#Review and Q&A Blood Truth by @coylem @oceanviewpub #AmericanNoir 4* #NewRelease

*I received an arc via the publisher is return for an honest review*

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Blood Truth by Matt Coyle
Synopsis:

A hard-boiled PI novel for fans of Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald and Dashiell Hammett.

Rick Cahill has long feared the truth about his own blood—the blood of his father coursing through his veins.

When a long-hidden safe unlocks clues about why his father was kicked off the police force twenty-seven years ago and then spiraled into an early drunken death, Rick determines to find the truth even if it proves the one thing he’s always feared.

But as he grapples with his father’s past, the woman he still loves pleads with him to find out if her husband is having an affair—or is involved in something much more sinister. Could the truth send her back into Rick’s arms? Would he have a last shot at happiness? He may never get the chance to find out, as killers who will do anything to protect their secrets lurk in the shadows.

My review:

I am completely new to the writing of Matt Coyle, but I am a huge fan of American noir. I love the crime fiction novels that revolve around specific divisions of the justice system or like this one, feature an intriguing PI.
Rick Cahill is the (PI) private investigator, he is the son of a rumoured disgraced police officer. Nobody has ever uncovered the truth, and this has burdened Cahill all his life. He deals with feelings of shame and self-hatred.
He longs to discover the truth but fears what that truth maybe………..

“We can’t quit just because things get hard” – Cahill motto

This novel covers two separate cases. The novels narrative jumps between the two, keeping you firmly on your toes.
You do not want to miss clues and the backstory, so play close attention to the writing.

The first case revolves around Cahill’s father. He is alerted that a safe exists in the family’s old home. The home was sold off many years previously. But the new owner tracks down the original owner of the safe, Cahill’s father.
Which in turn, leads to Cahill opening the safe……
What he finds, generates so many questions and confirms the inner belief, that his father was a dirty cop. But Cahill, being Cahill, wont rest until he can prove his theories.
No matter how painful they are.

The second case involves Cahill’s ex-lover Kim. She seeks to hire Cahill to spy on her husband and find out if he is being unfaithful. This also creates internal pain for Cahill, as Kim was the one that got away!
She is now married and pregnant. However, days after a positive pregnancy test, she finds her husbands second phone. A series of texts sent to a woman named Sophia Domingo. But who is Sophia Domingo? Is her husband really having an affair, so early in their marriage?
Kim needs answers, so she hires Cahill, as she knows he is the best in town, at what he does.
Rick Cahill’s characterisation is brilliantly written. The back story of his father’s career end and plight into alcoholism, makes for eye-opening reading. He has always believed that, sometimes you have to do what’s right, even if the law says it’s wrong, but never for personal gain. I felt that his internal struggle was that in some way, he would become his father. He feels great shame of the man his father became after the loss of his career.
The writing of this and how it has impacted Cahill’s life from childhood, to adolescence to adulthood, is intense.

Sophia Domingo and the mysterious affair. A case that also throws up more and more twists. I actually really liked Sophia as a character. She is a feisty woman, determined to get what she wants in life. She doesn’t care for who she hurts in the process. Sophia is quite the anomaly, because despite her behaviour being distasteful. I found myself smirking at the way she manipulates people with ease.
I also think it is a great testament to an author, who can write such a different bunch of characters exceptionally well.

The items found in the safe, lead Cahill to a cold case from 27 years ago. A cold case with ties to the mob, police corruption and caused much suffering for all it effected. Cahill asks his PI partner Moira for her, something she may come to regret! Moira is another fantastically written character and I enjoyed every page she was on!
Cahill refuses to back away from the case. But he is unaware it will strike right at the heart of the La Jolla police department; uncovering corruption others would prefer to stay buried with Cahill’s father.
Was Charles Henry Cahill a dirty cop? Where will the clues in the safe, lead Cahill? Who is watching Cahill? And do they seek to silence him forever?

This novel is perfect for fans of American hard-boiled PI novels.
It is a cracking read and Rick Cahill and Matt Coyle, have a new fan!

Q&A:

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

A) I’m the author of the Rick Cahill crime series. The series has won the Anthony, Ben Franklin Silver, and San Diego book Awards and been nominated for The Macavity, Shamus, and Lefty Awards. I’ve worked in the restaurant, golf, and sports collectibles businesses. Although I knew I wanted to write crime fiction as a kid when my father gave me THE SIMPLE ART OF MURDER by Raymond Chandler, I came to writing later in life.

BLOOD TRUTH is the fourth Rick Cahill book. Rick has long feared the truth about his own blood, the blood of his father coursing through his veins. When a long-hidden safe unlocks clues about why his father was kicked off the police force and then spiralled into an early drunken death, Rick searches for the truth even if it proves the one thing he’s always feared.

As Rick grapples with his father’s past, the woman he still loves pleads with him to discover if her husband is having an affair or is involved in something much darker.

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

A) The mystery about his father had been hovering over Rick since the first book, YESTERDAY’S ECHO. The shame, guilt, and disappointment of his father’s demise has been a determining factor in who Rick has become, good and bad. I knew the mystery had to be solved at some point and felt this book was the perfect place to do it. That was made all the more poignant when my own father passed shortly before I started writing the book. With my father’s passing, the flashback scenes of Rick with his father caused me to think about my own relationship with my dad. This made for a difficult, but, ultimately, very rewarding write.

The father/son journey figured to be enough for one book, but I wanted Rick to have other obstacles to overcome as he tried to unravel his father’s mystery. It made sense to have Kim, Rick’s ex-girlfriend involved as she was one of the few people in Rick’s life who he’d ever loved.

I don’t outline. My process is very organic. In other words, I’m disorganised. That used to worry me, but doesn’t anymore as I’ve come to trust the process. My subconscious works overtime when I write and I’ve learned to trust it. This method proved helpful in BLOOD TRUTH, as the thematic connection between the parallel plots became apparent to me with a simple statement by Kim that initially was just a chapter ender but came to have much greater influence on the story.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) My favorites go way back to Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sir Author Conan Doyle, Chandler and Ross Macdonald. Contemporary favorites are Robert Crais, T. Jefferson Parker, Michael Connelly, and Megan Abbott.
A few recommends are: THE SUN ALSO RISES, by Hemingway, SILENT JOE, by T. Jefferson Parker, and SUSPECT by Robert Crais.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) My brother gave me THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATED SHERLOCK HOLMES for Christmas one year and I read every tiny-fonted story in the tome. I also read all the Agatha Christie books I could get my hands on.

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

A) The night I won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel still stands out as my favorite memory. Winning the award was obviously a thrill, but I got to celebrate it with people who had been instrumental in me being in that position. My agent, Kimberley Cameron, who said yes to me after years of so many others saying no and who continues to be a wonderful advocate for my work, was sitting next to me when the award was announced. My publishers at Oceanview, who gave an unknown author with no writing creds and no platform a chance, were in the audience, as was a member of my writers group who had helped shape YESTERDAY’S ECHO into something publishable. Having those folks, as well as other friends, there to celebrate was truly special.

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

A) My family has been very supportive along the way. My mother, who never lived to see me published or even get an agent, always believed in me. My father supported me throughout, but his early encouragement was instrumental in me carrying on through some of the tough times. My brother and sisters have turned into guerrilla marketers of my books.
I learned early on in the writing process that you can’t write in a cocoon and become successful. You need people to critique your work along the way and I’ve been lucky to be in some great writers groups.
My agent, part cheerleader, part velvet hammer, is always in my corner encouraging me. I wouldn’t be where I am without her.

MC
Matt Coyle
Authors Links:
http://mattcoylebooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/matt.coyle.77
Twitter: @coylem

Author bio:
I grew up in the tract home section of La Jolla, California, battling my Irish/Portuguese brother and sisters for respect and the best spot on the couch in front of the TV. I was a sports addict as a kid, but realized early on that I’d never be good enough to turn pro. Or even amateur.

That didn’t matter because I knew I wanted to be a writer at the age of twelve when my father gave me The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler.

Somehow, I smuggled a degree in English out of the University of California, Santa Barbara and decided to write the great American novel. That lasted two months until I realized I needed to eat and I got a job at a restaurant back in La Jolla. After managing the restaurant for years, I sold golf clubs for a decade and then went to work in the sports collectible business.

Thirty years after beginning the great American novel I finished it as a thriller, instead. Yesterday’s Echo is the first in the series of Rick Cahill crime novels. I’m currently working on book two in San Diego, where I live with my Yellow Lab, Angus.

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

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Blood Truth by Matt Coyle
Available now in the UK and USA

#BlogTour @urbanebooks 12 Days Of Christmas. Q&A with @ggaffa David Gaffney #Author of, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived

9781911331063
All The Places I’ve Ever Lived by David Gaffney
Synopsis:

Part murder ballad, part ghost story, part true crime, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived takes you on a gripping journey from the small-town murder of a teenage girl in the 1970s to the recent real-life shootings in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. Are the crimes linked? Fifteen-year-old Barry Dyer may have the answers, but when events impact so horrifically on a town and its people, it always pays to tread carefully when revealing the truth…

Quirky, disturbing, and haunting, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived is a moving and tender exploration of a teenage outsider in a small community, as well as being a finely wrought portrayal of the neglected industrial settlements of West Cumbria, where nuclear plants, thermometer factories and chemical works contrast vividly with the desolate beauty of the Lake District.

Q&A:

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

A) I grew up in a remote part of the north of England called west cumbria where not much happens and hardly anyone goes. It’s not the lake district. And it’s not touristy or developed for visitors – no tea shops or scented candle emporiums It’s a bit grim and industrial to be honest. There is a big nuclear plant on the coast and some old iron ore mines and lots of other old defunct factories dotted about. But I really like it.

I always think that being brought up there formed my desire to write and tell stories about being on the edge, being outside of things, being different. So this book began as way of talking about Cleator Moor, the town where I was brought up, and trying to explain what it was like as a teenager to live in the middle of nowhere, in a place no one has heard of. But as well as this, I wanted to explore something else. When I was young I developed a skin condition called psoriasis which although it is quite common and harmless, it was quite debilitating for a teenage to have something disfiguring like that all over your skin when you are going through adolescence, and it had a big psychological effect on me, which I also think informed my being drawn into creative pursuits like music and writing.

I also discovered that other writers and creative people suffered from psoriasis too – John Updike, Dennis Potter, Ben Elton, Tom Waits, Gordon Lish (Raymond Carver’s editor) Art Garfunkel – even Nabakov apparently. I was in great company I thought – although they do say Stalin had it as well.

So I began to write about the psoriasis. However, I didn’t want the main character to be a sad little victim, moaning all the time about his poor skin, how special he was, and isn’t life awful. So I turned the skin condition into a kind supernatural thing – a covering of metal studs – which linked him to a sexy ghost and made him able to travel through time. I wanted his skin condition to be more like a superpower than a disability. And that’s how the books works. It links two crimes together over a period of thirty years – the murder of a teenage girl in Cleator Moor in the seventies and the multiple shootings by a taxi driver in west cumbria in 2010 who killed13 people including himself.

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

A) The book began as a very short novella but my agent at the time felt it could be improved by adding more detail about life in the town in the 1970s. And if it were longer, he said, it was likely to be be more successful. I agreed to write more and I added a further 20k words to the total, including more scenes at the boy’s school, scenes in the local church, a scene with a priest, a scene where they run away and sleep in a barn, and in general more texture and detail. It seems from feedback that people do really like these extra sections and so it turned out to have been a good move to extend the middle of the book in that way. I normally write very short stories (flash fiction) and I have a tendency towards the minimalist. But when writing a novel I feel there is a need to create a fuller world that readers can immerse themselves in, enable them to wallow in the reality of it. I think that more texture and detail about the world you are creating really helps. It feels like the budget on a film being increased so that there are more locations, more extras, more background action, and more believable props and costumes. I realised that with a novel, money is no object, so it isn’t necessary to have the same boy repeatedly cycling past on a chopper bike in the background to remind us we are in the seventies; we can have a cast of thousands. So, after that rewrite, I then sent the book to Urbane and they agreed to put it out. Mathew at Urbane has been just great. He worked closely with me on the cover which we were both really pleased with, and then he took the whole thing to market in a really clever way. It hasn’t been an easy sell because the mass shootings which the book focusses around were very recent, so many media outlets just haven’t felt able to discuss it.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I am a massive fan of Magnus Mills so would recommend everything by him

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I’d like to say that the first book that really got me interested in writing was something like Camus or Beckett. But it was actually Billy Liar a novel by Keith Waterhouse which I read and re-read when I was very young and it always made a big impression. Before that I thought all novels were Victorian and set in London and all about people of wealth; this story of a working class lad in Yorkshire made me realise what writing could do

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

A) It’s seeing someone on a train or in a shop picking up your book and watching their face as they read a little bit. Its not always a good expression I have to say.

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

A) I am part of a writing group ann all the members encouraged me and gave me detailed critical feedback on the work as it was in progress – so thanks to Elizabeth Baines, Sarah Butler, Sarah- Clare Conlon and Adrian Slatcher for all their help

David Gaffney, writer
David Gaffney
Authors Links:
Website: http://www.davidgaffney.org.uk
Twitter: @ggaffa

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#BlogTour #Review and #WW2 #ClaraVine Q&A Solitaire by @janethynne @simonschusterUK #WW2Fiction 5*

*I received a copy via the publisher in return for an honest review*

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Solitaire by Jane Thynne
Synopsis:

June 1940: the first summer of the war. Berlin is being bombed and nightly blackouts suffocate the city. Then France falls and a shadow descends.

A shadow has fallen over Clara Vine’s own life, too. She is an Anglo-German woman in a country that hates England. Then she is summoned to meet the Propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, who has decided that Clara should adopt a new role – as his spy.

Much as she dislikes the idea, Clara realises this might be the chance to find an escape route to England. But Goebbels has other ideas and soon Clara is drawn into a web that threatens to destroy her. As everything she holds dear is taken as ransom, she must fight to protect her family – and to survive…

My review:

June 1940, the first summer of war!
Clara Vine finds herself caught up in with more treachery, lies and spies……..

The prologue opens in July 1940 in Lisbon, Portugal. The author has done a fantastic job of setting the scene. Refugees are fleeing the Germans, and we become aware one lone woman is watching in the shadows. She is quickly cornered by the police and ushered into a waiting police car, disappearing into the dead of the night!

Meanwhile in Berlin, Clara is navigating her way around a darkened city. Darkened in more ways than one. Clara secretly listens to the British broadcasts of the BBC, whilst conspiring neighbour Dr Franz Engel blasts classical German music to conceal her activity. Clara is no longer spying for the British, but as we have come to know throughout the series. She is far from a Nazi collaborator.

The author brings, not just Berlin alive, but the surrounding historical figures of the senior SS and their wives. Clara rubs shoulders with the SS elite and is often, a listening ear for their complaining wives. Emmy Goering, Magda Goebbels and Annelise Von Ribbentrop are all brought alive on the page.
It is rare in world war two fiction, to see the Nazi SS wives play such central characters. Something much lost out on, in the genre, although not with Jane Thynne at the helm. The wives were more than complicit, in the war time activities of the Nazi party.
The rivalry and hierarchy, between them is intriguing to read.

But one-man terrifies Clara, a man that always keeps a close eye on her and that man, is none other than Joey Goebbels.

Clara’s close friend and confidant is American journalist Mary Hacker. Mary warns Clara of the dangers of her secrets being discovered. She informs her fully of the brutality of the Nazi regime. Mary is currently investigating the ‘resettlement’ of the Jewish Germans; what she uncovers is alarming. Yet it is merely the tip of the iceberg. After all, this is 1940.

“Say what you like about Mahatma propogandi, he’s clever” – Mary Hacker

The novel then introduces another female character orphan Katerina Klimpel. She is living in an orphanage ran by the Nazi party and their wives. Her only hope of escape is to locate her sister Sonja. A sister that disappeared two months ago.
Katerina’s childhood and experiences are fully explored. As the reader we become aware, of why she resides at the home. Why it is such a dangerous place to be, for a young woman, with a hidden disability.
But what connects Clara, Katerina and Sonja? How will their stories become interwoven?
That is the magic of the authors penmanship and the beauty of each novel in the series. The author connects Clara not only to the real-life Nazi hierarchy but to the real-life suffering of the ordinary German citizens.

When Clara is instructed with a mission. A command by Goebbels himself, she can not refuse. Refusal would be an immediate sentence to interrogation or worse, death!
She is asked to make a trip to Nazi occupied Paris and identify if Hans Reuber is a spy for British intelligence.
Clara’s personal grief and inner turmoil has changed her attitudes and shaken her beliefs to the core. But what does this mean for Hans Reuber if he is a spy?

“Everyday life is politics now. It’s impossible to say where one ends and the other begins” – Mary Hacker

The individual stories of all the characters are cleverly unravelled and explored. We uncover what motivates each individual and which Nazi SS senior figures, battle for Hitler’s attention. The novel has various themes of betrayal, loyalty, honour and trust. For the reader with limited knowledge of ww2 history, this novel can be an education, within itself. If you take the time to research each character and theme.
For the reader with comprehensive ww2 knowledge, you fully appreciate the authors historical accuracy.
One thing is 100% certain without a shadow of a doubt, Jane Thynne has done her research!

From the S-Bahn attacker, to the Jugmadel group, the ‘Lebensunwertes leben’ philosophy and even the drug use of pervitin. Each meticulous detail has a wealth of historical accuracy. Yet instead of being ‘taught’, the details are intertwined within this incredible novel, in a story format. Clara Vine is not to be missed!
The ending was incredible and left the series, wide open for its next instalment. Of which I long to read!

“A mother was the universe from whose substance one was formed, and the gap she left would never be filled”

Q&A:

Q) Within the opening pages of this novel, I felt a real change in Clara’s attitudes and approaches towards the Nazi regime. Is this done intentionally, to document how one may struggle with their inner turmoil during war time?

A) When Solitaire opens, Clara’s position is more perilous than ever. It’s 1940, war has begun, and Germany is a prison with no option of escape. So yes, she is forced to confront her own position more deeply, and the loss of her lover intensifies the sense that she really is a lone agent.

Q) As detailed in my review, the research and historical accuracy is second to none. How important is this to you as an author? Are there parts of the history, you think readers may believe are embellished, but are factually correct?
(such as the Pervitin usage)

A) It’s pretty obvious how much I adore the research. I enjoy picking out tiny details of a historical period, such as the fact that Germans could get coffee on prescription for insomnia during air raids. Accuracy is crucial! It’s what makes writing such a pleasure and readers are always quick to correct errors. One of the back stories in Solitaire is the fact that Germany faced a shortage of diamonds. Industrial diamonds were essential for any kind of arms manufacture, so when they invaded Holland and France they were desperate to seize them. I like how this fact connects the glamour and frivolity of diamonds with the deadly reality of war.

Q) I love the depth of the characters in the novel and throughout the series. In Solitaire in-particular, I really warmed to Katerina. How do you create the fictional characters? And are they loosely based on real-life individuals from history?

A) I’m very fond of my fictional girls. When I start reading memoirs or non-fiction, I find the voice of a single girl just calls out to me – often one who is quite compliant, and initially sees nothing wrong with the regime. Ultimately her story will be to discover strength and defiance. With each novel, I’ve tried to examine one aspect of female life in the Third Reich. Katerina is an orphan whose leg is crippled – just like Joseph Goebbels himself – but the Nazis had terrible plans for those who were physically imperfect. That is the Katerina’s peril, except that fortunately she discovers Clara Vine.

Q) The novel focuses around Joseph Goebbels mostly, as he is the most suspicious of Clara. Is there anything that you learned in the researching, that shocked or surprised you about him or his wife Magda?

A) Before the war, British VIPs visiting Germany would often find they preferred Goebbels to the other Nazis, not because he was any less repellent, but because he was intelligent, and could make jokes. It does help when writing about him, and of course, I’m especially interested in him because he was the propagandist, and he worked the levers that brainwashed an entire nation. I don’t think he was a psychopath, or mad, but a hater, with a giant chip on his shoulder whom power enabled to enact atrocities. In contrast his private life was a tiresome cliché of womanising and sentimental love affairs. It was Magda’s misfortune that she never properly managed to escape him. The truly shocking thing is that they murdered their six small children. But when you see the footage of the Russian advance on Berlin, and the savagery that was inflicted on German women and children, I suppose they had good reason to suspect real horrors if their own children were captured by the Russians. Even if they escaped with their lives they would have been paraded on screen and badly maltreated.

Q) The pairing of Irene and Walter Schellenberg, is one of almost disbelief. Yet one I look forward to reading more of. They come across on the page as very differing personalities. Were they difficult to write given their apparent unlikely courtship?

A) A great help was that, like many Nazis who survived the war, Walter Schellenberg, Heydrich’s number two, published his memoirs. Fascinating! He had an affair with Chanel and a complicated love life. Irene was his second wife and coming late to the Nazi hierarchy had a lot to learn.

Q) The novel deals with some very dark themes such as ‘Lebensunwertes Leben’ – life unworthy of living. The Nazi euthanasia programme for those deemed physically or mentally handicapped. With hindsight, it is almost unbelievable, how this philosophy was hidden from the German public. But I felt the writing provided the perfect scenario, of how this initiative was concealed and carried out. Is this difficult to write, without involving your own emotions in the story?

A) As the series has approached wartime, it’s been increasingly difficult to avoid the horrors being perpetrated, not only on Jews and foreigners, but on those deemed German citizens who did not fit with the ideas of the regime. The idea of mass extermination actually began with the euthanasia programme as Nazi doctors and psychiatrists explored ways of eliminating the imperfect. What’s interesting is how the public were softened up for this idea, for example with films of the mentally and physically disabled that asked whether they deserved scarce resources. Or maths questions in text books that asked kids to calculate how much a mentally disabled person cost the state and how many airplanes that money would cover.

Q) finally, what is next for Clara Vine? Are we allowed any snippets of what’s to come in her future?
That ending left me, desperate to read the next in the series.

A) The next in the series is set in 1941 and finds Clara making her biggest film to date – the Sinking of the Titanic. At the same time she is approached and asked to track down a British agent who has gone rogue. The shock is that she once knew this man – their paths crossed in Vienna back in 1937, when he was visiting the celebrated Sigmund Freud. Now she must find him again, and if he has really been turned, ensure that his treachery goes no further.

JT
Jane Thynne
Authors links:
Website: janethynne.com/
Twitter: @janethynne
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/231830.Jane_Thynne
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJaneThynne/

Author bio:
I was born in Venezuela and grew up with my parents and two brothers in London. After school in Hampton, I spent a year working at the Old Vic Theatre before reading English at St Anne’s College, Oxford.
I then joined the BBC as a production trainee, but after a few years succumbed to a hankering for Fleet Street and moved to The Sunday Times. I spent many cheerful years at The Daily Telegraph as media correspondent, but my single most exciting moment in that time was getting a publishing contract for my first novel.
In particular I have a passion for historical fiction and love the research that involves. The first in the Clara Vine series, Black Roses, became a number One Kindle Bestseller. In the UK the series is published by Simon & Schuster. Outside Britain, my novels have been translated into French, German, Greek, Turkish and Italian. In France the series is published by J.C Lattes and in Greece by Kedros. In the US and Canada the series is published by Random House.
As well as writing books I now freelance as a journalist, writing regularly for numerous British magazines and newspapers, and also appear as a broadcaster on Radio 4. I have been a guest reader at the Arvon Foundation and have sat on the broadcasting committee of the Society of Authors. I have three children and live in London.
I also have an active Facebook page where I love to interact with readers. Do please follow me on GOODREADS and add the Clara Vine novels to your ‘Want To Read’ list. Get in touch. It’s great to talk!

Blog Tour Schedule

 

#PublicationDay Q&A with @StuartJames73 #Author of, The House On Rectory Lane #Indie #Thriller

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The House On Rectory Lane by Stuart James
Synopsis:
Jake and Kate live in Camden, London and have had enough of the hassle with parking, overbooked restaurants and burglaries.
After an altercation with a stranger who pulls a knife on Jake, they take their son Sean, and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think.
People in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Neighbours are over friendly and who was the face at the window Kate saw late at night?
They find a tape hidden in the loft of their new house, a home made video recording of the previous family, the Prescotts.
What they view, chills them to the bone.
They realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and now, they could be next……

Q&A:

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

A) Ok, so I have always been a little creative. I played traditional Irish music from a young age, starting on the wooden flute and then the piano accordion. It was a difficult instrument to carry around and had wished I learned the guitar earlier. When I was around 19, I started writing songs and sang in a band for around 20 years, playing everything from rock and roll to chart music. As I wrote songs, I found it also easy enough to adapt and write my first book.

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

A) I first told my kids that I was going to write a book and they both laughed. That made me more determined ha ha.
I came up with the idea and jotted down the major parts etc. As I started writing, I  are up with more plot twists and more ideas.
It’s hard work. You have to write everyday so you don’t lose track of the story and the goal is to get to the end. That’s when the hard work starts. i.e., editing, changing parts, re-writing etc.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) My favourite author is Linwood Barclay. I would recommend too close to home or no time for goodbye.
I also love Stephen King and I love B A Paris. My favourite book this year has to be the couple next door or behind closed doors.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I remember one book in particular called the demon bike rider. I couldn’t find it as I wanted my kids to read it, and my daughter came home one day from school telling me the librarian managed to get a copy for me as a gift as she knew I was trying to get it. I thought that was a lovely thought.

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

A) I do really enjoy the blogs but I also enjoy the reviews that I get and the buzz I try and create on social media.

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

A) I would say my wife, kids and friends. They are the backbone and keep me going.

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

SJ: Thank you so much for asking me to feature on your blog and I am also very grateful.

SJ
Stuart James
Author links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17131046.Stuart_James
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stuart-James-Author-798982316950555/
Instagram: http://ipovi.com/stuartjamesauthor-5956096407
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stuartjames73?lang=en-gb

Q&A with @GlynnHolloway #Author of, 1066 What Fates Impose #Indie #HistFic @matadorbooks

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G.K. Holloway
Synopsis:
England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland. Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies who will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold. Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

Q&A:

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

A) There was a castle built high on a hill, just outside of my home town. When I was a little boy, from my bedroom window on summer evenings, I used to watch the sun set behind it. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been interested in history. It’s the subject I studied for my degree. The stories of who got what, where, why and when, have always fascinated me. When I had the inspiration, the inclination and the time to write a book, I jumped at the chance. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do.

In the middle of the eleventh century, England was facing a crisis. King Edward the Confessor had promised never to produce an heir and there were no obvious successors – but there were quite a few claimants who wanted the crown. As time passed, tensions rose at home and abroad; family feuds, court intrigues, papal plots and a few assassinations paved the way to 1066, the year of three battles. One of them the most important ever fought on English soil. Most people know the outcome but how many know the many twists and turns that marked the way.

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

A) For one of my Christmas presents, my wife Alice bought me a book entitled, Harold: The Last Anglo Saxon King, by Ian W Walker. I found it a fascinating read and wanted to know more. I read anything I could find on pre-Conquest England and found it so interesting and exciting I couldn’t understand why I no one had made a film or written a novel about it, so I decided to write one myself.

The first thing I did was to make copious notes until I had the outline of a story and then I flushed out the main characters to make an exciting tale. I discovered I had to make up a few individuals to enable the narrative to flow more smoothly and in more detail. Once I had a final draft, I gave it to my family to read. I had quite a bit of feedback from them, most of it positive enough to make me want to take the next step and approach an editor. I sent her what I thought was a manuscript perfect in every way. After all, I’d checked it I don’t know how many times and the family had read it thoroughly. When the editor returned the manuscript came back to me I was amazed at the number of errors. So, after making the necessary corrections, I sent of the manuscript to my publishers. I brought 1066 out as an Ebook at first, just to see how it was received. It went down so well I bought out a paperback as well. Now I’m working on the sequel.

Q) Who are your favourite authors and what are your recommended reads?

A) My favourite authors – there are a lot. There are old favourites, like George Orwell, John Steinbeck, D H Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway but I also enjoy William Boyd, Ian McEwan and Carlos Ruiz Zafon and books I’d recommend, in respective order are, 1984, The Grapes of Wrath, Sons and Lovers, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Great Gatsby, A Farewell to Arms, Any Human Heart, Enduring Love and The Shadow of the Wind.

Q) What were your childhood favourite reads?

A) Any Biggles book by W E Johns. I read the lot when I was a kid and thought they were brilliant. When I’d finished reading them I wasn’t interested in any other children’s’ books and went straight on to Literary fiction – Animal Farm.

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

A) It’s a marvellous feeling to get a great review or even win an award but the moment I cherish is the moment when I opened a box full of books, fresh from the printers, and held in my had the book I had written. I think that’s the moment when you really feel like an author.

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

A) My wife, Alice. If it wasn’t for her support the book would never have been written, let alone published.

GH
G.K. Holloway
Authors links:
Website: http://www.gkholloway.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/G-K-Holloway-219766941394283/
Twitter @GlynnHolloway