has writing this series affected you? 

This is the first book I ever wrote in third person (my preferred writing style is first person, and first person POV switch between male and female) and I learned a great deal about “head hopping.” My first editor for Poppy Bloom left me a crying, sobbing mess in the corner when she destroyed my book for “hopping” between Ambrose and Vicki’s innermost thoughts. But I fixed it, and the next too books came out even better!

In fact, I’d say this series affected me because in Daisy Song, Vicki had to go to some dark places. She’s suffering abuse and has PTSD, and I did a lot of research on the victimization of women especially. As a result, my next novel, a standalone called Road More Traveled, is a romantic suspense about a woman who is feeling a criminal from her past. I channeled a lot of Vicki into my new character, but instead of giving them PTSD, I’m watching it unfold and allowing the character to heal. I’m glad I was able to write Vicki’s anguish to the point that it influenced another new book. And guess what? It’s also in 3rd person, which is quickly becoming my new favorite way to write. Stay tuned for a release date, likely it will be April!

 

 

Rebekah Dodson Author Bio

Rebekah Dodson is a prolific word weaver of romance, fantasy, and science fiction novels. Her works include the series Postcards from Paris, The Surrogate, The Curse of Lanval series, several stand alone novels, and her upcoming YA novel, Clock City. She has been writing her whole life, with her first published work of historical fiction with 4H Clubs of America at the age of 12, and poetry at the age of 16 with the National Poetry Society. With an extensive academic background including education, history, psychology and English, she currently works as a college professor by day and a writer by night.

 

Facebook | Amazon | Website | Goodreads

 

 

 

MTW 2019 Facebook Event Cover

Book Review: Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz

Out of the dark orphan x

“A shocking stunner in every way. The perfect thriller.” ―Robert Crais

When darkness closes in―he’s your last, best hope. Evan Smoak returns in Gregg Hurwitz’s #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.

“Prepare to get Smoaked.” – Benjamin Thomas

Fire And Bullet

When darkness closes in―he’s your last, best hope. Evan Smoak returns in Gregg Hurwitz’s #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.

Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets―i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man, a man who helps the truly desperate when no one else can. But now Evan’s past in the Orphan Program is reaching out to him.

Someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. After Evan’s mentor and the only father he ever knew was killed, he decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the program and who is now the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States.

But President Bennett knows that Orphan X is after him and, using weapons of his own, he’s decided to counter-attack. Bennett activates the one man who has the skills and experience to track down and take out Orphan X―the first recruit of the program, Orphan A.

With Evan devoting all his skills, resources, and intelligence to find a way through the layers of security that surround the President, suddenly he also has to protect himself against the deadliest of opponents. It’s Orphan vs. Orphan with the future of the country―even the world―on the line.

Amazon | Audible | iBooks | B&N | Goodreads

Review - 3d rendered headline

 

Orphan X is one of my favorite characters and series! 

This really should be a movie franchise. It’s that good. Going up against the President of the United States; not to mention a criminal organization, Orphan X has the odds stacked pretty high in this one. Under extreme pressure, lethal circumstances with dire consequences, you really get to see who Evan Smoak is. He shines under these kind of “pressure cooker” type situations. Gregg Hurwitz has mastered the character revelation of Orphan X.

In each book you get to see more about the infamous Orphan program the President is trying so hard to eradicate. In Out of the Dark we meet Orphan A, the program’s very first highly trained asset.  I was also pleased to see the return of Orphan V, a.ka. Candy McClure, make a return appearance. 

Can’t wait to where Hurwitz takes the rest of this series! 





Gregg Hurwitz is the critically acclaimed, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of 20 novels, including OUT OF THE DARK (2019). His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been published in 30 languages.

He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Gregg resides in Los Angeles.

GreggHurwitz.net

John David Bethel Discusses His Writing Process With No Immaculate Conceptions

No Immaculae Conceptions image

 

 

One month after his college graduation, Dean Eaton is writing speeches for presumptive presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Peter Dottier. Two months later, he is being pursued by a psychopath.

Dean Eaton is determined to make his own way after college. He wants to break away from the life paved for him by his parents. His first step is a week or so camping to clear his head and rejuvenate his spirit. What begins well ends with him witnessing the assassination of an undercover FBI agent. This brings Eaton into the orbit of Special Agent Steven Blanchard who convinces Dean to join him to bring down the deadly arms dealer who had the agent murdered. This partnership calls for Eaton to be placed on the staff of Senator Peter Dottier in order to track down a contact of the murdered FBI agent who, according to Blanchard, is a member of the senator’s staff.

As he struggles to learn and fit in to the confusing and often devious world of politics and public policy, Dean finds a mentor in his landlord, Ambassador Belmont Towbin, a respected eminence grise in Washington.

Throughout his learning process, Dean is also dealing with the dangers of his role identifying the contact. It soon becomes obvious that all is not as Blanchard has represented. Not even close. As Dean’s suspicions grow, Reisa Winston, Blanchard’s partner, reveals that he is the contact, and things go south from there.

No Immaculate Conceptions is a novel of politics and a study of the deadly ambitions of significant players in Washington who often use their power and positions for personal ends.

 

Amazon | B&N | Website | Goodreads

 

 

 

welcome word in wood type

 

 

 

Meet author John David Bethel a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He has been published in popular consumer magazines and respected political journals. He is the author of Evil Town, a novel of political intrigue, and Blood Moon, a psychological crime thriller inspired by a true story of kidnapping, torture, extortion and murder.

 

 

John David Bethel image

 

 

Did you outline this book or was it more intuitive?

I don’t work from an outline.  I begin with a kernel of an idea and build on that foundation.  In the case of No Immaculate Conceptions that kernel was the main character’s camping trip during which he discovers a wounded, and soon to be dead, federal agent.  From there it’s off to Washington, where – one month after his college graduation – Dean Eaton is writing speeches for presumptive presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Peter Dottier.  Two months later, he is being pursued by a psychopath.

 

*Is your writing approach to every book the same?

Yes, and in the case of No Immaculate Conceptions, I set Dean down in Washington with Senator Dottier in order to track down a contact of the murdered FBI agent who, according to Dean’s FBI handler, is a member of the senator’s staff.

 

Washington DC National Mall, including Washington Monument and Thomas Jefferson Memorial with mirror reflections on water

 

 

*Where did the kernel of the idea for No Immaculate Conceptions begin?

From a daydream.  I was wondering how I would react in a situation where outside forces put my life in danger and I hadn’t a clue what they wanted.  That evolved into the initial plot-line for the novel whereby Dean is wandering around a lovely, pristine environment and realizes he is being followed, and then shot at.  This brings him into the orbit of FBI Special Agent Steven Blanchard who convinces Dean to join him to bring down the deadly arms dealer who had the agent murdered.

 

*Who is Dean Eaton and what motivates him?

Eaton is a child of privilege who has had all the advantages of life and wants to find his own way.  This has created in him not only a drive toward independence, but also the willingness to take chances, go out on a limb to gain new experiences.  In the novel, he goes so far out on that limb there is a high likelihood it will break off.

 

 

3D rendering of a compass with a Motivation icon.

 

 

 

*How do you create characters for your books?

There are authors who create back stories for their characters to understand how they will react as the plot advances.  My technique is to place the characters in the action and let that dictate the development of their personalities. It fits with the intuitive way I develop my novels.

 

*Name some struggles you had writing this book.  

Fortunately, I’ve not had struggles with writing any of my novels.  It sounds overly simplistic but I begin at the beginning and stop at the end.  The editing process often takes a good bit longer than does writing the original draft.  

 

 

 

Hiker on peak with tall mountain in background

 

 

*No Immaculate Conceptions is lengthy book. Had you been writing this for a while, or did it just flow naturally?  

Once the kernel of the plot line was on paper (on the screen), things advanced naturally and fairly swiftly.  

There is the advice given to all writers to “write what you know.”  I know politics and I write about it. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I find the going easy when I put it all down.  I mine my experiences in Washington as a speechwriter and communications strategist – adding drama – and it all seems to work out.  

 

 

*Describe your mindset when you begin to write.

My wife tells me I go into a zone and it takes some prodding to get back into the present.  A “fugue state” perhaps describes it best.

 

 

*What kind of advice would you give to new writers?

Write because you enjoy the creative process, and believe in yourself.   

I’m often asked why I write and my answer is because I have to.  The urge to create has to be satisfied…as presumptuous as that sounds.

 

 

John David Bethel image

 

 

Mr. Bethel spent 35 years in politics and government. He served in the Senior Executive Service as a political appointee where he was Senior Adviser/Director of Speechwriting for the Secretary of Commerce; directed speechwriting offices for other Cabinet officials, serving as Chief Speechwriter to the Secretary of Education; and lead speechwriter in the Department of Transportation’s Office of Policy and International Affairs. He also served as press secretary/speechwriter to members of U.S. Congress.

Mr. Bethel works as a media consultant for a number of prominent communications management firms. He writes speeches, opinion editorials and Congressional testimony for CEOs of the nation’s largest corporations, including the Hilton Hotels Corporation, and Royal Caribbean Lines. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Washington Post and other prominent newspapers around the country.

David Bethel graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Tulane University and lives in Miami, Florida.

 

David Bethel is a writer of fiction and non-fiction.  He is the author of Evil Town and Blood Moon. www.johndavidbethel.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Silent Murder by E.R. Fallon

SILENT MURDER

 

 

 

SILENT MURDER by E.R. FALLON

 

DISCOVER A FAST-PACED DETECTIVE THRILLER FULL OF TWISTS

A body dismembered with a chainsaw is found under an infamous Newark bridge. The victim has links to organized crime.

On her first day back at the job Detective Rebecca Everhart has a new partner to cope with as well as this baffling case. Rebecca has just come back from a homicide case that left her shaken.

Then another body turns up with the same gruesome wounds as the first. Has Rebecca got a serial killer on her hands or a mob war?

She must enter the tightly-knit Portuguese community to break the case.

This is second of a series of enthralling mysteries featuring Detective Rebecca Everhart. Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Melinda Leigh, Robert Dugoni, and Patricia Gibney.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

newark road sign , worn and damaged look

 

 

THE SETTING

Newark is the biggest city in the state of New Jersey, a gritty waterfront city with a large port. It’s a place that some call home but also somewhere many workers commute in to from the suburbs. It’s considered a dangerous city by some, but in recent years has been somewhat revitalized. One of the most diverse cities in the world, it’s a place full of life and great stories.

 

 

Review image Faith martin

 

 

This is great crime fiction. I love where the story begins and gives you a sense of motion; but also leaves you with a healthy dose of suspense. Silent Murder has everything you need to feed your crime addiction! Depth of character with good point of view. Sufficient tension and conflict, plot twists, mysterious crimes. A creative and unpredictable plot. I was hooked!  I literally felt part of every scene. I’m a fan. Can’t wait to see what E.R. Fallon has coming down the pike.

 

 

DETECTIVE REBECCA EVERHART SERIES

Book 1: BODY IN THE BOX

Book 2: SILENT MURDER

 

 

Silent Murder Blog Tour banner

 

 

 

Photo_ERFallon

 

 

E.R. FALLON

Having spent most of my life in and around NYC, I know well the gritty city streets I write about and have firsthand knowledge of the localized crime world through family. I will say no more. I studied criminology in college and was mentored by a leading advocate for the family members of homicide victims. I’ve published several stories with mystery and crime elements that received praise from bestselling international writers, and have previously worked as a business writer. I now live in the countryside and enjoy connecting with readers on and through my website.

 

 

Number 5, stars and laurels isolated on white background. 3D illustration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Livia Lone by Barry Eisler

Livia Lone book image

 

 

Seattle PD sex-crimes detective Livia Lone knows the monsters she hunts. Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason; marooned in America; abused by the men who trafficked them…the only thing that kept Livia alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason.

Livia has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison.

Or, when that fails, by putting them in the ground.

But when a fresh lead offers new hope of finding Nason and the men who trafficked them both, Livia will have to go beyond just being a cop. Beyond even being a vigilante. She’ll have to relive the horrors of the past. Take on one of the most powerful men in the US government. And uncover a conspiracy of almost unimaginable evil.

In every way, it’s an unfair fight. But Livia has two advantages: her unending love for Nason—

And a lifelong lust for vengeance.

 

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

 

 

Book Review - 3d rendered headline

 

 

HOLY GUACAMOLE. THAT. WAS. EPIC. 

This book is largely the making of Livia Lone, and how–what she has become.  I had many emotions while reading this. Anger, laughter, sadness, hope, fear. It has it all. Not many writers can invoke such a wide range of emotions in the same book. Especially with me. I almost cried, which is really saying something. There’s only been a handful of writers who actually made me cry. This was sooo close.

 

Barry Eisler takes an innocent young Thai girl, masters her worldview, and then puts you on the front row in the world of sex trafficking. Livia Lone is such a powerful character with an amazing story. She was robbed of her family, country, security, and the one thing she lived for–her sister, Nason. Strong character arc. Five stars. Enough said.

 

 

5 Five Stars Rating Quality Review Best Service Business Internet Marketing Concept

 

 

LIVIA LONE SERIES

 

Livia Lone

The Night Trade

The Killer Collective

 

 

Barry Eisler image

 

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous “Best Of” lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he’s not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
–from the author’s website

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Website

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Next Victim by Helen H. Durrant

Escape

 

 

 

NEXT VICTIM by Helen H. Durrant

 

 

helen durrant

 

MEET DETECTIVE RACHEL KING IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES.

DISCOVER A BRAND NEW MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT THAT WILL HAVE YOU GRIPPED FROM START TO NERVE-SHREDDING FINISH.

A young man’s body is found burnt and tortured by a Manchester canal.

Detective Rachel King investigates. But she has a secret, the love of her life is a well-known villain. He has recently come back on the scene. But what does he really want?

A brutal serial killer with a taste for good-looking young blonde men.

A student who believes she has a lost brother. But even her own father doesn’t believe her. She was involved with the first victim.

As the murders continue, can Rachel keep her family together and stop the killer?

 

 

Woman with the magnifying glass

 

 

THE DETECTIVE

DCI Rachel King. Thirty-nine year-old mother of two teenage daughters. Divorced from Alan.  She lives in the Cheshire village of Poynton – about ten miles from central Manchester. She is good at her job, gets results but does make mistakes. One of them was getting involved with a budding villain in her teens. No one, family, friends or colleagues know anything about this.

Amazon U.S. | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Goodreads | Joffe Books

 

 

Book Review - Wooden 3d rendered letters/message

 

 

This is just great crime fiction. The victim. The body. The killer. The ensuing investigation. The demonstration of his M.O. and motivation for his work. I always enjoy when there’s a formidable antagonist in the mix. I prefer stories when the killer’s point of view is used early on versus later in the book. That, with detective Rachel King’s life creates a more powerful story. In other words, Helen Durrant knows how to deliver! I’m definitely  recommending this series.

 

 

Premium quality sign on black leather

 

 

ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES

Book 1: DEAD WRONG

Book 2: DEAD SILENT

Book 3: DEAD LIST

Book 4: DEAD LOST

Book 5: DEAD & BURIED

Book 6: DEAD NASTY

Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS

 

THE DCI GRECO BOOKS

Book 1: DARK MURDER

Book 2: DARK HOUSES

Book 3: DARK TRADE

 

 

helen durrant

 

 

HELEN H. DURRANT

OVER 700,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

 

 

Mystery & thriller fans, bloggers, authors don’t miss out on MTW 2019 May 13-24. 

Participate in MTW 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Innocent by Taylor Stevens

the innocent amazon image

 

 

Vanessa Michael Munroe #2

 

Vanessa Michael Munroe—the fearless heroine of the New York Times bestseller The Informationist—returns in a gripping new thriller.

Eight years ago, five-year old Hannah was spirited out of school and into the closed world of a cult known as The Chosen. Ever since, followers of its leader have hidden the child and shielded her abductor. Now, childhood survivors of The Chosen who have escaped to make a life for themselves on the outside know here to find Hannah and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help. Munroe reluctantly takes the job, and travels to Buenos Aires to infiltrate the cult and save the girl. Inducted in to a world unlike anything she has faced before, Munroe must navigate unpredictable members and their dangerous cohorts, the impatient survivors who hired her, and the struggle against her own increasingly violent nature so she can rescue the child before the window of opportunity closes and Hannah is lost forever.

Now with an excerpt from the latest Vanessa Michael Munroe novel, The Catch

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

 

 

Beautiful girl, a student, reading a book in a coffee shop, enjoying her time alone

 

 

Taylor Stevens has mastered the voice of sensational protagonist Vanessa Michael Munroe, but in this second installment of the series, it isn’t just her story.  The story also is that of close confidant, Miles Bradford, Logan, and an innocent kidnapped girl named Hannah.

The story is told through point of view characters Munroe and Bradford. Throughout the story you get a “beneath the hood” intrinsic view of each one, what motivates them, critical backstory, and how they understand each other. So basically it’s a revelation of character on many fronts, which should be a given in any book, but especially so in this one.

Taylor Stevens takes you deep into character with a stylistic prose that places you right on the scene. I found myself lost within this story–and that’s exactly where I want to be.

 

 

 

Customer review give a five star

 

 

 

 

Vanessa Michael Munroe Series

The Informantionist

The Innocent

The Doll

The Vessel

The Catch

The Mask

 

Also…Check out Liar’s Paradox released December 18, 2018.

 

 

liar's paradox

 

 

Liars’ Paradox is hands-down the best thriller I’ve read this year. Original, cunning, smart, riveting and relentless; with complex characters, pitch-perfect pacing, and high tension from page one to the end that begs for a movie treatment. Taylor Stevens has catapulted herself to the top of my favorite authors, right up there with Lisa Gardner and Lee Child.”
—Allison BrennanNew York Times Bestselling Author of the Max Revere novels

Liars’ Paradox is pulse-pounding thriller in the vein of Nelson DeMille’s The Charm School. Taylor Stevens weaves a web of betrayal and intrigue that kept me flipping pages, blew me away, and left me hungry for her next release!”
—Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Mission Critical

 

 

A master of international intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Taylor Stevens introduces a pair of wild cards into the global spy game—a brother and sister who were raised to deceive—and trained to kill . . .

They live in the shadows, Jack and Jill, feuding twins who can never stop running. From earliest memory they’ve been taught to hide, to hunt, to survive. Their prowess is outdone only by Clare, who has always been mentor first and mother second. She trained them in the art of espionage, tested their skills in weaponry, surveillance, and sabotage, and sharpened their minds with nerve-wracking psychological games. As they grew older they came to question her motives, her methods—and her sanity . . .

Now twenty-six years old, the twins are trying to lead normal lives. But when Clare’s off-the-grid safehouse explodes and she goes missing, they’re forced to believe the unthinkable: Their mother’s paranoid delusions have been real all along. To find her, they’ll need to set aside their differences; to survive, they’ll have to draw on every skill she’s trained them to use. A twisted trail leads from the CIA, to the KGB, to an underground network of global assassins where hunters become the hunted. Everyone, it seems, wants them dead—and, for one of the twins, it’s a threat that’s frighteningly familiar and dangerously close to home . . .

Filled with explosive action, suspense, and powerful human drama, Liars’ Paradox is world-class intrigue at its finest.

 

Amazon | Goodreads | Kobo | Google Play Books | Audible | B&N

 

 

taylor stevens image

 

Website | Podcast | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Burning Men by Steve Parker

Escape

 

 

 

 

THE BURNING MEN by Steve Parker 

Discover a crime thriller full of shocking twists by one of the most exciting new authors you’ll read this year.

A MAN IS BURNT AT THE STAKE IN A LONDON PARK. HIS SMOULDERING CORPSE IS A MESSAGE OF THE MOST VIOLENT KIND.

The man burnt alive is Davey Caine. He is the heir to the criminal empire created by his father, William ‘Billy’ Caine. Billy is a notorious and violent gangster with total control of South East London. But he’s not the man he used to be and the sharks smell blood in the water.

Detectives Ray Paterson and Johnny Clocks must find the killer before Billy extracts his own brand of justice. They find themselves drawn ever deeper into London’s underworld.

The streets explode into violence and the body count rises. Men are shot and burned alive in a tit-for-tat power struggle between rival gangs.

Detectives Ray Paterson and Johnny Clocks find themselves trying to control men of extreme viciousness. Men who have no fear of the law and its consequences and who are unafraid to kill anyone who stands in their way — including police detectives.

Paterson is stunned when he’s offered the chance to stop the conflict dead in its tracks. If he ignores it, the mayhem continues. If he takes it, there will be a price to pay.

What he doesn’t know is that the price will come with hidden and devastating consequences.

ON THE STREETS OF LONDON, A SIMMERING GANG WAR IS ABOUT TO ERUPT WITH PATERSON AND CLOCKS CAUGHT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE.

This is the third in a series of action-packed, edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers, with an ending that will have your heart in your mouth.

Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Martina Cole.

Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson is a young and (thanks to family money) wealthy womaniser, separated from his model wife and tipped to be the youngest ever commissioner of police. He knows he’s weak when it comes to practical policing and struggles to find a place among his peers, desperate to be a good policeman and not just a ‘climber’.

Detective Inspector Johnny Clocks is a foul-mouthed, working-class officer. He grew up surrounded by rogues and villains to become a first-class thief taker with the Met police. However, his childish attitude has short-circuited his career and he spends his days antagonising as many people as he can.
 
THE AUTHOR

Steve Parker is a retired police officer who served for 20 years in numerous high-profiles squads.

THE SETTING
Bermondsey is an area of London nestled on the banks of the River Thames. It once had a reputation for housing more armed robbers, murderers and career criminals than anywhere else in the country. Now one of the most upmarket places to live and work in London, it has all but severed itself from its working-class roots. Home to the iconic Tower Bridge and crammed with expensive apartments, art galleries, fancy restaurants and famous residents. But for the police, those who truly know, Bermondsey never lost its roots . . . or its reputation.

DETECTIVE RAY PATERSON
Book 1: THEIR LAST WORDS
Book 2: THE LOST CHILDREN
Book 3: THE BURNING MEN

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

BLOG TOUR Banner - The Burning Men

 

 

This one was definitely a page turner! Detectives Ray Paterson and Johnny Clocks are quite a pair! I love how Steve Parker has created these characters and put them in the midst of a stellar plot. I can’t say this about every book, but it was so easy to get lost in pages to find out what happens next. A gripping crime. Hidden messages. Gangsters in London’s underworld–This was quite a surprise!

 

 

 

Number 5, stars and laurels isolated on white background. 3D illustration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Shadow Crimes by Michael Hambling

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Shadow Crimes

 

 

Looking for a gripping mystery by a best-selling author? Full of twists and turns, this crime thriller will keep you turning the pages until the emotional conclusion.

 

 

SHADOW CRIMES publish

 

 

 

DETECTIVE SOPHIE ALLEN IS BACK TO SOLVE HER TOUGHEST CASE

An undercover detective disappears.
A retired prison officer is murdered.
Drugs and contraband phones are out of control in the local prisons. How are they getting in?

Can Detective Sophie Allen discover the links between these crimes?

AND WILL SHE FIND THE MISSING DETECTIVE BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT? 

A shadowy group with more influence than anyone suspected will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

Discover the truth in this enthralling crime mystery.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.

SHADOW CRIMES is book seven of a new series of crime thrillers featuring Sophie Allen, head of the Violent Crime Unit in Dorset.

THE DETECTIVES
DCI Sophie Allen is Dorset’s acknowledged expert on murder and violent crime. She is 42 as the series starts, and lives with her husband and younger daughter in Wareham. Her elder daughter is studying in London. Sophie has a law degree and a master’s in criminal psychology. Her brilliant mind conceals some dark secrets from her past.

DS Barry Marsh is based at Swanage police station. He’s quiet, methodical and dedicated, the perfect foil for Sophie’s hidden fragility.

THE SETTING
Dorset. A beautiful English county which includes a stunning section of the coastline, but whose beauty belies darkness beneath the surface.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

I love discovering great crime fiction. Michael Hambling hooked me from the opening scene. DCI Sophie Allen is a tough, likable character who can get the job done. Loved everything about the book and found the writing to very entertaining. It’s easy to lost in the story! I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.

 

 

DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW

THE DCI SOPHIE ALLEN BOOKS
 
Book 1: DARK CRIMES
Book 2: DEADLY CRIMES
Book 3: SECRET CRIMES
Book 4: BURIED CRIMES
Book 5: TWISTED CRIMES
Book 6: EVIL CRIMES
Book 7: SHADOW CRIMES

 

 

Michael+Photo+2

 

 

Author Bio

 

Like many writers, I have been a keen reader all of my life. I remember one day as a nine year old in the summer holidays, when I visited the local library four times in one day because a child’s ticket only allowed one book out at a time! I can even remember the plot of one book, a story about a boy taking up fly-fishing, read while sitting outside in a sunny back garden in Bristol.

I still live in the west-country, and set the location of my novels in this area. The early novels in the series are based in the Isle of Purbeck, one of the UK’s most beautiful coastal regions. But the rest of the county of Dorset does get a look in, and there are scenes set in other locations in the central south of England.

I write because I constantly create scenes, people, imaginary conversations and unusual situations in my head. I have always done so, ever since I was a child. Using the richness of the English language to set down these creations in words is a great joy. Maybe by the time I’ve edited a passage for the umpteenth time it’s beginning to lose some of its sparkle for me, but I do believe in reshaping and polishing until it’s as good as I can make it. It then becomes something about which I can feel some justifiable pride.

Who are my own favourite writers? Hilary Mantel, of course. Not just the the recent Thomas Cromwell novels, but the brilliant and sly characterisation of Beyond Black.
Doris Lessing has written some startlingly original stories over many years. I’m also a great fan of David Mitchell. He shows great creativity in all of his novels.
Philip Pullman has written many books of startling originality, full of imaginative ideas. Not just the Lara series, but the earlier Sally Lockhart novels. One of my sons bought me La Belle Sauvage (volume one of the Book of Dust trilogy) for Christmas. I loved it, so much so that I’ve already re-read it a month later, something very rare for me. Wonderful stuff.
Another author I’ve come to admire greatly is Charity Norman. She writes about families in crisis situations and how the problem is partly resolved. I came to her books with “The New Woman”, a novel that probes the problems created by gender variance. Her other novels are equally good. Her writing style is outstanding.

In crime fiction I like Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels and the books of Mo Hayder. I also enjoy Colin Dexter’s Morse and Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels.

I cannot compete with these greats, so I aim for something different. I hope that I have succeeded to some extent.

 

 

 

Book Review: Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot

Close to the Bone image

 

Widow’s Island Novella book 1

 

FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island.

Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on the case—and by nagging memories that draw her twenty years into the past. The remains suggest eerie similarities between this victim, and Cate and Tessa’s friend Samantha, who disappeared when she was fourteen.

Cate finds herself up against closemouthed locals, buried town secrets, and even her own heart. As the case unravels, will she be able to cut through the fog and find justice for the missing and the dead.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

Book Review - 3d rendered headline

 

 

 

Bestselling author Kendra Elliot kicks off a great beginning to the Widow’s Island series! This was so well written it didn’t really seem like a novella. It had all the necessary elements of a full novel complete with mystery, suspense, crime, character, and a touch of romance. I thought the idea for the Widow’s Island setting was genius; the culture, secrets, history of families, it made the story very appealing.

 

See my review of the Audiobook & Narrator Performance: Close to the Bone

 

 

100% guaranteed

 

 

 

 

Kendra Elliot image

 

 

Kendra Elliot has sold over 5.5 million books, hit the Wall Street Journal top ten bestseller list seven times, and is a three time winner of the Daphne du Maurier award.

Her 2017 release, A MERCIFUL DEATH, was a #1 Amazon overall bestseller and has been optioned for TV by Warner Brothers Television and Ellen Degeneres’s A Very Good Production.

She is an International Thriller Writers’ finalist and a Romantic Times finalist. She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her family, three cats, and two Pomeranians. She’s always been fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and can’t wait to wear flip flops every day.

 

Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter