Blog Tour: Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott

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Today, I’m super pleased to be on the next stop on the blog tour for Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott. For something a little different, I have agreed to take part in the author’s writing challenge, which I am both excited and a little scared about!

So the challenge:

Rachel Abbott has written a killer opening paragraph and all I had to do was finish off the story in no more than 800 words. One other thing – I had to make sure I included four key items which are; a bath, a Facebook post, a single lightbulb and a glass of sweet sherry. 

First up the blurb for Come A Little Closer:

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They will be coming soon. They come every night. 

Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath.

Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said. 

Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later.

These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family …

When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die? Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?

Now for the challenge:

Gemma had been afraid of the dark for as long as she could remember. As a child, she had blamed the cold, ancient house they had lived in – its endless corridors had too many closed doors for people to hide behind, too many secrets concealed in the shadows. But now there was no excuse. Her flat was modern, open, with huge windows.

It made no difference, though. Each night of the long winter months as she stood outside the block, she imagined all the doors she would have to pass before she reached her own, wondering if the lights in the hallway would be working, or whether they would flicker and go out, leaving her blind in the inky black void. Alone with her fear.

Perhaps she had always known that this day would come. She took a deep breath and stepped into the silent entrance, her heels tapping out a warning that she was coming on the polished concrete floor of the long corridor.

As Gemma walked towards her flat, a single bulb flickered in the hallway before extinguishing itself. She was alone in the darkness. She felt like it was suffocating her. Closing in on all sides. It felt as if someone was watching her, waiting to get her. Gemma could hear her breath coming out in short gasps. She needed a hot bubble bath, that would calm her down. She could picture her large bath with its golden feet and shiny taps. If only she could reach her flat. It was only a few steps away. Wasn’t it? She held her hands out so she could touch the walls on each side of her, and let her hands guide her to her front door.

After escaping into the confines of her flat, Gemma opened the kitchen cupboard and poured herself a glass of sweet sherry. She needed to get a grip on herself. As she took a sip her mobile phone vibrated in her pocket. She pulled it out and she saw it was a Facebook post notification. Someone had probably commented on her latest rant about socialism. That could wait, surely? But something inside of couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching her. She needed to know what it was, because only then could she stop the panic she felt.

Gemma unlocked her phone, opened her Facebook and clicked on the post. The words ‘I’m coming. Closer and closer’ had settled itself on her wall, along with an emoji of an eye. What the hell? She looked at the person who had posted it, she hadn’t taken it in before. She gasped. The post was from Daniel May-Banks, her ex-boyfriend and boss. Gemma dropped the glass in her hands; the brown liquid seeped across the floor.

But that was impossible. He was dead. She should know. She had held the pillow over his face until his legs had stopped twitching. Someone knew her secret.

About the Author:

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Rachel Abbott, born and raised in Manchester, founded her own interactive media company in the 1980s, before selling it and retiring in 2005. She then moved to Italy where she worked on the renovation of a 15th century Italian monastery, and it was here that, one day, she found herself snowed in and decided to begin writing for pleasure. This became her debut novel Only The Innocent, which she went on to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, topping their chart for 4 weeks.

A true self-publishing pioneer, Come a Little Closer is Abbott’s seventh novel. All of her previous thrillers have hit no.1 in the Kindle charts. She splits her time between Alderney in the Channel Islands and Italy.

To find out more about Rachel Abbott, follow her on twitter @RachelAbbott or check out Rachel’s website.

Come A Little Closer is out now and can be ordered from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

Big thanks to Maura Wilding and Rachel Abbott for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

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

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Blog Tour Q&A: A Darker State by David Young

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting the next stop on the Blog Tour for A Darker State by David Young, published by Bonnier Zaffre Books. For the tour I have a fabulous interview with the main protagonist from the series, Karin Muller, who I’m sure everyone would like to know a bit more about – although I warn you it was very difficult to get much out of her…

The Blurb:

For the Stasi, it’s not just the truth that gets buried . . .

The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People’s Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi.

Then, when the son of Müller’s team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller and her young family into real danger.

Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it’s too late?

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Interview:

Location: East Berlin

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter.

Interviewee: Oberleutnant Karin Muller, (KM), Major of People’s Crimes.

RE: How did you feel coming back to work so soon, leaving behind your newborn twins? Especially leaving them in the care of your grandmother? How long have you known her?

KM: First let me say it is highly irregular for a reporter from the BRD or one of the fascist imperialist nations to be permitted to talk to an officer of the People’s Police. However, you have produced a signed authorisation. My deputy, Comrade Hauptmann Werner Tilsner is taking steps to check the authenticity of your documents at this very moment, and should we find any irregularities you will find yourself placed under arrest and detained here at our headquarters in Keibelstrasse, and the consular officials of your country will be informed. We will also be checking whether you crossed the Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier under false pretences.

I also have to warn you that I will not answer questions about any of our ongoing inquiries to you or indeed any reporters from the Republic either. This could jeopardise our investigations.

Your question about my children is a very personal one. However I am prepared to answer it this way. It is the duty of every woman and man in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik to play his or her part in working for the success of the workers’ and peasants’ state. Why should mothers be any different? All women should work for the good of the state and its workers be they mothers or not. It is true that my twins are currently being cared for by my grandmother, but the crèches, nurseries and preschool education in the Republic are some of the best in the world and I will have no hesitation in letting my children join the education system at the correct time. The day my son or daughter comes home singing the well-known song “I want to be a Volkspolizist” will be a very proud day for me.

The question about how long I have known my grandmother is a personal one that I am not prepared to answer. However, as the first female head of a murder squad there are a number of official publications that mention me that you could consult. VEB Buchveröffentlichkombinat Bonnier Zaffre have two titles I can recommend, Stasi Child and Stasi Wolf which have details of my career and life up to this point. Any details of current investigations that the People’s Police wish to release are – or soon will be – available in a document entitled A Darker State.

RE: I decide to try my luck, hey you only get one interview with Karin Muller. What do you think happened to that poor boy who drowned? I heard he was only young.

KM: As I explained in my first answer, I am not prepared to answer anything concerning People’s Police operations. You will have to consult the official documents. I recommend A Darker State.

RE: I try to push her again. I’ve heard whispers about Markus Schmidt disappearing, is it true? He’s your forensics guy’s son isn’t he?

KM: I am not prepared to answer anything concerning People’s Police operations.

RE: She really isn’t budging. I scratch my nose with the end of my pencil. Do you think it’s connected?

KM: I’m wondering if perhaps you have something wrong with your hearing, or your ability to understand German? I repeat, I am not prepared to answer anything concerning People’s Police operations.

RE: Do you trust everyone on your team? I’ve heard they have spies everywhere….

KM: You have been watching or reading too much counter-revolutionary propaganda, Ms Emms. Should you wish to re-educate yourself, I can recommend some of our more balanced current affairs television programmes such as Der schwarze Kanal. Every People’s Police officer swears an oath to, and I quote, “be loyal to my socialist fatherland, the German Democratic Republic and its government at all times, to keep official and state secrets, and to strictly obey laws and instructions”. I think that answers your question sufficiently well.

RE: I’m really not getting anywhere, and to be honest I’m starting to feel a little uneasy. What made you want to fight crime? Especially at this dangerous time?

KM: Once we have created the ideal socialist state, there will be no need for police force or any agency to suppress the proletarians. However, while there are still counter-revolutionaries trying to undermine that, I will, without reservation — under risk of my life — protect the socialist social, state and legal order, the socialist property, the personality, the rights and the personal property of the citizens against felonious attacks.

RE: Are you afraid of the Stasi?

KM: If you are referring to the Ministry for State Security, or MfS, then please give it its proper name. The goals of the MfS and the Volkspolizei are the same. The MfS is the sword and shield of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.

RE: I think it was a big mistake coming here. Don’t you ever feel like packing it all in? Leaving the Stasi to it? Everyone else does….

[Hauptmann Werner Tilsner re-enters the room with two guards and whispers in Müller’s ear]

KM: I’m afraid, Ms Emms, that your papers, as I suspected, have proved to be false. These officers will be handing you over to agents of the Ministry for State Security. I can assure you that they will not be as accommodating as myself. I hope you will enjoy your stay in our socialist republic. But I doubt you will find the prisons at Hohenschönhausen, Hoheneck or Bautzen as comfortable as your fascist imperialist hotels back home.

RE: Prison? I gasp.

Big thanks to David Young for answering my questions, on behalf of Karin Muller –  a formidable woman I certainly wouldn’t want to mess with, especially after locking me up in prison!

About the Author:

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David Young was born near Hull and, after dropping out of a Bristol University science degree, studied Humanities at Bristol Polytechnic. Temporary jobs cleaning ferry toilets and driving a butcher’s van were followed by a career in journalism on provincial newspapers, a London news agency, and international radio and TV newsrooms. He now writes in his garden shed and in a caravan on the Isle of Wight, and in his spare time supports Hull City AFC.

To find out more about David Young, follow him on twitter @djy_writer.

Sound intrigued? If you haven’t read any of the series yet by David Young I would highly recommend!

A Darker State is the third in the Karin Muller series and can be ordered from Amazon here.

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

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Blog Tour Q&A: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

Today, I’m psyched to be on the next stop on the blog tour for The Feed by Nick Clark Windo, published by Headline. For my stop, I have a Q&A with the author, Nick, to find out a little more about his new novel, his writing process and his favourite thing since being published.

Blurb:

Tom and Kate’s daughter turns six tomorrow, and they have to tell her about sleep.
If you sleep unwatched, you could be Taken. If you are Taken, then watching won’t save you. Nothing saves you.  

Your knowledge. Your memories. Your dreams.
If all you are is on the Feed, what will you become when the Feed goes down?

For Tom and Kate, in the six years since the world collapsed, every day has been a fight for survival. And when their daughter, Bea, goes missing, they will question whether they can even trust each other anymore.

The threat is closer than they realise…

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Now over to Nick to find out some more about The Feed…

Welcome to the CKT blog, Nick

Thank you, Rachel, it’s lovely to be here!

To start off with, could you tell us about your new novel, The Feed?

With pleasure. It’s a dystopian thriller with two parents, Tom and Kate, at its heart. The Feed is an implant in the brain, which allows infinite information and immediate communication all at the speed of thought. It’s an amazing tool – until it goes down. At this point when things start to collapse rapidly, and it’s in that post-Collapse world that Kate and Tom’s daughter is abducted. Think you’d be in trouble if you lost your phone? Try doing anything without the Feed, let alone trying to find your abducted child!

The Feed has such an interesting concept, how did you come up with the idea for this?

Thank you, I’m really glad it’s resonating with people. It’s an idea that built up over time. Writers tend to observe the world quite closely, I think, and then imagine potential dramatic consequences. For me our relationship with technology feels ubiquitous these days: we use it without thinking about it any more, and it’s actually changing the physical make-up of our brains. I thought that was an interesting world to explore and quite a terrifying one. But of course a concept isn’t a story. You need humans there, with things happening to them as a consequence of the concept. And quite a lot happens to Tom and Kate.

Did you find it a challenge creating the world in which The Feed exists in? Or did you find it liberating to write about a post-apocalyptic future?

I found it very liberating. If you write a historical novel there’s some obligation to be true to what actually happened. Here it was a world that existed purely in my brain, so I could make my own rules. Obviously you need to have those rules when creating a world, otherwise the whole thing becomes a mess, but I really enjoyed that logical exercise – I read widely and borrowed/stole ideas from articles and magazines about how the future might look and set about building what I hope feels like a credible world. It’s not a world that I hope happens, of course, but one that I think is unfortunately credible at the moment. I don’t want to tub-thumb about anything, but there’s a lot of stuff investigated in The Feed that scares me.

Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process, do you plot your story out first or dive right in and see where it takes you? Or a mixture of both?

It’s different for the novels I’m writing currently – I’m plotting those quite heavily. For The Feed it was a mixture. I knew certain plot points and what used to be the last line of the book early on. Those moments acted like magnets in a way: I knew where the characters had to end up, and how they’d feel about it…then it was a trial and error process of taking them on that physical and emotional journey. Trial and error meant that there were over twenty drafts, but the plot is quite complex so that was entirely necessary…but that’s why I’m plotting the next books quite heavily now!

What books would you recommend for the devoted crime reader?

The book I’ve returned to recently is The Jigsaw Man. It’s not fiction, it’s written by a criminal psychologist about real criminals he’s tried to get into the minds of. It’s chilling and absolutely fascinating.

As a debut author, what has been your favourite thing about being published, so far?

Being published! My gosh, it’s very exciting. But the book deal was just the beginning. I’ve recently been so thrilled to become part of this huge, interconnected blogging world. Now, I’m not just saying this because I’m here: it really is an absolute delight to be welcomed into this world. There is so much love for books and support for authors. And for me that’s especially welcome because…well, have you read The Feed? It doesn’t portray social media in the most positive of lights, so it’s wonderful to have that balanced out by reality!

And finally, are you working on anything at the moment, if so could you tell us a little bit about it without giving too much away?

I am and…not yet! Oh go on, then. I’m working on a few things. One is set in a world very different from The Feed – actually, it’s the real world. But there are a lot of flavours that readers will recognise. Then there’s an idea for another dystopian thriller (different type of apocalypse though). And there might be something else cooking Feed-wise…

Thank you so much, Nick for taking the time to answer my questions.

An absolute pleasure, Rachel, thank you for having me.

About the Author:

Nick Clark Windo studied English Literature at Cambridge University and acting at RADA. As well as writing, he works as a film producer and communications coach. He lives in London with his wife and daughter. The Feed is his first novel.

To find out more about Nick Clark Windo follow him on twitter @nickhdclark.

The Feed is out on 25th January and can be ordered from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

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

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Blog Tour Review: Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

Today, I’m super excited to host the next stop on the Blog Tour for Hydra by Matt Wesolowski, published by Orenda Books, where I have a reviewed this book.

Blurb:

In November 2014 Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and sister to death with a hammer. Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out.

This is the second book in the ‘Six Stories’ series which sees Scott King back with a new podcast looking back into the case of Arla Macleod and whether she was really culpable for the massacre which took place on that fateful evening.

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What I thought:

Wow – this just blew my mind!

I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this as I loved the first book, Six Stories, from Matt Wesolowski and this didn’t disappoint.  Just like it’s predecessor, Hydra is told from the point of view of six people which are set out as podcasts. In this novel however, the author adds in an audio file at the end of each podcast which allows the reader to slowly delve deeper into the chaotic mind of Arla Macleod, which only added to the creepy atmosphere.

One of the things I loved about this story is the way the reader was able to see the vulnerable side of Scott King , as he is faced with his own Troll who seems to be not only stalking him online, but manages to find out details about him so they could threaten him personally. This gave the novel another layer of suspense along with the massacre at the heart of the story.

This tale was just so chilling and at times very disturbing which touches on the supernatural, particularly with the appearance of the ‘black-eyed kids’ which I must say gave me the heebie-jeebies.

This was a cross between a crime story mixed with horror which tackled the stigma around mental illness, particularly amongst teenagers as well as religion and the lengths some parents would go for their staunched beliefs.

I won’t say anymore about how phenomenal this book is as I think everyone should read it themselves. But, I must admit I may have scared myself by reading this book late at night, by lamplight, and my did my mind play tricks on me – I would advise you not to do that as I kept imagining black eyes staring back at me. And whatever you do Don’t Let Them In!

This is an original, chilling, and disturbing novel which will keep you awake at night! If you haven’t read any of this series I would highly recommend you do so immediately.

About the Author:

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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North.

Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.

Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015 and his short crime story ‘Tulpa’ was subsequently published in the Northern Crime One’ anthology (Moth Publishing 2015). Matt’s debut novel Six Stories was published by Orenda Books in 2017, with the follow-up Hydra published in 2018.

To find out more about Matt Wesolowski follow him on twitter @ConcreteKraken.

Hydra is out now and can be ordered from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

Big thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for my ARC and invite to the blog tour.

As always don’t forget to check out all the other fab stops on this 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:

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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 Review: The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana

Today, I’m pleased to be hosting the next stop on the blog tour for The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana, published by Mantle.

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First up the Blurb:

When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad.

Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?

With that question comes the revelation that her biggest fear isn’t discovering the worst; it’s never knowing the answer. But is it too late for Anna to uncover the truth about Gabriella’s disappearance?

My thoughts:

The Missing Girl is a tale of a family who fall apart after Gabriella Flores suddenly goes missing as a teenager. The story is narrated through the eyes of Anna, both in the present day who has come home to deal with the aftermath of her mother’s death, and in 1982 as an eleven-year old girl leading up to the event when her sister disappeared.

I loved loved loved this story.  This is not your usual psychological thriller but is so much more. It does centre around the mystery of a missing girl but also has a moving story at it’s heart; a family who collapses in on itself as a way to cope with the loss. I especially loved the narrative which is set in 1982 where Anna is an inquisitive eleven-year old who seeks approval from her big sister, and wants to be the centre of her world. But when Gabriella starts pulling away and her parents whisper behind locked doors, Anna finds herself increasingly isolated from her family for reasons she cannot understand. This is a moving story of not only Gabriella’s disappearance but of Anna’s lost childhood.

The novel itself is very evocative and beautifully written, as well as being full of pace. I found myself drawn deeper into the world of Anna, her family and her pain which had me turning the pages as I was desperate to know what happened to Gabriella for as much as Anna’s sake as my own.

In this novel, the author does a fantastic job of capturing the voice of a young girl who looks up to her older sister vying for approval, while trying to understand what is going on in the world around her, without ever truly knowing.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves a compelling mystery with an emotive story at it’s heart.

About the Author:

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Jenny Quintana grew up in Essex and Berkshire, before studying English Literature in London. She has taught in London, Seville and Athens and has also written books for teaching English as a foreign language, alongside her fiction book The Missing Girl. She is a graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative writing course. She now lives with her family in Berkshire.

Big thanks to Annabelle Wright and Mantle for my ARC.

The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana is out now, published by Mantle in hardback and priced at £14.99.

You can order The Missing Girl from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

To find out more about Jenny Quintana follow her on Twitter at @jennyquintana95.

Don’t forget to visit the other stops on this blog tour!

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