17362662_1817860305204464_694387859854246869_n
6Ws, Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Alice Castle

Alice Castle is the next author to be featured in this 6Ws series. Besides being fellow Crooked Cat Books authors, Alice and I share a professional background — journalism. Now she writes the London Murder Mysteries series, which is on the cozy side. After all her sleuth is a single mum.

Homicide in Herne Hill, the next, has an Oct. 3 release day. Scroll down to get a Outlook-cwkzoymtsynopsis.

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

Who is author Alice Castle?

I’m a former national newspaper journalist, I’ve worked on various papers including The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Express. I’m now an editor for various publishers as well as a novelist.

What does she write?

I write cozy crime whodunits. My London Murder Mystery series features a single mum amateur sleuth, Beth Haldane. Beth is a thirty-something widow with a ten-year-old son, Ben, and a haughty black and white cat, Magpie.

When does she write?

I write in the mornings, as early as possible. Though I would by no means describe myself as a morning person, I still find this is the time when the ideas flow best. And it’s the quietest time in our busy house.

How does she write?

I write on my beloved Mac laptop, for as long as I can, but always writing at least a thousand words a day – twice as many as Graham Greene! I drink an awful lot of tea while I’m at it.

Where does she write?

At the moment, I write in my bedroom as various children are home from uni or school, and it’s too noisy and busy elsewhere. Usually, I write in the kitchen, with at least one of our two cats trying to drape itself across my keyboard.

Why does she write?

Because I have to. If I don’t have a novel on the go, I find myself writing incredibly long emails.

Give readers a brief description of your new book plus when it is available to buy and where, plus the publisher.

My new book, coming out on Oct. 3, is Homicide in Herne Hill, published by Crooked Cat. Beth Haldane, SE21’s premier – and only – single mum amateur sleuth, is really pleased to find a new friend at the school gates, in the shape of irrepressibly bouncy Nina. As well as a way with words, Nina has a puzzle she wants Beth to solve, centred on the solicitor’s office where she works in Herne Hill.

But as the mystery thickens, threatening to drag in not just Nina and her boss but the yummy mummies of Dulwich, too, Beth is about to find out just how far some people will go to keep up appearances. The fourth book in the London Murder Mystery series, this is Beth’s toughest case yet.

Other works:

London Murder Mystery series: Death in Dulwich, The Girl in the Gallery, Calamity in Camberwell.

Chicklit: Hot Chocolate, also published in German as Schokoherz.

Alice Castle on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alice.castle.355

Websites: https://www.alicecastleauthor.comhttps://www.dulwichdivorcee.com

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/alice_castle__/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446735.Alice_Castle

 

 

Standard
author pic 2
Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books, New release

Opening Scene: Hunter’s Revenge

Val Penny is the next author to be featured in my Opening Scene series, specifically for her next mystery set in Scotland, Hunter’s Revenge. Here’s how she pitches the book, the second in her Hunter series: “Hunter by name – Hunter by Hunter's Revenge Covernature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is revenged.”

I read the first in this series and was hooked. But then again, I am a huge fan of mysteries set in the UK. She is also a fellow author at Crooked Cat Books.

Hunter’s Revenge has a Sept. 9 release.

Here are the links to buy Hunter’s Chase and Hunter’s Revenge: myBook.to/HuntersChase and myBook.to/HuntersRevenge. 

So how does Hunter’s Revenge begin? Here’s a description from Val.

 DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense? Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify the killer and identify George’s killer.

Hunter also finds a new supply of cocaine from Peru flooding HMP Edinburgh and the city. The courier leads Hunter to the criminal gang, but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough and local gangster Ian Thomson to make his case. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller.

Here is an excerpt from the prologue of Hunter’s RevengeHunter's Revenge Banner

The last thing Georg did on his eighteenth birthday was kill a man.

He really hadn’t meant to kill the Stasi officer in front of him, but it was him or Georg – and Georg did not want to die. It was the first time he’d seen a corpse. The streets were slick with ice. The man lost his balance and cracked his head on the pavement. Georg stared down at the body: there was blood and brains all over the pavement. He looked into the officer’s eyes. They stared blindly to heaven, but Georg knew there wasn’t a Stasi officer on earth who was going there. He looked away from death and towards his friends in horror, but when they saw what had happened, they scattered. Georg picked up the officer’s gun and began to run.

More Stasi officers appeared as the boys fled.

Georg was out of breath when he got home.

“What’s the rush, son?” his father asked.

“Shit, Dad! It’s bad.”

“You’re drunk! No language in this house, boy,” said his grandmother.

“Dad, the boys and me were leaving the bar to come home and we saw a Stasi officer”

“So?”

“We were laughing and having fun.”

“And?”

“For a laugh I knocked his hat off.”

“Idiot! You know Stasi have no sense of humour. Ever. So what next?”

“He pulled his gun and told us to stand silently against the wall.”

“And you apologised and complied, I hope.”

“I panicked and punched him. He slipped on the ice and fell over. He hit his head on the ground, and when I checked him, he wasn’t breathing. He was dead. I just took his gun and ran.”

The silence in the room was deafening.

“You did what? You fucking idiot! Did you really punch a Stasi officer? Are you mad? You know we don’t even have to openly engage in resistance to draw the attention of the Stasi and incur its retribution. Just failing to conform with mainstream society can be enough. Shit! I sired a fool.” Georg’s father’s red face reflected his rage.

“And now you are here,” his grandmother added. “You ran home, leading them straight to us. We will all die now. Thank you.”

“What is all the noise?” Georg’s mother came through from the kitchen, drying her hands on her apron. His twin sister Ingrid and younger brother Wilhelm followed her. They looked bewildered. Their father rarely raised his voice, especially not to Georg.

As his father explained the issues, Georg’s mother burst into tears.

“They will kill him,” she whispered. 

About Val Penny:

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University.

She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.

Her crime novels, Hunter’s Chase and Hunter’s Revenge are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The third book in the series, Hunter’s Force, follows shortly.

Val Penny on social media:

www.authorvalpenny.com

www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

twitter.com/valeriepenny

 

 

 

 

Standard
37335591_10156343688905761_4485199141365874688_n
Book Sale, Crooked Cat Books, Kindle

Such a Deal: 99 Cents for a Really Good Book

Who loves a bargain? I sure as heck do, especially when it comes to books. Readers who use Kindle have three days — July 24-26 — to buy themselves some great books from Crooked Cat Books’ authors for 99 cents. What could you buy these days for that amount of money?

Crooked Cat Books is my publisher. So, yes, you can buy my first mystery, Chasing the Case for 99 cents. And just in time because the second in the Isabel Long Mystery Series, Redneck’s Revenge, will be out very soon. Chasing the Case cover copyHere’s the link: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

But I’m not going to be selfish about this promotion because Crooked Cat has gathered together a pride of great authors writing in several genres: mystery in all of its ramifications; romance; historical; fantasy; and non-fiction.

It’s an easy way to load up your Kindle without breaking the bank and to try out new authors.

When I first signed on with Crooked Cat Books in November, I used its winter sale to stock up on books and to get a feel for what my fellow authors write. By the way, they are an international group, including the UK, other parts of Europe, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

That’s how I got to know: Katharine Johnson, the author of three books including her latest The Secret; Lorcan Kavanagh, who wrote the dark thriller, Texas Dakota; and Nancy Jardine’s mystery Topaz Eyes. Then there was Olga Swan’s memoir Pensioners in Paradis, and Sue Barnard’s intriguing Never on Saturday. Others include Alice Castle’s London Murder Mysteries, Anne-Marie Ormsby’s dark fantasy Purgatory Hotel and Isabella May’s Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

I found I was in very good company.

Let me make some other recommendations.IMG_5824

History buff? Try John Jackson’s Heart of Stoneand with a ghostly twist, Jennifer C. Wilson’s Kindred Spirits Series, and Kate Braitwaite’s The Road to Newgate. Romance your thing? Lizzie Chantree, Sue Roebuck, Carre-Anne Schless, Jess B. Moore, Miriam Drori, Awen Thornber, and Kate Armitage have books for you.

For fantasy, check out Heidi Catherine’s Soulweaver Series. An Australian author, she explores the concept that we fall in love with the same people life after life. Yup, she makes me believe in love everlasting.

Crooked Cat has a strong collection of thriller fiction including those written by J.V. Baptie, Maisie Porter, Alex Macbeth, Daralyse Lyons, Seamus Heffernan, Columbkill Noonan, and C.J. Sutton. Also look for Val Penny’s Hunter’s Chase, the first in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. Then there are Angela Wren’s books set in France.

I could go on and on, but this gives you an idea of the variety available.

So this is how you do it. Starting Tuesday, June 24, go to Amazon’s book session and plug in Crooked Cat Books to search. You might get a few books that have cat in the title but don’t be fooled. The right books will cost 99 cents in the U.S. or 99 p if you are in the UK.

Standard
Rednecks Revenge small
Crooked Cat Books, Isabel Long Series

It’s Called Redneck’s Revenge

Redneck’s Revenge is the name of the second book in the Isabel Long mystery series. And guess what? It’s ready to pre-order for those who prefer to read on Kindle. Just a click and Redneck’s Revenge will be ready to pop into your device September 26. No money up front. How easy is that?

The Kindle version costs $2.99 by the way, which I believe is a good deal.

Here’s the link provided by my publisher, Crooked Cat Books: mybook.to/rednecksrevenge

As for those who prefer paperback, that version will be available next month. Don’t worry. I will let you know when that happens.

So what’s Redneck’s Revenge about? After her first case, Isabel Long is in a bit of a funk. Yeah, she solved that 28-year-old missing person’s case, but success has its cost. First her relationship with Jack, the owner of the Rooster Bar, is kaput for reasons those who have read the first book will understand. (I’m not giving away anything here, folks.) Then the cops tell Isabel she must work for a licensed P.I. for three years before she can do it solo.

But Isabel snaps out of it thanks to her 92-year-old mother — her very own Watson. She hooks up with a down-on-his-luck P.I. and better yet, finds a new case.

Annette Waters is convinced her father, Chet, an ornery cuss who owned a junkyard, didn’t die in a fire because he was drunk. Somebody killed him. Her list of suspects includes a rival junkyard owner, drug-dealing brothers, and an ex-husband. As a former journalist and now an amatuer sleuth, Isabel decides it’s too good a story to turn down.

Is Chet’s death a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

Yeah, this was a fun book to write and I will be sharing more over the next few month about the characters, setting, etc. And what about Jack? Let’s just say things get a bit complicated.Chasing the Case cover copy

THE FIRST: Here’s the link for Chasing the Case, the first in the series, which is available in Kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

ABOUT THE IMAGE ABOVE: That’s the great cover designed by Laurence Patterson, co-publisher of Crooked Cat Books.

 

Standard
Jo - profile photo 2
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 http://mybook.to/fentonthebrotherhood.

Other works:

None yet, but I’m working on it.

Jo Fenton on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jl_fenton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jo-Fenton-Author

Blog: https://www.jofenton137.com

 

 

 

Standard