Attention to Death – Ailsa Abraham

17093876_770816756403666_459813296_n.jpgCongratulations to Ailsa Abraham today on the release of her new novel, Attention to Death! Described as a ‘steamy romance with a twist of murder’, what’s not to love? And the cover appeals to my suitably spooky nature. Here to tell us all about it is Ailsa herself and there’s a buy link too if you fancy a read. Ailsa, take it away…

Thank you for inviting me to talk about my latest release today.

This is a departure from my previous series in magical realism. Here I take off on murder mystery. Why? Erm… limited attention span? Love of variety?

Attention to Death is released on 10th March and here is the info on it.

Find Attention to Death on Amazon: http://mybook.to/AttentionDeath

“In Attention to Death, Ailsa Abraham pulls off something I wouldn’t have thought possible – a steamy romance with a twist of murder and a splash of social conscience. A remarkable book that will have you turning pages as quickly as you can to find out what happens next.”
~ India Drummond, author of the Caledonia Fae series

Finding a murderer among a group of killers is not going to be easy for two Royal Army Military Police investigators, Captain Angus Simpson and Staff-Sergeant Rafael ‘Raff’ Landen, whose Christmas leave is cancelled for an investigation into a suspicious death on a base in Germany.
The case is further complicated by unhelpful senior officers who make pre-judgements on colour, creed, race and sexuality. Yet the insight of the investigators helps them uncover a sinister plot, although they too have something to hide: their own fledgling relationship.
Will Angus and Raff be able to solve the murder without giving away their secret?
The best and worst of human nature is represented in this story, which is why it is suggested for over 18s only.”

I delved into my past life as an officer in the Royal Air Force and my lifelong friendships with gay men to research this book.  Coming right after LGBT History Month in February, it highlights the problems that men who have to be “in the closet” and the sort of bigotry that causes people to refuse to read a book just because there are gay characters in it, although this doesn’t stop them leaving reviews. Me? I’ve never been too sure. I’m gender-neutral which is why the first thing I wonder on meeting new people isn’t “What do they do in  their bedrooms?”

Read it for yourself and decide. Is it an honest portrayal of two men doing their job who just happen to have started an affair?

Bio and links 

17092169_770817006403641_724394489_n.jpgAilsa Abraham  is the author of six novels. Alchemy is the prequel to Shaman’s Drum, published by Crooked Cat in January 2014. Both are best-sellers in their genres on Amazon. She also writes mystery romance.

She has lived in France since 1990 and is now naturalized French. She enjoys knitting and crochet and until recently was the oldest Hell’s Angel in town . Her interests include campaigning for animal rights, experimenting with different genres of writing and trips back to the UK to visit friends and family.  She is also addicted to dressing up, saying that she is old enough to know better but too wise to care (pirate gear is her favourite!)

Web-page

Amazon.uk

Twitter

Facebook

Linked-In

Need an Editor?

Currently, I’m deep in first self-edits for  Psychic Surveys Book Four: Old Cross Cottage (due out in April 2017). That’s right – self-edits. For me, the process goes a little something like this: write that first crazy draft, try and make sense of that first crazy draft (otherwise known as first self-edit), do a much slower second self-edit (still trying to make sense of it), a third, a fourth, read it aloud, read it on Kindle, then pass onto several test readers and incorporate their amends. Then, and only then, is it ready to go to a professional editor – Jeff Gardiner, in other words, who edit’s all my books (and is also an author himself). So… here’s a mean and moody picture of him and a little about him and his views on what makes a good editor (and he’s fab!)…

headshot4.jpg

Being An Eddy Tor ’Ead ’Itter Editor

I’m lucky enough to edit Shani’s novels, and I can genuinely say that I’m thrilled when I receive a fresh manuscript from her, because I know it will be carefully plotted with fully-rounded characters in an atmospheric setting. Not only do I edit for Crooked Cat Publishing, but I work freelance – and, happily, Shani trusts me with all her various books and projects. She’s asked me on to her blog to write a short piece about editing, so I’ll do my best.

Editing is a relationship of trust between a writer and an editor. Sometimes the changes are non-negotiable but often the edits are suggestions or advice for improving the structure and the expression of ideas. Grammar and punctuation are not exact sciences – whatever the pedants may tell us – and neither are narrative structures, nor any fictional techniques. Writing is an art form; it’s about being creative, even sometimes about breaking conventions.

I prefer to think of the process of writing as a series of choices, rather than a slavish following of rules. There is never one way of expressing a thought or of describing a person. The editor then challenges the author to improve certain aspects of their writing at both structural and sentence level. These represent the two main editorial skills.

  1. Substantive Editing – The editor offers an objective perspective and a fresh pair of eyes. As a writer myself I know that after living with a book for six to eight months, it’s very difficult to step back and make clear judgements about your ‘little darling’. The editor acts as a critical friend pointing out where structure, narrative, characterisation and setting can be improved. The beginnings and endings are always worth focussing on; not only those of the novel itself, but also chapter openings and endings, where exposition creeps in (‘show don’t tell’). The best writers get background information in without the reader realising. It’s important to keep an eye out for the dreaded ‘headhopping’, or unnecessary change in point of view in the same section. Novelists should carefully consider their narrative technique. Who exactly is telling the story, or whose point of view is it from?

 

  1. Copy-Editing – This involves amending spelling, grammar and punctuation issues or typos, as well as tautology, repetition and overuse of certain words. The editor considers things at sentence and word level now, so any awkward phrasing can be highlighted. Common errors involve incorrect use of capital letters, colons, semicolons, commas, hyphens and dashes (do you know the difference between an em dash and an en dash?). Direct speech proves challenging to some, especially the overuse of speech tags, or the correct punctuation for dialogue. Consistency in tense is vital, while the use of too many passive verbs (‘the brick was thrown by me’) weakens your writing. Keep it active (‘I threw the brick’) and avoid too many uses of ‘had’ and ‘was’.

I think the most important thing I’ve learnt as an editor is to respect the author’s ‘voice’ or personal style without imposing my own predilections. I believe editors need to show sensible restraint, and attempt to feed back in a positive way. My own experiences of being edited are varied, but I know I appreciate encouragement along with criticism.

If you’re lucky enough to get published, or work with a professional editor, then see it as an opportunity to learn more about your craft, but don’t be shy either to question a decision or to ask for clarification so you can, at least, understand the improvement for next time. Writers and editors possess skills that should continue to be honed and perfected as techniques, tastes, traditions and expectations evolve.

Jeff Gardiner is a freelance editor who also works for Crooked Cat Publishing. If you’re interested in working with him then see his website – www.jeffgardiner.com – and email him using the contact form.

He works in a variety of genres, such as contemporary, historical, thriller, supernatural, fantasy, romance and young adult fiction; non-fiction and academic texts. He has a Masters Degree (MPhil) in English, and successfully completed the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) Copy-Editing Training Courses.

“I’d like to thank Jeff Gardiner for his well-judged editing suggestions and his thorough scrutiny of the text.” T. E. Taylor, author of ‘Zeus of Ithome’.

Jeff is also the author of five novels:

Newemailsigpic[1].jpg

Pica: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pica-Gaia-Trilogy-Jeff-Gardiner/dp/1783759283/

Falco: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Falco-Gaia-Trilogy-Jeff-Gardiner/dp/1783759348/

Myopia: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Myopia-Jeff-Gardiner/dp/1908910534/

Igboland: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Igboland-Jeff-Gardiner-ebook/dp/B00IGQPG1S/

Treading On Dreams: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Treading-Dreams-Jeff-Gardiner-ebook/dp/B00J4Z63PI/

Falco.jpg

 

 

Blakemort – It’s Live!

 

BM teaser 3b.jpg

Today’s the day! Blakemort – A Psychic Surveys Christmas Novella – hits the shelves in Amazon as an ebook and paperback. Already it’s garnered great reviews from advance readers, being described as ‘powerful’, ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘downright scary’! What more could my little writer’s heart wish for?

So what’s it all about? Well, it’s the second of my Psychic Surveys Christmas novellas – both are standalone but feed into the main series. The first novella – Eve – focussed on Theo and Ness (two of Ruby’s colleagues in the main books) working on a case together before they’ve even met Ruby or joined Psychic Surveys. Blakemort focusses on Corinna, the youngest of the Psychic Surveys team and the five years she spent at Blakemort as a child – a house with a very disturbing history.

As with all my books, it’s inspired by true hauntings. In this case the very spooky Wymering Manor in Portsmouth, which I hope to visit soon for a personal tour. Sightings include a lady in a violet dress, a choir of nuns and the sound of children crying and phantom horses galloping away at night. But that’s Wymering Manor, at Blakemort it gets decidedly more sinister…

BM teaser 5.jpg

Here’s the blurb for it and a few teasers to whet your appetite, plus the links for Blakemort and also for Eve, which is on sale on Amazon for 99p at the moment (ebook). For a Christmas treat with a difference, close the curtains, light the fire and get stuck in!

“That house, that damned house. Will it ever stop haunting me?”

After her parents’ divorce, five-year old Corinna Greer moves into Blakemort with her mother and brother. Set on the edge of the village of Whitesmith, the only thing attractive about it is the rent. A ‘sensitive’, Corinna is aware from the start that something is wrong with the house. Very wrong.

Christmas is coming but at Blakemort that’s not something to get excited about. A house that sits and broods, that calculates and considers, it’s then that it lashes out – the attacks endured over five years becoming worse. There are also the spirits, some willing residents, others not. Amongst them a boy, a beautiful, spiteful boy…

Who are they? What do they want? And is Corinna right when she suspects it’s not just the dead the house traps but the living too?

Amazon Links – Blakemort

UK http://tinyurl.com/jhj9lqc

UK http://tinyurl.com/z5o5d5l

Eve 2.jpg

Amazon Links – Eve

UK http://tinyurl.com/hk9cmay

US http://tinyurl.com/ztx23x7

Find me on Social Media

Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers

Blog: https://shanisite.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/mq25mav

Website: http://www.shanistruthers.com

Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/beoHLv

Highdown muliti.jpg

 

 

Jennifer Wilson and Kindred Spirits!

Having not utilised ye old blog for a while, I’ve got three interviews lined up – the first with the very lovely Jennifer C Wilson, author of Kindred Spirits – Tower of London, which is on sale this week on Amazon at 99p. Here she tells us all about the book, what inspired her to write it and her fascination with the aforementioned Tower.

Grab a cuppa, have a read and then go and then bag yourselves a bargain (the link is at the bottom of the article). Take it away, Jennifer…

KS.ToL-Cover.png

Hi, Shani, and happy Halloween! Those are definitely words I never thought I’d find myself saying… I’ve never particularly liked Halloween. I’ve never really liked the idea of ghosts. So, the notion of my debut novel being a ghost story (or a story about ghosts, at least), is, frankly, ridiculous. I’m such a wimp that I don’t even like watching Midsomer Murders in the dark…

But there you go. Having had the idea that if the ghosts of Richard III and Anne Boleyn were in the same place, they’d have a lot in common, it kept nagging away at me, especially thinking about where they would be. The Tower of London seemed the most logical choice, given that Anne was executed and buried there, and it’s where the Princes in the Tower also met their deaths, the two people who probably occupied Richard’s mind the most during his reign. I had been trying to write about Richard for so long, and decided to just go with it – easily the best decision I ever made!

TowerOfLondon.jpgAnd when you start looking into who could be hanging about the place, the research soon becomes quite addictive. I’ve had to stop reading about the Tower, because I just kept finding more and more people who could legitimately be haunting the place, and wishing I’d come across them two years ago. The ‘cast list’ I went for in the end wasn’t bad mind, and certainly not lacking in star quality. As the blurb says: A King, three Queens, and plenty of other nobles for them to spar with. And when two of those Queens are probably Henry’s two most famous, Katherine Howard and Anne Boleyn, there’s plenty of sparks to fly.

Having first visited the Tower on a bleak February morning, and first seeing it through a blizzard, the idea that spirits still inhabit the place didn’t need much imagination. Even during my next visit, in glorious Bank Holiday sunshine, there are plenty of nooks and crannies, still open to the public but off the more beaten track, where you can get a real sense of the Tower’s history, and its place in the story of Britain. Built so soon after the Conquest, there cannot be a monarch who hasn’t visited. If walls could talk, you would certainly need earplugs… I wouldn’t say I felt uneasy there, but some of the rooms, such as where prisoners had carved their names into walls (one even, according to tradition, surviving from George Boleyn, almost certainly, as with his sister and the other men, innocent of the crimes he was charged with) have a definite ‘atmosphere’, especially when you’re in there alone. For the bare rooms the prisoners would have been kept in, there isn’t much of a difference today, and certainly the lower rooms you can access still feel claustrophobic. I wouldn’t have wanted to be left there.

Definitely enough to spark the imagination, and the idea did indeed keep me out of trouble during NaNoWriMo 2013.

For a limited time only, until the end of Halloween, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London is just 99p/c. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Kindred Spirits: Tower of London

A King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…
In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of Tudor Queens Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard rubbing shoulders with one man who has made his way back from his place of death at Bosworth Field to discover the truth about the disappearance of his famous nephews.
Amidst the chaos of daily life, with political and personal tensions running high, Richard III takes control, as each ghostly resident looks for their own peace in the former palace – where privacy was always a limited luxury.
With so many characters haunting the Tower of London, will they all find the calm they crave?

About Jennifer

JCW&RichardIII.jpg

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.
Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984

Blog: https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/

Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, Amazon link: http://authl.it/B016TRKU2A

 

An Interview with Mark Tilbury

It is my absolute pleasure to be hosting Mark Tilbury on my blog – I sent him a few questions and he’s very kindly answered them. Mark is the author of The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused, I read the first almost in one sitting it’s that gripping (it normally takes me ages to read a book!) The second is still a delight to come but I know I’m going to enjoy it because Mark’s writing style is fluent and edge of the seat, with shades of my favourite author of all-time, Stephen King. Grab a coffee and have a read about what inspires him and the writing process. Take it away, Mark…

The-Revelation-Room-Complete-200x300.jpgTell us about the book(s) you’ve written. What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book? How did it develop?

The idea behind the Ben Whittle investigation books was to try to create a character that was not your typical sort of private investigator. He was thrown into the role by the kidnap of his father by a religious cult. Ben just worked in the office at Whittle Investigations. A shy, insecure boy with a traumatic past. I didn’t want the usual super sleuth who cuts his way through a minefield of clues to slay the dragon at the end. I wanted to create something much more subtle than that. To show that the ordinary guy, who is full of self-doubt and lacking in confidence, can also overcome the odds and stand up to evil.

How would you describe your writing process? Do you outline or are you (like me) a ‘write the first line and let’s see where it goes’ type of person?

I used to write and see where it took me. I quite liked the excitement of discovery, finding hidden trails and seeing what obstacles lie in wait for my main character. Unfortunately, that lead to too many blind alleys, and it seemed to take longer to unravel the mistakes than it did to sit down and write a proper plan. So for my third novel, which should be out later this year, I planned it meticulously. I know I’m probably tempting fate, but it seemed to go without a hitch. First draft written in ten weeks. It’s also a departure from the first two books. More of a supernatural thriller. Very dark and emotional. Somewhere I really want to explore in future books.

How has writing books changed you?

I’ve become a lot more focused on the job in hand. I plan more than I used to, although the germ of a novel still tends to spring from one of the main characters (usually the bad guy) speaking to me in my head. I’m also a lot more aware of what works and what doesn’t. It’s like a huge learning curve. Also, feedback helps enormously, and I’ve learnt so much from people’s comments, both good and bad. Overall, I’m much more aware of the need to respect the art of writing and give my very best when I write if I want to share it with other people.

TEOTA.jpg

What do you keep in mind as you write? An overarching question, a theme, the last line of the book?

The characters. Making sure that they act, speak and behave consistently, and that the main character follows the character arc I have set for him/her.

Is there an aspect of writing that you favour over others, e.g. dialogue, setting, or character? Is there one that is more difficult for you?

Dialogue. I really love writing dialogue and putting words into my characters mouths. Or do they put thoughts into my head? I’m never quite sure which way around that is! I can only really get going with a plot when the characters speak to me. Once I get the flow and the rhythm of their voices, I’m pretty happy. The rest of it I find quite hard work. Like anyone, there are many areas I still need to improve on, but the dialogue comes more naturally to me than the rest.

Tell us about the funniest/craziest/most interesting thing that has happened to you as a writer.

It’s something that happens right out of the blue. One of the characters will speak to me in my head before I’ve even got a story to put them in. For example, in the Revelation Room, long before it was the Revelation Room, Edward Ebb, the bad guy, spoke quite clearly. He said, “you’re going down the rabbit hole where all the burnt bunnies go.” I quite literally had to work the rest of the story out from there. Another guy spoke to me recently. He said, “What doesn’t kill you will make you wish it had.” I have no idea what story he’s from, because I haven’t even thought of it yet. I know his name’s Peter King and he’s a narcissist. It’s now up to me to fill in the blanks.

What would you tell aspiring writers today?

To always believe in yourself and to never stop learning. Listen to advice, constructive criticism and anything else of value that comes your way.

Mark’s books are available on Amazon and, if you want to find out more, here’s his stalk links:

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/294Gdd0
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/marktilburyauthor
Twitter profile: http://www.twitter.com/MTilburyAuthor
Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/marktilbury

Author photo. Mark Tilbury..jpg

44 Gilmore Street… Dare You Enter?!

Gilmore multi.jpgToday’s the day! After writing it, having it beta read, re-writing it, sending it to the editor, tweaking it, then tweaking it again… and again… and again… it was time to call it a day and admit it’s as ready as it’ll ever be! Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street is now available to buy from Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble (links below)! Time to sit back and take a breather? If only! I’m having an online Facebook launch party to celebrate and would love it if you could join in. There’ll be plenty of prizes on offer, including a signed paperback copy of 44 Gilmore Street and five fantastic authors of the paranormal popping in at various stages to offer e-book prizes of their books.

The line up is (GMT times):

3.30pm – Sarah England (Father of Lies)
4.30pm – Rumer Haven (What the Clocks Know)
5.00pm – Rebecca Patrick-Howard (the Taryn’s Camera series)
5.30pm – John Bowen (Where the Dead Walk)
6.30 pm – Adrian Martin (The Helland Reckoning)

Here’s the link – click on it, press ‘going’ and you’re in!

Launch day is always a nerve-wracking time for authors, you wonder if people are going to enjoy your latest offering or not. This is my eighth book and I’m getting pretty good at telling myself that as long as it’s as good as you can make it at the time of producing it, then you’re on the right track. And to help me do that my thanks go to my team of beta readers (you know who you are, I tell you often enough!) and my editor, Jeff Gardiner, who is just such a pleasure to work with. And thank you Laurence Patterson at Crooked Cat also for being so patient with me when I’m STILL making edits at galley stage!

YES1.jpg

44 Gilmore Street is the third of six books in the Psychic Surveys series (there will be spin-off novellas from the series too such as Eve) and from relatively light beginnings it’s getting darker! If you do read it, thank you, I hope you enjoy it. Now, what was I saying about taking a breather? Better get cracking on the next instalment…

Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street

UK http://tinyurl.com/jobnwoo US http://tinyurl.com/j6jvev5

Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me

UK http://tinyurl.com/n9q352z US http://tinyurl.com/nzjz62x

Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall

UK http://tinyurl.com/lak4ub2 US http://tinyurl.com/l29wj78

Psychic Surveys Prequel: Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story

UK http://tinyurl.com/nmnajss US http://tinyurl.com/pe5f6db

 

 

Being More Than an Author…

I’m in The Brighton Magazine today, talking about my books and the future of the publishing industry as I (and a fair few others I know!) see it. As much as us authors would love to do nothing more than just sit in our lonely garrets and write all day, that’s no longer possible. Instead, you have to don your marketing hat and find ways to make yourself visible amongst vast competition as well as network with others who you can then pool your experience and expertise with – trading graphic skills for marketing know-how for example – and everyone benefiting.

The hybrid author is on the rise – someone who is both traditionally published but is also self-published – learning the industry from the inside out. It’s a daunting prospect at times but being part of an author co-operative can really help and that’s what the article is really all about. Here’s the link to it – grab a coffee and have a read.

http://tinyurl.com/h94m258

Gilmore multi.jpg

Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/mq25mav

To keep informed of future releases, further news, giveaways and competitions, sign up to my newsletter here – http://eepurl.com/beoHLv

 

Congratulations to Astrid Arditi!

Cunning Plan - High Resolution.jpg

Congratulations to Astrid Arditi on the launch today of her debut novel – A Cunning Plan – a romance with mystery and excitement by the bucketful! Here’s she shares an excerpt and the blurb with us and you can find all the links to the book below! It looks like a great read!

EXCERPT

The reality of the situation was slowly creeping up on me. A stranger was inside my car. I inched toward the door handle, knowing my best solution would be to escape. My only knowledge of martial arts came from watching The Karate Kid. I harbored a strong suspicion it wouldn’t help much. I would probably hurt myself if I tried to pull off a crane move. Shoving all movie references away from my overwrought brain, I wondered what was wrong with me?

A burning sensation in my lungs reminded me to breathe. I gulped as much air as I could, getting ready to scream for help. All the while, I kept my eyes trained on him, trying to conjure a reassuring expression that wouldn’t set him off. Would I make it out of the door if he lunged toward me? Doubtful. Although he lounged back in the seat casually, I could feel the tension in his lean body, a panther ready to pounce on his prey.

I focused on his face, hoping to decipher his intentions. Besides his brown eyes that had lost their humor, the intruder had light chestnut hair clipped short, a nose that must have been straight once, and a square jaw sporting a five o’clock shadow.

At last, my hand connected with the metal handle and I tensed, ready to spring the hell out of here. Let him have the car, I just wanted out.

His hand shot in my direction, but he stopped it right before it touched my arm.

BLURB

Determined to put her family back together, Sloane Harper stalks her ex husband and his annoyingly stunning mistress, Kate. But she’s not the only one. Handsome IRS agent Ethan Cunning is surveying them too, but not for the same reasons. He is attempting to nail Kate’s playboy boss.

Ethan and Sloane decide to help each other, which sends Sloane’s wobbly life spinning out of control. She’ll have to face danger, humiliation, and scariest of all, the dating scene, to lure her daughters’ father home.

Losing control was the best thing to happen to Sloane… until it turned lethal.

allard_eng_0012.jpgAUTHOR BIO

Astrid Arditi was born from a French father and Swedish mother. She lived in Paris and Rome before moving to London with her husband and daughter back in 2013.

After dabbling in journalism, interning at Glamour magazine, and teaching kindergarten, Arditi returned to her first love: writing.

She now splits her time between raising her kids (a brand new baby boy just joined the family) and making up stories.

A Cunning Plan is Arditi’s first published work.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cunning-Plan-Astrid-Arditi-ebook/dp/B01D7H7O42/

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Cunning-Plan-Astrid-Arditi-ebook/dp/B01D7H7O42/

IBooks https://itunes.apple.com/fr/book/a-cunning-plan/id1102554468?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cunning-plan-astrid-arditi/1123657004?ean=2940152965568

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-cunning-plan-5

CONTACT INFO

I blog at www.astridarditi.com

Facebook Astrid Arditi author https://www.facebook.com/Astridarditiauthor

Twitter @astrid_arditi https://twitter.com/astrid_arditi

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Highdown Hall!

HH Teaser 6.jpg

The 25th April – what a day! It’s not just MY birthday, it’s the day when Crooked Cat Publishing launched Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall onto an unsuspecting world! Yep, 2 years ago today, Highdown Hall was made available on Amazon to buy in both ebook and paperback format. Getting off to a good start, it climbed all the way into the top 2,000 books on Amazon and stayed there for the best part of a year, nestled beside the likes of Stephen King, James Herbert and Peter James -a dream come true! In 2015, it got to No,70 overall in the US Amazon Kindle charts and roughly the same in the UK Amazon Kindle charts and No.1 in several genre charts across the globe. It’s also acquired a prequel (Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story), Book Two (Rise to Me) and the soon-t0-be-published (May 27th) Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street. I envisage there’ll be six books in the series in total, but you never know, I might squeak in one or two more…

Highdown muliti.jpg

Centred round a team of psychics and the cases they investigate, it’s been a pleasure working with Ruby, Cash, Theo, Ness, Corinna and Jed, the ghost dog (everybody’s favourite). I’ve based a lot of cases around real life events (those I’ve been involved with and those that have been told to me) and have included, where I can, the work of famous Occultists such as Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune and Alexandra David Neel (amongst others). A lot of research has gone into the books and I’ve surprised myself with all the things I’ve learnt – the mystical world is indeed a fascinating world!

I’ve had a ton of fantastic reviews – over 300 between the UK and US and most of them have been 5 and 4 star. There have, of course, been the odd 1 or 2 stars but hey, that’s par for the course – and some of them have made me smile, i.e. the one who said ‘she seems to make it up as she goes along’ – I love that, partly because it’s true! But it’s also been called the ‘best ghost story ever’ and many times ‘unputdownable’. To anyone who’s ever taken the time to review a huge thank you – it means (and helps) such a lot!

Highdown Teaser 2.jpg

If you haven’t read Highdown Hall yet, let me know in the comments below. I’ve got a few e-copies to GIVE AWAY. If you’ve got a Kindle, I can send it to your email address so you can send it to your Kindle. If you fancy it, you can also sign up to my occasional newsletter, where I’ll keep you informed of any new releases, competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/beoHLv

Thank you again for all your support and congratulations again to Highdown Hall, who’d have known we’d have shared a birthday too!

The Haunting of Highdown Hall

UK http://tinyurl.com/lak4ub2

US http://tinyurl.com/l29wj78

Aus http://tinyurl.com/pc73ggz

Canada http://tinyurl.com/owg9b5w

Contact Links

Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/p9yggq9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers

Blog: https://shanisite.wordpress.com

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/mq25mav

 

 

 

So How Many Wrongs Make a Right?

Untitled.jpg

Huge congratulations to Stella Birrell, whose novel debuts today from Crooked Cat Publishing. How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right is a chick-lit-with-grit novel set in the Lake District and Edinburgh. Grab a coffee, sit down and read an extract:

‘OK, here’s an idea. If he’s pretending Tuesday didn’t happen, then you pretend it didn’t happen. Then he can decide all over again that he wants to be with you. Maybe you could knock him back or something? Then he’ll be dying to ask you out officially.’ Knock him back? I thought tonight was a dead cert. I shaved my legs for goodness sake.

‘I suppose I could play hard to get. Oh, I am so bored of playing the game!’ I whine. ‘When does it get easier?’

‘When you find the right person and they find you,’ replies Julie, wisely (also, if I’m honest, a little smugly). Right, we’d better get back to the boys before I start in on Julie with ‘yeah-about-that-didn’t-you-know-the-unwritten-I-saw-him-first-rule-regarding-your-boyfriend-I-think-you’ll-find-by-this-legislation-he-should-be-with-me.’ I have held out against this so far, yes, mostly because it’s ridiculous, not to mention legally unenforceable. I’m certainly not going to bring it up after three WKDs. I’d rather be with James anyway.

So we went back to the group. I smiled, flirting with him as much as I could, trying to be sparkling company. He’s a good laugh, James, a real catch. I’ve started to wonder if I can really hold such a full house of a man. Maybe I need to assign him to the Sid category, awfully nice, but no point in making an effort because there is such a thing as punching above your weight. Especially when you’re overweight.

Now I’m walking with Sid, with Gerry next to him. James is on the other side of Gerry, discussing some golf course they are planning to go to next weekend. I catch James’s eye, and wink at him. He smiles at me. Man, he’s so fit. No way am I giving up yet.

We pay our way into Frankies. As usual, I lose everyone immediately. This used to really panic me, especially when I hardly knew anyone here, but I’m completely used to it now. It’s not actually a big place, I’ll bump into them later. The music is absolutely thumping, as always; both the dance floor and the bar area are already rammed with people. The special Frankies smell is on the air; beer, smoke, sweat, and overtones of heady sexual promise.

***

12592388_10153496222530423_2848569702715395634_n.jpgAbout the Author

Stella Hervey Birrell is an emerging writer of women’s fiction living in East Lothian, Scotland. She has lived in various places in Scotland and England and has had various jobs, none of which have paid particularly well. Her experience of Mr Wrongs is unparalleled, but she found a happy ending with her husband and two children, even though there appears to be a lot of laundry in ‘ever after.’

How Many Wrongs… is her first novel, and is published with Crooked Cat Books.

Stella also writes short stories, sings in a band, yells at her kids a lot, and most days can hardly believe her luck.

How to find me!

Please come and say ‘hi’ in one or more of these places

My blog space is https://atinylife140.wordpress.com/

Twitter is @atinylife140

I have a page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stellaherveybirrell/?ref=hl

I can also be found wandering the streets of various East Lothian villages.

To purchase Stella’s book, please use one of the following links:

UK Amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Many-Wrongs-make-Right-ebook/dp/B01D0EO7G0/

US Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/How-Many-Wrongs-make-Right-ebook/dp/B01D0EO7G0/

Kobo

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/how-many-wrongs-make-a-mr-right

Nook

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-many-wrongs-make-a-mr-right-stella-hervey-birrell/1123543910?ean=2940152924312

iBooks

Search ‘How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right?’ in the iTunes Store