It’s Christmas – nearly – which means food and books. Ta dah!

As you may know, I have a new book coming out on December 5th. It’s called The Worst Noel and it’s part of a 12-ebook set featuring Christmas-themed cozy mysteries. This is my first cozy mystery, and I have to tell you that I really enjoyed writing it. One of the characters in my story, Noley […]

via Recipes Inspired by The Worst Noel — Reade and Write

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“Not Broken: The Happily Ever After” by Meka James

Title: Not Broken Author: Meka James Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Date: November 23, 2017 Cover Designer: Design for Writers Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… Calida Jokobi doesn’t see it that way. Surviving an abusive relationship with a sadistic, manipulative man changed her. She has […]

via “Not Broken: The Happily Ever After” by Meka James #BlogTour — Nesie’s Place

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Peter Mulraney

Are you a lover of crime fiction but don’t have the time to devote to a lengthy tome?

You are!

So, you’d be interested in a series of criminal investigations where you could read each story in one sitting?

Is that a “yes”?

Well, read on then. “Stella Bruno Investigates” is a series of quick reads.  Each book in the series only takes around an hour and a half to two hours to read. So, there’s no waiting for days to find out who did it.

You’re in, right?

Peter Mulraney, the author, gives me some insight into his “Stella Bruno Investigates” series:

The series is set in and around Adelaide, South Australia, and centres on criminal investigations led by Detective Sergeant Stella Bruno. I have the inside information on Adelaide – it’s my home town.

Stella is assisted by Detective Constable Brian Rhodes, who’s approaching retirement, harassed by Detective Inspector Frank Williams, and distracted by Shaun Porter from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In addition to all the crime, the stories also follow Stella’s developing relationship with Shaun and provide insights into her life as a single mother with a fourteen-year old son. You’ll also discover some of the benefits she enjoys by being part of an extended Italian family.

If you’ve never been to Australia, these stories will give you a little taste of life ‘down under’ where you can experience the North Wind as hot and blustery and winters without snow and ice.

Now we  established your interest, how do you fancy a deadly game of hangman?

Here’s the inside scoop from Peter:

A Deadly Game of Hangman, Book 4 in the series, tells the story of Stella’s investigation into the murder of a young man whose body is found hanging from a tree in Adelaide’s famous Park Lands, which ring the city centre. The killer tried to disguise the murder as a suicide but there are some things about a hanging that you just can’t hide from a forensic pathologist, like Dr Steve Wright.

The case gets a little more interesting when the body of a friend of the first victim is found hanging from a tree in Morialta Park, in the foothills on the eastern edge of the Adelaide metropolitan area, and the similarities strongly suggest to Stella that she is dealing with a serial killer.

And, just to keep you up until you’ve finished, I’ve built in a little bit of suspense towards the end.

If you’re anything like me, you’re already heading over to Amazon to hunt down this author and his books.

But wait!

Here are the other titles in the series so far:

  • The Identity Thief
  • A Gun of Many Parts
  • Bones in the Forest

Pretty intriguing titles, aren’t they?

For more info on the author and his books, be sure to check out his website too.

 

Remember to leave a review if you read an author’s books – reviews keep authors writing.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Hey! Look over here …

Do you know what’s about to happen?

It’s coming sooner than you think …

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

SOMETHING SPECIAL THIS WAY COMES

I’ll have more details soon, but it’s time to prepare your one-click finger.

You don’t want to miss out now, do you?

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Paul Toolan

It’s a question many people ask of a writer. “Where do you get your ideas from?”

Paul Toolan – author of  ‘A View from Memory Hill’- gives his answer here, in a beguiling short story format that follows the seed of an idea to the keyboard, and henceforth to the readers. 

So, Paul, where do your ideas come from?

If only I received royalties every time a reader asks me this!

Here, there and everywhere is the true but unhelpful answer. In ‘A View from Memory Hill’, there’s a story called Old Man, Young Pub that was triggered by seeing…an old man in a young pub!

I was at the Brighton Festival [Brighton, England – I used to live there] with old friends/fellow retirees. We dropped in to a wonderful, low-ceilinged pub called The Basketmakers, whose decor has barely been touched since it opened. I remember thinking we were the oldest people there, among many young and lively folk, some dressed in the trendiest fashion, some so far ahead they were next year.

It was a hot day, but as I looked around I spotted an old gentleman in a tweed jacket and tie, standing at the bar, quietly sipping his pint. All around him, bright young things were loud and full of energy. They squatted on bar stools, but no-one offered a seat to the old guy, and his legs could have used one. I wondered about his silent thoughts.

His anonymity, mine too, amongst this colourful crowd threw up a name: Smith. With the conscious germ of a story now in my head, I called him Frank Smith in hope he would eventually be frank enough to tell some sort of tale. I never spoke to this old man, but later when I sat at my keyboard, I spoke to Frank Smith, or he to me. I really don’t know which came first.

What I had was a character and a setting. No plot, no events, no history. Yet. But Frank Smith travelled with me, later in the Arts Festival, to a shabby-chic little theatre where, on hard seats, we watched a trio of skilled actors on a bare, dark stage. Magically, they brought to life some of Damon Runyan’s New York Prohibition stories.

Shortly after, inside that inexplicable swirl called a writer’s head, two separate experiences merged. Frank Smith went to his local pub; and he went to see a play. To keep the story structure tight, I made the theatre a blacked-out room at his pub, and had him go out of sheer boredom. Frank would have liked the Damon Runyan stories, but there’s insufficient conflict in what characters enjoy. I needed to change the play, to find one that Frank Smith liked less, that triggered something of his history, his demons or regrets.

On my bookshelves I have ‘Samuel Beckett: The Complete Dramatic Works’. I browsed through it. ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ seemed ideal. It featured an old man’s memories, recalled with the aid of an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. Krapp is a drinker too, which resonated with Frank. While flicking through, I revisited ‘Rockaby’, a short Beckett play featuring an old woman in a rocking chair, remembering her past. Within moments, Frank Smith had a wife.

A day or two later, I named her Lucy. Then killed her off. The story would have become a novel if I hadn’t, and I wanted to balance Frank’s ageing memories – of Lucy and others – with voices of youth. So along came the young woman who ushers the audience to their seats in ‘the long thin dark theatre’ where Krapp’sLastTape is performed. Her surprise that Frank turned up at all, among so many young people, releases the demons that rumbled as Frank watched the play. Short stories need a moment of realisation or change, and the clash between her enthusiasm for the play’s use of the past and Frank’s disturbed memories provided this.

‘We’ve all been something,’ was all he managed to say. ‘Known someone.’

The story might have ended there, but because the theme of age and youth was well-established I felt more could be done. I went back to the keyboard and jiggled the plot, making Frank inadvertently upset the ‘woman in black’, so her young hopes and dreams could quietly confront his regrets.

“In the half-dark, she looked squarely at him, black T-shirt and jeans appraising jacket and tie. A slight twitch flickered her lips. He thought there might be tears.

‘We all have dreams,’ she said, in the quietest voice he’d ever heard. ‘I’d rather dream than drift, any day.’ She pressed her lips together to control the twitch, but it continued. ‘What’s wrong with having dreams?’ she asked.”

This exchange then allowed a more positive development in Frank, making for a more satisfying conclusion [in my view, anyway, but I’d love to hear yours too].

So, a chance observation in a pub, a visit to a play, a book on a shelf, some musings and experiments at the keyboard – and before too long there’s a character’s voice, a felt situation, and a set of realisations. If it was as easy as I’ve made it sound…

I drop in to a pub maybe once week. I’m wondering if I should go more often. Pubs are full of people, and where there are people, there are stories.

Readers have already had their say – and will no doubt continue to do so.

Here’s a few snippets from reviews so far :-

“a fascinating collection of short stories, twelve in all, each written from the perspective of protagonists who are in their ‘golden years’ – facing both the ravages time has wreaked upon bodies and minds as well as the feelings of disconnection from the hectic pace of the present day.”

“Being that I am a getting close to that “certain age” I understood the feelings of quite a few characters. The author writes his stories with true feeling.”

But, there’s also a surprise in store for those of you who, like me, have enjoyed Paul’s series featuring Zig Batten – the hard-boiled Detective Inspector from ‘A Killing Tree’ and ‘A January Killing’. You weren’t expecting that now, were you?

You can find ‘A View from Memory Hill’ here, or you can check out Paul’s other books on his Amazon page.

You’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Calling book-lovers – it’s blog hop time :)

Whether you’re a reader, writer, publisher, or just an all-round bibliophile, you’re in the right place! The Iris Chacon blog is only one of the many stops you’ll want to make (often!) on the NurtureYourBooks.com BLOG HOP between November 9th and 27th, for fun, friends, freebies, and fabulousness. Nurture Your BOOKS™ Blog Hop Prizes: For […]

via Welcome to the NYB November Blog Hop! — Author_Iris_Chacon

Army of Authors Blog Tour – Stephen Bentley

I’ve got something extra special today. No kidding around. This post features an author with absolute authority on the genre in which he writes. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Crime Fiction About An Undercover Cop By a Former Undercover Cop

Yep! Pretty cool, or what? Here’s how the author puts it:

Crime Fiction About An Undercover Cop By a Former Undercover Cop’ is roughly how the blurb goes on the Amazon listing for my latest book ‘Who The F*ck Am I?’

The title may be a tad controversial to some, but it is part of the very fabric of an infiltrator. Identity confusion among undercover agents is a medically recognised condition.

It is Book One in a trilogy featuring Steve Regan, a fictional British undercover cop. The action takes place mainly in the United Kingdom but also takes the reader to Miami and Boston in the United States.

The book is available from October 31, 2017 in both Kindle and paperback through Amazon. It will also be available in other eBook formats through Smashwords and at most other online book stores.

The blurb also makes the claim, “This surely has to be a first! Crime fiction about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop!

From Amazon UK bestselling author, Stephen Bentley, comes a fictional undercover cop, Steve Regan, following on the success of his true crime undercover cop memoir ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story.’

Steve Regan, undercover detective, is tempted by the riches of drug smuggling so he can be free of debt, police bureaucracy, and help a loved one. He wonders whether he can go ‘rogue’ and cross the line.

Regan gets involved in one deal with a Miami-based drug lord. But is everyone who they say they are?

Short, fast-paced, high-impact entertainment, from a bestselling author who knows how to suck you into a story.”

This novella was inspired by two gangsters I met in real life while undercover. I harboured thoughts about them for many years and felt obliged to deal with those thoughts in this fictional work. I believe I can safely say that is a first!

As the author and a former undercover cop, I do not profess to know with certainty if my claim about it being a “first” is fact. I mean the claim: This surely has to be a first! Crime fiction about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop! I could argue, in line with another former profession of mine (lawyer), that it isn’t a claim at all – merely a hypothesis. Pedants may argue there ought to be a question mark following “has to be first.” Possibly, they are correct.

But in any event, whether claim or hypothesis, it intrigues me. So, a challenge to all readers of this blog post – tell me if I am right or wrong about it being the first fictional work about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop. At least I ask you to leave a comment letting us know your thoughts.

There is a reward for the best comment left – one free copy of the book featured here and a free copy of my bestselling memoir ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story.’

Please note there can only be one winner and the prizes will be provided in any eBook format of the winner’s choice.

The winner will be judged by the author on the basis of the insight provided by the commentator, the originality of the comment, and any tendency to humour gains extra marks

And to prove Stephen has the credentials – and to help you make your decision as to whether this novel is a ground-breaking, first of a kind – here’s the info you need:

Stephen Bentley: 

Former UK Detective Sergeant, undercover cop, barrister (trial counsel). Now a writer, author, and blogs at HuffPost UK.

Author of ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story’ – an Amazon UK bestselling book about his undercover days on one of the world’s largest drug busts.

Are you convinced yet? Okay, why not check out the book in the meantime.

Lives in the Philippines, enjoys the beaches and a cold beer and follows “his team”, Liverpool Football Club from afar.

So, maybe the last bit doesn’t help in proving Stephen’s ‘claim’, but knowing he lives in the Philippines and follows Liverpool FC has to count for something. I mean, you wouldn’t make that up, would you?

Don’t forget to leave a review if you choose to this book. Reviews keep authors writing!

Thanks for reading.