Halloween – The perfect time for Kindred Spirits.

Absolutely delighted to celebrate Halloween season with best selling author Jennifer C Wilson, who makes us think twice about the notorious Richard III. 

Over to you Jennifer.

Hi Susan, and thanks for hosting me today, as part of Kindred Spirits: Tower of London’s first birthday weekend. It’s amazing, and slightly mad, to think it’s been a whole year since it was released, but to celebrate, it’s currently just 99p/c in e-book form, until the end of Halloween.KS-ToL-kindered spirits blog

The fact that for that whole year (and, of course, some time before the release!) my leading man has been Richard III, makes it even more special. It’s funny to think that ten years ago, I didn’t know a thing about him, and was only vaguely aware of Shakespeare’s version of events. I remember the moment of realisation when it dawned on me that the Princes in the Tower (who I had just about heard of) were Henry VIII’s uncles, as I read one of Philippa Gregory’s books. Having finished most of her Tudor series, I began to go ‘back over’, reading a range of biographies and non-fiction books, finding out more of what went on before the monster took the throne. I wasn’t that interested in his father, Henry VII, but Richard III… Well, what girl can resist a misunderstood bad boy??
Don’t get me wrong, he was no saint, and I’d never try to paint him as such, but several people have pointed out that quite a few famous nephews have disappeared throughout history, whose uncles just ‘happen’ to have taken their place as next in line to power. The delightful King John’s path to the throne was helpfully cleared by Arthur of Brittany ‘vanishing’, and once again, his body was never found. At least Richard III proved to be a decent king, even with only two years to rule; a fact quite often overlooked, with most people looking at the events which book-ended his time in power – the Princes vanishing, and the Battle of Bosworth.
But he did a lot of good for the country, including establishing the Court of Requests, where the poor could seek justice, he banned restrictions on the sale and printing of books, and (in a move close to my heart) cut down on fraudulently selling short measures of alcohol.
You can see why there are definitely two ‘camps’ when it comes to Richard III. Yes, he did some terrible things (the execution of a formerly-close friend William Hastings was particularly deplorable), but to be fair, which medieval monarch can claim they didn’t? The dynasty which took his place after Bosworth was surely even more bloodthirsty, wiping out rivals or enemies without a second thought. Now, with his body having been found, he’s back in the public mind, and it’s nice to see him getting a slightly fairer treatment.
I shall now get down off my soap-box, but hopefully, if you’re willing to give his ghost a chance to tell his side of the story, you’ll enjoy listening to what I would like to imagine he and the others who occupy the Tower of London get up to when we’re not watching (and sometimes, when we are). I know I enjoyed writing it! Happy birthday, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London.
Kindred Spirits: Tower of London
A King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…
In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of Tudor Queens Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard rubbing shoulders with one man who has made his way back from his place of death at Bosworth Field to discover the truth about the disappearance of his famous nephews.
Amidst the chaos of daily life, with political and personal tensions running high, Richard III takes control, as each ghostly resident looks for their own peace in the former palace – where privacy was always a limited luxury.
With so many characters haunting the Tower of London, will they all find the calm they crave?

About Jennifer

Jjcw-in-leicester-cathedral3024858ennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.
Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifercwilsonwriter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984
Blog: https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/
Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, Amazon link: http://authl.it/B016TRKU2A

8 things a lady needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship in hostile waters.


May Ship for Only a Hero

Today I have brought along Hetty Avebury who is the heroine of  ‘Only a Hero Will Do’.  She wishes  to share some advice  about travelling at sea in the nineteenth century.   Hetty unfortunately found herself  sailing  on a naval frigate,  uninvited and-

Excuse me, Susan. If I am not mistaken, you did say I could  do this blog – after all I am the person who experienced the stressful but educational elements of  the  voyage , and  I don’t want you to say anything indelicate. Perhaps you  can go and arrange for tea and cake. I will look after the visitors. Oh! Where are my guests precisely?

Okay, Hetty, you carry on. Trust me, they are out there listening, just talk – you’re good at that. But don’t give away too much of the plot before I come back.

Good! She has gone.  Good day. Are you there ?  Well I shall  assume you are even though I fear my author has become quite addled brained. I hope she brings back some scones as I have a weakness for scones. In fact I have a few weaknesses.  Gambling is one – luckily I am very good at it. My scheming family do not realise that I am able to gain funds this way. Therefore you might say it is also a strength.
Another weakness is books. I do love books! I can never get enough of the exciting informative kind (if you understand my meaning). The attendant at the library back home always examined my choices, so they were limited to the mundane. However, whilst I was at sea, Dr Withington lent me some books which were very informative.
But I must return our attentions to the purpose of this  blog, where I will share some useful tips about sea travel.

So  here are  eight things a Regency lady needs to know about travelling (uninvited) on a naval ship in hostile waters.

1.  Make sure you know which is the leeward side (the sheltered side) of the ship. It is important to know which way the wind is blowing when you are prone to seasickness. It was a shame about Doctor Withington’s coat-but luckily it was only his second best.

2.  Do not stray from the quarterdeck. The stern end is the civilised end of the ship. Although it is a lot more colourful down the pointed end.

3.  Prepare for your sleep to be interrupted. The ringing of the ship’s bell and the beating of drums occur at regular and unsociable times.

4.  Do not complain of boredom, believe me that is a good sign. If you see a French ship approaching things will get very unpleasant, and you will soon wish to be bored again.

5.  If you have a chance to pack for the journey (which I did not) include warm clothing. Also a supply of lemon juice is useful to bathe freckles, which multiply like a plague of insects across your skin once exposed to the sea air.

6.  Prepare to be stoic. You will witness the misery and sacrifice of war. Even If you are lucky enough to avoid battle, deaths on board from injury and disease occur frequently.

7.  Do remember to knock the weevils from the ships biscuits, and do not try to cut biscuits into delicate pieces; they resist all attempts.

8. If there is a tall, sombre physician around, whose job it is to keep you out of trouble, and looks at you with eyes … Oh, no –  she is coming back with the tea – but alas no scones .

There is much more to tell dear readers, and if you feel like indulging in a romantic adventure and discovering what happened during and after my unscheduled voyage, please take a look at Only a Hero Will Do. (I haven’t even begun to tell you about Doctor Withington and you need to know about him.)

Spring 1810 – Hampshire England.    

Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to avoid the match, she raises funds the only way she knows how – by gambling. When her plans go astray, she finds herself on board a man-of-war under the care of its high handed physician. But Hetty soon realizes that Doctor Withington is not quite the stuffed shirt she had first imagined. 

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert Whitington has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning Miss Hetty Avebury safely back to her dysfunctional family. Ten years earlier, his father had gambled away Robert’s inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved.  So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling, he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Yet with her self-proclaimed betrothed hot on her heels,can Hetty really trust the doctor?

t  Amazon UK   Amazon US

 Learn more about  my books at susanlodge.com

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors

The Alternative CV  this week welcomes exciting  new author Astrid Arditi. Her fabulous romantic suspense  A Cunning Plan  has just been released.

Hi Astrid,  it’s great to meet you. Make yourself comfortable because we have a few questions.  

ARDITI Astrid & Jeremy 19398 03.05.16 by AJ06 - Copy One quality you have which other people who know you might question?
I’m strong. Most people around me see my insecurities and shyness and think I’m weak, but comes a crisis and I’m surprisingly resilient.

 A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with? (One of your own preferably.)

My heroine’s male counterpart, Ethan Cunning. He comes off as annoying and cocky but he’s a good man at his core, faithful, honest and fiercely protective of the woman he loves.
                                                                                               

  One item you would consign to Room 101?
Make up. I use it sometimes but it feels like a massive waste of time.

  One line that sums up your WIP this week?                                                Progressing! It was all locked up in my head till the book launch, waiting in line, but now I finally got to reconnect with my keyboard, which feels fantastic!

 One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media?
Time consuming, frustrating at times but a great source of support and inspiring stories.

   Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?
Kindle. I’m an avid reader so I really appreciate the number of books I can stow away in it. Plus both of our kids sleep in our room these days so using a bedside table lamp is out of the question. 

       One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?    Everything! I work on my coffee table, which is at the best times littered with toys, cookie  wrappers and half empty water bottles. I’m a mess!
     Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
Exactly where I am now but in another city. We’re moving to New York in the summer. My kids are young so I’ll still be a mother to them first and a writer when they spare me the time. Hopefully it will be enough so I can write many more Sloane Harper books 

We hope so as well Astrid. Your writing space sounds a bit like  my own. Thanks for being my guest today.

Now, let’s read a little about your recent release.
BLURBCunning Plan
Determined to put her family back together, Sloane Harper stalks her ex husband and his annoyingly stunning mistress, Kate. But she’s not the only one. Handsome IRS agent Ethan Cunning is surveying them too, but not for the same reasons. He is attempting to nail Kate’s playboy boss.
Ethan and Sloane decide to help each other, which sends Sloane’s wobbly life spinning out of control. She’ll have to face danger, humiliation, and scariest of all, the dating scene, to lure her daughters’ father home.
Losing control was the best thing to happen to Sloane… until it turned lethal.

 

AUTHOR BIO
Astrid Arditi was born from a French father and Swedish mother. She lived in Paris and Rome before moving to London with her husband and daughter back in 2013.
After dabbling in journalism, interning at Glamour magazine, and teaching kindergarten, Arditi returned to her first love: writing.
She now splits her time between raising her kids (a brand new baby boy just joined the family) and making up stories.
A Cunning Plan is Arditi’s first published work.

BUY LINKS
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cunning-Plan-Astrid-Arditi-ebook/dp/B01D7H7O42/
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Cunning-Plan-Astrid-Arditi-ebook/dp/B01D7H7O42/
IBooks https://itunes.apple.com/fr/book/a-cunning-plan/id1102554468?mt=11
Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cunning-plan-astrid-arditi/1123657004?ean=2940152965568
Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-cunning-plan-5

CONTACT INFO
I blog at http://www.astridarditi.com
Facebook Astrid Arditi author https://www.facebook.com/Astridarditiauthor
Twitter @astrid_arditi https://twitter.com/astrid_arditi

 

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

My talented guest on the Alternative CV today is UK author Kathy Sharp.

Hello, Susan, and many thanks for the opportunity to appear on the Alternative CV.

Great to see you  Kathy. Now, make yourself comfortable, help yourself to a chocolate digestive and tell me….12695509_774244632679352_851141837_o

 One quality you have which other people who know you might question.
I’m incurably lazy. Other people admire my industry in completing three novels, but I still think I’m bone idle.

 A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
I can’t honestly say I fantasise over any fictional character, including any of my own. But I do have a soft spot for Captain Jack Sparrow. 

 One item you would consign to Room 101.
Garlic. Can’t bear the smell of the stuff.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.                                                         Coming along nicely, now that I know how it ends!
One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
Not necessarily evil, but still a necessary evil. 

   Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?
Sometimes Kindle, sometimes paperback. I have been known to dozily tap the paperback  to make the page turn. It doesn’t work, you know.

 One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
A copy of the Royal Horticultural Society Plant Finder. It means I’m enjoying myself  sorting out my plant photos when I ought to be writing.
  Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time.                                         I would love to think I’ll have another four or five books published by then. Each one  teaches me so much, and I still have plenty more stories to tell.

 I can’t agree with you on the garlic Kathy, but delighted to hear there will be more of your stories on the way.  Now give us a  taste of your latest books.

  The Larus Trilogy is published by Crooked Cat Publishing.12714073_774244446012704_1236337396_n

Isle of Larus is an adventure tale in a fantastical setting, featuring a fleet of impossible ships, strange prophecies and a pub landlady with an alarming secret. Warm, humorous and unforgettable, the Isle of Larus and its people will steal your heart. One of the most original books you’ll ever read. Available in paperback and e-book formats http://tinyurl.com/olfyskv

 

 

There are further adventures and frights for the people of Larus in the second book in the 12674378_774244496012699_1767352556_nseries, Sea of Clouds. A singer of odd ballads, unusually polite pirates, a message in a bottle and a bald parrot all feature. And can you solve the riddle of the knotted cord? Bet you can’t! Available in e-book formats http://amzn.to/1wYCPH0

The third book in the trilogy, All the Wild Weather, will be published by Crooked Cat later this year.

Kathy Sharp lives in Weymouth, Dorset, and takes her writing inspiration from the beautiful Jurassic Coast. She publishes a new story every Monday morning on her blog https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2728164.Kathy_Sharp/blog

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

This week, I am very happy to welcome, multi published author, Sue Barnard  to the Alternative CV.  

Take a seat Sue, make yourself comfortable and tell me…Sue Barnard Author [381552]

One quality you have which other people who know you might question.

In spite of appearing to have “feminist” views, I’m not a radical feminist – it’s just that I cannot accept that the presence or absence of a certain bodily appendage should make any difference to the way a person is regarded or treated. I’m always reminded of the words of Rebecca West: why should a woman be labelled a feminist simply because she refuses to be a doormat?

 A  fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
Fra’ Lorenzo (my eponymous Ghostly Father) – who is better known as Friar Lawrence in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. I’ve always been fascinated by him, and have often wondered why, in the play, he acted as he did. By giving him what I hope is an interesting and thought-provoking backstory, I’ve tried to offer some possible answers.

One item you would consign to Room 101.
There’s an awful lot of stuff I’d like to consign to Room 101, but top of my list is the degrading and insulting phrase “non-working mother”, when used to describe a mother who stays at home to look after her children. I’d also consign anyone who uses it. Especially politicians.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.
Still in progress!

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
It’s a good friend (and I’d have to agree that for writers it’s an essential rather than a luxury), but a bad enemy – there are some pretty weird people out there!

 Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?

When I’m on holiday, it’s paperback or Kindle. Otherwise, it’s tablet. I like to check the news and weather before I go to sleep. How sad is that?

 One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
A broken necklace. Don’t ask.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
I hope I’ll still be here. Who knows, by then I might have even finished my WIP!

Now, tell me about your recent release, and treat us to a little taster.

TUCOA front [381553]My most recent release, The Unkindest Cut of All, is a murder mystery set in a theatre during an am-dram production of Julius Caesar. I’ve drawn on my love of the theatre and my own experience of am-dram backstage work to create the setting. But the plot and the characters are, I’m happy to say, pure invention!
In the story, the part of Caesar is played by Brian Wilmer, who is the by far the company’s best actor. Unfortunately, he knows this – and he makes sure that everybody else also knows it. As a result, over the years he has made himself extremely unpopular with cast and crew alike.

In this extract, which takes place halfway through performance week, Brian is trying his charms on Sarah, one of the backstage crew (who also plays the part of Soothsayer):

“Drink, Sarah, dah-ling?”
Sarah hadn’t heard Brian approaching as she stood waiting to be served at the bar, and in view of what she’d heard about him the previous evening, she felt more than just a little uncomfortable in his presence. But for the sake of keeping things on an even keel, at least until the end of the run, she turned to face him and forced a smile.
“Thanks, Brian. That’s very kind of you. I’ll have pint of bitter, please.”
“OOOH, a lady who drinks pints?”
Not for the first time, Sarah had to suppress her irritation at having to explain it.
“Yes, I drink pints. I like beer, and there’s no point in my drinking halves. I get very thirsty and they don’t last.”
“Fair point, I suppose, fair lady! And I can’t say I blame you. I’ve worked up a pretty thirst myself. I think I might take a leaf out of your book. Now, you go and find us some seats, and I’ll be right back.”
He strode up to the bar and returned a couple of minutes later with two brimming pint pots.
“Cheers, sweetie!” Brian sat down opposite her, raised his glass and took a swig.
“Cheers. And thank you.” Sarah smiled and returned the gesture.
“That wasn’t a bad audience, for a Wednesday,” Brian went on. “I can’t believe we’re halfway through the run already. How time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!”
“Are you enjoying it?” Sarah asked as she took another sip of her drink. She knew before she asked that it was a pointless question, but all the same it made something to say.
“Am I enjoying it, dah-ling? Tell me, sweetie, is the Pope a Catholic?”
Sarah forced a smile.
“I knew it was a stupid question. Have you done any Shakespeare before?”
Brian’s face creased into a broad grin at the prospect of talking about his favourite subject – himself.
“Oh yes. I started very young, you know. Oddly enough, my first role was in this very play.”
“Really?” Sarah called on her own acting abilities and pretended to look interested. “What part did you play?”
“Lucius. It was a school play. Most of the other parts were played by sixth-formers, but they needed a younger boy to play the servant. It wasn’t a huge part, but it was the first of many. I was well and truly bitten by the acting bug by the end of it.”
“Oh yes? What came next?”
“The following year the school did A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I played Puck.”
“Then what?”
“After that, it was The Tempest. That time I played Caliban. Then the following year it was Hamlet, and I was Polonius.”
“Wasn’t he the one who was stabbed through the arras? I always thought that sounded slightly rude!”
Brian chuckled.
“Then, the following year,” he went on, “the school decided to do Romeo and Juliet.”
“Were you Romeo?” Somehow Sarah could picture Brian playing Romeo (though she couldn’t imagine what it must have been like for Juliet). So his reply came as something of a shock to her.
“No. The producers decided that I would make a much more convincing Tybalt.”
Sarah winced.
“What’s the matter?” Brian asked, with a rare display of concern.
“Sorry. It’s just that I’ve never liked Tybalt. No offence intended,” she added hastily.
“None taken, I assure you, dah-ling! No, I don’t think anyone is supposed to like Tybalt. That’s one of the things which makes him such an interesting character.”
“Really? I’d never imagined it in those terms before.”
“How well do you know the play?”
“Fairly well. I first did it at school. They showed us the Zeffirelli film…”
“Oh yes. That was a real cinematic masterpiece. And it was such a treat to see them played by actors who were the right age!”
“Wasn’t it just?” Sarah agreed.
“Oh yes. Well, anyway, Tybalt is often seen as a one-dimensional character; a troublemaker who hates purely for the sake of hating. Nobody has a good word to say about him…”
Sarah raised an eyebrow. “I know some real people like that!”
“Don’t we all, dah-ling! But elsewhere in the play, we’re told that Juliet loved her kinsman dearly. So he must have had some redeeming qualities, even though the audience never sees that side of him. That was what made him such a challenge to play. I had to somehow find a way of suggesting that he wasn’t all bad.”
“I’d never thought of that,” Sarah answered truthfully.
“No, dah-ling, most people don’t.”
“What did you do after that?”
“Nothing more at school, because that was my final year. But when I went to university I joined the Dramatic Society. In my first year I was Malvolio in Twelfth Night…”
Sarah grinned as a comical picture came into her mind. “Somehow I can imagine you in yellow stockings and cross gaiters!”
“Thank you, sweetie. But there’s a lot more to Malvolio than just some silly legwear! He’s actually quite a complex character. Then in the second year I was Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and in my last year I was Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.”
“Wow! That’s a pretty impressive repertoire.”
Brian smiled. “Thank you, dah-ling. So you see, I’m no stranger to the Bard. But until now I’ve never managed to play the mighty Caesar.”
By now Sarah had had more than enough of Brian’s constant stream of self-glorification. As he paused to take a swig of his drink, she took advantage of the opportunity to change the subject.
“I met your nephew at the dress rehearsal on Sunday.”
“Oh yes, he told me that you’d been very helpful. He was gutted at not being able to come to any of the performances.”
“He mentioned that he was on evening shifts this week.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“What does he do?”
“He’s a chef. He works at the Royal.”
Whatever sort of response Sarah might have been expecting, this was not it.
“Really?”
“Yes, really. Believe me, dah-ling, there are times when it’s very useful to have a tame food expert in the family!”
“I can imagine,” Sarah sighed wistfully. Cooking was definitely not one of her own strong points.
It was not a brilliant reply, but she figured it would suffice. She got the impression that Brian wasn’t really listening to what she was saying anyway. That impression was strengthened by his next remark.
“Talking of Martin, that reminds me, dah-ling. Can I ask you a HUGE favour?”
“You can ask, of course. But I can’t promise to grant it until I know what it is. You might be asking me to do something totally illegal!”
Brian grinned.
“Well, not strictly speaking illegal, but a little, shall we say, unorthodox?”
Sarah took another mouthful of her pint.
“Go on.”
“Well, sweetie, Martin tried to get a ticket for the Saturday performance, but as you know, it’s a complete sell-out. But would it be OK to let him come backstage on Saturday evening and watch from the wings?”
Sarah choked on her beer.
“I’m sorry, Brian,” she said, once she had got her breath back, “but I don’t think that would be up to me. You’d really need to ask John about it. And Alan too – backstage admin is his department, not mine.”
“OK, sweetie pie. I’ll go and have a word with them. But if I do manage to swing it with them, you will look after him for me, won’t you?”
Sarah nodded noncommittally. As Brian flounced off towards where John and Alan were sitting, she realised that this had probably been the reason why he had bought her a drink in the first place. Brian never did anything without some kind of ulterior motive. By the time he reappeared a few minutes later, Sarah’s glass was empty.
“Another drink?”
“No thanks, Brian. I need to get going.” She stood up and reached for her coat. “Did you have any luck?”
“Yes, dah-ling, it’s all settled. So I can leave Martin in your capable hands on Saturday evening. Thank you SO much!”
Sarah had mixed feelings about having Martin left in her capable hands. She had plenty to think about as it was, without having the added complication of having to babysit Brian’s nephew. All the same, the brief conversation she’d had with him on Sunday afternoon had suggested that he seemed a pleasant enough chap. If she could find somewhere for him to sit where he wouldn’t be in anybody’s way, he shouldn’t be any trouble. Unlike his uncle, she thought, with a wry smile. All those Shakespearean performances. No wonder Brian was such a prima donna…

To find out more:
The Ghostly Father: Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple iBooks
Nice Girls Don’t: Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo Apple iBooks
The Unkindest Cut of All: Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple iBooks

And I hope Mr Shakespeare will forgive me for repeatedly hijacking his plots!

I am sure he will Sue.   A very enticing extract ! 

Thanks for being a brilliant guest.

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors

This week I am delighted to welcome UK author Angela Wren to  The Alternative CV.

 Great to meet you Angela and thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for us.

Let’s start with –

AEWBlackWhite Angela Wren

One quality you have which other people who know you might question.

To a lot of people I appear very well organised and focussed with everything in its place and a place for everything. Those people may be surprised to learn that my desk in my ‘Writing Shed’ is a disaster. I know exactly what is on there, of course, it’s just that I can’t be bothered to file it or bin it. Well, you never know when that bit of paper with that random scrap of a note on it might be useful. Oh and the post-it notes. The pad on my desk is covered in post-it notes for exactly the same reason.

A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)

I’m far too much of a realist to do any fantasising, so I don’t have anyone who fits the bill at all. However, I am writing the follow up to Messandrierre at the moment and my hero, Jacques Forêt, is currently my constant imaginary companion. And he’s quite a guy too, tall, dark-haired, French, honest, steely and determined, kind and generous. He’s also been described by one reviewer as ‘quietly sexy’. Actually, I think I’ve just found my first fantasy! Would be good if it were that simple to create such gorgeous guys for real!

One item you would consign to Room 101.

Spiders – all sizes, shapes, designs and colours. I don’t care what they do or if they’re pretty or not – mostly not, in my view – I absolutely cannot stand them and I blame my brothers for this irrationality.

One line that sums up your WIP this week.

One line? Can do that in one word. RATS! (Random Adjectives Temporarily Suspended)

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.

Ditto, but scratch the bit in brackets!

Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?

None of those. I do own a tablet and I do have a Kindle app on there but reading for pleasure from a screen really isn’t something I want to do by choice. It just spells business change and project management work to me. Paperbacks – yes I can handle those and frequently do, but I consider them to be frivolous and temporary reading companions. It’s First Editions that I really get excited about. A beautifully bound book with dust jacket and some amazingly good words inside. Add to that the thrill of the chase to find said book, the DJHangoverSq Angela Wrenrealisation upon discovery and viewing from afar that the book really is the one of your dreams. Then the frisson of anticipation as you espy the spine of your sort after book   across a crowded bookshop. You rush across to introduce yourself and then feel the nervousness as you worry about whether the content will engage your mind and whether the dust jacket is a little too worn or the pages a little too foxed. Then the heart-melting realisation that the book really is for you and you make the purchase. Next, it’s the final journey home and a resting place on the bookshelf, where said tome will live in perfect harmony with you and provide everlasting entertainment. It’s a marriage made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. A book of such calibre is welcome on my bedside table any night of the week!

One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?

Apart from the post-it notes you mean? The Wolseley car decal from the 1920’s. I’ve been researching my family history and one of my ancestors was a Chauffeur Mechanic and he drove a Wolseley A4. I tried to trace the car but couldn’t find it. So my brother bought me the decal from some car boot sale and gave it to me as a consolation prize.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
Hopefully with the whole series of my Jacques Forêt novels on the shelves in bookshops. My anthology of alternative Fairy Tales selling well with probably a follow up in the pipeline. Maybe working on my series of romantic crime novellas featuring Nicolas Cheverny. Negotiating the film rights for Messandrierre? Proud owner of a red Morgan V8 maybe? Who knows!

Tell us a little more about yourself  Angela.

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.

I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

And finally give us a taster of   Messandrierre  which, I notice, has received  great reviews. 

CoverArt A Wren

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.

Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Smashwords
Website : http://www.angelawren.co.uk
Blog : http://www.jamesetmoi.blogspot.com
Facebook : Angela Wren
Goodreads : Angela Wren

 

 

 

The Alternative CV – Quick fire questions for authors.

  • In the chair today UK author of Kindred Spirits Jennifer C. Wilson.

Welcome to The Alternative CV Jennifer, make yourself comfortable and help yourself to  a chocolate digestive.

Now tell me  …

 One quality you have which other people who know you might question.

I’m very cool and collected in genuine emergencies. I’ve got something of a reputation for fussing and faffing, and flapping in “not really emergency emergencies” but in genuine crises, I do come through!

 A fictional character you fantasise over/ fell in love with. (One of your own preferably.)
Well, I was going to say Richard III, but he’s not fictional… I’ll go for ‘James’ in one of my WIPs. He doesn’t have a surname as yet, but he’s a handsome Borderer, and a younger brother to a wastrel of an heir. As odd as it sounds, he came out of a dream I had after watching the final episode of The Last Kingdom, and the idea wouldn’t leave me alone..

One item you would consign to Room 101.
Does ‘reality TV’ count as an item? I don’t even watch it, and it still invades my life, creeping into my guilty pleasure of celebrity news.

 One line that sums up your  ‘work in progress’  this week.
Rejuvenated. I haven’t looked at it since the end of NaNoWriMo, and I even gave up on that half-way through, but this week, I’ve printed out where I am up to now, and started reading it through, so I know where I am, and can see (hopefully) where I’m aiming to go. Then I can start going there!

One sentence that sums up your thoughts about social media.
“When she was good, she was very good indeed, but when she was bad she was horrid.” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

 Kindle, tablet or paperback. Which one do you go to bed with and why?

Well, definitely not a tablet, as I haven’t quite reached that far into the 21st Century, but as for Kindle or paperback, it genuinely depends on what I’m reading. I still love to collect some series in hard-copy, such as Hilary Mantel or Philippa Gregory, but equally, Kindle allows me access to a greater range, and to dip in and out of various genres.

One thing lurking on your writing desk that shouldn’t be there?
Too many to mention! I’m in the middle of a clear-out, and my ‘writing desk’ has been reduced to a dumping ground, whilst I work on the dining table.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years’ time?
Able to class myself as a writer! I would love to have published something else, whether that’s another novel, some poetry, I don’t know, but I do know that this last year has been incredible, and I’m not willing to give it up…

Excellent answers Jennifer!  Judging from the  great reviews  I have seen for Kindred Spirits  I’m sure we will see a lot more of your writing in the future. Now please tell us about your  novel.

KS-ToL-kindered spirits blogKindred Spirits: Tower of London was released by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015, and follows the ‘lives’ of the resident ghosts in the Tower of London. It came about when a poetry competition sparked the idea that the ghosts of Anne Boleyn and Richard III would have a lot in common, and plenty to talk about, and it just grew from there.
Blurb:
A King, three Queens, a handful of nobles and a host of former courtiers…

In the Tower of London, the dead outnumber the living, with the likes of Tudor Queens Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard rubbing shoulders with one man who has made his way back from his place of death at Bosworth Field to discover the truth about the disappearance of his famous nephews.

Amidst the chaos of daily life, with political and personal tensions running high, Richard III takes control, as each ghostly resident looks for their own peace in the former palace – where privacy was always a limited luxury.

With so many characters haunting the Tower of London, will they all find the calm they crave? But foremost – will the young Plantagenet Princes join them?
Links:
International Amazon link: http://authl.it/B016TRKU2A
Blog: https://jennifercwilsonwriter.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/inkjunkie1984

About  :
Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.
Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her debut novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in October 2015.

Black Friday Sale at Crooked Cat Publishing

12246871_10153708078805761_5933708375744583850_nCome and bag yourself a great bargain read. 

 Crooked Cat Publishing are having a bonanza sale  on all their e books 27.Nov.
They have some great books  Take a look 

11846566_946751408701989_4918351381284821063_n rebellious cargoIf you like some romance and adventure. why not take advantage of the Black Friday offer and take  a look at Rebellious Cargo.

Spring 1803. Jane Charlesworth, daughter of England’s foremost code breaker, is the only person thought capable of deciphering a vital government document. But when a naval frigate is sent to enlist her services and transport her to Malta, Jane is horrified. Haunted with terrible memories of an earlier voyage, she has no intention of putting herself under the protection of the Admiralty ever again….. read more   or buy at Amazon

Coming soon… December 18th  –  Only a Hero Will Do  

Hetty Avebury’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can a stuffy ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?

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See  excerpts from  all my books  by visiting my website or  find me on facebook.