The Perfect Blend: Coffee and Kane


Currently Browsing: Contemporary fiction

World Book Day: My Favourite Reads.

It’s World Book Day today!!

Having spent a fabulous weekend at the Stoke Lodge Hotel, near Dartmouth (Devon, UK), celebrating World Book Day early with the wonderful Annette Shaw from Devon Life magazine – hearing a wide variety of talks from all sides of the writing world- as well as from those whose jobs are made so much easier by sharing the joy of reading – I thought I’d share my favourite books with you.

As a child I read from an early age. Once I’d discovered the joy of books I never looked back. I would spend many happy hours locked in the world of The Folk of the Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton), with the likes of Moonface, Silky and Saucepan Man. I explored the imagination of Roald Dahl with The BFG. I got lost in the tales of British Myths and Legends, and walked through the trees with The Animals of Farthing Wood (Colin Dann).

By the time my teens arrived, I was seldom without a Robin of Sherwood novel (Richard Carpenter/Robin May/Anthony Horowitz), and I read Ivanhoe so often the cover began to fall off the book.

The book that stuck with me the most however- one I recall my final year primary school teacher reading to us a class each day before home time – was The Christmas Carol by Dickens. I can’t begin to describe how much I love that book. I have several copies of it, from children’s Ladybird editions, to one beautiful work written in a calligraphic style.

It took me into a world of Victorian realism, hope and magic that was far removed from the awfulness of being a shy child with low self esteem in the 1980’s.

As I grew, my tastes expanded, and now it’s a rare day when I don’t have a murder mystery or a chick lit novel awaiting my attention by the side of the bed. Whenever the days are tough doing, I will reread The Rose Revived by Katie Fforde, as it never fails to lift my mood. When I want to laugh out loud, I reach for my trusty copy of Men at Arms – or possibly Masquerade (I love them equally) – by the much missed Terry Pratchett. And if I just want to smile, I will re-read my all time favourite children’s book – Little Miss Sunshine (by Roger Hargreaves)– a character who I have always loved, and who appears on a great many objects around my house, from mugs to toothbrush holder.

At the moment I am happily devouring Murder at the Bayswater Bicycle Club by Linda Stratman – the latest in the Frances Doughty Mysteries– a series I adore.

The magic of reading- or being read to- never falls to amaze me. It is therapy- it is hope- it is escapism- adventure- romance- an adrenalin rushing fear with a solution….and so much more.

So today, rather than put the TV on when you get home, why not curl up with a good book? Read to your child, read to your partner…just read. You never know where the words will take you.

If you aren’t sure which book to read, I have written one or two! Just see the links at the top of the page.

Have a lovely World Book Day,

Jenny xxx

 

 

 


A day in the life of a romcom writer – by Nicola May

I’m delighted to welcome Nicola May to my site today as part of her ‘The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay’ blog tour.

A day in the life of a romcom writer – by Nicola May

I would love to tell all you lovely blog readers that I get up at ten, and after a hearty breakfast cooked by my private chef, I then lay on my velvet chaise. This is then where I’m then fanned and fed grapes by a scantily clad toy boy whilst reciting my next masterpiece into a Dictaphone.

However, the reality of being a romcom author is sadly not quite so romantic. Especially as I still also work as an Events Manager.

No two days are the same, but this is my general routine on a writing day –

0600 – my alarm catapults me into reality. I crawl to the kitchen, make a strong cup of tea (always PG Tips) and get back into bed to catch up on the news on TV and spend a bit of time with my wonderful RSPCA cat Stanley. That’s if he’s not waiting at the door with some form of livestock. Little shrews are his favourite at the moment.

0645 -After vowing I won’t eat bread all week, I then wolf down two slices of toast with real butter. Before the last mouthful is down, I don exercise gear and head to Ascot Racecourse. Walking is my time to think about plot lines, characters etc. Sometimes I have a mad Eureka moment when I see where a new story can go and it really excites me. Yes, I am that mad woman shouting ‘Yes’ out loud when a new idea forms in my mind!

0745 – Back home, I shower, drink more tea and then the laptop is opened. I check my emails, then on to social media to try and put up a witty or interesting post on Twitter and Facebook.  I try not to get too side-tracked or I would never get any writing done.

0930 – Generally, I aim to start writing around 0930, but with The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay launching on April 9th, I’ve been in a whirl of writing blog posts, and making video clips. As I am choosing to self-publish again, I am also working very hard to secure as many PR opportunities as I can.

When I’m fully focused on writing, the rest of my day just flies. I tend to be relentless, only stopping when my stomach rumbles its disapproval. Occasionally, I have been known to write into the early hours and have previously been known to lose whole weekends.

The one guarantee at the end of the day is that wine is quite often taken!

Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks – and, naturally, enjoying a flutter on the horses.

 

***

Praise for Nicola May’s books

‘This book will twang your funny bone & your heartstrings’ – Milly Johnson

‘A fun and flighty read’ the Sun

‘A funny and fast-paced romp – thoroughly enjoyable!’  WOMAN Magazine

*

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy.  While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.

With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

Purchase from –

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B8KML35/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07B8KML35/

Amazon CA – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07B8KML35/

Amazon AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07B8KML35/

 

About Nicola May

She won Best Author Read at the Festival of Romance for The School Gates and Christmas Evie, in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.

Nicola’s website is www.nicolamay.com. She is on Twitter @nicolamay1, Instagram as author_nicola and has a Facebook page (just google Book Page of Nicola May).

Details of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay  – Published on April 9 can be found here (add link)

You can learn more about Nicola and her other books here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nicola-May/e/B004QUBKWW

Follow Nicola May

Website – www.nicolamay.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NicolaMayAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nicolamay1

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/author_nicola/

Giveaway – Win x 3 Paperback copies of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER HERE-  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949475/?

Many thanks for coming by today Nicola!

Don’t forget to visit all of the other blogs on the tour. 

Good luck with the giveaway!

Jenny xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Opening Lines: Uncommon Cruelty by Liz Mistry

Thursday has come around again – which means it is Opening Lines blog day!

This week I’m welcoming Liz Mistry to my site with the first 500 words from her crime novel, Uncommon Cruelty.

Over to you Liz…

Uncommon Cruelty is a gritty police procedural based in Bradford, West Yorkshire and is the fourth in the DI Gus McGuire series.  It was released on April 14th 2018.

Inspiration comes from a variety of places for most writers. In this instance, a teenage house party gone wrong, raised the question, I’m always asking myself… What if …?

It was from that seed that Uncommon Cruelty was born.

Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BQVLGNQ/ 

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Cruelty-McGuire-case-Book-

Uncommon Cruelty Blurb

DI Gus McGuire and his team are called in to investigate the disappearance of a teenage boy after his parents return from a weekend away, to find their home trashed and their son missing.

But that is just the beginning.

As the investigation unfolds, Gus must discover what links a violent bikers’ gang, a Muslim youth group and a fundamentalist American based Christian church.

Alongside this, two cases from the past come back to haunt DI Gus McGuire and his DS, Alice Cooper.

Gus has a lot to juggle, but will he cope?

Uncommon Cruelty is the fourth in the DI Gus McGuire series set in Bradford West Yorkshire and is a gritty, Northern Noir read.

***

So, here’s the first 500 words of Uncommon Cruelty:

Prologue

Leeds, 2012

Mushrooms of dense throat-clogging smoke hung in the air. Every breath was like sucking through cotton wool and, even after gargling with mouthfuls of cold water, Detective Inspector Sandy Panesar could still taste it; a coating of ash, sharp and acrid on her tongue.

‘Have they got the child?’ Her voice was shrill as she rushed forward towards the dark figure of a firefighter wearing breathing apparatus leaving the blaze.

The figure carried an amorphous bundle that was wrapped so completely in a blanket that it was impossible to tell if it was even human. With practised ease, the package was transferred onto a stretcher trolley, leaving Sandy to watch, her heart hammering in her chest as the paramedic unwrapped the small, still body. Her heart plummeted. The child’s face, beneath its mucky streaks, was pale and its eyes remained closed, its body unmoving. Sandy focussed on the child’s chest but could detect no movement as she willed the paramedics to make a miracle happen. Their examination seemed to take forever and Sandy’s view was obstructed as they started chest compressions and fitted a drip. Their muttered words meant nothing to her as they worked with an economy of movement she would, in different circumstances, have admired. Just when she’d given up hope, one of the paramedics turned towards her with a smile and stepped away from the child; ten years old yet, the size of a three-year-old, with an oxygen mask dwarfing its tiny face.

Sandy, realising she’d been holding her breath, took in a huge gulp of air and sent a quick prayer heavenward before bending down and gently ruffling the child’s matted black hair. Two huge unblinking eyes stared right through her, seemingly lost in whatever hell played out in its mind. Her heart almost broke. Surviving the fire was only half the battle for this little one. The biggest battle lay ahead. She patted the kid on the arm and stood back.

The paramedic smiled. ‘It’s the shock, that’s all. It’ll pass with a good night’s rest and some food.’

Sandy wondered if he was referring to her or the child. Watching them take the child away, she thought, Yeah, a good night’s rest, some food and a lifetime of counselling. Pulling herself together, she glanced through the darkness at the crowd. The tall distinctive figure of her detective sergeant, with his head of three-inch-long dreadlocks, rose like a sphinx above everyone else. He tilted his head to let her know he’d seen her and continued directing the uniformed officers to control the gathering crowd before striding over.

He pointed to the departing ambulance. ‘Was that the kid, then?’

Sandy thrust her hands in her pockets, and glowered, ‘Yep, uninjured bar some smoke inhalation and shock, according to the paramedics.’

DS Gus McGuire acknowledged her words. ‘Yeah, although not unharmed.’

‘No, not unharmed,’ she agreed and kicked a loose stone towards the blazing house. ‘When the fire service have left and their assessors …’

Liz is contactable here:

Facebook: @LizMistrybooks

Twitter: @LizCrimeWarp

Blog: https://thecrimewarp.blogspot.co.uk/

Website: https://lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.com/

 

Liz’s Books  available here

Book 1   Unquiet Souls       http://ow.ly/1NLZ30iSwY4

Book 2   Uncoiled Lies        http://ow.ly/YOD630iSx4K

Book 3   Untainted Blood   http://ow.ly/fTtn30iSxa5

3 book Set  1, 2 & 3            http://ow.ly/FtpC30iSxeM

Book 4  Uncommon Cruelty

Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BQVLGNQ/ 

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Cruelty-McGuire-case-Book-

***

Many thanks Liz. Fabulous stuff.

Come back next week for the first 500 words from one of Vicki FitzGerald’s novels.

Happy reading, 

Jenny x

 


Interview with Karen King: Rise of the Soul Catchers

It’s interview time!

Today my lovely friend Karen King is dropping by for a chat. Why not grab a cuppa and come and join us?

What inspired you to write your book?

Rise of the Soul Catchers is a mixture of my favourite genres, fantasy and romance. It’ s inspired by my belief that love is eternal and that we meet our loved ones again when we die.  The two main characters, teenagers Sapphire and Will, are killed in the first chapter and separated. They discover that the afterworld is split into seven zones, each named after a colour of the rainbow. They each believe the other one to have been taken by the Soul Catchers to Red, a zone where all your nightmares come true. They love each other so much that they go to Red to find each other. The story is written from both their viewpoints, so for some of the story we follow their individual journey separately. It was first published as Sapphire Blue but has now been republished and rebranded, by Littwitz Press.

Do you model any of your characters after people you know? If so, do these people see themselves in your characters?

I never base any of my characters on an existing person but I do take bits from people I  know or meet, things they say or do, certain mannerisms they have, so it’s very likely that some traits, actions or incidents will appear in one of my books. My daughters often say to me ‘you got that off me!’ or that they can think one of their characters is based on something one of their sisters did. And I confess in my acknowledgements that they are a constant inspiration for me

What type of research did you have to do for your book?

None! As it’s set in the afterlife I could make the world and characters however I wanted them to be!

Which Point of View do you prefer to write in and why?

I don’t have a preference it depends on the character and the story. Rise of the Soul Catchers is written in the present tense, using first person viewpoint for Sapphire and third person for Will.  It was the way the story came to me, so I went with it. I chose different viewpoints for Sapphire and Will so that it would be immediately clear which character viewpoint we’re in. So far, I’ve used third person past tense for all my romance novels, but first person past for my other YA, Perfect Summer. The YA I’m now working on is written in first person too, so maybe it’s a YA thing!

Do you prefer to plot your story or just go with the flow?

A bit of both. I always work out my main characters and story plot before I start so I have a base to work from then I just write the first draft as it comes. The characters often do things I hadn’t planned, and the plot might go off at an unexpected tangent, but I go with it. Once I’ve finished the first draft I start rereading and revising, deleting anything I don’t think works.

Anything else you want to tell us?

Yes, can I give a shout out for my romcom, The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma, which is now on pre-order  and will be published by Accent Press on 7 June.

***

Blurb- Rise of the Soul Catchers

Can love survive anything – even death?

Sapphire and Will vow to love each other forever. But when a car crash ends that dream all too soon, they find themselves separated in an afterlife with zones named after the colours of the rainbow. Determined to find each other, they start an adventurous journey alongside a cast of characters they don’t know whether to trust. They finally meet again in the terror-fuelled Red Zone where the dreaded Soul Catchers are planning on taking over the entire afterworld and are plunged into a dangerous battle. Is their love strong enough to survive against the odds?

 (Previously published as Sapphire Blue)

***

Here’s a great extract for you…

Rise of the Soul Catchers extract. Sapphire’s Viewpoint

Chapter Two 

I am alive.

I lie still, keeping my eyes closed, trying to feel if I’m hurt, if anything is broken. I flex my fingers, my toes, move my head real slow from side to side. Everything seems fine.

Oh God, Will! Is Will okay?  I snap open my eyes, sit up, look over at the passenger seat praying that Will is alive too. Only there’s no passenger seat. No car. No Will.

What the hell has happened? Did I dream it?

I couldn’t have dreamt it. I remember it all so vividly. Will driving along, singing, the container in the middle of the road, the tree zooming toward us, the crash. Besides I’m not in bed. I’m…

I look around. Everywhere is covered by a thick, white mist and it’s eerily quiet. Where am I?

“Sapphire!”

Grandpa?  Surprised, I swing around and stare at my grandpa walking through the mist toward me, waving with a big smile on his face. Now I know I’m dreaming. Grandpa died two years ago.

“Sapphire!” Grandpa’s right in front of me. He holds out his arms for me to run into them, like I used to when I was little, but I can’t move. My feet are glued to the ground as I gape at him. “Grandpa?” I whisper

. “It’s me,” he says. “It’s really me.” He reaches out and envelopes me in a big hug. I feel his arms wrap around me, smell the familiar musky-scent and relax a little, allow myself to sink into the warmth and comfort of his embrace. “Don’t be frightened, I’ll look after you.” Grandpa’s voice is soft, gentle and I’m so glad to see him again that I nestle in closer and rest my head on his shoulder just like I used to do when I was little.

“I’ve missed you, Grandpa,” I mumble.

“I’ve missed you too, sweetie. It’s so lovely to see you again, but not like this. Not so soon. You’re too young.” His eyes are shining with tears.

Too young for what? Suddenly I’m jolted back to the present. What’s happening? What’s Grandpa doing here? I want to wake up. I don’t like this dream. I focus on waking, imagine myself opening my eyes, finding myself in my comfy bed with its bright, daisy-flowered duvet cover, snuggling up to the big, yellow Miss Sunshine cushion Will bought. That’s what he calls me. His Little Miss Sunshine. He says I brighten up his life.

Will.

Where’s Will? “Wake up,” I whisper to myself. “Wake up.”

“This isn’t a dream, love,” Grandpa tells me as he strokes my hair. “I know it’s a lot to take in and it will seem strange at first, but you’ll get used to it. There’s lots of family waiting to meet you, aunts and uncle and your great-grandparents. We’ll all look after you.”

His words freak me out. I try to pull away from him. “They’re all dead!” I scream. “And, so are you. You’re dead!” I pinch my arm. Hard. Squeeze my eyes shut. This is a dream. It must be a dream.

Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! …

***

Buy Links

Rise of the Soul Catchers is available for pre-order from Amazon and will be published on 25th April.

Amazon: http://ow.ly/Fz1L30j0hqh

 

Author bio

Karen King writes edgy YA with a heart and sassy, heart-warming romance. Her first YA, Perfect Summer, was runner up in the Red Telephone Books 2011 YA Novel Competition and her second YA, Sapphire Blue, now republished as Rise of the Soul Catchers by Littwitz Press, was called ‘the best YA book out there right now’ by a reviewer for Ind’Tale magazine.

Karen has four romcoms published by Accent Press, and a fifth one is due out in June this year, Her latest romcom, The Cornish Hotel by the Sea, was #3 in the Amazon bestseller holiday reads.  She has recently signed a two book-contract with Bookouture for more romance novels.

Karen has also written several short stories for women’s magazine and had 120 children’s books published.

When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

Author links

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Young Adult Books Facebook Page

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/ 

***

Many thanks Karen. Great interview.

I happen to know this is a fabulous book- so happy reading folks,

Jenny xx


Everything happens for a reason: James D Mortain

I’m delighted to welcome James D Mortain to my blog today. He- like me- is something of an accidental author- although out entry into the wonderful world of words is very different.

Over to you James…

Everything happens for a reason!

I consider myself something of an accidental author.

Why?

Well, up until a sequence of events changed my outlook on life, the concept of writing a novel had simply never crossed my mind.

In 2011, I was a detective in Bath CID with twelve years’ service behind me. My wife and I had been struggling to have a family for a number of years, but in this particular year, we were to be in luck! We had embarked on fertility treatment. For those reading this going through the same process, you know what ‘hope’ really means. It was a challenging pregnancy. My wife was in and out of hospital more times than I can remember. We knew we were going to have a little girl, due in the early part of January, but October came, and so began the sequence of events that would change my life.

It was early October when I received the first calls from my mother stating that my father wasn’t well. He was a strong man. He might have been a grumpy old git from time-to-time, but he was rarely unwell. Days passed. His condition worsened. The family knew it was serious. Mid October and dad was having tests at the hospital. By late October, he was diagnosed with widespread cancer. Just days later, he was gone.

My wife, now heavily pregnant, my commitment to the job, my family, my emotions, everything was spinning, but we had to ensure the health of my wife and our unborn child.

A few weeks later, having said our final goodbyes to my dad, a magical thing happened; my wife began labour pains — not so magical for her — but at last, we had a brief respite of positivity. It was 22nd December. On the 23rd, she was admitted to the maternity unit. We spent the late evening watching the clock — would we have a Christmas Eve baby? The clock went beyond midnight — yes, we would … oh! … No, we wouldn’t. Christmas Eve came and went. Christmas morning arrived and it was snowing outside in the hospital car park. The countdown was on and at just gone midday, my gorgeous daughter, Gracie, was born. The mixture of emotions we felt was obvious, but in my arms I held the most precious of gifts on Christmas Day.

I returned to work a father, having lost my own. Suddenly, priorities were different, concerns were changed and it provided clarity to my wife and I as to what was important and what we wanted the future to hold for little Gracie.

My mother-in-law, Liz, lived in North Devon, a place we loved to visit, particularly Westward Ho! We decided to prospect on the sale of our house in Bath — we had tried previously without a single viewing, but this time we had four full asking price offers on the first day! That was it — our sign. Offers agreed, we found a home in North Devon, but then came the hard part; I had to leave my job. It was a huge shock to all of my colleagues, but the relief and anticipation for me was overwhelming. All I had to do now was find a job in my new neighbourhood — how hard could that be?

August 2012, I was jobless, seriously homesick, missing my mates and missing the buzz of the job. I arranged to meet my old uniform colleagues for a night out in Bath and then the most significant event occurred. Towards the end of the night, I had consumed a skin full of booze. I got chatting to a chap seated alongside me at the end of the bar. He’d been to a book signing event at Toppings & Co. I asked him who he had seen (I had seen the brilliant Lee Child there a year or two before); his response, “It was mine, actually.”  I didn’t have a clue who he was, I apologised for not recognizing him and I asked for his name. Turned out I was chatting with Chris Ryan, ex-SAS veteran and author of many successful books. You can imagine my excitement at meeting a real-life legend. We continued to chat. He told me a little of his life as an author; I told him what I had recently done, and in that short conversation, the spark of creativity within me was ignited.

Next day, I enthusiastically relayed my chance encounter to my wife and mentioned something that he had said: that I had the knowledge and real-life experience that most crime writers would dream of having and why didn’t I consider writing a novel? To my astonishment, my wife agreed to the idea.

The trouble was I had no writing experience, no specific writing qualifications and frankly, no idea of what I was doing. However, I tried it anyway and later that same day I opened the laptop and Detective Deans was born. I gave the story a title, I knew the kind of real-life case I wanted to develop and I simply let the story take me where it naturally wanted to go.

What I hadn’t anticipated, was just how addictive writing would be. My story soon became a major focus in my life. I was now employed during the day, my little girl was growing and I was lucky that my wife indulged my ‘whim’. To her, it was my new hobby. To me, it was so much more.

After a year, the draft of STORM LOG-0505 was completed, but what was I going to do with it next? I truly believed in my story. I just couldn’t imagine anyone else being interested, after all, I still didn’t know what I was doing. I finally allowed a few people close to me to read it. They liked it. Some even loved it! I recruited professional help and found an editor. He picked my story apart, but crucially, he liked it too. I reached the stage where I had edited the thing so many times that I was making changes for the sake of it. I decided to take it to the next level and seek an agent. I threw all of my efforts into submissions and amazingly, within 48 hours of my first cast, I had a reply. An agent was keen to see my full manuscript. I sent it off. I waited. Soon I had a reply with lots of helpful tips and further proposed changes. I immediately went to work on the manuscript, and then BANG! I was struck down with viral meningitis.

I was sick. Very sick. For months, I lost control of my cognitive abilities, my vision changed, I suffered with blistering headaches and I battled with chronic fatigue. And with it, my hopes of gaining an agent evaporated, but … everything happens for a reason.

My condition slowly improved, I eased myself back into my day job and I took stock of the situation. I began writing again and I regained control. I wasn’t going to beat myself up and knock myself down with disappointment. It was time to go it alone.

I found a designer, Jessica Bell, who designed a fabulous cover for my story. Suddenly, my book was real. Editors polished the content and formatters made the inside look attractive. And then, in April 2016, STORM LOG-0505 was released to the world. For any author, releasing a new book is a special moment. For me, it was an achievement of Himalayan proportions. I watched the Amazon sales report like a hawk, waiting for those initial sales to start flooding in … but nothing happened, and so began my second publishing crash-course in marketing and promotion. I wasn’t using Facebook or Twitter at the time, but I soon began to build my platform and the sales started to trickle through. Then reviews came … and they were good … in fact, they were amazing! Four and five stars. People were actually enjoying my story AND wanting more! This trend continued until almost a year after its release, and one morning I woke up to discover STORM LOG-0505 had a little orange banner beside it on Amazon Kindle that said, ‘Best Seller’. My novel had reached the top spot in Psychic Suspense. Imagine my bewilderment!

I held author events — I absolutely loved them. Incredibly, people were bothering to hear me talk about my writing. I thought it was bonkers, yet all the while, I was working on the sequel.

Taking a third of the time to write and a third of the cost to publish, in November 2017, DEAD BY DESIGN was released. A week later, it too had a little orange banner beside it on Amazon Kindle.

Today, buoyed by the positive reviews and many kind messages I receive from my readers, I actually ‘feel’ like an author. I strive to improve and learn with each page I write, and each day I wake up and know I am closer to realising my goal of becoming a full-time writer.

Unexpected and magical things can really happen. Six years ago, I was slogging away at my desk, and thanks to a brave decision and a chance encounter, my new pathway in life couldn’t be further removed. We all suffer knockbacks and disappointment and I’m sure for me more will follow, but at least when it does, I can honestly accept that no matter how bad it might feel at the time, everything happens for a reason.

Biography

James D Mortain uses an author pseudonym and brings authenticity to his work through twelve years of police service with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary. His father’s death and the birth of his first child shaped a defining period and re-evaluation of his life, resulting in 2012 with his resignation from the police force and a move to North Devon.

Jobless and homesick James returned to Bath visiting friends, where a chance encounter and conversation with successful author, Chris Ryan, motivated him to start writing. Believing everything happens for a reason and nothing happens by chance, James embarked on creating a fresh British detective series influenced by his police experience and infused with paranormal overtones, inspired by a close friend with extraordinary ability.

James has created a character in Detective Deans, who must challenge everything he has been taught to believe. In the first book, STORM LOG-0505, Detective Deans hunts for a missing student, but what he discovers in a small North Devon community exposes him to a ‘paranormal awakening’ and the perilous clutches a sophisticated killer. DEAD BY DESIGN is the series follow-on and pits Deans against his greatest challenge yet. The final part of the trilogy is in the making and will be published in 2019.

Visit James here –
Website:        jamesdmortain.com
Twitter:         @JamesDMortain
Facebook:      James D Mortain & James D Mortain – Books

STORM LOG-0505

The wait is almost over for Detective Andrew Deans; years of agony and despair hanging on the results of his wife’s fertility treatment. But a student is missing. And he must find her.

Compelled to leave his wife in Bath, Deans heads to North Devon, where he encounters Denise Moon, a medium, who exposes him to a psychic dimension he could never have imagined existed, in what soon becomes a murder hunt.

Gripped by a mysterious happening attributed to his own paranormal awakening and alienated from all but his new mystical muse, Deans is closing in on a sophisticated killer, but all is not as it seems and Deans’ future is about to change.

Amazon UK  Amazon US

DEAD BY DESIGN

Detective Deans is back in this highly anticipated crime thriller sequel, but this time he seeks far more than just the truth!

A young couple in their prime is found dead in the marital bed. As they lie naked, staring at each other with eyes wide open – filled with fear, his colleagues assume a double suicide, but Detective Andrew Deans senses that darker forces are at work.

Deans is facing an awakening – a spiritual birth, but he is stuck in a living nightmare. Those around him are watching … judging … expecting him to break.

As he waits to hear the news he dreads most, Deans receives an unmarked DVD and the true meaning of horror is revealed.

Playing by the rules is getting him nowhere. Now, it’s time to do things his way. But death and tragedy haven’t finished with him… yet.

Amazon UK  Amazon US

THE NIGHT SHIFT (A SHORT STORY)

Thursday, 17th August. Ten years before…

When a fly-on-the-wall documentary crew drops in on a night shift in Bath city centre, PC Ellie Grange and her team are fuelled with anticipation at the thought of becoming TV reality stars.

They need it real, they want it uncensored, and they crave a true-to-life experience of the demands faced by Britain’s cops on our streets.

It’s a beautiful evening – the first night shift of a set in the historic Georgian city… what could possibly go wrong?

Amazon UK  Amazon US 

***

Fantastic blog- thank you so much James,

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx


« Previous Entries


The Romance Reviews
© 2017 Jenny Kane | Site Designed and Maintained by Writer Marketing Services