Category Archives: Books

Leading Questions #authorselectric #fiction #favouritebooks

My blog for Authors Electric is up>

“I was recently sent a Q&A interview by a publisher for an upcoming anthology Into the Night Eternal: Tales of French Folk Horror, (which (shameless plug) will include my novellaA Small Thing for Yolanda’). As always that online interview sheet included that old chestnut ‘Which books have influenced your writing the most?’ And, as always, I was at a loss for an answer.

The books that had any effect on us at age four are never going to be the same at age fourteen, or forty-four, or sixty-four.  That said I am not sure that books read in adulthood ever affect us in the same way that they do when we are young…

To read the rest of the post go here!

 

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Reading This Saturday

I shall be reading from my Arnold Bennett Book Prize winner,  Winter Downs, at around 11.20 at:

HARTSHILL MIDSUMMER FAIR on SATURDAY 23 JUNE 2018  (open from 10am to 3pm) at North Staffordshire Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, Hartshill, Stoke on Trent ST4 7NY

Winter Downs is a Winner! @Sotlive @Bennettsoc #awards #crimefiction #winterdowns #arnoldbennettprize

Just back from Cyprus with the fabulous news that Winter Downs has won the Arnold Bennett Book prize!

Shocked and awed!  I suspect there is no easy way to graciously accept any award because if other people are anything like me they don’t dare think about the possibility that they might actually be in the running.  Continue reading

Friday Favourites: The Bride of Lammermoor

Misha Herwin on Walter Scott.

Misha Herwin

The Bride of Lmmermoor

Sorting through my bookshelves in an attempt to find some room for the piles of books on my office floor, I came across a small, hardback copy of “The Bride of Lammermoor.” In all the years, and they are many, that I have owned this book, it has never been read, so it seemed a good choice for the charity shop. On the other hand, it felt wrong to discard a book, I’d never tried, let alone a writer whose works I’d never sampled.

“The Bride of Lammermoor” is very much a Gothic novel, with a ruined castle, Wolf’s Crag, a terrifying storm, a dashing hero and beautiful heroine. Their love is doomed, the marriage between their rival families cursed and everything ends badly.

The novel is over-written, the Scots dialect both annoying and incomprehensible and yet…There are moments of unexpected insight in the depiction of the relationship between Ravenswood…

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Sussex Tales #review #sussextales

Nice little review on Amazon this week for Sussex Tales from unknown person. It is always good when an older title not only maintains small but steady sales but also the odd review. And better still when it comes from an unexpected purchase. Its how you know that the ripples are reaching out beyond your sight.

(read here)    

Sussex Tales was a labour of love, reflecting not just my growing years but also a way of recording a slice of social history. A way of life that was fast vanishing even as I witnessed its beauty for myself.

It grew out of a shorter piece written for the then Southampton University and later Winchester Writers’ Conference, and won an award for best slim volume.

The recipes contained with the stories are passed down through the family and, being last of the line with nobody to pass them on to, were included in order to cast them into the winds for all to enjoy.

Sussex Tales final cover 2nd ed small

 

 

Winter Downs #review #crimefiction #winterdowns

A new 5* review for Winter Downs in the midst of the snow!

***

Review : Amazon.co.uk : Daz Pulsford

“What starts out as a mysterious death soon turns into a mystery of worrying proportions – there’s more than rustling afoot in this snowbound Sussex Downs village. The central character, Bunch, is determined to clear the first victim’s name, and doggedly pursues the leads as the drama unfolds.

Set in the bleak austerity of 1940, near the South Coast with its constant invasion threat, rationing, and blackout protocol – Bunch and her sister Dodo are pitted against not only the difficulties of communication and officialdom of the War, but also the complex tangle of classism and patriarchy.

Heavy snow acts like the treacle of difficulties Bunch must wade through to get to the truth, and combined with the immaculate attention to period detail, the writer’s own skill with the local dialect, and the easing reluctance of the Chief Inspector initially summoned to close a suicide case, our relentless narrator pieces the clues together to uncover a touch of evil pervading the village.

Are there more? I would hope so – I loved the characters, the energy of the plot and the feel of the time evoked in the details.”

 

 

Potential Cover #inherdefence #fiction

Finding a cover for any book is tricky and finding something striking that speaks of the story, without using the usual cliched imagery that date a book so quickly, and is also eye catching is trickier still.

The next book in my WW2 crime series Bunch Courtney Investigates  has the working title of In Her Defence. The story is all about perceptions of who and what people were in the turbulent throws of May 1940 when the very real threat of imminent invasion and the instigation if internment prompted deep suspicion of anyone who was not ‘local’ or at least ‘known’ to the population at large. A time when even long standing friendships forged in childhood can and were called into question.

So far the image below is the most serious contender for In Her Defence.

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