Tag: Blog Blitz

Blog Blitz: Fractured by Billy McLaughlin

Today I get to kick off the Blog Blitz for Fractured by Billy McLaughlin!  I will be sharing the Prologue with you and there will be reviews later this week on the tour!

Book Description:

Ellie Caldwell lives in constant fear. Two deadly events in her life have left her forever traumatized. One, she relives in her nightmares. The other, so devastating she has completely omitted it from her memory. Once more she’s staring into the face of death. Locked up in a psychiatric ward, she finds herself accused of murder. She’ll have to run for her life if she wants to save it…

Marissa Hall lives in a constant battle with her inner voices after she was left with devastating burns on her face. In her mind, as she descends into madness, revenge is the only way of evening the score. She’ll have to destroy someone else’s life to take back her own…

Two women’s lives will intertwine as one’s quest for truth faces off with the other’s lust for revenge.

Book Trailer for Fractured:

Pre-order Fractured here.
Publication day: August 31st
 209 pages

Prologue:

A red ribbon of blood slithered toward the toppled chair and broken table.

On the visible side of the kitchen, a body lay in a flattened heap, while a naked flame had burned up in the large pan on the five-ringed range. Flames flickered orange against the walls of winter grey. A clock ticked in unison, marrying the sound of crackling embers.​

The scent of burning flesh was like charcoal round the rim of her nostrils. She ran her tongue along her crusty dry lip, the taste of devoured Rioja rested on the tip of her tongue. She couldn’t remember drinking the bottle. Nor anything that had happened afterwards.​

A glance in the mirror, its silver frame draped in a black, ornate foliage design, her ghostlike reflection pale and listless from shock.​

She forced herself to move forward. Just one step.​

The world slowed down. She felt numb. A flash, not exactly a memory but a snapshot of something horrid and almost forgotten. Her mind was frantic, her exterior perfectly poised and fashioned into the epitome of calm. When she looked back into the mirror, she saw nothing more than the frame of a mannequin in the window of a shop.​

She eyed the outside world at the far end of the kitchen. Where had daylight gone?​

Dread rattled; a ball of vomit forming in her gut and rising toward her chest. She threw her hands to her mouth and killed off a scream. Her eyes blinked frantically. She wanted to call his name. Maybe if she said it loud enough, he would hear her and open his eyes. Her legs began to quiver, almost as if they were no longer her own and she couldn’t control them.​

As she gripped the frame of the kitchen door, she saw something move at the corner of her eye. A hand. Someone else was there. It crept slowly from behind the breakfast bar. It was then the woman realised she and her husband weren’t alone. The clock continued to tick. She could no longer hold it back. The scream she had fought so gallantly to muffle finally exploded and rang through the air.​


About the Author:

Billy McLaughlin is the author of the Glasgow based DI Phil Morris series. Opening with the #1 thriller ‘Lost Girl,’ he followed it up with ‘In the Wake of Death‘ & ‘The Daughter‘. Work on a fourth DI Phil Morris entry is now underway.

His novelette ‘Invisible‘ first arrived in March 2016 to rave reviews and was then followed by stand-alone novella ‘The Dead of Winter‘ and the award-winning ‘Krampus‘, a novelette released to raise money for an illness called NKH.

Boasting nearly 20,000 downloads in 2 years, McLaughlin unleashes his seventh release ‘Fractured‘ on 31st August. The story reveals the fate of a character who previously graced the pages of his work, whilst spinning an entirely new twisted tale about two traumatized women who seek vengeance.

To see more information on future releases, please see his Facebook Page or contact him via email.

**Jessica’s review of Invisible is here.**

Contact Billy:
Email: billymclaughlinbooks@gmail.com
Twitter @bilbob2

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Blog Blitz: The Serial Dater’s Shopping List

Today I am taking part  in the Blog Blitz for The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey.  Today Morgen will be sharing about the characters in this novel!  Bombshell Books is the publisher.

Book Description:

31 days. 31 dates.

Izzy is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a Northampton newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month, and writing about it for the paper.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.

Follow the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’, whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’ Jake.

By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?

A laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.

The main cast…

Our protagonist, Isobel ‘Izzy’ McFarlane, is fairly like me, so much so in fact that my brother calls The Serial Dater’s Shopping List my autobiography! Izzy’s just turned forty – slightly younger than I was when I wrote it, 5’10 –as I am, and quite quiet. She is, however, not timid and gives the guys she meets – who are weird and mostly not so wonderful – as good as she gets.

Through other threads within the novel, the reader meets her family and colleagues – including Izzy’s best friend Donna, and their boss’s fifty-year-old African Grey Parrot ‘Baby’ gets a few mentions.

The ‘dates’ – the main male characters other than Izzy’s boss William and colleague Aunt Agnes (Keith) – were mostly in a Word document of notes I’d built up over the previous months. I could have just picked one to be our ‘hero’ but they were so quirky that I wanted to include them all. I then needed a woman to meet them but she had to have a reason to meet so many in a short time so a journalist popped into my brain, as did Izzy’s name. Having grown up with the aforementioned (geeky) brother, I gave Izzy a technology column, and part of her remit is to create an online dating profile, something I’m (too) accustomed to doing.

Because it’s Izzy’s ‘job’ to meet these men, and while she is single and would like to meet ‘Mr Right’, she’s fairly self-assured and remains quite aloof of her situation, reminding herself that she doesn’t have to get involved when on some occasions it could have been easy to let go.

Apart from its location – Northampton, England, I’m not aware of any dating novels that have quite so many characters. We get to meet most of them only in their chapter so, like someone we talk to at a party and never see again, we get an impression of them – favourable or otherwise, some staying in our minds for longer – and then we (Izzy) move(s) on.

There are few children in this story. Those featured include colleague Karen’s sons (who often test games for Izzy), one of the dates’ sons, and Izzy’s niece, Lola. Lola’s lovely, and so clever. I don’t have children but I have a family next door with a young daughter. While I didn’t base Lola on her, she’s actually now what I imagined Lola to be.

As for the men that Izzy meets, they are definitely quirky, although she quite readily finds fault with many of them, and in most cases rightly so. They say clothes ‘maketh the man’ and two of the most memorable are Nigel the day-glo cyclist, and Eddie the colour-blind traffic light. We also have Tim who eats a ‘platter for two’ as a snack, the complete opposite of so-thin-he’s-hidden-behind-a-pillar Lawrence, and Hunky Dunky, Izzy’s first date. Of course there are more ‘normal’ characters but, just like life, no-one’s perfect.

A story is made up of three main elements: characters, setting and plot. Some may disagree but, to me, characters are the most important. You can have a fascinating plot and / or beautiful or intriguing setting but if the reader doesn’t care what happens to Joe or Joanne then the rest doesn’t matter. We’ve put them up a tree and are throwing rocks at them. How they stop us and get down is why the reader turns the page. Add in a thunder storm or kitten on a branch they can’t reach, then it adds further tension – there’ll always be more than one problem in a novel – and another resolution that the reader will be pleased they stuck with the story to reach.

Characters are rarely representative of one person. Most of a writer’s friends will think – so hope or even ask – that the characters are them, especially the good bits – but we watch television, we listen to the radio, we live life. Always have your notebook, dictaphone or mobile phone handy to capture the bus driver’s, little old lady’s, or screaming child’s traits – you never know when they might make the perfect character.

Who’s your favourite character from another author’s story? Who’s your own?

About the Author:

Morgen Bailey – Morgen with an E – is a multi-genre author, freelance editor, writing tutor, Writers’ Forum magazine columnist, blogger, speaker, and Northants Authors co-founder. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates, RONE, BeaconLit, BBC Radio 2 and Althorp Literary Festival short story competitions. She also runs her own free monthly 100-word competition and is a forthcoming Flash 500 judge.

Contact Morgen:

Websites:
Author
Editor
Tutor
Blogger
Speaker

Twitter @morgenwriteruk
Facebook

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Blog Blitz: Merciless by Heleyne Hammersley


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.

Book Description:

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.

Contact Heleyne:
Website
Facebook
Twitter @hhammersley66

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