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:

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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…

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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.