Lizzie Chantree. Author photo small
6Ws, Author Interview

6Ws with Author Lizzie Chantree

Lizzie Chantree is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this 6Ws series. The timing of this post is great since her next romance novel, If You Love Me I’m Yours, has a July 9 launch.

She says her characters are “fun, sometimes feisty and often flawed, but they all have an adventure along the way… ” That was certainly true of herIYLMIY book cover small previous novel, Ninja School Mum.

Here are Lizzie’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author Lizzie Chantree?

Hello everyone. I am a romance writer who writes about strong women with zany business ideas. I am also a creative mentor and an inventor.

What does she write?

I write contemporary romance books with a splash of humour. I was once told by a happy reader that she was laughing so hard at one of my storylines that she almost dropped her baby. I hope that was a compliment! My books are often set in the countryside in the UK, where there is so much beauty to discover. My main characters are fun, sometimes feisty and often flawed, but they all have an adventure along the way and I hope my readers enjoy the journey.

When did she begin writing?

I began writing when my youngest daughter was two. She was unwell for several years and writing helped me to find a way through the darkness. I found a job that makes my soul happy and my daughter proudly tells everyone she helped me discover my career.

How does she write?

I write quickly and by hand in A4 notebooks. I then transcribe this onto my computer. It is time consuming, but I find it really creative to put pen to paper. I usually write down a rough idea of my stories, then I work out chapter guides. Next I begin to write. I’m not much of a planner and tend to go for it and see what happens. This is exciting because I feel like I’m reading the story as I’m writing it.

Where does she write?

My favourite place to write is by the sea or somewhere with a great view. If there is tea or coffee and cake nearby, then I am in a state of bliss! I also have a studio where I type up all of my manuscripts and play around with new marketing ideas. I have a bubblegum drawer where I store bubblegum to eat while I’m writing. Don’t tell my children, they haven’t discovered it yet!

Why does she write?

I write books in the hope that they will make others smile. Writing helped me to reach for the sunshine and my books are about loving yourself for who you are, not for who you think you should be. I hope my readers snuggle up with my books and enjoy a relaxing read while spending some time on themselves.

Blurb for If You Love Me, I’m Yours

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

Buy Links:

Other works:

Ninja School Mum:

Babe Driven:

Love’s Child:

Finding Gina:

Lizzie Chantree on social media:


Author page:






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6Ws, Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Author Jo Fenton

Jo Fenton is the latest Crooked Cat Books author to participate in the 6Ws series. Her psychological thriller, The Brotherhood, has an official launch July 25 although you can pre-order the Kindle version now and buy a paperback outright.

Jo was inspired to begin writing The Brotherhood by NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month although she says it actually took her six years and ten drafts. Book coverNow, that’s persistence.

Here are Jo’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author Jo Fenton?

Clinical researcher by day, writer by night (or whenever time allows), I am a short, friendly soul who loves chatting to people, running very slowly, and being helpful whenever needed. I live in Manchester, UK, with my nearly grown up sons, husband, a beautiful Corgi and two fish tanks.

What does she write?

Psychological thrillers with a strong emphasis on relationships, belief and power.

When did she begin writing?

I began writing at 41, when my kids reached an age where full time attention was no longer required, and my husband suggested it might be a good time. This was triggered by publicity for NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. The novel, an early version of The Brotherhood, didn’t quite get completed in a month. Six years and 10 drafts later, it was submitted to Crooked Cat, who fortunately loved it.

How does she write?

The Brotherhood started as a vague premise with some notes, and character descriptions. Plot changed significantly over the first few drafts, but there was not much planning done at any point. It just developed. The current work in progress, a sequel to The Brotherhood, is being subjected to much more planning, but every now and again, the muse takes over, and adds an unexpected twist or two.

Writing is facilitated by music – certain scenes require specific soundtracks, but generally any favourite music will serve as good background. Coffee or wine can also help depending on time of day.

Where does she write?

As I work from home a lot, I have an office (very untidy), which is the scene of most of my writing. However, I’m very flexible, and can write just as easily in a hotel room (when travelling for the day job), on a plane, or on holiday (sea-view balconies and cruise ship bars are definitely favourite writing spots!)

Why does she write?

For many years, I played out stories in my head, retreating into a virtual universe for days at a time. It was only when I began to write my first novel, that I realized how important it was to have that outlet. Writing became an escape from everyday life; a safe way to explore fears, dreams and the wildest corners of my imagination. Due to demands on time, it’s not always possible to write, but I return to my novels whenever I can, with a huge sense of relief.

More on The Brotherhood:

The Brotherhood will be released by Crooked Cat books on 25thJuly. The Brotherhood is a psychological thriller set in a religious sect and is available for pre-order on Amazon

Other works:

None yet, but I’m working on it.

Jo Fenton on social media:







Author Interview, Opening scene

Opening Scene: The Soulweaver Series

Heidi Catherine, an Australian author, is the first to appear in this new feature I call Opening Scene. Here Heidi writes about the opener for her Soulweaver Series, The Soulweaver Trilogywhich takes the idea of reincarnation to a different level. The third, The Shadowmaker, launched May 31.

In Opening Scene, authors are asked to describe how they began their book and to give an excerpt. Here’s what Heidi wrote.


The Soulweaver series is a love story that spans many lifetimes. Occasionally one of the characters will die and be reborn, sending them on a search to find the souls they loved in their previous lifetime. It was inevitable that this series was going to need to take place over several centuries, which made choosing the right starting point a little tricky. Should I start in present day and move the story forward into the future? Or should I start in the past and work my way to present day?

In the end, I decided that my strength is my imagination. If I began the story in the past, I was going to need to bury myself in research to make sure it was accurate. And the idea of doing that spoiled all the fun for me. I much preferred the idea of making up a futuristic world on my own terms.

With that decided, my opening scene took shape in my head. I had a clear image of a girl in a forest. I’m Australian, so I wanted to begin on my turf, even though I planned for the story to cross the globe, as it felt unrealistic to me for souls to continue to be reincarnated in the one place.

The opening scene introduces us to Hannah and a girl who lives in a peaceful Australian town, which is in direct contrast to the turmoil swirling in her mind. She doesn’t quite understand her place in the world and has spent her life feeling like something is missing.

I took a bit of risk with the first sentence by telling the reader that Hannah was going to die. But I also tried to make this fact intriguing rather than off-putting. Hopefully I succeeded. Here are the first three paragraphs of the opening scene for you to decide.

Hannah’s life began the day she died. It had happened before – both the dying and the beginning. She didn’t know it, though. All she knew was now.

She knew the smell of spring in the fields around the forest. She knew the sound of whispering trees as she slipped beneath their canopy. She knew the feel of Matthew’s hand clasping hers as if she were part of his soul. It was a hand that led her deeper into the forest. The deeper they went, the more she felt at peace. Here, the world could rage its wars and her ears would be deaf. It was her place to run when the world began to spin.

The world often spun for Hannah. She’d spent the sixteen years of her life feeling like she’d forgotten something of urgent importance. It was a nagging thought that pulled at her. If only she knew what it was she’d forgotten.

And so the story begins. By the end of the first chapter, we understand exactly why Hannah always felt this way and exactly what was that she felt like she’d forgotten. And by the end of the book… well, I’d better let you find that out for yourself!


Heidi Catherine’s award-winning, romantic fantasy series, The Soulweaver, explores the possibility of loving the same souls over many lifetimes. The first novel in the series was the winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award and was released by Crooked Cat Books. This novel is followed by The Truthseeker and The Shadowmaker.

Not being able to decide if she prefers living in Melbourne or the Mornington Peninsula, Heidi shares her time between both places. She is similarly pulled in opposing directions by her two sons and two dogs, remaining thankful she only has one husband.

Heidi loves to hear from readers and can be found at


She’s loved and lost him a hundred times across a thousand years. She can’t bear to lose him again.

Lin’s dreams are haunted by faces of people she’s never met. Unable to shake the feeling she’s lived before, she’s drawn to Reinier—a stranger whose soul is heartbreakingly familiar from a time gone by.

Reinier helps Lin unravel the mystery of her past life as Hannah, a girl who sacrificed herself for her true love, Matthew. As Lin falls hopelessly in love with Reinier, her memories of her life as Hannah sharpen and she finds herself unable to let go of Matthew.

With her heart torn in two, Lin must decide whether she should stand by Reinier’s side or track down Matthew and fight for his love. What she doesn’t know is that her decision will ripple across our troubled planet, affecting far more lives than just her own.

Winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award, The Soulweaver is a story that will change the way you see the world.













6Ws, Author Interview

6 Ws with Teresa Dovalpage

Teresa Dovalpage is the next author to appear in this 6Ws series. I do have a confession to make. Not only is Teresa a talented writer in English and Spanish, she is one of my dearest friends. As you can read from her answers, she is a lot of fun.

Her latest book is Death Comes in through the Kitchen, published by Soho Crime.Cover It is a mystery set in Cuba, her country of origin, which puts an interesting twist on the story. And for foodies there are recipes for great Cuban dishes.

Here are Teresa’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author Teresa Dovalpage?

A Cuban transplant to New Mexico. A quirky chica. A novelist and a college professor at NMJC.

What does she write?

Un poquito de todo! A little bit of everything but mostly fiction: novels, short stories and a couple of theater plays. I also write for The Taos News. For over eight years I did business and lifestyle stories, which were super fun. I am now writing a series of bilingual novellas.

When does she write?

At night, always. I am a night owl. My best inspiration comes after ten p.m. Qué weirdo, no? And then I need a steak before I can go to sleep.

How does she write?

I used to have just a general idea in my cabeza, a not too well-defined roadmap that was subject to change. But since I started writing mysteries I have developed a healthy respect for a better planned plot. It makes writing easier. I am now reading Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories That Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats by Jane Cleland, who I just met at the Cozycon, and I am learning a lot about about techniques, settings, subplots and more.

Where does she write?

At home. I now have an office. I used to have the computer in my bedroom but I have found out that keeping a sleep/ work separation is worthwhile. I fall sleep faster, maybe because my characters are trapped in a different room.

Why does she write?

For fun. I started writing when I was a teenager and haven’t been able to stop. At first, I didn’t have any idea of what I was doing… not sure that has changed a lot. But I’ve been an avid reader since childhood so writing felt like a natural step.

About her recent book:

Death Comes in through the Kitchen (Soho Crime, 2018) is available at Amazon and bookstores. Matt, a San Diego journalist, travels to Havana carrying a wedding dress for Yarmila, his Cuban fiancée. But he finds her dead in her bathtub. Later he starts to wonder: Who was that woman he thought he knew? And who killed her? It’s also a Havana travelogue, with descriptions of paladares (small private restaurants), casas particulares (inns), and the bright colored fifties cars known as almendrones. The book contains authentic Cuban recipes.

Other works:

In English: A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004); Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010); and The Astral Plane, Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond (University of New Orleans Press, 2012).

In Spanish:Muerte de un murciano en La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain); El difunto Fidel (The late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, that won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009); Posesas de La Habana (Haunted ladies of Havana, Pure Play Press, 2004); La Regenta en La Habana(Edebe Group, Spain, 2012); Orfeo en el Caribe (Atmósfera Literaria, Spain, 2013); and El retorno de la expatriada (The Expat’s Return, Egales, Spain, 2014).

Teresa Dovalpage on social media:



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Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Martin Geraghty

Martin Geraghty is the latest Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this 6Ws series. A real life P.I. who lives in Scotland, his likes to write, as he puts it, about human beings.

May 10 is a big day for Martin as his debut novel, Main CoverA Mind Polluted, officially launches. I pre-ordered my copy a long time ago.

Here are his responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author Martin Geraghty?

I am a 45-year-old private investigator from Glasgow, Scotland. Lover of books, food, wine, golf and laughter.

What does he write?

I write about human beings, their flaws, how one person reacts to a specific set of circumstances and another reacts completely differently.

When did he start writing?

I began in June 2016.

How does he write?

When writing, A Mind Polluted, my routine was to get my six-year-old boy to bed, switch my laptop on and write for as long as possible. Simple as that. Just write.

Where does he write?

I have a favourite black recliner leather chair with a stool that I position to look out of my lounge bay window and my view is mostly the sky.

Why does he write?

I love story-telling. I love to explore the various aspects of how we behave.

About A Mind Polluted: My debut novel, A Mind Polluted, is published by Crooked Cat Books. The paperback is available from Amazon as well as the Kindle version, which is officially released on May 10. A Mind Polluted, is the story of a boy who at thirteen years old overhears a terrible confession from his mother’s lips which sets a series of events in motion. Can you leave the past in the past and concentrate on his future? Or will he seek his own perceived version of justice?

Other works: Poems & flash fiction have appeared in various lit-zines in the UK.

Martin Geraghty on social media:

Twitter: MartinGeraght1


He can be found on Facebook under Martin Geraghty.