Book Excerpt: Dead in the Shop

Dead in the shop_frontcover_forjpegs-01_600

“If you put naked gnomes in your garden….” Reggie trailed off, seeming completely at a loss for how to finish his sentence. “Can you not antagonise the woman?”

“I could.” Valor had no intentions of stopping their gnome wars. He thought it a perfectly passive-aggressive punishment for their nosy and bigoted neighbour. She disliked them because of their relationship and Bishan’s ethnicity. “But I won’t. Not going to apologise either.”

“Fine.” Reggie shook his head and chuckled. “I’ve already spoken to her about it. I did point out the gnomes are in your garden.”

Valor reached down to grab a stray frog, tossing it over the fence. “Unlike her amphibians.”

“What are you doing?”

“Making it rain?” Valor snickered with the detective. “Sorry.”

“Don’t lie to the police.” Reggie laughed. “She’ll send another complaint, and I have better things to do than write reports about flying frogs.”

“Really?” Valor wondered if he could get a copy of one of those reports to frame and put on the wall. “Could I—”

“No, I’m not making copies for you.” Reggie glared at him, proving how well he’d gotten to know them. “Why don’t we have tea inside? Prevent Mrs Harris from pelting you with frogs.”

“Will rivers of blood be next?” Valor wandered into the cottage with Staccato and Reggie following close behind. “Bish?”

“Made tea.” Bishan waved at Reggie and plucked Staccato off the floor. “Did you chuck another frog over the fence?”

“Who, me?”

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lcaCwN

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2JWcKXw

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JWcUhA

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2litkmF

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2sYpraG

iTunes: https://apple.co/2le829J

Nook: http://bit.ly/2LUULhw

 

Book Review: Dead in the Shop

Dead in the shop_frontcover_forjpegs-01_600This was a wonderfully written trilogy. I was captured almost immediately while reading the first book. The author has written a story holds on to you all through the three books. I guessed who the killer was but then that person would end up dead. I was surprised at the end and what a joy it was to be. I loved this mystery.” 5 Stars, Wende on GoodReads

 

Quoth the Raven

still-life-851328_1920

(I was going to start this out with, these are a few of my favourite things. But now I’ve got that damned song from The Sound of Music stuck in my head.)

I wanted to share a few of the quotes on writing that I go to when I’m floundering.  This first one from Neil Gaiman is actually pinned on the board above my desk.

neilgquote

“I am not at all in a humour for writing; I must write on till I am.” ~ Jane Austen

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” ~ Terry Pratchett

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ~ Octavia E. Butler

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~ Maya Angelou

“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.” ~ Doris Lessing

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ~ Neil Gaiman

 

Book Excerpt: One Last Heist

One Last Heist profile Picture


Excerpt:

“Would you just admit you can’t see in the dark?” Toshiro snapped in pure frustration. “Mack. Are you listening to me?”

“I’m fine. My ears work perfectly.”

Fine.

He’s fine.

Right.

Fine, my arse.

Well, my arse is fine.

“You walked into the table.” Toshiro watched in the darkened room through the night vision on his camera while his stubborn husband stumbled around. “And into the sofa—oh, and the wall. Classic. You’re supposed to crack the safe, not take a header into it.”

“Toshi,” Mack whispered his nickname sharply. “Couldn’t you yell at me in Cantonese or Japanese or any one of the hundred languages you speak? It would still be distracting, but I wouldn’t understand a word of it.”

“I speak thirty languages—not a hundred.” Toshiro grinned even though Mack couldn’t see it. “I suppose the point of a timed run-through of cracking the safe might require your full attention. Oh, look, you tripped over the carpet again.”

Toshiro Ueda-Easton.

Gregor Tempest Mackay Ueda-Easton. Fine, fine. I’ll be quiet. Continue walking into the wall, but I’m not explaining your concussion to the others.” Toshiro continued to ramble about the idiotic stubbornness of his husband in Portuguese, one of the many languages he’d picked up over the years. “Idiota.

“I understood that one.” Mack tossed one of the drill bits of his safe-drilling rig in his husband’s general direction—missing him completely. “Keep cussing me out in Spanish.”

“Portuguese.”


Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2IwvZHc

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2IzVYxy

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2ka8sxa

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2wX4mlh

iTunes: https://apple.co/2paNGjg

Nook: http://bit.ly/LastHeist-Nook

Kobo: http://bit.ly/LastHeist-kobo

All digital links: https://books2read.com/last-heist

Book Review: One Last Heist

One Last Heist profile Picture
“One Last Heist really surprised me. I was expecting a fun read, yet it turns out this was a book with more depth than I’d imagined. I was sucked into the story, fell in love with the characters, and found myself desperately turning the pages to get more of all the good stuff. A wonderful read.” 4 Stars, Siobhan on Amazon

Location, location, location.

reef-2158040_1920

I don’t know how other authors pick locations. But here’s an insight into how I do it.

1. I’ve lived there (or at least visited.)

Some of the locations featured in my stories are places I’ve been which spoke to me in some way.

Windermere/Grasmere in the Grasmere Trilogy is a prime example. The Lake District, in general, is one of my favourite places in the entire world. If I could live anywhere, it would probably be there.

2. Plot Led.

Found You is probably the greatest example from my books. I knew the story had to be set in Florida. The Keys was honestly the only place that would fit what I had in mind for the novella.

And, I fell in love with the Keys while researching for Found You.

CHICKENS!

3. My Bucket List.

Last, but not least, I pick places I’ve always wanted to visit. When I was younger (6 weeks old to 21 years old), I travelled quite extensively. I’ve been to twenty plus countries and lived in five.

I’ve always had a little bucket list of places I wanted to go. And hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to travel again. It’s been ages since I visited another country.

The Sin Bin is the best example of this one. Cornwall is a place that I’ve always wanted to spend a lot of time at. I think we went there when I was a baby, but I obviously can’t remember, so I don’t count it.

Researching the series was great fun for me because I got to vicariously live in the lovely villages that I’ve longed to see.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but those are definitely my top three.

How about you? If you’re a writer, how do you pick the setting of your story?

For readers, how important is the setting?

Excerpt: Forged in Flood.


Excerpt:

The Blacks of Boscastle had run the forge since before the sixteenth century. All the men and many of the women in his family had been blacksmiths by trade. Ivan had always felt particularly proud to follow in their footsteps. They’d worked through rains, wars, and plagues.

I’m not going to be the first to run over a spot of bad weather.

There was one major downside to everyone in the village having fled—there were no distractions. Ivan had far too much time on his hands to think. His mind went back in time to an event best left untouched. One dismal night, one massive car crash, and three young lives drastically altered forever.

He’d restricted himself to Boscastle and the smithy since then, promising never to take risks ever again. And he hadn’t, not really. His life had become incredibly boring and predictable.

Ivan gritted his teeth and slammed down the hammer in his hand to stave off the onslaught of memories. “Sodding rain.”

As a young man, Ivan and his two best mates had been the pride of their university. Rugby stars in the making; all three had already signed contracts to turn professional upon graduation. The offers hinged on them staying healthy and keeping their heads in the game.

One accident had ruined it for all three of them.

All my fucking fault.

Of the three young men, Ivan had gotten off easiest as far as long-term issues. He’d suffered a severe concussion along with cuts and bruises. The accident left him with memory problems, a short fuse on his temper, and blindingly painful migraines; his balance had also been greatly affected by the damage to his brain.

His mate, Wes, had the injuries that were most visible. His face, hands, and arms had been left covered with scars. He’d also lost the sight in his right eye.

The third of their trio, Rolly, had gone through multiple surgeries on his left leg. Even with the best care, it would never be the same. He’d walk with a limp for the rest of his life.

Three promising sports careers flushed down the toilet by one foolish mistake. Everyone consoled Ivan by reminding him that any of them could’ve been behind the wheel. They’d driven drunk a thousand times before and gotten lucky each time.

Their luck had simply run out. They’d taken their lives (and the lives of anyone else on the road) into their own stupid, drunken hands. The car had flown around a corner on a rain-slicked road and rolled several times before crashing into a tree.

For Ivan, his dreams going up in smoke hadn’t been the worst part. Not a day went by where he didn’t regret losing his best mates. Guilt, more than anything, kept him from trying to breach the gap and contact them.

He’d hidden himself away in Cornwall to avoid ever having to see either man again.

Fucking enough, you fuckwitted moron.

Beating yourself up won’t change anything.

Sod this sodding rain.


Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lcaCwN

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2JWcKXw

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JWcUhA

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2litkmF

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2sYpraG

iTunes: https://apple.co/2le829J

Nook: http://bit.ly/2LUULhw