In Plain Sight by M A Comley #BlogTour @Melcom1 @Bloodhoundbook

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Book Description:

No one is safe… not even the police.

DI Hero Nelson is used to violent crime but this one is personal. When he’s called to a crime scene he discovers the victims are two police officers one of whom is a good friend.
Determined to track down the killer, he’s dealt another blow as the body count continues to rise. To catch the killer before he strikes again, Hero calls upon the public for help. But when the criminal ups the ante by taking hostages, he soon regrets his actions.
Can Hero and the police catch the murderer before more innocent victims are hurt?  
Hero must apprehend a killer who is hiding in plain sight before the time runs out.

My Thoughts:

In Plain Sight is the third novel in the Hero crime series. It works very well as a stand alone though I would like to get to know Hero better and will be getting the others in the series to read.

Hero is such a great name and I couldn’t think of a better named person being a DI. Certainly solving crimes in a way makes him just that, a hero. He does have a good team that work along side him so to be fair it is very much a team effort.

A story line with police officers being killed while on duty was certainly a harrowing one. I have to admit that this is one part of working in the police force I would absolutely hate, having to inform a loved one of a death. I really couldn’t think of anything worse and my heart was breaking along with the officers families. Also we forget about the big impact their deaths have on their colleagues and this is shown in the story.

In Plain Sight is without a doubt a gripping read with characters that really care about their job and the victims of the crimes. It’s one that can easily be devoured in one sitting and will have you wanting more.

My thanks to Bloodhound Books for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

In Plain Sight is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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Deadly Game by Matt Johnson #BlogTour #Extract #Giveaway

Today I am delighted to be one of two stops on the blog tour for Deadly Games which is available to purchase from Amazon. For my stop I have an extract as well as a give away for a signed copy of this fabulous book. For the chance to win a signed copy, you will find the link at the end of the extract.

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Extract:

Prologue

1999. Romania

The wind can kill.

Relia Stanga recalled her father’s words clearly as she huddled

against the stone garden wall for shelter.

Winter was around the corner. The east wind was beginning to turn

cold. Soon, she would need to take a chance and wait inside the house

for the factory bus to arrive. In a few short weeks the winds from the

east would bring snow and then, as Father had warned, it would be

certain death to wait in the street for the six o’clock pick-up.

One day, she prayed, summers would no longer be spent cutting and

gathering wood to see them through to the following spring. One day,

there would be food on the table every single day and she would not

have to rely on mother for hand-me-down clothes.

One day … with luck, she would find a new life.

For now, Relia contented herself with wrapping her mother’s

woollen coat tight around her slim figure, lifting the collar and making

herself as small and as tight as possible.

The wall provided the only protection from where she could see the

approach of the bus. Miss the bus, no ride. Miss the ride, no job. Miss

the job, go hungry.

Home for Relia was a small village on the north-east edge of

Romania, near the border with Moldova. She was now seventeen and

had spent the previous day with the men, cutting logs. Huge piles were

now stacked in the village stores and in shelters people had built in the

yards at the rear of their houses. Most of the harvest had been sold.

Father and her brother had left at first light to deliver the last of the

summer maize crop. With the income, they would buy salted meats that

would be eaten once a week with potatoes and root soup.

On their return from the market, the men would be drunk. It was

their release. They would meet friends, gossip, moan about the harvest,

play cards and drink. Sorrows would be drowned with home-distilled

ţuică. Relia’s father made his own from a family recipe using apples

and plums. The women said it was the work of the devil, for the rage it

sometimes brought out in the men.

Father was a hard-working man, a good man. But the drink would

release his pent-up frustrations and anger. Mother would always bear

the brunt of his wrath. The children just kept out of the way. This was

the way of men; they had to vent their rage, and using the women

stopped them from killing each other. This was the way of things, as it

always had been.

But now, Relia had a plan.

Every month or so, the factory would host men from the city. Men

from Brasov and Bucharest. Men who wore suits, drove Mercedes cars

and talked of incredible adventures.

A friend who was a house servant to the wife of the factory owner

told her the men came looking for girls. Relia could barely contain her

excitement on learning these girls secured work in places in the city,

in kitchens or waiting on tables. They had jobs, proper jobs, and they

made enough money to keep some for themselves and send the rest

home for their families.

The men would choose the best-looking girls. To each they would

give a small, yellow ticket. It was their approval to ride in the warm van

on its way to the city – their passport to a better life. The men were due

t o d ay.

Beneath her worn clothing, Relia was possessed of unusual beauty,

and yet they had not noticed her. She was determined that would

change. She was slim, pale skinned, and was blessed with shiny, raven-

black hair that a woman in the village had recently cut into a neat bob.

She had bought a little make-up, and her friend, the servant, had loaned

her a dress that would show off her figure. The next time the men came

to the factory, Relia was to help serve their drinks.

The bus arrived. It was late, as always, and, as he always did, the

driver drove fast to get the workers to the factory by seven o’clock. Relia

snoozed on the journey. She didn’t mind the potholes, the tight bends,

the heavy braking or the driver swearing. The bus was warm. For nearly

forty minutes she could drift into a world where there was no cold, no

hunger.

When they arrived at the factory gates, Relia looked across to the

owner’s house. On the drive she saw his car – a big four-wheel drive.

Then she saw the Mercedes, a black one, and behind it, a black van. The

city men had arrived.

She checked her pocket, fearing she may have forgotten the powder

and lipstick. It was there. As the factory gate opened, she saw her friend.

There was a smile, then a wink. Today was the day. Today she was to

have her chance.

The day on the factory line passed slowly. Relia was a glue mixer. The

factory made shoes. Leather imported from Mongolia was cut, shaped

and stitched together by hand. Relia helped make the adhesive that

would bind the upper parts of the shoe to the sole. It was easy work.

Day after day she simply poured ingredients into containers in the pre-

scribed measures and mixed them for the correct amount of time and

at the right temperature. It was the heat of the glue room that made the

job sought after in the winter and hated in the summer.

Due to the constituents of the glue, all the workers in the glue section

smelled of fish, a fact that earned them the nickname pesti. Relia knew

that as soon as she finished, she would have to sneak over to the owner’s

house, use her friend’s bath and clean herself. Only then would she be

ready to serve the city men and, hopefully, her freshly scrubbed skin

and hair would be perfumed well enough to mask the fishy smell.

During the day, four girls were interviewed by the city men. Three of

them were selected for employment, given their tickets and instructed

to send messages to their families that they would not be home that

night. In fact, they might never be home again. With one exception,

Relia could not recall selected girls having ever returned to the villages.

Who could blame them? With a new life in the city, money in their

purses and, probably, husbands, there was no reason to come back to

such a lowly life. Some would write, many would send small amounts of

money, but none came back to the poverty of the villages.

The one that had returned had been the wife of one of the city men.

She had spoken of having made her fortune, of the bright lights and

excitement of the city, of girls marrying American soldiers and of the

opportunities available to those willing to leave the villages. As she

spoke, she held the young factory girls spellbound. The older women

weren’t convinced. ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,’ they

would mutter. But the young women wanted their chance and it was

them the city men came to see.

That evening, Relia avoided the queue for the homeward-bound bus

and crept slowly around the back of the factory. Here, she knew she

could find the gate to the owner’s house. It was locked, as always. The

owners thought all the workers were thieves.

At the arranged time, six o’clock, her friend Elisabeta was waiting.

Elisabeta unlocked the gate from the inside and the two girls then

scurried along the concrete path towards the house. In the half-light

from the windows of the house she could see the garden was green

and luxurious, nothing like the sun-parched yards of the village. It was

the first time she had seen behind the high walls into this secret place.

Only the owners and selected house staff were allowed such a privilege.

Relia had heard the stories and now, with her own eyes, she could see

it was as beautiful as they said. To one side there was even a swing and

a fountain.

Relia paused for a moment to stare. It was just like she had seen in

the well-thumbed magazines that sometimes appeared in the factory

for the workers to look at during their breaks.

Voices came from the house – male voices – laughter.

‘Hurry,’ her friend whispered. ‘We mustn’t be seen here.’

Relia understood. If they were caught, it would be assumed they

were stealing. They would be dismissed if they were lucky, jailed if the

owner called the police. The politia locale were good men, in the main,

but they would always believe a respected factory owner over a poor

village girl.

Elisabeta stopped as they reached the small door that led to the

servants’ quarters. She pressed a single finger to her lips then gently

opened the door.

The first thing that struck Relia was the heat. Even in this part of

the house, it was warm and comfortable. In the village they could only

afford to heat one room. Here, there were radiators in all the rooms, and

even in the corridors.

That evening, Relia enjoyed the longest, hottest bath she had ever

experienced. She scrubbed her hands, her feet, her face, all the while

sniffing herself to check the smell of fish was fading. She washed her

hair four times before she was satisfied the aroma was gone.

Elisabeta sprayed her sparingly with a body perfume. Relia would

have liked a little more but her friend was insistent. The owner’s wife

gave it to all the female staff so they wouldn’t carry their body odours

into the main rooms. There was one spray-can each per month, and

they were expected to make it last.

When Relia saw the dress Elisabeta had prepared for her, she nearly

wept. It was thin, silk-like and hugged her figure. Although blue, it was

such a dark shade as to almost appear black. The design was sleeveless

and reminded Relia of pictures she had seen of film stars like Marilyn

Monroe. It was sexy.

The dress was a colour all the household staff wore to serve dinner.

But for Relia it had a different purpose. Skin tight, it emphasised her

curves and suggested hidden treasures. On this night, it was to lure the

city men.

At eight o’clock, the head girl sounded the brass gong in the hallway

to signal dinner was prepared. Elisabeta served at table and had

arranged that Relia would support her. The girl who normally filled that

role had agreed to hide in her room for the evening. Elisabeta was sure

her absence would not be noticed, especially when the men saw Relia.

The plan worked. The men fell silent the moment they set eyes on

the new girl in the dark-blue dress. Smiling, the owner asked who she

was, and while Elisabeta explained, the oldest of the city men beckoned

Relia closer. . When the owner had grunted his approval, the old man

immediately asked Relia if she would take up a chance to be his per-

sonal assistant in Brasov.

Relia nodded and then backed away as the men negotiated a price

to secure her services. She heard the figure of two thousand lei being

argued over, before the owner and the elder city man shook hands. The

deal was done. There was much laughter and the men returned to eating

and drinking.

That evening, as the chosen girls waited for the city men’s van to be

made ready, they wrote letters to their families. The factory owner’s wife

had suggested it, and even helped them with the wording.

‘Are you excited?’ one of the girls asked Relia, as the owner’s wife

collected their envelopes and left the room.

But Relia didn’t answer. The owner’s wife had left the door ajar and,

through the gap, Relia could now see her dropping the little stack of

letters into one of the sacks they used for rubbish in the factory.

‘Relia?’ asked her companion, a tiny frown knitting her brow.

Relia shook herself and smiled, but a gnawing sense of worry

remained.

‘Yes,’ she replied. Then, trying to sound more certain: ‘Yes, I can’t

wait.’

To win a signed copy of Deadly Game by Matt Johnson then please click here.

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Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski #BlogTour @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

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Book Description:

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby. 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame … As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

My Thoughts:

Six Stories is very different to anything I have ever read. The story is told in the form of podcasts which is something I am very new to but also makes this novel extremely current for today’s world.

Six characters tell their story of events surrounding the unsolved murder of Tom Jeffries. Each story is introduced by presenter Scott King. I think because the presenter kept popping up before each story it made the whole novel feel a bit like something from the show, The Twilight Zone. I just kept getting the same sort of voice popping up in my head and it kind of brought the whole book more to life.

This is totally a new and modern way to tell a murder, mystery story. It’s very unique and really makes it stand out from others in this genre. I really had no clue what to expect as it is such a new reading experience on me but it’s one by the end I really enjoyed. There are even a few surprises in there that I was not expecting but the less said about that the better!

Six Stories is a mesmerising story that you will easily get lost into. It brings past and present colliding together to reveal secrets that I for one could never have guessed. Highly recommended.

My thanks to Karen an Orenda Books for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Six Stories is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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Born Bad by Marnie Riches #BlogTour #Review&Extract @Marnie_Riches

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Book Description:

A powerful, gritty novel set in the criminal underworld of Manchester from bestselling author Marnie Riches.

Manchester’s criminal underworld is shaken to the core when gang leader Paddy O’Brien is found bleeding by the poolside of his sprawling Bramshott mansion. So begins a fierce battle for the South Side, with the leading Manchester gangsters taking the law into their own hands – even when they have to play dirty to win…

This is a brand new crime series from the bestselling Marnie Riches; a fast-paced, gritty and darkly comic novel that brings the grime of Manchester to life…

My Thoughts:

Having read the authors George McKenzie series I was very much looking forward to reading Born Bad which is the authors first stand alone novel. Still sticking with the crime genre, this is very much a tale of the battles of rival gang lords and power.

The story has quite a lot of characters in it and does jump around between quite a few so it’s one that you need to really concentrate on to keep up with all that’s going on as otherwise you could become a bit lost.

The main characters that stuck out to me is Lev and Sheila (She).  I think Lev’s plight of having a young son who is very ill really pulled on my heart strings and I was willing for things to come right for him. Even though I didn’t agree with his life of crime, I could understand to a certain extent why he had to do what he had to do and it made it all that more thought provoking. Sheila or She as her husband Paddy likes to call her I felt sorry for. She has gotten into a life style she in not happy with. She loathes her husband but has no choice but to stay in an unhappy marriage as she knows he will never just let her go.

Paddy is a horrible man who thinks he can have his cake and eat it. He has no respect what so ever for females and I instantly disliked him. He expects She to do whatever he tells her and thinks nothing of forcing her if she won’t. I was praying that she would be able to find some way out of it all and have her happy ending.

Born Bad is a story with different threads running throughout the novel. I wouldn’t say it’s your stereo typical criminal underworld story. Each character seems to bring something different to the novel which makes it stand out to others in it’s genre. With quite a few twists it certainly makes for an entertaining and enjoyable read that is sure to be a hit with readers.

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

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Born Bad is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.

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Extract:

Sinking beneath the deep layer of foam and the silken surface of the water, Sheila mused on how comforting it was to shut the world out. Holding her breath. Counting, counting, until all she could feel was the crushing sensation in her chest and the beat of her pulse, thumping in her ears. Reminding her that she was yet living, though she felt dead inside.

The girls were grown and gone.

The flower of her youth had withered.

She was Paddy’s Queen, imprisoned in a tower of her own design, awaiting execution or a slow death. Not even Thailand would change that.

Pushing against the tall sides of the freestanding bath, she surfaced, gasping for air. Racking sobs suddenly pushing their way out of her body like skeletons tumbling from a closet she had been keeping under lock and key for decades.

‘Why?’ she shouted to the TV screen set into the unforgiving stacked-stone slate wall. It showed some plastic fantastic American actress, jabbering at her fat friend, occasioning unearned canned laughter at the end of every sentence. The TV was as good a confessor as any. ‘How has it come to this?’ She splashed her hands down violently into the foamy water, sending it scudding around her naked body. ‘Washed up just as I was about to ride the crest of my own wave. All ’cos of Paddy. That domineering, bad-breathed, dicky-tickered wanker, with his shitty flaky scalp and his skidmarks in his undies and his hairy back and his psycho bullying bullshit and his bitch mistresses with their fake tits.’ Years of solemn therapy sessions at the Priory, in which she had talked around the problem to a sympathetic man in a Spartan room, were now proved redundant. For her ears only, in that empty bathroom, the truth she had been holding inside about the root of all her unhappiness was finally outside. ‘Paddy, you bastard! I hate you. I fucking hate you.’ She slammed her palms down onto her knees with a splash. ‘But I love you and I’m scared and I don’t know how to be alone. Please don’t let him die tonight, God.’

Visualising her husband, standing in the gallery, clinching the deal of a lifetime with the Boddlington bosses … Perhaps the Boddlingtons would bring a suitcase full of cash like you saw on the films. She didn’t know how deals that size worked – her cleaning deals were all dodgy invoices and almost bona fide transactions to slightly shady offshore accounts or cash, no questions asked. But she knew that if the sell-out went ahead, they would be rich enough never to have to think about money again. Off to Thailand, flying first class. Trapped forever, hidden away from what few friends and family Paddy allowed her to have.

And what if the deal failed and he was killed tonight? What then? Patrick O’Brien was all she had known from being a girl, becoming her father figure long before her own father had disowned her. She visualised his gravestone.

Here lies Patrick O’Brien, survived by his ungrateful wife and doting daughters.

Freedom at last.

She shook the thought away. What a prize cow she was!

Sobbing in the bath until the bubbles had all burst, her fingertips and toes had become wrinkled and the water had grown cold. Shivering. Teeth-clacking. She turned on the hot tap, shoving her purple toes under the gushing warm water, wondering how it was she could feel so many conflicting emotions at once.

‘I’ve made my bed,’ she finally told the television, feeling guilt start to pull her under again. The water level was rising fast … ‘Loyalty keeps this family together. I need to keep us together.’

She slid down the bath until even her buoyant breasts were covered. Her hair swished around her like weed on the bottom of a pond. Water seeped up to her chin and into her ears. Over her nose. Under. Contemplating if she should stay there forever, choosing a watery way out of this life and these wifely obligations.

But then, in amongst the thunder of the hot water, now so dangerously near the rim of the bath, she heard another insistent sound. A chime from far away. Was she drowning? Was this destiny calling from the other side?

The bell.

She emerged abruptly from the bath, spilling water all over the floor. The chime was insistent – somebody was at the gates, pressing and pressing on that button. Who the hell was it at this time of night?

Conky had a fob for the gates. Paddy had a key for the door. They weren’t due back until 11pm at the earliest, unless it had all gone very badly wrong, of course …

Ignoring the mess, she skidded across the bathroom, grabbing her robe from the heated towel rail. Hastened down the oak staircase, stepping gingerly with wet feet on the bare, polished treads. The intercom and CCTV screen were close to the front door in the glazed, double-height vestibule. She was vulnerable here, at night with the chandeliers blazing. Anyone lurking in the dark out there would be able to see her. Her heart was pounding, all thoughts of a watery end gone now. Visualising instead where Paddy had the shotguns and live ammo stashed, in case the Boddlington gang had turned up thinking they could claim O’Brien Towers as spoils of war.

Get To Know… Author Danielle Ramsay @DanielleRamsay2

Delighted to be joined today by author Danielle Ramsay. I was lucky enough to meet Danielle in person recently at a meet up and she had me totally captivated when she was talking about her novels. 

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Danielle Ramsay is a proud Scot living in a small seaside town in the North-East of England. She first wanted to be a filmmaker and graduated with a 1st Class Honours Bachelor Degree in scriptwriting and media production.  She then completed a Masters with Distinction and while undertaking a PhD she won a place on the reserve list for the Frank Knox scholarship for a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University. However, after getting a top New York literary agency’s support for a psychological thriller she was writing set in New England where she had once worked, she gave up her ambition of an academic career and research at Harvard. The debut novel set in the States was never published and if it had been it would have been over 1000 pages long and too complicated to be commercially viable. So, she filed her debut novel away and started writing the first DI Jack Brady book – Broken Silence. After being shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger in 2009 and then, 2010 for Broken Silence she began to write creatively full-time. She is the author of five DI Jack Brady crime novels, The Puppet Maker (2016), Blood Reckoning (2015), Blind Alley, (2014) Vanishing Point (2012) and Broken Silence (2010).

Her latest work, The Last Cut is released 1st June and features DS Harri Jacobs – a female cop who finds herself tracking down a serial killer who is altering his victims to look like her. However, the hunter soon becomes the hunted and Harri becomes the primary target of a killer who does not just want to murder her, he wants to kill for her.

An advocate against domestic violence for personal and political reasons, she is a patron for the charity SomeOne Cares which counsels survivors of childhood abuse, rape and domestic violence.

You can keep up to date with Danielle Ramsay and her books on the following sites:

Favourite book as a child?

“The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.”

Favourite book as a teenager?

“Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris.

Favourite character?

C.Auguste Dupin who first appears in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841; a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and now recognised as the first detective story.

Favourite book to movie adaption?

“Devil in a Blue Dress” by Walter Mosley. It was adapted to the screen by Carl Franklin who both wrote and directed the film set in 1948 Los Angeles, starring Denzel Washington as the African American World War II verteran turned private investigator, Ezekile “Easy” Rawlins.

Favourite drink or snack while reading?

It would depend on the time of day, so either strong black coffee and chocolate (I have a penchant for Easter eggs so love this time of year!) or chilled white wine and pretzels.

Favourite highlight of your writing career?

Martina Cole’s reaction to reading “The Puppet Maker”: ‘I absolutely loved THE PUPPET MAKER…totally fabulous.’ Martina Cole is the ‘queen of crime’ and one of my favourite authors and as such, pioneered the way in the early 90s for other women to write gritty, hard-hitting crime novels, and so, to have her read my book meant a great deal to me as a female writer.

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The Darkness Within by Cathy Glass writing as Lisa Stone #CoverReveal @LisaStoneBooks @HelenaSheffield

Being a big Cathy Glass fan I can’t tell you how excited I am about her new novel coming out. Super excited to be part of the cover reveal, looks great doesn’t it?

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PUBLISHING IN EBOOK & PAPERBACK: 13TH JULY 2017

 

A gripping new crime novel from the global bestseller Cathy Glass writing as Lisa Stone

You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?

 

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?

Available to pre order now on Amazon.

Get To Know… Author Maggie James @mjamesfiction

Delighted to be joined to day by the lovely Maggie James.

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Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

 

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. From childhood, she always wanted to be a novelist, but when she grew up life decided otherwise. Instead, she became an accountant – not the most logical choice for a would-be novelist, you might think! Despite a long career crunching numbers, the desire to write never went away, leading to Maggie tentatively dipping her toe in the water. To start, she wrote some short fiction pieces, which were well received online. She also had an erotic short story published, although the publisher went out of business before she got paid! Undeterred, Maggie quit her job to go travelling in 2010, with the intention of becoming a novelist no matter what it took. She’s pleased to report that, so far, it’s all proved much easier than she dared hope, but then she’s a stubborn individual!

 

Once she’d completed her first novel, ‘His Kidnapper’s Shoes’, Maggie’s intention was to return to the UK and seek a publisher or agent. While she was enjoying South America, however, a fellow traveller introduced her to self-publishing via Amazon’s KDP programme, and she’s never looked back. No regrets about her former accountancy career, that’s for sure! Other novels followed, along with a novella and a non-fiction book aimed at would-be novelists.

 

In February 2016, Maggie received a call from an acquisitions agent from Lake Union, one of Amazon’s publishing imprints. It seemed she’d enjoyed ‘His Kidnapper’s Shoes’, and was interested in exploring working together. Six weeks later, Maggie signed a publishing contract with Lake Union, which included her forthcoming novel, ‘After She’s Gone’, to be published on March 16, 2017.

 

Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

 

Want a quirky fact about Maggie? She has synaesthesia, an unusual neurological trait in which the senses are muddled, and shared by other novelists such as Vladimir Nabokov and Orhan Pamuk. Not that she’s in the same league as such literary giants, but hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

You can keep up to date with Maggie James and her books on the following sites:

Website and blog: http://www,maggiejamesfiction.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MJamesFiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

 LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maggie-james/64/381/727

 Google+ : https://plus.google.com/101511690389687930651

 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

 Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/maggiejamesfict/

 Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggie-James/e/B00BS9LVMI

 BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-james

 Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/mjamesfiction

Sales links:

His Kidnapper’s Shoes: http://smarturl.it/HKSnew

The Second Captive: http://smarturl.it/thesecondcaptive

Guilty Innocence: http://smarturl.it/guiltyinnocence

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Favourite book as a child?

I enjoyed a wide variety of reading material as a child, thanks to my father’s love of books. My favourite as a child Is probably ‘The House in the Square’ by Joan G Robinson. Why? Well, I won it as a prize in a writing competition, and have treasured it ever since. I believe it’s now out of print, but I’ll always keep my copy.

Favourite book as a teenager?

By my teens I was enjoying authors such as Agatha Christie, Jean Plaidy and Thomas Hardy. The book that made the biggest impression on me, though, was George Orwell’s ‘1984’. I recall wondering how on earth Winston Smith was going to defeat Big Brother, because I’d not yet read a book in which good hadn’t triumphed over evil. The ending came as a shock, therefore, stripping me of my literary innocence! I’m not  it’s my favourite book from my teenage years, thanks to the grim subject matter, but it’s probably the most memorable. Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles might be my choice for favourite, therefore; Hardy’s magical descriptions of the Wessex countryside are justly famous. In my view, Angel Clare is a truly loathsome character; at least Alec D’Urberville doesn’t pretend to be a better person than he actually is. What a great story!

Favourite character?

Hmm, a difficult one. I’m a big Stephen King fan, and I loved ’11.22.63’, but I can’t say Jake Epping is my favourite character; it’s the incredible plot that grabs me. I do have a soft spot for Henry James’s ‘Washington Square’, and the character of Dr Austin Sloper is, for me, truly memorable. His treatment of his daughter is appalling but James paints him so well he’s always stuck in my mind. By contrast, Morris Townsend is a far more overt villain, and it’s hard to say who screws up the unfortunate Catherine Sloper more thoroughly.

Favourite book to movie adaption?

So many to choose from! What about Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’? Stephen King’s ‘Misery’, or ‘The Shining’? Patricia Highsmith’s ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’? I think I’d have to pick ‘Rebecca’, thanks to the creepiness of the black and white 1940 film version. Not to mention the superb portrayal of Mrs Danvers by Judith Anderson. Scary stuff!

Favourite drink or snack while reading?

I don’t often eat and read, as I’m one of those people who like to keep books in pristine condition. Neither would I want smeary fingerprints on my kindle. If I do, though, hummus on homemade bread topped with black olives makes a great snack. I adore olives and anything made with garlic – yummy!

Favourite highlight of your writing career?

When I finished writing the first draft of His Kidnapper’s Shoes in 2011, holed up in a cheap hotel in Bolivia. I’d given up my job as an accountant in 2010 to travel the world, with the hidden agenda of returning with a completed novel. I’d dreamed of becoming a novelist since childhood, yet had procrastinated for decades. Somehow it all seemed too daunting. A few months into my trip, I still hadn’t written anything and a milestone birthday was on the horizon. One evening, while in a small town in northern Chile, I decided to get my act together. The next morning, I got on a bus to Bolivia, travelling to the gorgeous city of Sucre. I determined I’d write every day until I’d completed my first draft, and I did, while taking Spanish lessons and working my way around the local restaurants. It took about two months to complete the book and I burst into tears after I typed the last word. It was a hugely emotional moment for me and remains so every time I think about it.

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