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My Writing Space and where I wrote The Woman Who Kept Everything By Jane Tilley

Jane TilleyOn the book tour for Jane Tilley’s new book called, ‘The Woman Who Kept Everything’, Jane talks about her own writing space.

I had an urge to write from a very early age and when I was 7, I wrote a poem called ‘Night is Drawing In’. My mother sent it to People’s Friend and they published it. I’d written it in the back of a school exercise book, on the kitchen floor, using a thick pencil, which my mother then typed and sent off.

Throughout my primary school years I would write poems or a few lines of prose at the back of exercise books whilst I was supposed to be learning lessons. Yet when we were actually asked to write a story – yippee – my stories droned on and on. Once, in secondary school I got caught out, writing a little story in the back of my biology book. I was good at biology but I liked writing more. Yet the canny teacher just smiled and asked if I wanted other paper to write on.

Life took over from those early days of attempting to write. I travelled, moved to Jersey, got married. No children, unfortunately, but an adorable lop eared rabbit called Percy and a cute but mischievous Senegal parrot called Solly.

You can’t really cuddle a parrot per se. You can rub it’s head or tickle it’s tummy. Either way you soon come to realise just how much mischief a tiny bird can create when it’s not getting enough attention!

We live in a one bedroom ground floor flat on the outskirts of St Helier, Jersey. There’s no room for an office. It’s been slotted onto the far wall of our bedroom. A west facing window sits next to it with shrubbery to look out on. Plus it’s quiet. So when I’m writing that’s where I like to sit and work. And I make time, every day, to give my animals some attention and go for a walk.

However, when Solly wants MORE attention she SCREAMS the place down! We’re allowed pets here but no-one wants a screeching parrot all day, least of all me.

The Woman Who Kept Everything

I’ve tried things like moving her cage from the lounge to the bedroom so she can see me or moving my computer into the lounge. But then she fidgets because she expects me to play with her or she chatters incessantly. Leaving her to fly around in the lounge by herself doesn’t work because then she starts nibbling things or tries to nip my house bunny, Percy, who she’s jealous of!

Then I introduced the word ‘Work’ to her. “I’m just going to do some Work.” I’d say. Luckily parrots are fast learners, so it didn’t take long before she finally understood that, even though I can’t always be there in front of her, I can be there soon. So – hurrah – now I have my peace to work and after an hour or so all I hear is a little wistful noise that means, ‘Hi there! Can I have my head rubbed now?’

You can buy The Woman Who Kept Everything from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Perfect Silence By Helen Fields

Perfect Silence‘Perfect Silence’ is the latest book by Helen Fields.

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin. DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby. After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

‘Perfect Silence’ is the latest instalment in the D.C.I. Callanach series and for me, it was the most disturbing as himself and his partner DCI Ava Turner battle against the clock from preventing the next woman to fall victim to the ‘Babydoll Killer’.

The story flows at a fast pace and is seen through the narrative of both the detectives as they try to piece the clues together but the killer that they are chasing is extremely smart and rarely leaves clues, only a handmade doll pieced together by their victims skins. Another perspective from the story is from the insight of the victim as the minutes go by and they pray to be saved.

This book has to be the darkest book in the series and is extremely gory in parts that does make for unsettling reading, so this book is not for the faint hearted.

What’s surprising about the story, which is gripping and chilling, is the element of humour which does catch the reader off guard, as Ava battles with her boss, a strong willed Scottish woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and her relationship with the French detective, D.C.I. Luc Callanach which had its own share of complications.

Gritty from the first page, ‘Perfect Silence’ is an incredible page turner that will have the reader hooked. With disturbing scenes and plenty of twists to catch the killer before they get the next victim, you will be racing through the pages until you reach the climatic end.

You can buy Perfect Silence from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Hush Hush Tour – Extract

Hush HushOn the book tour for Mel Sherratt’s brand new book called ‘Hush Hush’, enjoy an extract from the chilling tale.

Eddie pinched the bridge of his nose. He wanted to punch out, hit the wall, throw the desk across the room, anything to rid himself of the feeling in his chest. He wouldn’t let his grief show in public, not even to his family. But Josh had been his friend since they were young boys and he trusted him more than he ever had any member of his family.

‘What the hell went on here last night?’ he yelled, slapping his hand down on the desk.

Jade visibly jumped. ‘Don’t look at me!’ she pouted.

‘I’m not. But someone knows something and I intend to find out who by the end of the day.’

‘Ed, I’m sorry.’ Leon walked round the desk to him and put a hand on his shoulder.

‘Yeah, I’m sure you are.’ Eddie shirked it off.

‘What’s that supposed to mean?’

‘Well, there was never any love lost between the two of you. I also know what’s been going on. Josh told me what you’ve been doing to make more money on the side. I was as pissed off with him getting involved as I am with you. It’s stupid. And would you stop with the snivelling, Jade?’ Eddie snapped.

Jade pulled herself upright. ‘I have feelings!’ she shouted. ‘Josh was my friend too. I can’t believe he’s gone.’

‘I can’t believe someone would kill him at the gym.’ Leon ran a hand through his hair. ‘And what the hell is she doing turning up here?’

‘Grace?’ Eddie said, noting his brother had evaded his accusations. His informant at the police station had told him she was back. He hadn’t been too pleased about it at the time, and had hoped their paths wouldn’t cross so soon. He’d wanted to get a handle on her before deciding whether they needed to get her on side, to recruit her to their team.

‘Yeah,’ Leon responded. ‘As a fed, she’s a threat. As a person, she’s not welcome at all.’

‘I think she made it perfectly clear she didn’t want anything to do with us.’ Eddie reached for his phone. There were already seven messages waiting for him – news was getting around.

‘I didn’t get that impression,’ Jade said. ‘I think she was shy, maybe overwhelmed to meet us all in one go. Aren’t either of you intrigued to see what she’s like?’

‘No, and you aren’t going to find out either,’ Eddie remarked. ‘She isn’t family and never will be.’

‘But that’s—’ Jade began.

‘But nothing.’ Eddie glared her way. ‘You’ll do as you’re told.’

Jade folded her arms and stuck out her chin. ‘You might think you can still bully me – both of you – but you can’t tell me what to do now that Dad isn’t here. If I want to see my sister, then I will.’

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

A Christmas Gift Book Tour – Extract

A Christmas GiftAlthough I’m reading ‘A Christmas Gift’ by Sue Moorcroft, I’ve not read enough for a review, so here’s an extract to give you a taster of the Christmas story.

She speeded up as she led the way back up the corridor. ‘The main building used to be a house called Lie Low, the bolthole of a Carry On star and then a shady businessman.’

They passed dance studios, Joe glancing in on students and giving the brief nods he seemed to consider sufficient interaction as Georgine continued to provide background information. ‘Acting Instrumental’s a small independent further education college. Our current roll is eighty-four students across two year-groups. The cafeteria’s through here. Oggie got funding to subsidise lunches so the take-up is high.’

She turned right.

‘This is my room.’ She laughed to see a garland of turquoise tinsel hanging from the handle. ‘I’m collecting Christmas props so people are bringing me their cast offs.’ She whisked past, heading straight for dance rehearsal.

She paused at the door. ‘This is the big rehearsal room. Maddie’s working with dance students on our Christmas show, A Very Kerry Christmas, Uncle Jones. The students are Level 3, which is the same as A Level.’ She stepped inside. At one end of the room a stage space was denoted by yellow gaffer tape on the floor where a small dance troupe was learning a routine.

Maddie glanced round without pausing in her dance. Tall and willowy, her fair hair pulled back in a plait, she flashed a smile before returning her attention to the teenagers who were mirroring her movements. The shuffles and thumps marking the rhythm of their feet made Georgine’s heart lift.

‘Forward, back,’ Maddie called, ‘step-two-three, change, step-two-three, back, leg lift, and chassé . . . and then we’re ready for the last part of act one, scene two. Let’s try it to music.’ She clicked a small remote in her hand and a lively jive tune burst onto the air.

You can buy A Christmas Gift from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Promise By Katerina Diamond

The Promise‘The Promise’ is the latest book by Katerina Diamond.

When a young woman is found strangled in her own bedroom, DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles are plunged into an investigation to find a twisted serial killer who likes to date his victims before he kills them. Determined to stop the horrific deaths, Imogen is forced to act as bait – but will she get caught in her own trap? As the search for the killer ramps up, attention falls on the strange new boy in town. Why does he watch his neighbours through the windows? And could the truth be closer to home than any of them realise?

I’m a huge fan of Katerina’s writing, her books are always chilling and twisted that make for shocking and haunting reading.

In this book, the detective duo Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey are still reeling from their last case, when Imogen’s relationship fell apart and Adrian’s new girlfriend was murdered and they aren’t given much time to catch their breath before a new killing spree starts.

When a young woman is murdered, it’s immediately suspicious the way the body is left as well has her phone being taken. As well as trying to solve the murders and catch the killer before the body count is getting higher, Imogen finds herself taking part in online games and dating hoping to trap the killer.

The story is seen through the narrative of both Adrian and Imogen as they both try to move on with their lives. Both hurt and alone, they find solace in each other’s pain and find the lines of their relationship being blurred. There’s also the inclusion of smaller sub stories that are weaved throughout the main plot, which make the story gripping as well as giving the reader the opportunity to figure out the killer before the detective duo.

Connor has moved to England with his alcoholic father after living in America hoping to make a lives for themselves after the tragedy that they left behind. He’s troubled young teen that the pupils of his school are fascinated with, but he’d rather be left alone and deal with his demons. There’s another story where the narrator is unknown stuck in an abusive relationship that she’s trying to escape.

In Katerina’s true form, the story is gripping and chilling with gruesome reading that does make the reader pause and reflect. With clever writing, suspicious characters and a roller coaster of a plot, ‘The Promise’ is a thrilling crime novel that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat!

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