Blog Tour Character Q&A: Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley

Today,  I’m super pleased to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley, who has penned a fantastic new standalone novel. For my stop I have managed to interview DI Ray Patrick, the main protagonist from Dead Blind.

First up the Blurb:

How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror?

Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.

As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder.

But it’s a killer he will never remember.

The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant, he feels progressively isolated.

Can he escape with his career and his life intact?

dfw-rb-db-cover-smallNow for the Interview:

Location: Witness interview room, Stoke Newington police station.

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter for CKT blog

Interviewee: DI Ray Patrick, (RP), Detective Inspector

 

RE: Thank you for meeting with me Detective Inspector Patrick, or can I call you Ray? How long have you been in the force?

RP: Pleased to meet you, Rachel and yes, feel free to call me Ray. I’ve been in the job so many years I’ve lost count now, probably about 17 years. I spent a good few years in uniform before I joined CID and then did several years as a detective constable getting the basic skills under my belt, then had a stint in a couple of different departments to get a feel for what it was I really wanted to do before I went for promotion. Then I took my exams. First my sergeants exam and then my inspectors. And here we are now, I am a detective inspector of my own unit. 

RE: How do you get on with the rest of your team? Must be difficult after everything…

RP: My team are great. They really are. We deal with some real difficult cases so we have to lean on each other. We trust each other and we know that we, as a team, are the only people who truly understand what it is like to do what we do. To understand what it’s like to tell a parent a child is dead or to inform a child that they are not going to see daddy again because of some thoughtless crime. Or, like the recent case, to deal with the senseless loss of lives due to the desperate actions of people who need organs because their own are failing. We see the dark side of life and it can take a real toll on you. But we are driven, each and every member of the team, and I know I can rely on them. It also helps to go out together and grab a beer.

RE: I’ve heard you’ve had a tough time of it recently. How did you come to have, I look down at my notebook, prosopagnosia, or rather face blindness? I think that’s what the nurse said. What does that even mean?

RP: Elaine Hart, my DS, and I were involved in the pursuit of a guy we wanted for the murder of a couple of women. His driving was erratic, the weather was horrendous and the result was a nasty accident and a head injury which, as you say, means I now live with prosopagnosia.

RE: I’m surprised he’s being so candid with me. How did you feel about it when you heard the diagnosis? Must’ve hurt?

RP: The most painful part of it was the fact that I couldn’t recognise my two children. The fear and upset I brought them when I asked who they were that first time I saw them when I woke up was devastating. I never want to cause them that kind of pain. Looking back at that day, it really was a mess.

RE: I have a thought, once you know who someone is, does that mean you will be able to recognise them again? I mean do you even know who your own kids are now? I lean forward.

RP: No, I never know who anyone is. No matter how many times I see them I will never remember them. Imagine seeing the faces you know upside down and with no hair – you can see the features but you can’t make out who it is. That’s what it is like. I can’t even recognise myself in a mirror. It’s heart-breaking with the children, but Helen, my ex-wife, she’s always with me and supports me with them, makes sure I don’t scare them with my confusion. Luckily one is a boy and the other a girl!

RE: I’m starting to feel for this guy. Must be pretty difficult to deal with as a police officer. How can you expect to keep it hidden?

RP: People with face blindness live by using what we call identifiers. We use markers to recognise people. So, I’ll maybe know you by the way you walk, your accent and your hair. But if you changed your hairstyle or I saw you in a setting I wasn’t expecting to see you in, I wouldn’t know you. So, you would have to forgive me and try not to be offended. Because I am at work I know the identifiers for my team, for the people around me, I can work with it.

RE: Aren’t you afraid you will slip up because of your illness? Don’t you feel it will affect your ability to do your job? This is the thing I am dying to know.

RP: If I was working the frontline, in uniform, going out to immediate response jobs, where there is a need to identify offenders on the scene, then I would be more concerned. I would probably have to walk away from the police service, take a medical pension. But, as it is, we turn up after someone has been murdered, the killer is long gone, our job is steady and I don’t see a situation where I would need to do an identification.

RE: One last question if I may, Ray. I look around and continue in a whisper. I heard something bad went down and you witnessed it. How do you expect to catch the killer if you can’t really recognise them? You must have a plan…I won’t tell.

RP: Ah, yes. This was unexpected. This really was not the normal turn of events. I’m sorry. I can’t say much more about this, it’s an ongoing case, I’m sure you understand.

RE: Great another brick wall.

A massive thank you to Rebecca for answering my questions for DI Ray Patrick – an interesting protagonist!

About the Author:

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Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective. She lives in the UK with her family and her two cockapoo’s Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.

She writes the DI Hannah Robbins police procedural series and has also released a standalone novel, Dead Blind, about a cop who acquires prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness.

To find out more about Rebecca Bradley, follow her on twitter @RebeccaJBradley or check out her website Rebeccabradleycrime.com.

Intrigued? Dead Blind is out now and can be ordered from Amazon here.

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Blog Tour Character Q&A: My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland

Today,  I’m super pleased to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland, who also writes under her name Steph Broadribb and blogs as Crime Thriller Girl. My Little Eye is published by Trapeze and is the first in the Starke and Bell series.

For my stop I have managed to interview Clementine Starke, one of the main protagonist from the novel – and I can tell you she wasn’t very easy to pin down.

But before the interview, here’s the blurb for My Little Eye:

KISS THE GIRLS
A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals – the latest victim of ‘The Lover’. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out.

AND MAKE THEM DIE…
As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in their own hands – to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group.

As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they’re being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim – Clementine – firmly in his sights.

My Little Eye

 

Over to the Interview:

Location: Clerkenwell.

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter for CKT

Interviewee: Clementine Starke, (CS), PHD Researcher

RE: Thanks for meeting with me Clementine, I really appreciate it. Clementine just nodded her head. Might as well just dive in then. What made you want to study online true crime fanatic groups?

CS: The conversations in true crime groups are a lot more interesting than looking at feed full of users posting pictures of their dinner. True crime addicts have such purpose and drive. And anyway, people are fascinating, aren’t they, the way they behave? They give away so much of themselves online, and yet many of them do not even realise what they’re doing. I see it, though. And I see the cracks in the personas they create too. Online you can be anyone you want to be. There’s something liberating about that, something that makes people feel like they are safe to experiment. Or at least a lot of people think that they are safe.

RE: Interesting. You’re part of one aren’t you? Don’t you think you are taking your research a step too far?

CS: I have joined a true crime forum, yes. But going too far – no, I don’t think so – after all, how far is too far? I’m an action researcher not a scientist in a lab coat. I participate alongside my subjects for a deeper immersive experience. The data is richer this way, and my learning from the subjects is fast-tracked. Potentially what I’m doing will be ground breaking.

RE: What types of things have you got up to while you’ve been in the group?

CS: She gives me a hard stare before answering. I’m not at liberty to talk about our investigation in detail. What I can tell you is that we study crime cases, some active and some cold. We investigate them, and we’re very good.

RE: I’d better change tact. Do you think then that the Met are limited in their resources and there should be more online crime fanatics going around solving the case for them? Surely all these people would get in the way?

CS: Well, obviously I’m going to say that I think the idea has potential. Certainly not all groups of true crime fans are like mine. Each of us has a very specific set of skills that we bring to the group which lets us know more facts than the average member of the public, and gets us access to information usually only seen by the police and the medical examiner. Just to be clear, though, I’m not admitting to breaking the law. All I will say is that we bend the law just about as far as it goes.

RE: I lean forward. Since getting to know this group have you changed your opinion about the police?

CS: Why would I? What have you heard? I don’t like what you’re insinuating.

RE: Dead end. I’ll ask about the killer instead, might find out something juicy.  Doesn’t it scare you knowing The Lover is still out there, preying on young women? You’re very brave putting yourself out there to try and catch him or her

CS: It’s not a question of being brave. It’s a question of getting a killer off the street. He needs to be caught, and the police aren’t doing it are they? So we had to step in. I’m confident that we will beat the police at their own game. We’re getting closer.

RE: Can you shed any light on anything you’ve found out from the true crime group that the police have refused to tell the public? Surely some of them have contacts and have found something? I only have the public’s best interests at heart.

CS: I’m sure the police have their reasons for keeping some details secret, and I’m hardly likely to just come out and tell you all that I know, am I? For all I know you could be part of a true crime group as well, you might think you’re some kind of serious rival to True Crime London.

She gives me a serious expression.

CS: Just so you know, you’re not.

RE: Time to push one final time. I don’t think I’m getting anywhere, she definitely keeps her cards close to her chest. Do you have any idea who the murderer is? Surely one of these crime fanatics know? Or maybe it’s one of them?

CS: We have a hypothesis and a number of leads that we’re following. We work as a group, a team, and we pool our information in a special online area set up by our leader, Death Stalker, to serve the collective good. Most of the time, anyway. Just as long as there isn’t any rivalry getting in the way.

RE: With that Clementine checks the time on her phone, stands up and walks off before I can even draw another breath. Guess that’s the end of that interview, but at least I got a name – Death Stalker.

A massive thank you to Stephanie for answering my questions for Clementine – an amazing protagonist!

About the Author:

Stephanie Marland

Stephanie Marland has worked in the University sector for over ten years and published research on how people interact and learn together in virtual environments online. She’s an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and an avid reader of all things crime fiction, blogging about books at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com. Steph also writes the Lori Anderson action thriller series (Deep Down Dead and Deep Blue Trouble) as Steph Broadribb.

To find out more about Stephanie Marland, follow her on twitter @crimethrillgirl.

Intrigued? My Little Eye is out now and can be ordered from Amazon here. Or Waterstones here. It’s a thrilling read!

Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour Q&A: 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for 29 Seconds by T.M Logan, published by Bonnier Zaffre Books. For the tour, I have a fun character interview with Sarah Haywood, the main protagonist from this novel who I must say keeps her cards close to her chest….

The Blurb:

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Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS A NAME TO GIVE. DON’T THEY?

 

Interview:

Location: Queen Anne University, north London

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter.

Interviewee: Dr Sarah Haywood, (SH), junior lecturer.

RE: How did you get into your chosen field of research? It’s pretty niche.

SH: I’ve always loved books, so literature was a natural choice for me when I went to university. Then in my final year I did a module on the works of Christopher Marlowe, and just found him totally fascinating – born in the same year as Shakespeare, a playwright and poet during Elizabethan times, also a drinker and a duellist who was killed in a bar fight at the age of 29, in murky circumstances. Some said he was actually a spy and was assassinated on the orders of the Crown. Marlowe wrote a number of plays including Dr Faustus, about a man who makes a deal with the Devil, which is probably my favourite book.

RE: I decide to ask a hard hitting question first, before getting to the juicy bits. You work in a very male dominated sector, does this make you feel disadvantaged at all?

SH: To be honest I try not to think about it, I just want to get on with my job and do the best that I can. But it’s a fact that there are more male professors than female at my university, and the overall rates of pay for men are higher than for women, and progression through the hierarchy is generally faster for men. Things are changing, but it’s happening quite slowly. You just have to trust the system and believe that your turn will come.

RE: It must be a joy to work with the renowned Professor Lovelock. He is amazing at what he does. How do you feel about working with him? I look up from my notepad to watch her reaction.

SH: He’s… one of a kind. In terms of our area of research, on Marlowe’s works, he’s one of the most accomplished academics in the world. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Elizabethan literature, and of the period, and he knows everyone there is to know in academia. So working with him is really important for my career. Of course he’s quite famous as well, through his TV documentaries, books and appearances on chat shows and the like.

RE: Would you say you’re quite close? I’ve heard talk about Sarah in a not so professional sense…

SH: You mean, in a professional sense? I suppose so. He’s my line manager so we work together on a regular basis, he oversees my work and does my performance reviews, all of that kind of thing. We also collaborate sometimes on bids for new funding, and research projects. But we don’t have any contact outside of work.

RE: His parties are also legendary, have you been to one? I’ve only ever been thrown out of one.

SH: I’ve only been once. It was at his house – he holds them every year to raise money for his charitable foundation. Very plush, no expense spared, it’s quite an honour to be invited. Although the one time I did go along, there was an unexpected guest and things got a bit heated…

RE: Oh yes, I heard about that trouble maker. She’s my next job actually. Anyway, back to Sarah and the real reason I want to talk to her. I hear you recently rescued a young girl. Quite the heroine. Is this true? How did it happen?

SH: Yes, it is true although ‘rescued’ seems a bit strong. It was on my drive home from work, but all I did was try to help a girl who was in trouble – there was a man chasing her so I hit him with my car before he could get to her (I only gave him a bump, enough to slow him down). I don’t really feel like a heroine, I was only trying to help. I hope someone would do the same for my children if they were ever in that situation.

RE: I lean across the table and whisper. Finally, how did you feel when you received that offer of a phone call? Were you tempted?

SH: I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean. What did you say your name was again? I should go. I have to get to my next lecture…

RE: I watch as Sarah Haywood gathers up her pile of books and papers, before rushing out of the room. Great, that blows my chance…

A massive thank you to T.M. Logan for answering my questions for Sarah, a woman who gives nothing away…

About the Author:

TM Logan.jpg

TM Logan was born in Berkshire to an English father and a German mother. He studied at Queen Mary and Cardiff universities before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He currently works in communications and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. LIES is his first novel – published by Bonnier Zaffre in January 2017. His next thriller, 29 SECONDS, comes out in January 2018.

To find out more about T.M Logan, follow him on twitter @TMLoganAuthor.

29 Seconds is out in Ebook now and paperback on 8th March, and can be ordered from Amazon here. Or Waterstones here.

Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour Q&A: Close To Home by Cara Hunter

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting the next stop on the Blog Tour for Close To Home by Cara Hunter, published by Penguin Random House and a Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. Following on from another popular Q&A I’ve done with a character from a crime novel, I have interviewed the main protagonist from Close To Home, DI Adam Fawley who is a new series character I thought we could all be introduced to.

First up is the blurb:

How can a child go missing without a trace?

Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows that nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.

That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.

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Location: A cafe, around the corner from the police station, Oxford

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter.

Interviewee: DI Adam Fawley, (AF), Detective Inspector part of Thames Valley CID in Oxford.

 

RE: Thanks for meeting with me Adam, can I call you that?

AF: No problem. Most people do.

RE [I flip open my notebook with my pen poised. I hope to get some scoop from the detective which my editor will be able to run with.] What was your first thought when you found out Daisy Mason was missing? Surely you see it all the time.

AF: We see more of it than we want to, but however often you’ve handled a missing child case it’s always tough. Perhaps the toughest job any police officer ever does.

RE: How long exactly have you worked for Thames Valley?

AF: Nearly twenty years now. I was a DS here for a while, then an inspector in uniform before coming back to CID.

RE: There’s been a lot of talk and speculation on social media about the case with Daisy. Do you find this helpful? Surely any information is good for the investigation?

AF: Yes and no, to be honest. Of course we need all the help we can get and the more people who are out looking for Daisy the better. The public can be invaluable eyes and ears on the ground. But unfounded speculation is not helpful, neither to us or the family. It makes our job harder and it can mean I get side-tracked answering questions when I should be putting all my efforts into the investigation. I’m sure none of us wants that.

RE [I lean forward.] I believe your team put out the call on Twitter for help. Do you think then that modern policing is now redundant and we can do the work for you online?

Like I said, there are some things about social media that are a genuine help to the police, and I’ve worked on cases where we got real breakthroughs that way. But there’s a definite downside. I’m very concerned we may see the Mason family targeted online. That sort of thing is intrusive and it’s ill-informed. I’m afraid that in a case like this people are very quick to judge, and they need to think very carefully before they say anything at all on social media. Just because you’re in the virtual world doesn’t mean there won’t be repercussions in the real one.

RE: Would you say you trust everyone on your team?

AF: Of course. They wouldn’t be on it if I didn’t.

RE [maybe I can use his personal life as an angle…] What’s your family life like? Didn’t you have a child of you own who died –

AF [Adam folds his arms across his chest.] That’s not something I’m prepared to discuss. My private life is of no relevance to this investigation.

RE [Maybe not then. I change tact.] How do you think the tights got there? Is the blood really Daisy Mason’s?

AF: The item you mention is being analysed by our forensics team as we speak. They will determine whether the blood is Daisy’s. And depending what they say, we will take the investigation in the appropriate direction.

RE: Finally, do you have any new suspects/leads? Surely it must’ve been someone from the party?

AF [Adam checks his watch.] Our first priority is to establish exactly when Daisy was last seen and by whom. Clearly that involves interviewing everyone who was at the party, and collecting any phone or video footage they might have. That’s taking some time, as you can imagine. But in the meantime we have a huge team out searching the area, and if anyone has any information at all – even something that might appear to be insignificant – please contact Thames Valley CID straightaway. I really can’t emphasise that enough.

[Adam Fawley gets up and shakes my hand] 

RE: Thanks very much for meeting with me Adam.

[He nods before exiting the cafe which is just beginning to fill up.] What the hell am I going to show my editor?

Interested to discover more about DI Adam Fawley and what happened to Daisy Mason? I know I am.

To order Close To Home from Amazon just click here or to order this from Waterstones click here.

Big thanks to Cara Hunter for answering my questions and to Poppy North for my ARC and for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.

About the Author:

Cara Hunter author image

Cara Hunter is a writer who lives in Oxford, in a street not unlike those featured in her series of crime books. Close to Home is her debut featuring DI Adam Fawley, and her second, In the Dark, is coming soon.

To find out more about Cara Hunter, follow her on twitter @CaraHunterBooks.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on this fab blog tour!

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Blog Tour Q&A: Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting the next stop on the Blog Tour for Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb, published by Orenda Books. For the tour I have a cheeky Q&A with Lori Anderson – the main protagonist from this novel and the series – where I am a ‘reporter’ asking Lori some difficult questions…

First up the blurb:

Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row.

Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free. Teaming up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor threatens to put the whole job in danger.

But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything…

DEEP BUE TROUBLE final cover.jpg

Location:  The Hinkey Harlow bourbon bar, Jacksonville, in Florida

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter.

Interviewee: Lori Anderson, (LA), Bounty Hunter

RE: [I open the conversation up as Lori is taking a sip from her glass of Bourbon. The whisky in here isn’t half bad.] Bounty Hunting is a pretty dangerous job for a woman, how did you get mixed up in it all?

LA: It’s kind of a long story, and not one I chose to dwell on real often. The how and the why of it isn’t something I like to talk about, so all I’ll say is that it had to do with the death of my best friend Sal.

RE: Don’t you think it’s a job better left to the men?

LA: No, why, do you? A lot of the job is about finding a person who doesn’t want to get caught – tracking them and getting a fix on their location – your gender doesn’t matter, you just need to be street smart and savvy. On the physical side, oftentimes I think there’s things a woman will do different for sure, but that doesn’t mean we’re any less capable than the men. In fact, it’s exactly your kind of attitude that lets us female bounty hunters get close to our targets before they realise who and what we are. Being female makes fugitives less likely to view us as a threat – something real easy to use to swing the advantage our way.

RE: Your daughter, Dakota, how is she feeling after recent events? She’s not traumatised is she is? [I wouldn’t be surprised if she was.]

LA: [Lori narrows her eyes]. Why she’s doing just fine, thank you for asking.

RE: [I can sense a shift in tension, I better get her off the subject of her daughter.] You seem like a fearless woman, but what’s your biggest fear?

LA: Nobody is fearless, and those that say they are, well, they’re either lying to themselves or just as dumb as a stump. I’m fearful on every job I do. My biggest fear is that something will go wrong and I won’t get to go home to my daughter. But that doesn’t mean the fear is bad. You need the fear, I reckon. It’s what keeps you on your guard, ready to react to whatever the job throws your way. And that focus it gives you? Well, that’s what keeps you alive, honey.

RE: What exactly is your relationship with that hunk, JT? [I twirl my pencil around in my hand. I really hope she answers.]

LA: That’s a complicated question. The short answer is a matter of public record these days – he’s my ex-mentor, the man who taught me everything I know about the bounty hunting business. He’s also the father of my child, Dakota. We didn’t see each other for ten years, but that changed recently when fate kind of threw us together. Now he’s in jail and, like I said, things have gotten real complicated. You want more detail than that? Well, if you want the long answer you’re going to need to buy me a whole lot more bourbon.

RE: [I lean forward, surprised at her honesty.] How do you feel now that JT has been taken in by the Feds? Must be hard… I believe he’s on death row for killing a fella. Do you think you can save him?

LA: I won’t say too much about the Feds. There’s a situation in play that’s sensitive an all, so I can’t be talking details to you. Just know that I can’t let them put him on death row. It cannot be allowed to happen. Whatever it takes I’m going to get him free.

RE: What’s it like teaming up with Dez McGregor, I understand you’re not quite getting on at the moment? I mean he’s no JT now is he?

LA: JT is unique – a pure one-of-a-kind kind of guy – so there’s just no way someone like McGregor could measure up to him. McGregor has specific skills I need for the job I’m doing though, so I’m doing my best to get along with him without rubbing his fur all backwards, but it’s pretty damn hard. The thing is, he’s got the same attitude as you, he doesn’t seem to think a woman should be working as a bounty hunter either. And of course I can’t let that kind of view stand, now can I?

RE: [I sense the interview is coming to an end. I decide to ask a risky question.] Finally, how did you get mixed up with Alex Monroe, my sources tell me he isn’t exactly kosher….

LA: Well aren’t you real persistent, asking me about this job all manner of ways trying to get yourself an answer! Well, seeing as you have a bit of spirit I’ll tell you… Special Agent Monroe came to me when I was in a real fix and offered me a deal. I had prior knowledge of a fugitive he was after and he thought I could be valuable in hunting them down. He said that if I catch Gibson Fletcher before he flees to Mexico he can help me get JT’s name cleared. Well, I was all out of options so I took the deal. Now all that remains to be seen is whether I can find Fletcher in time. But, as you know, I’m sure going to try my damnedest.

RE: It’s at that point that Lori drains the rest of her drink, gets up from the booth and leaves the bar. I didn’t even get to say thanks.

Curious about finding out more about Lori, JT and Dakota? All you need to do is purchase a copy, which I would highly recommend this as I love this series.

To order Deep Blue Trouble from Amazon just click here or to order this from Waterstones click here.

About the Author:

Steph Broadribb

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most
of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter ego –
Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging
at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the
latest releases. Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction)
at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California. She
lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut
thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in
two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts.

To find out more about Steph Broadribb, aka Crime Thriller Girl, follow her on twitter @crimethrillgirl.

Big thanks to Steph for answering my questions and to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for inviting me to the tour.

As always, don’t forget to check out all the other fab stops on this epic blog tour!

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Blog Tour: The WitchFinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Today I’m thrilled to host the next stop on The WitchFinder’s Sister Blog Tour penned by Beth Underdown and published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House. As part of the blog tour I was very fortunate to interview Alice Hopkins, the protagonist in the story. As always, don’t forget to check out all the other fab stops on this tour!

 

 

Blurb:

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1645.

When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Based on the true story of the man known as the Witchfinder General, this exquisitely rendered novel transports you to a time and place almost unimaginable, where survival might mean betraying those closest to you, and danger lurks outside every door.

 

So without further ado, welcome Alice to the CKT blog.

You have had a tough time of it recently, after the death of your husband. What were your first thoughts when you knew you had to return home?

When my husband died, I was stunned. Knowing that I had to go back to Manningtree came to me only little by little, through a fog of grief. I had no wish to go back, but no way of supporting myself in London. I would even have stayed on as a servant – but by the time Joseph died, I knew I was pregnant, and nobody wants a servant with a child in tow.

 

Manningtree is an interesting place, full of colour, to have moved back to after recent events; is there anything you like particularly about the town?

I do love the docks, and the silver light on the estuary when the tide is out. But more than this, when I first came home, suddenly I felt as though people could see me again. In London, people’s eyes would skip past me in the street as though I wasn’t there, but when I came back to Manningtree, my brother being so respected in the town, men doffed their hats as I pass by.

 

 

How did you feel seeing your brother again, especially after your time apart?

I was anxious about seeing him, especially about telling him of my pregnancy. But at the same time, I felt that what had been keeping us apart was my choice of husband. Matthew had not liked my marrying Joseph, so I thought perhaps now I was a widow, we would be able to get along as we had as children. But I did not realise that Matthew had changed since I had gone away.

 

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Your tale is extraordinary, why did you decide to tell us the truth when you did?

When I wrote my tale down, there was nothing left to do but tell the truth.

 

Is there one thing you could’ve done differently, what would it have been?

There are many things I wish I had done, but I’m not sure what I could have done. Unless perhaps I could never have come back to Manningtree in the first place – perhaps I ought to have turned around and found someone to take me back to London that very first day.

 

And lastly, do you believe there is such a thing as a witch?

I think things happen that we cannot name the cause of. But I’m not sure they can be willed to happen by any person living. Such things that are God’s business, or else the devil’s.

I would like to say a big thanks to Alice for stopping by, I know how difficult it is at the moment after everything.

About the author:

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Beth Underdown was born in Rochdale in 1987. She studied at the University of York and then the University of Manchester, where she is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing.

The WitchhFinder’s Sister is her debut novel, and is based on the life of the 1640s witch finder Matthew Hopkins.

She first came across him while reading a book about seventeenth-century midwifery. As you do.

 

This fantastic novel is not out until 2nd March 2017 but is available to preorder from Amazon here.

To learn more about Beth Underdown follow her on Twitter @bethunderdown

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*Blog Tour Deep Down Dead Part Two*

As I said earlier, I have interviewed JT from Deep Down Dead, as part of the blog tour, which I must say was one of the most challenging interviews I have ever had to do. You’ll see what I mean anyway.

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Location: The Hinkey Harlow bourbon bar, Jacksonville, Florida

Interviewer: CKT Blog aka Rachel Emms.

Interviewee: James Robert Tate (JT). Bounty Hunter

 

The Hinkey Harlow is an old speakeasy tucked down a side street a little ways out of downtown Jacksonville. It’s not a place I’d ventured before, but JT insisted that if I wanted to meet face-to-face, this was the place he’d be. Seeing as I’d flown out there for the interview I thought I’d better agree to his terms.

The bar is all dim lighting, dark polished wood, and gleaming bottles of bourbon. I spot JT immediately. I can count the number of patrons on one hand, and he isn’t easy to miss –  a big guy nursing a glass at the end of the bar.

I cross the room, my heels knocking a steady beat on the scuffed floorboards. No one looks up. As I get closer I see he was little older than I’d imagined, the lines etched deeper around his eyes, his blond hair a little greyer. Hot though. Definitely hot.

I say hello, and he nods to the stool beside him.

I climb onto it and order us both a bourbon. I’d been warned he doesn’t say much, so I know it’s up to me to ask the first a question. I’m feeling nervous. He doesn’t make small talk and he’s got this stillness, an intensity, about him. When he looks at me with his vivid blue eyes I almost forget my first question.

Bounty Hunting is a pretty niche occupation, how did you get into the business of being a Bounty Hunter?

He stares at me as I’m asking the question, his expression unreadable. He stays silent for so long I’m not sure if he’s going to answer at all. Then, just as I’m about to ask another one, he nods.

JT: Oftentimes I don’t like looking backwards. I prefer moving forwards, looking at what’s ahead rather than behind, if you know what I mean? But, what I will tell you, is that everyone finds their own way into the life. Folks come from just about everywhere. Sure a lot are retired military or cops, but that’s not essential. Might give you a head start on the tracking and the practicalities, but there’s a whole bunch of legal stuff that you need to get learnt.

How long did it take you to train as a Bounty Hunter and have you always lived by your unique set of rules?

He narrows his eyes, squinting at me. I can tell he’s suspicious.

JT: You seem real interested in what I do, you looking to start in the business yourself?

No, I tell him. I’m just interested to know more about him. I nod at the bartender, have them pour us both another bourbon.

JT: Learning is something that’s never done. I learn as I go along. Find new ways to do things. Make mistakes too.

He looks away a moment, like he’s remembering something, someone. Then turns back to me.

JT: The rules came about from my learning from mistakes. I started out with eight, then added a couple more:

  1. Never trust no one
  2. Be prepared, always
  3. Limit your risks
  4. Don’t make assumptions
  5. Create your own blueprint
  6. Always have a plan
  7. Focus on the facts
  8. Force only as necessity, never for punishment
  9. Pick your moment real careful
  10. Past behaviour can predict future behaviour

A friend of mine added another one, number eleven, no so long ago: Use whatever you’ve got to get the job done. Like I said, I didn’t make that one. I might use it though.

What is your favourite thing about being a Bounty Hunter?

JT: The freedom. I’m my own boss. I take the jobs I want. I’m not bound to an office or any corporate bullshit.

What do you do to relax when you aren’t collecting a runaway felon?

JT: I like fixing up old cars. I’ve got a 1968 Ford Mustang. If I get time I might get another.

You have quite a history with Lori, but how did you feel seeing her after all this time?

He shakes his head.

JT: That’s personal.

How did you feel when you realised Lori had brought her daughter, Dakota, along to pick you up? I can imagine it’s not the type of situation you would’ve imagined yourself in.

He frowns.

JT: That’s another personal question. I told you I don’t answer them. What I will say is that chasing a fugitive is a dangerous job. It’s no place for a child. Me and Lori, we’ve had words about that.

And lastly, you’re a pretty fearless guy, but what is your biggest fear?

He holds my eye contact and I see a whole range of emotions past through his expression. I realise my mistake, it’s another personal question, and he’s already warned me off asking them. But I wait, hoping he might answer.

JT: There’s a bunch of things I try not to think on. Not sure I’m ready to talk about them just now.

He gives me a half smile as he gets down from the barstool.

JT: Pleasure meeting you. And thanks for the drink.

I want to thank him for letting me pick his brains, but I can’t get the words out. Instead I smile (mysteriously I hope) and watch him turn and walk away.

To find out more about JT, Lori and Dakota all you’ll need to do is purchase a copy!

To buy this from Amazon just click here

To buy this from Waterstones click here.
To find out more about Steph Broadribb aka Crime Thriller Girl follow her on Twitter at @crimethrillgirl  or check out her website here.