Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Magician's Curse: A Review



When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.
Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?
Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.


MY REVIEW: (5 stars) The Magician's Curse is a modern day gothic romance. We meet Herman, who is traveling to start a new job, and Stephen, a successful magician. There is an immediate attraction between the pair, and so begins a tale of romance, intrigue, heartache, and possible danger. This is the first book I have read by Linda G. Hill, and I enjoy her style. The pace is steady, the writing flows smoothly, and the characters become people you care about. I was left wanting more, and I'm activly wishing for book two. Highly recommended. 



ABOUT LINDA

Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.


A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Author Spotlight: Gordon Bickerstaff


Meet Gordon Bickerstaff! He's a talented thriller author, and I'm so pleased he took the time to answer some questions for me.




Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? 

I'm married with two daughters, and two grandchildren. I was born and raised in Glasgow but spent my student years in Edinburgh. On student summer vacations, I learned plumbing, garden maintenance, and I cut the grass in the Meadows. I learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before I retired to write fiction. I do some aspects of DIY moderately well and other aspects not so well. I live with my wife in Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in my mind. I enjoy walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading, travel and writing.

What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written?

I've written a series of 5 stand-alone crime thrillers (The Lambeth Group Thrillers). The series takes its inspiration from a TV series in the 70s called Doomwatch. The Lambeth Group is a secret government department set up to police science and tech crime. The Group pulls together small teams of scientists and special forces soldiers to investigate crimes that require specialist expertise. The main protagonists are Gavin Shawlens and Zoe Tampsin. He has the expertise but woeful inexperience in covert/spy/procedures. She is the kick-ass soldier with brains, bravery and skills set to keep Gavin alive in the face of grave danger.



Do you set your stories in the area you live in?

Some scenes in my books are set in an around central Scotland but the investigations take Gavin and Zoe around the UK and occasionally to Europe. In Tabula Rasa, several scenes were set in Alicante, Spain. In other books, scenes have taken place in Paris and Amsterdam.

Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? 

I like thrillers. I've read a lot of Lee Child, Tess Gerittsen, Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci and James Patterson. I'm trying to widen my horizons so I joined a book club to pull me into other genres.

What’s your favorite book? 

I can't pin down one single book because a lot of great books stand shoulder to shoulder and are great in different ways. Books I really enjoy, I will read twice. I don't know how many but I've read more than a dozen books twice. If ever I read a book three times then that will be my fav of all time.  

Let’s play a quick game of "This or That". 
Real books or e-books? No space left in the house for paperbacks, so ebooks.
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Sweet or savory? Sweet.
Dogs or cats? Dogs, small, like Westies.
Summer or winter? Summer.
Morning or night? Morning.

Would you mind telling us about your writing style?

I prefer to use narrative writing and descriptive imagery to help my readers imagine the characters, scenes and setting. If necessary, I'll add a small amount of exposition when required. I like to read thrillers with pace so my books are written with pace. As a biochemist, I like to sprinkle some medical flavour into my stories. I like to create well-constructed twists, and I love it when my editor says "Wow! didn't see that coming".

Do you have a routine?

I don't have a fixed routine of for example 5000 words every morning. I write on demand. When I have a scene fixed in my mind, I write that scene until it is finished. Depending on the scene, it can take an afternoon, a day or a week. 

Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late nite writing?

When I was a student, I used to study with pop music playing in the background. I don't like silence. I write to complete as much of a scene as I can and that can happen during any part of the day or evening. Sometimes, I'm forced to write late at night if an idea is bursting out of my mind and I have to write it down. 

Do you have a favorite "writing" snack?

Yes, quick and tasty. Toasted brown bread with a layer of either butter or honey or jam.

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?

The last one. Every author writes much more material than is needed and I'm as guilty as everyone. I've been told a dozen times by editors "the reader will get it, you don't need this bit"  

What is your biggest distraction while writing?

My wife. 
"I thought you'd finished that chapter" 
"I really don't think Zoe would have done that"
"your dinner is getting cold"
"a scene set in Sestri Levante? Well, we must go there and check it out" 

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Keep a small notebook and pen with you at all times. Ideas come into the mind at odd times. Once, I was in a theatre enjoying the show when an idea for a new scene I'd been working on earlier in the day suddenly dropped into my mind. For the rest of the evening, I had to keep bringing the idea to the front of my mind to keep it there. With a notebook and pen, I could have scribbled down the detail during the interval and then enjoyed the rest of the show. Lesson learned.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Stephen King said “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well”. I write to enrich my life, and hopefully add a little to others who read my books.

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?

A month ago, I started writing book 6. Gavin receives a new assignment from the Lambeth Group in which he has to discover how a group of men have managed to get away with murdering family members and pocketing the insurance windfalls. Meanwhile, Zoe is a target for assassination and is on the run. When Gavin gets too close to discovering the truth about the murders, Zoe must break cover and risk her life to pull him out of the fire!

Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.

Twitter - @ADPase
Website for free PDF sample downloads - https://gordonbickerstaff.blogspot.co.uk/


The Lambeth Group Thrillers
'Deadly Secrets' Amazon preview - goo.gl/47fouv  
'Everything To Lose' Amazon preview - goo.gl/w8J4Uk  
'The Black Fox' Amazon preview - goo.gl/w8J4Uk  
'Toxic Minds' Amazon preview - goo.gl/erUj7n



Most recent book (May 2017) is 'Tabula Rasa'

Tabula Rasa 'a clean slate' thriller/suspense. Three Readers' Favorite reviewers Award 5*.
Special investigators, Gavin and Zoe search for a dead scientist's missing son and discover advanced preparations for the greatest revolution in human history.  
https://goo.gl/H6hbnJ  ($1.99/£1.49).

'… Zoe and Gavin are back in another razor-sharp story' 
'… is a captivating story that will delight thriller fans'



Thursday, November 9, 2017

Author Spotlight: Joey Paul

Today, I'm happy to introduce you to prolific Young Adult author Joey Paul. Keep reading to the end to see all of her great book covers.


Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written? Do you set your stories in the same area you live in?

I'm 35, from the UK and lived in the same town all my life. I write young adult books, usually in the crime/mystery and paranormal genre. I've also written on contemporary romance and one adventure/fantasy book. I've completed 18 books, published 11 and am writing two more right now. The majority of my books are set in unknown place names, but they are usually loosely based on the town where I live. Though one book – Destination: Unknown is set in my town, in fact in my house! The new series I'm working on now is set here too.

 Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?

I read pretty much anything that catches my eye. I love reading, so I'll read adult, young adult, crime/mystery is my usual go-to genre, but I've also read contemporary, romance, historical, dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy, basically if the blurb excites me, I'll read it. My favorite book is a hard one to choose since I have so so many, but my favorite series is the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton, which I'm reading Y is for Yesterday right now and loving it!

 Let’s play a quick game of “This or That”. 
Real books or e-books? E-books – I'm disabled and while I love books, having my Kindle means I can actually hold the book and read and enjoy for longer.
Coffee or tea? Tea – I'm actually allergic to coffee, but I do love me a nice cuppa!
Sweet or savory? Sweet – I have a very big sweet tooth!
Summer or winter? Winter – Simple because my lungs hate summer, and they hate winter too, but I'm usually able to warm up in Winter and cooling down in summer is hard!
Morning or night? Morning – I used to be a big morning person, but with my conditions I usually find that late night works great, but then just makes me feel worse, so I'll stick with morning!

Would you mind telling us about your writing style? Such as: Do have a routine? Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late nite writing?

I do have a routine. I write two books at once, and here's how I go about it. I'll spend the morning doing admin stuff and then in the afternoon will sit and write. I can't write with music, but some noise is okay. I have been known to do late night writing, but with my conditions, it's harder and harder these days, so I'll sit at my desk and write in the afternoon into the evening. I will usually do two chapters from one book (one a day mostly) and then switch to two of the other. I call those my sets, and after a full set I'll have a day off before starting a new set!

Do you have a favorite “writing” snack?

I don't actually no, I'm usually found writing with tea and if I'm hungry will make some toast or something, but I don't generally snack while writing!

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?

I'm gonna go against the grain here. I actually find these both quite easy. I struggle more with ending a chapter than I do with starting or finishing a book.

What is your biggest distraction while writing?

Probably the internet and other things like that. I usually chat with a friend while doing my daily chapter and that can mean a lot of stopping and starting, but I actually find it works very well for me so it's not as bad as it could be!

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

To keep going. I can't remember who told me that, but I was talking about how I wanted to give it all up. I was in a bad place mentally, physically, emotionally, and I was close to calling it quits. A friend of mine said two things, one was to keep going and the other was “it takes as long as it takes.” and both of those have really stayed with me.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Probably that you have to remember that it takes time, you will have good days, you will have bad days and they all suck, completely, but keep going and remember that only you can tell your story. That's it, the story can't be told by anyone else, but you!

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?

I'm about halfway through two books writing wise. And I'm getting my next two ready to go to the editor and start that process. One is the sixth in the Dying Thoughts series. The other is a standalone called Walk A Mile and I'm really excited about sharing both of those with my readers. I'm hoping to finish the Dying Thoughts series in 2019 and release three books, so it's all a go!

Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.

Facebook Page: http://bit.ly/1VhLrWj



Here are Joey's wonderful covers!



















Friday, November 3, 2017

Author Spotlight: E.M. McIntyre

Today's featured author is E.M. McIntyre, author of  YA novels. Keep reading to find out more about her and her writing.

Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written? Do you set your stories in the area you live in?
Minnesota is my birth state, but I have spent the last 4 decades living in Omaha, NE. I currently write YA fantasy (but who knows, maybe someday I’ll venture into a different genre) and have published the first two books of my Red King Trilogy. My stories take place in Scotland; I was fortunate to spend eleven days there during the summer of 2001. I fell instantly in love with the Highlands and, well, everything about that land so far from my home. I didn’t know it then, but a day-trip I made to climb Ben A’an (a popular miniature mountain) would shape my future goals.

Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?
I love all things fantasy, but will gladly read anything scary, creepy, ghostly, mysterious, or thrilling. There are too many good books out there for me to pick a favorite, but one I read recently that excited me was Mist Falcon: Book One of The Warrior Poet Archives by Ryan Doughan. Superb Epic Fantasy. 

Let’s play a quick game of “This or That”. 
Real books or e-books? Hmmm....e-books are my general go-to, but if it’s a good/special book, I must have it physically on my bookshelf! 
Sweet or savory? Sweet, definitely sweet – I’m the only person in my direct family afflicted with the sweet tooth.
Dogs or cats? Dogs! That shouldn’t even be a question *wink*. There are three sleeping behind me as I type – two Italian Greyhounds and one Greyhound.
Summer or winter? Summer, because anything below 70˚F and I’m freezing all day.
Morning or night? Morning – as soon as the sun goes down, it’s time for pajamas.

Would you mind telling us about your writing style? Such as: Do have a routine? Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late night writing?
Before I can even begin writing a new project, I must have a solid outline planned, mainly major scene by scene. I use Scrivener as my software of choice, and once said outline is accomplished, I’m ready to roll. I normally write on the weekends, locked away in my bedroom with only the hum of the fish tank next to me. I start as soon as I’ve had breakfast and work most of the day, breaking for lunch, until I hit my 1000 word quota.

Do you have a favorite “writing” snack?
Nope, my tummy is on a strict schedule. 

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?
For me, the hardest part is creating my outline, followed closely by the first sentence.

What is your biggest distraction while writing?
The pretty fish tank next to me, the open blinds to the street, and I’d be lying if I didn’t include Facebook! 

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Best advice received: beta readers, beta readers, beta readers! Well, and, don’t self-edit.

Do you have any advice for new writers?
Find what works for you in terms of how to write, when to write, where to write, etc, and stick with it. Don’t worry about what other authors are doing. It’s okay if Suzie Q publishes 5 books in the time it takes you to write one.

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?
Next up is the conclusion of The Red King Trilogy. I’m in the outlining stages with the hope of putting down the first word over winter vacation of 2017. 

Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Author Spotlight: Lucinda E. Clarke


Today. wonderful author Lucinda E. Clarke is the featured author. Keep reading to find out more about her and her terrific books.


Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? What kind of books do you write? How many books have you written? Do you set your stories in the area you live in? 

I usually say I was born in Dublin, dragged up in the Cotswolds and finished off in Liverpool UK. I’ve lived in 8 different countries, in a one bed flat, a mansion and on a boat – I’ve been a millionairess and deeply in debt. I have to admit I’ve had an amazing life.
I write in 3 genres, memoir (3 books), humour (1 book) and action/adventure/thriller (4 books). It’s doubtful I’ll write any more memoirs, I’ve covered the highlights and frankly I wrote two of them so I could re-read them in the old age home and re-discover myself. I shall concentrate on the adventure books hoping that vogue will come back into fashion one day.
Since I’ve spent most of my life in Africa, it’s the backdrop for all my books. “While you leave Africa, Africa will never leave you,” is my strap line. I can sit here in my little rabbit hutch in Spain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and travel back to the land I love – wow, that’s so lyrical isn’t it? But I’m still homesick for the wide open spaces, the drumbeats beneath my feet and the feeling of total alertness. OK, I’ll stop rambling, but Africa is an amazing backdrop for stories.

Most writers I know are voracious readers. What kind of books do you like to read? What’s your favorite book?

I’m not sure I have a favourite book, I generally read at least 3 a week, and review the majority (I’m good like that). I like spy stories – my main heroine Amie is now a spy – and epics and thrillers, for example The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and authors like Jeffrey Archer, Robin Cook, Daniel Silva, Sidney Sheldon, Lynda La Plante, John Grisham, V.C. Andrews, David Baldacci, authors we’ve all heard of – but sadly the world has not heard of Lucinda E Clarke yet – and you may insert a heartfelt sigh here.  
When I was writing for a living, I had to do lots of research, lots of complicated boring stuff I then turned into simple, humorous film scripts, so in my spare time, I grabbed light, exciting and entertaining books that did not tax my 300 remaining brain cells. I am now down to about 2 brain cells and these are struggling to survive.

Let’s play a quick game of “This or That”. 
Real books or e-books? E-books easier to hold, keep my place and I can read in bed with the lights off.
Coffee or tea? Coffee, then more coffee and even more coffee – I drink it cool and make 2 mugs at a time to save time.
Sweet or savory? Sweet = chocolate – by the truck load.
Dogs or cats? Dogs – I used to breed Cairn terriers.
Summer or winter? Summer – I go into a decline in winter and hate any temps below 20C.
Morning or night? I like early morning, but do my best work at night.

Would you mind telling us about your writing style? Such as: Do have a routine? Do you need complete silence or blaring music? Early morning writing or late night writing?

Since we live in this little rabbit hutch I have to consider Dear Husband (he shuns publicity). I write frenetically at the dining room table, which happens to be the only table, when he goes out, in complete silence – bliss! I am also learning to write with my laptop on my knees while he watches TV in the evenings.

Do you have a favorite “writing” snack?

Chocolate biscuits.

Which do you think is the hardest to write: the first sentence or the last one?

The last one, When we were filming I was always looking for the final emotive shot, but I’ve always got the first paragraph in my head when I start a new book.

What is your biggest distraction while writing?

I’m afraid it’s DH, though I love him to bits. We’re still in the training stage. He’s not learned that when he bounces in and starts chatting I’ve lost swathes of dialogue for my characters. He also likes the radio on, and he plays lots of inserts off the BBC news page but I’m encouraging him to go out more often and hope that I feel creative as he drives off down the road. Oh, and the gardeners and the grape pickers – I never realized that grape picking was such a noisy occupation, they have to keep shouting at one another.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Never miss a deadline – obviously when I was writing for a living.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Write – just do it.

What’s next for you? What do your readers have to look forward to?

Book 4 in the Amie in Africa series ‘Cut for Life’ will be released on September 30th. It highlights a subject only talked about behind closed doors. Then there is the second part of my novella ‘The very Worst Riding School in the World’ but while part 1 in free on Amazon, part 2 will be for my newsletter subscribers only.

Where can we connect with you? Tell is where to find you online.

Do you remember the days when we had one address? Now we’ve got dozens, but I’ll restrain myself here and just list my web and author page
And I’ll sneak in my blog link too  http://lucindaeclarke.wordpress.com

I love hearing from readers and you can connect with me on FaceBook too of course.