Guest Post: Writing Dialogue with The Drop Pot Man author K. Saunders @lovebooksgroup

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At first glance it appears to be a straightforward shooting accident... After ten years with the Greater Manchester Police, Detective Inspector Clare Morell thought she’d seen a lot of baffling cases; but newly assigned to deep in the heart of the West Country, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world. There are shepherds and Romanys, who speak in strange tongues; a Lord Byron lookalike army captain and a lethal killer who just might be an ETA trained hit-man. The strange lowland heath in the beat where she now works triggers an old childhood fear and there is the growing sense that her new home is not only disturbing but somehow threatening... And then... there’s Ellis.

Guest Post: Writing Dialogue


The children’s play area had been re-vamped since Clare had last driven past: it was now all stainless steel and bright panels with ropes and complex climbing sections – like a mini SAS assault course. There was also a new finger post which said Teenage Area.

‘What the hell’s down there, Karen – special bins for their needles?’ she said bitterly, as she pointed at it.

‘Probably, boss. But they’ve also got a “special” free condom machine … there’s GCSE revision questions on the packets.’

I enjoy writing dialogue and throughout The Drop Pot Man there were plenty of opportunities. It was used as a vehicle to sometimes inject some humour to lighten some quite dark themes and dialogue is also, I feel, the best way of illustrating an individual’s character and personality.

I created several groupings and situations. As examples, there are the interactions between Clare and her team which had to be within hierarchical constraints, then there’s the ‘craic’ at Bellini’s Café (‘Do you know how many calories there are in that Lardy cake, sarge?’ ‘No. Do you know how many consonants there are in “Mind your own fucking business?”.’), and the relationship between Clare and her outrageous neighbour, the lawyer Emma Butler – not forgetting the explosive one with the lecture Rob Ellis.


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iNostaligia Book Blitz @inostalgiauk @Lovebookstours

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The team at iNostalgia have a deal on their non-fiction titles now when you purchase them through the iNostalgia store. Three titles for only £25 in their online store. Here is a little snippet of each book available. 


Fifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images.

Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories.


Around Manchester in the 1950s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 200 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 50s and share your memories with friends and loved ones.

There are many unmissable images from the Swinging Sixties in Clive Hardy’s brilliant book Around Liverpool and Merseyside in the 1960s.


Around Manchester in the 1970s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 300 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 1970s and share your memories with friends and loved ones.

The 180+ images, many never published before, come from the fantastic archive of the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal, and the Daily Mirror. The majority capture the life and times of Newcastle during the decade, and there are others showing wider Tyneside. Along with the text, they give a taste of what it was like to live in the region during that unique period.


Fifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images.

Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories.

You can purchase all these wonderful books in the iNostalgia store. 

https://inostalgia.co.uk/


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Spotlight: Vile by Keith Crawford @keithcrawford77 @LoveBooksTours

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Elianor Paine is a Magistrate of the Peace in the Kingdom of Trist and a republican secret agent. She has 6 days to subvert her investigation, supplant war-hero Lord Vile, then coerce his adult children to start a revolution, before her masters discover the truth and have her killed. Just how far is she willing to go? And can she change the world without changing herself?

About the Author:

Keith Crawford is a retired Navy Officer, a disabled veteran, a Doctor of Law & Economics, a barrister, a stay-at-home Dad, and a writer. He has written for collections of scholarly works, academic journals, and newspapers including The Economist. He has had more than thirty plays recorded or produced for stage, been listed in a variety of short story competitions (in spite of his hatred of short stories), and runs a radio production company, www.littlewonder.website, which regularly runs competitions promoted by the BBC to help find, develop and encourage new writers.

In 2014 he was lecturing at Sciences Po in Paris and negotiating a contract to write a book on banking regulation, when he and his wife discovered to their delight that they were due to have their first child. Rather than writing more work that would only be read by his poor students, and then misquoted by politicians, he decided he would do his bit to stick his fingers up at the patriarchy and stay home to look after his own kids rather than the grown-up kids of rich people. Two more children swiftly followed. Keith has discovered that if you recite Stick Man backwards you get the lyrics to AD/DC’s Highway to Hell.

This (looking after the kids, not satanic rites with Stick Man) allowed him to support his wife’s career, which appears to be heading for the stratosphere, and also gave him the space to write about swordfights and explosions. And spaceships. All of which are more fun than banking regulation. As an extension to his work in radio production, he set up his own small press, and his first novel, Vile, is due to be published in December 2019. More novels will swiftly follow, like buses in countries that don’t privatise the bus companies.

Buy the Book:


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Book Review: How to be Perfect by Holly Wainwright @hollycwain @Legend_Press

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The bestselling author of The Mummy Bloggers is back with another page-turning, rip-roaring story about mums, phones and the cult of self-improvement.

In the rolling green hills of Australia's hippest hinterland, a new guru is blogging about her breakfast.

ELLE CAMPBELL is back, holed up in an exclusive retreat where women pay thousands to mimic her extreme lifestyle, or die trying. But who's bankrolling Elle's new empire? And why are her two tiny sons suddenly absent from her glossy public image?

ABI BLACK just wants to marry her true love under a tree in the garden on New Year's Eve. But her ex-husband is building a financial cult in the shed, Elle is looming and her teenage daughter's YouTube channel is gaining followers for all the wrong reasons. The wedding might have to wait.

FRANCES GRAHAM has a colicky newborn, an absent husband and a WhatsApp mothers' group that's giving her anxiety. But she's certain that if she can just be more like those fitmums on Instagram, things can only get better. And surely, if she can scrape enough money together to make it to Elle's retreat, everything in her life will be just . . . perfect.

Through a world of fake gurus, green smoothies and bad influencers, How to Be Perfect follows Elle, Abi and Frankie into the cult of self-improvement that's taking over your phone . . . and your breakfast.

Review:

I absolutely loved The Mummy Bloggers, so when Legend offered an advanced copy of How to be Perfect, I jumped at the chance to review.

How to be Perfect sees Holly returning to the world of  mummy bloggers. Even though a lot of the characters from book one are back, I love how Holly has evolved each one. We're not stepping back into the same world as the first book. Elle is now a wellness guru with a holier-than-thou, all-forgiving attitude and Abi seems to have a harder edge to her. I really loved how they've all grown since the blogger awards.

Including Frances was incredibly clever as she gives an insight into the other side of influencer world -- those who find themselves influenced. Frances is 100% convinced that her life will be perfect if she only manages to emulate Elle's picture perfect existence. She pours over every blog post and video, taking Elle's word as gospel and racking up a ton of debt in the process. Including Frances gave the book another dimension, an important one. I've seen this happen so much in real life. Ordinary people taken in by wealthy highlight reels on Instagram. Even though the book has a humorous tone it deals with very real issues that have devastating effects on some people's lives (shiny object syndrome, FOMO, depression, and envy). I think it's really important that we address the toxic side of social media and world of blogging. 

The plot moves at a decent pace and I found every chapter entertaining. It could be read as a stand alone but I'd recommend reading the first book as you'll appreciate how each character's past has effected their behavior in this book.
★★★★ ☆

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Guest Post: The Characters in Candy Canes and Buckets of Blood @HeideGoody @IainMGrant @lovebooksgroup

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Christmas is a time for families to come together.

Guin Roberts can’t think of anything worse than visiting a Christmas market with her new family. Guin is perfectly happy with own company and doesn’t want that disrupted by her wisecracking stepbrother and his earnest mum.

Their Christmas celebrations are invaded by a sleigh full of murderous elves. And it doesn’t matter if they’ve been naughty or nice — these elves are out for blood.

Can the family band together to survive the night? Or will Santa’s little helpers make mincemeat of them all?


Guest Post:

For Candy Canes and Buckets of Blood, we decided our heroes would be an ensemble cast, a family of four. We made the decision for it to be a reconstructed family, a potential step-family. Dave Roberts and his daughter Guin plus Dave’s girlfriend Esther Woollby and her son, Newton. The story would take place at the moment when sixteen-year-old Newton and eleven-year-old Guin meet for the first time, when they have to face the fact that they might become step-brother and step-sister at some point in the future. All four of them are nice people but flawed in their own ways.

The family dynamic would be very important but it was just one aspect of a story in which, over the course of a single night, the family have to band together to fight off a horde of killer Christmas elves.

Dave is a stereotypical dad. He’s a practical man with unbounded love for those close to him. Beyond that he’s a simple creature — he likes food, he likes beer, he lives for the moment and enjoys what life has to offer.

Esther is an earnest and moral woman — she will tend to injured birds, she will think about the food-miles of the fruit she buys, she would rather knit her own jumpers rather than get something made in a factory by underpaid labourers. She wants to live an ‘authentic’ life and is a great respecter of culture and tradition.

Newton is a worrier. He worries that his mum isn’t happy (even when she is). He worries that he offends people (even when he doesn’t). He wants to make the whole world happy and put everyone else before himself. This causes his mum to worry which in turn causes him to worry further. He loves animals and bad puns.

Guin (short for Guinevere) is a deeply introverted girl. She prefers imaginary friends (made from string and wire) to real friends. She has a rich imagination that she shares with almost no one. She thinks she’s different and special (she is) and needs some medical label to explain this (she doesn’t). She’s very very clever.


When we set out to write Candy Canes, we developed all four characters equally. We wrote chapters from all four perspectives. We had comedy moments and thrilling scenes planned for all of them. And yet… 

And yet…

In any story there’s always a main character. It’s funny but it’s true. Even in an ensemble cast, there’s one that always leads the way, carries the reader through the story. For us, it turned out to be Guin. Guin, the youngest and weakest of the family, turned out to be our own little heroine. We didn’t plan it that way but she kind of took over. When the evil elves attack the family in the hotel, she’s the one who tries to work out their motives. When she and Newton are captured by elves and dragged to their lair, she’s the one who tries to learn their language and worm her way into their good graces. And when the elves’ final wicked plan is revealed and our family of heroes must band together to save Christmas itself, it’s Guin with her hands on the reins in a life and death battle with the evil elf leader.

It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it?
★ ☆
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Guest Post: Christmas Carols and the King of Hearts by Mark Stibbe @markstibbe @malcolmdown @LoveBooksGroup

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King of Hearts tells the gripping story of Jake Graystone, a struggling teacher, husband, and father, who looks for easy money playing poker. When his wife Sally exposes his secret addiction on Christmas Eve, he walks out and heads north for Casino City, leaving his family for a dark world of gambling, prostitution and murder.
How will the cards fall for Jake in this brutal, urban wasteland? And, as the stakes get higher and higher, will this modern Desperado ever come to his senses?

King of Hearts is a winter, festive story to sit alongside It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. Raw yet redemptive, it is a Christmas tale you'll not be able to put down.

At the end of each chapter, you will want to twist, not fold.  

Guest Post:

CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND THE KING OF HEARTS

It’s that time of the year again already. Christmas adverts are infiltrating our screens and Christmas products are creeping into our stores. It won’t be long before many of us are singing “Away in a Manger” at school nativity plays, or “Once in Royal David’s City” at a carol service. 
Pretty soon, we’ll all be coming home for Christmas.

And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol. For all of Dickens’ overtly Christian values – so obvious in the transformation, no, the conversion, of Ebenezer Scrooge – our increasingly secular culture still loves this story, still feels drawn to it.

And yes, you’re right, the Muppet film version is still the finest of all - Michael Caine’s portrayal of Scrooge surpassing even that of Sir Alastair Sim. It’s a story that continues to speak powerfully to our souls, even today. Its impact is universal, enduring, timeless, profound - even in a secular age.
And that’s been true for me too. Ever since I was taken as a boy by my parents to a cinema in Norwich as to see what was then the most celebrated movie version, I have been entranced by this supernatural, winter’s tale of one man’s discovery of the true meaning of Christmas in his heart.
So, you’ll probably not be surprised to learn that when I came to my own Christmas novel, King of Hearts, I pay homage to this classic in the life of my hero, Jake Graystone, over the course of his three fateful Christmases. 

Guest Post: Author Vivienne Brereton's Favourite Character to Write @VivienneBreret1 @LoveBooksGroup

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“If I have anything to do with it, we Howards will live forever.” 

Thomas Howard Charismatic head of one of the most powerful Houses in Tudor England. An indomitable old man approaching eighty: soldier, courtier, politician, a ‘phoenix’ rising from the ashes. After a calamitous period of disgrace, the Howards, renowned for their good looks and charm, are once more riding high at the court of Henry VIII. Set against the backdrop of the extraordinary 1520 ‘Field of Cloth of Gold’, it is a tale of ambition, love, and intrigue, with Thomas at the centre of this intricate tapestryWill Thomas’s bold vow be fulfilled? Danger stalks the corridors of the royal courts of Europe. Uneasy lies the head beneath a crown. Every other ruler - a fickle bedfellow…or sworn enemy. The action takes place in England, Scotland, and France. On either side of the Narrow Sea, four young lives are interwoven, partly unaware of each other, and certainly oblivious to what Dame Fortune has in store for them. 

“Nicolas de La Barre laid his lute to one side, hardly bothering to stifle a yawn of boredom. Nevertheless, he couldn’t escape the fact he’d agreed to take on a new wife….” 

Explosive family secrets are concealed behind the ancient walls of castles in three lands. But… “There are no secrets that time does not reveal.” 

Guest Post:


FAVOURITE CHARACTER TO WRITE:

 It has to be Nicolas de La Barre, a French noble, adored by all the women. and envied by all the men. In the opening chapters of ‘A Phoenix Rising’, Book One of ‘The House of the Red Duke’, he’s riding high at the French Court. Here he is in conversation with Guillaume Gouffier, Seigneur de Bonnivet, Admiral of France….

  “Sprawled in a chair opposite, the King’s Master Falconer merely raised an eyebrow and distractedly fingered a golden locket, encrusted with jewels, around his neck. At his feet lay two enormous grey Irish Wolfhounds, in deceptively peaceful slumber: fitting sentries for such a master. Guillaume steeled himself, knowing Nicolas, who besides being the only man François would trust with his precious birds, was also the Lieutenant of Picardy. He was also Master of the Hunt in all but name, carrying out most of the duties on behalf of the ageing occupant of the prestigious post who’d been one of old King Louis’ most trusted men. Even if Guillaume hated to admit it, Nicolas’s success in acquiring these posts was entirely due to his own merits.

Guest Post: Does Location Matter in Crime fiction by Run Author Jackie McLean @JackieJamxx @Lovebooksgroup

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RUN THE GAUNTLET
DI Donna Davenport and her team are under pressure.

With the hunt on for the country’s most notorious cop killer and an ongoing complex international investigation, the murder of a local thug during a football match is the last thing the police need.

But as more incidents overload the police, and fear brings vigilante mobs onto the streets, suspicion grows that the mayhem is being orchestrated.

CUT AND RUN
One man can make it stop. With the city heading towards chaos and disaster, Donna prepares to abandon caution and the rules, even if it means she is ostracised by her own team.

Guest Post by Jackie McLean:


Does the setting for a crime fiction novel really matter? Isn’t it the plot and the characters that make the story? Well, they do - of course - but as a reader and as a writer, the location matters a lot, too. In fact, when I’m choosing a book to read, the setting is sometimes the deciding factor, since one of the joys of reading is in being transported to somewhere else, and to have a nosey at people’s lives in places that might be difficult for us to visit in person. 

An example is The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, which I read recently. I loved so much about this book, from its eye-opening descriptions of the horrors experienced by people fleeing their homelands and trying to reach safety, to its endearing insight into the complex lives of honey bees. But I was also fascinated by its descriptions of Aleppo before it was ravaged by war. I had never imagined what a beautiful city this was, and am glad to have learned a bit about it, although sad-dened by what has happened to it since. This is a perspective I only gained through reading the book.

Cover Reveal: When Stars Will Shine @BakerPromo @emmamitchellfpr @TheQuietKnitter

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When Stars Will Shine
is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

Cover Reveal:


PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON


A Note From Emma Mitchell:

As the blurb tells us, When Stars Will Shine is a multi-genre collection of Christmas themed short stories complied to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity.

Working closely with Kate Noble at Noble Owl Proofreading and Amanda Ni Odhrain from Let’s Get Booked, I’ve been able to pick the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winter’s night. I have been completely blown away by the support we’ve received from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and Shell Baker from Baker’s Not So Secret Blog, who has organised the cover reveal and blog tour.

When Stars Will Shine is available for pre-order now and will be published on 9 December 2019.

There isn’t anyone in the country who hasn’t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour to work on these stories and to create this anthology and I hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as I have.


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Book Review: The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox @HesterBFox @HQstories

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A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of murder. Who can save Pale Harbour from itself?

1846. Desperate to escape the ghosts of his past, Gabriel Stone takes a position as a minister in the remote Pale Harbour, but not all is as it seems in the sleepy town.

As soon as Gabriel steps foot in town, he can’t escape the rumours about the mysterious Sophy Carver, a young widow who lives in the eerie Castle Carver: whispers that she killed her husband, mutterings that she might even be a witch.

But as strange, unsettling events escalate into murder, Gabriel finds himself falling under Sophy’s spell. As clues start to point to Sophy as the next victim, Gabriel realises he must find answers before anyone else turns up dead.

Buy the Book: UK & IE

Review:

After reading The Witch of Willow Hall last year, I was desperate to get my hands on The Widow of Pale Harbour. Witchy books, especially at this time of the year, are like a drug to me. 

Like the her first book, The Widow of Pale Harbor is hauntingly addictive. Hester Fox has an incredible way of drawing you into her locations, making you feel like you're right there witnessing what's happening in the characters' lives. 

This book is definitely not a roller coaster, but I was prepared. The Witch of Willow hall was slow but steeped in mystery, and this book is no different. Don't be fooled by the slow start, you might think you have the plot figured out, but I can almost guarantee you'll be wrong. If you allow yourself to get lost in the atmosphere of this book and you'll really enjoy the experience. 

I found Sophronia (or Sophy as she's called) to be such a wonderful character. She was hated and maligned by the townspeople but remained a kind and graceful soul. A perfect match for the grieving minister, Gabriel. It was a joy to watch the two characters develop as the story progressed.

If you're a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, then you'll love this book as the mysteries scattered throughout are directly related to his poems and they add another delightfully creepy layer to the book. 

Murder, mystery and romance, The Widow of Pale Harbour is everything you could possibly want in a book at this time of the year. Put on the fire and get comfy because once you start it you won't be able to put it down! 


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Blog Tour: Inspiration Behind The Dead of Winter by A.B. Gibson @ABGibson1 #LoveBooksTours

09:56



Four young professionals pick the wrong weekend to visit a popular Pumpkin Patch Bed and Breakfast. It’s the last day of the season, and the weather and the farm are picture-perfect. Ma and Pa Winter are the consummate hosts, and they immediately win over Dillon, Tara, Josh and Julia with their homespun authenticity. Like the thousands of other visitors to Winters Farm and Orchard, the four are eager to pick apples and pumpkins and take the challenge of the Giant Corn Maze. But Ma Winter has other plans. A scary moonlight hayride spirals into a frantic twenty-four hours of deception and mayhem, and the group find themselves unwilling participants in a horrific family tradition.

Guest Post by A.B. Gibson:

Write what you know––to a point.


For fifteen years, my partner and I owned a destination farm near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Ours was one of those family-friendly places where one could pick apples in our three-thousand tree orchard, pick a pumpkin off the vine in a five-acre patch, and take the challenge of the Giant Corn Maze. It was a lively place in the fall, when over a thousand people a day would visit each Saturday and Sunday. During the week, elementary schools kept us busy hosting their field trips, and everyday school busses would line our long driveway. Our farm had a wholesome reputation, so church groups and civic organizations brought their members regularly for group fun.

But I was desperate to put on a scary attraction. I’d been a consultant to a Fright Festival in another state for several years before we dared host our own “Haunting Season,” and I was aware of two great fears of putting on such an event:  liability issues, and that it would be lame.

Our intention was to offer a full-throttle scary experience, and I started out with the premise that things are the scariest when they seem real. We didn’t use animatronics or static scenes displaying preposterous gore, as was so common in Halloween events. OUr hayride path wound its way around the same farm our guests would have visited during the day, and to encounter a graveyard or a mad scientist’s lab on the property would have been neither believable nor scary. What we did instead, was startle.

Getting the timing right every bit as important to a creating a successful fright as it is to a memorable comedy routine, and our secret was tight choreography. Each jump, scare, and rip of the chainsaw was done in precise order, by the same actors, and exactly the same way every ride. Our Moonlight Hayrides always started out lame, and just when folks would get bored, our tractor would break down. That’s when the fun began. After terrorizing the wagon for several minutes, actors dressed as clowns with chainsaws would pick unsuspecting customers (They were always plants––see above fear of liability.) and drag them off the wagon into a cornfield, where they would scream their bloody heads off. Yes, we auditioned people for their screaming skills.

On a flight to Los Angeles one day, I had the idea for a screenplay. What if four young professionals pick the wrong weekend to visit the farm? And what if the farm’s owners weren’t as hospitable as we had been? And what if their chainsaws were equipped with real chains?

The screenplay got delayed, but in the meantime I used the plot for my first horror novel, The Dead of Winter.



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Blog Tour: The inspiration Behind The Weighing of The Heart by Paul Tudor Owen @PaulTOwen @ObliteratiPress@lovebooksgroup

09:40


Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall - and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.

Paul Tudor Owen's intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O'Neill.

Guest Post: The Inspiration


My novel The Weighing of the Heart is about a young British guy living in New York called Nick Braeburn, who moves in with a couple of rich older ladies as a lodger in their opulent apartment on the Upper East Side. He gets together with their other tenant, Lydia, who lives next door, and the two of them steal a priceless work of art from the study wall.

The work of art that Nick and Lydia take is an Ancient Egyptian scene, and as the stress of the theft starts to work on them, the imagery of Ancient Egypt, the imagery in the painting, starts to come to life around them, and it’s intended to be unclear whether this is something that is really happening or whether it’s all in Nick’s head.

Originally the artwork wasn’t an Ancient Egyptian scene at all; it was a 1960s pop art work. But not long after I had started the book I went to a fascinating exhibition at the British Museum called The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, which told the story of what the Ancient Egyptians believed happened to you when you die.

As I learnt from the exhibition, the Ancient Egyptians believed in a ceremony called ‘the weighing of the heart’, something in some ways similar to the Christian idea of St Peter standing at the gates of Heaven, deciding whether or not you have lived a worthy enough life to come in.

In the Ancient Egyptian version, Anubis, the god of embalming, presides over a set of weighing scales, with the heart of the dead person on one side and a feather on the other.

If the heart is in balance with the feather, you get to go to Heaven, which they called the Field of Reeds.

But if your heart is heavier than the feather, you get eaten by an appalling monster called the Devourer, who has the head of a crocodile, the body of a lion, and the back legs of a hippopotamus – three of the most dangerous creatures that Ancient Egyptians could encounter.

To the Ancient Egyptians, the heart, rather than the brain, was the home of a person’s mind and conscience and memory, which was why it was the heart they were weighing.

And, intriguingly, one thing they were afraid of was that the heart would actually try to grass you up during this ceremony – sometimes the heart would speak up and reveal your worst sins to Anubis at this crucial moment. You could prevent this from happening by keeping hold of a little ‘heart scarab’.

I was spellbound by this ornate mythology, which had formed over centuries and millennia; I loved the way it was so familiar in its overall concept but so strange and unfamiliar in its details.

And I suddenly realised that the painting Nick and Lydia should steal should be an image of this ceremony, the weighing of the heart. It was so fitting, because the book is essentially about guilt and innocence; it’s about you weighing up as a reader how much you trust Nick as a narrator, and it’s about Nick himself and the people around him weighing up how much they trust him, what they think of him, what they know about him and his character. And without spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t read it, I hope that I found a way to knit all that imagery into the book effectively, especially towards the end.

Once I’d settled on this, there were a number of strange coincidences. I found out there was an artist who used to work for the British Museum who had become quite well-known for producing reproductions of Ancient Egyptian scenes. His name is James Puttnam, and I discovered he was going to give a talk at the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities in Hackney, so I went to see the talk and ended up partly basing the artist in the book on him.

And at one point in The Weighing of the Heart Nick recalls a school trip to the British Museum, and it is suggested he might have stolen one of these heart scarabs that could protect you during the ceremony. I had written this scene but I wanted to get the details right, so I looked through the British Museum’s collection of scarabs on their website and identified the one that best fit the bill, and then I went down to the museum to take a look at it in person.

But when I got there and found the case where this scarab was supposed to be, the space for this scarab was empty. Instead of the object itself there was just a note on the wall that said: ‘Heart scarab (lost).’

It was a strange moment of life imitating art.

• Paul Tudor Owen’s debut novel The Weighing of the Heart is published by Obliterati Press and has been nominated for the People’s Book Prize 2019 and the Not the Booker Prize 2019

Twitter: @paultowen
Instagram: @paultowen
Website: https://paul-tudor-owen.tumblr.com

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Blog Tour Guest Post: My Own Choice, by Ryder on the Storm Author Ray Clark @T1LOM @lovebooksgroup

09:00


When builder Terry Johnson spots what he thinks is a bargain he can’t resist but to succumb to temptation. The large, detached house stands on the side of a railway track and would be perfect for his needs … and it’s cheap! 

But Billington Manor has a very tainted history, and the grounds upon which it stands were part of an unsolved murder back in the 1850s. Terry is about to discover that the road to hell is not always paved with good intentions.

Based upon a true incident, Ryder On The Storm is a stand-alone supernatural crime novella from the author of the IMP series, featuring desk sergeant Maurice Cragg.  

My Own Choice.


It’s surprising how many real life incidents can influence your writing. I once visited a wonderful little place called Woods Hole, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

I had not booked any accommodation but the tourist information sent me to a large Colonial mansion: The Woods Hole Inn. I parked the car and the only person I saw was a South American who spoke as much English as I did Mexican. I managed to convey that I was after a room. He took me into the building, grabbed his mobile phone, called God knows who, and then passed it over to me.

The voice on the other end asked if I’d looked around? I said yes, and told him, pretty amazing: beautiful place. By now, I thought it might be best to leave: I didn’t think my budget would stretch to a room here. He said, great, pick a room and settle down, we’ll talk later. The line disconnected and I gave the phone back to the Mexican, who then disappeared.

After depositing my stuff and exploring Woods Hole, I eventually returned as it was starting to go dark. The lights were on but there was no one home. I showered and changed, went back out for a meal, returning later that night for bed and still I saw no one.
 
I awoke the next morning, showered and changed, opened my bedroom door into a dining room with a fully laid breakfast table. It appeared there was still only me. Concern seeped into my brain. Where was I? Nevertheless I still ate breakfast. With the pots cleared, and a plan for the day, I took the car out, returning once again as it started to go dark. Passing an empty reception on the way to my room, I showered and changed and went back out for a meal, wondering if I would spend my entire stay alone. If I did, maybe I wouldn’t have to pay!

Returning after the meal, the lights were burning nicely, the atmosphere was serene but there was still only me. Why I locked my room I had no idea – it wasn’t like anyone was coming for me. The next morning the same thing: empty dining room, full table. The first and only thought that came to mind was, The Twilight Zone. Here I was at last. I had finally entered the strange little world of Rod Serling. Leaving could be a problem. Would I be allowed to? Great story for a writer.

After breakfast I passed reception when a voice boomed out, ‘morning’. Once he’d picked me up off the floor and phoned 911 for a near fatal heart attack, we had a great laugh. He explained how sorry he was that he couldn’t be here when I arrived, but he was in hospital having an operation on his foot. The second bonus was that the room only turned out to be $85 per night plus tax: the third bonus was paying cash: he said, forget the tax.

That still ranks as one of the strangest but best holidays I’ve ever had. I remember catching the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard where Steven Spielberg filmed his smash hit, Jaws, which to this day, remains a classic.

And the strangest thing of all? I still haven’t written that story in any form whatsoever.

Maybe one day.

BUY THE BOOK


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Blog Blitz: Guest Post by #DeepBlue Author @McCaffreyKristy @lovebooksgorup

09:14


Don’t miss this first book in a suspenseful new series!!

In the deep blue ocean lives an ancient predator… 

Dr. Grace Mann knows great white sharks. As the daughter of an obsessed shark researcher based at the Farallon Islands, Grace spent her childhood in the company of these elegant and massive creatures. When a photo of her freediving with a great white goes viral, the institute where she works seeks to capitalize on her new-found fame by producing a documentary about her work. 

Underwater filmmaker Alec Galloway admires Dr. Mann and jumps at the opportunity to create a film showcasing the pretty biologist. As he heads to Guadalupe Island in Baja California Sur for a three-week expedition, it’s clear that his fan-boy crush on Grace is turning into something more serious. But even more pressing—Grace’s passionate focus on the sharks just might get her killed.

Guest Post: The Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island

By Kristy McCaffrey

Guadalupe Island, off the coast of Baja California in Mexico, is host to one of the most prolific populations of great white sharks in the world. First discovered and observed by the San Diego sport-fishing fleet, this twenty-mile long island offers crystal clear water and water temperatures in the range of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

From August through January, the sharks are drawn to the water due to the abundant food supply consisting of Northern Elephant Seals, Guadalupe Fur Seals, California Sea Lions and Yellowfin Tuna. Over 200 individual sharks have been identified, and each year the Marine Conservation Science Institute (MCSI) publishes a book featuring current photos which is available for purchase to the public.

The largest females tend to return to Guadalupe Island every third year, likely to feed and mate, although white shark mating has never been witnessed or filmed. And while many of the females are thought to be pregnant, it’s presumed they give birth elsewhere, likely the Sea of Cortez. Current studies from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution estimate that great whites can live to be 70 years old or more.

The largest and most famous great white—a female named Deep Blue—was documented at Guadalupe Island in 2015. At that time, she was estimated to be 20 feet long and at least 50 years old. She was recently seen again this past January off the coast of Hawaii feeding on a dead sperm whale that had been towed out to sea. Her identity was confirmed by MCSI based on her markings and dorsal fin profile. Her appearance confirms the long migratory patterns great whites undertake. In the early 2000’s, scientists tracked one great white’s 12,400 mile journey from South Africa to Western Australia and back.

******

Don’t miss DEEP BLUE by Kristy McCaffrey

In the deep blue ocean lives an ancient predator…
 
When a photo of Dr. Grace Mann freediving with a great white shark goes viral, the institute where she works seeks to capitalize on her new-found fame by producing a documentary about her work. Underwater filmmaker Alec Galloway admires Dr. Mann and jumps at the opportunity to create a film showcasing the pretty biologist. But can he keep her safe when her passionate focus on the sharks repeatedly leads her into danger? 

“A sexy adventure packed with spine-tingling suspense … and sharks!” ~ Ann Charles, USA Today Bestselling Author

Website: https://kmccaffrey.com/
Newsletter: https://kmccaffrey.com/PathwayNewsletter
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristyMcCaffrey
Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/McCaffreyKristy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristymccaffrey/

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Blog Tour: Guest Post by Sealed With Death Author, @JamesSilvester1 @UrbaneBooks @lovebooksgroup

07:00


Still new to the top secret Overlappers intelligence team, and on her first `hit' alone, Lucie Musilova has an attack of conscience and nearly botches the operation, taking a bullet wound before finishing off her target. Though her injuries are minor, she is chastised for her carelessness and assigned desk duties. Here she investigates a number of disappearances of European women from Britain - the women all missing without trace until the body of one is discovered, raped and murdered. Lucie learns that tens of women have disappeared, all with little investigation. As she digs deeper she begins to uncover a terrifying international conspiracy that potentially threatens not just her life, but to topple Governments....  

Guest Post:

Blame Timothy Dalton. Seriously, if you read my books, either the ‘Prague Thrillers’ series or the adventures of Lucie Musilova and roll your eyes heavenwards in disbelief at what you read, then you can blame Timothy Dalton. Not that he twisted my arm and talked me into trying my hand at writing of course, but it’s thanks to him that I first began to develop what some might call a style; or at least it’s thanks to a particular performance.

If you’ve never seen the opening half of ‘The Living Daylights’, even if Bond films aren’t your cup of tea, watch it. Devoid of quips and in no mood to suffer fools, the new 007 waits as a brooding assassin, his eyes searching for threats as a Russian General scrambles from a window at the Bratislava conservatoire, seeking sanctuary in the West. It’s dark and tense Cold War stuff, and Dalton excels as a reluctant agent; a man good at his job but who hates doing it.
“Stuff my orders,” he tells a colleague threatening to report him to ‘M’, “if he fires me I’ll thank him for it.”

That characterisation fascinated me then and has stayed with me ever since, working its way into the thrillers I write. Superheroes are brilliant to watch, but are un-relatable in the world of spy thrillers. The world may need heroes to save it, but those heroes should be real people; flawed, reluctant and every bit as imperfect as real people are. That for me as a reader is what keeps me interested and keeps the story grounded, wherever the plot may take us. 
Lucie Musilova is (I hope) such a hero; a capable, confident woman, haunted by her past and her vulnerabilities but overcoming them to do a job she isn’t sure she wants to do at all. Her next adventure is out on 11th July, and I very much hope you enjoy it.

About the Author:

James Silvester's debut novel and sequel, Escape to Perdition and The Prague Ultimatum, reflected his love both of central Europe and the espionage genre and was met with widespread acclaim. His new series features strong female protagonist Lucie Musilova, a character fully reflective of Europe’s changing cultural and political landscape. James lives in Manchester.   

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Blog Tour: 7 Interesting Facts About Mallorca and The Painter by @SupernovaQ @UrbaneBooks @lovebooksgroup

07:00


In a desire to impress the people who visit his workshop, renowned artist The Painter, employs a gardener to create an inspirational landscape which includes a labyrinth, an orange grove and Moorish-inspired fountains. They develop an intimate relationship and the Painter, whose life and talent had become increasingly dissipated, finds himself slowly recovering his original innocence and talent. However, the relationship is tainted by the Painter's jealousy when visitors express more interest in the magical garden and mysterious labyrinth than in the Painter's art. That jealously blossoms into deadly rage when The Painter catches the gardener changing one of his paintings.... Deirdre Quiery's compelling new thriller explores themes of love, life and deceit, and examines the lengths we will go to pursue and protect our passions.  

Guest Post:

1. In Mallorca I discovered that I am naïve. Before coming to Mallorca I was unconscious of what it means to be naïve. I grew up in Belfast during The Troubles – knew what it meant to live in a violent society where uncles were murdered, bombs placed outside the house and the family were taken hostage by the IRA with a cousin killed in the crossfire. I worked in the corporate world. Three company cars sat in the driveway of a semi-detached house in Oxford. I was a “corporate woman”. It was only arriving in Mallorca that I realised I hadn’t a clue how to understand a culture that is non-corporate.

2. How did that impact on you? When did you realise that you were naïve? It took time. Living during the first 18 months in an olive grove with no running water, no fixed line telephone, and no internet maybe didn’t help. I had to scramble down a mountain to buy a litre of milk and scramble back up again with the sheep for neighbours and oranges growing on the orange trees for friends. I realised that I was naïve when I allowed my husband to work unpaid for a man called J. J had been walking in Alcudia in the North of the island when a freak wave swept his two children out to sea. They hung onto his shoulders as he tried to save them and then slipped away as he was dashed against the rocks. That was true. What wasn’t true was that the reason his business failed was not the loss of his children but his incompetence. So my husband worked for over a year to help him and never received a euro. That’s naïve.

3. What other interesting fact about living in Mallorca impacted on your writing of The Painter?  Seeing Bob Geldof in a supermarket in Soller and nobody recognised him. I realised the beauty of not being known. I built that into The Painter in a paradoxical way. 

4. Having no water is essential to human life. Having too much water is dangerous. Living in the second olive grove the house flooded every year when the rains came. Then when the drought came there was no water. I realised that life is a balance of having and not having. That balance is in The Painter.

5. There are insane people close to my home and yet I see their sanity. There is a woman who always asks me for 1 euro and gives me a kiss. She sleeps under a bridge. I gave her a bag of my clothing. I saw her wearing my blouses and my leggings, sitting on the ground, smoking you know what. She pointed at the clothes saying, “They’re yours. Have you anymore?” I thought that was a wise question. 

6. I’ve learned to love Nature and also to be terrified by it. Mallorca is an island of intense beauty and also of immense energy. I see the beauty of Nature in the blossoming of a jasmine plant and also the terror of it in a storm. In March the Sirocco winds arrive and people commit suicide. People here are frightened by the wind. I love the wind’s energy and understand the fear it brings.
7. Mallorca for me is not a playground. It is an island of intense beauty and spirit. I came here to change. It has happened and you will read that in The Painter.


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Blog Tour: Author Claire Johnston's Publishing Journey @ClareS_J @UrbaneBooks @lovebooksgroup

09:52




When internet millionaire and philanthropist Harry Melville dies in a car crash at the age of forty four, the lives of his wife, Sarah, and twin brother, Ben, are thrown into turmoil.

Harry seemed to have it all; a close-knit family and a happy marriage - along with all the trappings of wealth. Yet as he recalls his past from the afterlife, a story emerges of the unspoken and bitter jealousies between brothers and of an unhappy wife burdened by loneliness and guilt.

When Ben takes over the running of Harry's charity foundation he begins to find purpose for the first time in years. But the arrival of a talented young artist brings a series of revelations that expose Harry's complex and dual personality in full. As he learns his part in the suffering of those he left behind, is it too late for Harry to make amends?

A tale of regret and redemption in this world and the next. From the Outside looks at the futile rivalries that can destroy sibling relationships and the lost opportunity for happiness when ego is allowed to reign over emotion.

Guest Post: Claire Johnston's Publishing Journey

I had been working as a journalist for over a decade when I first began to dabble in fiction. It was a natural progression for an avid reader and professional writer, and I naively assumed the hard bit would be actually completing a manuscript.
As it turned out, that was the easy bit.

I found writing fiction to be a liberating experience, the ultimate indulgence for a journalist who had spent years fact checking every second word to leave my fingertips. Suddenly, I was free to write whatever I wished. There were no rules. 

When I first came up with the idea for From the Outside – which tells the story of a multimillionaire killed in a car crash who watches the impact of his death from the afterlife – it didn’t occur to me at all to consider which genre the novel would fit in and how it would be marketed. It was simply a creative outpouring at a time in my life where I was searching for answers following the tragic passing of my cousin at far too young an age.

It was only when I started to contact agents that I was soon confronted by the realities of the industry. Which other novels of a similar theme and genre could I point to that sold well? This, I soon realised, is the crunch question for any novelist starting a new project. 
If you embark on a crime or sci-fi thriller, a romance, or something that neatly fits in a box, then agents and publishers can immediately visualise how they can market your work.  
From the Outside doesn’t fit neatly into a particular publishing genre, but then that should never put an author off. 

Happily, after sending out queries, I secured an agent for FTO, who was enchanted by the story and talked of a six-figure bidding war. Then, suddenly, the recession hit, and publishers were not willing to take any chances. My agent said we should hang fire and I decided to write a political thriller to keep the ball rolling. 

The resulting manuscript, Polls Apart, was accepted by a publisher in 2010 who also signed FTO. They published Polls Apart first – which brings me to the point where I need to be careful what I say. Ultimately, the publishing experience around Polls Apart wasn’t a rewarding one and I feared the same thing would happen with From the Outside. Cutting a long story short, I was able to secure the rights to From the Outside, but it was a difficult time and, as a result, I did nothing further with the manuscript for a few years. 

Then, three years ago, I heard a radio interview with Marlon James, the Man Booker Prize-winning author, in which he revealed his debut novel had been rejected nearly 80 times. Clearly another book that didn’t fit neatly in a publishing box.
I was so struck by his comments, because when I totted up all the queries I’d sent in earlier years for From the Outside, it must have amounted to at least 50. I had all but given up hope, but that interview inspired me.

I’m fairly active on social media and I had noticed a few Tweets by a new publisher, Urbane Publications, that caught my eye. I really liked what they represented – they view their relationship with authors as a genuine partnership where both have an equal stake in how the title is marketed – and so I dropped their publishing director Matthew Smith a note along with the first three chapters of From the Outside.

Time passed, I got back to my hectic working life and I forgot about it.
Then, probably a year later when I was on holiday in the US, I got an email from Matthew saying he was interested in publishing FTO. 
The experience with Urbane has been so positive and I have discovered renewed passion for my fictional work. 

I will be forever grateful to them for taking a chance on From the Outside. We need more independent publishers like Urbane who look to push the envelope and bring readers fresh fiction that lives on in the mind long after the final page has been turned.
Quite often those books just don’t fit in a box.

About Claire Johnston

Clare Johnston is a journalist and content specialist, and a frequent contributor on radio and TV, having appeared on Radio 4's Woman's Hour, The Kaye Adams Programme and comedy satire show Breaking the News on BBC Radio Scotland, along with STV2's Live at Five. She is a former editorial director of Press Association Scotland and commercial editor and columnist with the Daily Record. She is currently working with the DC Thomson media group and supports businesses with communication and content creation. Clare is based in Edinburgh.   
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Blog Tour: by A Publishing Journey Killing Sin author, K.H. Irvine @KHIrvineAuthor @UrbaneBooks @lovebooksgroup

07:00


Would you surrender your secrets to save a life?

London. It could be tomorrow. Amala Hackeem, lapsed Muslim tech entrepreneur and controversial comedian, dons a burqa and heads to the women's group at the Tower Hamlets sharia community. What is she doing there?

Ella Russell, a struggling journalist leaves home in pursuit of the story of her life. Desperate for the truth, she is about to learn the true cost of the war on terror.

Millie Stephenson, a university professor and expert in radicalisation arrives at Downing Street to brief the Prime Minister and home secretary. Nervous and excited she finds herself at the centre of a nation taken hostage. And then it gets personal.

Friends since university, by the end of the day the lives of all three women are changed forever. They will discover if friendship truly can survive secrets and fear.

Guest Post: A Publishing Journey


If it takes a village to raise a child it takes a small town to have a book published. Publishing is an industry saturated by subjectivity, serendipity and slush piles. I was lucky as I had a great friend who had been an editor and knew how it worked but even then rollercoaster doesn’t do it justice….here’s my story and her’s (the wise woman editor).

Year One – aged 50

Wow, I’m writing a book. I am in a house on the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland and I have newspaper clippings and notes everywhere. I feel such a fraud. The wee girl from the Scottish council estate getting above herself to write a book but the wise woman editor (WWE) that is my friend said, ‘write big, write like no one will read it, write like you deserve to.’ So I try. It takes me all year to get the first draft.



Year Two – aged 51

I send it to the WWE who is kind but honest…I think the sub text is you have a glimmer of a story but it’s drowning in a lot of exposition and showing off your research that makes it incredibly boring (it was the zzzzzz in the margin that gave it away). Back to the drawing board and a few more edits and then we send it to a friendly agent in Australia (where WWE lives). She loves it, she wants it, we have hit the jackpot. She is a serious agent with amazing authors under her wing…I bought champagne. I did more edits.

Then with no explanation said agent changed her mind, sent an email to say ‘no thanks’ and through me back in the wilderness.



Year Three – aged 52

As a mature and well balanced woman I did the only thing possible and sulked. I also drank a lot of wine and developed an addiction to Celebrations (other small chocolates are available). But then I got back in the saddle and WWE said how about we give it my mate who has been an editor for many a year (for some VERY big bestsellers) and see what she makes of it so we give it WWE 2. WWE 2 is incisive and direct but with a great heart and makes it a better book. How many edits now? 15 or 16 I think. God, that rewrite after rewrite is dull.



Year Four – aged 53

The two WWE are in my corner. We are a team and we are going to have a go at getting this damn book published so they combine their little black book of agents from all their years in publishing and try to sell me in, avoiding the slush piles…who knew it would be so brutal. The rejections flooded in. A few of my favourites; ‘I don’t think such high powered women would have friends’ (aagghhh), ‘It’s hard to like successful women, I can’t relate to them.’ (both of these from women) and ‘it seems morally ambiguous, you don’t seem to say what is right and wrong (that’s kind of the point – I never have and will never condone violence of any sort but I do believe we need a better conversation about why so many people are attracted to extremes – not just Islamist).

But then the jackpot – again! You maybe know how this is going to go. This time a huge international agent in London. This time it’s film rights, audio, making a huge impact, being brave….and then it went a bit cold. And then ice like until the ‘it’s not you it’s me email’ (is no one in publishing brave enough to dump you in person I ask??) The email … .’Because whilst it is timely and prescient I feel very squeamish about submitting it at a time when terror attacks of the kind you close the novel with are increasingly likely. I know you would argue, and rightly so, that this is exactly why it should be sold and published…and you are likely to be right, but I just don’t feel I want to represent it in the current climate.’

That was tough.

Year Five – aged 54

I am invited to the BBC – they like A Killing Sin but they are more interested in book 2 which is the rise of the Far Right. I decide to buckle down to right that one.

I decide to apply to be a mentor on the Prevent Programme; mentoring those terrorists, like the 7/7 bombers who are up for parole. I believe we need to look at all options and it feels like a good way to do good and do research. I am interviewed and selected.

Then Urbane came along and had a new model, a new way of working, skipping past agents straight to authors and ballsy enough to take a punt. We shake hands and we publish.

Then…. the Home Office read it and decide some of my points may ‘bring their programme into disrepute’ so they no longer want me. I buckle down to write again. I am super grateful for a chance to get my story out there so I let that door close.

Big thanks to the two WWE and the team at Urbane and no hard feelings anywhere else along the way – I get it – sometimes controversy makes us scared, sometimes it makes us challenge, question and explore…I hope A Killing Sin does that.


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Book Review: The Mummy Bloggers by @hollycwain @legend_press

09:00


Meet three Mummy Bloggers - each of them followed, idolised, imitated, taunted and trolled online.

Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a secret past. Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her kids. Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her kids before bedtime.

When all three women are nominated for a prestigious blogging award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds-and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier - and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide.

The Mummy Bloggers is a frank and funny look at the perils and perks of life online.

Review:

I remember reading the early marketing material for this book on Legend's Instagram page. I knew I wanted to read this book before I even had a look at the blurb!

I've been a book blogger for a while, but I've dabbled in lifestyle blogging for a very brief period. Lifestyle and mummy blogging is a world away from reviewing books online. The sheer competitive nature of some of these people is astounding. Great material for a book!

As you read The Mummy Bloggers you might find yourself thinking, this is too far-fetched, there is no way anyone would try to pull this crap. Well, I can tell you, I have seen every insane stunt in this book played out by a real blogger. Yes -- every stunt. I won't tell you which one I'm referring to but when you read the book you'll know. 

The writing flows very well and I found each of the characters to be well rounded and very realistic (as mad as some of them are). The characters - even the devious ones- are likable and they made this book a really fun read. The drama will suck you right in and you'll find yourself flying through the pages just to see how one blogger is going to outdo the other. 

The mummy bloggers was such an enjoyable read and the characters were so developed but the only piece of criticism would be that I felt the ending was a cut a little short, a little rushed. Don't let that put you off though. The crazy characters and hilarious attempts at one up-manship make The Mummy Bloggers the perfect  weekend or holiday read. 


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