Friday, 27 May 2016

#Friday Fun with Nairn and Aela!

It's Friday again!

The promotion week for my contemporary romantic mystery Take Me Now, on the Crooked Cat Books Page on Facebook, is almost over and at Crooked Cat we try to give some background to our novels during our promo week. Two days ago, on Wednesday 25th May, I published a piece on the Crooked
Cat Books page about the dangers I've sometimes faced when engaging in adventurous activities and I've related it to what Nairn and Aela face in
 Take Me Now. However, most of the dangers my characters face are not through any choice of their own.
I'm not convinced that these promotion weeks lead to more sales, but it's an encouraging thought that the cheap 99p price encourages a few more people to buy a copy. So far, I definitely know of one person who declared they'd bought and i'm very pleased about that.
How about you? Have you read this fun novel that's quite different from my historical writing? 
Since only a limited audience would have had the chance to read my Wednesday post, I'm re-posting it below...
(copyright Nancy Jardine)
Are you a daredevil?
Some of us segue naturally into being a thrill seeking creature. Some avoid adventurous escapades like the plague and some are what I’d call partial ‘dare devils’- those who will try things out once and only up to a certain level of danger. I’m not even sure I’d fit that last category but I have tried a few things over the decades, a few of which have been a lot more scary than I intended.
One such event for me was driving a snowmobile on a mountainside near Whistler, Canada (near Vancouver). It was approaching dusk, the temperature about 10 Deg below Zero and the accelerator on the machine was operated by thumb control. By the time I had 2 pairs of thermal gloves on, I couldn’t feel anything at all so changing the speed was a nightmare. Once started on the run, at full felt, I realised I had little control and had to stop…but how since I was so panicked I couldn’t remember the way the other button controls operated? I’m totally relieved to say that I didn’t kill my son-in-law that night (he shared my snowmobile) but only because, in sheer terror, I chose to drive into a banking of snow rather than veer off the edge of a narrow trackway! 

The rest of my family thought it fun to see us upended in the snow while I was a jittering wreck. I loved the rest of the trip, though, but only because my son-in-law did all the rest of the driving! In retrospect, I know that that split second judgement/decision saved us because we were just yards away from the path narrowing to a balancing act.
Sometimes imminent danger makes you make split second decisions and there are a good few scenes like that in Take Me Now- some almost humorous and some deadly. Nairn Malcolm’s the owner of a global business named Adrenalinn Adventuring so he’s no stranger to dangerous and exhilarating activities.

That’s all easy to control when he’s at the helm and making decisions, whether it’s at his Scottish island castle base, or at his London headquarters. The problem for my contemporary Highland Hero is that a saboteur has decided to target both him and his business resulting in him being temporarily unable to carry on as normal.
In comes Aela Cameron, a feisty and intrepid lass from Vancouver, Canada, who is also no stranger to making split second decisions. She's determined to keep Nairn mobile so that it's business as usual. She's also resolute that she'll not give in to the deadly games being played.
It's just as well that she's an eternal optimist whose innate humour surfaces during the most interesting situations! And that's where the fun of the novel comes in...
Daily life, with the normal kind of informed decision making regarding delicate situations will resume for Nairn and Aela…but only after the saboteur is revealed!

I'm off to check if the price is still at 99p this very moment, and it might be but it'll be rising again very soon.

Take Me Now is also now available in paperback from Amazon as well!


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

#Wednesday Welcomes to Shani

Huge #Wednesday Welcomes to my Crooked Cat colleague Shani Struthers! 

Shani's got a new release this Friday (May 27th) -44 Gilmore Street - to add to her hugely popular Psychic Surveys series but she's taken some time out from organising her Facebook party to come and give us a glimpse of this third book. Getting rid of ghosts is the business but, thankfully for a wimp like me, Shani's books aren't so scary that I can't read them. The poster above is very impressive, though, in creating a ripple of shivers!

Hello, Shani!  You're very welcome back on the blog. Congratulations on releasing another book to your growing list. I'm always curious now about how authors feel about adding more books to what becomes a series for them and I'm interested in what the author gets out of a new book - as well as the reader. Thanks for coming to answer my questions, Shani, so let's get started! 

Can you please tell us how 44 Gilmore Street, Book 3 of your Psychic Surveys Series differs from Books 1 and 2?
In each Psychic Surveys book there’s a main case for them to deal with as well as various sub-cases. In Psychic Surveys Three there are two major cases – that of Gilmore Street, home to an increasingly violent spirit and the reincarnation case of Elisha Grey. In all books I tend to explore a supernatural theme and reincarnation is very much at the heart of the latest one. In Book Two it was thought forms made manifest (known as tulpas) and Book One kick-started with the ghost of dead movie star, Cynthia Hart, being haunted by another ghost! I’d say that to get the best from the books, they need to be read in order as there’s a definite story arc that will span six books in total. However, there is a prequel to the Psychic Surveys series – Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story – and that’s a standalone.

Yes - I remember Book One not only having one ghost to deal with. Does your Psychic Survey team have any new additional people, or is it largely the same as for Books 1 and 2 with the team being led by Ruby?
It’s largely the same team members – there’s a lot to say about each one and some are not what they seem, which will become clear in future books. However, in Book Three, we do have a rather lovely regressionist helping out called Ailsa Isaacs – remind you of anyone we know?

Could be, indeed! **insert Smiley face here** Now that's mysterious enough to make me head off to buy this next one. Which by the way is on Pre-order so I can  buy it today! Was the original trigger point of your concept for 44 Gilmore Street a real event in the past that you had researched?
The trigger point was when something similar happened to me that I describe as having happened to the character of Elisha Grey. A friend of a friend of mine claims by holding onto your hands she can get flashes of your past life – well, I took her hands and she saw a similar vision to the one I’ve described in the book. And from there a whole novel was born as the imagination took over!

Oh, that's quite scary. I'm not sure I'm in for that sort of delving into my past! As you write more books for the Psychic Surveys Series is your need to research the occult lessening, or do you always see research as being a necessary part of your next planned books?
The occult is a vast subject and so no, I need to know more if anything. However, I’ll only research up to a point. There is some stuff that I believe it’s best not to delve into and that can have a negative impact if you do. That is why I write paranormal and not horror – there really are some things that are just too horrifying!

I agree that horror isn't for everyone! Would you say that the overall writing style of your Psychic Mysteries is similar over the three books published in the series or do you, as the author, feel your style has changed or developed differently from the first book?
My style has developed and changed I think – I’m getting better at being more succinct and handling more complicated plotlines. Book One was also deliberately na├»ve. By Book Six, all naivety will be gone and my writing has to reflect that. In-between the Psychic Surveys books I write other books, too – Eve was a real master class in keeping the story concise as I wanted it to be a novella. The first book in my new series – This Haunted World Book One: The Venetian – is full novel length but again I wanted the story to remain as tight as a novella so it’s action-packed all the way.

That's a heavy schedule you've got planned but back to the Psychic Surveys Series. Who is your favourite character and why? I ask this because I liked a lot of your secondary characters in Book 1 who seemed easily able to develop as main characters in their own right.
That’s such a hard question; I love them all equally (honest!). If I had to pick one though I’d go for Ruby Davis, the main character, there is a lot more to her than meets the eye and she’s going to have some real struggles to contend with in future books. But she’s a strong character. She can stand her ground when the going gets tough – with a little help from the PS team!

That's brilliant that you can 'see' your series that far ahead! As well as the Crooked Cat published Psychic Surveys Series what other novels have you had published?
My first books belong in the romance genre. There are three of them and together they make up the Runaway trilogy revolving round a group of friends facing various trials and tribulations in the beautiful setting of North Cornwall. I’m proud of those books – again, all the female characters are strong, finding even greater strength in each other’s friendship. I might write another romance one day – I enjoy writing them – but it will be under a pen name. Shani Struthers is all about the paranormal!

Yes- that genre cross over with one name is a bit of a problem, marketing wise, and I know a bit about that.  

Are there any other details you’d like to share with us about your most recent release- 44 Gilmore Street?
I’m hosting an on-line Facebook launch party on May 27th (the release date) and I’d love it if you could pop in!  There’ll be plenty of giveaways and not just from me but five of my favourite paranormal authors too. Here’s the link if you can make it:

I'll certainly be popping in when I'm grandkid free!

Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street

“We all have to face our demons at some point.”

Psychic Surveys – specialists in domestic spiritual clearance – have never been busier. Although exhausted, Ruby is pleased. Her track record as well as her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach inspires faith in the haunted, who willingly call on her high street consultancy when the supernatural takes hold.

But that’s all about to change.

Two cases prove trying: 44 Gilmore Street, home to a particularly violent spirit, and the reincarnation case of Elisha Grey. When Gilmore Street attracts press attention, matters quickly deteriorate. Dubbed the ‘New Enfield’, the ‘Ghost of Gilmore Street’ inflames public imagination, but as Ruby and the team fail repeatedly to evict the entity, faith in them wavers.

Dealing with negative press, the strangeness surrounding Elisha, and a spirit that’s becoming increasingly territorial, Ruby’s at breaking point. So much is pushing her towards the abyss, not least her own past. It seems some demons just won’t let go…

Shani Struthers
A bit more about Shani...
I write ghost stories – vampires, werewolves and shape shifters need not apply! Influences include the great Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice, Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I’m also a mum of three children, and live in the funky city of Brighton with them, my husband and four mad cats. I’ve always loved reading and writing but occasionally I venture outdoors on sunny days and walk in the stunning green downs that surround us. Other pastimes include hanging out with friends and just having fun – life’s too short not to.

Buy Links
Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street

You'll be able to find Shani here:
Social Media Links

Thank you so much for coming today, Shani, and giving us an early glimpse of 44 Gilmore Street. Best wishes with your launch. 


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

It's all about news!

Tuesday Morning Greetings! 

Do you write letters anymore?
I do...but I have to confess that I rarely do on paper, these days. My communication with friends, or fans, tends to be by email or on Facebook by direct messaging or via general posts. These are not often about my writing news and that's where a big problem lies...

I need to improve my communication skills big time!

You know that wonderful 'sort of epithet' that says something to the nature of 'Shove it under the carpet and forget about it'?  I confess to doing that a while ago about starting up a newsletter for any interested readers of my work. My problem was that I set up one which was completely separate from my blog, and then I failed to collect email addresses of followers properly, and then compounded the problem by not updating with another newsletter.

As an attempt to improve on the situation, I've (hopefully) liked a newsletter facility to my Website ( Weebly) and would love it if the readers of this blog would give me some feedback on it by joining me there.

I'll be forever grateful since I've got a lot to learn...

I know what the rest of my Tuesday might include ( fine tweaking???) but I wish you all a very good day!

Oh, a bit of brilliant news to mention here would be that my Crooked Cat version of  Take Me Now is available as a paperback across Amazon for those readers who still love to feel a book in their hands.