K. A. Richardson’s Time To Play: Blog Tour

Friday 30th September 2016

image

The book I’m currently reading is Time To Play by North East Crime Writer K.A Richardson.

 

I always like

to have a book

to read.

Missuswolf Time To Play K.A Richardson

For those of you who’ve followed this blog for a long time, you’ll recall the days when this was solely about books and writing.

It’s somewhat expanded in the last couple of months but my heart will always be with literature.

Crime and psychological thriller’s tend to be my forte.

 

K. A. Richardson

I used to work with Kerry a few years back and I’ve loved following her writing journey. Back then, she was busy writing her first book, With Deadly Intent (cheeky post plug – read more on my interview with her here).

She was also in the process of setting up her blog too Kerryannrichardson.com

2016 has been a busy yet exciting year for Kerry. Her debut novel, With Deadly Intent, was released in April, followed by I’ve Been Watching You in June and now Time To Play was released on the 22nd of this month.

Back in July, Kerry also won author of the month over at the UK Crime Book Club.

At the time of going to press, I’ve Been Watching You was number 2 in the free Kindle Crime Chart and no 6 in the overall free Kindle Chart.

Pretty impressive achievements while working in a (very important) full-time job.

Biography

Missuswolf K A Richardson Author PictureMy name is KA Richardson, and I am a crime writer based in the North East of England. I write around my other work commitments so am constantly on the go. I love reading many genres, love speaking to people and spend a lot of time people watching in coffee shops, though if I’m honest this is more for the purposes of character building and plotting. I enjoy watching ‘cop’ shows from both the UK and the USA, and am a fan of sci-fi. I began thinking about writing as a career in 2010 and completed my Ma Creative Writing in 2011. I love to be inspired, and enjoy spending time with friends and family, as well as other like-minded folk. My website has some more info on me, if you’re interested pop on over to www.kerryannrichardson.com, or I can be found on Facebook as KA Richardson.

Time To Play …

DI Alistair McKay is still reeling from the ‘one that got away’ but when he is called to deal with a potential murder at the water side, he must put his personal worries aside.

As police diver, Marlo Buchanan, starts pulling bodies out of the water, it becomes clear that something isn’t right.

Someone is torturing young girls and dumping them in the local reservoir.

Then the body of a man is discovered and Mackay and Buchanan are pulled into the seedy underworld of human trafficking.

As the team race against the clock tensions start to run high.

Can they overcome their personal demons to work together?

And will they find the killer before he strikes again?

The team are back in the third novel from the gripping North East Police series.

 

Missuswolf Time To Play K.A Richardson

You don’t have to have read

the previous books

to read Time To Play

Although the book is part of the ‘North East Police’ series, the beauty of Kerry’s work is that the books are stand alones in their own right.

They focus on a different character in each novel and, although they make reference to previous character’s who are bobbing along in the background, this doesn’t distract from the main storyline.

My favourite style in this book is that the sections are snappy; almost like an intertwined diary. In any chapter, the date and destination heading change allows us to follow different character’s; from the police dive team, detective’s and scene’s of crime officer’s to the horror of the human trafficking world.

Interlaced within all that are the sub stories of the police officer’s lives.

The pace is good, it keeps it interesting the technique that Kerry has used.

The topic is very raw and the level of research that Kerry has done on both the subject and the roles of the police teams involved is a real credit.

Richardson’s got a good knack of getting inside the mind of a killer and their thought process to justify their actions.

Chilling,

but thrilling.

I’m not going to give too much away on this one for fear of dropping any spoilers.

The nights are drawing in and what better way to get all snug and cosy than to get your nose in a new book.

Time To Read

Time To Play

Missuswolf Time To Play K A Richardson

Have you read any of Kerry’s books?

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Kerry Ann Richardson

Monday 25th July 2016

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

Today I’m hosting an author to watch out for – the lovely K A Richardson.

Richardson is a Crime Writer who has just won the July author of the month over at the UK Crime Book Club woohoo! She released her debut novel With Deadly Intent back in April. Her second novel I’ve Been Watching You was released in June. Both novels are climbing their way up the Amazon charts and with the impending release of Time to Play (released 22nd September – pre-order here), you could say it’s been a busy year for Richardson.

She’s achieved all of this working while working in a (very important) full time job too!

KA Richardson Author Pic

I downloaded With Deadly Intent to read while I’m on maternity leave (ever the optimist I With Deadly Intentknow!) Well, optimism does get you somewhere – cue naptimes, bedtimes and throwing-the-baby-at-hubby-after-work times;  all of which provide ample opportunity to grab a couple of pages. But I didn’t want to grab just a couple of pages. I wanted chapter’s – I stayed up late and got up early – I wanted to get to the end of this story to find out exactly what that deadly intention was ;-).

Hi Kerry it’s fab to have you here!

 Congratulations on the success of your first two novels! It’s been an exciting year for you. I’ve just finished reading your debut novel – what was the inspiration behind With Deadly Intent?

With Deadly Intent started as the 15000 words I needed for my dissertation for my MA Creative Writing. I was a CSI (crime scene investigator) at the time of completing my MA and instinctively knew that writing crime was something that appealed – I decided to draw on my CSI experience and use the processes in the novel to make it a little less police procedural and a little more something that readers might enjoy. The characters just came alive and I carried on writing after I’d finished (and passed) my MA. Love that you’re enjoying it Gemma!

I've Been Watching YouHow would you compare writing With Deadly Intent to anything you’ve previously written?

I’ve always written – whether that be little handwritten books stapled at the sides for the teachers in primary school, or poems written to help deal with emotion through school and into adulthood – crime writing differs from that as it feels almost real to me – I create these characters who become my best friends for some time – though I’d never do to my friends what I put these poor characters through. My previous work was more focussed around emotion I’d say, where the crime novels are based around things that hopefully, are believable, scary, and give people a little insight into my characters and their lives.  

How do you organise your writing time around working a full time job?

With great difficulty at times! Sometimes it’s not so bad – I write a lot when I’m on annual

Time To Play

Available 22nd September 2016

leave so family holidays are always good writing times. I also try to structure my time when I’m on rest days – this tends to work and my friends and family are very understanding if I say I can’t go somewhere as need to finish a scene or a chapter. I also have an autoimmune disease so it can be a bit of a battle at times but I get there in the end.  

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

It’s a little clichéd but writing is something I’ve always done, either as a coping mechanism or to express myself.

Generally my earlier writing was just for me and would never see the light of day. I see a lot of things as inspiration – books especially. Enid Blyton is definitely one of my earliest inspirations – the books I mentioned making for the teachers were handwritten, stapled at the sides and usually full of cat characters (the teacher loved cats). There was always a little mystery though – I loved the famous five and secret seven. As I got older, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men was introduced – this resonated with me – I had intense emotional feelings when I read this – and reread it I don’t know how many times. I remember sitting at school and watching the movie in English with tears streaming down my face – yes I was laughed at, but the point is it made me feel. Later I fell in love with the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I loved how he made someone like Sherlock, who is a sociopath, always in control, and quite dislikeable really, to life and made him into someone likeable who solved crimes with Watson. I think all of those impacted in some way on what I eventually would come to write.

famous-five-01-1991Ah we have very similar interests – I loved reading a good mystery adventure story like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven too.  

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and are able to let your creative juices flow?

I have two places really – my office which is upstairs and in a state of messy chaos – I can lock myself away and bury myself in the book. It has my lovely book shelves in it, all my old writings, and I work at my grandad’s old desk.   

The other place I enjoy writing is, a little stereotypically, coffee shops. Primarily starbucks but I’ll happily write in any as long as the chairs are comfy and I have a plug for my laptop – I love the smell of coffee, and I love the background noise. It’s amazing what snippets of conversation you pick up when sitting there that could potentially form something for your novel!

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.KA Richardson

Oooo tough question.

I’m a really positive person – I believe in the power of positivity and love inspirational quotes, living a positive life etc. But I also suffer depression, I have done for years, and am on antidepressants. I don’t mind raising awareness of depression and will mention this at random times but most people don’t realise I suffer with this as generally I come across as a really upbeat and positive person. I’m good at projecting that mask we all wear and I find people look at me incredulously when I say I have this disease. I deal with it by accepting that some days are just worse than others and living each day as if it’s a new one. I focus on the good things I have in my life as a rule and look both forwards and upwards which helps me cope.

You’re such an open, honest and positive person – thanks for sharing with us about your depression, I can imagine that’s not easy to deal with.

Thanks for your time Kerry and I wish you all the best with your books.

~

Grab your copy of With Deadly Intent here

With Deadly Intent

http://www.kerryannrichardson.com/

Find K A Richardson on Facebook

@kerryann77

Amazon Author Profile

Love Missuswolf xxx

What I’ve Been Reading – February 2015

SUNDAY 1st MARCH 2015

Happy Sunday folks! We’ve just returned from a weekend away in beautiful Ambleside in the Lake District. The excuse was to celebrate my (belated) birthday as the hubby was away for my actual birthday.

Five mile walk at Elterwater certainly blew away a few cobwebs

Five mile walk at Elterwater certainly blew away a few cobwebs

However, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for us both. After a particularly stressful week at work – hubby on call and I dealing with one of many urgent projects – getting away from it all was the breath of fresh air we needed.

And it doesn’t get much fresher than at the Lakes.

Boat trip from Ambleside to Bowness

Boat trip from Ambleside to Bowness

Recharging our batteries with the obvious indulgence in food and drink, we justified it all with a five-mile walk around Elterwater. We played our role as tourists by participating in the red cruise from Ambleside to Bowness and tapped into a more sophisticated side of us both – listening to live music at the Jazz café Zeffirellis.

I managed to squeeze some reading in yesterday morning at the lovely B&B we were staying in – Lacet House – when hubby had to make an emergency trip to Asda (something to do with forgetting a suitcase. Now that’s a different story). And since this blog is about stories, I won’t waffle on about our trip

I’ll cut to the juicy bits.

Here’s what I read in February:

Paula Daly – Keep Your Friends Close

Renee Knight – Disclaimer

James Patterson – Mary Mary

But first – let’s see where January ended …

Lee Child One ShotI ended January’s reading list half way through Lee Child’s One Shot. I finished this book early into February and I can confirm that I was pleasantly surprised. It all comes together in the last 100 pages where the pace really picks up and my heart was in my mouth, I couldn’t put it down. The slow start was worth persevering with as the action toward the end of the novel more than makes up for it. A clever concept.

 

Paula Daly – Keep Your Friends Close

SynopsisKeep Your friends close

Your best friend isn’t who you think she is.

You’ve been friends since university, when you became the people you are today.

You don’t see each other enough but when you do it’s as if you’ve never been apart.

She’s one of the family. You would trust her with your life, your children, your husband.

And when your daughter is rushed to hospital, you’re grateful that she’s stepping in at home, looking after things.

But your best friend isn’t who you think she is. You’re about to find out just how wrong you were.

Thoughts:

A Psychological thriller that’s wickedly clever. You can’t help but fall in love with Natty’s control freak nature as she’s like many of us – striving for perfection, to have it all; the husband, the children, the business. But when her daughter takes ill and she rushes to France to be by her side, we see Eve, her friend from college, prey on her weakness – her absence from her already neglected husband.

We’re so wrapped up in Natty making sure that her daughter’s alright that when we get to Eve and Sean’s antics, we’re devastated. Daly builds up the tension from start to finish, with the sexual tension between Eve and Sean, to the volatile feeling Natty has towards them and the effect this has on her daughters. We follow this tension to an intense finale.

There are underlying stories from other characters such as Natty’s father. We also see the return of Detective Constable Joanne Aspinall, who appeared in Just What Kind Of Mother Are You?

Daly has again written a page-turner and Eve is a character that you love to hate. The character’s are realistic and the emotions that they experience, particular Natty, you feel with them.  Daly builds up the frustration and anger wonderfully and there’s a scene where she has no means to pay for petrol. It’s a small, but significant scene. A point where we could all relate to the circumstance in one way or another and in this story, it’s like the straw that broke the camels back. Something minor in the grand scheme of things but tips you over the edge.

We’ve all been there in some way shape or form.

I was lucky enough to host Paula Daly last month on my Cuppa and a Catch Up feature. You can read the full interview here.

Renee Knight – Disclaimer

Disclaimer Synopsis

When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read.

But as she turns the pages she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.

A secret she thought no one else knew…

Thoughts:

This is a debut thriller from Renee Knight and she’s joined Paula Daly in my shout-through-the-rooftops love for books that I can’t recommend enough.

The snappy synopsis is short but once those three lines were cast, they hooked themselves into my mind from the moment I read them.

What an interesting concept – a story within a story. I was intrigued as to where this novel would take me.

Catherine Ravenscroft has the perfect life; a successful career, a doting husband and a grown-up son who is finding his independence in the world. After moving house, things are just about settling down and, like many of us, she picks up a book for a bit of escapism.

However, the book (The Perfect Stranger) does not provide the kind of escapism Catherine is after.disclaimer 3

The structure of Disclaimer works wonderfully; the chapter’s flit between the present and the past, following both Catherine and the author of the book she’s reading. Disclaimer is written in such a way that you become attached to both character’s at different stages throughout the story, the words leading you into changing your loyalties. I found my perspective of Catherine changing and I was horrified to find myself feeling like that. It made me want to read on – to challenge why the author of the book she was reading had written it. And if it indeed was true.

And this is where Renee Knight has you gripped.

Disclaimer has an undercurrent of suspense throughout the novel leading to a very tense finale. My heart raced as  I stayed in bed for an emotional two hours on a Saturday morning, the household chores and plans for the morning completely cast aside as I simply had to read on, to find out if the ending of Disclaimer married up with the ending of The Perfect Stranger.

That’s an outcome which you will just have to establish yourself.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, I certainly wasn’t.

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Transworld Publishers. Disclaimer is released on the 9th April 2015

James Patterson – Mary, Mary

Mary MarySynopsis

This is the eleventh book in the Alex Cross series

Somebody is intent on murdering Hollywood’s A-list. A well-known actress has been shot outside her Beverly Hills home. Shortly afterwards, the Los Angeles Times receives an email describing the murder in vivid detail. It is signed Mary Smith. More killings and emails follow – the victims are all major Hollywood players. Is it the work of an obsessed fan or a spurned actor, or is it part of something far more terrifying? As the case grows to blockbuster proportions, Washington, DC, FBI agent Alex Cross and the LAPD scramble to find a pattern before Mary can send another chilling update. Filled with the ruthless and shocking twists that make his fans hunger for more, MARY, MARY is James Patterson’s most sophisticated thriller yet.

 

 

Thoughts:

My love affair of James Patterson’s novels continues in the form of Mary, Mary.Mary Mary 2

Written in his usual short chapter structure, with the last sentence always begging you to turn to the next chapter, Mr Patterson tells us the story of a murderer going by the name of Mary Smith.

Mary Smith is an arrogant killer that leaves no trace, creating their own story by murdering Hollywood A-lister’s and taunting the FBI and LAPD by sharing the details with the press.

Mary, Mary is a typical James Patterson page turner and has all the right ingredients for a crime thriller, right through to a decent and satisfying ending. I did enjoy this book and it had me hooked, but the concept of the storyline wasn’t up there with some of the books that I’ve read recently.

 

Spring has sprung and I can’t wait to see what books March has to bring …

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Paula Daly

WEDNESDAY 11th FEBRUARY 2015

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

 



In my last blog post What I’ve been reading – January 2015 I briefly touched upon a book that I fell head over heels in love with.

That book was Just What Kind Of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly.

Well, I’m utterly delighted and honoured that she’s agreed to feature on my blog today! I finished her second book Keep Your Friends Close last night and it didn’t disappoint! But first of all, let’s find out a little bit more about Paula Daly …

Paula Daly pic

 

~Author Bio~

Paula Daly was born in Lancashire. She was a self-employed physiotherapist before beginning her first novel JUST WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU? Her second novel KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE was shortlisted for the 2014 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger Award and her work has been translated into fourteen languages. She lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children and whippet Skippy. You can find her on twitter: @pauladalyauthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Daly/490968164379299

 

 

 

~Synopsis – Just what kind of mother are you ~just what kind of mother

No family is perfect.

A husband, three children and a full-time job, so many plates to keep spinning.

No wonder you forgot you were supposed to be looking after your friend’s daughter.

But no one has seen her since yesterday.

And she’s not the first to go missing from your small town.

So who’s hiding something?

~Thoughts~

There are few books in our journey as readers that burrow beneath our soul and remain with us for life.

This is one of them.

The Hunger Games and The Collective Works of A.J Fikry have now been joined by Just What Kind of Mother Are You? in a little bookcase in my head and in my heart.

The reality of this book is stark. We all lead busy lives, juggling work commitments with family and, like Lisa, we’re desperately trying to keep those plates spinning. But what happens when one of those plates falls? That plate of responsibility for caring for another’s daughter – that’s now missing? You can only begin to imagine that kind of predicament. Paula Daly brings this to life – her words get into your head and make you think, they make you consider that in times where we overstretch and over-exert ourselves, that this could potentially happen – this could happen to me.

This book is the definition of a page-turner, I picked it up on the Saturday and finished it on the Monday. It was a constant case of ‘just one more chapter.’

The character’s are realistic, Daly has you engrossed with their lives and gripped as to what becomes of them. I laughed and cried with them. Her dialogue stirs up emotion and you’re desperate to find out what’s happened to the missing girl.

But I won’t spoil it.

You’ll have to read it for yourself.

KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE~Synopsis – Keep Your Friends Close~

Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married. Rock solid in fact. So when Natty’s oldest friend, Eve Dalladay, appears – just as their daughter collapses on a school trip in France – Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve with Sean to help out at home.

Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well. Natty’s husband has fallen in love with Eve. He’s sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over.

With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself.

And then she receives the note.

Eve has done this before, more than once, and with fatal consequences…

~Thoughts~

A Pyschological thriller that’s wickedly clever. You can’t help but fall in love with Natty’s control freak nature as she’s like many of us – striving for perfection, to have it all; the husband, the children, the business. But when her daughter takes ill and she rushes to France to be by her side, we see Eve, her friend from college, prey on her weakness – her absence from her already neglected husband.

We’re so wrapped up in Natty making sure that her daughter’s alright that when we get to Eve and Sean’s antics, we’re devastated. Daly builds up the tension from start to finish, with the sexual tension between Eve and Sean, to the volatile feeling Natty has towards them and the effect this has on her daughters. We follow this tension to an intense finale.

There are underlying stories from other characters such as Natty’s father. We also see the return of Detective Constable Joanne Aspinall, who appeared in Just What Kind Of Mother Are You?

Daly has again written a page-turner and Eve is a character that you love to hate. The character’s are realistic and the emotions that they experience, particular Natty, you feel with them.  Daly builds up the frustration and anger wonderfully and there’s a scene where she has no means to pay for petrol. It’s a small, but significant scene. A point where we could all relate to the circumstance in one way or another and in this story, it’s like the straw that broke the camels back. Something minor in the grand scheme of things but tips you over the edge.

We’ve all been there in some way shape or form.

Now to get cosy with that cuppa as we chat to the lovely Paula Daly …

Hi Paula and welcome here today.

Firstly, here did the inspiration behind Just What Kind Of Mother Are You come from?Paula Daly Just What

This book came about directly from an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Overwhelmed, working mother of two, Brenda Slaby, forgets to drop her baby at the babysitter’s, and poor Cecelia dies as a result of heatstroke in the hot August sun.

I was heartbroken by this poor woman’s story, and as I watched, I thought: That could have been me. I, too, was once so overstretched with full time work and children that I could have made a similar mistake.

The more I thought about this awful turn of events, the more I wanted to write about it. But I write thrillers, I could not do Brenda’s story justice. And so it wasn’t until I met a particularly difficult woman, a woman who is in the habit of making a person feel bad about their life, that the story popped into my head. Because I thought: What if you lost her child? What if you were so busy, that you took your eye off the ball, and her child went missing?

This terrified me.

How would you compare writing this book with Keep Your Friends Close?

It differed in two ways. Firstly, Just What Kind of Mother Are You? was much faster to write. I completed it in four months because there was nothing else I needed to attend to – such as interviews, contracts, and all the day to day stuff that occupies an author. Secondly, even though a mystery is harder to construct – making sure all pieces of the jigsaw fit together – it’s actually easier to write than a thriller. Because you don’t have to worry so much about keeping the tension going and holding the reader’s interest. If a child is missing the reader wants to find out what’s happened to that child. This tension is much harder to sustain in a thriller. Which Keep Your Friends Close is.

How do you manage your writing time?

I get the children off to school, put the washing machine on, walk the dog, and then start writing. I aim to write 800 – 1000 words before lunch and I generally don’t switch the Wi-Fi back on until I’m done. I have to be really strict about this as I know after one-thirty P.M. I’m pretty much brain dead. So I don’t answer the phone unless it’s one of the kids calling in distress or some other emergency.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurred you on?

I'm about halfway through this - very insightful and useful

I’m about halfway through this – very insightful and useful

I read Stephen King’s book – ‘On Writing’. King encourages you to just start writing and to see what comes out. I began as soon as I finished the book and was surprised to find I didn’t want to stop. I found writing thrilling and knew immediately I wanted to try to make a career out of it if possible.

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

I write in my bedroom overlooking Lake Windermere (although I have to pull the curtain across a little to shade the laptop screen). When I’m stuck I stare out the window and when I’m tired I have a sneaky nap. It is the BEST job.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know

I used to clean a brothel.

Thank you for being here today Paula.

You can grab both Paula Daly’s books on Amazon now. Go on – lose yourself for a few days in someone else’s shoes.

I promise you it’ll be worth it.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Please note this post contains affiliate links

ARC

Reading and Writing: Back To The Study

 THURSDAY 22nd JANUARY 2015

Well, there you have it.

New Year's Eve 2015 - a cosy night in with the hubby, Queen and a glass of fizz. The quietest New Year in over a decade!

New Year’s Eve 2015 – a cosy night in with the hubby, Queen and a glass of fizz. The quietest New Year in over a decade!

Another year over, another year older (I reached the anti-climax age of thirty one on the eighteenth of this month. Turning thirty is fab, but thirty one’s rather drab).

Am I wiser?? That’s always one to debate.

I suppose what I’m saying is a belated Happy New Year to you all. I hope you all enjoyed the festive season – I know we did. A chaotic Christmas day hosted at our house (nine adults, four dogs, two children and a partridge in a pear tree) followed by a nonchalant New Year. It certainly was a quiet affair for us Wilford’s; after years of hard-core partying (then last year we were both hard-core working) this year saw a rare night in – eating Chinese while watching Die Hard 2 and Queen.

With New Year come’s resolutions. The usual ‘eat more salad’ ‘hit the gym’ and ‘drink less alcohol’ (guilty of making and breaking all three just twenty two days in).

Seriously though, one resolution I always stay true to is to make sure that I never lose sight of what I love; reading and writing.

Over the past couple of years, I suppose I’ve struggled to be as regimented as I first was when I started this blog. Everyday life got in the way – we moved house, said house needed to be furnished and decorated and by the time we finished (well, got two-thirds of the way through) I got a new job and then my dad moved in for four months.

Why am I using these as excuses?

Moving house is an obvious time-thief so no explanation required.

The new job catapulted me from the lonely world of shift work to the chaotic Mon-Fri regime. Suddenly days off were no longer quiet weekdays tucked away with my laptop and books; they became noisy, chaotic weekends. The two fastest days in the week where you catch up on sleep, cleaning, shopping and most importantly PEOPLE. You get invited out to the pub/cinema/bowling alley and you go – because you can and because you now have what is called a LIFE.

However, the lonely world of shift work’s advantage to a reader, writer and blogger meant that I could do just that – focus on what I loved. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not ungrateful for the job that I now have; it’s Project Managing and I’m finally doing something I love for a day job (spread sheet heaven!). I still get to read a couple of chapters before bed – I just struggle to create precious time to write.

Why is my dad moving in an excuse? Well, the room I use for my study became his store-room. And yes, I know I could snuggle on the settee with my laptop like the good old days in the flat, but there was too much going in the house to distract me. Then Christmas came and we hosted. ’nuff said.study2

The point I’m getting at is that as I type this, I’m wistfully sat back at my desk, in my study, tucked away from the world listening to my ‘writing’ playlist all chilled out. Sure there’s piles of books surrounding me (thanks Mr & Mrs Harvey for some of those) waiting for a bookcase to love them. Oh and have you checked out Mrs Harvey’s fab blog ‘Marrvellous Things’? It’s an insightful look into a mommy’s world. Check her out here –

So what do I have planned for this year? Well, I would like to finish the historic novel that I’m ghost-writing and I think I’m going to revampDying to Sin Ruby (again!)

But for now, as ‘Once Upon a Time In The West’ glides out of my speakers, I’m going to sit back in my writing sanctuary and read a few more chapter’s of Stephen Booth’s ‘Dying to Sin’ .

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

Happy Third Birthday Blog!

SATURDAY 23rd AUGUST 2014

It’s three years ago today since I made myself comfortable on my corner sofa in our little flat, fired up the laptop and created Missuswolf’s StoryLand.

Blogging

We’d not long been back from a fabulous holiday in Mexico, where I’d been a bridesmaid to one of my best friends. Despite the high of that holiday, I’d come home to discover there was trouble in my parents’ paradise. That August, I was also in my third month of being redeployed into a job working shifts in a role that I didn’t want to be in.

Seventy ThousandBut it gave me the time to focus on my reading and writing, and so this blog really did become my world – my distraction. I’d always read books, usually a couple of chapter’s a night before bed. I found that I started to read a lot more and used books as a form of Ruby Competitionescapism.

It gave me the drive to self publish the paperback version of ‘The Ruby of Egypt’ in December 2011. The kindle version shortly followed in January 2012.

That year, I wrote the first draft of my novel ‘Little Miss Pooshoe’ in January and February, attended creative writing classes at the local high school (which became my Creative Writing Café feature), joined Melissa Foster’s Awesome Support Team #GoTeamPIF in the September and my nephew was born in the October. During all of this, the author interview feature ‘Cuppa and a Catch-Up’ was born. It was a hard year as my parents separation became final.

Go Team PIF2013 was a busy year – after eight years of waiting we finally managed to sell our flat and buy our house. This left little time for writing. It wasn’t for the want of trying – I did try to complete NaNoWriMo in the November however there was too much to do around the house and general day-to-day life got in the way. On a positive note, it gave me the makings of a Science Fiction novel ‘The Arm of Northumberland’ which is a longstanding WIP. It’s a story I need to tell as it all stemmed from an Cuppa and a Catch up picextremely vivid dream …

Oh – and Ruby’s book trailer was created in February 2013.

Ruby of Egypt Cover 2013The Ruby of Egypt was also revised and revamped with a new cover, courtesy of Carl Harvey.

The start of 2014 was a struggle as my working lifestyle really did get me down. Fast forward to August and I’ve got a new job, two new nieces, set up my own freelance writing business and I’m now ghost-writing a historic novel for a family member. My parents sold the family home yesterday and officially went their separate ways – which all seems so fitting now.

 

Life has a funny way of just falling into place.

Today, I had the wonderful surprise of meeting up with my grandparents (from Nottingham) whose mystery tour bus holiday they were on brought them to Gateshead.Freelance Bus Cards

The last three years have been a chapter of my life that have moulded me. There’s been difficult times but there has also been really good times. I’ve surrounded myself with other people’s stories by constantly immersing myself in books. Looking back I’m proud of the work that I’ve accomplished. Here’s to the next three years and what opportunities they may bring.

So thank you for reading and thank you Charity Rattiner for pointing me in the direction of wordpress.

This really has been Missuswolf’s StoryLand.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

As one Chapter closes on my life, so another opens …

WEDNESDAY 16th JULY 2014

Today, I said farewell (again!) to working in a busy emergency services control room, which has been my ‘day’ job (the role has involved working to a shift pattern) for the past three years.

I was redeployed into this role in May 2011 following deletion of a Project and Performance job that I adored. This meant adapting to a new lifestyle so, to stop myself going stir crazy, I launched myself into the wonderful world of books. I read on every break, during down time on nightshift and on all of my days off. Agents

Books became my comfort blanket.

In August 2011, four months into the job, I went for a lovely lunch with my American friend, Charity. Over fizz and food in Bar Luga, we discussed our shared interests; reading, writing and photography.

Charity

Picture from Facebook by Eric Fritschi

It was Charity who suggested that I set up a blog and pointed me in the direction of WordPress. After sitting on this suggestion for a few days, I finally took the plunge.

Missuswolf’s StoryLand was born.

It’s strange how some people come into your life and have a profound effect. Charity lives on the other side of the world and I see her once a year if I’m lucky. That date back in August 2011 was definitely one of those clichéd life-changers.

So here I am, nearly three years later, a happy blogger.

Editing2Alas, the frustration and anger from being redeployed wasn’t wasted; I took that pent up negativity and set up my Novel Project 2012. In January and February 2012, I wrote my recession based chick-lit novel, which is still in the heavy editing stages and undergoing a title change.

September 2011 saw me join Melissa Foster’s Awesome Support Team, where I’ve met a solid support network of like-minded people from across the globe.

In December 2011, I polished off a children’s story that I had written the previous summer and self published it.

Ruby of Egypt Cover 2013

The Ruby of Egypt was born.

I introduced a weekly Author Interview feature on my blog ‘Cuppa and a Catch-Up’.

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

In March 2014, I set up self-employed as freelance writer and I’m now ghost-writing a historic novel.

Freelance Bus Cards

As I look back on the last three years, as tough as they have been, it’s only fuelled my determination to do what I love.

And perseverance certainly pays off.

Tonight, one chapter closes on a section of my life. It’s been a tough one, but one I will no doubt look back on in my later years with a fondness. It’s been a character building chapter.

Tomorrow, I wake up to a whole new chapter. A Project Manager job that I have always wanted and back in the ‘real world’, a Monday to Friday nine-til-fiver. Oh, and my first drinks evening networking for Engage Magazine. Another positive to come out of the last three years.

As I close one chapter tonight, I will sleep well knowing that although the road was rocky, I never gave up – that I found my inner strength and determination to lead me to this cliff-hanger where I’m desperate to turn the page …

Good night readers.

Love a very happy Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Michelle Betham

TUESDAY 15th JULY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Michelle Betham, a fellow North Easterner and Author to numerous romance novels, including Bon Voyage and Unbreakable.

~Author Bio~

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, so it stood to reason that, at some DIGITAL CAMERApoint, I’d start writing some of them down. I currently have ten novels in total to my name, ranging from the sweet to the really quite steamy – which is my favourite kind of romance!  When I’m not creating hot heroes and sexy scenarios I like to read everything from erotica to horror. I’m also a bit of a TV addict with a penchant for “binge-watching”, I love football, darts and rock music, have a slight obsession with Timothy Olyphant, and I’m also an unashamed ‘Breaking Bad’ geek!

 With a string of steamy novels under her belt, including her current football based trilogy ‘The Striker Series’, Michelle is who I liked to refer to as the North East’s answer to Jackie Collins.

 Today she is discussing ‘Extra Time’, the second book in the trilogy.

~Synopsis~ 

Extra Time begins just a few months after Striker, Book #1 in the trilogy, left off, and the lives of Amber, Jim, Ryan and Ronnie have all moved on…

*May contain slight spoilers if you haven’t yet read Striker*

Extra Time CoverProfessional footballer Ryan Fisher is determined to show the world he’s a changed man. But moving on isn’t easy, and leaving his old life behind isn’t something he’s coping all that well with, especially when so much of it is still so close to home; when a life he didn’t realise he wanted until it was far too late is still right there in front of him. Does he reach out and try to grab it a second time? Or does he make a decision to leave it all behind in the only way he knows how? Before temptation becomes too hard to resist…

Amber’s life is moving along at breakneck speed. In every aspect. But is everything as happy and settled as she’d like it to be? Has she finally found her happy-ever-after? Or is the past just waiting to creep up on her?

At the age of forty-nine, Jim Allen feels as though his life is just beginning. He’s in love, and his career as one of the country’s most successful football managers is on the ascendant. But Jim knows all is not as it seems. He knows there are more secrets just waiting to come out, secrets that could potentially damage his new life. And this time, they’re secrets he isn’t sure he can control. Is a past he’s spent so long trying to hide finally starting to catch up with him?

As those secrets slowly start to reveal themselves, everyone’s lives once more become entangled as faces from the past and dreams of the future collide, and sex, lies and betrayal all play a part in turning everyone’s worlds upside down. All over again. And when a secret of her own adds to Amber’s heartache, is running back to her old life the best way to escape the pain? Or just the easy option. Is she really strong enough to let go of a man whose hold over her is something she just can’t break? Even if everything inside of her is screaming at her to do so.

But when that old life starts to take hold in a way no one could have envisaged, the game changes once again…

Extra Time – The game continues… but just who is winning…?

 

Hi Michelle, it’s my pleasure to have you here again!cuppa

Where did the inspiration behind the ‘Striker’ books come from?

I’m a big football fan. I always have been. And I’ve always been fascinated by the world that surrounds the top flight players – that world of excess, money and glamour. I was also a HUGE fan of ‘Footballers Wives’ when it was on TV. I loved that show! But, surely, that glamorous, glitzy world they all live in, it can’t be THAT perfect, can it? After reading a book called ‘I Am The Secret Footballer’ I realised it wasn’t. Written by a real-life Premiership footballer, it gives readers an insight into his life as a top-flight player, both on and off the pitch – the good bits, and the bad. It was certainly an eye opener, and proved to be an invaluable research tool for me as I created the character of fictional bad boy footballer Ryan Fisher. Nothing I wrote in any of the ‘Striker’ books is too far fetched, believe me. Because, as far as these players are concerned, anything goes. But money can’t always buy you everything, as Ryan soon finds out…

As a reader, what can we expect from ‘Extra Time’?

Michelle was recently featured in The Sunday Sun. Click here to view more

Michelle was recently featured in The Sunday Sun. Click here to view the interview with Ian Robson on Highbeam.com

Well, as the story continues here in book 2, the reader can expect a few more secrets to come to light, a lot more scandal, and a great deal more action off the pitch that’s guaranteed to get the heart racing! These books definitely aren’t ones you’d give to your granny, that’s for sure! I even nicknamed them “Fifty Shades of Football” because they can get a little bit hot in parts! You have been warned…

You like to do a lot of … ahem … research into characters for your stories. Who was your inspiration for Ryan Fisher?

I certainly DO like my research! But actually, Ryan Fisher wasn’t really inspired by any one particular individual. I kind of looked at professional Premiership footballers on the whole, and mixed it all up a bit. So Ryan has a little bit of everything going on, really. Yes, he’s a bad boy, but there’s also another side to him that really starts to come out more in books 2 and 3.

Which football team do you support?

Tricky one this. I used to be a season ticket holder at Newcastle United back in my teenage years, but after marrying a Sunderland supporter I hate to admit that my loyalty is shifting somewhat. And I know that, coming from a Geordie, that could almost be considered treason to even just think that. But it’s really hard to live with a Sunderland fan and NOT get sucked into the drama that team can sometimes create! Am I a full-blown Sunderland fan, though? I’m getting there…

I know you can’t give too much away, but what can we expect from the third book in the trilogy?

It’s quite difficult to say a lot without giving too much away, but, let’s just say there is some kind of conclusion to the trilogy in book 3. But not before yet more drama ensues, and another character gets to show us a side of him that we may not have seen before. It was a really emotional experience for me, writing that final book, because I’d grown so close to the characters in the Striker Series. And it was hard to let them go. But, again, without giving too much away, it may not be the last we see of them…

Thank you for being here today Michelle.

~Where to find Michelle Betham~

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Extra Time Cover

Click here for your copy from Amazon!

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Philip A. Oldfield

WEDNESDAY 09th JULY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

Today I would like to welcome Phillip Oldfield, author to Blood Relationships.

~AUTHOR BIO~

I was born in Cambridge, England, in 1959. When I was eight years old, I spent a few years living in Connecticut, USA as my family had emigrated. I still feel America is my second home. However, following the untimely demise of my father’s health and subsequent death, England, once more, was home.

Author pic philip oldfieldI have written short-stories and poetry from my early teenage years. I read Geography as a mature student at the University of Exeter, starting when my third child was 3 months old.

I have been an active parent for thirty-two years and a single parent since 2007. I have four adult children and two grandchildren. My youngest son left home in 2012.

I have had, and continue to have, an eclectic working life which has spanned the private, public and voluntary sectors within the United Kingdom. My experience stretches across the police service, marketing and, business, social and economic development.

The novel Blood Relationships is my first completed book. It started off as a concept several years ago. With the opportunity to write full-time combined with long hours of research and writing this year (2013) I was able to bring it to fruition. It is the first of a planned trilogy called Resurrections.

I have recently published My Dream Mother, a novella and finishing off twenty-five micro-stories, called, Flash Fiction 25 (Volume 1). I have five other books clambering over one another calling out to be finished, read and heard. Two are fantasies, two are historical fiction and the fifth is a romance.

I live and write in Exeter, England and enjoy its growing cosmopolitan feel along with the blessings of living in close proximity – 30 minutes or less – to the sea, rural landscapes and the wildness of the moors.

And finally, I have several favourite sayings garnered from others, which I call upon from time to time to spur me on. My favourite, I guess, which has helped me in many ways is, I think, a Chinese proverb:

‘Behold the tortoise; he only makes progress, by sticking his neck out.’

Always live in hope,

Philip A. Oldfield

~SYNOPSIS – BLOOD RELATIONSHIPS~

Blood Relationships

The story propels the reader into a roller coaster of emotions: the depths of despair and terror to the strongest feelings of love, hope and faith. The journey set in 2012 is at times violent and jarring as troubled and sadistic characters are encountered, from the freneticism of a crowded London nightclub, the claustrophobia of a macabre basement, to the expansive beauty of the Aegean Sea and the turbulent roads of Southern and Eastern Europe. Yet the heroes in the story, Claire Yohanus and Tom Abimelech, who unwillingly are caught up in ensuing events and stumble across the horrors of the past and the plans for our future, cast light and deliver hope as they grapple with truth, doubt, fear and courage and face, head on, their dilemma to tell the world.

 

~SYNOPSIS – MY DREAM MOTHER~

An inspiring tale, full of hope and a richly satisfying conclusion.My Dream Mother

​A mother dies in childbirth giving birth to a son. His father, wrought with grief and helped by Death, brings his own mother into the home to care for the child and raise him. But mistakes happen. And so begins the sorry life of Benjamin Bedford destined to live in a small corner of the world, unknown, unnoticed, in quiet oppression as he is slowly indoctrinated into the family system – much like his father was brought up to be – by his controlling and self-absorbed grandmother.

Destined, that is, until Hope played her part. That’s when the dreams began. Ben’s imagined destiny begins. But, does reality ever meet our innermost desires and create another stage for us to dance upon? The calling may be strong, the dreams may be vivid, they may even be better than life, but they’re never real are they? Follow Ben’s life from tragedy to fame and find out if dreams really do come true.

Now grab that cuppa as we chat to Philip A. Oldfield …

CUPPA

Hi Philip and welcome to my blog.

 

Where did the inspiration behind Blood Relationships come from?

The initial idea for Blood Relationships, the first book of a trilogy that I am writing called Resurrections, was drawn from my Blood Relationshipsinterest in psychology. I wanted to explore how individuals might maintain or lose faith, if pushed to the limits of endurance and what part, serendipity, and personal history might play in the process of our lives. Some while later, I was discussing progress on the book with one of my daughter’s, she’s a historian, and the conversation drifted on to events in World War II and the nature of fertility experiments. After I had researched around the topic, pre and post war medical trials, the links into the story grew, became symbiotic. Hence why the story draws on historical facts and science, but is set in contemporary times across London and Europe.

How would you compare writing this book with anything you have previously written?

My Dream MotherUp until I researched and wrote Blood Relationships, I had focused on writing poetry and short stories. I like the immediacy of short stories, even the writing of micro-stories (flash fiction) and also the challenge to absorb myself and the reader in a few pages, grab their attention, so to speak. I am just finishing off a collection, Flash Fiction 25, Vol. 1, which is coming out soon. Prior to this, I published in June this year, a novella, ‘My Dream Mother.’ I chose to write these tales to give myself some space from the intensity of writing a novel.But, I have to say, writing a full-length manuscript is overall more satisfying and ultimately, rewarding, delivering a sense of achievement that I had brought to life a tale that had waited in the wings many years to be told. It’s exciting to be in a position to write. I have several other novels in development, all in differing stages of progress, ranging across historical fiction, romance and fantasy and of course, the next two instalments in the trilogy, Resurrections. For me, it was an absolute joy, emotionally and intellectually, to immerse myself in the breadth and depth required to write a novel and maintain a focus on several story lines intersecting and/or running parallel throughout. It required a lot of planning and mapping out. For this, I primarily used A3 paper for storyboards, and used them as frameworks upon which the plot and the characters interacted and inevitably, I guess, as their characters spoke up, changed the course of the book.

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

 

At the age of eleven, whilst in an English class, the teacher led a discussion on the First World War. Afterwards, we were asked to write a poem. I found that I was able to readily generate emotions, imagine events and conjure words from the ether.

 The teacher was effervescent in his personal feedback, which has motivated me to write poetry and fiction, ever since.

How do you organise your writing time?Love shadows and light

I am normally at my desk from around 8.30 am onwards, reviewing what I had planned to do, and deciding if those tasks are the main things to do. I pretty much work flat out then until around 1 pm, when I like to listen to Radio 4 news over lunch. By around 4.30 pm, I look to stop work. In between these hours, I pick and mix activities either indoors or outside to stay fit. Of course, writing is a diverse range of activities including idea generation, research, outlining, structuring, imagining, reading and editing. It also involves, for me, a whole raft of emotions too. I need most of my mental energy when I am writing creatively, using my imagination. And when I am wrapped up in these moments, when characters and plots are chattering away, then I will stay connected to them, which might mean I wake up early and write and write, or work late into the night.  

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

Hmm, my best writing space. It varies. Most often, I write at a desk in my bedroom, with my work spread out along its surface, with ready access to my bookshelves, paper cuttings and writing materials. Here, I either type, write or dictate, depending on the nature of the writing I am working on. s often then, that I find the inspiration I need. And of course, a cup of coffee or green tea always helps too.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I lived in Connecticut, America, between the ages of 8 and 10 years of age. I still think of America as my second home and dream of living there again, for a while, one day.  

 

Thank you for being here today Phillip.

~OTHER PUBLICATIONS~

Love shadows and light

Love: Shadows and Light (November 2011). An anthology of poems depicting the upheaval, both blessed and traumatic, that love can bring.

~Where to find Philip A. Oldfield~

www.philipoldfield.com

Blood Relationships
My Dream Mother

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Book A Day Challenge UK: Day 26 – Should Have Sold More Copies – A.J.Fikry

THURSDAY 26th JUNE 2014

Today’s #BookADayUK is a book that should have sold more copies.

The Collected Works of A.J.Fikry.

Image from Author Gabrielle Zevin website, please click to view more

Image from Author Gabrielle Zevin website, please click to view more

Here I go again, repeating myself like I do when I’m drunk.

I’m no book seller so in theory I have no idea how many copies this has sold.

But I think it should always sell more.

If you love books, you will love A.J. Fikry.

Love Missuswolf xxx