~Blog Tour Q&A~ Simon Booker Kill Me Twice

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Simon Booker’s latest novel, Kill Me Twice and he has kindly answered my author questions! More on that in a bit, first though, the all important bookish information!


About the book:

Karl Savage is dead.
He must be. His ex, Anjelica, is in prison for murdering him in an arson attack. Multiple forensic experts testified to finding his charred remains.
So when Anjelica begs investigative journalist Morgan Vine to prove her innocence, it seems an impossible task. It doesn’t matter that Karl was abusive. That Anjelica has a baby to care for. That she’s petrified of fire. The whole world knows Karl is dead.
Then he turns up outside Morgan’s window . . .

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Author and screenwriter Simon Booker writes prime time TV drama for the BBC, ITV and US TV. His credits include BBC1’s Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Holby City and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries starring Diana Rigg; ITV1 thrillers The Stepfather and The Blind Date; and Perfect Strangers, the CBS romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Anna Friel. He has written many plays for BBC Radio 4, worked extensively as a producer in television and radio and as a journalist.

Without Trace was his debut novel, the first in a series of psychological thrillers featuring Morgan Vine, a single mother and investigative journalist who specialises in miscarriages of justice.

Simon lives in London and Deal. He is a volunteer facilitator in Restorative Justice, working with offenders at HMP Brixton.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?


I write prime time TV drama for BBC and ITV (Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Mrs Bradley Mysteries etc), and now books – thrillers featuring single mum and investigative journalist Morgan Vine.


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


I started writing for The Observer when I was 15, and have been writing ever since. Journalism, radio plays, TV drama, films, books, shopping lists….


Where do you get your inspiration from?



My fave answer to this one so far!!! 

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


I’ll leave that to thriller genius Simon Kernick, who says: ‘Simon Booker’s fast-paced, twisting thrillers are a must-read for anyone who loves a good page-turner.’


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


It’s an essential part of the mosaic of promotion, Every little helps.


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


Having written.


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


Guilt over not having written.


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


Still going strong, I hope. Books and TV.


What’s next for you?


A new book project I can’t say much about and a new TV project I can say even less about. Sorry.


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


I read crime to know who’s doing what, but I read a lot of other genres too and, unusually for a bloke (or so I’m told), I read a lot by women. I’m mad about Elizabeth Strout, Maggie O’Farrell and am currently loving Lottie Moggach’s new book UNDER THE SUN


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


Breakfast At Tiffany’s; Travels With My Aunt; Olive Kitteridge – will 3 do..?


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


See above.


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

Feeling guilty because I’m not writing.


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


My partner is also a crime writer (Mel McGrath – Give Me The Child is her new one). We live in London but also have a writing bolt hold by the sea, in Deal, Kent, so long blustery walks are a regular feature of life. Otherwise, we spend a lot of time indulging our cat, Minou.


What’s your favourite holiday destination?


Wherever is next in the diary, I’ve never gone on a safari but very much want to see animals in the wild.


Favourite food?


Fresh dressed crab


Favourite drink?

Depends. Red wine, or a nice cuppa


Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?


I can’t do anything else.



Huge thanks to Simon for answering my questions, and to Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre for making it happen! Make sure to follow the blog tour:

KILL ME TWICE by Simon BookerBLOG TOUR.jpg

~Blog Tour Guest Post~ Mike Thomas @ItDaFiveOh @BonnierZaffre #Unforgivable

Hi everyone,

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Unforgivable by Mike Thomas and I’ve got a great post from Mike for you all to read a little further down. First though, here’s all the bookish information you need to know!

About the book:


Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation. 
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside. 
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . . 

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.

Out now from Bonnier Zaffre, click  HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Mike Thomas 1

Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff ’s busiest neighbourhoods in uniform, public order units, drugs teams and CID. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

His debut novel, ‘Pocket Notebook’, was published by William Heinemann (Penguin Random House) and longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year. The author was also named as one of Waterstones’ ‘New Voices’ for 2010. His second novel, ‘Ugly Bus’, is currently in development for a six part television series with the BBC.

The first in the MacReady series of novels, ‘Ash and Bones’, was released August 2016 by Bonnier Zaffre. ‘Unforgivable’, the second in the series, is released in July 2017.

He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife and two children.

Follow the author on Twitter at @ItDaFiveOh. More details can be found on the website http://www.mikethomasauthor.co.uk



The Writing Process


Some writers like to have a set routine. Some can’t operate unless they do the same thing day in, day out. You know, bounce out of bed at six in the morning, make a coffee then type away until noon, not stopping until they hit their word count target. Then it’s some lunch and social media and rewriting other stuff and finally a late evening stroll, possibly wearing something corduroy.

My writing life, in comparison, is chaotic. I’ve moved house half a dozen times in the last seven years, and within each new home I – for various incredibly tedious reasons like decorating and family coming to stay and that one time I got electrocuted – have had to constantly move ‘office’. As a result, I don’t really have a fixed writing place – at the moment it’s a desk in the corner of my bedroom, which is handy for rolling from under the duvet to my chair – never mind a ‘process’. It’s more of a very rough and ragged list of things I need – or need to do – in order to get a few words out. No writing-based profundity here, I’m afraid!

So here they are, in all their glory.


  • I always aim for one thousand words each session. I stay there and type until I hit my target. It might be sunny outside and ripe for a walk. Netflix might have dropped a new episode of Orange is the New Black. I might not have argued with anybody on Twitter for at least an hour. I KEEP WRITING. All that fun stuff can come later.
  • I turn all notifications off. Everything. Gong noises and whoops and alarms sounding plus envelopes and red dots popping up everywhere is just distracting, like having toddlers tugging at your ankles every five minutes, demanding attention. Off they go. Sometimes I forget to turn them back on, and lose followers on Twitter. Sorry everyone.
  • Tea. I like tea. Lots and lots of tea, piping hot with two sugars to help bring on Type 2 Diabetes when I reach fifty. This is a holdover from my policing days, when we used to drink urns of the stuff in the nick then laugh and laugh as our stomachs burbled and wobbled while we wrestled with drunks.
  • A window. One with a nice view so you can turn from the screen for a quick break and stroke your chin while thinking Fancy Writing Thoughts, or perhaps whether you should get a haircut as it’s a bit long (fact: I once spent an hour mulling this over). Anyway, I live in Portugal, and until mid-June this year I had a lovely view of bright blue sky and red roof tiles and shimmering eucalyptus trees but then the whole bloody country caught fire so now I get to see ash and charred tree trunks disappearing into the distance. Which is nice.
  • I cannot keep writing a single, hugely lengthy document such as a novel manuscript, typing new scenes and chapters as I go. I get completely lost, and as I am also incapable of using ‘writing software’ such as Scrivener, this is the only way I can do it: I write the chapters separately, working and reworking them until I’m completely happy they’re not utter rubbish. It is only then that I add them to a ‘first draft’ of the manuscript. In other words, they don’t get in the club unless they’re good…
  • I have a particular way of formatting the page – chapter headings, scene breaks, font (Times New Roman, every time) and so on. I can’t write if it’s not right. This will come across as a tad weird and borderline OCD, but I simply cannot create, darling, if things aren’t perfect. What I really mean is, I try to replicate the look of a novel, even if the MS is in its embryonic stage. It just helps me along a little, knowing what the thing will look like when – if – published…
  • I like to work on the latest novel in the afternoon. I am awful in the morning, a complete waste of space – staggering around, grumbling and unable to form a coherent thought, never mind sentence. So first I work on my other job as a writer-for-hire, doing travel pieces and ‘The Best Bartending School in Brisbane’ type articles. It pays the bills, and it also gets the rusted cogs turning in my head, so by the afternoon I’m raring to go for several hours. Or to stare out of the window at toasted countryside.
  • See the above regarding Scrivener. Several years ago my wife, oh so hilariously, told me she’d purchased a Scrivener subscription to help me write my debut novel, ‘Pocket Notebook’. Turned out to be a long roll of wallpaper lining where I could ‘do’ flowcharts and other plot-related stuff, using the handy set of pencils she’d also bought. But the last laugh was on her, because I now use it every time I begin to prep a new novel. I hang it – crammed full of flowcharts, bullet points, scribbles and thoughts – on the wall right in front of my desk in the bedroom, which is terribly unsightly and drives her mad. That’ll learn her, eh?



Many thanks to Mike for this great post, and to Emily at Bonnier Zaffre for having me on the tour! Make sure to check out the rest of the tour too! 🙂

Unforgivable_Blog Tour_Twitter cards_Two (1).jpg

Dads and Daughters~ Guest post from Caz Frear

Hi everyone,

Today I have a great guest post from Caz Frear, author of Sweet Little Lies. Now before I get to that, I need to share the all-important bookish information!

About the book:

Sweet Little Lies


In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.


In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT

Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Caz Frear

Caz Frear is the winner of Richard and Judy’s Search for a Bestseller and Sweet Little Lies is her first novel.





There’s a scene I cut from Sweet Little Lies where Cat is standing in a shop on Christmas Eve, agonising over which Christmas card to begrudgingly buy for her dad.  It was one of those scenes that I absolutely loved working on but something wasn’t quite sitting right so I cut it out, put it back, cut it out, put it back, and so on, until I finally realised what the problem was, and it was so simple – much as the scene had lots of dark comic potential, Cat would never buy her Dad a Christmas card, not even to keep the peace with her sister.  I mean, let’s be honest, she’s not exactly full of greeting-card sentiment for him.


It got me thinking though about dads and daughters, about the complicated, hard-to-articulate relationships that women can sometimes have with their fathers – relationships that don’t exactly fit with the artificial sentiments poured down our throats by the greeting-card industry every Christmas, birthday, Father’s Day, etc.  Incidentally, I’m writing this as Father’s Day fast approaches so it’ll soon be me dithering in Clintons/Paperchase/the slightly crap card section in my local off-licence, over what conveys if not exactly the perfect message, simply one that isn’t cloying and patently untrue.


Because what if your dad isn’t the ‘Best Dad Ever!’ by generally perceived standards?  What if he isn’t ‘The King of the House!’ or your ‘All-time Hero!’?  What if he lacks humour and doesn’t appreciate a jokey card that reminds him how you regularly rinse him of all his money/’borrow’ his car keys/test his patience.  What if he tests yours?  Taps you up for money?  Crushes your self-esteem with his sneery disapproval for every life choice you’ve made.


*Disclaimer – my dad is an absolute rock-star, one of my favourite people to hang out with, and he does none of the above, and yet….and yet……it’s complicated, as a lot of dad-daughter relationships are.  Anything too slushy or complimentary of his parenting skills feels a bit phoney, to be honest.  And the jokey cards never strike the right tone either.  They all seem to reference a) golf, gardening or gadgets which is SO not my dad or b) the fact that he’s inferior to Mum in just about every way – which isn’t in great humour when you take into account they’ve been divorced for the past twenty-five years!


So what would the ideal card say?  


‘Dad, you’ve f*cked up a bit but haven’t we all, don’t worry about it!’  


Ultimately, I think mine would say,


“I am me and you are you, and neither of us will change much now which is fine.  I love you.”  


I think this is what I was aiming for at the end of Sweet Little Lies.  It felt too big a jump for Cat and her dad to reconcile fully, but it was important for her to accept that dads are rarely ‘All-time Heroes.’   Instead they’re human and they’re flawed and capable of misery-making as much as the next person.  I knew I definitely didn’t want a happy ending for them, as such, just for Cat to be ok with the fact that their relationship is complicated and probably always will be.    


Because complicated doesn’t have to mean fraught.  And it doesn’t have to mean non-existent.  It just means accepting that ‘The Most Flawed Dad Ever!’ can still be ‘The Best Dad Ever!’ if you’re prepared to accept him for who he is, rather than who Mr Clinton and Mrs Paperchase tell you he should be.

 Catch up with the blog tour:



Q&A with David Jackson #HopeToDie

Hi everyone,

So, Hope To Die has been on my TBR and I am working my way to it, but I didn’t reach it in time for publication. But I do get to have David Jackson answer some questions for you guys today! 🙂

About the book:

Hope to Die

On a bitterly cold winter’s night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city’s Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage.

Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic – no-one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder.

And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever closer, and – still bearing the physical and mental scars – it’s all he can do to hold onto his sanity.

And then the killer strikes again . . .

Buy the book:

Hope To Die by David Jackson


Q&A with David Jackson:

Jackson, Dave

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I think I have a split personality, and both halves of me may sound a little unsettling. By day I play the mad scientist, where I breed, evolve and mutate computer programs. By night I play God, populating fantasy worlds with people who are forced to do my bidding (mwahahaa!)


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

No, it never crossed my mind to be a writer until a few years ago. I’ve always loved reading, though, and writers’ lives fascinate me. One day, feeling bored, I thought I’d give it a whirl. I began with short stories, and that’s when the bug took hold and refused to let go.


Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere and everyone. There are certain writers I admire, and they influence my style, but the inspiration for stories is all around. I think it’s a question of looking at the world in a certain distorted way. You take life as it is, and then you knead it and twist it and stretch it until it becomes the stuff of a story.


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

Fast paced, but with the focus on character. I do my utmost to make my characters feel real to the reader, and that goes for minor characters too. I have also been told that my writing is very cinematic and visual. (That’s a hint to any TV companies reading this).


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

Yes, I think it can. There is only so much a lone author can do, but the right push from a publisher can really help to spread the word. Especially important these days are the book bloggers and reviewers, whose enthusiasm can create quite a buzz.


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

I think it has to be the enthusiasm of fans. There aren’t many things we do in life that stirs up fascination in others, but being an author is one of them. There is nothing nicer than receiving an email or a comment from someone who has read and loved one of my books.


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

Idiotic reviews.


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

I try not to have unrealistic expectations. I don’t expect to be rich or famous, but I’d like to see a steady progression. I’ll be more than happy if people are still enjoying my books and I still enjoy writing them.


What’s next for you?

You’re the first to ask, so you get the scoop! I’ve just signed a contract with Bonnier to produce two more Cody books. ‘Hope to Die’ is only just coming out, but I’m already really excited about book 3 (more to the point, so is Bonnier!)

*EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!* I am so excited!!!!


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

I don’t think you can be a half-decent writer unless you read a lot. I read all kinds of things, fact and fiction. To give you an idea, I’m currently reading ‘Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough, but I’ve also recently read a history of World War II, a biography, a book on Shakespeare, and a James Bond novel.


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

I think it would have to be ‘Cop Hater’ by Ed McBain. McBain’s 87th Precinct novels were a huge influence on me, and the whole series occupies pride of place on my shelves. ‘Cop Hater’ is not the best in the series, but it was the first, and so deserves singling out for that reason.


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

There are so many, but perhaps ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler. The writing is superb, of course, but what I really love about the Marlowe books is the humour, which can be a tricky thing to pull off. A wonderful example is at the start of the novel, where Carmen says to Marlowe, ‘Tall, aren’t you?’ and he replies, ‘I didn’t mean to be.’


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

As I mentioned above, I have a day job, so with that and the writing, very little of my time is spare. What there is of it, I devote to my family.


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

I love a good walk, a good meal, and a good movie. A perfect day for me is one that contains all three.


What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Again, so many, for very different reasons. I think I’d have to plump for Canada, which seems to have everything and does it in a civilized way.


Favourite food?

Fish, particularly shellfish. I make a mean prawn curry.


Favourite drink?

A nice silky-smooth pint of bitter.

Big thanks to Dave for answering my questions today. It’s always great having you on the blog!

A Tapping at my Door by David Jackson


*Blog Tour* Corpus by Rory Clements

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Corpus by Rory Clements and I get to share my review with you all! Here’s the all-important bookish info first though!


About the book:

Europe is in turmoil.
The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland.
In Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror.
Spain has erupted in civil war.

In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead in her Cambridge bedroom, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers.

In a London club, three senior members of the British establishment light the touch paper on a conspiracy that will threaten the very heart of government. Even the ancient colleges of Cambridge are not immune to political division. Dons and students must choose a side: right or left, where do you stand?

When a renowned member of the county set and his wife are found horribly murdered, a maverick history professor finds himself dragged into a world of espionage which, until now, he has only read about in books. But the deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he wonders whether the murders are linked to the death of the girl with the silver syringe – and, just as worryingly, to the scandal surrounding King Edward VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson…

Click HERE to get your copy!

My thoughts:

I feel I need to start this review by admitting that I don’t generally read historical fiction as a genre, it’s just not something I have ever gotten into so when the opportunity arose to read and review Corpus as part of the blog tour, I threw caution to the wind and said why not!

Corpus is also a crime thriller though, albeit in an era that I wouldn’t be used to reading about. I found it to be quite engaging as it flowed quite well. It was relevant to the time period and political events that were happening at the time too.

With all of the political intrigue and some gruesome murders in there, the reader is drawn into the story early on and, along with the characters, goes on quite the journey between the pages. I won’t go into the details of the plot, but it did go in directions I wasn’t expecting .

Corpus is quite rich in history and detail within the plot, so there are many threads to follow. The author has done a great job of weaving it together cohesively and the end result is a highly intriguing read.

If you are a lover of historical fiction, then Corpus is definitely a book to add to your list!


Make sure to keep up with the blog tour:


*Blog Tour* Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Hi everyone,

Absolutely thrilled to be on the blog tour for Evil Games by Angela Marsons today and I have a fab guest post for you all! First though, here’s all the bookish info you need:

About the book:

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time – it’s personal.

Out on Jan 27th and published by Bonnier Zaffre, click HERE to get your copy!


About the author:

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.


And now, read on for Angie’s brilliant guest post…

Writing about a Sociopath


I have always been intrigued by the sociopathic personality and their ability to hide in plain sight.  The Sociopath is charming and clever and unencumbered by the ties of human relationships.  It is difficult for normal emotionally driven people to imagine being able to act and behave any way or do anything without the fear of remorse or guilt.


When Evil Games was first submitted to publishers it was rejected primarily because the character of Alex was deemed ‘not believable’ and I was asked to soften her up, give her a weakness, a vulnerability.  I had to refuse as this was my whole point of writing the book and my wish to represent a sociopath factually.  


It is true that not all sociopaths are murderers but they all want what they want.  If a sociopath wants the sandwich you’re eating they will care nothing for simply taking it from you.  It is what they want and see no reason why they shouldn’t take it.


My favourite scenario that demonstrates the true nature of a sociopath is this.  Imagine looking in your purse and having only enough money for a morning coffee or your child’s lunch at school.  A sociopath will choose the coffee.  When questioned later the sociopath will apologise profusely claiming that tiredness, stress, forgetfulness was the reason for the oversight.  A true sociopath would be able to induce sympathy for their plight because as normal people, we would find the idea of it being a deliberate act completely intolerable and would therefore make excuses.  ‘She couldn’t have chosen coffee over her child’s lunch’. ‘It must have been a mistake’.  This is the reason sociopaths move unnoticed amongst us.


An intriguing misconception is that sociopaths want to ‘get better’. But they are not ill.  Sociopathy is not a mental illness and can not be treated.  A conscience can’t be taught or surgically attached.  Additionally, sociopaths don’t feel at a disadvantage by being free of human connections and bonds.  They have no frame of reference.  It is like trying to explain the colour of the sky to someone who has never had the gift of sight.


I deliberately chose the sociopath in Evil Games to be a woman as this goes against every preconception we have of loving and nurturing and yet there is no evidence to suggest there are less female sociopaths than male.


In Evil Games I was eager to explore the relationship between Alex and Kim.  Both strong and intelligent women who can not help but be fascinated by each other.  I wanted a real psychological cat and mouse game where each is constantly trying to outwit the other.  The scenes between the two of them were amongst my favourite scenes to write as I often had no idea how they would go.


I have received more messages about Alex than any other character except for Kim.  People are both repelled and fascinated by her at the same time.  And as her creator I am no different to anyone else.

Huge thanks, as always, to Angela for this fascinating guest post!

Make sure to keep up with the blog tour:

Evil Games Blog Tour.png


*Blog Tour* Tell Me A Lie by CJ Carver

Hi everyone,

Today I’m delighted to welcome CJ Carver back to my blog for my stop on the Tell Me A Lie blog tour today! I have a great guest post to share with you guys but I’ll give you the all important bookish info first!

About the book:


A family in England is massacred, the father left holding the shotgun.

PC Lucy Davies is convinced he’s innocent

A sleeper agent in Moscow requests an urgent meeting with Dan Forrester, referencing their shared past.

His amnesia means he has no idea who he can trust.

An aging oligarch in Siberia gathers his henchmen to discuss an English accountant.

It’s Dan’s wife.

Click HERE  to get your copy!

About the author:

CJ Carver is a half-English, half-kiwi, author living just outside Bath. She lived in Australia for ten years before taking up long-distance rally driving – she has driven London to Saigon, London to Cape Town, and completed 14,500 miles on the Inca Trail.

Since then she has written nine novels which have been published in the UK, USA and translated throughout Europe. CJ’s first novel Blood Junction, won the CWA Debut Dagger Award.

CJ is a co-founder and one of the first judges for the Women’s World Car of The Year Award.

CJ loves hearing from her fans. Drop her a line at cj@cjcarver.com

Version 6

And now I’ll hand you over to CJ Carver…

How to Take a Slice of Life and Weave it into your Story Structure


I have a friend who’s bipolar.  A close friend.  One of the best.


She suffers extreme mood swings.  Some days she can’t get out of bed, others she’s in the grip of hypomania.  She has psychotic episodes.  She’s been close to suicide numerous times.  Her GP has sectioned her to hospital on several occasions, for her own safety.


She kept her condition secret from everyone, including me, for years.  She was terrified we’d think of her differently.  That she’d lose her job as well as her friends.


One day, I was allowed to know the truth.  I stayed with her for a week on “suicide watch” rather than have her sent to psychiatric hospital (which she hated).  When she’s not in the grip of one of her “moods” she’s brilliant and fun, generous and endlessly kind, and I love her to bits.


This slice of life is, when you know it, glaringly obvious when you read Spare Me the Truth.  My character, PC Lucy Davies is terrified she’s bipolar, and will do anything to prevent anyone finding out.  Her fear is woven through the story and drives Lucy to make decisions she wouldn’t normally.


Writers take inspiration from other people as well as the society they live inside and I’m no exception.  We’re parasites of sorts, and even when I went to say goodbye to my dad, who’d died twelve hours earlier, although I was devastated the writer in me couldn’t help looking at the colour of his skin and thinking, how weird, it’s sort of green and it’s got a really strange sheen too, like wax.


When I was travelling in Alaska, I met Shirley Liss, one of the first women to undertake the Yukon Quest 1,000-mile Sled Dog Race.  She introduced me to her pack of huskies and showed me a slice of her Alaskan life that became the inspiration for Beneath the Snow.


Shirley knew how to fix an engine, fish for trout, shoot rabbits, skin a moose, build a fire in a snowstorm, deal with a grizzly bear.  She was a female Bear Grylls and the stories she told me are woven into my novel along with the ski-plane ride I took north of the Arctic Circle, with three Inuit people and their huskies.  That particular experience opens the book nicely.


As writers’ we have to dig deep to produce a work that pulls at a reader’s emotions.  We have to put ourselves into our character’s shoes and really feel what they’re feeling.  I call on a multitude of life experiences in my writing and get weaving.  Not only is it fun, but it makes the story more authentic to the reader.
©CJ Carver 2017

Huge thanks to Emily at Bonnier Zaffre and to CJ Carver for having me on the blog tour!

Make sure to keep up with the tour: