Today I am one of the spots on the blog blitz for Merciless by Heleyne Hammersley. The publisher is Bloodhound Books. The publication date for Merciless was yesterday, June 1st! Today I will be sharing in her own words how Heleyne’s writing evolves in its own way, but still has similar themes.
Two murders. One missing girl.
DI Kate Fletcher is called out to a freezing canal where a woman’s body is found floating in a lock. With no identification, the police struggle to piece together the details of the woman’s life.
In Thorpe a daughter confesses to the murder of her father. She says she helped him escape a painful death from liver cancer, but was her role more active than she claims?
As Kate and her team investigate, the links between the two cases are inescapable and everything seems to lead back to the disappearance of a teenager years earlier.
Then the main suspect vanishes….
Can Kate connect the events of past and present to bring the culprit to justice?
I never intended to write psychological fiction. I’ve always loved reading thrillers and chillers but I never really felt that I had it in me to write one – let alone two. I’ve written comedy, romance and even tried a bit of young adult dystopian adventure but I’d always steered clear of anything approaching suspense and crime. When I started to write ‘Forgotten’ it wasn’t really about what had happened to my central character as much as what was going to happen to her. It was about her identity and her ability to rebuild herself. The crime elements seemed to fit perfectly with that quest for self-knowledge.
My second novel ‘Fracture’ – published by Bloodhound Books on October 28th – is perhaps a more traditional thriller. It has a murder, a detective, a suspect and a few twists and turns. But, again, it is much more than that. At the heart of the story is the central character’s need to establish her sense of self and not become lost in somebody else. Again the traditional crime elements seemed to fit perfectly around the character’s emotional and physical journey.
I’ve started writing a series of more traditional police procedurals – Merciless is the second – and these are somewhat different from my first two novels. There are a couple of murders, a team of cops and a villain. Yet, unintentionally, that theme of self-discovery and identity is lurking again. The main character has returned to her childhood home after many years away and is forced to confront how her early experiences shaped her and added to her identity. In Merciless the villain is also shaped by her past and is forced to confront who and what she has become.
I’m currently working on the next novel in the series and again, I’ve found out that one of my characters has issues surrounding his identity. He was adopted and, while he is aware of this, it isn’t something that he’s shared with his colleagues – mainly because he doesn’t want them to know the identity of his birth mother.
I taught English for many years and one question that students asked again and again was ‘Did the author really put all this stuff in this book/poem/play deliberately or are we just looking for patterns and themes and seeing what might be there?’ The honest answer? I don’t know. I don’t think I’m obsessed with identity and self-discovery yet up it pops up in a lot of my writing. I know who I am, I know where I’ve been and what has shaped me so where does this recurring theme come from? I’m sure a psychotherapist would charge me a lot of money to give me the answer but I’m equally sure that I probably wouldn’t agree with his/her assessment.
And that’s what I love about writing. Sometimes my characters do things that I wasn’t expecting, sometimes the plot takes a turn that I didn’t plan for and often, it seems, I stick to a theme even though I’m not consciously aware that I’m doing so.
About the Author:
Heleyne Hammersley is a British writer based in Cumbria. She writes psychological suspense thrillers and crime novels.
Heleyne has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called ‘Give Them the Works’ when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool.
When she’s not writing, Heleyne can often be found wandering on the fells or in the local park with her dog.
Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for The Forever Night Stand by Bena Roberts. This is a short novella at just over 100 pages!
A two hour romance which starts with drama and mayhem!
Sara has her back up against the wall. She is recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy and at her own “cancer free” party, she makes a decision that will change her life forever.
The adventure begins when she leaves her posh lifestyle in Scotland and moves in with her Bollywood loving parents, in West London. Her parents are tragically ashamed of Sara’s actions and her electronic monitor. She decides to make them happy again and considers re-marrying.
Enter Raj, a possible hero who comes with the promise of a huge Indian wedding in Goa!
George, the childhood love of her life who seems to be hanging around every corner. Or should she just go back to her husband? Sara faces the biggest dilemma of her life, after making the colossal mistake of her life. What will she do and whom will she choose?
The Forever Night Stand
Author: Bena Roberts
Published: March 19, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 7-10, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
The description of The Forever Night Stand had everything in it that would interest me: cancer, a decision that changes everything which includes a court case. And there are also two points of view (George and Sara) in this novella- and by now you know I love multiple points of view.
I liked the acknowledgements section: You know what kind of life circumstances will be occurring with this novella. Roberts’ lets you know that she experienced chemotherapy and obviously took her personal experience and added it to Sara’s.
Roberts does pull you in from the beginning with the court case which did interest me! I love a good court case! Once the court case ends is when the story gets moving. Sara ends up moving back home with her Indian family and begins trying to move on. It gives you some insight what Indian families can be like!
The Forever Night Stand ended up not being for me. It was nothing on Roberts’ end, it really was me: I just did not connect with the characters. If you don’t connect with the characters the story won’t work for you. At the end where the meaning of the title comes in would have been an “Awww!” moment if I had connected with Sara. Though not for me, The Forever Night Stand could be for you. I would also be willing to give Bena another chance and read another one of her writings!
About the Author:
Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.
Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as ‘home.’
Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was ‘top 50 most influential woman in mobile.’ Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.
Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.
Bena’s favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining.
Also written by Bena Roberts:
Available Now: My Cake! A short story
Pre-Order Tammy&Lisa – How far would you go to protect your teenage son? Publication Date is May 31st.
Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas! This was a fun children’s book which I also learned from! There is also a giveaway going on for those in the UK.
Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.
The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.
London Hat Hunting Mission
Author: Winnie Mak Tselikas
Published: November 18th, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: May 20, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
London Hat Hunting Mission is a fun and charming learning experience for children and adults! Being an American I don’t know anything about London and I had no idea of the extreme diversity that is in the city! This book was an enjoyable learning experience for me!
Our main characters are dolls of different ethnic backgrounds. They are Hope, Jun, Lea, and Parth and they end up going on a journey to help their friend Mr. Globe feel better. They are real dolls and the pictures of the dolls show them going all over London and along the way they learn a lot, including some words in foreign languages!
This is a great learning tool in so many ways: Learning about diversity in the ethnicities and cultures that represent London. We also get to go on a trip around London and there is even a ‘Hat Hunt Map’ showing where the dolls went. I liked how there is a difference in the font to emphasize the learning aspect of where the dolls go and what the reader will learn.
I don’t have children but I highly enjoyed this children’s book. I would love to see where the dolls go next!
See Winnie Mak Tselikas and the adorable dolls:
About the Author:
Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London. There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US. Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture. Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.
It’s time for a Giveaway!! Win a hard cover book and one doll of the winner’s choice (UK only)
*Terms and Conditions – Please enter using the Rafflecopter box. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]