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Jaime Raven

The MotherJaime is a former newspaper and television journalist who lives in Southampton, the city where ‘The Madam’ is set. ‘The Mother’ is her latest book.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    I’m married with three children and live in Southampton, UK. I used to be a journalist and worked in newspapers and television for a number of years. I was always very keen to cover crime stories and I draw on that experience now when writing my books. ‘The Mother’ is the third Jaime Raven novel for Avon/Harper Collins. The others are ‘The Madam’ and ‘The Alibi’. All three feature a strong female protagonist and a collection of ruthless villains.

    I got into writing thanks to my mother who was a big Agatha Christie fan and she encouraged me to read from an early age. I then started writing short stories for magazines before completing my first novel at fifteen. But it wasn’t anywhere near good enough to submit to a publisher.

  2. What is your new book ‘The Mother’ about?
    ‘The Mother’ is about single mum Sarah Mason whose little girl is abducted. The kidnapper claims he’s done it in order to punish Sarah, who also happens to be a detective with the Metropolitan Police. Her suffering is made worse when she’s sent upsetting video clips of her baby. We follow the hunt for the child and focus on how the nightmare impacts on Sarah and her estranged husband.
  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    It would have to be Martina Cole, Jessie Keane, Kimberley Chambers and Roberta Kray. My books are in the same genre as those authors – gritty urban crime novels. I’m also an avid reader of all their books. They’re wonderful authors who know how to tell a good story.
  4. Who’s your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    Without doubt it’s Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. He is such a complex and compelling character. He’s also totally original – the ex-military cop turned drifter who gets into lots of dangerous scrapes in his relentless pursuit of justice. He’s likeable as well as enigmatic. It doesn’t surprise me that the books are international best sellers and have been turned into movies.
  5. Was there ever a book that you read, that didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it and left you disappointed?
    ‘The Girl on the Train’. I read it because of all the reviews and hype but I struggled to get to the end. I didn’t like any of the characters and at times I found it quite confusing. I also didn’t think there was much of a story to it and it was a huge disappointment. The film was not much better.
  6. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    When I finish the first draft and write THE END. It’s always such a relief. But I also experience a strong sense of accomplishment because it usually takes six or seven months to get to that point. During that time I find I can’t concentrate on anything else and it has a big impact on family life.
  7. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    This is an easy one. It’s the first line of ‘Peter Pan’ by JM Barrie, which begins: All children, except one, grow up.

    This is such a dramatic and memorable sentence. And although it’s years since I read the book I’ve never forgotten it.

  8. What do you think makes a good book?
    It’s very simple as far as I’m concerned. A good book needs a story that has pace and characters that you either love or hate. It shouldn’t be over-complicated or over-written. And the ending must be satisfying.

    Structure is also important and I’m not keen on books that keep going back and forth in time because I find them confusing and distracting.

  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Well if they’re books I’ve already read then I would take the following because I’d be more than happy to read them again.
    ‘The Godfather’ by Mario Puzo. This is one of my all-time favourites. Such a great book with a marvellous cast of crooked characters.
    ‘Red Dragon’ by Thomas Harris. To me this is one of the best and scariest thrillers ever written. It blew me away and introduced me to a character named Hannibal Lecter, the cannibalistic serial killer. Wow! Since I’ve not read it for years I’m sure I’d enjoy it again.
    ‘I Am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes. An epic novel that was a huge success around the world and deservedly so. It’s very long so would keep me busy for days on a desert island.
  10. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    I always advise budding writers to read as many books as they can in their chosen genres. And while reading make notes. Study the different styles of writers, especially structure and descriptive prose. And they should keep telling themselves that they will eventually write much better books than any of those they’ve read.
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    A cup of hot coffee. Despite what many of my friends think writing is hard, tiring work and I need coffee to keep me going.
  12. And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website.
    I’ve just finished the first draft of a new book for Avon/Harper Collins. The working title is ’The Threat’ and is due to be published early next year. That’s assuming, of course, that Avon are happy with it. I don’t want to give anything away but I can say that it’s the longest book I’ve written and has already been described by one of the few people who’ve read it as my most ambitious yet.

Check out her Jaime Raven’s website at Jaime Raven for updates

You can buy The Mother from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Cover Reveal – Just For The Holidays By Sue Moorcroft

Just For The HolidaysAfter spending Christmas at Number 1 on the Amazon Kindle Chart with her book, ‘The Christmas Promise’ Sue Moorcroft is back with a new book called ‘Just For The Holidays’.

What the back cover says

In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.

Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.

But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…

A glorious summer read, for you to devour in one sitting – perfect for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

You can pre-order Just for the Holidays from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 18th May 2017.

Book News – The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found By Trisha Ashley

The Little Teashop Of Lost And FoundWell loved, author Trisha Ashley is back with a new book in 2017 called ‘The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found’ and it’s got the most incredibly sweet cover.

The story of ‘The Little Teashop Of Lost And Found’ is –

Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.

So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.

Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?

Wonderfully wry, heart-warming and life-affirming, Trisha Ashley’s hilarious novel is perfect for fans of romantic comedies by Milly Johnson and Jill Mansell. And it contains recipes!

You can pre-order The Little Teashop of Lost and Found from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 1st June 2017.

Stella Newman Reveals New Book – Seven Steps To Happiness

Seven Steps To Happiness Stella Newman is back with her second book from Headline Books called ‘Seven Steps To Happiness’.

The story of ‘Seven Steps To Happiness’ is –

Is there a formula for happiness?

If it’s Netflix, two-for-one Malbec and the perfect toasted-cheese sandwich, Lenny has it covered. But when her friend Juliet finds herself at rock bottom, Lenny realises it’s going to take more than that to fix her.

Luckily help is at hand in the form of HappyGuru: a plan which promises happiness in seven easy steps. So when Lenny is asked to research it, she puts scepticism aside and persuades Juliet they should give it a go.

The friends quickly find themselves immersed in mindfulness, juice cleanses and death-defying circus stunts. Yet as Juliet becomes increasingly buoyant, things only get more complicated for Lenny.

Can it be that happiness is only seven steps away?

Sounds like another witty and fun story from Stella!

You can pre-order Seven Steps to Happiness from Amazon and will be availableo to buy from good bookshops from 20th October 2016.

No Turning Back By Tracey Buchanan

No Turning Back‘No Turning Back’ is the latest book by Tracey Buchanan.

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter. But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago. Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life?

‘No Turning Back’ is Tracey Buchanan’s third book but it is the second book that I’ve read by the English author and I found it to be quite a dark and addictive story.

The story is seen through the eyes of single parent and radio presenter Anna Graves, who tragically kills a young boy who attacks her and her baby one day on the beach. After the police investigate a bit further, they discover that something far more sinister is afoot and Anna finds herself embroiled with a serial killer who disappeared decades ago but has reappeared killing young boys in the same manner. The story then flows fluidly and rapidly as Anna finds herself at the centre of the case, as she becomes subject to local abuse even though she just reacted instinctively to protect her little girl.

The story flows between Anna’s perspective, as she deals with the public’s reaction as well as being targeted by the serial killer from decades ago called The Ophelia Killer who poisons young boys before leaving them in the ponds of their homes. The killer contacts Anna with details and this makes Anna a prime suspect in the case. Another sore point for Anna, is her father investigated the original case of the killer and this brings back old haunting memories of the case and how it eventually resulted in her fathers death. An interesting addition to the story is that Tracey added chapters from the killers perspective and I found this to be extremely interesting reading as I tried to figure out who the killer was.

With the storyline lapping from Anna’s perspective to the killers viewpoint, the story flows at a fast pace, that makes for chilling reading as more young boys die and all fingers point at Anna. As she works hard to prove her innocence and protect her child, we see a woman trying not to fall apart whilst the world is against her.

Cleverly written with a dramatic storyline and unexpected twists, ‘No Turning Back’ was a book that I read in one sitting, filled with suspicious characters and doubtful situations, I couldn’t put it down incase I missed something and even after it was all revealed, I still wanted more.

You can buy No Turning Back from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.