Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews Part 2

Hi guys,

I’m back with the second batch of rapid reviews so I’ve got another 10 of the most recent books I’ve read on this list. If you missed my first post, you can check that out by clicking the following link:

Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews

As I said in the other post, I’m still reading but I’m just not blogging as much for the time being. All posts, blog tours and promised reviews will still be posted as normal from myself and Ellen though 🙂

This batch of reviews, now that I’m looking at my list, appears to be geared more towards the YA genre, which I’ve read a lot of recently and any I’m really liking the break from crime and psychological thrillers. To be honest though, I still find myself craving the darkness they bring, so there will be more of those again soon! Anyway, I digress as usual. Lets see what else I’ve been reading lately…

  • Chasing The Dead by Tim Weaver

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On my TBR since 2014 (yes, 3 YEARS ago!!!), I decided it was time for me to meet David Raker and I am so glad I picked this one to read. A really solid start to a series that is still going, it was a brilliant read. Clever, emotive and gripping, I would definitely recommend it. I will be buying all of the series after reading this one!

  • The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor

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Loved this one!! It is so creepy, it gets under your skin and will make your heart pound. I got lost in this book, I was gripped from the start and I genuinely could not put it down. It is so clever and twisty. Just when you think you have it all figured out, BOOM! You haven’t a clue!!! I love it when a book catches me out. Highly recommended!

  • Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

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I love a surprise when I pick up a book, and that is exactly what happened with Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. I picked it up expecting one thing, and I found something else entirely. I won’t spoil it by telling you. Anyone I know who has read this has really enjoyed it, and I feel the exact same. It is such a hidden gem of a book and I would highly recommend it!

  • The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

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Regular readers of the blog will know I am a big fan of Scandinavian crime thrillers so I was excited to pick this one up to read. While it was a good read, I wasn’t blown away by it. There’s no denying Camilla Grebe can tell a story, I just found my attention waning at times. Still, as an intro to Scandi crime, The Ice Beneath Her is definitely a good place to start as it will give you a feel for the genre!

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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Is it possible to fall in love with a series? Because that’s what happened me with these books. I am emotionally invested, and I don’t want it to ever end. I am Team Rhysand forever and I am not sorry. I love love LOVE these books. The world-building is brilliant, the characters are even better and I just couldn’t put the book down once I started it. Safe to say I will be reading these again at some point. Highly recommended!

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Mass

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See above. No, seriously. I can’t review these properly. They make me feel the way I did when I first discovered Harry Potter. NO! I’m not comparing them, I’m merely saying I felt the same way. Giddy to read the books, eager to read more. I wanted to read them all immediately after finishing this one. Highly recommended by this unapologetic fangirl!

  • SIEGE and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Another series added to my favourites for sure. Not as good as Shadow and Bone but I still really enjoyed this one and I’m waiting on the third book from the library. I really like the idea of the Grisha world, and its pure escapism reading these books! I can’t wait to read the next one!

  • This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

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This one would have passed me by if not for Liz at Liz Loves Books mentioning it. I loved this one! It is packed full of action, has great characters and a really interesting story. There’s a lot of technological stuff, like coding and DNA modifications and so on, but it wasn’t hard to get into it. I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended!

  • Dead is Good by Jo Perry

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What’s not to love about a dead dog? This is book 3 in the series, and I really enjoyed it. Quotes about death start every chapter, which I love, morbid as that sounds. Charlie and Rose are a great team. They may be dead, but that doesn’t stop them trying to figure out the living. Unusual and fun, these books are great reads. Highly recommended!

  • Written in Blood by Layton Green

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Written in Blood uses literary murders as its main thing, which makes it an interesting read. I did find it got a bit heavy and unnecessary with details in the middle, but it was still a good book. There is plenty there to keep the reader interested, but it can be hard to see the wood from the trees at times as the author throws in a few extra things.

 

And that’s it. Twenty books reviewed over two posts. I’m all caught up on my reviews now, and I’ll hopefully be back blogging properly at some stage this month.

Plenty of other good stuff on the blog in October to watch out for though as regards blog tour reviews by Ellen and myself:

Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir

Rocco and the Nightingale by Adrian Magson

Dead Lands by LLoyd Otis

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Kate x

Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

So due to various reasons, I’m taking a little break from blogging for a while. I’m still reading, and upholding any prior commitments so no need to worry on that front. Ellen’s reviews and blog tour posts will all be done as normal too 🙂

I’ve got a backlog of books read but not reviewed, so I’ve decided to combat that today with this post. Some of these were read as far back as June or July, I just haven’t gotten to review them properly on the blog.

Grab a coffee and see what I’ve been reading…

  • Without Trace by Simon Booker

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The first Morgan Vine book, this was definitely a solid start. I didn’t love it, but I was hooked enough to keep turning those pages!

  • Games People Play by Owen Mullen

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This is the first book in the Charlie Cameron PI series and it’s definitely a strong start. A little slow for me but I enjoyed it all the same. Charlie is an interesting character and I liked the story!

  • The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

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My first foray into Karin Slaughter’s work in about ten years and I absolutely LOVED The Good Daughter. I banged through the entire book (and its a whopper) in a day because I just couldn’t put it down. Clever, compulsive and full of action, I’d highly recommend it!

  • The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

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I read The Girl With All The Gifts earlier this year and thought it was a good read. The Boy on the Bridge was much better for me. But, I think that’s because I read TGWATG first. Set in the same world, this one was stronger for me in terms of characters and plot and it made me smile when I read the last few pages. Recommended!

  • Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker

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Yep, we’re back with Morgan Vine in Kill Me Twice and this one has a lot more going on than Without Trace. An interesting plot and some dark characters made this a decent read and I flew through it.

  • My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

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I am weeks out from reading MAD and I am still haunted by Turtle Alveston. I can’t find the words for how much I enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It is raw, visceral, disturbing and challenging, but boy is it rewarding. I don’t read books like this usually, but I am so glad I got to read MAD. It will stay with me for a long time, and I will recommend it to everyone!

  • The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

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Another book I loved. Sped through this on a lazy Sunday as I couldn’t put it down. Really interesting plot, a great cast of characters and some unusual elements made this one super easy to enjoy. It would make a great movie, it has that cinematic feel to the descriptions and I can see how it would translate really well to screen. Highly recommended!

  • The Fear Within by J. S . Law

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The next in the series after The Dark Beneath (Tenacity), The Fear Within is another gripping naval-themed crime thriller. These books are just cracking reads. Dan Lewis is a great character, and James Law has a knack for writing excellent plots with plenty of action. One to add to your list for sure. Highly recommended!

  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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On m TBR for ages, I finally got around to reading this during the summer. It was a good read, I’ll get crucified for this, but I didn’t love it. There’s no denying the characterisation and world-building are excellent, and I did enjoy it, I just found myself a bit meh afterwards. That being said, I have the other two books in the series, and I will certainly be reading them, but I wouldn’t be bumping them to the top of the TBR.

  • Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker

Tall Oaks

I had Tall Oaks on my TBR for far too long so it was another book I picked to read this summer and I’m just sorry I left it so long. It is a taut and emotive story, with such a great cast of characters that I was sucked in immediately when I started reading it. I couldn’t put it down until the very end and its safe to say I was put through the emotional wringer by the end. Highly recommended!

 

Hopefully you will find a couple of books in this list that you’ll enjoy. The stand out read from these for me is My Absolute Darling, without a doubt.

This is the first ten of twenty books I’m doing this for, so keep an eye out for my second batch of rapid reviews as they’ll be up soon.

Have you read any of these? Do let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

Kate x

~September Book Haul~

Hi everyone,

It’s BOOK HAUL time!!!!!! 🙂

For any of you who don’t know, this is where I list the books that have made Bibliophile Book Club their new home in the previous month. The books are usually bought books (a LOT of bought books), ARC’s sent from publishers, Netgalley review books and just basically any books I get go on here.

I’ve been really good again this month, restrained even. I am trying to pull down my TBR a little, because I have so much to read. But there are just so many good books out there that of course some are going to get picked up! Here’s what I got in September:

  1. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
  2. This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (Read and LOVED this one!)
  3. Replica by Lauren Oliver
  4. Home by Harlan Coben
  5. Shadow Man by Cody McFayden
  6. The Euthanist by Alex Dolan
  7. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
  8. Purged by Peter Laws
  9. Dead is Good by Jo Perry
  10. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
  11. Darien: Empire of Salt by C. F. Iggulden
  12. Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson
  13. Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
  14. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  15. There Was A Crooked Man by Cat Hogan (Read that review HERE)
  16. Before It’s Too Late by Sara Driscoll (Reviewed here)
  17. Stranger by David Bergen
  18. Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama
  19. The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
  20. Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
  21. Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister
  22. Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
  23. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  24. That Night by Chevy Stevens
  25. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
  26. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  27. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  28. The Confession by Jo Spain
  29. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchel

I’m really quite pleased with how low these hauls are getting. I added up all of the books I’ve gotten since February 1st to today, and I’ve got 283 books added to my TBR shelves. Now some of the 283 have been read, as there would be Netgalley books and review copies, but I’ve only read 145 books so far this year, Then again, that’s not bad going either!

Here’s a collage of the books I read in September:

 

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And here are some of the lovely books I got last month:

 

So, there you have my September book haul. Have you read any of these books? Do let me know in the comments below…

It’s October now, which means new kindle deals, so I’m off to Amazon to get October’s book haul started… 🙂

Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee x

 

August Book Haul!

Hi everyone,

I can’t believe how quickly the months are going. September is upon us, and my kids are both in school, so I will actually have some free time from now on! 🙂

In terms of book hauls, I’m trying to be really good lately. I’m trying to make a dent in my TBR as well as taking some time off reviewing, but I’m getting back into it slowly. Needless to say, my hauls are considerably lower these past few months as I try to get through some of my own books.

I did buy some great books in August, as well as being lucky enough to receive some highly anticipated review copies as well, so in terms of quality, this month’s haul is one of my faves for sure. Read on to see what I’ve gotten…

  1. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
  2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  3. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
  4. The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrere
  5. Force of Nature by Jane Harper
  6. All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whittaker
  7. Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
  8. Frostbood by Elly Blake
  9. The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  10. Song of Edmon by Adam Burch
  11. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
  12. Together by Julie Cohen
  13. The Dragon Blade: The Reborn King by Michael R. Miller
  14. Licensed to Thrill by Diane Capri
  15. Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
  16. The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor
  17. Vicious Circle by C. J. Box
  18. Liar Liar by M. J. Arlidge
  19. Dark Pines by Will Dean
  20. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
  21. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  22. The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  23. The Collector by Fiona Cummins
  24. Artemis by Andy Weir
  25. Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  26. Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
  27. The Plea by Steve Cavanagh
  28. Daisychain by GJ Moffat
  29. Nos-4A2 by Joe Hill
  30. The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans

Thirty books in August isn’t too bad, especially considering I managed to read 19 books during the same month. Although, I’ve only read two books from this list! My current Goodreads challenge tally is 133 books read this year, and my goal was 52, so I’m happy enough with that!

Are there any books on here you’ve read? Or want to read? Do let me know in the comments! 🙂

And as per usual, a few photos, including this months Illumicrate…

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~July Book Haul~

Hello!

So, it’s time for my monthly book haul post! I’ve been very good again this month. I’ve tried to avoid book-buying if at all possible, and my book post and NG requests are super low!

For any of you who don’t know, this is where I list the books that have made Bibliophile Book Club their new home in the previous month. The books are usually bought books, ARC’s sent from publishers, Netgalley review books and just basically any books I get go on here.

Here we go….

  1. The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet
  2. Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
  3. Written in Fire by Marcus Sakey
  4. A Better World by Marcus Sakey
  5. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  6. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
  7. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
  8. White Gold by Rachel Amphlett
  9. The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson PRE-ORDER (I’m excited!!!!)
  10. Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson PRE-ORDER *see above 🙂
  11. The Dying Game by Asa Avdic
  12. Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker
  13. The Shock by Mark Raabe
  14. The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
  15. Time of Death by Alex Barclay
  16. Morning Star by Pierce Brown
  17. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  18. Cragside by LJ Ross
  19. Godblind by Anna Stephens
  20. The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen
  21. How Hard Can It Be by Allison Pearson
  22. If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch
  23. 99 Red Balloons by Elizabeth Carpenter

Sadly, my photo-taking for these books was next to nothing in July, but here’s a little selection of what I got…

 

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It seems I’m reading as much as I’m getting in the past couple of months too. I’ve been getting through up to 20 books a month for the past few, and my book hauls have all been relatively low too so I’m not taking in as many books as I was this time last year for example.

Now, if only I could read the thousands of books I have on my shelves and on my kindle, I would be sorted! 🙂

Have you read any of these? Would you? (I’ve actually read a couple of them already- which almost never happens!!!!)

Do let me know in the comments!

Author Q&A with Peter Robinson

Hi everyone,

Today I’m pleased to be able to share another Q&A with you all. Today’s one is with the creator of DCI Banks, Peter Robinson.

Peter Robinson’s latest book featuring DCI Banks, Sleeping In The Ground, was published just last week!

About the book:

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A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course.

But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for.

When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.

SLEEPING IN THE GROUND by Peter Robinson is published by Hodder & Stoughton in hardback now.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

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Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and now divides his time between Richmond and Canada. Peter has written twenty-two books in the bestselling DCI Banks series as well as two collections of short stories and three standalone novels, the most recent of which is Number One bestseller BEFORE THE POISON. The critically acclaimed crime novels have won numerous awards in Britain, the United States, Canada and Europe, and are published in translation all over the world.

Peter’s DCI Banks is now a major ITV1 drama by Left Bank productions. Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart, Ballykissangel) plays Inspector Banks, and Andrea Lowe (The Bill, Murphy’s Law) plays DI Annie Cabbot. The first series aired in Autumn 2011 with an adaptation of FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, the second in Autumn 2012, and the third in February 2014.

Peter’s standalone novel BEFORE THE POISON won the IMBA’s 2013 Dilys Award as well as the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel by the Crime Writers of Canada. This was Peter’s sixth Arthur Ellis award.

Find out more from Peter’s website, http://www.inspectorbanks.com, or visit his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/peterrobinsonauthor.


Who I am …  

I am a writer who likes to write my DCI Alan Banks crime thrillers, but also one who likes to take a break and try other things too… short stories stand-alone novels, that sort of thing.   I split my time between Canada and England… I met my wife in Canada and her family is there, so Canada is part of our lives.    Books take up most of my time – whether reading, talking about, writing or promoting.   And I travel a LOT.

 

Writing …

is something I’ve always done – and I honestly can’t remember when I started, but I do know that from very young I had a big ledger type book in which I’d write and illustrated my stories.   Back then they would be my own versions of heroic and exciting stories like Ivanhoe, Robin Hood or William Tell.  Then I started reading science fiction and so I wrote it too … then this progressed into crime and thriller stories.   At about 16 years old I became interested in poetry, and I wrote almost nothing else for the next 15 or 16 years.    At that point I was bitten by the crime bug!

Inspiration …

I can never find an answer for this because I simply don’t know what it is!

 

My books …

They are more or less straight crime novels – featuring the policeman Alan Banks.  He started life with the Force in London, and then migrated north to Yorkshire – where he works with a small team.   He rather expected life to be more peaceful out of the big city – but he soon found out it wasn’t!

 

Social media …

I am quite sure it is important, and I am happy that I have a Facebook page and a website.  And having people chatter on social media does help a lot.  I worry about maintaining Twitter though, and I know that some authors are much more active on all forms of social media than others!

 

Fave thing about being an author: 

I think just being lucky enough to do what I’ve always wanted to do, and to be able to make a living out of it.   I see many people unhappy at work, and I thank my stars that I am able to do this job.

 

Least fave: 

I’d like to have more time to set aside for poetry.  Sometimes a writer realises they are spending too much time in their own heads as well… and we need to get out an meet people (which is why promotion tours are a good thing!).  So less of the hermit would be a good, if not productive, thing too.

 

Reading:

I always read and always have.  When I was a boy, people would say that I always had my head buried in a book.  I read a lot of crime and thrillers – although never when I am writing my own.    Also general novels as well as a lot of biographies and non-fiction.

 

Top books: 

I am always cautious with this question, because there are so many answers!    But a general sweep would bring up mostly classics, I guess.   Let’s see … Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, I’d had a Sherlock Holmes, so The Hound of the Baskervilles, the one for Yorkshire, so it would have to be Wuthering Heights and I love The Go-Between, so that would be up there too.

 

Leisure time …

Clearly reading is leisurely too!  Then there is listening to music and travel.  Sitting outdoors watching and listening to nature is big on the list, both in the Dales and in the Canadian lakes.

 

I don’t really have any hobbies – only interests like music, travel and books

 

Top destination

Each place I visit is the new favourite!   But I am going back to Japan next year, so that must be the real favourite.  I find the mix of old and new there utterly fascinating and they have a wonderful flare for art and design.

 

Food –

Steak, frites and something chocolate for pudding

 

Drink –

A nice southern hemisphere red wine – or that is what I drink most!

 

What else would I do –

I would probably teach English lit at some level.   I do occasional workshops still – and I have taught some classes at the University of Toronto … but the timing of promotional tours nixed those!   The thing about teaching is that you constantly learn in a way that just reading books doesn’t lead to.  You need to challenge students with ideas and angles – which makes you explore the subject.   I do miss that to some extent.


 

Many thanks to Peter and to Kerry for facilitating this Q&A! 🙂

Author Q&A- Mary Turner Thomson

Hey guys,

I’ve got another author q&a for you all today. Mary Turner Thomson kindly agreed to answer my questions for this one!

About the author:

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Mary Turner Thomson was born and grew up in Edinburgh, she got a BA Hons degree from Newcastle in Creative and Performing Arts in 1987, and a Marketing Diploma from Napier University in 1992.
She has worked as a business adviser, marketing consultant and motivational trainer before writing her first book – THE OTHER MRS JORDAN – IN 2006. That autobiography was then updated and reprinted as THE BIGAMIST in 2007. In 2009 Mary worked on another biography with Natalie Hutchison about overcoming adversity – TRADING PLACES – which was published in 2009.
Mary is currently working on her first novel – a psychological thriller.

www.maryturnerthomson.com

maryt@maryturnerthomson.com

Twitter         @TheBigamistBook

FaceBook    Mary Turner Thomson

 

About The Bigamist:

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In April 2006, Mary Turner Thomson received a call that blew her life apart. The woman on the other end of the line told her that Will Jordan, Mary’s husband and the father of her two younger children, had been married to her for fourteen years and they had five children together.

The Bigamist is the shocking true story of how one man manipulated an intelligent, independent woman, conning her out of £200,000 and leaving her to bring up the children he claimed he could never have.

It’s a story we all think could never happen to us, but this shameless con man has been doing the same thing to various other women for at least 27 years, spinning a tangled web of lies and deceit to cover his tracks.

How far would you go to help the man you love? How far would he go to deceive you? And what would you do when you found out it was all a lie?

 


Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Mary Turner Thomson and I am an author (of international best-selling book ‘The Bigamist’), trainer, and motivational speaker.

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
If someone had asked me as a child what my dream job would be it would have been to be an author – but I never in a million years even articulated that dream because I never thought it remotely possible. It was only when the most extraordinary thing happened to me that I realized I had a story that simply had to be told. In 2006 I found out that my ‘husband’ – with whom I had been in a relationship for 6 years – was a bigamist and a con man who actively impregnates women to rip them off for money. So I investigated further and discovered a pattern of behavior which involved sometimes 5-6 relationships at once, 13 children by 6 different women, numerous businesses that he had defrauded and criminal convictions ranging back 23 years. All this from the seemingly mild-mannered, charming, kind man whom I had initially met (which had dissolved in our later relationship to my living in constant fear for my and our children’s lives from people he swore he was keeping us safe from). The book wrote itself in relating my relationship with this man, my discovery and understanding of sociopaths/psychopaths, as well as all the information I discovered including the other women’s and businesses stories.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
True life.

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?
I have been told that it is ‘like watching a train crash in slow motion’. You know what is happening and scream ‘no!’ but can’t stop it. The most common response I get is that people ‘can’t put it down’.

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

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Being able to change perceptions about this type of crime, to raise awareness of psychopaths and how they function, and to change the social culture of ‘victim-shaming’ when this type of thing happens. 100 years ago women who were raped were branded ‘loose’ or must have ‘asked for it’ if they had worn the wrong clothes or smiled at the wrong man. Nowadays we ALL know that is wrong. When someone lies to you to get money it is called ‘fraud’ and illegal, and yet when a person lies to us to get sex (or create babies to manipulate someone) it is not even seen as a crime – unless money is also involved. That is fundamentally wrong.

People today are looking for love and when find a partner it is natural to trust them. Psychopaths use that, and quickly manipulate their victims into a position where they don’t question or doubt their partner. It is brainwashing and the psychopaths are cripplingly good at it! More so because the victim is branded ‘stupid’ if they admit what has happened. I had thought it more likely for me to win the lottery than be caught in the sights of a psychopath. I have since learnt that they make up about 1% of the population – that is 1 in 100 people! FAR more common that you would think!

I get letters a couple of times a week from people all over the world who have read my book thanking me for standing up and talking about this, because something similar happened to then and no-one has understood. Often they have remained silent on the subject and not told even close friends of the manipulation and emotional abuse because they are worried about being branded ‘stupid’, or ‘gullable,’ or ‘desperate’. In some cases my book has even woken victims up to what is happening so that they can get free of their psychopathic relationships. On several occasions victims of the same man have read my book and come to understand what has happed to them as well, contacting me afterwards to share stories and experiences.

Knowing I have helped those people, and made a difference is the best thing about being a published author.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
Nothing – I love it all. I have always revered authors and to be classed amongst their ranks is an honour.

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
I have several more books I want to write including a couple of novels (psychological thrillers of course). So watch this space!

What’s next for you?
More writing, more reading, more publishing, more life.

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
I read a lot (every night) and don’t really stick to one genre.

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
Lucky by Alice Sebold
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Belgariad series by David Eddings
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Yes, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I swear that woman has a time machine and visits the places she writes about. I admire her style so much!

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a single mum and run a business as well so time is a very precious commodity!

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
I got my black belt in Taekwon Do in 2010. I started in 2006 – having put Will Jordan in jail and going public with the story I wanted to be sure I could defend myself if he should come seeking me out when he was released. So I do that to keep fit and strong. My kids do it as well and my two younger children have been selected to represent Scotland in the Pan-European ITS championships in July this year. So I spend a lot of a time as a TKD mum ferrying them to training sessions etc.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?
A cottage in Arisaig on West Coast of Scotland. Family around, no electronics, the most stunning sunsets, not-too-freezing sea, card games and a fire to roast marshmallows on. Lush!

Favourite food?
My mother’s cooking – sadly not tasted for 10 years.

Favourite drink?
Wine

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
Because there is magic in the written word, an immortality which transcends all other mediums. When we read a book we are not aware we are reading words printed on a page. We are transported into the story far more vividly than a dream so that it has a reality all of its own. It is timeless and revered and being part of that is a tremendous honour.


 

Huge thanks to Mary for this super-interesting Q&A! 🙂