Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview and Q&A with @HeidiPerksBooks ~ Come Back For Me 5* #NewRelease #Psychological #Thriller #Suspense #CrimeFiction @arrowpublishing

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Come back For Me by Heidi Perks
Review Copy

Synopsis ~ 

A SHOCKING DISCOVERY.
A COMMUNITY WRAPPED IN SECRETS.

A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.

For Stella Harvey the news is doubly shocking. The body has been found in the garden of her childhood home – the home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.
Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the isolated island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets.

One thing rings true…
You can’t bury the truth forever.

Q&A ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) Come Back For Me is the story of a Stella Harvey, who returns to the idyllic island of Evergreen on which she grew up, when a body is found in the garden of her old home.
The story came about from a number of ideas that I wove together. The idea of living on an island where everyone knows everyone’s business intrigues me and I love the sense of isolation and claustrophobia I hope I’ve drawn out in Evergreen. Also my own childhood home plays a huge part in my dreams and so I liked the idea of Stella revisiting hers, when something had happened that made her wonder whether everything was always as she thought it was. Stella’s journey takes her on a search to find out the truth of why her family suddenly left Evergreen one night, twenty-five years ago, and what secrets were being hidden on the island.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea, to writing and finally to publication?

A) I spend ages playing around with ideas and working out whether they could actually form the plot for an entire story. Many times I will come to a dead end but it’s wonderful when I have one that I know could work. I will spend some time making notes, sketching out the rough structure and working on the key characters, but at this stage I am never too detailed. I like to start writing before everything is too formed because more often than not the story will end up veering off into a completely different direction.
On average I will spend four to five months writing the first draft, which I will then share with my agent and editors. This is a nail biting but exciting time as this is when I get some fantastic feedback on how to edit my story. By this point I have usually hit a brick wall and can’t see why things aren’t working so having outside input is crucial.
I then write an edit and send it back. And then another, and usually a couple more before everyone is happy that this is the book we want to share with readers. At this point there is usually about four months to go until publication, time for the publishers to work on the marketing plans while I get started on the process all over again! for the next book!

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) There are many authors whose books I will read as soon as they come out like Liane Moriarity, Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena and Holly Seddon. I typically read psychological thrillers because this is what I love, though occasionally it’s good to pick something up from a completely different genre.
My absolute favourite book is Big Little Lies, which someone once described as a masterclass in plotting.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I loved reading the Famous Five when I was younger, but absolutely adored The Last of The Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews. This was my all-time favourite and I’ve recently read it to my daughter who loved it too.
As a teenager I continued to read mysteries but there were a few good series of books out (back then) like Cheerleaders, and of course Judy Blume was always a popular choice.

Q) What are you currently reading? 

A) I have just finished Amy Lloyd’s incredible One More Lie and last night started Rebecca Tinnelly’s Don’t Say a Word, which is shaping up to be great and out later this year.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) There are two things – the first was being told I’d been offered a publishing deal. I was on holiday at the time and remember crying by the side of the pool!
The second was when my editor called me to say that the same book had been chosen as a Richard and Judy book club read. When I first met my agent, Nelle Andrew, I told her that this was my dream and to have realised it so soon has been amazing.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) There are so many people. My mum has encouraged my writing since I was a chid but it was my husband who urged me to try writing the first book. Without his support I doubt I would have stuck at it in the early days as it was a bumpy start to the journey.

AB: Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.
HP: Thank you for having me and for all your support!!

Heidi Perks is the Sunday Times bestselling author of Now You See Her, published by Century, Penguin Random House. Her latest novel Come Back For Me is published on the 11th July in hardback and in eBook.

My Review ~

After seeing the book trailer for this title, I couldn’t wait to read it! Yes you did read that correctly… BOOK TRAILER! Lol
The book trailer is possibly the best one I have ever seen!!!! The Mystery within is going to focus on a dead body being uncovered on a tiny island. Which in turn pushes the community to react to protect its people and reputation.

The central protagonist is Stella Harvey. After hearing of the discovery of the body, she is determined to return to the island and solve a family mystery of her own.

Stella’s family left the Evergreen Island in 1993. They never looked back! But Stella being only 11yrs old at the time never understood, why the family left and why in such haste. In 1993, Stella’s family consists of Dad David, Mother Maria, sister Bonnie (17yrs) and brother Danny (15yrs).

‘What happened to us all?’

In the present day, Stella is a family therapist. As part of her intensive training and education in becoming a therapist. Stella has, had to undergo therapy herself. One of her personal therapies greatest mysteries was uncovering why the family fled the island back in 1993.
When a body is discovered on the garden territory line, of Stella’s childhood home. She quickly becomes obsessed with the case. Who is the victim? Were they murdered on Evergreen Island?

PC Walton and PC Killner approach the Harvey family with routine questions. Whilst Stella answers with intrigue. Bonnie is freaked out, she wishes to sever all times with the island before it forces her to return to the bottle again.

Stella as a counsellor is driven by her need to investigate and understand social situations and mystery’s.
One thing is for sure, it won’t end well for the sisters…

‘Something else changed that summer’

As the chapters alternate between the present day and their last summer on the island in 1993. We become aware that not all is well with older brother Danny. A social outcast and misfit, he struggles to fit in on the island. His attempts at social cues often leave the teenage girls of Evergreen island shook! We also become aware he is estranged from the family in the present day. What made Danny flee the Harvey family? Does he know the secrets of the past? Or is he responsible for the need for secrecy?

As Stella returns to the island to dig deeper, she begins receiving threatening letters. But they do not deter her…
‘Stop digging. You won’t like what you find’

Stella becomes suspicious of everyone. Her since passed mother, her estranged father, her recovering alcoholic sister and the residents of Evergreen island…

‘Everything I once believed was a lie’

The novel is one of family secrets and revelation after revelation. The Harvey family appear conventional from the outside. But as read on, we learn they all have secrets.
The residents of Evergreen are reluctant to welcome Stella back. Although they cannot stop her from pursuing the mystery.
They regard the Harvey family as one of ‘trouble’… but why? 5*

HP
Heidi Perks
Website
Twitter
My Review of, Now You See Her

Anne Bonny #BlogTour Q&A with @CatherineAlliot ~ A Cornish Summer #NewRelease #HolidayFiction #BeachReads #Cornwall

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A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliott
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~ 

Flora’s been in love with her husband for twenty years. The trouble is, he’s been married to someone else for the past fifteen . . .

Now she’s been invited to spend the summer in the shady lanes and sandy coves of Cornwall. It should be blissful.

There’s just one small snag: she’ll be staying with her former mother-in-law, Belinda.

And Flora discovers she’s not the only one invited when her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, complete with his new wife. So now there are two small snags.

Can Flora spend the summer playing happy families with the woman who stole her husband’s heart, and the mother-in-law who might have had a hand in it?

Or will stumbling on the family secret change her mind about them all?

If you like Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Sophie Kinsella, you’ll love this heartwarming read.

Q&A ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I started life as an advertising copywriter which I loved. I’d write TV commercials, go on shoots, create press ads, see huge posters I’d done on the tube – all great fun. Then I got married and we were stony broke so I fell on my sword and took a very boring job which doubled my salary. At my new agency where I wrote tedious brochures for hemorrhoid creams, to relieve the boredom, I secretly wrote a novel under the desk. Well, I say secretly; I’d got to about Chapter 5 when my boss called me in and said: “we think you’re doing something else, you’re fired.” I mean, really! The conversation with my husband went like this: Darling – the bad news is I got the sack, but the good news is I’m writing a novel. Quite a lot of eye rolling, but on the whole he was great. Anyway, I finished the book, sent it to an agent – and luckily the rest is history, but I was VERY lucky. Back then there were fewer women writing (way back then, I’m very old) and it was easier to get published.

This novel is set in Cornwall which I adore and find any excuse to write about. I spent my childhood summers there and then all of my children’s summers. They’re grown up now and are out of bucket and spade holidays so I need an excuse to go back! The novel centers around Flora who grew up in Cornwall, but has lived in London for years. She’s an artist, and returns to paint her ex father-in-law – ex, because she and her husband, Hugo are divorced. But is that really why she’s returning to Cornwall, to paint? Or is it to involve herself yet again with Hugo’s family? Her best friend Celia tells her grimly it’s the latter, and decides to accompany her to keep an eye on her. Whilst in the breathtakingly beautiful manor by the sea, we meet the man himself, Hugo, plus a few other men, notably Ted the very attractive conservationist, and Tommy the annoying American who’s Hugo’s best friend. We meet Belinda, too, the ex mother in law, who is very definitely from hell, and Hugo’s current wife, Christina. I say current, because who knows what might happen in the secret coves and shady lanes of sun-drenched, seductive Cornwall?

Q) Who are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) My all time favourite authors are JD Salinger – who annoyingly was not prolific – and Anne Tyler who luckily, is.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) My favourite childhood author was Ruby Furguson who wrote a series of books about a girl called Jill and her pony. I badly wanted to be Jill, and I badly wanted a pony. I also loved anything by Noel Streatfield and Enid Blyton, who I feel is much maligned. When I was young they didn’t even stock her in the library – which was where I went every Saturday morning with my father. He got busy in the Kierkegaard section, and I was happy for hours in the children’s.

Q) What are you currently reading?

A) I’m currently reading Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld which is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice and great fun. I read American Wife by the same author which I loved and am now working my way through her oeuvre. I do that, I binge read and I’m not happy until I’ve read the lot. I also over-listen to CD’s and end up being unable to listen to them. Same with a box of chocolates. There’s a lesson there somewhere…

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) Gosh, tricky one…I mean every time a new novel comes out it’s a huge moment, but I suppose it would have to be when I got to number one in the Sunday Times charts. I think it was with A Married Man but I’d have to check. Not so memorable, then…!

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement throughout the writing process?

A) Well obviously my husband, who’s been a brick, and never minds if supper is late or non-existent because I’m writing, but the children would say they’ve helped too. My daughter claims I once rang the school office pre mobile phones and got her out of a maths lesson to help with my computer, but she tells as many stories as her mother.

CA
Catherine Alliott
Website
Twitter

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Anne Bonny Q&A with #Author Simon Brett ~ The Liar In The Library ~ @blackthornbks #NewRelease #CosyMystery #CosyCrime

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The Liar In The Library by Simon Brett

Synopsis ~

Fethering has everything a sleepy coastal town should: snug English pubs, cosy cottages, a little local library – and the occasional murder . . .

Bestselling author Burton St Clair, complete with soaring ego and wandering hands, has come to town to give a talk. But after his corpse is found slumped in his car, he won’t be leaving. Jude is the prime suspect; she was, after all, the last person to see Burton St Clair alive. If she is to prove her innocence, she will have to dust off her detective skills and recruit her prim and proper neighbour (and partner-in-sleuthing) Carole to find the real culprit.

Q&A ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) The Liar in the Library is one in my series of Fethering Mysteries, set in an English village on the South Coast and featuring investigators ex-civil servant Carole and healer Jude. In this book a rather self-important writer (one who believes his own publicity) is murdered after giving a talk at Fethering Library.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea, to writing and finally to publication?

A) When writing a crime series, the most important first element is the setting and I had for some time wanted to write a crime novel set around a library. Once I had that, of course, it brought with it a cast of characters – librarians, customers, etc. Then I had to work out how my series characters, Carole and Jude, would become involved in the investigation. After that, it was just a matter of working out a plot and writing the thing.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I would recommend anything by Jane Austen, Evelyn Waugh and Raymond Chandler. With each of them, what I admire is the economy of their writing and their ability to use humour for more than just being funny. I also admire P.G. Wodehouse for the gleeful way he plays with the English language.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) As a child, I enjoyed Enid Blyton, Malcolm Saville and Pamela Brown. I also liked historical novels by authors like Geoffrey Trease and Raphael Sabatini. And I read most of Agatha Christie.

Q) What are you currently reading?

A) I’ve just finished – and greatly enjoyed – The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) The most exciting moment of my literary career was when I heard that my novel, A Shock to the System, was going to be made into a feature film, starring Michael Caine.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) My wife Lucy supported my decision in 1979 to give up my day job as a television producer and has been a great source of strength to me ever since. I am also deeply indebted to Michael Motley, who was my agent for over forty years, and to Lisa Moylett, who is my current agent.

SB
Simon Brett
Website

Anne Bonny #BlogTour Q&A with @Carol4OliveFarm Carol Drinkwater #Author of The House On The Edge Of The Cliff #NewRelease #Historical #Thriller #Saga #France @PenguinUKBooks

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The House On The Edge Of The Cliff by Carol Drinkwater
Review To Follow

Synopsis ~

No one else knows what happened that summer. Or so she believes . . .

Grace first came to France a lifetime ago. Young and full of dreams of adventure, she met two very different men.

She fell under the spell of one. The other fell under hers.

Until one summer night shattered everything . . .

Now, Grace is living an idyllic life with her husband, sheltered from the world in a magnificent Provençal villa, perched atop a windswept cliff.

Every day she looks out over the sea – the only witness to that fateful night years ago.

Until a stranger arrives at the house. A stranger who knows everything, and won’t leave until he gets what he wants.

The past and present spectacularly collide in this gripping story of love and betrayal echoing across the decades.

Q&A ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I am Irish though born in London. I come from a theatrical family. My father was a musician, agent, entertainer. The stage was in my blood. I wanted to be an actress from the age of four, almost as soon as I could visualise the concept of my future. I also dreamed of being a writer. I was writing from the age of eight and was fortunate to have my first little story/anecdote published when I was ten. At drama school I wrote reams of background stories for all the characters I played. Throughout my professional life as an actress I kept diaries, travel journals, and wrote for magazines.

THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF is set in the South of France close to Marseille in an area known as Les Calanques or The Creeks. It is national parkland, stunning beautiful, rather wild and with very dramatic scenery.
The earlier sections of the novel are set in Paris in the spring of 1968. The historically famous May ’68, which was the year of the student uprisings. It was a fabulous period in modern history, full of optimism and idealism. It was the same time as the marches worldwide against the Vietnam War. The popular music was amazing: Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Mamas and Papas, Bob Marley … many others. My novel is full of this music, enriched, I hope, by the dreams of the young. Dreams, disappointments, first love, sexual awakening … the rites of passage journey from teenager to a young woman and then that same woman’s life at a later stage when the mistakes from her past come back to haunt her.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea, to writing and finally to publication?

A) I wanted to write a story that has a menacing thread to it. Life threatened. A past error that returns to haunt, Grace, my principal character. A secret carried for half a lifetime. And I wanted to locate the story somewhere dramatic, spectacular with high cliffs, commanding seas, long stretches of beach, boulders, boats. An environment where the weather rules and ‘accidents’ can happen. A strip of land and sea where tragedies can be buried, can lay undiscovered for decades.

I also wanted to set the earlier part of Grace’s story against a period of time, modern history, that was evocative and inspiring.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I am a great fan of Isabel Allende, Grahame Greene, Marguerite Duras. Daphne Du Maurier, Somerset Maugham.

I would recommend almost everything each of them has written.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I loved the Just William books and got into trouble at school for reading them because our English Lit teacher judged them ‘not sufficiently literary’ but read them again and you will find a wonderful window into a slice of English society and its time. And Richmal Crompton’s ability to create richly comic characters and situations is memorable.

The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley was another great favourite of mine. Macmillan have published a recent edition HERE.

All of Dickens, of course.

Q) What are you currently reading? 

A) I am currently RE-reading The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler.

Of all the books I have recently read, I can highly recommend: the new William Boyd, Love is Blind. Sally Rooney’s Normal People. David Nicholls’ Sweet Sorrow to be published in July, David Park’s Travelling in a Strange Land.

I am a great fan of top quality thriller and suspense writers such Le Carré, Ambler, Greene. These authors are so precise in their storytelling, disciplined. They are also very clever at weaving in social and modern history.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) Seeing The Olive Farm, the first of my series of six Olive Farm books soar into the Sunday Times bestseller list. These books spent weeks there and I used to spend hours looking at the newspaper to convince myself it was all true.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) This is never the job of one person. There have been several who have been an encouragement for me. My husband, Michel, comes first because from the beginning he encouraged me to believe I could go professional with my writing. Throughout my career I have had several editors. They changed according to the genre of books I was writing or whether they were for the Young Adult market or commercial fiction or memoirs (The Olive Farm series are memoirs). Alan Samson, who was my non-fiction editor and is now the chairman of W & N, taught me an immense amount about the art of storytelling and being in touch with one’s readers. Alf Wight, who is the real man behind the James Herriot books also helped me. I spent so long filming All Creatures Great and Small that I had plenty of time to ask myself what it was about the books and material that made the stories so successful. Alf Wight had such a gift for welcoming his readers into his world and never talking down to them.

Perhaps the most important inspiration of all are the writers I have read. Reading, reading, reading is the best method of learning to write.

CD
Carol Drinkwater
Website
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Anne Bonny #BlogTour Q&A with #Author of, Tell Me Where You Are @moira_forsyth @sandstonepress #NewRelease #Fiction #FamilyLife #TellMe

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Tell Me Where You Are by Moira Forsyth

Synopsis ~

Frances is doing fine; she has her life sorted. Then comes the phone call from Alec, the husband who left her for her younger sister Susan, thirteen years ago. Susan has disappeared, and Alec wants her daughter Kate to come and stay with Frances, out of harm’s way. Meanwhile, Frances’s youngest sister, Gillian, finds that two months after ending her relationship with a married man, she is pregnant. While all this is going on another crisis is looming. It’s been a family full of secrets. Frances and Gillian haven’t even managed to tell their parents Susan is missing. After all, she’s left unacknowledged thirteen years of birthday and Christmas presents for Kate, the granddaughter they never saw. She was the one who made sure she could never be forgiven, and now there’s another secret. It’s not always the things you fear most, which matter in the end.

Q&A ~

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) This novel started with a dream about the turkey we were to have for Christmas dinner. The bizarre dream Frances has at the beginning of the novel is a more detailed version of one I woke from myself, slightly shaken and glad I no longer ate meat, though I was cooking it for everyone else! The dream was too good to waste – which is what I often think when something happens that quite quickly turns itself into fiction in my imagination.

The novel is about three sisters and what happens when the middle one, who has always been trouble, disappears, leaving Frances, her older sister, with her teenage daughter Kate. Kate is in trouble, but no one realises that until it’s too late… The novel is set mainly in the Highlands, where Frances now lives, with significant scenes in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Newcastle. I can’t get on with a new novel until I’ve decided where the characters live. I know authors who can write vividly about places they’ve never been, but I’d find that difficult. For me, the sense of place is bound up closely with the people, and I want to be sure I can make that convincing.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) This novel has had a longer journey than most. When Waiting for Lindsay, my first novel, was accepted, Sceptre gave me a two-book deal, which I fulfilled with my second, David’s Sisters. After that, my agent turned down my next novel, which I suspect he had discussed with Sceptre. My sales weren’t high enough for them to offer on that one. I wrote another, but by then the agent had thrown in the towel. That novel, an earlier version of Tell Me Where You Are, went to the back of the drawer with my other unpublished work. (A much larger drawer than the published one!)

My life was then taken up with developing Sandstone Press, of which I’m a founding director. For several years Sandstone published only non-fiction, then in 2010 it was decided we’d try fiction. Tell Me Where You Are was one of the early novels published, because Robert thought it merited that. He carried out a stern edit on it – and when I’d stopped sulking I made all the changes he had suggested – he was right. However, though we were very good editors at Sandstone, we were still learning to be publishers, and the novel pretty well sank without trace. We do better for our authors now!

It’s worth new authors noting that larger publishers often drop authors in this way. I know a number of superb writers who have been ‘let go’ by corporate publishers.
Because of the success of my two subsequent novels, The Treacle Well and A Message from the Other Side, Robert decided my previous novels should all be reissued, starting with Tell Me Where You Are. So here it is, with a beautiful new cover.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Being an editor, and to some extent, being a writer, wrecks your private reading. For bedtime I have crime thrillers on my kindle, for holidays and other times I love literary biographies (I’m reading the first biography of Scott Fitzgerald just now, by Andrew Turnbull, who knew him well), and also re-reading authors I’ve always loved and return to every few years, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Bowen, EM Forster, Alice Munro and George Eliot – Middlemarch is still, for me, the quintessential novel, the best.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) As a child I read everything I could get my hands on. Not allowed to ‘read at the table’ I read everywhere else, though at mealtimes I was restricted to the back of the Shreddies packet and the HP sauce bottle (some of which, in French, I can still quote Cette sauce de haute qualité est un melange d’épices….). I read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass over and over, as a little girl, and later devoured all of Enid Blyton’s school stories. My parents often gave me their library tickets to supplement my own, I read so fast and so voraciously. The first time I really understood what writing can do, to draw you into another world, was when I happened on Philippa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden, which I still think one of the finest children’s novels ever written. As a teenager I read all Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances, but also the Brontes, Thackery, George Eliot and other classics. As a student I read John Fowles’s The Magus with the same absorption and utter belief in its world. That one hasn’t stood the test of time quite as much!

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) It’s a magical moment when you open the parcel and see your new novel for the first time. When my first, Waiting for Lindsay, was published by Sceptre in 1999, I sat in my little upstairs living-room, in the first house I’d ever had of my own, holding it and unable to believe that at last, this had really happened. I’d had a bad few years, with my marriage breaking up and having to find a new job and manage on my own, but that was a moment of pure happiness.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) My partner in life and at work, Robert Davidson, has supported me all the way through. He’s my editor and critic, and takes a huge pride in my achievements. My children have also been wonderful. Sadly my mother had become ill by the time my first novel was published, and was unable to enjoy it as she would have done in earlier years. My father though, who died in 2012, was an indefatigable supporter and would get my books off the library shelves and hand them to other readers, telling them, ‘My daughter wrote this – it’s very good’. He also rearranged books in bookshops, facing mine out so that they were more easily seen. After his death, I discovered he had kept a full and detailed folder with cuttings of my reviews and every bit of publicity I’d ever had.

Moira_Forsyth_2
Moira Forsyth
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Link to the book available via Sandstone Press

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