Sunday, 19 November 2017

Giveaway: Win a copy of Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson

Today it's my stop on Ragnar Jonasson's Whiteout blog tour for which I had been planning to do a review but sadly I've been ill this week with a chest infection which has affected my energy levels and reading mojo.  So instead I have decided to do a giveaway for a paperback copy of Whiteout and will do a separate review at a later date.

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Debut Spotlight: D.K. Hood

Today it's my pleasure to be shining the spotlight on US crime writer D.K. Hood and her debut novel Don't Tell a Soul which was published a couple of weeks ago.

I've always had a wicked sense of humor, and was the kid who told the ghost stories around the campfire. I am lucky to have family all over the world and have spent many wonderful vacations in places from Paris France to Montana USA and Australia. I use the wonderful memories from these visits to enhance my stories.

My interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. I enjoy writing crime, mystery and thrillers. With many stories, waiting for me to write I'll look forward to sharing many spine tingling stories with you.

D.K. Hood is an active member of International Thriller Writers.

Twitter: @DKHood_Author
Facebook: DK Hood author

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey? 
Writing for me has been a varied path. I started with romance but found my stories leaned more toward action adventure or suspense. I love to read crime, mystery and thrillers in a wide variety of genres, from military Black Ops to mysteries set in small villages. I had so many story ideas running around in my head, I decided to change my entire world around and write a crime thriller.

It took a lot of research to decide where to send my very first crime thriller submission and I decided to submit to Bookouture. I could not believe my eyes when a reply came back saying they loved my story and a three-book deal followed.

Being a debut author in a genre with a massive amount of brilliant writers has been terrifying but with Bookouture’s great team behind me and being with the best group of authors in the world, I’m confident my work will go out into the world the best it can be.

If you had to give an elevator pitch for Don't Tell a Soul, what would it be? 
Small town. Big Crimes. Dark Secrets.

Don’t Tell A Soul is a fast-paced, crime thriller, featuring two ex-special agents looking to hide from their past in the sheriff’s office of a small US town.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Debut Spotlight: Stephen Norman

Today it's my stop on the Trading Down blog tour with a spotlight feature on author Stephen Norman and this debut novel which was published on Thursday.

Stephen Norman spent 20 years at the forefront of investment banking IT, facing industry turbulence, from the rise and fall of the dotcoms, the destruction of 911 and the banking collapse of 2008. He has worked in financial centres across the world – from London and New York, to Hong Kong and Tokyo – and has fulfilled a range of high powered roles including Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch and an unusually long 7 year stint as CIO of RBS Global Markets. In 2012, he left the world of finance to focus on his writing.

Trading Down is Stephen’s first novel.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey? 
I’m a scientist, really.  I’ve always been interested in how things work.  I was good at maths and physics at school, and hopeless at languages.  Except for English.  For as long as I can remember, I have been reading and writing.  When I was a child, I wrote terrible adventure stories.  At college it was essays.  In my 20s I started a software company and I did the design, the manuals, the business plans and all the marketing literature and advertising.  I’ve written technical books.  In my second career, doing IT in banks, I have started a whole string of novels based on my experiences.  Trading Down is the first one to be published.

If you had to give an elevator pitch for Trading Down, what would it be? 
It’s a book about a bank which is under attack from a cyber-terrorist.  Our protagonist, Chris Peters, figures that out, but no-one else believes him.  Intertwined with his personal struggles (at work and at home), is a tragedy that happened years before, in Yemen.  At the climax of the book, as the bank is a few minutes away from destruction, the two stories and the two protagonists come together.  

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Debut Spotlight: Asa Avdic

Today it's my pleasure to be shining the spotlight on Swedish journalist Asa Avdic and her debut novel The Dying Game as part of her UK blog tour.

Asa Avdic is a journalist who for years was a presenter for Swedish Public Service Radio and Television and is currently a host of Sweden’s biggest morning current events programme.

She lives with her family in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Dying Game is her first novel.

Oh, it’s really quite simple. I want you to play dead.’

On the remote island of Isola, seven people have been selected to compete in a 48-hour test for a top-secret intelligence position. One of them is Anna Francis, a workaholic with a nine-year-old daughter she rarely sees, and a secret that haunts her. Her assignment is to stage her own death and then observe, from her hiding place inside the walls of the house, how the other candidates react to the news that a murderer is among them. Who will take control? Who will crack under pressure? 

But as soon as Anna steps on to the island she realises something isn’t quite right. And then a storm rolls in, the power goes out, and the real game begins…

If this sounds like a book that you'd like to read then I have a short extract below to whet your appetite.

The Dying Game

A s a Av d i c

Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles

The next morning I left home before it was fully light out. A taxi picked me up on the sidewalk outside my apartment. Little snowflakes were dancing in the air as the taxi driver huffed and heaved my bags into the trunk. I was struck by the urge to turn around and take a picture of my building, as if I would be gone for a very long time.
The taxi driver drove out of the city and down to the large industrial wharves where the lake turned to sea; he wove around warehouses and stacks of containers before stopping at a pier with locked gates. He removed my bags from the trunk and placed them on the ground, but before I even had time to ask whether I was supposed to pay or sign a receipt he had hopped back into the taxi and driven off. I stood there alone, wondering what I should do, but then I saw a uniformed man approaching from the other side of the gate. Without a word, he unlocked the padlocks that fastened thick chains around the gates and let me in. As I looked around, I discovered that there was a surveillance camera mounted on one of the tall gateposts, and I assumed that was how they had learned of my arrival. The white snow had covered the ground like a thin layer of powdered sugar, and as we walked along the pier I turned around to look at my own footprints. They were already being covered by snow again.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Author Interview: Melissa de la Cruz

Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Melissa de la Cruz to the blog on the latest leg of the Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe blog tour.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing journey? 
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was eleven years old, I wrote my first novel at 22 but didn’t sell it, instead an editor who was interested told me I should try to be a journalist so I could have professional writing credits. So I became a freelance journalist, and worked as a beauty and fashion editor until I sold my third written novel (and first published novel) Cat’s Meow in 1999.

If you had to give an elevator pitch for Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe, what would it be? 
Gender-swapped Pride & Prejudice with one snooty Miss Darcy.

What inspired you to do a modern, festive re-telling of such a classic novel?
It always bothered me that Lizzy Bennet had so little options, like if Darcy didn’t marry her, she was going to be a poor spinster. So I wanted to write about a woman who had the world at her fingertips –so I thought why not make Darcy an alpha female? It’s also a homage to two of my favorite novels – Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, and Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. And the Christmas setting was because I’m working with a producer who makes a ton of Christmas movies, and he asked me to come up with Christmas ideas, and voila!