Chasing Ghosts by Madalyn Morgan | Blog Tour Guest Post and #Giveaway (@ActScribblerDJ @rararesources) #ChasingGhosts

 

Chasing Ghosts: Sequel to China Blue (The Dudley Sisters Saga Book 6)

Available in ebook and paperback (6 June 2018)

248 pages



My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the blog tour invitation and to Madalyn for providing the guest post.  There is a giveaway at the end of the post to win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts.

 

|   About the Book   |

In 1949 after receiving treatment for shell shock in Canada, Claire’s husband disappears.
Has Mitch left her for the woman he talks about in his sleep? Or is he on the run from accusations of wartime treachery?

Claire goes to France in search of the truth, aided by old friends from the Resistance.

 

GUEST POST

by Madalyn Morgan

 

Thank you for asking me to talk about a subject of my choice, My Reading Corner. I am often asked about research and plot. I do both because my novels are set in World War Two and have complex storylines. I love it when a character takes me off-plot, and I go with it. But I have a tendency to meander, which slows the action and the story down. A plot brings me back to the story. I like strong storylines that move quickly. Research is also necessary if you’re writing in a well-documented time in history.

If a debut author, which I was in 2012, is crazy enough to plan four novels about four sisters, with four different careers in a time that is unfamiliar, unless they have a photographic memory, can hold dates in their head and have the ability to recall situations verbatim, they need to plot.

The four sisters are together in the first novel, Foxden Acres, which is the oldest Dudley sister, Bess’s story. It is in Foxden Acres that their futures are decided. Each novel stands alone but is interwoven with the other novels in the saga. When the sisters are at Foxden – for Christmas, a birthday or a wedding – they must be at Foxden in their own stories. (The same for events in the war – the bombing of Coventry, Battle of Britain, D-Day, etc.)

So, to ensure someone wasn’t enjoying Christmas in one book and overseas at the time in another, I kept a day-diary. Every time something significant happened in Foxden Acres, I made a note of it, leaving four blank pages – one for each of the other books, and one for luck. I could not have kept control of who was doing what, when and where, without the diary.

To add to the work, I had to do huge amounts of research. Foxden Acres needed intensive research on every aspect of WW2, including events that affected Bess personally. I researched teaching in 1939, the evacuation of school children, the Land Army, farms, billets, and the Commonwealth Aerodromes near Foxden – Bitteswell and Bruntingthorpe. Also, the RAF, Wellington Bombers – and the Polish airmen who escaped Poland and came to England to fly with the RAF. Foxden is near Coventry, so I needed to research the bombing of the city in November 1940.

The second novel, Applause, is set in a London theatre where I had worked when I was an actress. I still had to research the Luftwaffe, the Blitz, the East End, ENSA, shows and songs of the time, fascists, Nazi sympathisers, GIs, and how many Jewish Londoners were treated. But, because I knew the West End, and had already researched the war, Applause took less time.

China Blue, the third book, set in England and France needed the most research. I was used to the process, but with this book, it was also necessary to research as the story developed. What I knew about the SOE (Special Operations Executive) you could have written on the back of a postage stamp. So, I researched the SOE and the training: Parachuting out of aeroplanes, surviving interrogation, living in occupied France, working with the French Resistance, sabotage – and roads and bridges that were held by the German army. I invented a town called, Gisoir, which was fun, but I needed to be familiar with several districts in Paris. Thank goodness for Google-walk. China Blue was the most difficult of the four books to research and write. It was also the most exciting.

Book four, The 9:45 To Bletchley, needed very little research. It begins on the night Coventry was bombed in 1940, which I’d already researched for Foxden Acres. I needed to know about some of the work done at Bletchley Park and spent a fascinating day there. However, because during the war the facility was top secret, if it didn’t affect Ena Dudley it wasn’t necessary. I researched engineering factories, MI5, poisons that knock you out but don’t kill you and read some great biographies about spies.

Writing Foxden Hotel, the sequel to Foxden Acres and Chasing Ghosts, the sequel to China Blue – both post-war, the research was easier. Although I still needed to research medical and police procedures in nineteen-fifties England and Canada.

Thank goodness for Google and history websites. When I wrote Foxden Acres in 2012, I spent a fortune on research books. For my current novel, it’s 80% web and 20% book.

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.
Madalyn was brought up in Lutterworth, at the Fox Inn. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live, as there were so many different characters to study and accents to learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.
In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn taught herself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and started writing. After living in London for thirty-six years, she has returned to her home town of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.
Happy to be an Indie Author, Madalyn has successfully published six novels. Foxden Acres, Applause, China Blue and The 9:45 To Bletchley are set before and during WW2 and tell the wartime stories of Bess, Margot, Claire, and Ena Dudley. Foxden Hotel and Chasing Ghosts are both post war. Chasing Ghosts is a sequel to China Blue.
Madalyn’s books are available on Amazon – in paperback and all formats of eBook.

 

Author Links:

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon Author Page   |   Goodreads   |   Pinterest 

Amazon Purchase Link

 

****  GIVEAWAY  ****

 

Giveaway – Win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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.

My Reading Corner is not responsible for this giveaway. For any further details, please contact Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Right on the Monet by Malcolm Parnell | Blog Tour Guest Post | (@Paintauthor @rararesources)



My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the blog tour invitation which appealed as soon as I saw the words ‘Monet’ and ‘cruise ship’! I’m delighted to welcome Malcolm Parnell with a guest post talking about some favourite authors.

* * *

Reading has always been a passion of mine. After learning to read as a small child the love of the written word has embedded itself deep in my psyche and I cannot remember a time when I haven’t found time to be enchanted by a book. My earliest recollections of reading actual novels began with Enid Blyton and the Famous Five and Secret Seven stories. I adored those books and I’m sure my love of mysteries developed as a result of reading them. A few tears later I discovered the Billy Bunter series by Frank Richards. I think these books have to rate as my all-time favourites and I devoured each and every one. The world these character inhabited was so different from my own and yet I felt instantly at ease and comfortable in it. I still have vivid memories of heading into the children’s section of my local library as a young boy and eagerly seeking new titles concerning the fat owl of the remove. I loved them so much that I have now collected a number of first editions which I treasure.

As I grew older my taste became more eclectic and I discovered Agatha Christie who is surely the best mystery writer of all time. Both Poirot and Marple are timeless and the work of genius. I suppose my favourite genre has to be mystery novels with whodunnits ranking high amongst the list. In my teens I discovered Dennis Wheatley whose black magic stories had me riveted until well into the small hours. Looking back I’m not sure whether these books have stood the test of time and would probably now seem old fashioned and politically incorrect, but at the time I found them very exciting. Dick Francis was a favourite of my early twenties and I quickly worked my way through all the exploits of jockey Sid Halley. Like Christie he was a prolific writer and turned out one best seller after another. Since then I have read many books of many genres with PG Wodehouse ranking amongst my favourite authors. Like the Bunter stories the world of Pelham Grenville Wodehouse is so far removed from my own but it is very easy to escape to and leave the rigours of modern life behind. I particularly liked the Blandings stories with Lord Emsworth and his pet pig.

CJ Sansom is another author who merits respect and his Matthew Shardlake series is one of the best historical sagas I have ever read and Dissolution is as good a piece of historical writing as I have ever come across.

One of my all-time favourite mystery novels is a book written by Peter Lovesey entitled, The False Inspector Dew. It is set upon an ocean cruise liner sailing from the UK to America and it is a fantastic read. It was from reading this novel that I got the inspiration for my third Harry Chase book Right On The Monet, which is also set upon a cruise liner.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

New York

Claude Monet painting is stolen

Mediterranean

Of all the things Harry Chase had imagined in his life, being a drummer on a cruise ship band was not one that would have occurred to him. And yet, there he was. Centre stage, behind a young female singer along with his mates, Dave, Tony and Steve.

Which meant that getting involved in a jewellery theft, an on-board massage parlour and the hunt for an Old Master was even further from his mind as he cracked the snare drum.

And yet, this was exactly how he found himself being questioned by Interpol …..

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Malcolm Parnell has a passion for painting and teaches art and drawing skills when he is not working on his next novel.
His other passion, apart from his good lady wife, Marion, is Leicester City Football Club. Becoming an author and Leicester win the Premier League have been two of his greatest ambitions realised.

 

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(sorry but there doesn’t seem to be an Amazon link)

Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner | Blog Tour Review (@Ronnie__Turner @HQDigitalUK #LiesBetweenUs #WhereIsBonnie

 

Published by HQ Digital

E-Book & Audiobook 1st October | Paperback 13th December 2018

384 pages

Source : My own purchased copy & Netgalley copy provided by publisher



Ronnie Turner is a much loved member of the book blogging community and we were all so excited for her when she announced that her debut thriller, Lies Between Us was being published by HQ.   You will be seeing a lot of this book over the coming weeks – as you can see from the 4, yes 4 tour banners below, 72 book bloggers all wanted to be involved in the tour!

 

|   About the Book  |

 

Will they ever learn the truth?

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.

 

|   My Thoughts    |

 

Lies Between Us is Ronnie Turner’s debut novel and what a complex and disturbing thriller it is.

Three main characters, three different timelines – which you are well advised to make a mental note of by the way. Miller – a monster of a child who, quite frankly, should have been drowned at birth. John, an author, finally having a good life with his wife and young daughter Bonnie until the unimaginable happens and Bonnie goes missing. And Maisie, an ICU nurse, caring for a comatose patient who has been viciously attacked whilst his family and friends sit and wait by his bedside. Maisie had her own secrets she was keeping quiet about.

Lies, obsessions, deception and both mental and physical torture – all are a major part of the story. It must have been quite a feat for the author, keeping track of all the characters and the timelines – so kudos to her for pulling this all together to form a twisted and compelling read. I was kept wondering if, how or when the three characters would connect.

The pace and level of suspense was spot on. The characterisation was really well done – it was sometimes quite scary to have such an insight into the minds of such disturbed people, neither does the author shrink away from writing about unpleasant subjects;  some events I found quite difficult to read, albeit that it was shown in an understated way. As for poor Bonnie, it soon becomes clear from the messages that her parents are receiving that she has been targeted; but why?  With the police struggling for evidence and with no reliable sightings or witnesses, it’s a race against time to find her abductor.

All the way through I was trying to work out who and why. A couple of times I thought I had it, but then – no – those damn timelines scuppered my theories. I have to put my hands up here and say that I am either extremely thick (quite likely!) or I missed some vital clue along the way because at the end I was completely confused. It would be fair to say that this is a challenging read and for those who really enjoy pitting their brains against an author’s twisted mind, you will have so much fun with this.

So, did I enjoy Lies Between Us? Despite my confusion, yes I did. Very much. Ronnie Turner, quite deservedly, should be so proud of her book baby and I look forward to reading more by this very talented author.

 

At the time of this post, Lies Between Us can be downloaded from Amazon UK for 99p

 

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Ronnie’s debut novel, Lies Between Us, will be published by HQ Digital in October 2018.

 

 

 

Author Links:   Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Instagram   |   Goodreads

Buy Links:  Kobo  |   Amazon UK   |  iTunes   |   Google Play

 

 

Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary (Marnie Rome book #5) | Book Review | (@sarah_hilary @headlinepg)#ComeandFindMe

Published by Headline

Available in ebook, hardback and paperback (4 October 2018)

384 pages



My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Headline for the invitation to take part in the paperback publication of Come and Find Me, number 5 in the Marnie Rome series.  You can find reviews of all previous 4 books here on the blog.

 

|   About the Book  |

 

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

 

|   My Thoughts   |

 

How did we get to Book 5! I’ve been reading this series since the beginning and I’m going to say it again, it just gets better.

Come and Find Me is set 7 weeks after the end of the previous story, Marnie and her team are called in following a violent riot at Cloverton prison which has left many casualties – including Stephen Keele, Marnie’s foster brother. Those of you following the series will know all about him. The man suspected of carrying out the violence and starting the subsequent fire, Michael Vokey, has escaped.

Some of the chapters are narrated by one of the inmates in hospital and it is through his voice that we learn about Michael Vokey.  Vokey is an dangerous individual. Transferred from another prison for being implicated in a cellmate’s death, he has been imprisoned for terrorising a young mother at her home. He seems to become a legend within the prison with people in his thrall. In addition, he has acquired two ‘groupies’. Two women, both in different parts of the country are writing him letters, some quite explicit. Why are these women so enamoured with him – and are one or both involved somehow in his escape.

Some of the violence inflicted is at times graphically described – not gratuitously by any means but after reading about the batteries, any mention of cactus made me extremely nervous!

This book, whilst just as riveting as the others, in my opinion has a more introspective feel to it with much soul searching, especially on Marnie’s part about her parents and Stephen, and in particular something she was given at the end of the previous story is playing on her mind. The working relationship she has with DS Noah Jake is as close as ever – in fact they seem more like friends than DI and DS – something which does concern me a little now. I get that he always has her back but I feel that the lines between their working partnership and friendship have become a little blurred and she seems to rely on his judgement a little more than she should.

It’s always good to see new characters arrive in a series and DS Harry Kennedy makes a welcome return. I sensed a little spark of something between Harry and Marnie and I’m really keen to see if that is explored further in the series. In addition DCI Lorna Ferguson, Marnie’s boss is still in charge. She’s still a ballbreaker and doesn’t suffer fools but I actually really liked her in this book. She appeared in the previous story and I felt she was depicted as Marnie’s nemesis, however following those events, the two of them seemed to have found a way to tolerate each other and I really liked Ferguson’s dry sense of humour and the way she kept the team on their toes.

The pace of Come and Find Me felt a bit slower than previous books, although that isn’t a criticism. This story was more about a manhunt and was probably more character focused than one of constant action. The issue of prison overcrowding is a big factor of this story and it does make you realise how easy it is for petty irritations to escalate into a full blown incendiary situation.

As ever, Sarah Hilary has created an addictive and utterly engrossing read. There is tension and suspense where there needs to be whilst at other times, you can get to know the characters and how they fit in to the story as a whole. There are of course some surprises along the way – and the team themselves eventually realise that they may need to look at the case in a different way.

If you haven’t started this series yet, why not? I think you could perhaps jump in with this one as sufficient backstory is given to make it a meaningful read, although as with all series, you do get the most enjoyment following the characters from the very beginning.

This is still one of my favourite crime series. Waiting for Book number 6 now. No pressure Sarah!

 

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Sarah Hilary’s debut, Someone Else’s Skin, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015 and was a World Book Night selection for 2016. The Observer’s Book of the Month (‘superbly disturbing’) and a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. No Other Darkness, the second in the series was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the US. Her DI Marnie Rome series continued with Tastes Like Fear, and Quieter Than Killing.

 

Website/Blog  |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

Stealth by Hugh Fraser | Blog Tour Guest Post : Agatha and I | @realhughfraser @urbanebooks #lovebookgrouptours #Thriller #Crime #Stealth

 

‘Stealth’ is book 4 in the bestselling Rina Walker series, following ‘Harm’, ‘Threat’ and ‘Malice’

Published by Urbane Publications

Available in ebook and paperback (4 October 2018)

360 pages



My thanks to Kelly of Love Books Group Tours for the invitation to take part in the tour for Stealth, book #4 in the Rina Walker series by Hugh Fraser.  For my turn today, I’m delighted to share a guest post from Hugh, who I am sure that many people will remember from his time as Captain Hastings in the TV adaption of Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

 

Agatha and I

As an actor who is associated with the work of Agatha Christie, as it has appeared on Television, I have frequently been asked if Agatha Christie has influenced my own recent attempts at crime fiction. When considering the question I am reminded of the time when we made the Poirot series and how little attention I paid to the plots of the films when we were shooting them. When filming you tend to focus on the scenes you’re doing on that particular day, and as the script is nearly always shot out of sequence it’s easy to cease to be aware of the overall story, and as I was playing a character who never knew what was going on anyway, it was probably quite appropriate in my case.

It was only when I subsequently recorded the books as audio books and studied Agatha Christie’s work in detail, while preparing them, that I realised how skilfully and intricately constructed her plots are and how much detail they contain, with so many sub-plots and red herrings woven into the narrative.

When I attempted to write a crime novel of my own, I came to understand how difficult it is to construct a coherent and believable story and how much hard work Agatha Christie put into creating her stories.

The other aspect of her books that became apparent to me when I recorded them was the vast number of characters that she created and the clarity and definition of each one. I’d often have a list of forty or fifty characters and each one of them, from the pompous, purple-faced major blustering and ranting in the drawing room to the adenoidal maid, who opens the front door to the visitors and is never seen again – each would be given a distinct appearance, manner and personality and all brought to the page with remarkable economy.

What was also apparent, although rather less admirable about her work and quite salutary to a modern reader, is the casual racism and anti-semitism which appears occasionally, particularly in her earlier books. That is not to say that I think that Agatha Christie was particularly racially prejudiced – I believe it was no more than a reflection of the prevailing culture at the time during which she was writing and a reminder that attitudes have changed for the better since then.

After doing the TV series and the audio books and undergoing such a thorough immersion in Agatha Christie, one might have assumed that when I came to write a crime novel myself it would bear some resemblance to the genteel and sophisticated world in which her books are set.

Unfortunately it turned out to concern the rather dark activities of a lesbian contract killer from the London slums.

I hope that my books, in spite of their dissimilarity to those of the Queen of Crime, will provide some entertainment and enjoyment for my readers.

 

|   About the Book   |

When a step out of line means a fight to the death…
London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.

When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfill a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.

Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive, but to protect the ones she loves.

 

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Hugh Fraser is best known for playing Captain Hastings in Agatha Christie’s ‘Poirot’ and the Duke of Wellington in ‘Sharpe’. His films include Patriot Games, 101 Dalmatians, The Draughtsman’s Contract and Clint Eastwood’s Firefox. In the theatre he has appeared in Teeth’n’Smiles at the Royal Court and Wyndhams and in several roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also composed the theme to Rainbow!

 

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