Good morning Neverland clan, hope you’re all having a lovely week so far. I’m doing my best to include as many bookish posts on my blog this month because quite frankly, I miss posting about books as frequently as I used to. So today, I’m bringing you a cover reveal and Crime / Thriller fans, I think you’ll like the sound of this one! Ready?
I’m taking part in the blog tour for Gemma Metcalfe’s debut, ‘Trust Me’ today and I’m hosting a fantastic guest post from Gemma all about why she loves Thrillers and the twists that you so often find in a Thriller novel. I love Thrillers – they are my favourite genre and obviously, the twists are the best part! Have a read of Gemma’s post and you can also find information about her book below!
An unnamed defendant stands accused of murder. Just before the Closing Speeches, the young man sacks his lawyer, and decides to give his own defence speech.
He tells us that his barrister told him to leave some things out. Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to explain, or believe. But he thinks that if he’s going to go down for life, he might as well go down telling the truth.
There are eight pieces of evidence against him. As he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader – member of the jury – must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions… but at the end of the speeches, only one matters:
Did he do it? Continue reading
He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.
Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.
Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs. What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.
Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.
It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost. Continue reading
Format: Hardback, purchased
Rating: 4 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Blurb: Brighton, winter 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ’of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?
For Stan (aka the Great Diablo), who’s also appearing in Aladdin, the case raises more personal memories. Back before the Great War, he witnessed the murder of a young girl while he was starring in another show, an event which has eerie parallels to the current case.
Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But with both distracted by their own personal problems, neither can afford to miss a trick. For Annie and her friend, time is running out… Continue reading
Author: Caroline Mitchell
Blurb: You don’t know him. But he knows you.
Soon he would be able to touch her, to feel the warmth of her blood. And when the time came, nothing would stop him.
As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave.
When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked. What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict.
Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play …
With her mother’s terrifying legacy spiralling out of control, Jennifer must look into her own dark past in a fight not only to stop a killer – but to save herself and those she loves. Continue reading
Author: Elly Griffiths
Blurb: Brighton, 1950.
When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.
The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.
Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.
Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another ‘trick’, the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in danger… Continue reading
Interpol cop, Anna Leyton, spirals down into a hopeless vortex of sexual and emotional passion
as she fights to keep her professional cool. Who is deceiving who in this fast moving ride across continents?
What motivates her art loving prize-bull of a lover Freddie La Salle? The power of love and trust stands against greed and crime as conflicting forces grapple for that knockout punch. Continue reading
A sexy aristocrat. A wild child inner city cop. A crime wave of passion.
Could she really mix with the British royal family? Can she risk her heart and career on yet another maverick mission? Can she get justice for an innocent boy? Dare a kid from the gutter dream of being a countess?
Tough south London girl, Shannon Aguerri, clings on as a cop. Red lights are for running in pursuit of ruthless crooks. A new royal baby poses a problem for Spencer, 11th Earl of Bloxington, that only the beautiful village cop can solve. A rival from a different world of wealth and class may think she can walk over Shannon in riding boots. She’s gonna find out what a girl fight really is.
An all action hard-core crime story. An open and frank love affair. There’s nothing coy or hidden as lovers throw off the loneliness that had clothed their lives. Nothing is held back as they meet evil with equal force in a desperate struggle with murderous criminals.
Abandoned total love takes the field against tradition and vice. One thing alone can bring true justice. And that is Shannon’s Law.
I was absolutely thrilled to be sent an advanced copy of Shannon’s Law to review for Emma. I love crime books, especially those where the protagonist is female. Emma is also a new author for me so I was excited and intrigued to see what her work is like – I definitely wasn’t disappointed and look forward to reading more of her books in the future! Shannon is a cop who has be relocated to a small village called Fleetworth-Green. When she comes across a group of teens doing drugs and drinking in the middle of a field she gets a hunch that one of the boys doesn’t belong with the group and when she finds out he has a criminal record, something just doesn’t add up. She later finds out that the boy is son of Spencer, the hunky 11th Earl of Bloxington. Spencer and Shannon hit it off right away but Shannon can’t shake the feeling that she doesn’t belong in his world. In the midst of an ongoing investigation and a snobby stuck-up lawyer who has her eye on Spencer, will they find love?
When starting this book I was really quite surprised at Emma’s writing style and how sophisticatedly written this book was. Emma’s descriptions and similes were other-worldly – she could have written an entire page about snow without saying the word ‘snow’ once yet I still have a clear picture in my head of what was going on and how Shannon was feeling and that’s a very talented thing to be able to do. This book has some graphic adult scenes in, but they’re written very tastefully. It’s no 50 shades and they’re between a couple who care very deeply for one another so are in no way offensive or portraying women (or men for that matter) in a bad light. I also liked that they weren’t rushed because if there’s one thing I hate most about reading a sex scene – especially when the book is considered ‘erotica’ – is when the whole thing is over within half a page with no indication of how the characters are feeling. It’s like an author got too embarrassed about what they were writing and just stopped! This definitely wasn’t the case with Emma and she cleverly describes not only their actions in a lot of detail but they’re feelings as well which I think indicates maturity. The way they speak to each other during these heated scenes is quite unrealistic and I’m not sure people actually talk like that but I’ve never slept with an Earl so it’s hard to judge… I like that this book doesn’t only focus on the steamier, sexy scenes – it has a considerable amount of crime and police action in it to, which I loved. Both aspects of the books were very well balanced which is what made it work so well for me.
It’s really refreshing reading a book where the female is the more dominant figure and Shannon was the definition of a dominant, strong, female figure. I absolutely loved her with her quick and witty sense of humour and her quirky and fierce personality. She was confident and to the point so all-in-all the perfect protagonist. Quite frankly, I’ve had enough of these storybook women gushing over a man and turning into jelly in their company. Shannon used Spencer to her absolute advantage and got him exactly where she wanted from the very beginning. I don’t know whether that was the cop in her or her natural self-confidence but whatever it was, it worked. Despite being a cop, she doesn’t play by the rules and the prime example of this I found is when Shannon is writing a birthday card out for Spencer after only meeting him once and the narrative says, ‘Could she, should she add a kiss? She knew she shouldn’t. So, she did and sealed it’. Spencer was a great character too – extremely well-developed and very interesting to read about. How often do you read about a sexy, millionaire Earl? It was definitely a change of pace! All of the characters were very read-able and well-rounded. Even the ones you love to hate. Move over Mr Grey – there’s a new Earl in town. Shannon’s Law is dramatic, mezmerising and extremely sexy with an ultimate fairy-tale ending that will renew your belief in true love. An absolute must-read.
Hi Emma, can you tell us a bit of what Shannon’s Law is about?
Hello and thanks for inviting me to chat on your blog!
Shannon’s Law is a passionate love story involving an aristocrat and a socially disadvantaged mixed-race girl who has become a cop. Their love develops against a background of serious crime and the day to day semi-comedy of English rural life. In the mix we also have a jealous love-rival and a wayward teenage boy. It’s Cinderella meets The Winslow Boy with 50 Shades of – hot tea.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
Ever since I was young I have been fascinated by police stories. Modern London is probably one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and in itself inspires this kind of story. I have the good fortune that my partner is an ex-cop who can tell me the nuts and bolts and inside track on attitudes within the police. The most direct inspiration is my awareness of social issues such as modern slavery that I have visited in other stories. It is a powerful love story and love is its own inspiration. Traditionally romance and hard crime do not happen in the same story – this is a genre mix-up that sends publishers and agents into a frenzy of despair. My feedback from the first ‘Passion Patrol’ novel ‘Knockout!’ is that people are looking for romance with a powerful action story going on as well.
Where did the idea for the cover come from? Did you take any of the photos yourself?
I wanted the cover for this book to sit alongside the cover for Knockout! As a ‘steamy’ romance with a fair amount of intimate action, I wanted Shannon’s Law to appeal to the relevant readers – and the male torso seems to do the trick. When Shannon first meets Spencer in the workshop she sees his bare chest and it is a germinal moment for both of them. I bought this stock photo because it conveyed his male power and attractiveness. The house exists – it’s a country house near my home and is the place where we’re having the launch party on the 2nd March. I’ve always wanted to write about it and it’s one of my favourite views. I decided to add a picture representing Shannon, in order to demonstrate this is not a routine detective story – she is a foot soldier in uniform and not a glamorous high-flyer. The picture of Shannon was taken in my conservatory with uniform props from eBay! The model is a friend of my partner’s daughter. I created the cover on Photoshop, with many prompts and assistance from my teenage sons.
Is this book going to be traditionally or self published? What made you decide to take that route?
Originally I was approached by a big publisher to produce this for them. The first few chapters were submitted and I was given the green light to go ahead. The question then began to play in my mind asking what does a publisher do that I cannot do myself? Standard terms pay out a meagre 25% of takings and their contracts ask you to sign away all rights to the work – even if they do not use them. I am sufficiently arrogant to think that my work could play on a number of platforms (I have done my own audio books very successfully in the past.) In the end I turned down the publishing deal and have invested substantially in professional editing, promotions and other costs to bring this book to market. Here’s hoping it flies….!
If Shannon’s Law was made into a film, who would be your dream cast?
What a great question – now I can really indulge my fantasies! Here’s my choice of current actors who would fit the bill:
Freema Agyeman to play Shannon Aguerri, the heroine. Mixed race sassy, beautiful, sexy, late twenties, London-born cop (this actress played one of Doctor Who’s assistants). Orlando Bloom to play Spencer 11th Earl of Bloxington, the hero. 40 yr. old noble, widowed hunky British aristocrat and ex-SAS major. Daniel Huttlestone would make a great Ben, teenage son of Spencer. A motherless boy struggling for identity in the shadow of a wrongful conviction: (he played Gavroche in 2013 film Les Misérables). Keira Knightly would be excellent as Jasmine de Montfort the love rival for Spencer’s attentions. A British professional woman, late 30’s upper-class aristocratic barrister, independently wealthy, manipulative, ruthless ambitious. She might need to be made a little less beautiful though – with larger more prominent teeth… Pierce Brosnan would be my favourite for Fabbio Ceccarelli – an Italian aristocrat in his early seventies, distant cousin of Spencer, suave sophisticated and still charming. Deborah François – is a gorgeous French actress who would be great in the role of Selena Fontesse. A glamorous surgically enhanced starlet, mid-twenties – very attractive, outgoing, outrageous and exciting (She played a key role in one of my favourite films: la Tourneuse de Pages). Colin Firth – too old to play the lead role, I had to get our local hero into it somehow (he comes from Eastleigh near to where I live!) He can play Mel, Shannon’s best friend, 43 year old attractive gay male detective. Ian Midlane – is an actor from TV soap Doctors and would be ideal to be Vandervell O’Brien. Movie director and resident of Fleetworth-Green, loves a nice meat pie or two. Lenny Henry – another favourite of mine over the years and ideal choice for jovial father of Shannon, Patrick Aguerri. A mechanic in his mid 50’s from Antigua to Peckham. Fiona Shaw – known to many as Pentunia Dursley from Harry Potter, she fits the bill for Mary Aguerri. Shannon’s mum, Irish, shift-working hospital cleaner. Hugh Grant – again I had to get him in as Inspector Lilly: Shannon’s boss. A career cop aged around 50, conservative sycophantic, plays by the rules. Christopher Eccleston – Wiley Detective chief Superintendent Tom Mitchell. He leads the crime investigation into the death of a girl discovered in a ditch in the Fleetworth-Green area. Mid fifties, sharp, dedicated cop. Not averse to taking risks. Dame Judy Dench – who else to play the part of Isobel Hornett: resident of Fleetworth- Green, genteel old lady, unfortunate victim of doorstep swindlers. David Jason – A nice cameo role in the form of Professor Max Strauss: Forensic scientist and pathologist. David Witts (of Eastenders fame) – a nice cockney cheeky chappie to play PC Gary Woods: a womanising lovable rogue cop in his mid 20s. Rupert Grint (Ron from Harry Potter) – Wayne Swift: Fleetworth-Green village tearaway, self-esteem issues often manifesting in drunkenness and violence. Age late twenties. David Tennant – a cameo role to play Tim – Spencer’s friend and colleague, artist and designer working on Unesco projects and star of the Fleetworth Green cricket team.
What are your tips for writing believable and tasteful adult scenes?
There is one essential point: the characters must be in love. The physical acts of sex are very much the same regardless of characterisation. What makes the difference is the emotional blanket that covers them. This is a hard issue – just how far to go, what to hide, what to reveal? But if the characters are in love and you have conveyed this to the reader, then they know – if they have ever been in love themselves – the strength of sexual passion. As I have developed my own writing I have become less coy about sex – in response to a question that I ask myself. Why would I hide something that we know happens from my readers? If I am honest about their ambitions, motives, doubts etc, why would I not be open about their sexual life? You cannot make a cup of tea without boiling water…
What are your words of wisdom to aspiring authors out there?
If you had asked me this 10 years ago, my advice would have been very very different. The world of publishing used to dictate genre and style. In order to get published you had to match yourself to the templates required by the big 6 (as they were then). Because of the changes in publishing and the opportunity to go alone, I say go for it with all your heart wherever it takes you. Write the book you want to write. Write lots of them. Read as much as you can – but not while you are writing yourself (unless it is a completely different subject/genre).
Who are your personal favourite authors and writers?
My style and content icons are Thomas Hardy and George Orwell. I enjoyed Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie as a child. I moved on to Jackie Collins, Robert James Waller, Martina Cole. More modern authors I enjoy include Kazuo Ishiguro, Martin Amis, James Robertson and Audrey Niffenegger. I have discovered many great writers on the internet who would just not show up in previous generations – for example Anneli Purchase. I also love poetry by the usual suspects, Wordsworth through Les Murray to Simon Armitage and less well known poets Paul Tobin, Jo VonBargen and of course my partner Oscar Sparrow.
Do you have anything else lined up for this year that you’re able to tell us about?
The third ‘Passion Patrol’ book is underway – I write by hand in old school exercise books so it takes me a long time to create a novel. It features another female cop, action, adventure and passionate love along the way. I hope to have it finished and published in time for Christmas. You can’t hurry love!
When is Shannon’s Law officially released in both eBook and paperback and where can we find it?
Shannon’s Law is coming out on Friday 28th February in print and digital formats. It will be available on Amazon worldwide and also B&N, iTunes, Sony, Kobo and Smashwords.
You can get 12% off if you pre-order the paperback from Amazon UK HERE. You can get a special early-bird price if you pre-order for Nook HERE. Find out the latest buying links from the Shannon’s Law WEBSITE.
Do you have any tours readers can follow?
Coming soon is “Shannon’s Law Pinterest Reveal Pre-Launch Virtual Book Tour”.
I’ve already set up a Pinterest Board for Shannon’s Law where I’ve posted interesting images, news etc about the book. The next stage will involve posting a whole batch of ‘teaser’ silhouette images – clues to elements in the book. Then, during February, the information behind the ‘teasers’ will be revealed – each on a different blogger site. Every day at least one silhouette image will be exchanged for images from the blogs where I am guest-posting. By the launch date there will be a whole montage of images and articles all about characters, locations, inspirations behind the book. This interview is part of the tour and will be posted on the Pinterest around the 3rd February.
You can find the Shannon’s Law Pinterest Board HERE. Watch out also for the launch – there will be a Virtual Launch Tea Party on the 28th February on the Shannon’s Law FACEBOOK PAGE. There is a VIP invitation-only real-life Tea Party at Avington Park (the inspiration for ‘Bloxington Manor’ as featured on the book cover) on Sunday 2nd March. You can win tickets to come HERE.
Participants in “Shannon’s Law Pinterest Reveal Pre-Launch Virtual Book Tour”
3rd Febraury – Jenny Marston – Interview and review: https://jennyinneverland.wordpress.com/
7th February – Melanie Robertson-King – Inspirational Jewellery behind Shannon’s Law: http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/wp02/
9th February – Sheryl Browne – Character Study Ben: http://sheryls-ramblings.blogspot.co.uk/
13th February – Julie Wilkinson – Review: http://www.allthingsbookie.com/291105966
11th February – Loveahappyending – Cop’s Kitchen Companion Cook Book: http://www.loveahappyending.com/
14th February – Kobby at Chicklitpad – Inspirational jewellery: http://chicklitpad.blogspot.co.uk/
14th February – Venture Galleries Inspirational Cars: http://venturegalleries.com/author/emmacalin/
17th February – Dawn Crooks Animals in Shannon’s Law: http://crooksonbooks.blogspot.co.uk/
19th February – Jo at Cometbabebooks Excerpt: http://cometbabesbooks.blogspot.co.uk/
20th February – Mandy Baggott musical inspiration Elvis: http://www.mandybaggot.com/apps/blog/
23rd February – Patricia Sands Location inspiration – Venice: http://patriciasands.wordpress.com/
21th February – Anneli Purchase Cop’s kitchen recipes: http://wordsfromanneli.wordpress.com/
21st February – Kim Nash Character Study Jasmine de Montfort: http://kimthebookworm.blogspot.co.uk/
28th February – Launch on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShannonsLaw
Emma Calin writes romance novels and gritty short stories about love and survival in the 21st century. She has published a number digital and paperback books which are available from Amazon worldwide. The latest is a ‘boxed set’ compilation of short stories called the ‘Love in a Hopeless Place Collection’.
She blogs about her dual life in St-Savinien sur Charente in South West France and Romsey, a market town in England. She feels extremely lucky to be able to experience the world and life through these two, very different, lenses. She spends any time she can, when not writng, on her tandem exploring the countryside.
You can find Emma and her books on the following links:
Genre: Crime, Mystery
Director: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Cane
Review: Without a shadow of a doubt, the best film to have been released last year. I know the reviews for Now You See Me have probably been done and dusted by now but I just watched it for the second time and it’s still as exciting, mind-boggling and shocking as the first time around so I wanted to write this review for those of you who haven’t yet seen it. Now You See Me is about a group of magicians called the Four Horsemen who pull of the biggest trick known to the world of magic live on stage: they rob a bank. Two agents get put on the case to try and solve how they did it but this proves difficult even with the insights of a professional illusion exposer. It turns into a bizarre investigation with shocking twists, amazing illusions and a great truth that is above all, the most important part of the puzzle: The closer you look, the less you see.
This film is so clever and I take my metaphorical hat off to the guy who came up with this story. I’m a huge magic fan anyway so this film is right up my street (when I say magic I mean Derren Brown, Dynamo, David Blaine not Harry Potter! Although I am a fan of him too). The thing that I believe made this film work so well is the phenomenal cast. With a whole band of well-known actors, attractive faces and charismatic personalities including those of Morgan Freeman, Michael Cane, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher and Jesse Eisenberg, what is there not to love? The main characters in the film, the Four Horsemen, consist of 4 magicians who specialise in different aspects of magic. Daniel Atlas (played by Jesse Eisenberg) – the slight of hand showman, Merritt McKinney (played by Woody Harrelson) – the mentalist, Henley Reeves (played by Isla fisher) – the escape artist and Jack Wilder (played by Dave Franco) – the street magician. They all have their place and there isn’t one unnecessary character throughout the whole film. The characters that stood out for me however were Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) and Dylan Rhodes (played by Mark Ruffalo). Jesse Eisenberg plays an arrogant prick better than anyone else in Hollywood and it worked 100% for this character because although he’s arrogant and infuriating, he’s also extremely clever and sneaky and the whole façade is extremely charming (from a girl’s POV may I add!). Mark Ruffalo plays Dylan Rhodes, the FBI agent who gets assigned to the case and his character is constantly getting led down wrong turns and dead-ends throughout the whole film and as amusing as it is, Ruffalo is fantastic at portraying the frustrated agent who wants nothing more than to bring these guys down. Isla Fisher plays Henley Reeves, escape artist and one of the Four Horsemen and although her role isn’t particularly huge, I think having a woman in with the mix brings a nice, and somewhat glamorous touch to the film.
Every once in a while a film will come along that will leave you completely speechless at the end and this was that film for me. Although most of the tricks they perform in the film aren’t actually do-able, they are based on concepts actual magicians would use today. Now You See Me’s magic consultant, David Kwong states in an article that, ‘They’re portrayed as the magicians of tomorrow’ and if that’s the case, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the world of magic. I could watch this film 10 times over and still be amazed and surprised and if you’re even a slight devotee of magic, then you’re in for a really fun ride. It’s fun, gasp-worthy and even somewhat humorous from beginning to end and with an outstanding cast and a jaw-dropping twist this is definitely one to watch.