#Guest Author #SamHolland @SamHollandBooks author of the upcoming #Debut #TheEchoMan published by @HarperCollins (UK) OUT NOW!

J; Thank you so much Sam for being a guest on my blog, I’m so honoured!

SH: Thank you for having me!

J: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Echo Man come from, as it’s so unique!

SH: I’ve always wanted to be an author, but I never really believed it was something I could achieve. I took a more standard career first – doing a degree in Psychology then working in HR for fifteen years. But I’ve always loved books and wanted to write, and eventually I just thought ‘sod it!’ and put fingers to keyboard.

The idea for The Echo Man came from a perfect storm of TV watching. I’d been enjoying a lot of David Fincher’s work – films like Fight Club and Se7en – and had just started watching Mindhunter. The serial killers, combined with dark, scratchy scenes got me thinking – why wouldn’t a narcissistic, sadistic killer also watch this stuff? And what better people to teach him the craft, than those who had come before him? And so The Echo Man was born.

J: How much research did you do into the killings in The Echo Man?

SH: A huge amount! I wanted to make sure I got the little details correct, so I started reading biographies and watching documentaries on the serial killers I wanted to include. Dahmer, Bundy (so much on Bundy!), the GSK, Manson. At one point I had a list of serial killers covering my whiteboard, including how and who they killed. It was quite a sight! In the end I read over a dozen books on serial killers and their psychology – it’s a fascinating subject.

J; Who would you like to see playing the parts of Jess Ambrose, DS Nate Griffin, DCI Cara Elliott, DS Noah Deakin and DC Toby Shenton if The Echo Man was turned into a TV series/Movie?

SH: When I’m writing I have a board next to my desk with images of what the characters look like – so this is an easy question. Nate Griffin is a young Karl Urban, Jess Ambrose – Brie Larson. Cara Elliott is a brunette Emily Blunt, and Noah Deakin is an Israeli actor called Tomar Kapon. Shenton, I’m not sure about. He always had an ethereal quantity to him – so a previously unknown actor, I think.

J: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

SH: Both! I read a huge number of books, but I also devoured films and TV. I remember I used to watch the old Poirot with David Suchet. When I was a child, I loved Stephen King and Dean Koontz although thinking about it now I must have been far too young. Explains a lot, I think.

J: What is your favourite book you read in 2021?

SH: So many. Push by Audrey Audrain. We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker. Vine Street by Dominic Nolan. I went through all of the Aidan Waits books by Joseph Knox and loved those. We are going through an incredible time at the moment for crime fiction; there are too many books I am desperate to read. This year I am making my way through Mo Hayder’s back catalogue – they are fantastic.

J: Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

SH: I have some go to authors: Jane Harper, Tim Winton, Maggie O’Farrell, Eva Dolan, Cara Hunter, to name a few. I buy their books the moment they’re released; they never disappoint. Favourite book of all time is very hard to quantify. The crime book taking the top spot at the moment is The Lost Man by Jane Harper. I love it with a passion and recommend it to anyone who asks.

J: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

SH: New Zealand. I have a long-held aspiration to tour the country in a campervan. One day, maybe.

J: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

SH: In terms of being a writer it has to be a toss-up between two. Stephen King: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” And Jodi Picoult: “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” Simple but very true.

J: If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?

SH: Is it just me? Let’s assume so because if I’m taking the dog or the child I would definitely need more luggage!

Laptop, notebook, pen. Phone – with a few books saved in case I can’t get my hands on proper paperbacks. Jeans, favourite hoodie, boots. Running shoes. Headphones. Passport. Driver’s licence. This is a very dull but practical answer, sorry!

J: Do you have a hidden talent?

SH: I can cross my eyes then move one eye independently, does that count? Not much of a talent!

J: Are you currently writing another book?

SH: I am currently editing the follow up to The Echo Man – called The Twenty (title may yet change!) about a serial killer counting down from twenty. There’s a lot more going on though – blood, phobias, love, regret. It looks at the duality of personality – who we are from the outside and the secrets we hold within. Very dark and lots of fun.

We meet some new characters – in particular DCI Adam Bishop who, like Nate Griffin before him, I am slightly obsessed with. Dark and disturbed, as all irresistible men are.

It’s not a sequel but in the same world – so Cara makes a few cameos and there are other characters you’ll recognise. It’s out Spring 2023, and already I can’t wait.

Having always been fascinated with the dark and macabre, Sam Holland’s love of reading was forged in the library through Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Herbert. A self-confessed serial killer nerd, Holland studied psychology at university then spent the next few years working in HR, before quitting for a full-time career in writing. The Echo Man is the result.

You can follow Sam Holland on Twitter Facebook Instagram

You can BUY The Echo Man HERE

#BlogTour #BreakneckPoint by #TOrrMunro @TinaOrrMunro @HQstories

CSI Ally Dymond’s commitment to justice has cost her a place on the major investigations team. After exposing corruption in the ranks, she’s stuck working petty crimes on the sleepy North Devon coast.

Then the body of nineteen-year-old Janie Warren turns up in the seaside town of Bidecombe, and Ally’s expert skills are suddenly back in demand.

But when the evidence she discovers contradicts the lead detective’s theory, nobody wants to listen to the CSI who landed their colleagues in prison.

Time is running out to catch a killer no one is looking for – no one except Ally. What she doesn’t know is that he’s watching, from her side of the crime scene tape, waiting for the moment to strike.

Breakneck Point is a dazzling read. I absolutely flew through the book over 2 days. The writing is exceptional and very easy to read. I loved the lead character of CSI Ally Dymond, in the first chapter we find out that she is a straight down the line employee of Devon Police, and this sets the stage for a thrilling plot and a feisty storyline involving Ally.

The plot is SO good ( I refuse to give anything away!) but let’s just say that it had me on the edge of my seat and at times shouting “NO” at Ally Dymond, yes she’s one of those characters!! A great cast of supporting characters that don’t confuse the reader but make the plot and story sing!

And let’s not forget the descriptions of the settings for this book, they were wonderful and made me feel like I was really there on the beach in North Devon!”

This will be the first in a new series, I believe and I shall look forward to reading the second book. If you like taught, anxiety-ridden thrillers with so many red herrings that I did not see the end coming, then Breakneck point is for you. I must also say that I saw the book cover and just knew I would love this book, so full marks to the marketing team!

A fabulous 5 star read.

My debut crime novel – Breakneck Point – is due to be published 14 April, 2022. Breakneck Point introduces the character of Ally Dymond, a tough, but flawed Crime Scene Investigator (or Scenes of Crime Officer) consigned to minor crimes in a North Devon backwater after blowing the whistle on corruption. I hadn’t read many novels that had a CSI as their main protagornist and as I used to be a SOCO many years ago (long enough ago that it was more Sherlock Holmes than CSI Miami!) I decided I would write one.
I am a massive fan of urban crime, but I specifically wanted to set Breakneck Point in North Devon. North Devon is area that is very close to my heart. I grew up there in the 70s and had what I call an ‘Enid Blyton’ upbringing in a tiny village called Wembworthy. I now live in Barnstaple with my own family. It is as beautiful as the postcards show you, but I wanted to write crime a novel that shows the reality for many of living in a rural area, a reality that is often at odds with those stunning views. I hope Breakneck Point will be the first of many novels featuring Ally Dymond

You can buy Breakneck Point HERE

You can follow Tina Orr Munro on Twitter or Instagram

#GuestAuthor on this weeks #Blog #AlexSegura @alex_segura discussing #SecretIdentity and more!

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of Secret Identity come from?

AS: I think so. There was never a moment where lightning struck, or a bat flew through my window and I realized “I must become…a writer!” I always loved stories – comics, novels, history. While consuming these stories, even as a kid, I’d try to write my own – either with characters I knew, or new ones. It just felt natural. Eventually, you discover it’s a profession and a business, but it all starts very innocently – it’s just something I did, and I’m lucky I can continue to do it.

The idea for Secret Identity came in different ways – the idea for comic book sequences in the novel was spurred by having read Michael Chabon’s stupendous The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which is one of my favourite novels ever. I loved Chabon’s first two novels, but this book really hit home for me – for obvious reasons. But the thing that I was left wanting was the comics. I wanted to read The Escapist books while reading the prose. The idea just stuck with me. At the same time, I was in a short story writing class in college, and I wrote a draft for a story that featured a comic book company employee discovering a lost comic book hero and writing their adventures. It was called “Sometimes Green,” and while I don’t have the story anymore – the idea, of a lost character – seemed to stick in my brain. A few years later, living in Miami and working as an editor for my newspaper’s website, I started dabbling with a superhero idea – called the Lynx. It was very different from the Legendary Lynx, but the name also stuck with me.

So, fast forward to around 2019, and I’ve finished up my PI series set in Miami and started working on a Star Wars novel. I knew my next crime novel would be something different – if not a standalone, then at least something tighter and more limited. I landed on the idea of doing a comic book noir – a murder mystery set in the comic book industry. But having read a ton of books about comics and the characters that populate that world, I knew I wanted it to be an era in stark contrast to today. That’s why I landed on 1975 – and that’s when Carmen walked into my mind, and when the other ideas – comic book sequences, the Lynx, and the basic plot – appeared again, ready to be pulled off my mental shelf.

JW: I loved Secret identity and the fact that Carmen (lead character) is so complex and a lover of Comics. Did you base her on yourself?

AS: Carmen and I have a lot in common, for sure – I believe very strongly in writing about people like me. For most of my childhood and well into my twenties, it was hard to find books and stories that featured Cuban-American people in the starring role – not as a sidekick, or funny friend, or drug dealer/villain. It was tiresome. So once I started creating my own stories, I wanted to really show that there was real flexibility there. Heroes and protagonists didn’t look just one way. Many if not all of my characters – Pete Fernandez, The Black Ghost, the Dusk, Carmen – are Cuban-Americans from Miami. I really believe that identification is such a powerful force, and as a kid, it meant so much to me to see people like me in movies or books or comics. That said, Carmen and I are also different – she’s a queer woman living in 1975. I’m a straight man living in 2022. I had to be mindful of that and do the work – sensitivity readers, research, everything. I had to make sure that my interpretation and story resonated and felt true to her. It was very important for me to try and get that right. That said, it’s a mystery, and that’s the goal first and foremost, and I wanted to present her the way she appeared to me in my mind, but I also took that job very seriously. It was all about striking that balance and being thoughtful and transparent. I’m proud of the character that’s on the page and I’m thankful to the many people who read the book at various stages to give me feedback and insight, to make sure it landed properly.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of carmen Valdez if Secret Identity was turned into a TV series? (I could SO see this happening!)

AS: Great question! I often do a running “cast” document while writing a book – where I drop in pictures of actors and places. I guess it’s a mediocre vision board, haha. For Carmen, I cast Ana de Armas, who I think is an amazing actress.

Ana de Armas

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

AS: Oh, I loved all kinds of entertainment. In terms of books, Bridge to Terabithia stands out – it was the first book that dealt with death that I read, and it was so thoughtful and intensely written, that it sticks with me today. As far as TV – I loved cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series, He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and lots of Star Trek.

JW: Which book, that you read in 2021, has been your favourite?

AS: I absolutely loved Like A Sister by Kellye Garrett. Kellye is a dear friend and our publishing journeys have run parallel – so it was great to see this book launch alongside Secret Identity. It’s an amazing, taut, sharply-written, and evocative – loaded with great characters and the kind of family drama that really makes it propulsive. I loved this book.

JW: Who do you most admire?

AS: My maternal grandfather was a great person – try to be like him every day.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

AS: My kids! Professionally, it’s probably SECRET IDENTITY.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

AS: A great question! The music nerd in me would love to be on that rooftop in London for the last Beatles live performance.

03/1/1969 the Beatles

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

AS: Music. I obsess over different artists, played in bands for a long time, and just love that world.

JW: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

AS: Jose Marti. Patricia Highsmith. James Baldwin. Robert F. Kennedy.

JW; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

AS; “”Finish what you start and treat writing like the job you want it to become.“”

JW; Whats next? What are you currently working on??

AS; I’m working on a sequel to SECRET IDENTITY set in the modern-day.

Some absolutely great answers there from Alex Segura, and I am so looking forward to the Sequel to Secret Identity!

To find out more about Alex Segura head over to his website HERE

My #Review of #AFlickerInTheDark by #StacyWillingham @svwillingham @HarperCollinsUK

The instant New York Times bestseller, soon to be a major TV series, developed by Emma Stone

Chloe Davis’ father is a serial killer.
He was convicted and jailed when she was twelve but the bodies of the girls were never found, seemingly lost in the surrounding Louisiana swamps. The case became notorious and Chloe’s family was destroyed.

His crimes stalk her like a shadow.
Now Chloe has rebuilt her life. She’s a respected psychologist in Baton Rouge and has a loving fiancé.
But she just can’t shake a tick-tick-tick of paranoia that, at any moment, it might all come crashing down.

As does something darker.
It is the anniversary of her father’s crimes, and Chloe is about to see her worst fears come true –
a girl she knows goes missing.  

The nightmare has started again…

OMG A Flicker in the Dark is a fabulous and searing thriller Debut from Stacy Willingham.

I was hooked from the first page, Chloe Davis is now a successful Psychologist but she has a damaged and secret past that is never far away from her. We travel a journey with Chloe and see her start to unravel as the crimes that haunt her past start happening again in the present.

I’m not giving anymore away! But suffice to say this is a glorious read, a super twisty thriller with many routes that take you down into where you think, as the reader, you’ve guessed the perp but you will be wrong! It is so well written by Stacy, and a brilliant plot!

I love the fact that its set in Louisiana in the USA, hot and sulty and always, in my opinion, spooky! And A Flicker in the dark does have that edgey, spooky and creepy feel to it.

The plot has so many twists is left me reeling at the end and I definitely did not guess the perp! Lots of characters reside within the pages but it is a clear and smooth read.

A whip-smart thriller that will keep you up at night!

A 5 Star Read.

Stacy Willingham worked as a copywriter and brand strategist for various marketing agencies before deciding to write fiction full time. She earned her BA in Magazine Journalism from the University of Georgia and MFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art & Design.
Her first novel, A Flicker in the Dark, was published on January 11, 2022 by Minotaur Books and February 3, 2022 by HarperCollins UK.
She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, Britt, and her Labradoodle, Mako.

You can buy A Flicker In The Dark HERE

You can find Stacy’s website HERE

Follow Stacy on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

My #Review of #SecretIdentity by #AlexSegura @alex_segura published by @Flatironbooks

From Anthony Award-winning writer Alex Segura comes Secret Identity, a rollicking literary mystery set in the world of comic books.

It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book. 

That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph’s first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living. 

Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel–hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.

Thanks have to go to the very Alex Segura for posting me a copy of Secret Identity to review. ❤️🙏❤️

Ok, I am a bit of a comic book nerd, many years ago in the late 1980’s my Ex-husband and I used to go to a Comic Shop in our local town and spend our adult money on Comics…..well I left the comics with said ex-husband and have regretted it ever since! So when I saw Secret Identity I just knew I had to read it!

And I absolutely loved it from the first chapter. Firstly our lead character is Carmen Valdez who is a lowly assistant at Triumph Comics, the comics industry is struggling just like the size of Carmen’s flares as this is 1975! And from a young girl Carmen has lays wanted to write a comic, her Daddy (a Cuban immigrant ) learnt English by reading comics and passed his love of them on Carmen. But not only has she run away to New York because of her past, she is just seen as a woman assistant and in the mid 1970’s men really didn’t think women were able to do much especially writing comics!

So the scene is set for a darkly rich gritty noir novel, set in the middle of the 1970’s in New York where the younger generation like Carmen are finding themselves thru their sexuality, I LOVED that Carman is a Lesbian as I can totally identify with her being one myself and I didn’t know this before reading Secret Identity so I was really pleased to have a strong kick ass female lead like me! Well apart from I’m a lot older and would put a hip out if I kicked ass!! 🤣

There is a great mixture of really rich male and female characters, Alex has a fabulous talent for writing a person who literally jumps off the page into your mind as a fully rounded live person, you can see why he writes fantastic comics! The plot involves the Murder of Carmen’s friend Harvey and her dangerous journey to find the truth of why he was murdered and what is making her and her friends a target to the offender!

I loved that there are actual graphic comic segments that really added to the storyline, the descriptions of New York in 1975 have been well researched (or lived thru!) the music, the clothes, the restaurants, the society that Carmen lives in were amazing and really took me there, so much so I could smell the pizza and sweat!

In conclusion this is a dazzling and exceptional novel , it’s not just for comics fans, it’s a darkly gritty historical thriller with many twists (I did not guess the ending which is always great, thanks to the red herrings,) that will take you away from todays issues into a better time and make you want to rush out and buy some comics!

5 Stars ⭐🔥

Alex Segura is the bestselling and award-winning author of Secret Identity, which the New York Times called “wittily original” and named an Editor’s Choice. NPR described the novel as “masterful,” and it received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist. Alex is also the author of Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall, the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery series, and a number of comic books – including The Mysterious Micro-Face (in partnership with NPR), The Black GhostThe Archies, The Dusk, The Awakened, and more. His short story, “90 Miles” was included in The Best American Mystery and Suspense Stories for 2021 and won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story. By day he is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Oni Press, with previous stints at Archie Comics and DC Comics.
A Miami native, he lives in New York with his wife and children.

You can visit Alex Segura’s own Website HERE

Follow Alex on Twitter Instagram Facebook

You can buy Secret Identity HERE

My #Review of #TwelveSecrets by @books_gold @LittleBrownUK

A SMALL TOWN. A SHOCKING CRIME. 
YOU’LL SUSPECT EVERY CHARACTER. BUT YOU’LL NEVER GUESS THE ENDING.

Ben Harper’s life changed forever the day his older brother Nick was murdered by two classmates. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben’s family and their idyllic hometown, Haddley, into the spotlight.

Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best investigative journalists in the country and settled back in Haddley, thanks to the support of its close-knit community. But then a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him.

Ben is about to discover that in Haddley no one is as they seem. Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will do anything to keep the truth buried . . .

So I’ve been looking forward to reading Twelve Secrets by author Robert Gold and by Jove it didn’t disappoint!

A fabulously gripping and smoothly written thriller. I loved the storyline and the setting was really authentic, albeit a fictional town of Haddley. The main character of Ben Harper, an investigative journalist, is plunged into the past when he starts to look into his brother’s terrible murder and his mother’s suicide. I’m not going to go into the plot anymore but I will tell you that I read this in 2 days! I could not put it down at all!!

Each chapter brings in new twists and turns that I loved! I thought this was a superbly well-written thriller for a debut author. If you like a good plot, with meandering spins of story, then Twelve secrets is for you!

Originally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Robert Gold began his career as an intern at the American broadcaster CNN, based in Washington DC. He returned to Yorkshire to work for the retailer ASDA, becoming the chain’s nationwide book buyer. He now works in sales for a UK publishing company. Robert now lives in Putney and his new hometown served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Haddley in Twelve Secrets. In 2016, he co-authored three titles in James Patterson’s Bookshots series.

You can find Robert Gold on FACEBOOK TWITTER

You can BUY Twelve Secrets HERE

My #Review of #TheHouseboat by #DaneBahr published by @CounterpointLLC

Local outcast Rigby Sellers lives in squalor on a dilapidated houseboat moored on the Mississippi River. With only stolen manikins and the river to keep him company, Rigby begins to spiral from the bizarre to the threatening.

As a year of drought gives way to a season of squalls, a girl is found trembling on the side of the road, claiming her boyfriend was murdered. The nearby town of Oscar turns their suspicions toward Sellers. Town sheriff Amos Fielding knows this crime is more than he can handle alone. He calls on the regional marshall up in Minnesota, and detective Edward Ness arrives in Oscar to help him investigate the homicide and defuse the growing unrest. Ness, suffering his own demons, is determined to put his past behind him and solve the case.

But soon more bodies are found. As Ness and Fielding uncover disturbing facts about Sellers, and a great storm floods the Mississippi, threatening the town, Oscar is pushed to a breaking point even Ness may not be able to prevent.

I saw this and bought it The Houseboat on impulse as the cover is superb and it drew me in!


A fabulous creepy story from Iowa in the 1960’s involving a strange outsider and Detective Edward Ness from the big city of Minesotta ….. a cat and mouse game in the swamps and heat and rain of the little township of Oscar, involving death, sex, weirdness, personal tragedy and a mystery…I loved it. Dane Bahrain writes in an almost poetic style describing the setting for The Houseboat, I loved the literary feel to this creepy story.


A short novel but one that’s full of atmosphere. A 4 Star read ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#BlogTour #TheGreenIndianProblem by #JadeLeafWillets @jade_leaf_w published by #RenardPress @renardpress 30.03.2022

Here is an extract of The Green Indian Problem –

1989

Trees

“Mrs R told us to make a family tree. She said a family
tree is a type of drawing that is also like a map of our
families. My family tree was hard to do, because some of
my family are living with the wrong people. I drew a lot of
trees. I put myself, my mum and my sister in the first tree.
Then I put my dad in the second one. I put everybody else
in the other trees.

Because I am in the top group and the teacher thinks
I’m clever, she lets me write stories when I have finished
my work. I don’t think I’m that clever, because I don’t
understand how spaceships work, and I am still trying to
do my Rubik’s cube. My dad can do it really quickly, but
I can only get one side the same colour. Orange. If I am
not working on a story, Mrs R sometimes tells me to go
and sit with Michael and help him with his work. She says
that Michael needs extra help. I know this is true because
Michael does not understand that 2 x 2 is 4 or 3 + 4 is 7.

Michael has also been writing his name wrong. He has
been writing ‘Micel’. Then the other day I showed him
how to write it. He copied his name out loads of times and
now he can do it right.

Michael is my best friend. He lives in the next street to me,
and he is allowed to stay out on his bike when I am in bed. I
can only stay out late if it’s not a school night and if my mum
is in the right kind of mood to let me. That’s just sometimes.
Michael lives with his mum and dad, his brother, his sister
and his dogs. He only drew one tree. There were too many
people in it because he drew his whole family – even his
aunties and uncles were dangling off the branches. He put
the dogs at the bottom of it, too. It looked like the dogs
had scared everyone, so they climbed away. When I had
finished my trees, I helped him to spell out the names in his
family. I know how to spell all the names in mine.
I live with my mum, my little sister Verity and a horrible
man called Den. Den is short for Dennis. I didn’t put Den
in our tree because he does not really belong there. He is so
horrible he should have his own tree with no other people in
it. I wish he was stuck in a tree and could never climb down.
There should be special trees for people like Den.

My dad is called Graham, but everyone calls him Gray
or Grayo. My mum is called Linda, and people just call her
Linda. I wrote down all my dad’s names on the branches of
his tree. I put his new family in the tree with him too. My dad
lives with a woman called Tina and my two brothers, Aaron
and Kai. When Mrs R was teaching us about families, she
said that some people can have half brothers and sisters.
She said half brothers and sisters only share a mum or a
dad, not both. I think it means only having one parent that
is the same as each other. It was a bit confusing. Michael
kept saying, ‘I dunno what she’s on about.’ If Mrs R is right, that would mean my brothers and sister are halves,
but I think that is just stupid, because you can’t have half
a sister. Sisters are not like fractions.
I wish my dad would live with us, but my mum said
sometimes mums and dads can’t stay with each other
because they do not like to live together in the same house.
I think they should check if they like to be around each
other before they get married. I think that would save
people from getting sad. I am sad because my dad does
not live with us, but I am also sad because I am stuck.

Mrs R said if we get stuck we should try to work things
out. She told us to do it on paper like we do in maths if we
can’t work out a sum. Then she gave us a spare workbook
each, just for working things out. She said writing things
down helps to work out problems. That is why I am writing
this out. It’s because I am stuck with things. When you are
stuck, it is called a problem, or a puzzle, and it can sometimes be called a mystery. My problem is a mystery because
something has happened to me that I don’t understand,
and I can’t work out why it has happened. The teachers
say if we try but still can’t work out the answer to something we should ask somebody, but I don’t know who will
know the right answer. I want to work out the mystery by

myself, but I think I will have to ask some questions to get
some clues. That is what I am going to do. I am writing this
down in my workbook, so it is going to be my clue book
too. I’m going to take it home so I can keep working on the
problem. I think it might take a long time to get the right
answer, because it is a very mysterious mystery.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J a d e L e a f W i l l e t t s is a writer from Llanbradach,
a strange, beautiful village in South Wales. He writes
about extraordinary characters in ordinary worlds
and has a penchant for unreliable narrators. The
Green Indian Problem, his first novel, was longlisted
for the 2020 Bridport Prize in the Peggy Chapman Andrews category. Jade’s poetry has been published
by Empty Mirror, PoV Magazine and Unknown Press.
His short story, ‘An Aversion to Popular Amusements’
was shortlisted for the inaugural Janus Literary Prize.
All his stories are available for adaptation, should Wes
Anderson be interested. He is currently working on a
coming-of-age sequel to The Green Indian Problem
.

You can buy The Green Indian Problem from Renard Press HERE

You can follow Jade Leaf Willets on TWITTER

Renard Press are on INSTAGRAM & TWITTER & FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #TheDisciples by #John Reid @dcisteveburt2 @PegasusPublish @instabooktours

 Description

In this, the third DCI Burt mystery, the stakes are high as DCI Burt and his colleagues become involved in an international game of intrigue. DCI Burt is sent to investigate the murders of two young and foreign women, and as the clues lead him on, he begins to see all is not as simple as it might have seemed.

Orders from on high have DCI Burt joining a secret society, The Syndicate, which has powerful members called Disciples. These ruthless people control the highest corridors of government. What is their connection to the two murdered women? Can DCI Burt unravel the mystery and solve the murders in this dangerous high-stakes game?

This is the first book I’ve read by John Reid, and the first in the DCI Steve Burt series.

We follow DCI Steve Burt of the Metropolitan Police on a new murder inquiry, when 2 mutilated girls bodies are found in Essex, Steve abd his team are asked to go and help investigate the murders…but pretty soon we find out that there are other agendas at work here and we are taken on a journey involving espionage and coffee until we find out who the person is.

An easy read but an intricate plot.

3 ⭐⭐⭐ read.

About the Author

The author was born in Scotland and, after serving in the Army, embarked on a career in industry. He has worked in several different sectors in senior roles and was latterly CEO of a large international data capture company. He retired for the first time in 1995 to take on a consultancy designed to help new businesses become established. In 2018, he finally retired from business life to become a full-time author. John lives in Scotland and Portugal with his wife and they have two grown-up sons.

You can buy The Disciples HERE

#GuestAuthor #PaulCleave @PaulCleave author of the brilliant #TheQuietPeople @OrendaBooks

J: Thank you so much Paul for being a guest on my blog, I’m so honoured!

J: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Quiet People come from?

PC: Yes – for as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to write. But – growing up, it never seemed like a reality. It’s not like teachers at our schools are saying “that sounds like a realistic way to make a living”. So I never really believed I could be one. Then – when I was 19, a friend at the time asked – “If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?” I said I’d like to be a writer. She said, “why not try?” And I thought, yeah, I actually could try. So I did. I tried for years and years… going from novel to novel getting experience, and just a quick 12 years later my first book came out, and the crazy thing is that’s getting up to almost 20 years ago. My characters don’t age, but I do… and quickly too, it seems.

As for TQP – well, the idea came from the idea if I ever got married, and something bad happened to my wife – like – maybe she’d fall down a flight of stairs, or disappear – I would be blamed for it because crime writers would be able to stage such a thing. Could we? Probably. The idea scares me enough that I can’t get married… since I have stairs in my house.

J: Your insight into what a parent’s mind could be like when a child goes missing is impeccable, did you do any research into this?

PC: No, not into that – in these cases, I just do my best to capture what I imagine that grief would be like. But – this is the only book where I actually did do some research – I met with a Police Detective here in Christchurch and picked his brains as to how the investigation would unfold – first hour, the first evening, first day, what happens the second day, etc etc, and that gave me a roadmap for the first few days of the book. It was incredibly helpful – and to be honest, I felt bad because often when I write about the police in books, I have them chasing their tails for some time and making huge mistakes in the process… otherwise, they’d solve the crime by the end of chapter one.

J: Who would you like to see playing the parts of Lisa & Cameron and DI Rebecca Kent if The Quiet People was turned into a TV series/Movie?

PC: Oh geez – tough question, and until you asked it, I’ve never thought about it. Adam Driver would do a cool Cameron. Reese Witherspoon could do Lisa, and Halle Berry would make a nice Kent.

J: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

PC: I was an avid reader – though I couldn’t name what I read back then as it’s all a blur. I still am. But of course, I’m a product of the 70s, which means I’m an 80s kid when it comes to TV – so The A-Team, MacGyver, Magnum – all that stuff I grew up with. My all-time favourite?  Probably Star Trek. I’m what I call a closet Trekkie.

J: What is your favourite book you read in 2021?

PC: Tough. I have two. One is called ‘Kill Your Brother’ by Jack Heath. The other was ‘The Hate U Give’ by ‘Angie Thomas’. Two very different books – the first was a lot of fun, the second confronting and important.

J: Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

PC: Favourite author – I guess Stephen King. It’s a bit of a cliché, but yes, I think he’s the best. Favourite book? Funnily enough, it’s not a King book, but it’d be The Passage, by Justin Cronin.

J: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

PC: Too many to choose from. But – it would be cool to go back in time and watch humans figure out what is edible. I’ve always wondered about that – in human history, people must have tried everything to know what tasted good and what didn’t, what had to be cooked and what could be raw. Would have been a messy time. So I’d love to see the moment where somebody looked at what fell out of chicken, and said, “Let’s try eating that”.

J: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

PC: Well, I guess I’d have to invite my Mum. She’s been dead a while, and I think she’d be slighted if I had other dead people around and didn’t ask her. But I wouldn’t want to get stuck talking to her all evening, so I’d probably invite one of her dead siblings so they could hang out. Then my Dad, who is very much alive, would be upset if he heard about this and hadn’t been invited, so I’d have to ask him too. Then I’d need somebody that I could talk to while those three are catching up because I’d get bored with them – I’d invite Tiger Woods in the hope he can help me with my slice.

J: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

PC: I had some cool stuff for 2020 that all fell apart I’d still like to do – from the Northern Lights in Norway to Machu Picchu, to the Great Wall of China, to a trip through the Caribbean, Morocco, Jordan, Portugal, I had 15 countries lined up… as soon as our borders open I’ll try to make it happen. But where would I really love to go that I don’t think I’ll ever really get the chance? Antarctica. I have this thing where I like to throw my frisbee in as many countries as possible (42 at the moment), and even though Antarctica is a continent, I’d love to add it to my list. But it’s not an easy trip to make, nor is it cheap.

J: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

PC: Well, years ago Michael Robotham gave me some great advice – he said always have some go-to stories for when you’re on stage. It doesn’t matter what you’re being asked up there, but have four or five great stories and try to use one or two of them when you’re up there.

J: If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?

PC: Haha – I always travel with carry-on size luggage – even if I’m heading to Europe for a month or two. Ipad, passport, cash, sneakers, shorts, jeans, jacket, t-shirts. That’s all I ever need. Plus a bunch of cables for charging stuff – half my luggage is cables.

J: Do you have a hidden talent?

PC: I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes – or could use to. I know a couple of neat card tricks. And cats tend to like me.

J: Are you currently writing another book?

PC: Always!!

Paul Cleave is Christchurch born and raised, and other than a couple of years when he was living in London and bouncing around Europe a little, he’s always lived there. He started writing at nineteen when a friend asked him the classic question of ‘if there’s anything in life you could do for a living, what would it be?’ The answer was simple. He wanted to be a writer. For the next five years, he worked in the evenings on manuscripts that he has promised will never be taken out of the bottom drawer. Back then he wanted to write horror, and it was a few years in when he realised that crime – real-life crime – is horror. As he says, people don’t come home from vampire movies and lock their doors to keep them out, but they will come home from a movie like Silence of the Lambs and lock their doors in case the neighbour is planning on eating them. When he made that connection, he turned to writing dark crime fiction, writing first The Killing Hour, and then The Cleaner, in his mid-twenties. Not long after that Paul sold his house and lived with his parents so he could write full time – a gamble that paid off a few years later when Random House signed him up. From that point on he’s written his dark tales set in his home city, introducing Joe Middleton – the Christchurch Carver, and Melissa, and Theodore Tate, and Schroder, and Jerry Gray, among others to the world.
These days he still lives in Christchurch, but generally spends two or three months travelling overseas for book festivals and meeting readers and publishers and talking on stage. He always travels with his frisbee and throws it in as many countries as he can – often in iconic locations if possible. He’s thrown it on five continents, and in over forty countries – with the goal of throwing it in fifty before he’s 50. He’s also learning to play the guitar, he can hit a golf ball extremely far in the wrong direction, can do some basic card tricks, and he’s pretty handy with a power tool. He hates shopping and hates gardening, he can solve a Rubik’s cube in under two minutes and plays tennis as well as any six-year-old can.

You Can BUY The Quiet People HERE

Paul Cleave on Amazon TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Paul Cleave has a website HERE