~Blog Tour~ The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup by Angie Smith~Ellen’s Review

Hello everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup by Angie Smith and she’s sharing her review with you all.

About the book:

China teacup 1.1

Arms dealing. Murder. Corruption.

In Africa, Taylor Hudson reaches the stark realisation that she is in imminent danger. Time is nearly up when, out of nowhere, she is thrown a lifeline.  Left with little option, she places her trust in a complete stranger. But who is this stranger and why the interest in saving her?

The answers lie 6,000 miles away, deep inside the British Secret Intelligence Service, where a former, disgraced, senior officer is attempting to work his way back into the heart of the organisation. But what are his real intentions?

What ensues is a deadly game of bluff, double-bluff and triple-bluff. Can The China Teacup survive this time?

The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup by Angie Smith

About the author:

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Angie Smith, having recently survived locally advanced breast cancer, discovered that her lifelong desire to write had been rekindled. Consequently, her love for international crime thrillers became the springboard to the creation of the highly acclaimed CXVI Trilogy.

Her passion for travelling to exotic places greatly inspires her work. A recent trip to Southern Africa inspired her fourth novel, The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup.

Angie, born in 1961, was educated at Huddersfield University where she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Education and Training. She was nominated for an award on her knowledge transfer partnerships work, during which she co-produced and presented a journal article at the International Social Work Conference in Durban.

Ellen’s review:

I’ll be honest and say I have never read an espionage/spy thriller as I never thought they’d be my “thing”, so was intrigued to pop that particular cherry with this book by Angie Smith. I do have the CXVI trilogy on my kindle to read and apparently there are characters from that series that appear in this novel, I did not feel I had missed out and it didn’t affect my enjoyment.

This book transported me from my dreary, cold reading spot in West Yorkshire to the beautiful white beaches of South Africa; Angie has obviously put a lot of research into this area. There are a lot of prominent roles and I did get a little lost at the beginning with who was where and what they did. Once I got into the swing of it I really started to relish all the twists, turns, bluffs and double bluffs. In fact I think there were some treble bluffs in there at some point!

My favourite person was Stephany Pascal and I was annoyed on her behalf when she was met with such wariness and scepticism, especially when this was mainly from the other female players Taylor and Zoe. They seemed to be particularly harsh on her and it really irritated me! My second favourite was Daniel Shepherd – a man of many faces and talents.
I enjoyed my first taste of espionage brew and wouldn’t hesitate to read more. Four stars.

Catch up wiith the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Review~Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty

Hi everyone,

Today I’m going to be reviewing Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty as part of the blog tour, with thanks to Orenda Books. I read and loved The Evolution Of Fear by Paul E. Hardisty so I was thrilled to be able to read the follow up.

About the author:

Paul Hardisty

Canadian by birth, Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation research programmes. He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia with his family.

About the book:

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Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Buy the book:

Out now in ebook, and out in paperback on May 30th, you can pre-order your copy by clicking HERE.

My thoughts:

Reconciliation For The Dead is the latest instalment in the Claymore Straker series and I swear these books keep getting better and better. Filled with hard-hitting and emotive subject matter, they evoke such a wide range of emotions in the reader from beginning to end.

In Reconciliation, Straker is in the midst of Apartheid Africa where he has to testify to the Truth and Reconciliation Comission. During his testimony, he recounts what happened in the lead up to his dishonourable discharge. What follows is an often harrowing and unflinching recollection of one of the toughest times Clay has experienced .

There is something a bit special about these books. Paul Hardisty has the ability to make the reader connect with his characters, and none more than Clay. The reader is inserted into the story right alongside him, feeling both fearful and hopeful at the same time. In the middle of war-torn Africa, we are brought right into the heart of it, through the superbly constructed and wonderfully evocative prose. Every puff of stifling heat, every step in the arid and harsh climate is almost tangible to the reader thanks to the author’s writing.

I don’t want to give the game away on this one. There are so many subtle nuances and vignettes that the joy of this book is discovering them as you read it. Paul Hardisty has written a tense and haunting book, showing the depths of human depravity and the lengths at which people to go to protect what they believe in.

I cannot recommend it highly enough. 
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~Blog Tour Guest Post~ Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Hi all,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler and I’ve got a guest post on What Not To Do When You’re Writing by the author. I recently read and enjoyed the book too, you can catch my review here!

About the book:

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The worst thing that ever happened to you
And no one believes its true . . .

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.

The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The choice he forces her to make is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

 

Guest post:

What Not To Do When You’re Writing.

Prepare yourself to go bonkers when you’re writing and safeguard yourself against embarrassment, injury and costly accidents. Make sure your mind is free of the plot when doing the following; otherwise people who know you may consider that you would suit a white straitjacket:

Never think about the plot when you’re filling up your car at the garage, otherwise you could end up putting petrol instead of diesel into the engine. If you do, however, do this – DO NOT TURN ON THE ENGINE!!

Don’t forget about routine appointments to the dentist or doctor, and if you do remember you have an appointment, please make sure you present yourself to the correct professional – the dentist will not wish to carry out a smear test on you.

When shopping, especially in January, if you have to think about the plot, it is advisable to take only a shopping basket and not the extra-large trolley. Otherwise you will fill it! Pay for the goods and have to explain why you bought an electric barbeque for your garden which doesn’t have an electrical outdoor socket.

Never book a holiday unless your mind is completely focused, otherwise you may forget that you have been there before and not only did you not like it, but your kids didn’t either. They will delight in proving to you that you have been there, no matter how much you deny it, by showing you the evidence of their all-inclusive photo ID, dated the year before.

Don’t forget to pick the kids up from school and if you do, have a very convoluted reason – the dog got out and ran for three miles before you got hold of him! Don’t tell the teacher this excuse in front of the kids; otherwise they may remind you that you don’t have a dog.

Never ever think about the plot when your husband is talking to you about his job. Never call him by one your characters and if you do accidently rename him, just make sure it is the name of the handsome, but diffident, hero of the story.

Lastly, never forget your age. But if you do, make sure it’s a year older! So that when you end up back in the same holiday destination, the one you didn’t like, to the same hotel, the one you definitely didn’t like, and your kids start questioning your memory, you discover that you have been thinking for whole year that you are a year older! Best holiday ever!

 

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~Blog Tour~ Need You Dead by Peter James

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Need You Dead by Peter James and I’ve got a character profile to share with you all. First though, here’s the all important bookish information!

About the book:

Need You Dead. HB. High Res Jacket.jpg

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape her marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, even those you consider closest to you may not be who they say they are, and a chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything.

When the body of a woman is found in the bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first, it looks like an open and shut case but Grace is hesitant as ever to make assumptions and as the investigation lengthens so does the list of men with motives for killing Lorna.

As well as dealing with one of his most mysterious cases yet, Grace must cope with an unexpected new addition to the family. His existence may have only just been discovered following the death of Grace’s ex-wife, but ten-year-old Bruno is moving to Brighton to live with his Dad.

As the case unfolds, with each possible conclusion as tantalisingly plausible as the next, a sudden turn of events reveals the case to be more sinister than Grace could ever imagine.

Need You Dead, the thirteenth in the award-winning DS Roy Grace series by Peter James, is out 18th May (Macmillan, £20.00)

Need You Dead (Roy Grace 13) by Peter James

About the author:

Peter James author photo.jpg

PETER JAMES is one of the UK’s most treasured crime and thriller novelists. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold over 18 million copies worldwide in total. The series is now published in 37 territories.  Peter’s Roy Grace novels, have had 11 consecutive Sunday Times No 1s. In the Autumn of 2012, Not Dead Yet toppled the 50 Shades Of Grey trilogy off the No 1 paperback fiction slot, ending its 25 week domination of the chart and in May 2015, You Are Dead, derailed The Girl On The Train’s 3 month chart domination going straight in at No 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller charts.  ‘Love You Dead’ in hardback was Peter’s eleventh Sunday Times No 1 bestseller and Peter’s first non-fiction title ‘Death Comes Knocking’ written in association with Graham Bartlett, Head of Sussex Police was published in July 2016, scoring Peter a hat trick of titles in the Sunday Times charts within a month.

 

Peter’s novella, ‘The Perfect Murder’ (2010) went straight in at No 1 in the iBooks chart and spent 40 consecutive weeks in the iBooks Top 10.  It was adapted into a play called The Perfect Murder which did its first, smash hit tour starring Les Dennis in 2014 and is touring again with Shane Ritchie and Jessie Wallace in Spring 2016. The original run was followed by the play of Dead Simple in 2015, starring Tina Hobley and Jamie Lomas which was an equally big success during its 6-month nationwide run. Not Dead Enough, the third of Peter’s books to be translated to stage, is currently touring the UK to critical acclaim, starring Shane Ritchie as Roy Grace and Laura Whitmore as Cleo Morey.

 

Peter, an established film producer, was educated at Charterhouse then at film school. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino. He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, is Patron of Neighbourhood Watch nationwide, Patron of Crimestoppers in Sussex, Patron of Brighton & Hove Samaritans, and Patron of Relate, among many other charitable posts he holds.  Peter has been two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and has won many literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger and he was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.  As popular internationally as in the UK, he won the US Barry Award, for Best British Crime Novel in 2012.  Last year, 2015, he was voted by WH Smith readers as The Best Crime Author of All Time.

 

Born and brought up in Brighton, Peter divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and Sussex. Peter is available for interviews and to write features. Find out more about Peter James at www.panmacmillan.com and Peter’s website www.peterjames.com and follow him on:

 

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/peterjames.roygrace

Twitter. http://twitter.com/peterjamesuk

Instagram: https://instagram.com/peterjamesuk

YouTube: You can subscribe for free here: www.peterjames.com/YouTube

Person of interest: Character profile:

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~Blog Tour~ Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant~ Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant, and she’s sharing her review with you guys along with a story from the authors! First though, here’s all of the bookish information you need to know!

About the book:

Disenchanted cover.jpg

Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding.
Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister?
Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn?
Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her in
to her happily ever after.
Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.
Buy the book:
Ellen’s Review:

I’ve been in need of something fun to read recently, so when I was given the chance to review Disenchanted I was quick to offer my services. I have read and loved the Clovenhoof series and knew that I was guaranteed giggles galore.

 

Before we get to me actual review, I have to mention the cover which is absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of the Zap lollies I used to get from the ice-cream van as a child; totally lickable!

 

Now to the story – I was not disappointed in the slightest: snorts/giggles and guffaws aplenty. This twisted fairytale was absolutely on my humour wavelength. At one point I lost the plot over the word shepherd’s pie and it’s still making me laugh to think about it!  I loved Ella’s no-nonsense attitude and her refusal to accept the “happy ever after” ending that her intimidating fairy godmother has planned. It is difficult to pick a favourite character as they all had a certain charm but if pressed I’ll go for the talking teapot with potterycide on his mind, Grandma Rose for her tough Yorkshire outlook (I’m Yorkshire born and bred myself tha’ knows) and I’m a little worried that I may have peculiar feelings over a certain Mr Wolf….

 

An unconditional five stars for this intelligent and hugely entertaining book. I look forward to the next from Heide and Iain!

Short story:

Heide and Iains latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale fantasy comedy was
written with no small assistance from Dr Epiphany Alexander of Sheffield Universitys Department for Folklore and Oral History. As an insight into the research material used to create Disenchanted, we present one of Dr Alexanders letters to the author duo.
My Dear Friends,
I came home from my trip to Leeds to find a copy of your book,
Disenchanted, on my doormat. The
artwork is delightful and the jacket text suggests a very, um, eventful narrative. I
m sure I will love it
and will no doubt be able to give you a critical opinion when we
meet a week on Saturday. It is my
habit to read in the rear study perhaps with a round of cucumber sandwic
hes and a pot of tea. Pak
Choi, my loyal retainer, brews a superior dandelion tea but is, sadly, no
help with the sandwiches (its the cutlery; his folk cannot abide the cold touch of iron). H
owever, I realise now that such niceties
as tea and reading will have to wait for the time being as I must be off again tomorrow.
[Pak Choi has drawn a superior picture of my usual tea]
As I say, I came home to Sheffield to find your book on my doormat
but, in all honesty, I was more
distracted by the vellum parchment I had brought home with me. Its
gruesome origins
notwithstanding, it was a peculiar piece, covered as it was with writing in
a precise hand but of an
ink that had faded to almost total
illegibility. There was little of it I could make out but there was a
clear mention of Langs Black Fairy Book and that alone was enough to send me all aquiver.
I am sure as amateur students of fairy tales, you are aware of the Victorian scholars incomparable
work in collecting and categorising fairy tales. His twelve
coloured
books of fairy tales are well-
known and widely published but I had only ever heard scandalous and dark rumours of this
thirteenth volume. The only other word I could truly make out in the text was
domunculus
which,
whilst seeming tantalisingly familiar, was unknown to me.
To clear my head and perhaps inspire thought, Pak Choi and I took a walk. My house backs onto
Wardsend Cemetery, home to the final resting place of a Lakota Sioux who died in
the city while
performing with Buffalo Bills Wild West Show. There is a local story about how the ghost of the
Sioux flagged down a train and thereby prevented a collision with a derailed coal t
ruck but, delicious
though it is, my research into the matter traces the story back to no
earlier than 1973 and an
argument between two drunken Sheffield Wednesday fans in the Masons Arms. This is how
fairy
tales are born.
We cut through the cemetery, past the Trebor sweet factory and down to the banks of the River
Don. There is a veritable forest of fig trees growing along the Don towards the east of the city. The
trees are hardly native. As best anyone can tell, their roots
not their literal roots, dear friends
are
the fig roll factories that dotted the area. However, used to a Mediterranean climate, the original fig
trees were only able to grow because of the hot water being continually
pumped into the Don by the
riverside steel works. Pak Choi and I did not make it as far as the fig trees but when we do, I always
try to spot any flowers on the trees, just like Dunzfel in the old
Eastern European tale.
The Six Tasks of Dunzfel appears in Langs Lilac Fairy Book. It is one of a broad range of fairy tales in
which the poor protagonist
in this case, a young man who wished to marry the princess
is forced
to undertake a number of seemingly impossible tasks. In Dunzfels case, the tasks are to fill a barrel
of water from a well using only a sieve, to state the number of hairs on the kings head, to hold his
breath from one year to the next, to collect a posy of a thousand fig flowers, to weave a carpet from
spider
s silk, and to summon all the wolves in the world. Dunzfel achieves most
of these by cunning
(he plucks a hair from the kings head and tells him he has one less hair than before and holds his
breath just before midnight on New Years Eve) and through the assistance of animal friends (who
line his sieve with moss and find a thousand of the elusive fig flowers fo
r him). The request for a rug
of spider silk is answered with sarcasm (Dunzfel presents the king with a twig and
says he will weave
the rug on a loom fashioned by the king from the twig). The king waives
the final task, seeing that
Dunzfel has completed the other five and not wishing to have all the wolv
es in the world turn up on
his doorstep.
We returned home in good spirits –
Pak Choi once again regaled me with the tale of why he had set
fire to the Trebor factory in the early seventies (it is said that the ferocious
fire that consumed the
mountains of sugar in the factory created a burned toffee smell across the city
for weeks)
only to
find that our house had been burgled! The downstairs rooms were in some disarray. Furniture had
been overturned, drawers ransacked and items thrown from shelves. Anything and every
thing of
value or interest had been taken. You will be pleased to hear that my copy of your book was
untouched. But, most alarming of all, the vellum parchment I had placed at the very back of the desk
drawer had been found and taken. Pak Choi thought this most suspicious.
I was suddenly reminded of the French tale of Rum Baba Boy. Perhaps the recollection
was caused
by the sight of the destruction of my home, coupled with Pak Chois talk of sweet factories
.
Rum
Baba Boy is a curious variant of the gingerbread man story, except in this instance, the young
protagonist is not made from gingerbread but alcohol-soaked pastry. The poor,
drunken creature
spends nearly the entire narrative running through the city, crying
lack-a-day, lack-a-day, who will
find a cure for my malady?
Rum Baba Boy runs through the houses of Paris, looking for a cure for
his drunken madness. He ransacks the home of a baker, a doctor, a lawyer, a priest
and a merchant.
Only when he reaches the poorest part of the city does a stray terrier offer him a
cure for all his ills
and gobbles him up. Unlike the gingerbread man, Rum Baba Boy does gain
some form of revenge
from beyond the grave; the terrier, intoxicated by the rum-soaked cake, falls i
n the Seine and
drowns.
[here is a picture of a drunk terrier falling into the Seine]
The human mind is
a
curious thing; the recalling of that story reminded me where I had encountered
the word
domunculus
before. I gave a sudden shout of
Bunty Jangles!
which, I can assure you, is
not something I shout out often. I followed it with a shout of
I must go to Uttoxeter!
which is
something I shout out even less.
While Pak Choi packed a small valise for me, I telephoned for a taxi-cab. T
he young man who came
to the door had a bit of a terrier look about him and his not insi
gnificant eyebrows put me in mind of
the hotel-boy I met in Leeds. But we shouldn
t judge people by their appearances, should we?
I am taking my copy of your book with me and shall read it as I go
on this little adventure of my own.
I will write again,
Yours,
Dr E. Alexander
Dr Epiphany Alexanders latest book,
Get Your Head Out Of The Clouds: Why Jack Shouldnt Have
Climbed That Beanstalk
is currently available from Sheffield Academic Press.
Heide Goody and Iain Grants novel, Disenchanted, is available now from Amazon.

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~Blog Tour Q&A~ Blue Gold by David Barker

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Blue Gold by David Barker which is published by Urbane Publications on May 11th.

About the book:

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The near future. Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat – a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow.

When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission.

Freda’s misgivings are well founded when their first assignment ends in disaster – a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture. Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires’ tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust?

As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon – and protect the future of ‘blue gold’

Pre-order your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

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David was born in Cheshire but now lives in Berkshire. He is married to an author of children’s picture books, with a daughter who loves stories. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time.

David’s writing ambitions received a major boost after he attended the Faber Academy six-month course in 2014 and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students. He loves reading, especially adventure stories, sci-fi and military history. Outside of family life, his other interests include tennis, golf and surfing.

 

You can find out more about David and his writing on his website – head to WWW.DAVIDBARKERAUTHOR.CO.UK or on Twitter @BlueGold201


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Berkshire with my wife and daughter. I have worked in the City as an economist for the past 26 years. Oh, and we have three pet rats.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. Even if it was just economic analysis, I always wanted to write clearly and engagingly. When my daughter started asking me to make up stories at bedtime, my imagination began to spread its wings. After a feeble attempt at a first draft of my novel, I attended the Faber Academy and used that as a springboard.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My job involves trying to predict the future all the time, so a setting that drew on those trends seemed an obvious place to start. But I also care deeply about the planet, so a novel that helped raise awareness of global water shortages and explored the possible dire consequences of these trends seemed like an exciting and worthwhile tableau. Blue Gold is a thriller set in the near future during a world war for water.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

I aim for something that’s exciting and fast-paced, hopefully with some humour to lighten up the darker themes. Using two authors who influenced me a lot when I was growing up, Frederick Forsyth meets Douglas Adams might be an unusual combination that sums up what I aim for.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

For sure, yes, especially for publishers like Urbane that don’t have the huge publicity budgets to aim for traditional media exposure. I’m a bit of a luddite, but I recognize that people are changing how they interact with each other and with their hobbies or pastimes. It’s vital for new authors to do everything they can to improve the discoverability of their work.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

I love the act of creating something new. My geekish tendencies enjoy the research involved in writing about diverse subjects. And then being able to turn that dry material into kindling to fire somebody’s imagination is very satisfying.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

The harsh reality that it’s a saturated market and difficult to get noticed.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

It would be fantastic to think that my debut novel (plus sequels) might bring pleasure to enough readers that I get a bit of a following. I would hope that by 2022 I will have come up with a new theme to start writing about, and that my skills as an author will have continued to develop.

 

What’s next for you?

The sequel to Blue Gold, which is called Rose Gold, is already well into its third draft and is due for publication with Urbane in May 2018. There’s a sneak preview of the first chapter included at the end of Blue Gold. After that, I can tell that my characters need one final instalment before they are finished with me, so hopefully part three will be ready by May 2019.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

I try to read as much as I can, but doing two jobs and making time for family and a bit sport leaves precious little free time. I’ve upped my reading this year and have managed 3 books a month so far. Thrillers, sci-fi and fantasy are my three favourite fiction genres, while in non-fiction I love military history.

 

Can you tell me your all-time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

It would be tough to choose between Douglas Adams’ Hitchikers’ Guide and his Dirk Gently novels for the top spot. He was a genius. One of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novels – The Watchmen or V for Vendetta – might come in third. Frank Herbert’s Dune and Tolkien’s The Hobbit would round out the top five.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is brilliant, a perfect example of a hugely important topic treated light-handedly. Scout’s changing relationship with her father is beautifully rendered and used delicately as a setting to deal with racism.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I still work three days a week in the city. I attend a local reading group and engage with other writers at Vanguard readings in South London once a month.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

I love playing tennis, golf and surfing. I’ll happily watch films, old and new as a way to unwind in the evening.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

My wife’s not keen on flying or hot weather. So we spend most holidays in Devon. But Iceland is never too hot and only a three-hour flight away. It’s a fantastic venue for experiencing glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes (hopefully inactive!), geysers and so much more.

 

Favourite food?

Pretty basic stuff: I love beans on toast and a sausage sandwich, while a Roast Chicken with all the trimmings is hard to beat for a Sunday treat.

 

Favourite drink?

Jasmine tea if I’m being healthy and a pint of ale when I’m not.


Huge thanks to David for answering my questions! Make sure to keep up with the blog tour:

*Blog Tour* Watching the Bodies by Graham Smith

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Watching The Bodies by Graham Smith, along with Abbie from Bloomin’ Brilliant Books. I’m sharing my review with you all today!

About the book:

Watching the Bodies

When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.

As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive.

Watching The Bodies by Graham Smith

About the author:

Graham Smith Author Pic

Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

He is the author of four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team and one book, WATCHING THE BODIES in a new series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

Links:

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My Thoughts:

I’ve read a couple of Graham’s books before, so I thought I knew what to expect when I started reading Watching The Bodies. I was wrong! Firstly, WTB is set in the USA so extra points from me as I love a good thriller from across the Atlantic! Secondly, the author has introduced us to Jake Boulder. I love a good macho/manly character, the Jack Reachers, the John Miltons of the world, and now, Jake Boulder is definitely another one for me to follow.

Boulder is tasked with investigating the death of Kira Niemeyer alongside the Police Dept and what he discovers, nobody was prepared for. There is a serial killer at work, and they have some seriously twisted methods of killing up their sleeve. It is literally a pick’n’mix as to how the killer selects the method, as they are selected from a jar filled with ways to kill. However, the victim selection is far more unusual. I’ll leave you guys to read that for yourself. Tis a good ‘un though!

I read Watching The Bodies really quickly. It’s the kind of book that you don’t want to put down as each turn of the page makes the reader say “one more page and I’ll stop”, and for me especially, I end up devouring the book super-fast! WTB was no different!

A belter of a start to a series. High stakes cat and mouse games with a twisted killer and a really likeable protagonist. Definitely one to add to your TBR if you enjoy fast-paced action with plenty of twists and turns!

Highly recommended!

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