Sharing Work In Progress: A Romantic Thriller #NaNoWriMo #amwriting #thriller

 

I am soooooooooooooooo making progress this National Novel Writing Month! Three- four years after I originally started this romantic thriller, I’ve gone back to my old manuscript while I wait to hear news back on last romance novel completed last month  ‘Sacrifices’  I’ve sent out to an agent. I have my fingers crossed that I hear good news about representation!  I am happy with where  this  current story ‘In the Name of Love’ is going, I  may even have it done this this April if I stay focused. Here’s a lil’ snippet for you, as always, I have lined up a  cast of characters from all corners of the world,  and different walks of life, with diversity, romance, murder and of course suspense and thrill!

Christina’s body is found, one brutal murder, two suspects, a conviction then a re-trial six years’ later, due to advances in DNA.  Charlotte- Price-Smith  has overturned her conviction and detainment in a London based mental institution following Christina’s murder six years’ later, and a new suspect is found,  but have the police convicted the right person the second time around…even after a re-trial?

This is a romantic thriller with a killer twist! Our leading lady Charlotte,  her love interest Joseph, Detectives and Christina’s best friend Sophie Ngo will take readers on a ride…..

 

Dear Diary,

Something strange is going on. I’ve not heard from Joseph for a couple of days, last saw of  him  was a week ago. It’s now Friday night, normally we’d have plans for the weekend or at least some kind of contact. He’s not answering my texts. If I don’t hear anything I’ll drive past the house and see if his car is there over the weekend, keep an eye on what’s going on. Christina is probably up to something.

CHAPTER THREE: MURDER, MURDER

 

18.00 hours Wandsworth Police Station, south west London.

“It’s  the 10th July 2012. This interview is being carried out in interview room one, the interview will be recorded via tape. I’m Detective David Black, present is Detective Stephen Jones, for the purposes of the tape, please confirm your full name?”

“Joseph Andrews.”

“And your date of birth please?”

“6th March 1980.”

“And your name please sir? For the purposes of the tape.” Detective Black gestures to the short bald man in a grey suit to the right of Joseph.

“I’m John Davies, legal representative from Davies and Smith Solicitors, here to protect the rights and interests of Mr. Andrews today.”

“Thank you.”

Detective Black wastes no time starting his full-blown interrogation, for years Joseph has been on his hit list of local criminals to nail. Joseph is smart, and a shrewd business man he managed to keep his ass clean–until now.

“Joseph you’ve been detained, on suspicion of the murder of  Christina Andrews- Campbell. You don’t have to say anything but anything you do say maybe used as evidence against you in a court of law do you understand?”

“Yeah I understand.”

“Joseph please look at this photo can you confirm who this is?”

Detective Black slides a photo across the table of mixed-race female, with her throat slashed from ear to ear, and  multiple stab wounds to her chest, upper arm and stomach. Joseph screws up his face as he looks down at the bloody photo. Detective Black studies his reaction to the photo closely, did he flinch? Show any kind of shock? Or seem as though he’s seen it before– maybe in person if he is her murderer.

“It’s my wife, Christina.”

“How long have you been married to the late Mrs. Andrews- Campbell?’’

“Three years last February.”

“For the three years have you been faithful to Mrs. Andrews- Campbell?’’

“No comment.”

“Can you confirm when the last time you saw her alive was?”

“I told you, when you arrested me, I don’t fuckin’ know what happened to her!”

“Mr. Andrews, please just answer the question.”

I take a deep breath, and rest my elbows on the table. I look Detective Black dead in the eye.

“I’ve been away for a few days, I needed time out, the last time I saw her was last Wednesday night just before I left.”

“Why did you need to leave your wife for time out?”

“We were arguing as usual, she pissed me off, I needed some head space.”

“And where did you go?”

“I stayed over at my mum’s.”

“While at your mum’s did you have any contact with your wife?’’

“Yeah, she kept texting me, asking me when I’ll come home.’’

“Did you respond?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Why do you think? I wanted time out I was in no rush to go back.’’

“What were the two of you arguing about?”

“Just stuff, usual things couples argue about.”

“And when you arrived home last night, what happened?”

“I walked into the house, dumped my stuff down then walked into the living room and there

she was on the floor.”

“Roughly what time did you arrive home?”

“Around 8:00 p.m.”

“And what did you do?”

“What do you think I did? I called you lot!”

“Mr. Andrews, who is Charlotte?”

“Just a friend.”

“Did you have more than just a friendship with her?”

 

I think about my response carefully the police have a way of trying to trip you up. I said no comment when asked how faithful I had been to that sorry excuse of a wife of mine. They have my phone and probably worked out exactly what went on between Charlotte and me. Fuck! I should have been more careful, I can’t get out of this one.

“Yeah, yeah okay she…she’s someone I was seeing.”

Detective Black grins at me, he knows he’s onto something now. I eye him from the other side of the scuffed wooden table and await this cocky response.

“Mr. Andrews could you please confirm what you mean?’’

“My bit on the side, we were seeing each other.”

“Did the two of you have a sexual relationship?’’

He knows we’ve had a sexual relationship, the evidence on my phone is enough to confirm we’ve had a sexual relationship. “What do you think?”

“Mr. Andrews if you can please confirm your response to the question.”

I place my head in both  of my hands and run my now sweaty palms over my face.

“Yes, we did.”

“For how long did you have a sexual relationship?”

“A month or so.”

“How did you meet?”

“We know each other from college, we ran into each other on a night out.”

“Does she know you’re married?’’

“Yes, she knows and knew nothing serious could happen. Plus, she’s a crazy fuckin’ bitch it’s her you should be talking to.”

“Mr. Andrews, what gives you the impression she is crazy?”

“She is obsessed, you’ve got my phone read the messages.”

“Did your wife know about your affair Mr. Andrews?”

“No comment.”

 

Shit, my mind races as these pigs place me under the spotlight for almost an hour. For years I’ve conducted all my illegal dealings behind the London’s Metropolitan Police’s back. I’ve rarely found myself on the wrong side of the law, I’ve been too clever for that.

“Did you try to break things off with Charlotte?”

“Yes a few times”

“What was her response?”

“She would cry, bitch and bombard me with texts and calls that kinda thing.”

“Why did you want to break it off with Charlotte? Assuming you had no plans to leave your wife for her, sounds like an ideal situation having them both?”

Staring up at the yellow ceiling I compose myself before I respond. I can hardly be truthful, tell the old bill I had no plans to leave my wife for Charlotte, as I planned to leave them both and start a new life once I pulled off the narcotics deal in Amsterdam. That bitch Christina caught wind of my operation, she blackmailed me with exposure to the pigs if she didn’t get a cut, and join me in my new life in the Caribbean. That was the last thing I wanted. This was part of my attraction to Charlotte. She is the complete opposite to Christina in every way from her looks, to her attitude and motivation in life. She’s the independent type earned her own money, good job, going places…. But she’s strange, her behaviour caught me off guard at times, and she’s a walking chemist with all the pills she popped. Whatever happens I’m not going down for this shit, no way, now she’s dead that’s my ticket into a new life. I rest my gaze on the pigs, ramp up my bravado and pray they don’t smell a rat.

“No, I had no plans to leave Christina for Charlotte.” I lie through my teeth and steel myself for more lies.

“I loved her, she was my wife.”

“Really? So why the affair then Mr. Andrews?”

“Just fun.”

A pang of guilt runs through me at my reference to Charlotte being just fun, truth be known I’d fallen for her and enjoyed her company, but how can one woman be so possessive? I’d ask myself when she was pissed off that I couldn’t meet up with her, or go for dinner as planned. Then there were the mood swings one moment she’d be up, then she’d be in  low level  depression and self- pity.

“So, Mr. Andrews, if you’re not responsible for the murder of Christina Andrews- Campbell then do you know who is?’’

Detective Black stares deeply into Joseph’s large light brown eyes, willing him to answer the question.

“No, I don’t.”

Bullshit, is all that runs through Detective Black’s mind.  He presses on with his interrogation wasting no time or allowing Joseph time to think. Detective Black changes tact, to the direct approach to see what Joseph knows– will he grass anyone up? And at the same time put out a lead for him and his team to follow up.

“When was the last time you saw Charlotte?’’

“About a week ago, I’ve been trying to cool things off a bit, lie low, I had other things on my mind work was busy. All I know is, it wasn’t me, and if you have no hard evidence against me you need to let me go and stop wasting your time and mine Detective.”

“Was Charlotte jealous of Christina? She was after all your wife and the woman you went home to?

         My heart skips a beat, do the old bill have her as a suspect? Is this some kind of trick?  I sit back confidently in my chair and look from one Detective to the other. I hate the poe-poe and I’ve never been one to take sides with them, but I’ve got to get myself out of the spotlight somehow. I think quickly and see this as my chance to get out of the hot seat.

 “Yeah, course she was she’d send threats all the time to me that she’d tell Chris about us.”

“Do you think she’s capable of murder?”

“Like I said she’s one crazy bitch.”

Detective Black smirks. “This interview is terminated at 21.00 hours exactly, Mr. Andrews you will be held pending further investigation here at Wandsworth Police Station.”

“What? Are you lot mad? I’ve got nothing to do with this, that crazy bitch is who you need to talk to not me.’’

“Please stay calm Mr. Andrews, let me handle this” John Davies cuts in.

“Detective, exactly how long do you intend on remanding Mr. Andrews?”  Joseph’s  legal representative shuffles in his seat, and fixes Detective Black with a firm stare over the top of his glasses.  Detective Black does not even bother to meet John’s eye, instead he focuses in on Joseph, and holds his gaze as he responds to John.

“As you know, we can in serious crimes hold a suspect for up to ninety six hours, due to the seriousness of this case I intend to remand Mr. Andrews for the maximum time.’’

 

I’m seething, there is no way I’m going down without a fight. I stay quiet, I sit there staring from one detective to another thinking, planning and plotting my next move to throw these pigs off my scent.

***

 

21:30 hours: Wandsworth Police Station, London.

 

“Today is the 10th July 2012, this interview is conducted in interview room two at Wandsworth Police Station the interview will be recorded via tape. I’m Detective David Black present is Detective Stephen Jones, for the purposes of the tape please confirm your full name?’’

“Charlotte Price- Smith”

“And your date of birth please?”

“2nd February 1982.”

“And your name please sir? For the purposes of the tape.”

“Ron Peters from Peters and Field solicitors, representing the rights and interests of Ms. Price-Smith today.’’

“Charlotte you’re detained on suspicion of the murder of Christina Andrews-Campbell, you don’t have to saying anything, but anything you do say maybe used in a court of law as evidence against you do you understand?’’

“Yes”

As Detective Black kicks off his questioning, he eyes the young beauty in front of him tall, blonde hair, piercing green eyes framed by dark lashes and eyebrows, the only sign that she is not a natural blonde. He can’t help but wonder why a decent looking girl like this would get herself mixed up with a hood rat like Joseph Andrews.

“Charlotte, how do you know Joseph Andrews?’’

“We met back in college years ago, ran into each other again at a party.”

“And what was your relationship like with him, back in college?’’

“Just mates.”

“Nothing more?’’

“Not then, no.”

“And now? What kind of relationship have the two of you got?’’

Detective Black watches Charlotte throw back her head and flick her blonde hair from her shoulder, she takes on a confident stance and looks him dead in the eye. She then leans forward over the old wooden table and gets up close to Detective Black. He can feel the sarcasm dripping from her body language and voice.

“He’s my boyfriend of course.”

“He is, you talk in the present tense Charlotte, for how long has he been your boyfriend as you say?”

“A month or so now.”

“Are you aware that he’s married?’’

“Yes, but he always told me he’d leave her when the time is right.”

“Did the two of you ever break up?”

“Never.”

“So, Mr. Andrews, never once tried to break things off with you for any reason?”

“You heard, no, never he loves me. We love each other, no he has never broken up with me or tried to.”

   Gotta ya!  Detective Black smiles, he knows one of the two is lying, he has a feeling it’s Ms. Over Confident sitting in front of him. The evidence he has seen on Joseph’s phone clearly shows heated debates between the pair as Joseph tried to step away from her, and the relationship. He changes pace, he places some evidence in front of her.

“Charlotte could you confirm the mobile phone number that Joseph contracts you on out loud for me please?’’

Charlotte rolls her eyes and pouts at Detective Black.

“07958 654 250.’’

“Perfect, and this is the only number he’d ever contact you on?”

“Yes.’’

“Charlotte take a look at this print out of text messages sent between your number and Joseph Andrew’s, it would appear that Joseph had in fact tried to break things off with you.” Detective Black slides four A4 sheets of paper with text messages printed out, from both suspect’s phones. Charlotte snatches up the paper and flushes.

“You were saying Charlotte? The two of you never broke up. Joseph Andrews never once tried to break things off with you?”

“He never meant it, he was just messing around.”

Detective Black resists the urge to push her further on this point, the evidence contradicts what she’s already said, he is satisfied–for now.

“Did it not bother you at any point being involved with a married man?  Did his wife ever suspect anything?’’

“No, like I said he loves me.’’

“Do you know what she looks like?’’

“Yes.”

“Charlotte do you know who this is in the photo?”

Detective Black slides the same photo he showed to Joseph across the table.

 “Yeah it’s her.”

Detective Black sits up in his chair he registers the bitter response to his question, the way Charlotte dismissed her, there was no emotion from the disturbing sight shown in the picture the forensic team took of Christina the night she was killed.

“Where were you on July 8th, what did you do that day?’’

 

I think back to two days ago, where was I? I don’t know exactly how much the police know.

“I went to work, then the gym and came home.’’

“What gym did you go to?’’

“Fit Bods in Bromley.”

“Around what time did you arrive and leave?’’

“Probably about 4:30 pm I arrived, and left around 6:30 pm.” Detective Black makes a mental note to check out the gym for an alibi.

“When was the last time you saw Joseph?”

“Last week, Wednesday night.”

“What did the two of you do?”

“We went to dinner and then made love… all night, he stayed at mine.”  Charlotte responds in a sarcastic tone, with a full blown smirk.

“Where did you go for dinner?’’

“He took me to a posh restaurant on Fulham Road, the Tiger’s Head nice Thai place you should try it, Detective.”  I lean forward and fix Detective Black with a lustful look, I’m just messing with him for fun. I watch him shuffle in his seat across the table.

“Charlotte who paid for dinner? And how did they pay?’’

“He paid, credit card.”

 Bingo, Ms. Over Confident has given me enough information for one day to cross check, already she looks suspicious her story contradicts Joseph’s in places, her body language shows no remorse for her role she played in the affair with Joseph.

“Did everything seem normal with him, last Wednesday over dinner?”

“Yes, he told me he loves me, and wants a divorce so we can get married.”

Detective Black looks Charlotte up and down crossing and uncrossing her legs under the table, twirling her hair around her finger and smiling at him. Suspect #1 for sure. Detective Black’s deep clipped voice abruptly cuts in. “This interview is terminated at 22.30 hours.”

“If you’ve not charged me you need to let me go, I know my rights.”

“Correct Charlotte we’ve not charged you, however we have the right to remand suspects in serious crimes, in your case I’d say make yourself comfortable you’ll be here pending further investigation.”

Detective Black stops the tape recording and stands up, eager to deposit Ms. Over Confident in the reception area for the paperwork to be done, and crack on with this investigation.  He smells a rat– a big one.

                                                                      ***

Three hours later I’m hunched over my desk pouring over the dozens of text messages exchanged between my two suspects. I have no doubt in my mind one of them is guilty if they hadn’t worked together to conspire, and carry out the murder of Christina. I’ve already directed my team on what leads to follow up, a drop-in call on Joseph’s mother to verify the young man’s whereabouts following his departure from the Andrews- Campbell home, further analysis of both suspect’s mobile phone usages, especially around the date and time of Christina’s murder. Tomorrow morning Fit Bods Gym will be the first point of call, to verify Charlotte’s whereabouts, and the Thai restaurant she claimed she and Joseph dined at would take a hit also.

I’ve got ninety three hours left in counting to nail someone with Christina’s murder. I consider myself a fair man, I like to check everything out in detail, it matters when it comes to presenting a case to the Crown Prosecution Service, hit ‘em with the evidence they can’t turn away is my saying.

Following the initial interview with both Joseph and Charlotte there are holes in both suspect’s stories, contradiction over the type of relationship that they have or had depending on who you believe. Not to mention a big question mark over why Ms. Over Confident decided to state that the pair had never broken up.

***

I’m a good girl the kind of girl you’d be friends with, take home to your mum for Sunday dinner– I don’t belong here. The confinement of these four walls and brown stained toilet pan is not something I can to get used to.

I sit, chain smoke, and contemplate my story for Detective Black. Sure, I may have exaggerated the truth over the kind of relationship Joseph and I have, yes, he’s tried to break up with me… I know he never meant it. We are made for each other, he just could not see it, she got in the way forever on his back about money, what time he’d be home. She never understood him like I do, and there was no way I was going to let him go. Not now we’ve come so far. I’ve invested in him–in us, waiting patiently for him to leave her I wasn’t then, and I’m not now prepared to lose out. Back in the day, she was always his fall back no matter how many other girls he dated or messed around with,  he’d go running back to her, she was the magic pussy back then and it pissed me off that she still  is or  was.

Christina and I were not exactly friends, we tolerated each other, to her I was the token middle class white girl that the boys would pay attention to. Before I revamped my looks an went blonder, my naturally dark raven coloured hair, striking green eyes and curves were what drew them in. She herself was a looker. We spoke in passing only. She was naturally Ms. Popular and decided when, where and how often we spoke back then. I was no real competition for her, but she always paid attention to me, I could tell.

Whenever Joseph and I spoke she’d look me up and down a silent warning to look but don’t touch. When Joseph and I started seeing each other all these years later I’d remember those days, when I was an outsider and how she’d look me up and down and laugh. Who’s looking and not touching now bitch?  I’d think to myself with Joseph laid up in my bed, eating my breakfast I’d prepared for him, as she was unable to manage anything but a sandwich when it came to cooking, according to Joseph. Now she’s dead, and I’m in the spotlight, but at least I still have Joseph.

***

I stay off the radar when it comes to the law, police in my view are the lowest of the low, they profile and stereotype men like me every day. People think it’s just African – American men who are prey to police. They are dead wrong, here in London, it’s no better just because they don’t carry guns and can’t bear arms against us, don’t mean the situation isn’t as bad. Now they wanna suspect me of murder, and probably dig up God knows what else as well, start asking questions over my “legitimate business dealings.”

Christina, was the biggest mistake of my life, I should never have married her.

Three hours in this cell has already shown me that the thug and prison life are not for me, there’s no way I’m going down for this no way. I’ll do whatever it takes.

***

 

12 hours later:

Gentlemen, on the 8th July 2012 Christina Andrews-Campbell was murdered, she was stabbed, strangled and had her throat slit, it was a pretty violent murder. She was married to Joseph Andrews who was also having an affair with Charlotte Price- Smith.”

I pause and look around at the team eagerly taking notes, as I point to the picture of Christina on the whiteboard.

“Here we have Joseph Andrews thirty-one years old, raised in one of south London’s roughest districts.  He has a history of dabbling in narcotics, but we’ve never been able to pin anything on him, the lucky shit, he knows how to run his businesses well.”

“Here we have Charlotte Price- Smith thirty years old born and raised in the leafy suburbs just outside of south London- Bromley by ‘mummy and daddy’, she’s a paediatric Nurse at Lewisham Hospital and is the other woman Joseph’s involved with romantically, and sexually.”

Both suspects could have possible motives for murder. Andrews wanted to leave his marriage for the other suspect possibly, Price- Smith may have been the jealous other woman, this of course needs to be proven for both suspects. So, what have you got for me?”

I take a seat around the large conference table and look around at the team for answers, I want them and fast. PC Browne speaks up first.

“Sir Joseph’s alibi can be confirmed he called round to see his mother, her statement confirms he did arrive at her home a few days before Christina’s murder, and remained with her up until his arrest.”

“Okay, could she confirm his time of arrival and his behaviour?’’

PC Browne pulls out and flips open his black note book, and reads out Ms. Andrew’s statement.

“He arrived a few days ago in the late evening distressed, he stayed with me, during the time he was here he seemed calm but withdrawn over his constant arguments with Christina. This is her statement sir.”

“Okay so, he’s telling the truth so far, what else?”

“Sir, we searched the flat Charlotte currently rents and found a handful of diaries she’d kept over the last year, we also found a collage that she’d put together with dozens of pictures of Joseph hidden away, antidepressants and various other mood stabilising medication.”

I look up and a smile breaks out across my face.

“Now we’re talking, what’s in the diaries?”

“A quick glance showed us a lot of personal thoughts and feelings around her relationship with Joseph, how she disliked his wife, talk of the kind of future she wants with Joseph that kind of –a thing’’

“They’ve been seized for evidence?’’

“Yes sir, of course.”

“And the meds? You need to find out what they are for, contact her GP get her medical records up and find out what she’s so depressed about.”

“Yes sir”

“All right, good job Browne.” PC Seller cuts in.

“Sir, we went to the gym to verify Charlotte’s alibi, the manager on shift was not around so we have the CCTV tape, and a record of her usage at the gym for this month.”

“Excellent, I want you to watch the tape let me know what you find.” “Yes sir.”

“Sir, we checked out the restaurant in Fulham Charlotte said she and Joseph went to when they last saw each other, there was no reservation so it was hard to tell if the story is true. We have the restaurant’s CCTV tape for the full week of the date Charlotte gave.”

“Excellent, with no reservation for dinner the CCTV will show if they did or did not enter the restaurant at all that week, watch it and report back.’’

My team have done good so far, we have more evidence to cross check. I stand up and walk over to the whiteboard and face them.

“Okay, fifteen hours have passed us, team A. find out what you can about the relationship with Joseph from the diaries and get a profile on her, contact the GP, we’re looking for evidence that would support a motive for murder, got it?’’

“Team B. interview Joseph again, find out how the affair started, double check the date in Fulham he and Charlotte had, when they last saw each other and when he last saw Christina alive. Check out the story on the credit card payment at the restaurant in Fulham, and watch the CCTV tape from the restaurant and let me know what you find. Everyone got that?”

“Detective Jones, you’re with me, we’re gonna pay a visit to Charlotte’s parents and interview her. Gentlemen, we’ve had a total of fifteen hours including the three hours the suspects have been in custody on this already, we have twenty- one left to nail one or both of them with something, let’s get to work.”

As his team disappear and set off to work on their allocated areas, Detectives Black and Jones huddle around the whiteboard looking at their suspects, their ties are loosened and they sip cool water deep in thought.

“What’s your gut tell you about these two?’’ Detective Black turns to Jones for his opinion. “Something’s definitely off with them, she clearly thinks they are a couple and have more than he thinks they do. Then there’s her diaries.”

Jones shakes his head and takes a long sip of his water, not taking his eyes away from Charlotte’s photo he continues.

“Shows you just how much she’s into this guy, she wants him for herself.”

“Hmm, you think she done it?’’

Detective Jones, pauses before he responds, his eyes fix on both suspect’s mug shots.

“Could be either of them they both have strong motives, we see what the diaries have to say if it puts her more in the frame than him.  If she’s twisted the story about her whereabouts and the dinner date with Joseph then she’s toast, unless something crops up on our guy.”

“Maybe they worked together?”

“Strong possibility there needs to be a link made.’’

“Well, we’ve got twenty one hours let’s head over to Bromley drop the bad news on mummy and daddy that their little girl’s a prime suspect in a murder investigation.”

Detective Black pats Jones on the back and glances at his watch, it’s 10:15 a.m. the two men leave the meeting room and head over to south east London’s pretty suburbs.

 

Thank you for reading! I am hard at work completing this project. Sometimes, it’s good to go back to your old work with a fresh mid-set, and thirst for writing. I hope all those writers who have taken part in National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo are making great progress. Let’s get a project completed all of us!

 

 

 

 

 

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Non Fiction Book Review> ‘Every Love’ by Jann Doe 5 stars @JannDoe1 @Shalini_G26 #beautiful

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Kim’s Review 5 Heart Felt Stars

I don’t often get a chance to dive into non-fiction, but I do enjoy this genre a lot to read.  I really enjoyed stumbling across this poet’s blog, and honoured  she allowed me to read her work! And to be part of her book tour for her new release.  I found her poetry to be very diverse, honest, blunt, some of them a little steamy too. It is hard to review poetry according to the same criteria as genre fiction work, in-fact it’s impossible! But this anthology of poetry receives 5 full stars from me, there  are just over fifty I read and I very much enjoyed reading all of them. I felt like Jann Doe bared her soul to the world and look forward to reading more. Well done Jann Doe.

 

BLURB:

Love can be wholesome,

Healthy and pure.

It can also be deadly,

Of this I am sure.

I’ve experienced many,

I’ve opened my door.

Of all the love that I’ve held

There’s one thing I know,

Ain’t no one has loved

Quite like me… Jann Doe.

 

EVERY LOVE is a collection of poetry covering my own experiences in love. From abuse, to affair, to healthy commitment, I’ve experienced the dynamics of love… even suicide has played a part. The name ‘Jann Doe’ is to protect myself and my family from my own mistakes and history, given the parts of me that love has touched.

 

SAMPLE POEM FROM EVERY LOVE

 

*See You*

 

What is this burn,

This terrible stab,

My heart stuck,

It steps back,

Too shocked to beat,

I shrink when I see you,

My first heavy blow,

Of life, and of men,

But how could I know,

Should’ve listened,

Could’ve ran,

But for you I stood ground,

And for what,

To see you and her, hand in hand?

Author Bio:

Jann Doe is a poet who recognizes and accepts her authenticity as a woman, and encourages other women to do the same. Everyone has their burdens to carry, their flaws to accept, and their strengths to pride themselves on. Jann’s goal as a poet is to speak out on behalf of other women across the globe to love themselves for who they truly are. No one is perfect, nor should we be. It’s imperative that we as women accept ourselves, and live for tomorrow… not by ignoring our past but by learning from it, and growing because of it.

 

LINKS:

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45682047-every-love?from_search=true

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/EVERY-LOVE-Poetically-Journey-Through-ebook/dp/B07QWPWX74/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Every+Love+Jann+Doe&qid=1560619140&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Author Blog:

https://iamjanndoe.wordpress.com/

Twitter Handle:

@JannDoe1

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Meet The Author + giveaway!: Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthor @RRBookTours1 @AccentPress

With pleasure, let’s get to know Charlie, I am reading his work at the moment so far, very different from what I expected but I am enjoying it! It’s rather nice to connect with a fellow British author….. he’s from Scotland, but you know what I mean he’s from my neck of the woods.

Thank  you to R and R Book Tours for my review copy and the chance to interview Charlie.

R&R Book Tours

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Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi, Kim, and nice to meet you too.  I’m from the west of Scotland, although I now live in the east of Scotland.  In between, I worked as a journalist in London.  Away from writing, I teach creative writing.

Kim: Oh cool, London my home town that’s interesting. Scotland though? It’s a bit chilly for me up north. 

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I don’t think there was any inspiration behind it.  It was just something I realised I could do.  If I realised I could work with wood, I would have become a carpenter.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

Too many to mention, living and dead.  Paul Gallico probably inspired me as a child, the likes of Hemingway and Fay Weldon came later.  Since then, many, many writers.  The important thing is to keep reading and discovering new voices.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Literary fiction.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It didn’t really.  I think you have to learn to be true to what you’re writing, and that shouldn’t change whether you’ve written one or a hundred books.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

No, no series.  I’ve written three stand-alone books that all just happen to be set in my part of Scotland.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

I thought about linking them in subtle ways, but decided against.  Anne Tyler is a good example, with her books set in the same part of the USA, but completely unrelated to one another.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I’m writing a children’s book and a friend of mine is doing the illustrations.  So, who knows where that might lead?

Kim: Wonderful, that’s a totally different talent all together capturing a very  young reader. All the best.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I think just being published.  It was an ambition for a long time, so it was an ambition fulfilled.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Every day – still.  But I’ve just bought an Apple Mac so it would be a very expensive bout of frustration.

Kim:*giggles* yeah, I’d think twice about that one.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

Plotter.  I can let the story unfold in strange ways, but I have plot and storylines mapped.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I love creative writing, and the unusual ways that an author can express themself.  But I hate bad grammar.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

I hate my new Apple Mac keyboard with a vengeance – every second word has a typo in.  Can’t get the hang of it at all.  So, basically, virtually every word.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Learn your trade.  It’s like becoming a lawyer or a plumber.  You have to understand things like plot and character, the nuances of time and place, the use of adjectives and adverbs.  Then, take advice, show your stuff to people whose opinions matter to you.  Don’t try to do the journey on your own.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

A third book set in rural Scotland, entitled Love Potions and Other Calamities.  Out on November 6th.

So… where can we get your books?

That depends where you are, but always on Amazon.

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

I must confess I don’t know the answer to that!

Kim: Me neither, my confession is that’s why I always ask!

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

Good question, and I don’t know!  I suppose I would like to be able to write full time on the back of what I can make financially.  But, what’s nice is to have my books critically well received – so that’s a realistic notion of success.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Probably hurts them, because big egos get in the way of humility which, I believe, all good writers have.  Good writers don’t have false ideas of their own talent.  Bad writers with big egos have  unreasonable ideas of their worth.

Kim: Awww it’s a fine line we tread Charlie. You’ve got to have confidence though.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I probably do spend a lot of time on research, but that’s just a reflection of the books I’ve written up to now.  Other projects I’m working on are taking very little research.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I don’t mind bad reviews because not everyone will like my books.  But what I don’t like are reviews, good or bad, where the reviewer has obviously skimmed through my book, and didn’t “get” the main themes.

The only advice I would give to book bloggers is not to get bogged down with huge reading challenges.  Simply take the time to enjoy a book, and to enjoy reading at a reasonable pace.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I don’t write anything graphic or violent, and I would have trouble writing that kind of thing.

Do you Google yourself?

Surprisingly not!

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with a number of authors, and we are all supportive of one another.  I’m not sure that we help each other become better writers, because we’re all writing in different genres.  But it’s nice having writery semi-colleagues.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

From one to five years.

What would you like readers to know?

About me?  I’m a very nice person who likes paella, Greece, whisky (obviously), and white wine.

Kim: Haha haha…. okay, noted.

What’s your favourite movie?

I have no idea…but I watched Splash for the first time in years recently, and really enjoyed it.

What’s your favourite book and why?

I can’t really answer that but the book that probably had the greatest influence was Paul Gallico’s Jenny.  It’s a children’s book that doesn’t shy away from death…I found it wonderful and sad, and was my portal from children’s books to more adult books.

What music do you like?

Virtually anything!

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I took a year off some time ago and travelled round the world, visiting countries such as Syria and the Lebanon – the latter of which was still in the throes of civil war.  I’ve therefore seen places in pain and in poverty.

My favourite overseas country is Greece and, maybe, I’d like to visit every Greek island and then, like Lawrence Durrell, write about them.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

They really develop themselves.  I talk to them, listen to them, flesh them out bit by bit.  I hope my characters come across as real because, first, they must be absolutely real to me.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Whoever I’m writing about!

Do you need a lot of sexual experience to be a good erotica author?

Probably a good imagination is more important!

Kim: *giggles* ya know, just last week I was talking to my co-author, we were talking about  ‘girly’ stuff nothing major but in response to something I said about a guy I know, she said to me ‘Kim, OMG you’ve got a dirty mind!! S*ht.’ What I said was nothing ( in my mind) bad.   I cracked up, my response was ‘ yeah, I’m a romance writer don’t forget’…. maybe a ‘dirty mind’ helps too 🙂

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

I would have taken my own advice and learned my trade sooner.  A lot of blind alleys could have been avoided!

Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Both, equally.

Thank you Charlie! It was wonderful to connect with you. I will keep making my way through your book and review as soon as I can…. I don’t want to ‘skim’ I want to enjoy!

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Welcome to the month-long mega tour for Charlie Laidlaw’s newest book, The Space Between Time, due for release on June 20th! There will be fantastic bloggers participating, who will be posting interviews, excerpts, reviews, and other exclusive content!

Additionally, there are loads of goodies being given away, so be sure to enter at the bottom!

Book Cover

The Space Between Time

Expected Publication Date: June 20th, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Dark Comedy

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

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Excerpt

Timescale for a Closed Universe

It wasn’t an afternoon that I like to remember, and not just because of my shrieking tantrum. Once I’d calmed down, Mum told me I’d been very silly, because it was all make-believe on a cinema screen. I reminded her that she’d cried when Bambi’s mum died, and that was a film and a cartoon. Mum said that it wasn’t the same thing at all. But I wasn’t being silly because I wasn’t old enough to know the difference between pretence and reality.

Dad had looked pretty dead on the screen. The blood on his chest had looked pretty real. If it had been a different dead person, I would have been OK. Children don’t really know where make-believe ends and the real world begins and, partly because of who I am, it’s remained pretty hazy ever since. I also don’t like to remember that film because it was the moment when I realised that our lives were about to change, and I didn’t know if that would be a good thing.

Sounds strange, yes? Here’s something stranger: I am a child of the sea, I sometimes think, and have done ever since we first moved to live beside it. I feel subject to its vagaries and tempers, with its foaming margins framed against a towering sky. I am familiar with its unchanging mood swings. That’s how I like things; I find the familiar comforting. I find change threatening.

I am the daughter of someone who, not long after that ghastly cinema outing, became one of the most famous actors of his generation and, importantly for me, the granddaughter of a rather brilliant but obscure physics professor. But despite their overachievements, I have inherited no aptitude for mathematics and my father positively hated the idea of his only offspring following in his thespian footsteps. He knew how cruel and badly paid the profession could be. But I still look up to my grandfather, and think of his ludicrous moustache with affection.

Gramps once told me that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth. Just think of all those sandpits, beaches and deserts! That’s an awful lot of stars. He then told me, his only grandchild, that I was his shining star, which was a nice thing to say and why I remember him talking about sand and stars. On clear nights, with stars twinkling, I often think about him.

I still believe in my grandfather, and admire his stoic acceptance in the face of professional disdain, because I believe in the unique power of ideas, right or wrong, and that it’s our thoughts that shape our existence. We are who we believe ourselves to be.

I gave up believing in my father long ago, because speaking other people’s words and ideas seemed like a lame excuse for a job, even if he was paid millions, and met the Queen on several occasions. She must have liked him because she awarded him an OBE for services to film, theatre and charity. Charity! Who the hell told the Queen that?

I stopped believing in him one Christmas Day, a long time ago, when he simply didn’t turn up. It wasn’t his presents that I missed, or even his presence, but the warm, fuzzy feeling of being important to him. During that day of absence and loss I concluded that his wife and daughter couldn’t much matter to him, otherwise he’d have made a bigger effort to get home. That Christmas Day, my father was simply somewhere else, probably in a bar, immaculately dressed, his hair slicked back, the object of male envy and the centre of every woman’s attention for miles around.

In that respect, Dad was more tomcat than father, except that by then his territory, his fame, stretched around the globe. I know this: by then he had a Golden Globe to prove it. He gushed pheromones from every pore, squirting attraction in every direction, and even women with a poor sense of smell could sniff him out.

I feel mostly Scottish, but am a little bit Italian. It explains my name, Emma Maria Rossini; my dark complexion, black hair, the slightly long nose, and thin and lanky body. Obese I am not, and will never be, however much pasta I eat, and I eat lots. It also explains my temper, according to some people, although I don’t agree with them, and my brown cow’s eyes, as an almost-boyfriend once described them, thinking he was paying me a compliment, before realising that he had just become an ex-almost-boyfriend.

But mostly I am a child of the sea. That’s what happens if you live for long enough by its margins: it becomes a part of you; its mood echoing your mood, until you know what it’s thinking, and it knows everything about you. That’s what it feels like when I contemplate its tensile strength and infinite capacity for change. On calm flat days in North Berwick, with small dinghies marooned on the glassy water, and loud children squealing in its shallows, it can make me anxious and cranky.

The sea, on those days, seems soulless and tired, bereft of spirit. But on wilder days, the beach deserted, or with only a hardy dog-walker venturing across the sand, with large waves thundering in, broaching and breaking, then greedily sucking back pebbles into the foam, I feel energised: this is what the sea enjoys, a roaring irresponsibility, and I share in its pleasure. We are all children of the sea, I sometimes think, or we should be – even those who have never seen an ocean or tasted its saltiness; I can stand for hours and contemplate its far horizons, lost within myself, sharing its passion. In the Firth of Forth is the ebb and flow of my past and my existence, wrapped tight against the west wind. It is what I am, placid and calm, or loud and brash.

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About the Author

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

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I have 2 signed copies of The Space Between Time to giveaway, 3 fun coffee mugs featuring all 3 of Charlie Laidlaw’s books, and 3 digital copies of the book in the winner’s format of choice! Amazing right? Click the link below to enter!

*Open Internationally – Giveaway closes June 30th

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Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Meet The Author: Misty Mount, Mystery & Suspense Author. @MistyAMount @AuthorMistyMountOfficial/

R&R Book Tours

Thank you to R&R Book Tours for sending this author’s book my way! I am so backed up with read and reviews, I could not fit into her tour date a review, but I’ve sneaked in an interview, let’s get to know Misty’s style.

Misty

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy? 

Hello! I’m from smack-dab in the middle of the USA. I’m a wife and mother to an eight-year-old son. I’m also a caregiver to my 33-year-old sister with special needs. Most days my home life is busy and deafeningly loud. If I’m not writing, in my free time I’m hanging out with my brother watching Doctor Who, Star Trek and anything sci-fi.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

 It started in kindergarten. My teacher was reading this story to the class and I was enraptured until the ridiculous ending, which ruined the magic for me. At home I rewrote the ending the way I thought it should go and I’ve been writing ever since.

Kim: You know, I am glad I am not the only one who has read stories and thought ‘ damn, I could of ended that better!’

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you? 

I love classic sci-fi authors like Arthur C. Clark, Philip K. Dick and Larry Niven. I also love old mystery and gothic romance authors like Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt.

What genre do you enjoy reading? 

I’ll read just about anything (including shampoo bottles) but my favorite genres are mystery and science fiction.

Kim: *Scratches her head* you remind me of  my co-author the mystery and Sci-Fi mixture. I have never actually read this genre I’m rather ashamed to say! I hope to one day dive into Sci-Fi.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? 

I was first published in my very early teens and, honestly, it was a bit traumatic. I started worrying too much over how my writing would be received instead of enjoying the process. I was too young and sensitive to handle negative reviews and as a result refused to show anyone my writing for over a decade afterward. 

Kim: Really… oh my goodness! For decades? Girl the fact that you are doing this tour with R&R shows just how far you’ve come. Good for you!

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration? 

This is quite the common occurrence! It happens at least once every project, usually around the halfway point when I’m beginning to question whether everything will come together.

Kim: Haha, been there. And I’m still there writing a romantic thriller that I started in about three years ago, or maybe even more. Since then I’ve completed two novels and a couple of novellas. I have made a promise to finish it this year, still working on it as we speak!

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer? 

I’m 100% a “plotter!” I’m not good at improvising; it makes me anxious. I always go in with an outline and a plan.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing? 

This question is especially funny since commas are the bane of my existence! My editor will kindly but firmly attest to the fact that I can’t figure out what to do with them. 

Kim: I love the response I always get to this question, there is a common trend to all responses. ‘Ditto’ girl… ditto.

So…. where can we get your books? 

They’re available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and any major book retailer. 

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!” 

For me, it was when my son asked for a copy of each of my books to place in his treasure chest. You can’t ask for a better feeling than that!

Kim: Oh how cute!!! Bless your boy.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? 

I don’t anymore, or at least I try not to. My editor vets them for me and passes on ones she thinks I’ll enjoy. I’m very sensitive and don’t need any extra negativity in my life.

What would you like readers to know?

 I want my readers to know that I appreciate and value the support of every single one of you! Thanks for sharing in my inner world.

Twitter: Author Misty Mount @MistyAMount

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorMistyMountOfficial/

Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/misty-mount

 

How cool is Misty, a mixture of mystery and Sci-Fi! Here’s some info on her latest book. I wish I had the time to read and review in time for her tour. Check it out

 

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The Keeper (The Underground Defenders Book 1)

Expected Publication Date:May 28th, 2019

Genre: Mystery/ Suspense

Page Count: 230 Pages

Publisher:  Liminal Books (Between the Lines Publishing)

When the Ericksons move home to care for their ailing grandmother, they’re told a stranger has taken up residence in the attic of the sprawling mansion. Upon investigation, the family isn’t sure the tenant is anything more than a figment of old Mrs. Erickson’s imagination—until a mysterious young woman begins to show herself to the family in fleeting, uncanny visits.

When unexplained things start happening under the mansion’s roof, suspicions arise as to just who—or what—she is. In the chaos that ensues, the family is forced to make a decision: trust the stranger or band together as a family against her—and their grandmother who’s protecting her.

Pre-Order on Amazon

About the Author

“I read because my grandmother showed me how to immerse myself in books for recreation, relaxation or even as a coping skill.

I write because my head is filled with daydreams and I like to choose the endings.”

Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife, and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist.

Misty Mount

The Road To Publishing Update! #amwriting

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So, I finally finished this  suspenseful romance, with a historical feel to it a few months ago, I’m really proud. I have submitted my work to some publishers and agents and had some good responses! Today, I am tasked with giving it a final proof read, so I can send it back to those who are interested in my work. I sent off the normal three chapter query etc and here are some responses…

Publisher- requested the full manuscript after reading a sample! Feedback was ‘ Kim you’re an exceptionally talented writer.’ I became a bit tearful after reading the feedback.  Happy days.

Agent- would like me to re-edit slightly and return the sample… hmm not sure on this request after reading it.

Agent- requested a sample within 24 hours of submission, I am waiting out the 6- 8 weeks for a response to see if she is interested in working with me. I would LOVE to work with this agent with all my heart, from research I feel maybe we would be a good match, in terms of what I write and what she likes.

Publisher- invited  to revise and resubmit! I think I will go with this request possibly, as it’s a well established romance only publisher.  I would like my work under their label but it’s a long wait to resubmit that’s the only thing, but really happy for the interest.

Agent- There is another agent I would really like to work with, and feel we could be a good fit. My work meets her wish list. I sent a nice email to see if she had got to my submission as yet, as she confirmed she sends her ‘rejections’ within a week. The response was ‘ still on my pile for consideration Kim, hang in there.’ Happy I am not on the reject pile… yet!

Today, I have two things to work on final proof reads and edits of this novel, and more submissions as I received a book with 2019 updated publishers and agents. There are a ton of romance representatives here.

Y’all know how it goes, don’t put all eggs in one basket and keep options open. I remain hopeful that the two agents I have my eye on I can win over with my opening chapters, but still I feel like I need to caste my net wide if that makes sense. This is a very special story to me, I have written it spanning over different eras from the 60s – 80s and in the present day and really took a lot of time and care, I want it in the right hands if that makes sense.

What I have learned from this process is this, even if there is interest in your work, be sure that you want your work to be published or represented by the person showing interest. We all have clear goals with our writing careers, if you don’t think it can be met…keep  looking for someone that can help you achieve what you wish.

I must say, it does take you away from current projects though, focusing on getting this novel out has meant little time to write the current one I’m now on. Or maybe it’s me as I don’t just throw my work at anyone, I really spend time knowing who I am approaching. (Which I advise).

Have a great week! Good luck and happy writing to all writers in the same boat as me! Searching for their ideal match.

 

 

 

 

He’s Back, New Release by Luke Murphy @AuthorLukeMurphy @AuthorLMurphy

I remember when I interviewed Luke in 2017, he was a fun person to get to know, it seems like a long time ago, read his interview here. Luke is a best selling international author in the crime fiction and thriller genre all the way from Canada. I am really proud to share his latest work with you!

 

Luke Murphy Rock a Bye Baby Front Cover Final

An aunt’s worst nightmare…

In the city of Denver, a series of baby kidnappings has the town devastated.  With no ransom demands and no contact from the perpetrators, local law enforcement is at a dead end. No motive equals no answers.

A cop’s personal obsession…

Charlene Taylor’s niece becomes a victim, and the LAPD detective is thrown headfirst into a whirlwind case with similarities to one from seven years earlier. Out of her jurisdiction, and with no friends or leads, Charlene must walk-the-line between cop and sister.

Who can she trust?

Charlene has to decide who’s an ally, and when an unlikely partner steps forward, they must race against the clock: because that critical 48 hour window has come and gone.

 

Review Blurbs

“Rock a Bye Baby has everything—a haunted protagonist, heartfelt emotion, and a twisty, thrilling plot.  A scorcher of a follow-up in a promising series.”—David Ellis, NYT bestselling author of The Last Alibi

“Murphy has cleverly crafted a riveting crime thriller, with a hefty dose of white-knuckle suspense. Entertaining and enticing to the very last page.”—Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Submerged

“Rock a Bye Baby is an exquisitely told thriller, full of surprises and terrifying moments. Murphy is a gifted storyteller who keeps the tension crackling throughout. Charlene Taylor drives the story to a very satisfying and unexpected ending.”—Kristina Stanley, bestselling author of the Stone Mountain series.

 

About the Author

 

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Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012) Kiss & Tell (Imajin Books, 2015), and Wild Card (Imajin Books, 2017).

Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).

Rock-A-Bye Baby is Murphy’s fourth novel.

Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife and three daughters. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).

For more information on Luke and his books

visit: http://www.authorlukemurphy.com, ‘like’ his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLukeMurphy and follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/AuthorLMurphy. Amazon http://mybook.to/RABB

Interviewing Author – Jane Risdon

I really do love Jane and wish her all the best!! Great interview.

Plaisted Publishing House

We’d like to introduce you to Jane Risdon, one of our latest clients who recently released an anthology of shorts called Undercover: Crime Shorts. This book already has five 5 star reviews with readers enjoying the twists and turns within the stories.

You may have already heard of Jane Risdon. Jane is one of our Ghostly Writers and has a story in each of our Ghostly Writes AnthologiesIntroduction over here is the lovely, creative murder mystery author, JANE RISDON.

Jane possible author photoWhat & Who Inspires you to write?

Nobody inspires me. I am self-motivated and have always wanted to write. I may get ideas from overheard conversations, situations, and experiences I’ve had or come across in my ‘other life.’  Working in music, television and the movies is great fodder for a writer. Anyone who has spent time in Hollywood knows what I mean.

How did you get into writing?…

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Release Day Interview: With CS Johnson @C_S_Johnson13 #RRBookTours1

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Should I go to College? What About Student Loan Debt?

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publication Date: March 14th, 2019

If you’re a high school student, chances are you’ve been thinking about where you will go to college. Or if you will go to college at all.
I’ve been there. And as a former teacher, I’ve seen thousands of students there, too. So I wrote this book to help you.
This book offers sound advice about deciding whether or not you want to go to college, and, if you decide to go, how you can save time and money along the way.

“This is the book about college I wish I had read when I was younger.” – My 30-year-old self

SHOULD I GO TO COLLEGE? WHAT ABOUT STUDENT LOAN DEBT?
•Describes what college is
•Promotes thoughtful self-reflection
•Outlines your options post-high school
•Offers tragically hilarious truths about teaching
•Reaffirms the code of personal responsibility
•Likens student loans to dragons that need to be slain

ALL PROCEEDS OF THIS BOOK GO TOWARD 
HELPING STUDENTS PAY OFF THEIR 
STUDENT LOAN DEBT.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi there! Thank you for having me! I always appreciate the time people take in getting to know me.

I am C. S. Johnson, and I write in a variety of genres, mostly fantasy or science fiction. I started writing largely as a way to cope with reality, and I found out that it really helped and I enjoyed it a lot. Since then, I’ve been working to keep at it. There are a lot of other benefits to writing I’ve noticed, and meeting new people and getting to talk about interesting ideas are just some of them.

For my own favorite types of books to read, I enjoy a variety, just as I enjoy writing. I think in a lot of my own books that there are several other books that lend their influence. I do have to laugh, because my favorite books are usually memoirs or biographies, but I write fantasy and speculative fiction.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I have a large variety of favorite authors, and I am sure I haven’t read some of them yet. If I had one go-to author, I would pick C. S. Lewis; I have never read anything of his I haven’t loved, needed, or deeply appreciated in some way. As for inspiration, my mother is my first spark among the fires of my heart. She was the one who taught me to read, and she is the one who is still out-reading me every week. I love writing books I know she will enjoy, even if she is not as much of a fantasy reader.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I’ve published a couple of series now, and I’m working through the last book of one more. The first series I wrote was the Starlight Chronicles; it is my epic superhero fantasy adventure, about an egotistical teenager who, after finding out he is a fallen star with supernatural power, is reluctant to save his city from evil. It’s a very dry, sarcastic sort of series, alternatively cynical and poignant, as my protagonist faces off the trials and tribulations of high school life and growing up. So far, my other series are a little softer in tone and subtler at the satire.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

For me, it’s like watching a heartbeat on an EKG; book one sputters some, and then shoots up, fast and hard; book two dips down lower, almost in a needed recovery, before striking back; and then the rest of the series books’ start the entire process over again, offering a persistent rhythm that becomes the heart song of a story.

Kim: 🙂 I love that !! Haha, very good way to describe it.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

My author career has been marked with a lot of proud moments—I’ve had a Hollywood producer tell me my series is wonderful and she’s rooting for it to be picked up by a studio (Please, Dear God, please, haha!), I’ve had a very famous movie star compare it to Harry Potter and Tolkien, and I’ve had a lot of great readers turn into friends as we’ve gotten to know each other. I have a whole list of people in that group that I’ve designated my “Almost Famous Readers,” since I jokingly say that as an author, I’ll be famous for being almost famous one day. I even had one of them make me an award plaque and send it to me, and I cherish it.

If I had to pick one moment, I’d say it has to be the day when my young son, who does not like to read that much, told me he wanted to write a book. I actually opened a document for him to work on my computer, and he wrote out a small book’s worth of a story. I was absolutely amazed and profoundly proud of him.

Kim: Ohhhhhh my  heart just melted, that is so sweet. I hope he continues. I love it when children get involved, especially boys who are less likely to read. My son thankful has learned to love to read, whether he’ll write is another story as he hates it, then again he’s only five. He would rather do colouring-in.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Yes. It happens almost every week, like swirly, sporadic clockwork.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I think every author has a punctuation thing they either love or hate. I am a huge semicolon lover; give me a long sentence where it will list detailed, specific things, offering up new insights while solidifying the foundational logic as it rambles on. It is glorious to watch such beauty grow and unfold.

If I have a thing to hate about commas, it is when people use them wrongfully. Uncoincidentally, this usually happens when the comma is actually supposed to be a semicolon.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Since I have written a lot of books, I do get asked a lot of questions about how to write a better story. I actually wrote a book for them, and it just came out this year. The book is “Good Writing is Like Good Sex: Sort of Sexy Thoughts on Writing” and it’s a quick, provocative overview of what makes a “sexy” book. So to answer this question honestly, I’d say, “Buy my book, read my book, and then try to use what I say in the book.” But I feel like that might be a little too pushy, haha.

Kim: Girl… you just said it 🙂

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Right now, I am juggling a few projects. I have two books I am working on this month. I mentioned it before, but I am finishing up The Order of the Crystal Daggers, my Cinderella meets Mission: Impossible historical fiction set in 1870s Prague. In this final book of the series, Eleanora, my protagonist, has to rescue a kidnapped prince and save the Emperor from assassination, all while working to repair her relationship with her brother and uncover the hidden truth about her mother’s past. Luckily, she’s got quite a few people to help her, although plenty of them are juggling their own problems and facing the consequences of their own secrets. The series has been so fun and wonderfully received, so I am sad to see it end, but I am also nervous about sending it off with the seriousness and the level of diligence it’s due.

The second novel I am working on my science fantasy story, Till Human Voices Wake Us. It’s toeing the literary fiction line, but it’s about a college student who finds out the hard way that his uncle’s stories about being held hostage by mermaids who don’t believe in humans are all true. It’s a book about questions of reality, insanity, hope, and meaning, and what it means to be human. I am hoping to have it out for summer.

I also have a few short stories I’m working on for publication later this year and early next year.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think pride is rightfully the most deadly of sins, and partially because it is something that must be closely monitored. Confidence as a writer will help; arrogance will only lead to harm.

If you have a lot of confidence as a writer, I think you also have to have a lot of humility to make it work. I think I am more likely to err on the side of hesitation as a writer just because I know my limitations as a writer very well. My husband works in healthcare and it is my apparently favorite joke ever to tell people he goes into work to save real lives, and I stay home and ruin fake ones.

My stories are icing on a cake, but in order to have the cake, we need people who know how to bake and people who can build things in which those things are baked. I offer stories to entertain, to get people to think, to reframe a perspective. They are part of my heart, but my heart was not made for everyone. Sometimes, it was not made for a particular person right now, either. I was utterly appalled the first time I read 1984 in high school. The second time I read it, after a few more years passed, I loved it. There is very little point in offering someone icing if they are looking for someone to give them bread.

I have had a few people recognize me off the street, and I am more dumbfounded than anything else when they do. I honestly never expect that reaction to change.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

 

I am tremendously thankful to my readers for the time they spend inside one of my books. I know, as a writer, and as a mother, there is so little time in the world when one is attempting to read. When I get a book review, I am always grateful; but I am considerably, and understandably much more happy when I find that the reviewer has either enjoyed my books, or they found my books to be good despite the unmet expectations in my characters, plot, or presentation.

I know there are plenty of talented writers who write books that are more fun, more fantastical, or just more of what is expected than I do. While I do try to make it fun, and keep it fun, I write books that make you smile, make you think, make you laugh. I tell people that I don’t write “Candy bar books,” but I don’t write “full-course meal books,” either. Maybe a good meal replacement bar would be a good analogy for my work, or we can get the icing analogy back out and put it on some carrots (which, thanks to some of my pregnancy moments, I know is better than it sounds.)

Either way, I rejoice with the good reviews, and I call my mom over the bad ones. She knows I have a soft heart, even if I have to hide it from the rest of the world.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I feel bad for admitting this one, but when you’ve had a lot of “last battles,” sometimes it’s hard to just write out the fight scenes and the “save-the-world” moments without feeling repetitive or a case of oncoming “writer-ex-machina,” where convivence and coincidence just collide too much for the writing to be good. As I was finishing up my steampunk book, One Flew Through the Dragon Heart, I told some of my readers I was ready just to nuke everything and be done with it.

I had one of my snarky reader friends tell me that nukes aren’t steampunk-approved, and we had a good laugh about that, and that made it easier to go back and try again.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It always depends on the book, but six to eight weeks is my average lately. I have some novellas which are shorter, and seriously, those don’t take nearly as long. I have some longer books which don’t ever seem to take that long at all, but it depends on the size more than anything else. Life interrupts me a lot along the way, too. I am a wife and a stay at home mom with two young kids; I like making my house more of a home, and there are other things I love that require my attentions, and I have been trying to be better about making sure social media especially is more of a back-burner thing of late.

What’s your favourite book and why?

My most consistently favorite book is Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis. I try to read it every year and every time I do, I get something different out of it. It was a book I first read during a tumultuous time in my life, and I have never forgotten the magic of the first readthrough. This past year I read it and felt more drawn than ever to Revidal, the main character Orual’s other sister, and I like books that make great use of their secondary characters like that. The sudden loss of her sister’s favouritism and their unity must have been devastating to her, and her growing loneliness and desperation as Orual took the throne seemed much more relatable to me as an adult.

 

Thank you for joining is this month, I wish the author well with her release, and you can connect with her below!

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About the Author

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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