10 Apr 2014

New Release and Review: “Memento Mori” by Katy O’Dowd

1 Comment Book Reviews

21795048“Memento Mori” by Katy O’Dowd is an excellent, inspired and unusual Victorian period piece about the Lamb family and about O’Murtagh, a female assassin in London in the 1850s. It is a playful portrayal of organised crime in London in those days, and in the novel the crime comes in many forms and shapes: pick pocketing, prostitution, smuggling, extortion, murder and deceit.
Told in two main narratives, the book follows not only the Lamb family after the father’s ominous death, but it also follows the fate of a 5 year old girl from the 1830s onwards. She is presented with a memento mori from her mother by a stranger and survives as orphan on petty crime and trickery.
The plotlines are brilliantly interwoven and all is told in wonderfully authentic style. The book is playful and entertaining, yet historically accurate, authentic and convincing.
O’Murtagh is a great character with her coldness and ambiguous feelings, and many other players in this gem of a book are equally fascinating and colourful: An Abbess, the Lamb brothers and some of O’Murtagh’s lovers and victims. 
The rivalry, plotting and scheming mostly play out with some unexpected twists and surprises, while some plot parts are more obvious and deliberately put in place for us to enjoy watching as they unfold for the characters in the story. There are also some mechanical inventions and a clever raven that add to the magic of the book. 
The memento mori theme from the well chosen title is beautifully put in all the right places to add an element of sentiment and nostalgia into the story.
All comes together in a great ending for this hugely enjoyable and accomplished piece of art. Very well done.

Take tea with the Victorian Mafia – organized crime has never been so civilized

Revenge is a dish best served cold. At the Lamb residence, it is also served on fine bone china.

The untimely demise of Thaddeus Lamb leaves his son Riley in charge of the vast Lamb empire, which imports tea, picks pockets, extorts, and keeps men warm on cold winter’s nights. And so the Lambs grieve for their father in the best way they know how… Retribution.

Hired by the new head of the Fox Family, a position recently vacated by another untimely demise, the assassin O’Murtagh is tasked with the utter destruction of all the Lamb Family’s business associates. They learn the hard way that there is no better hit man than a beautiful woman with tricks and weapons up her finely coiffed sleeves.

Treachery and deceit abound in the streets of London, and no one is safe. Honestly, it’s enough to make anyone drink. Would you care for one lump or two?

eBook Buy Links  5311518

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Memento-Mori-Katy-ODowd-ebook/dp/B00JG3NQ4O

Amazon Smart Url: http://bookShow.me/B00JG3NQ4O

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21795048-memento-mori

Author bio:

Katy is an arts and entertainment journalist and has worked for Time Out, Associated Newspapers and Comic Relief and her articles have appeared in The Times (London), Metro (London) and many other arts and entertainment publications, paper and online.

Alongside writing with her Dad under the pen-name Derry O’Dowd, whose first book ‘The Scarlet Ribbon’ was chosen to launch the History Press Ireland’s fiction line, she writes under her own name. ‘The Lady Astronomer’, a YA Steampunk tale was released by Untold Press in 2012.

Katy reviews for the Historical Novels Review and the British Fantasy Society.

Link to my previous feature on Katy

and my feature on her joint project with her father

Connect with Katy: [Webpage][Twitter][Goodreads]

Links:

Katy blogs at www.katyodowd.com

Twitter: @katyod

Facebook: www.facebook.com/katy.odowd

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5311518.Katy_O_Dowd

Contact:

katy@pictureandword.com

Excerpt

Snip. The jewelled secateurs caught the soft light thrown by the candles. Snip. Dark orange on green. Snip. Tiny white blossoms fell to the stone floor. Snip, snip.

Carmine Fox took an orange in her gloved hand and turned it over, this way and that, examining the pitted skin and running a finger along the bumps and grooves in the fruit.

In an alcove, the huge Brass Lady statue gleamed, her beautiful features painted buttery gold, eyes looking blindly at nothing at all.

Carmine’s dress swept the floor, not a mourning dress as you might expect, having lost her father, but rather dove grey and lavender picked out with black trim along the panel, cuffs, hem, and bustle. Her hair, long and coiled, was the color of Grip’s wings, as were her eyes. The muted tones of her dress made her sallow, or maybe it was just the lack of light.

Years of water and living things within the man-made lake had given the huge cathedral style glass ceiling and everything beneath a greenish hue and made the walls bleed rust.

She looked up from her study of the orange and threw it across the room, faster than the eye could see.

The woman standing in the shadows caught the orange, her arm shooting up to stop the fruit, as it nestled in her palm.

“Oh, brava.”

O’Murtagh stood silently before Carmine Fox who walked toward her, the secateurs dangling lazily from her hand.

“Quiet little thing, aren’t you?”

Fox peered at her intently, taking in the pale face and brown eyes framed with a veil of auburn hair.

“Well, quiet suits my needs. Feel free to eat the orange, which will be sweet and ripe. Ah, but how could such a thing grow here you wonder?” She paused. “It didn’t, of course, there is a vast orangery in the house, but I like to be here to prune, the setting eases my mind.”

O’Murtagh made no move to peel the fruit; instead she put it in one of the many pockets of her skirts.

Carmine Fox shrugged. “No matter. When you come to eat the orange, you will find it as I say. But now, we have other matters to discuss.”

She walked back to the table where the plants stood and put the secateurs down.

“You have come highly recommended.” Her heel tapped on the black and white tiled floor. “I have been told of your merits, misdeeds, and probably know more about you than your own mother, whom I believe has been dead a long time. But that doesn’t interest me, your skills do.”

O’Murtagh nodded imperceptibly.

“This is not a pretty tale, but then I suppose these things never are.” Fox sighed and smiled, pacing the room, warming to her tale and the task ahead.

“Tell me, O’Murtagh. Do you believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?” Fox waved her hand airily. “We are not here to talk about the philosophy of doddery old men falling asleep and drooling into their beards. I mean vengeance, retribution. Honor, even if it is only the kind to be found among thieves.”

Fox stopped pacing, abruptly, and O’Murtagh could feel the heightened tension in the room under the still water.

“There is no need for you to know everything, but know this,” Carmine resumed talking and walking, “I am not sorry that my father is dead. Vile man. He made my mother’s life a misery. Drove her to her death. I had this statue of her made. You know, I talk to her as I prune.” She gazed fondly at the Brass Lady.

“But he didn’t do this alone. No. Rather he was fuelled by his once great friend turned great enemy. Interesting that they should have died in the same week, is it not? Thaddeus Lamb and my father climbed the tree to the gold at the top, from ragged boys to prosperous men, branch by branch to the prize at the end. Suffice to say there was a falling out and my father the Fox did everything in his power to bring the traitor Lamb down.”

Carmine went to the Brass Lady, and standing on tiptoe, ran her hand down the statue’s cold cheek.

“My mother would have hated to see this. Hated to see what he made me. But my father not only left me his riches, he left me his hatred. After my mother died, all I heard of was how he was going to get his revenge. Now that he is no longer here, it is up to me to see this thing through. You do understand, don’t you?”

“I do.”

O’Murtagh’s voice was so quiet that Carmine Fox wasn’t sure she had heard her in the first place.

“I suppose you do, why would you be in your line of work otherwise?”

The assassin kept her brown gaze on the woman who had hired her, but held her tongue.

“Very well. Your job then, is to take the family down. Not directly, but by hitting them where they will hurt the most. Trade routes, business associates, and so on. My father left a diary full of any information you should need. I shall release the names of four people to you when the time is right. None of this shall be traced back to me, and if you should fail, I will make your life one long misery.”

“I have no doubt.”

“Good. So,” Carmine Fox rubbed her hands together, almost gleefully, “Thaddeus Lamb, the Head of the Family is out of our way. I have been told that other factions are gathering like vultures over the rotting corpse of what remains and that the Lambs–when they are able to act–will find other matters to occupy their time. Such as a nasty little turf war. At which point we shall have progressed to a point where we will be able to muzzle them entirely.”

She laughed, and O’Murtagh, seasoned as she was, felt the small hairs on her arms raise and her skin became as pitted as that of the orange in her pocket.

Fox pirouetted, her skirts spreading out and then settling.

“None of it shall ever be traced back to me,” she delighted in her glee, before quietening. “Then I can get straight to the heart of things.”

O’Murtagh’s place was not to ask. She was being paid handsomely and had more time than she cared for to do these jobs. Nor was she squeamish, her body-count was impressive. Though she stopped short at children, babies, and pregnant women.

“Now, my dear.” Fox clapped her hands together. “Time for tea. Would you care to accompany me back to the house?”

07 Apr 2014

Author Interview: Crime fiction writer Stefania Mattana

Comments Off on Author Interview: Crime fiction writer Stefania Mattana Book Reviews, News

“Into the Killer Sphere (Chase Williams detective stories #1)” by Stefania Mattana is a very enjoyable and well written thriller set in a atmospheric medieval-looking city in contemporary Italy. 18640159
Chase Williams from the UK is called upon to assist his friend Inspector Angelo Alunni in a case that seems like an accident but highly likely isn’t.
Together the pair combine forensic and personal intelligence to get to the bottom of the case.
The investigation is one wonderful and charming journey through Italian idiosyncrasies with amazing colourful characters.
The plot is cleverly woven and told with attention to detail. 
This is a great crime story with a beautiful setting, entertaining but sophisticated enough to distinguish itself from mere beach reads – although it would certainly work as such, too.
Highly recommended. chase_avatar

“Cutting Right to the Chase” by Stefania Mattana is a selection of several very short crime stories, all rather unusual and very entertaining. With powers of oberservation, wit and some with great humour they describe odd cases and mysteries solved by former British detective Chase Williams, who now lives and works in Italy.
The stories are anecdotal in nature, clever, well told and very worth while reading. 
Great entertainment.

Captain-Pinnera2

 

 

Interview with Stefania:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.

I am probably one of the very few people in the world who has a nickname with first and last name, Erania Pinnera. My sister’s fault!

I’m turning thirty and I’m happy about it. Some people are afraid of leaving their twenties, I am not! My main passions are reading and running. I’ve been both running and reading since I was six, I guess it’s not a coincidence. I’m a mens sana in corpore sano kind of girl.

If I have to quote a weakness of me I would probably go with the perfectionism mania. Perfection should be a tool to reach a moving target, not an achievement. Sometimes I forget it and I get fussy.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I should say my main character, former MET detective Chase Williams, but I will say his friend, Inspector Angelo Alunni. Angelo is Italian, few years older than Chase, single by force of circumstances and with the odd idea that he can attract more girls with a Montalbano-style shaved head.

Angelo is the most lively and irascible side of the partners in crime (Chase always helps Angelo solve murders or mysteries) and I like depicting him as a genuine Italian prototype. And trust me, Italians pull through extremely well.

What would your characters say about you?

They’d probably say that I let them do whatever they want too often! Sometimes it’s like I lose the control of my characters and I end up writing things that subvert my plot – I guess you can understand me, dear Chris.

Maybe my characters would like more discipline from me, but I don’t change this balance until readers keep appreciating my stories and I receive an official complaint by my characters themselves!

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?

I like creating way outs for murderers and triggering reasons that lead normal persons to kill somebody else. This is my most enjoyable point, the way Chase and Angelo will find the truth is pure deduction practice. I like also putting little clues for my readers to help them find the murderers before Chase. I don’t want readers to think they are “inferior” to Chase or Angelo. The perfect murder doesn’t exist and anyone could find the truth, it’s just a matter of method.

Maybe the least part is – paradoxically – reviewing the drafts. Every time I read something I wrote, I see there’s something that needs to be changed, or modified, or that can be improved. No matter if it’s published or not – there’s always a way to write it, show it, tell it better. I mean, that’s good, but sometimes I realise I’m getting too fussy again!

What is your life like outside of writing?

I like running outside, especially on track. I love the smell of the track and the noise of the spikes on it. When I was in Italy I enjoyed long walks with my sister and our dog, I really miss them. Oh, I love dogs, any kind of dogs. If it was for me I’d have a hundred dogs in my home. My partner and I go out quite often in London, discovering the city and enjoying all its wonderful attractions. We are also planning some interesting travels abroad, armed with cameras, good walking shoes and – guess what? – a couple of Kindles in our bags 😉

Hot or cold? Hot!

Salty or sweet? Definitely salty.

What are you working on now? 

Pull the Trigger, the first Chase Williams long length novel, is on the fly. It will be out approximately at the beginning of the summer, ready for the beach!

I’m also defining the plot of the next new novel along with two new books for the Cutting Right to the Chase series, as readers really liked both the Volume 1 and the Volume 2. For many reasons I don’t think I’m going to replicate the novella experiment, although Into the Killer Sphere is receiving lots of positive feedbacks, but never say never!

Stefania Mattana is a crime fiction author whose stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, websites and anthologies. Her first self-published short stories collection Cutting Right To The Chase, featuring the former Met Police Detective Chase Williams, was released in June 2013 to great acclaim. She also blogs for Huffington Post UK, her own DailyPinner and other webzines.

Book links:

CUTTING RIGHT TO THE CHASE VOL.1

CUTTING RIGHT TO THE CHASE VOL.2

INTO THE KILLER SPHERE

PULL THE TRIGGER

 

Mailing list: free preview of Cutting Right to the Chase vol.2 for the subscribers.

 

Author website

Facebook

Twitter

Twitter Chase

27 Mar 2014

Author Interview: Seumas Gallacher

Comments Off on Author Interview: Seumas Gallacher Book Reviews, News

wall copy 2

I am finally catching up with one of the great indie thriller writers. I reviewed two of his marvellous books, Vengeance Wears Black recently here  and The Violin Man’s Legacy here.

Today I have the pleasure of an interview with Seumas Gallacher

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.

Born in the Govan Docklands in Glasgow in the same street as the former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s older than me by a handful of years, has much more money, but I’m better looking than he is. I have an IQ that apparently lets me solve the problems of the Universe, but I can’t switch a laptop on without the risk of it exploding. Wandered through the maze of international banking (shssh, whisper that) for forty years before escaping into the world of quill-scraping. LUVVIN IT!

Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?

Scribbled teenaged angst-ridden poetry and dabbled in short story fiction many years ago. Discovered ‘that book’ we all supposedly have in us about five years ago, and enjoying it so much now, I don’t wanna stop.

Tell us about your first book? How did you decide on the characters, plots and title?

‘The Violin Man’s Legacy’, the first book in what has now developed into the Jack Calder crime thriller series is about a trio of former SAS officers who set up their own security firm to engage in protection of high value goods and personnel. In the course of their business, they encounter international crime lords of sundry hue. Not being bound by the normal terms of engagement, they deploy their extensive black operations skills in countering the bad guys.

The idea for the stories was born in the Far East where at one point I was doing a ‘turnaround’ project for a stricken ferry company. I was obliged to fire trade union workers, policemen and local mayors in some places. That called for the need of an armoured car and armed bodyguards who were trained by a former SAS officer, who became a pal. The characters, plot and title were developed in a ten-day period when I walked twelve kilometres every evening, just thinking about how the book should be shaped.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

I think a writer’s entire life and experience influences his/her work. As for other authors, see the question below about them.

When did you decide to write in this genre?

I’m attracted to any kind of good writing, but crime fiction seemed the easier route to begin with as a newbie scribbler.

Who would you hope plays the characters in a movie version?

Any of the usual suspects who attract audiences would be good.

Did you have it all planned out before you write your stories or do the characters and story surprise you?

Always surprises. I usually know how the ending is going to pan out, but the plot and characters hijack the laptop so often, and they drive the narrative.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

A minor character in the first novel, a South American guy called Rico, who helped to make things happen for the main men was a heap of fun. I reluctantly had to write him out of the novel (without killing him). I think he make an appearance again in a later book.

What would your character(s) say about you?

I’d like to think they consider me flexible in allowing them to get on with their business. I understand some of the sh*t they have to put up with.

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?

I absolutely enjoy every bit of the ‘business’ of writing. My regret is that I didn’t discover this gig forty years ago.  No least favourite thing. The whole nine yards comes as a package deal. The writing, the proofreading, the editing, the artwork, the Kindle formatting, the promotion. You name it, I LUV IT!

Who are your favourite authors?

So many, but include Dickens, Churchill, Steinbeck, Ruark, O’Hara, Solzhenitsyn.

Who are your favourite independent writers?

Again, so many, as I try to buy at least one new author’s work per week and eventually do a review for them, as part of my way of ‘giving back’. Include John Dolan, Joe McCoubrey, Rachel Abbott, Andrew Peters, Nancy Jardine, O.G.Tomes, Mac Logan, Eric Gates, Alex Shaw… the list goes on… there are some outstanding quill-scrapers out there.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

About to start eBook, ‘One Last Summer’ by Gerald Neal.

What makes you laugh?

Lots of things tickle me. My god of comedy has been Billy Connolly for forty years. Anything that borders or overshoots on irreverence is always good.

What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?

A television set tuned to receive all the English Premier League football matches, an endless supply of Diet Coke, and good Scottish cheese, and my laptop.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

So many again. If they were alive, Peter Ustinov and Winston Churchill. Also the above mentioned Mister Connolly, along with Judy Dench.

Hot or cold?

Hot.

Salty or sweet?

Sweet.

What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?

Hopefully they’d think me witty and loyal as best. Oddest is spouting irreverence at the most inopportune times.

What would you chose as those qualities?

I never ever give up. (Best and oddest)

How do you handle criticism of your work?

I differentiate between ‘criticism’ and ‘critique’. The former is relegated to the mental garbage can. The latter I try to take aboard.

What are you working on now?

The fourth novel in the Jack Calder series, ‘Killer City’. I’m also currently considering publishing my thoughts, guidance and experience about this gig of self-publishing via Kindle and the proper use of the social networks to ‘build the platform’.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?

Just that I hope people get as much pleasure out of reading them as I do creating them. And many thanks, Christoph, for giving me room on this superb blog.

 Connect with Seumas: 

Blog                : seumasgallacher.com

Twitter                        : @seumasgallacher

Facebook         : http://www.facebook.com/seumasgallacher

Email               : seumasgallacher@yahoo.com

AMAZON LINKS for THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY

UK http://amzn.to/10wo0ha

US http://amzn.to/10wnMXB

AMAZON LINKS FOR VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

US  http://amzn.to/W59BB3

UK  http://amzn.to/13yV1YX

Amazon Links for SAVAGE PAYBACK

UK   http://amzn.to/1gTgJh0

US   http://amzn.to/16hKHci

Aus : http://bit.ly/184hKzs

13 Oct 2013

Amy Metz: “Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction”

1 Comment Book Reviews

15867150

 

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

“Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction” by Amy Metz came with high recommendations from a friend. I am not a great fan of murder mystery, but this one was as good as I was promised.
Cleverly told in separate narratives jumping between 1932 and 2010, there is the story of an old bank robbery that is connected to an unsolved murder, and there is the story of Tess.
Tess recently divorced her philandering husband and is trying to make a fresh start in a Southern town, aspiring to write a book. With help from local celebrity writer and unexpected love interest Jack Tess investigates mysterious break ins into her new home, which leads to the past.
Tess is an engaging character, as are her companions. The setting in the South sounds authentic and endearing to my European eyes and the plot is well paced and intelligently unfolded.
This is a very charming and entertaining read and one that I am sure may fans of the genre will follow through the entire series as it is being written. Great fun and highly recommended.

 

Interview with Amy Metz:

Tell us a little something about yourself as both a person and an author:

6436458

Well, I have a husband, two sons, one daughter-in-law, one dog, two granddogs, and two grandcats. I am a former first grade teacher and PTA mom. I’m currently writing a humorous mystery series, a chick lit book, and a thriller (when I’m not dealing with a crisis with my mother, who has dementia). I started writing about four years ago, and I have one published novel that is a cozy mystery.

What made you decide to be a writer?

Necessity. It was either start writing or go insane. I chose the former, but the latter might have chosen me. I started writing as therapy when I became a caretaker for my mother who had just been diagnosed with dementia—that’s what I meant by necessity—but halfway into a memoir, I started writing a humorous southern mystery as an escape from real life. I found I really like living in imaginary worlds and talking to imaginary people, so that’s what I do most days now. And nights.

What made you decide to write comic crime fiction?

The memoir I mentioned was therapeutic to write, but it was also like immersing myself in depression. I needed something to laugh about. When I started thinking about writing a mystery, stories from my childhood came to mind about murders in my family’s history. The need to laugh and the need to tell the story of those murders just melded into a humorous mystery novel.

Tell us a little about your latest book.  GPJbackpainting

My latest published book is Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. As I said, it’s based on real life and told in two different time periods—the 1930s and the present day. The 1930s are flashbacks to the murders—one unsolved—and my characters in the present day try to solve the cold case. My main character, Tess, is a Yankee, new to the town, and she’s a little culture shocked as she gets to know the folks in town. That’s where Jackson comes in—he helps translate the southern speak, helps her investigate the murder, and becomes a temptation Tess doesn’t want.

Did you have it all planned out before you wrote it or did the characters and story surprise you?

My characters absolutely wrote the story. I knew the basic premise, and I kind of knew how I wanted it to end, but they did all the rest.

How do you come up with your ideas?

My characters whisper them to me. Sometimes they knock me upside the head with them.

You also write in other genres. Could you tell us about those projects?

Waxman is a thriller set in the South. It’s also based on a true story—something I experienced, combined with a real serial killer on a college campus that someone told me about years ago. The killer was disguised as an old man, and he’d ask unsuspecting college kids for help. Who wouldn’t help an old man in need, right? Then, he’d get them alone and kill them. Cut to several years later when I was at the park with my sons and we were approached by the creepiest old man I’ve ever seen. He still makes me shudder, and I wonder if he really was an old man or just disguised as one. Creepy doesn’t begin to describe him.

Anyway, Waxman is set at a resort in Alabama, and someone is killing the women guests. The hotel hires a private investigator—Kate Pepper—to find the killer before word spreads and the hotel loses all its business. Of course there’s a handsome FBI agent assigned to the case, and sparring and sparks ensue.

My children’s book is called That Would Taste Better In Your Mouth, and it’s about Louie, who is a very picky eater. His mother tries everything to get him to try new foods. It’s told with alliteration and repetition—two things my kids loved in books when they were little. This is going to sound redundant, but it’s based on real life too. My oldest son was a very picky eater (hence, the storyline), and once when we tried to get my youngest son to eat something new, he said, “I think that would taste better in your mouth” (hence, the title). I’m working on the Guinness world record of rejections for that story, but I’m not giving up on it.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction was published by a small press. It would not be hyperbole to say my experience with them has been a nightmare. The highs? That’s got to be when I was on Amazon.com’s bestsellers lists for mystery authors, mysteries and women sleuths. I don’t care how simple my little book is, it is absolutely thrilling when you see your book ranked in between James Patterson and Janet Evonavich.
The lows? Let’s see…maybe when the publisher pulled my book from Amazon and B&N. Or maybe it was when I got the umpteenth bad comment on the poor formatting of the eBook. No, maybe it was when the eBook was pulled from Amazon for two and a half months while the publisher “fixed” the formatting. No, it was probably when the publisher filed for, and got, the copyright to my book. There have been a lot of lows. If your readers want to read about my experiences with publishing, they can check out these blog posts:

http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/guest-blog-amy-metz-when-bad-publishers-happen-to-good-writers/

Did you have any actors or people in mind when writing your characters in Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction?

No, I really didn’t. In my mind, my characters are unique people. I find it hard to pair them with actors when I’m asked to do so in interviews.

What is your writing environment like?

It varies, but it almost always includes a big comfy chair. At home, I write either in my office or my bedroom, both of which have big comfy chairs. But I also like to go to a local dessert café that has big comfy chairs and couches. I love a lot of natural light, and the room is surrounded by floor to ceiling window. I love going there during the week when it’s not very busy. Besides the bright, comfortable room, it has pie. My philosophy is life is always better with pie.

 

But I had the absolute best writing environment last July when I stayed in the Berkshires for a month. Every day, I went to the Stockbridge Library, up to the top floor, which was rarely occupied. And I had thousands of books, lots of history, and a big, beautiful room all to myself. It was wonderful. I worked on GPJ3 while I was there.

 

Tell us about your blog.

 

Stockbridge Library

When I first started promoting my book, I contacted a lot of bloggers. Some were very kind and hosted me with an interview or agreed to review my book. Some said no, and some just plain ignored me. I learned that it’s not easy for an Indie author to promote their work. I saw a need to help authors market their books. So I started A Blue Million Books, in a pay it forward spirit, and a desire to help Indie authors connect with readers.

What is your advice to new writers?

Oh my goodness, how much time do you have? My first bit of advice would be to join a writers group—either online or locally—and get feedback on your work. Beta readers are essential in helping you strengthen your story. I also recommend reading your work out loud after you’ve edited the heck out of it. A final read through out loud will help you see/hear things you might otherwise miss. And if you think your work doesn’t need to be edited—by you or anyone else—don’t quit your day job. Editing can sometimes be painful, but it’s part of the gig. If you can’t edit or can’t take constructive criticism, put your work in a folder for your family to read. Because they’re the only ones who will.

My next bit of advice is read, read, read, and write, write, write, but don’t stress if you get stuck at times.

And my last bit of advice is to thoroughly investigate a publisher before you submit your work to them, and investigate even more if you’re offered a contract. Pick apart the contract, and if you can afford it, have a lawyer, or someone who really understands contracts, read through it too. Whatever you do, avoid at all costs a first right of refusal clause or a contract that binds you to the publisher for longer than two years.

Buy Links:

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mayhem-Pimple-Junction-ebook/dp/B009FR8ZO2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=murder%20%26%20mayhem%20in%20goose%20pimple%20junction

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/amy-metz


Social Media links:
Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/AmyMetz

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/AmyMetzAuthor

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/authoramymetz

Blog:

http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com

Website:

http://amymetz.com

28 Jul 2013

“Everyone Burns” by John Dolan

1 Comment Book Reviews

130720 EVERYONE BURNS REVISED EBOOK COVER

 

Everyone Burns by John Dolan

It is January 2005 and the charred remains of two Europeans have been discovered on the Thai island of Samui.

Local Police Chief Charoenkul, sidelined by his superiors, enlists the reluctant David Braddock, a burnt-out private detective, to assist in an ‘unofficial’ investigation.

But Braddock has problems of his own, including an affair with the same Police Chief’s wife …

Peppered with irreverent humour and some pithy comments on everyday life in the Land of Smiles, ‘Everyone Burns’ is much more than a crime novel. It is also a carefully-crafted psychological study of an anti-hero for our time

My review:

“Everyone Burns” by John Dolan was recommended to me by several friends.
The story is about a British Private Investigator and counsellor David Braddock who lives in Thailand to make his money stretch further. Braddock is a very interesting, washed out and overall really great character whom to follow is hugely entertaining. Although he has marital problems and a lot of depth there is a dubious and not so serious side to him.
Braddock gets asked by the police to assist in the investigation of a series of murders. At the same time he is being sent anonymous notes, suggesting blackmail, pointing at his affair with the wife of a colleague.
I can picture a film made from this book and I would ideally cast a Humphrey Bogard in B&W in it but fans of the genre will probably have better suggestions.
What I liked most about the book is Dolan’s writing. He is clever, perceptive and very witty. Each chapter has literary or philosophical quotations as headings and they are apt to the chapters as they bear witness to a very well read and educated writer, almost “wasted” in a crime story. I am certain that I missed lots of great references and in-jokes that pay tribute to Sherlock Holmes and other famous crime fiction but I really enjoyed the book even without catching all of them.
This book should do very well.

 

For an interview please go to my blog

 

http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com

 

http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/john-dolan-everyone-burns/

JD_DSC_0475

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: