Get To Know… Author Robin Roughley

Today’s Get To Know author is the lovely Robin Roughley. 

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Hi, my name is Robin Roughley, author of the DS Lasser crime series.

I suppose for most writers it is something they have wanted to do for a long time, I know it was with me. Having said that, it has never been easier to actually get a book out there than it is today. Back when I started to write, computers were not as commonplace as they are today and you could count on both hands the number of publishers who would consider reading a manuscript by a first-time writer. Thankfully, that has all changed and at least now the indie author has a platform and the chance to build a readership. For me, the road to actually writing a novel was a long one, I started out writing plays as I have always loved dialogue and the thought of tackling a novel was somewhat daunting. This, I think, was down to the problems I have with the spelling and grammar side of writing.  You can muddle through a play, but not a novel, though eventually I decided to give it a shot.

The first in the series was never meant to be a crime thriller. I had a vague notion that I wanted to write a paranormal novel but soon realised that what I had actually produced was an out and out crime novel. Once I got that sorted in my head then I was off and running.

Just over three years later and there are thirteen DS Lasser novels available on Amazon and shortly the first in the Marnie Hammond will be coming out with Bloodhound publishers, so exciting times ahead.

You can keep up to date with Robin Roughley and his books on the following sites:

http://www.robinroughley.co.uk/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robin-Roughley/e/B00CQ15GG4

https://www.facebook.com/robin.roughley/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/RobRoughley?lang=en

Favourite book as a child?

This is a tough one as I found reading problematic, so it would have been something with lots of picture, more like a comic than a book. I know I loved the Beano and Dandy but I suppose I must have been around thirteen when I tackled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Of course, any words I didn’t understand I skipped over and considering a lot of the words in the book were made up then it didn’t really matter.

Favourite book as a teenager?

This is an easier one to choose, I loved a book called The Outsiders by S E Hinton. Funnily enough, it was an American book but I just loved the style, short chapters with lots of teenage angst that I could associate with, the characters were all teenagers, they swore and smoked yet each one had a vulnerability about them. Imagine the song In the Ghetto and that is exactly what The Outsiders is like. I can still remember being amazed when I discovered that Hinton was a woman and she had been a teenager herself when she wrote the book. The book just seemed so ‘male’ to me but now looking back you can see that female touch throughout the book. That’s exactly why the characters are vulnerable and why you empathise with each and every one, no matter how damaged they appear to be.

Favourite character?

Again, this is almost impossible to answer. I find that characters depend on the mood I am in at any given time. But I can narrow it down to three, ha ha. Number one, Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings, simply because he has all the attributes I admire. He is honest, loyal and puts others before himself. Secondly, a character called Edge, he appeared in well over one hundred western books. I am no big fan of westerns and have not read one in years but he was the perfect anti-hero, and believe me you would not want to cross this guy under any circumstances. Lastly, Bill Casper from the book Kes, brilliant, just brilliant, so moving and well written, he makes you laugh and then cry, and your heart aches for the way he is forced to live his life.

Favourite book to movie adaptation?

I think The Lord of the Rings was close to perfection when it comes to the crossover, great characters and they actually followed the story – which makes a change.

Favourite snack or drink when writing?

Strawberry Nesquick and coconut mushrooms.

Favourite highlight of your writing career?

I will have to have two here, (greedy I know). Firstly, being signed by Bloodhound, Betsy is a top author and she knows what it takes to get a book done, and this really helps knowing you have the support of someone who has done it. Plus, she sticks to what she says, which is a miracle in this day and age. Secondly, winning author of the year on the Facebook UK Crime Book Club site, as this showed me that the readers loved the books and that in itself was wonderful to know.

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Get To Know…. Author Malcolm Hollingdrake

Welcome to another Get To Know feature and this week I have the lovely Malcolm Hollingdrake on the blog.

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As a teacher, I have always written stories, as a teacher for many, many years, usually for children and editorials about educational practice. Initially I never believed that I’d become a published author and certainly not of crime fiction. I get anxious when I see a police car in my rear-view mirror! It was only later in life after self-publishing my first novel and winning a short story competition, did I feel as though I might have some ability. My wife, a specialist teacher of English, has always told me that I have a very individual way of writing and that I should work and develop it further.

I wrote two further books, both involving officers, DCI Cyril Bennett and DS David Owen who are based in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. Although I had submitted both to publishers and agents, I had no success other than receiving the same response as many other disappointed authors. As with the first, they were self-published on Amazon.

Now here I’m going to say that, everyone, no matter what your walk of life, you need serendipity, luck and that luck usually appears in the form of another human being who can lift you to a higher level, a level that would have been unachievable before. For example would we have heard of Eva Cassidy had Sir Terry Wogan not introduced her, Michael Buble aided by Michael Parkinson? Maybe, but through that one person’s determination to help, the other’s life changed. It happens also if people win an award, suddenly doors open and more eyes fall on them and their work. Without two people, Angie Marsons and Liz Mistry, I’d still be a self-published author writing to publishers. Not that there’s anything wrong in that.

Certainly getting a professional publisher behind you is just so positive. They have the experience, the contacts and they have the support networks in place. So, initially, a four book deal turned into a seven book contract. More pressure, more work but there is no better feeling. Four books completed and I’m working on Book Five at present.

You can keep up to date with Malcolm Hollingdrake and his books on the following sites:

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Favourite book as a child?

I don’t really remember a book that I could call a favourite. If anyone either at home or school read me a story I was asleep before the ending, so much so the teacher gave me a broom to sweep the classroom during story time to keep me awake. Didn’t do much for my love of books but I could sweep brilliantly!

Favourite book as a teenager?

Favourite book as a teenager would have to be the Dr Syn series but to be honest I can’t be sure. Loved Kes but that came later. Yes, The Scarecrow and Dr Syn if I have to commit.

Favourite character?

Favourite character I suppose Billy Casper but if you ask me tomorrow that might have changed.

Favourite book to movie adaption?

Can I have ‘Cabaret’ the musical and film by Christopher Isherwood?

Favourite drink or snack while reading?

Tea, a cup of green tea whilst writing. China cup and saucer only. (Kidding- Huge Harrogate festival Anniversary mug.) It tends to go cold as once writing I tend to close off the outside world.

Snack nothing, crumbs go on the laptop! A bit of Cyril coming out in me.

Favourite highlight of your writing career?

Favourite moment of my writing career. Meeting some fantastic people and finding a guardian angel. It must have been receiving the email from Bloodhound offering that publishing contract. Wow! Seeing my wife, Debbie’s face when I told her made me cry. She’d always had faith and when the rejection letters came she was always there to encourage me.

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Watch Her Disappear (Zigic & Ferreira 4) by Eva Dolan

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Book Description:

YOU CAN RUN FROM YOUR PAST. BUT YOU CAN’T RUN FROM MURDER.

The body is found by the river, near a spot popular with runners.

With a serial rapist at work in the area, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are initially confused when the Hate Crimes Unit is summoned to the scene. Until they discover that the victim, Corinne Sawyer, was born Colin Sawyer.

Police records reveal there have been violent attacks on trans women in the local area. Was Corinne a victim of mistaken identity? Or has the person who has been targeting trans women stepped up their campaign of violence? With tensions running high, and the force coming under national scrutiny, this is a complex case and any mistake made could be fatal…

My Thoughts:

Even though Watch Her Disappear is the fourth book in the Zigic and Ferreira series, they all read easily as stand alone’s, but as it’s a great series I would definitely recommend reading them all.

The author has yet again come up with a gripping case for the detectives to work on. As stated in the description, this is certainly a complex case and nothing is straight forward, which makes things even harder for the two detectives.

There was something quite chilling about the whole story line. I’m not sure if was to do with the type of crime it was but what was happening to the trans women in the story really got to me. In part some of it was quite upsetting and uncomfortable to read but I think that’s what made this novel even more compelling.

Watch Her Disappear is quite an atmospheric read that really gets under the readers skin. The author has a way of writing that just draws the reader in and doesn’t let go until the very end. This is a brilliant series that lovers of crime really should read.

My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Watch Her Disappear is out on the 26th of January and available to pre order now on Amazon.

The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt #CoverReveal

I am delighted to be part of the cover reveal for Alexandra Burt’s new novel, The Good Daughter, which is out on the 23rd of February in ebook and paperback. Both are available to pre order now on Amazon.

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‘A stunning read from a superb storyteller.’ Clare Mackintosh

 

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

The Good Daughter is a compelling take on a genre that shows no sign of slowing down. The perfect read for fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

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Book Description:

Don’t Trust This Book

Don’t Trust These People

Don’t Trust Yourself

And whatever you do, DON’T give away that ending…

‘Sarah Pinborough is about to become your new obsession’ Harlan Coben

Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…

David

Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…

Adele

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?

My Thoughts:

Behind Her Eyes is a story told in the first person between Louise and Adele. With Adele we also get some ‘Then’ chapters which gives us an insight into her past.

Louise I liked. She is someone readers can relate to. Her life looks like it’s on the up when she meets David. When Louise realises David is married, it is to late as she has already fallen for him. I was torn between feeling quite sorry for Louise to wanting to give her a good shake as affairs never usually end well and the further I got into the story, the more concerned for her I became. Especially as she becomes friends with his wife! She is a bit like a dog with a bone as she knows there is something not quite right between David and Adele and instead of letting it go she grows more determined to find out exactly what it is.

It’s actually quite hard to say to much about the characters as I think the less you know about them the better. Adele and David, my impression of them changed constantly throughout the novel and readers really need to make up their own mind about them.

To start with, with the story flicking between the two women and to the past, it did take me a little longer to settle into it. When I did though I was well and truly gripped. It’s one of those stories that feels like it has something explosive underneath the surface and boy did it explode right in my face towards at one point!

Behind Her Eyes is going to be a very much talked about book in 2017. It’s one that you are going to urge your family and friends to read so that you can talk about it. The story is one of those ones where you constantly over think everything and turn the pages like a person possessed in search of the truth. It will grip you and twist you before finally spitting you out. I actually felt like someone had walked over my grave by the end.

If you only read one thriller in 2017, make sure it’s this one!

My thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.

Behind Her Eyes is out on the 26th of January and available to pre order now on Amazon.

 

 

Get To Know…. Author Betsy Reavley

Welcome to my new weekly feature, Get To Know… This is a chance to get to know new authors or, hopefully, to find out more about authors you already know. To kick off the very first Get To Know, I am delighted to be joined by the wonderful Betsy Reavley.

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I am the author of 5 thriller novels and two collections of poetry. In 2016 my company, Bloodhound Books, also put together a collection of short stories, which I contributed to. Every penny of profit from the book will be donated to charity. I am very proud of this project. Dark Minds was the coming together of authors from across the industry in the hope of raising money and awareness for two great causes. Organising the publication of that book was one of the most challenging things I have ever done.

As a small child I loved reading and drawing and often created my own illustrated children’s stories. Then as a teenager, filled with angst, I found poetry and became an obsessive consumer and producer. When I was twenty I sent off my first collection of poetry to a well respected agent. I was amazed to discover that he had positive things to say about my poems, although he said I should to work on my craft.

I started writing my first novel when I was 23. Beneath the Watery Moon is a book all about the horror of mental illness, something that has plagued my life for many years. When it was picked up by a publisher it put me on the path I am on now. My love of reading, stories and writing has not only led me to have a career as a writer but it opened the door to me starting my own publishing house with my husband who is now also my business partner. I love this industry and I love working along side other authors. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I am a mother of two young daughters and my husband is not only a fantastic man but also a wonderful person to work along side.

You can keep up to date with Betsy Reavley and her books on the following sites:

https://www.facebook.com/BetsyReavleyAuthor/

Twitter @BetsyReavley

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Betsy-Reavley/e/B00I970NY4/

Favourite book as a child?

Easily my favourite book as a child was Fantastic Mr Fox. I loved the idea that an animal could outsmart human beings. I’ve always loved animals so it was easy to side with the fox against those three moronic farmers, although, to give him his due, Mr Bean wasn’t as dumb as the other two.

Favourite book as a teenager?

My favourite book as a young teenager would have been an Agatha Christie. It’s difficult to decide between Murder on the Orient Express and And then there were None. Both of the plots blew my young mind and made me want to be a writer. When I hit fifteen I started to read Stephen King and Carrie became a firm favourite.

Favourite character?

My favourite character – this is a difficult one. As with most things in life the answer is likely to change depending on when you ask me the question and what my mood is at the time. Today I am going to say that it is Miss Marple. I loved the concept that a little old woman, who most people wouldn’t pay much attention to, was the smartest person in the room. Human nature has always fascinated me too so I suppose I relate to that element of her character.

Favourite book to movie adaption?

This is another hard question. I’m going to cheat and pick two – The Birds Daphne Du Maurier’s story which was adapted by Hitchcock and The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith that was recently turned into an awesome film starring Jude Law and Matt Damon. Two superb films in my opinion and both of which I will happily watch time and time again.

Favourite drink or snack while reading?

Well if I’m honest my favourite drink will always be a glass of wine and since I tend to read in the evenings and while on holiday that seems an acceptable answer. I don’t usual snack while reading.

Favourite highlight of your writing career?

There have been two notable highlights that I can remember. One was when I received a review from a critic from the evening standard who said he really enjoyed my book and saw elements in my writing that reminded him of Stephen King, Barbara Vine and Daphne Du Maurier. Although as a writer I long to be original I also cannot help but be thrilled when I am compared to such great writers who also happen to be hero’s of mine. The second highlight was when Rosamund Lupton – a fantastic writer – tweeted that she was proud I’d cited one of her books as my favourite. The idea that she’d been privy to the interview in which I mentioned her book and bothered to say thank you left me with goosebumps.

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Miss Christie Regrets: Book 2 of the Hampstead Murders by Guy Fraser-Sampson

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Book Description:
The second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link.

As with its bestselling predecessor, Death in Profile, the book develops the lives and loves of the team at ‘Hampstead Nick’. While the next phase of a complicated love triangle plays itself out, the protagonists, struggling to crack not one but two apparently insoluble murders, face issues of national security in working alongside Special Branch.

On one level a classic whodunit, this quirky and intelligent read harks back not only to the world of Agatha Christie, but also to the Cold War thrillers of John Le Carre, making it a worthy successor to Death in Profile which was dubbed ‘a love letter to the detective novel’.

My Thoughts:

Miss Christie Regrets is the second novel in the Hampstead Murders series, Death In Profile being the first. Personally I don’t think it is paramount to have read the other one first but it does help to get to know the characters better.

I have to say the title of the book grabbed my interest straight away. I’m a big fan of Agatha Christie’s novels so I very much wanted to know how she would fit into a novel that is set years after her death.

Even though the novel is set in current day, the author writes in a style that makes you feel like you could actually be in the same era that Christie’s books are set. Even though it is a crime series it’s more one of mystery and suspense rather than a gritty and thrilling one. It is still very much an enjoyable read though.

I loved the story line of a murder that is some how linked to letters by one of the most famous crime writers herself. It made me as desperate as the police to uncover the truth. I enjoyed the journey of discovery that the author took me on and it was certainly worth the wait in until all was revealed.

Miss Christie Regrets is a highly enjoyable crime novel. It will be a big hit with anyone who enjoys a good ‘whodunnit’. Perfect for readers who love the more intellectual approach in solving crimes.

My thanks to the author and Urbane Publications for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Miss Christie Regrets is out today and available to purchase from Amazon.