Wednesday 31 October 2012

A Limited Justice and a giveaway!

I’m absolutely delighted to welcome fellow Crooked Cat author, Catriona King, to the blog today. 

I don’t know very much about Catriona, yet, so I’ve asked her some nice little questions. Stay tuned and learn some fascinating things about this new author on the writing scene. 

One lucky commenter can earn an e-copy of her brand new crime  novel- A Limited Justice. Keep reading to find out how!

ps....I’m reading it just now. Watch out for a review to follow...if I get more reading done during the day. No spoilers given here, but I really want to learn more abut DC Craig! 

Nancy, thank you for asking me to be on your blog. It’s really great to be here!

What made you decide to write crime novels?  

I’ve always loved reading crime novels, especially series where you can get to know the characters and the author’s style. My first real love was the Edinburgh –based Rebus series, by Ian Rankin. They are brilliant. I’ve read many other series since, UK and US based in particular, but I always come back to Rebus.

I also watch practically every crime series on TV. And then of course my professional background as a doctor took me into the world of police reports and forensic examiner work, and going to court with cases testifying, so I have a certain amount of knowledge of the forensic and police world.

I thought…Edinburgh has Rebus, Glasgow has Taggart…shouldn’t Belfast have its own series? So D.C.I. Marc Craig was born.

What bits of your debut novel did you like doing best?

I love writing but I’m like a writing machine when I start, which means that nothing else (in real life!) gets done …the dishes pile up, the hoover stays in the cupboard etc. And it’s difficult to be that focused for too long.

So I’d have to say that my favourite part is editing, because it refines the characters and tightens the book. But also because I can do it for a few hours and still keep a grip on real life!

Book Promotion I find difficult, principally because I’m quite private and in some ways shy, so even having an on-line presence was entirely new to me. I didn’t even have an active Facebook account before the book. Never mind twitter!!

Laurence and Stephanie of Crooked Cat have had to be very patient with me and they’ve been great. And as for press interviews and the public side of writing…well let’s just say I know that I have to do it, but I’d rather hide under the bed until it’s all over.

If you decided to try to write a new genre or sub-genre what might you have a go at?

I think possibly romantic comedy as a complete departure, or the fantasy world. But I’m not sure how good I’d be at either of them!

Where would you like to set a new novel?

In court… or in New York…or both!

You’ve an invitation to a stay at an expensive - all expenses paid - retreat in the countryside. Which of your characters, or a character in a novel you’ve recently read, would you ask to accompany you?

Oh, definitely my lead detective. Detective Chief Inspector Marc Craig. Mainly because I wrote him to be a very attractive man, and that inevitably means that he’s attractive to me !!! We could have fun together. And, as I write murder novels, I could always kill off any fictional opposition. Ha ha

Do you ever have days when you think maybe I’ll not bother doing any more writing?

Yes, I think I do feel like that, when I’m tired or have been editing or writing for days on end. But then…after a break of about a week, I find myself listening to people’s expressions and phrases and scribbling them down on post-it notes, thinking.

 “Ooh, I like that phrase, I must write a character who would say that.”

And then I’m off thinking about a new novel and I start writing again !!!

In what ways has your life changed since you’ve become a published author?

Goodness…that’s a challenging question. Well, in some ways not at all. I still have to go to work and pay the bills. I still socialise, eat too much chocolate and run my theatre group.

In other ways it has changed enormously. I think being published finally gives you the confidence to believe in your writing. You start to think. “Well actually, maybe I can write. Maybe it wasn’t just a day-dream!” 

It also gives you the help a professional editor like Laurence from Crooked Cat who will look at your work honestly and critically, and help it improve. I think being published gives you to confidence to keep writing, to take risks and push yourself, and not to give up. It’s also improved my spelling and grammar enormously!

Finally….I think that there were some  people that I couldn’t mention my writing to before I was published, in case they looked at me kindly but pityingly in a way. As if I was a fantasist who was never, ever going to be published and was just deluding myself. There were some people who I would have felt embarrassed telling that I wanted to be a published writer. Now they don’t look at me like that .

What’s your writing goal for 2013?

I’d like to build up the D.C.I. Craig series and watch the characters develop. I have two more books in the pipeline which will hopefully come out next year. I try to do them in real time and use local events to anchor them in a time of year, for instance. ‘A LIMITED JUSTICE’ is set in October 2012 and published in October 2012. ‘THE GRASS TATTOO’ is set in December 2012 and out in paperback and Kindle on 11th December 2012. So next year should be busy!

                             BELFAST GETS A NEW CRIME FIGHTER

Belfast has a new fictional crime hero – Detective Chief Inspector Marc Craig, who has just made his debut in ‘A Limited Justice’, the first in a planned series of books by local author Catriona King.

Catriona is a doctor who also trained as a forensic medical examiner in London, and has brought that experience to bear in her debut novel, in which Marc Craig and his team comb well known Belfast streets in the hunt for a triple murderer.

The novel is published by Crooked Cat Books; an Edinburgh based publishing company is gaining five star reviews. 

‘A Limited Justice’ is the first in the series and Catriona hopes that her fictional detective Marc Craig might one day be Belfast’s version of Edinburgh’s Rebus character.

“I’ve always written for my own pleasure and, as I love reading and watching detective series, I had often thought of writing one. I’m delighted that the book is now out, and with the response it has received. In fact, I’ve finished the second book in the series. The series is rooted very firmly in Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole and has lots of local references. I hope that it appeals to readers of crime fiction and especially with local readers.

“I wanted to write a series set in 2012 and beyond, with a detective who reflects modern Northern Ireland. So Marc Craig was born.”

‘A Limited Justice’ is available in paperback and Kindle from , and

‘The Grass Tattoo’, which will be available in paperback and online on December 11th 2012.  

More about Catriona King

She trained as a Doctor and Police Forensic Medical Examiner in London. She worked closely with the Metropolitan Police on many occasions. In recent years, she has returned to live in Belfast.
She has written since childhood: fiction, fact and news reporting.  ‘A Limited Justice’ is her first novel and follows DCI Marc Craig and his team through the streets of Belfast in the hunt for the murderer of three people.
A second novel in the DCI Craig series is nearing completion.

Twitter @catrionaking1
Facebook: Catriona King

What question would you like to ask Catriona about? Please add your question to the comment box to be entered into the draw for a giveaway copy of A Limited Justice.

Thank you for being here, today, Catriona. My very best wishes to you. 


Tuesday 30 October 2012

Lovely reviews!

I've been very fortunate during the last few days. I'm delighted to have had a number of great reviews for The Beltane Choice, and I extend my thanks to all who have written them.

The most recent received was yesterday from kbWalker who has posted on amazon.

"...Although I like historical fiction, romance is not a genre I read much and the erotic beginning of The Beltane Choice wasn't my cup of tea but once the story lead me into the settlements, I was hooked. The sights, sounds, smells, homes, festivals and clothes of first century Scotland came to life for me and I warmed to the characters, especially grumpy old Tully. It made me want to find out more about what happened to those communities when the Romans came marching across the land."


Monday 29 October 2012

Monday Moments features The Rebel Wife by Donna Dalton

Monday Moments welcomes fellow Wild Rose Press author - Donna Dalton. 

Donna has many titles with The Wild Rose Press. Just released in digital form, from the American Rose line, is THE REBEL WIFE. It looks like a great read, especially so if you're a fan of Civil War romance! Copies are available now.

(Use the above link to move through to Donna's author page.)

When war correspondent Jackson Porter lies to a Union patrol to save a red-headed rebel, he gets something he never expected...a wife. But with her knowledge of corruption at the federal prisons, Louisa is his best chance to deliver the topnotch article his newspaper editor expects. The one thing Jackson didn't count on was a burning desire for his pretend spouse.

Louisa Carleton needs a miracle…even if that miracle comes in the shape of an arrogant, highfalutin Yankee. With her brother’s imminent death in prison heavy on her mind, she has no option but to join forces with the enemy.  Can she save her brother from a vindictive prison commander while still protecting her heart, or will Jackson stir dark memories she wants to forget?


Hardness replaced the sadness on her face. “With the soldiers looking for me, I need another way to get to Point Lookout.”
“You have something in mind?”
“Sure do.”
“And, pray tell, what is that?”
Her almond-shaped eyes gleamed like a cat with a fresh kill. “Apparently we’re married, so I’ll travel with you, Mr. Porter.”

Donna Dalton – BIO

Donna Dalton  uses the rich history of her home state of Virginia and the American Civil War to create action-packed, emotional romances. Her favorite pastime is to tour the many battlefields and museums and bring those places to life in her stories. She has four full-length historical novels published with The Wild Rose Press as well as several contemporary short stories. You can visit her at or on facebook at

Thank you for featuring today, Donna. My best wishes to you for lots of sales, and loads of happy readers! 


Sunday 28 October 2012

The I-spy Murders! What A Great Read!

I just finished reading The I-Spy Murders by David W. Robinson. This is the second of the series that I've read and have really enjoyed them. If you're looking for a cosy murder mystery set in England you'll love this one. 


My review:

Yet another great cosy murder mystery by David W. Robinson. The intricacies of the plot engage the reader right from the beginning of the tale. Yet again, the dialogue flows beautifully-though the irascible Joe Murray’s words are typically blunt and frank. The scenario of the Reality TV show is an intriguing one: the seclusion of the housemates thickening the murder plot. As a non-watcher of such shows I found the background camera information and set-up was explained well, and not too technical for a semi-technology challenged person. I didn’t laugh quite so much as with the first book in this series, but was not disappointed with the denouement as it unravelled at the end.  That Detective Hoad is very ready to accept Joe Murray’s help to solve the murder is made credible by the interaction which slowly builds between the two men. Joe’s a likeable grump even though he tries to appear differently. I really enjoyed the way David W. Robinson brings back a lot of the characters who appear in the first book of the series. I will definitely be reading the third in the series.

Saturday 27 October 2012

A brand new review for The Beltane Choice!

Just posted today- a brand new review for The Beltane Choice.

-From Layered Pages-

Thank you Lisl for such a wonderfully comprehensive review!  

Here's my favourite bit:

Nancy Jardine has woven a tale as complex as the Celtic knot that graces the book’s cover. Winding and illusory, readers may see one circumstance, but events intercede to disabuse us of any notion that this is a simple story. The endless and unified nature of the cover illustration reflects the events occurring in the lives of those in The Beltane Choice, individually and as humans who experience these occasions across time.  And, like the winding knot that appears as sheer simplicity but is much more beneath, the smooth passage from Nara’s entrapment by the boar to her ultimate choice, the author utilizes language in a way both straightforward and elegant. 

Check the link to see the full  review.

Thank you!

A huge thank you to everyone who made yesterday's Facebook launch party for my paperback version of The Beltane Choice such fun! 

The winner of my signed paperback of The Beltane Choice is 
**Jeff Gardiner**

The winner of an ecopy of The Beltane Choice goes to 
*Marsha Lambert*

My extra special prize for fun participant is
 ***Ailsa Abraham***

My thanks to all who participated.

I'm declaring today a rest day -sort of -since I'm going to an early bonfire fireworks party later today!


Friday 26 October 2012

It's The Beltane Choice paperback launch day!

*Today is the official launch day for the paperback version of The Beltane Choice.*

I have been looking forward to this day for a long time, really wanted to see this particular story in print, and it is happening today!

Most of the day I'll be popping in and out to the launch party on Facebook. Join us at

 I'm also over at Toni-Sue Versteeg today at:

Thursday 25 October 2012

Grace Hood is welcomed today!

 Coming Undone
Today I welcome fellow TWRP author, Grace Hood. 

She's got a fantastic update for us today about how writers can learn from others.

I’m just back from the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference, subtitled “Put Your Heart in a Book”, and I feel energized. Inspired.

It was a bit of a trek for me, since I live in Maine. Driving was out of the question (the traffic south of Boston would have been horrendous, and scary), and I don’t much like flying. So I took the train, along with two of my local RWA chapter mates. We had so much fun people-watching, and chatting, and brainstorming, and chatting. As soon as we got to our hotel, the real work began. All those friends to greet, all those dining and drinking plans to make – it was hard work, I tell you. Writing has got to be just about the best job in the world.

Susan Wiggs presented the pre-conference workshop, “From Idea to Printed Page”. I love her novels, the characters become so real to me. Luckily, one of our freebies was “Lakeshore Christmas”, a perfect book for the holidays. Her presentation dealt with building characters, giving them quirks and foibles. I thought Ms. Wiggs suggestion of becoming the character’s therapist was brilliant.

One of the best ways to meet people at conferences is to volunteer. I got to moderate the workshop given by Tasha Alexander, “Strategies for Effective Research”. She writes delightful historical mysteries, which require some amount of research, as you can imagine. Her first piece of advice – don’t get lost in the research! Do just enough to get grounded in your story world, then write the book. You can fill in other details during revisions. Her second piece of advice – don’t put every interesting detail you learned into your story. Your reader doesn’t need to know how medieval armour was fashioned, just that your hero was strong enough to wear it.

My head is still spinning from all I learned. The breakfast keynote speaker was Sabrina Jeffries, the luncheon speaker was Heather Graham, and we had readings from Mary Jo Putney, Susan Wiggs, May McGoldrick (the fabulous wife/husband duo of Nikoo & Jim), and Heather Graham.

Is it any wonder I’m energized and inspired?

I must say, however, that the best part for me was reconnecting with writer friends I see only at conferences. There’s nothing like hanging out with people who speak the same language, share the same fears and have the same (or similar) dreams.

What are some of your conference memories? Or if you haven’t been to one, what are you most looking forward to at your first conference?

 Blurb for Coming Undone:

Career-minded Lara doesn't find forty all that fabulous. Her carefully plotted path to success is on target and she isn't about to let romance derail her. Except the hot, new advertising whiz steers her libido into overdrive.
Ryan lives to shake companies up and do whatever it takes to meet his goals. But the saucy affirmation-chanting minx challenging him awakens a more carnal desire.
A battle of wills may be what she wants, but he intends to push her boundaries until her inhibitions come undone.

Buy link:

Thank you for coming with your exciting news, Grace. Being at a writers' conference is not something I've done, yet, but it sounds like something I should be doing.


Wednesday 24 October 2012

Another Waltz with Kathy Otten

I’m welcoming fellow TWRP author - Kathy Otten - today. She’s brought along a tantalising excerpt from her holiday historical romance novella - Another Waltz. And... we have a mini interview to get to know her, as well!  

Which 5 words might describe you best, Kathy?
Loyal, Procrastinator, Diligent, Considerate, Quiet

What would you be doing if you weren’t spending time writing?
Reading or scrapbooking.  I’m five years behind in my photos, and the only time I have to read is on the treadmill.

If you hit the big time and made lots of money from book sales, what do you think you would want to do?
I’d quit my day job and write more, hire an Amish girl to clean my house, and travel.

How many writing projects do you have just now?
I’m working on the synopsis the historical western novel I just finished. I have two novellas half done and I have a short story that needs a home. I’ve also started making notes for my next novel.

What fun things do you envisage doing in 2013?
In my writing life I’m going to be a workshop presenter in the spring. I have also made plans to attend a three-day writers conference, and attend an all-day workshop with Donald Maass. Hopefully I’ll also have a new book coming out.
In my non-writing life, I’m taking a trip to Vermont and plan to buy a new car.

This is such a beautiful cover, Kathy.

Another Waltz is my latest release from The Wild Rose Press. It is a sweet Victorian holiday novella.

Thanks Nancy for having me on your blog today.

I'm pleased to have you visit, Kathy! 

After a magical waltz in a winter wonderland with the only man who has ever made her believe she is beautiful, Madeline Winthrop doesn't think life could be anymore perfect--until the night of the Christmas ball when she learns everything James Sullivan has told her is a lie.
Revenge against Madeline's brother forces James to do what ever is necessary to get back what was stolen from him, even if he has to use Madeline to do it. But the one thing he doesn't count on is the way she makes him feel.


James chuckled. “I’ll come only if ye promise to waltz with me.”

Madeline bit her lip and said softly, “But I don’t dance.” He stopped. Unable to help herself, she looked up. A somber expression stilled his features. She tensed, expecting him to decline.

“Dance with me, sweet Maddy,” he said instead.
Then with no music but his laughter, he pulled her close and led her in a waltz, right in the middle of  the park while snowflakes drifted around them. His beautiful sapphire eyes sparkled as he gazed down at her, and Madeline glided over the snowy path as though she were skating. For the first time since the accident, she forgot her limp. The moments became magic as the snow squeaked beneath their feet, and her shy laugh joined with the deeper timbre of his. But her foot came down on his instep, and she stumbled to a halt in his arms.

“I can’t dance.” Her gaze fell to the beads of melted snow on the toes of her boots. “I’m clumsy.”

His index finger touched her chin, lifting her face so her gaze locked with his. Confused, she watched his sapphire eyes darken like indigo as his lids lowered, and he leaned close. A nervous laugh rose in her throat. For a moment she was twelve again, listening as her classmates whispered and giggled amongst themselves of handsome boys and stolen kisses.

Then his lips touched hers, warm and soft, and
pressed against her own. Her knees buckled, and she sagged against him. Her fingers dug through her mittens into the thick wool of his coat to keep from collapsing at his feet.

His mouth shifted against hers, and he nipped at her bottom lip. Not knowing what to do, she closed her eyes and mimicked his kiss. She inhaled his woodsy scent, her insides melting under the heat of his breath. The rough texture of his beard scratched her tender skin, but instead of pulling away, she ached to be closer, savoring the masculinity that was James.

He cupped her face, the leather of his gloves soft against her cheeks. His tongue teased the seam of her lips until she parted for him, and he delved into her mouth. Her tongue retreated from his at first then twined and tangled with his in their own unique waltz.

He pulled away, and she blinked up at him in a daze. His chest rose and fell as his breath escaped his parted lips in wispy clouds. He shook his head and smiled.

“Ye are not clumsy, Maddy. And when ye are in me arms, ye’ll glide around the room like a swan.”

Her heart leapt. “Oh, James, it sounds so wonderful, but...”

“We’ll dance all night. I’ll not be giving ye up to anyone else.”

“People will talk.”

“Let them talk. I want to marry ye.”

Madeline gaped at him stunned. Surely he was teasing. “But I’ve known you less than two weeks.”

“Marry me, Maddy, and we’ll dance every night for the rest o’ our lives.” James offered her a lifetime with his smile, and because she ached so desperately to believe he loved her, she said yes.

Thank you for visiting, Kathy. Best wishes with sales of Another Waltz. 


Tuesday 23 October 2012

Aela is interviewed about Nairn Malcolm.

It's Nairn Malcolm, from Take Me Now,  
who is in the spotlight today.

He’s the gorgeous man who features highly in TAKE ME NOW. The excerpt gives you an idea of what he’s like, and Aela Cameron adds a little bit more.

Unadulterated vigor oozed from every last bit of him—overall a dangerous concoction. Something stirred way-down-low inside Aela again. He was a real honey, and the bee in her wanted to be very sticky.
Her mind whirred. The man bore a vague resemblance to the ruggedly handsome thirty-two year old Nairn Malcolm of the internet photograph, but would the blonde limpet in the recent celebrity snapshot want to curl herself around this forbidding wreck of a man? Aela thought not. She wondered, though, if his blank expression was caused by current circumstances, or if this was his normal demeanor, since he hadn’t been smiling in the photograph either. 

With the high granite wall as his backdrop she could easily imagine this man lording over the castle, ruthlessly challenging any invaders to his domain. Taking any woman he wanted? Now there was a thought she was happy to entertain. A tiny smile broke free. Tamping down her crazed imagination she re-assessed him.
What had the guy been doing to get himself in such a state?
Who was he?

(Aela Cameron, from TAKE ME NOW, is being interviewed a few days after she starts to work for Nairn Malcolm.)

It would be great if you could tell us how you first got to know Nairn Malcolm.
Hey! Isn’t he dreamy? But no-one in the world could have called him beautiful when we first met.

How can anyone not call him handsome? Look at that photo of what he looks like…mmm…he’s one lovely hunk of man with those mesmerizing blue eyes.
Yeah! He does have the dreamiest eyes, doesn’t he? On that ruggedly good-looking face of his! Normally, you’re absolutely right. He’s the most attractive guy I’ve ever met, all six and a half feet of him. Makes my leg muscles wobble just thinking about him. Can you imagine what it might feel like to be enveloped by all those muscles of his? But, picture this? The day of our first meeting was exactly three days after his motorbike accident!

Ahh. So he was pretty bashed up?
Absolutely, although I couldn’t help but see there was one striking man below the mess. He’s just my type of guy, all rugged and gorgeous.

Did the two of you hit it off immediately?
No way! He wasn’t best pleased that I laughed at his injuries. He thought I was far too flippant. I think I was the last person he wanted to be sharing an office with.

That doesn’t sound very subtle. So, how did you manage to get the job?
I’m the least subtle person in the world! He didn’t want to hire me at first but, you know…Oh no. you’re not worming it out of me like that!  You’ll have to go to the book for more details.

Did nobody else want to work for him?
Well, even before his accident he needed a new Personal Assistant. Nairn’s got a lot of different businesses to run, but he couldn’t get anyone who wanted to live in his castle, on a lovely little Scottish island, called Lanera.

What? They didn’t want to live in a castle? That’s hard to believe. How come there wasn’t a queue of candidates beating down the doors to get the job?
Hah! No queue at all, from what I’m hearing. Nairn only had a couple of candidates, before me. They liked the idea of working for him, but they wanted to permanently base themselves in London, and that isn’t suitable for a whizz-around like Nairn Malcolm.

So he won’t want you to work at the castle all the time then?
Even after only a few days I’ve learned he’s always on the move. All over the place: and I’m so excited about it! We’re going to London, Barcelona, Paris, Oman…the Caribbean…and loads of other places.

So, you don’t mind being on a Scottish island… and travelling the globe really appeals to you?
Absolutely! That’s the perfect bit of the job! As a gal from Vancouver, the Scottish climate doesn’t bother me at all, and since I adore flying and sailing, the job is totally heaven for me. Now, of course, he doesn’t just need office assistance. His little accident means he needs someone competent to ferry him and his plaster casts all over the world…and that person is ME!

Did it take Nairn long to realize you were the best candidate, then?
You know, that’s a whole new scenario! You’ll just have to read those pages to find out more…though I will tell you I could get to like that guy a lot.

So, do you see yourself as being his assistant for quite a while?
Never!  This is just a temporary job, for a few weeks, before I head back to Vancouver…


Nairn Malcolm’s looking for the impossible. He needs a highly skilled, enterprising aide who’ll be at his beck and call 24/7. No ordinary Jane Doe will do. He doesn’t expect the only candidate who drops in at his Scottish castle for an interview to be so competent…or so stunning.
Aela Cameron’s got exactly the right mix of talents to satisfy all Nairn Malcolm’s needs, and more. She loves the jobs he needs done, adores his castle, and finds his frenetic lifestyle energising. But she’s only looking for temporary: not to fall in love with the man.
Can Nairn convince Aela she’s tailor-made for him in every way…and not a passing fancy?    


Watch my Take Me Now Youtube trailer:

Take Me Now is available from: 


Monday 22 October 2012

Hywela Lyn comes to Monday Moments

Monday Moments is delighted to welcome my friend, fellow TWRP author, Hywela Lyn. Today she's featuring her novel: 

Dancing With Fate

(Cover art by Miss Mae)

A Greek Muse’s life changes for ever when she meets a legendary character with a mindblowing destiny, in Celtic Wales

When Terpsichore, the Greek Muse of Dance, is assigned to revisit 5th Century Wales, and help the people regain their love of dancing, her task seems simple enough. She is unaware there is a hidden agenda. Before she can return to Olympus her path crosses that of the mysterious Myrddin, and her heart is lost.

But Myrddin is promised to another. His mind is set on the dangerous task that lies before him, and the woman he has sworn to save. Nevertheless, he cannot deny the growing attraction between him and the beautiful stranger he meets along the way.

Terpsichore and Myrddin face a deadly force that threatens to part them forever.  Is there nothing she can do to save him? Finally, when all seems lost, in desperation she finds herself DANCING WITH FATE.  

The glowing red sparks appeared a few hours before dawn. Terpsichore looked across to where she could just make out Myrddin, lying close to the fire, apparently asleep. She stood and wrapped her brat around her shoulders. What unearthly lights were these? In the name of Hades, she had never seen anything like this before. She watched them as they advanced and retreated, advanced and retreated. They seemed to beckon to her. She walked forward a few steps. This was not natural. She sensed evil, but of a kind she had never come across before.

She tried to turn her head, to look away and move back to the fire. Some force compelled her to keep staring at them, to move forward. Further and further from the campfire she wandered. The air grew chill and she pulled her brat more closely around her. The flickering lights gyrated in a wild dance, inviting her to follow them. Dawn was approaching. In the dim early morning light, she could make out demon faces, red glowing eyes, hands outstretched, with flames at their fingertips.

She recoiled in horror. Somewhere in her subconscious, she knew she was in deadly danger, but still she moved forward. They summoned her to follow and she could not help but obey. She tried to call to Apollo, and her father, but her mind was numb. She could reach no one on Olympus.

“Myrddin!” No sound came from her lips. Still, a strange unearthly power obliged her to walk forward toward those eerie, mesmerizing points of light.

Purchase Links:
YouTube Trailer link  -

Lyn is Welsh and very proud of it, although at present she lives away from her beloved homeland, in a small village in England, surrounded by pretty countryside. She loves horses and dogs and has two horses of her own, Harri and T'pau, and a rescued Jack Russell terrier, Bouncer.  Harri is featured in 'Dancing With Fate' along with Lyn's little endurance Mare Sal, who sadly has now gone over the Rainbow Bridge.

Hywela and Lyn are her first two names and when she was first published she decided to use them both and drop her surname, since she's always been called `Lyn' and thought it was time her Welsh first name was used. Being easily confused herself, Lyn thought she should explain this to avoid confusing everyone else! (And unlike her muse, she has no skill at dancing at all.)

Wishing you the very best, Hywela Lyn, and thank you for featuring today...

Sunday 21 October 2012

Friday 19 October 2012

Lisamarie Lamb comes visiting

'she said, he said...' welcomes Lisamarie Lamb today. I'm delighted to find out more about my fellow Crooked{Cat} author, and about her writing.  

Lisamarie tells me she has:  
...short stories included within many anthologies, including all three of Angelic Knight Press's Satan's Toybox series, the unique100 Horrors from Cruentus Libri Press, Skeletal Remains from Rymfire, and The Memory Eater from Matthew Hance LLP. I have more stories awaiting publication in other anthologies. 

Recently published is a story in Crooked Cat's Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror- Volume Two. (All royalties to international charities)

As well as writing for other people's publications, I have self-published a horror novel (Mother's Helper), and a collection of short stories (Some Body's At The Door). I have another 60 stories (mostly flash fiction) which I will be publishing in one collection by the end of the year. 

Lisamarie showcases her flash fiction on her blog

I have recently completed the editing on an anthology of stories set in and around the Isle of Sheppey in Kent (A Roof Over Their Heads).

1.      Do you write in only one genre, or for one particular age group?

My first love is horror; it’s what I enjoy reading, and has been ever since I first discovered Stephen King’s The Shining when I was thirteen. So when it came to wanting to write, horror was where I started. I have strayed from the path a few times – I’ve tried my hand at romance, at children’s writing, at historical fiction, but I always come back to horror, in one of its many guises.

2.      Can you tell me about you latest release, please?

My latest release is Some Body’s At The Door. It’s a collection of fourteen short horror stories. Each of the stories deals with the main character’s greatest fear – although how they deal with their fears changes from story to story. Some embrace it, some try to run, and some fight it, but I have to say there are no happy endings in the book.

3.      Were there any triggers which led to the plotline for Some Body’s At The Door?
Each story has its own distinct genesis. For example, in ‘Escape Route’ I saw a picture of a bright red tree against a dark grey sky. The image stayed with me, and it looked so alien that I decided to create a story from the one idea. In ‘Pull The Plug’ the main character is afraid of the monster that lives in the drains underneath his bath – his grandmother told him they were there. Well, my grandmother told me a similar story when I was little, although I thought it was a fun fairytale, whereas poor Paul Colenrook takes it seriously. ‘Diverted’ is about someone who simply can’t get where she needs to be. I went to visit my mother, and ended up driving around in circles trying to get to her house as both ends of her road were closed! It took an hour to drive what would normally take two minutes from the bottom of her road to the top, and to keep my sanity I created the story as I tried to work out the confusing diversion!
4.      Character names - do they just pop into your head as soon as you start a book?
I have terrible trouble deciding on names. I used to spend a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect combination of first and last names, or a name that would actually mean something, and add a hidden depth to the story. I don’t do that anymore. Instead I used a baby names book. I open it randomly and pick the first name that I see, assuming I haven’t used it before. As for surnames, I use the old phone book, again opening it at a random page. Much quicker and easier, and the names tend to suit the characters anyway.
5.      What's your biggest writing related challenge in the coming year?
Getting it all done! I have so many ideas (there are currently seven unwritten novels on my laptop, and numerous story ideas) that sometimes I feel rather overwhelmed by it all. I sometimes find that I feel guilty for not working on a novel, and writing a short story or piece of flash fiction, or even a blog post, instead. My new goal is to write 700 words on the current novel each day. Once that’s done, if I have time left over, I can move onto something else. If I don’t restrict myself, and flit from piece to piece, I’ll never get anything finished!
6.      What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write?
Definitely the middle. It’s because I’m impatient. The beginning of a book usually comes to me before I write the entire plot – I mean I write the first few chapters without knowing where I’m going. Once that’s done, I tend to plan the rest of the book. Often, the middle changes as I go along and new ideas occur to me, but the ending, once I’ve come up with it, very rarely changes. So the middle is fluid for one thing, and that’s hard to keep track of at times. And also, because I know the ending, I just want to get it written. 
7.      What are you working on right now?

My current novel is called At Peace With All Things. I have just finished the final edits, and have submitted it to one agent. Fingers crossed! This one feels special to me. It took longer than usual to write (two years) and I put everything into it. It’s about a boy – Jude – who tries to escape his violent past by running away to London. It doesn’t work out as well as he had hoped, and is in fact what might be described as a tragedy. It’s not a horror in the traditional blood and guts sense of the word, but it’s certainly a story intended to make the reader uncomfortable and, as usual with my writing, there is no happy ending. I’m now considering writing a sequel. 

Somebody's At The Door can be purchased from: and here:

Some Body's At The Door is a collection of 14 tales to chill the soul and to haunt the mind. Duncan Kennedy thinks he is alone in his hotel room. But who is knocking at the door? A woman wants to win. . . at any cost. A little girl refuses to grow up, and a little boy isn't allowed to. Paul Colenrook believes a monster lurks in the plughole. Maybe he's right. He probably is.

Excerpt from:  Some Body's At The Door:

The man was still there. He was closer. Now about halfway up the corridor, still staring at Duncan’s room, still standing, slightly slouched. Except ‘standing’ wasn’t quite the right word. His feet, encased in shiny but clearly cheap shoes, hovered a couple of inches above the ground, his toes pointing towards the dismal carpet. And ‘staring’ wasn’t exactly accurate either. Because although his head was inclined in Duncan’s direction, it was facing downwards, and he was looking more at those shiny shoes than anywhere else.
            Duncan recoiled from the door as though he’d been shot. That wasn’t right. That man wasn’t right. He couldn’t be floating. Not unless… But no, Duncan wouldn’t allow himself to get caught up in ghost stories. It was a trick of the light. He stepped towards the door once more, listening to his hard beating heart, trying to slow it through deep breathing. He looked again. The man was closer. Almost at the door now. And there was no doubt for Duncan that he was heading to his room.
And something else struck him then, something else rose to the top of the terrified thoughts and imaginings that were rapidly filling his mind – it (not ‘him’, not ‘he’, not anymore) was wearing his suit. And the shirt too. Grey suit, black shirt, cheaply made, cheaply bought. The tie was different, but other than that… Duncan surprised himself by giggling at that. How embarrassing, the ghost and I, we’re dressed the same! And then he was laughing uncontrollably, high pitched and breathless. His stomach rumbled aggressively which set off a new roll of giggles for no reason Duncan could ascertain. When he could no longer breathe at all he stopped laughing, fought for breath, succeeded.

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Thank you very much for visiting today, Lisamarie. I wish you the very best for your writing career.