Gordon Bickerstaff Die Every Day Blog Tour

A woman is murdered in a Glasgow city hotel room. Police have everything they need to charge a suspect. Caught at the scene, he confessed, and he’s filled with guilt and remorse. With undeniable evidence; the police expect him to plead guilty.


Rumours suggest the man will plead not guilty and tell his story. If he faces trial, the truth will cause international outrage and the government will fall.
Faceless mandarins in corridors of power are determined he will remain silent.


Lambeth Group agent, Zoe Tampsin, is ordered to make him plead guilty. What she discovers will crush her soul and place her next in line to be murdered.
Who is pulling the strings? What secrets are they hiding?  

How did you get started writing? 

My Dad read Ian Fleming’s books so a combination of reading his books and the movies got me hooked into thrillers and world-changing threats led by megalomaniacs. Over the years, countless times, I’ve read a book and thought, I would have had this happen, I wouldn’t have done it that way. I would have ended it that way. I love a book to a have a good ending so I always have a satisfactory ending. In my books, women are not eye-candy; they are smart and determined main protagonists like Zoe Tampsin who win the day by using their brains to outwit the enemy.

What drew you to write a novel?  

When I was a student in 1973, I attended a seminar given by Tim Dinsdale in which he showed the Rines-Egerton picture as proof of the Loch Ness Monster. After the seminar, I joined my pals for a few drinks and we agreed that although the picture looked good, it was all a load of nonsense. 

Then for months afterwards, I began to wonder what the Americans were really searching for in Loch Ness. Not the monster – that’s a hoax, so it had to be something else, and from that idea I developed the over-arching story for the first three books. Add in another unresolved mystery – why did Rudolf Hess fly single-handed to Scotland during WW2, and I had the foundation of a cracking story.

Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing? 

I like thrillers. I’ve read a lot of Lee Child, Tess Gerittsen, Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci and James Patterson. 

 

When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest? 

I had publisher interest early on but it came down to a simple decision. Give up my job as a university lecturer with mortgage, wife and two small children to become a full-time author. I chose the former but often wonder what would have happened if I’d chose the latter.

 

There are many interesting characters in your novel, do you have a favourite one?

My favourite because I love writing about her is Zoe Tampsin. She is ex-army, Special Forces with a finely tuned skill set for undercover operations. Her nickname is DP (which are the initials of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman). Zoe is the strong female lead who is empowered with the skills and cunning to get the job done. Her boss wrote about her, ‘Zoe Tampsin protects her troop like a lioness protecting her cubs, powerful, determined and completely ruthless.’ When I write about Zoe, I think about Samantha Caine (played by Geena Davis) in the brilliant movie The Long Kiss Goodnight. Readers have likened her to Lisbeth Salander (Stieg Larsson books).

What kind of research have you had to undertake for your novel? 

I trained as a researcher, so I love doing research to give my stories substance. I have no experience of weapons and Special Forces operations, so I have to do the research. I don’t do it before I write, I do the research as and when required e.g. in Die Every Day, one of the characters is heavily involved in drug distribution via county lines, so I did a lot of research on what it was like for a young person to be trapped in that business.

Are the characters in your books based on any real life? 

Every character has elements in them of people I know or have known from family, friends and former work colleagues. But taken to extreme with names changed to protect the innocent.

Do you see any of your character’s personality traits in yourself and vice versa?

There are elements of actual me, who I would like to be, who I think I should be, who I will never be, who I’d be if I were female, and who I might be in another dimension or parallel world. I have been asked if character Gavin Shawlens is me? We share many things in common but he is most definitely not me!

If you can, would you give us a sneak peek into any future novels you might have.

Interesting question. Die Every Day was recently reviewed by KJ Simmill bit.ly/31P6yFK She has read between the lines because her final comment is telling; ‘Action, secrets, loyalty, desperation, and betrayal will keep you on the edge of your seat as things go from bad to worse with seemingly no reprieve. I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the next book when it comes out, if there is one.’ Is it time to start a new story? Time will tell.

 

If you had the opportunity to write a novel with any crime writer alive or dead, who would it be and why? 

Ian Fleming. We both like to put out main protagonists in seemingly impossible situations and then have to come up with ever more imaginative ways to get them out. I love the challenge and I think he would. I could put them in the situation and he could get them out!

Do you have words of advice you can share with anyone who is interested in writing a novel? 

Keep a small notebook and pen with you at all times. Ideas come into the mind at odd times. Once, I was in a theatre enjoying the show when an idea for a new scene I’d been working on earlier in the day suddenly dropped into my mind. For the rest of the evening, I had to keep bringing the idea to the front of my mind to keep it there. With a notebook and pen, I could have scribbled down the detail during the interval and then enjoyed the rest of the show. Lesson learned. 

Stephen King said, Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well’. I write to enrich my life, and hopefully add a little to others who read my books.

Die Every Day Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WGPWHN8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gordon-Bickerstaff/e/B008KK5Q9W/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Blog

https://gordonbickerstaff.blogspot.com/?fbclid=IwAR1BettrCjSU-1P1pEpHzR_kgwDutofXGQpwakCfvaZdjftEEm3i5DcKQIo

Twitter: @GFBickerstaff

 

 

Tana Collins Dark is the Day Blog Tour

 

Dark is the Day blurb

DI Jim Carruthers has to put his personal feelings for newly- appointed DCI Sandra McTavish aside when a young student is brutally attacked and left for dead.

 

Meanwhile, when a university lecturer is stalked by one of her own students, Carruthers is horrified to discover that the academic is none other than his ex-wife, Mairi.

 

Are the attacker and stalker one and the same, and if so, will Carruthers’ ex-wife be next?

 

When a second then a third victim is found, not only dead but mutilated, Carruthers and his team are tasked with searching for a murderer. A murderer who takes great pleasure from killing.

 

What is the victims’ connection to a cult in North America, which seems to be getting a stranglehold in a Scottish university? Why have these women been targeted? And who is doing the killing?

 

It looks like there might be a serial killer on the loose in Castletown but can DI Jim Carruthers stop this depraved murderer before they strike again?

 

The inspiration behind ‘Dark is the Day’, Book 4 in the Jim Carruthers series

Thirty years ago I met a young man called ‘Graham’. ‘Graham’ isn’t his real name. Thankfully for me he wasn’t a serial killer but he was many other things. While he was attractive, intelligent and eloquent he was also a deeply disturbed individual who was both manipulative and cruel.

 

It has taken me nearly 30 years to be able to tell this story, the seeds of which lie in some particularly unpleasant true events; some of which occurred while I was at university. This story is about many things: vulnerability; weakness; cruelty; obsession and love.

 

How vulnerable young people can be when they go off to college for the first time; how weakness and love can be seized upon by the cruel and obsessive; how a troubled past can drive a person to seek the security of a dangerous cult, although to this day it is still debated whether Objectivism, the movement started by Ayn Rand, is indeed a cult. As I said at the start ‘Graham’ wasn’t a serial killer. However, having spent time with ‘Graham’, it did get me wondering what it would take to push people like him into being one and how individuals actually do become serial killers – and at its core is the age old question of nature verses nurture.

 

Many, many years later, to my surprise, I became a crime writer. And this former student of thirty years ago must still be on my mind because ‘Dark is the Day,’ the 4th book in the Inspector Jim Carruthers series, was born and it was inspired, in part, by the ‘Grahams’ of this world.

The Prologue of ‘Dark is the Day’

 

Tuesday: about 3pm

Hearing footsteps behind her, she clutches her canvas bag tighter to her chest. As she picks up her pace she feels the moisture of sweat on her hands and tastes it on her top lip. A sudden sense of claustrophobia comes over her in this dark, cobbled, medieval alley with its high stone walls. The light barely penetrates here and everything is in shadow. Her heart hammers in her chest. It is almost painful.

Greyfriar’s Wynd is empty except for her and the person behind her. She is wearing red wedge sandals but can still hear the other person’s footfall, measured and deliberate. All her senses are on alert. Why did she take this short cut? She descends three worn steps quickly. She always takes this short cut from the library, that’s why, and nothing has ever happened before. But she’s never been followed before. And with the recent news of that girl being attacked, what is she thinking?

She doesn’t dare turn round. She can’t. She stops abruptly and the footsteps behind her stop. Hairs prick up on the back of her neck. She hears a strange tuneless whistling. She feels a sudden shiver. Panic threatens to overwhelm her. She tries to scream but can’t. She can’t turn back, there’s nowhere to hide, so the only option is to keep going forward. Thank God, she’s not wearing heels, although the wedge sandals are bad enough on cobbles.

A sudden noise behind her. The sound of heavy shoes. Oh my God. The man is running. She starts to run too, cursing as her tight denim skirt impedes her progress. Why does she think it’s a man? He’s getting closer. He’s closing the gap quickly. She can hear his breathing, smell his sweat. She’s a fast runner, but not in this skirt. Another couple of seconds and she knows she’s not going to be able to outrun him. A large hand grabs her shoulder, swings her round. Her shoulder bag slips to the ground, the contents spilling out.

It is then that she sees the mask and the knife.

Tana Collins is now a UK Amazon Top 10 bestselling author of the Inspector Jim Carruthers series set in the picturesque East Neuk of Fife. She was born in Yorkshire but grew up in rural East Sussex where she spent most of her childhood running around in woods creating stories and having adventures. She did a BA at the Polytechnic of North London before moving to Canada to do a Masters in Philosophy and then finally an MPhil at St Andrews. In 1996 she moved to Edinburgh which is where she still lives.

Her debut novel, Robbing the Dead, set in fictional Castletown in Fife, was published on 14th February 2017 and became an Amazon No 1 Bestseller for Scottish Crime Fiction. The follow up in the series, Care to Die, was published 1st June 2017 also to critical acclaim

More Books in the Jim Carruthers Series

1. Robbing the Dead

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N6Z7SDH/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i2

 

2. Care to Die

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071SDPGNH/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

3. Mark of the Devil

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07C338LWM/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

 

Links

Author Amazon Page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tana-Collins/e/B06X3Q4HBH/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Amazon Link for Dark is the Day

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07R5PVZWR/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Website

https://tanacollins.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Tana-Collins-490774634440829/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/TanaCollins7?lang=en

Publishers

https://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/authors-1/2018/10/9/tana-collins

Jackie McLean Run Blog Tour

 

 

RUN THE GAUNTLET
DI Donna Davenport and her team are under pressure.

With the hunt on for the country’s most notorious cop killer and an ongoing complex international investigation, the murder of a local thug during a football match is the last thing the police need.

But as more incidents overload the police, and fear brings vigilante mobs onto the streets, suspicion grows that the mayhem is being orchestrated.

CUT AND RUN
One man can make it stop. With the city heading towards chaos and disaster, Donna prepares to abandon caution and the rules, even if it means she is ostracised by her own team.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07Y3ZLK4V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Jackie’s influences when writing Run

RUN is part three in the DI Donna Davenport series, which began with TOXIC. I wrote TOXIC mainly because I wanted to write a book set in my home town (Arbroath), but as it progressed, I realised I was going to have to leave it on something of a cliffhanger. By then I already had some of the elements of the second book (SHADOWS) in mind, and knew it wasn’t going to be the right place to resolve that ending. However, I didn’t want things to drag on – I don’t like that myself as a reader – so I decided to write the third book with the sole purpose of bringing it all to a conclusion.

Having said that, I did have one stipulation before I started writing RUN: I wanted the opening murder to take place at Arbroath Football Club. I contacted the Club to check that they’d be okay with that (crime writers often have to make bizarre requests), and I was delighted at their very positive response. In fact, they invited me to attend on a match day, and to bring my notebook with me for a wander around behind the scenes. They even made the suggestion that perhaps my victim could be the referee…

The excerpt here is set in the Ethie Woods, which sit directly across the road from the house I used to live in. One of my household tasks was to walk the dog there, and I often felt there was something creepy about them. I wonder if this comes across in the book?

Excerpt from RUN

The Ethie Woods lay off the east side of the A92, just two miles out of Arbroath heading towards Montrose.  It would normally be pitch dark out here at this time, being well away from the town’s streetlights, and with only a couple of houses tucked away on the other side of the road and set well apart.  There were few signs of activity to give away the existence of the nearby tiny hamlet of Marywell, or of the farms in the surrounding area.

Despite the road being single carriageway, it was the main route for long distance truckers going between Aberdeen and all routes south.  It didn’t take much for the route to become snarled, and by the time Donna and Alice approached, a line of police and other vehicles were snaked along the coned-off northbound road.  Their blue lights, flashing silently, obscured any view there might have been of the night sky.  The thrum of idling emergency vehicles provided a steady soundtrack to the trucks that were following the white-capped traffic cop’s directions, passing north and south, one at a time.

Donna glared at a lorry driver who leaned out of his cabin window to gawp at the scene on the other side, and flicked her head, indicating for him to get a move on.

The traffic cop halted the flow of trucks to let Donna and Alice cross the road to the woods.

PC McClure was standing there, wearing a heavy overcoat and enormous gloves, like goalie gloves.  Donna found herself wondering if he’d nicked them from the McKinnes murder scene, but pushed the thought away again just as quickly.  He was stamping his feet, and breath clouds blew from his mouth.  As soon as he saw Donna and Alice, he used his teeth to remove one of the gloves, and fished his notebook from a pocket to record the fact of their entering the crime scene.  Behind him was the head of a rough track that quickly disappeared from view as it plunged into the darkness of the woods.  To his left and right, yellow police tape trailed across the trees that lined the roadside.

“Follow the crowd, Detective Inspector,” he said, indicating a spot further into the woods, where the vague outlines of human shapes created the illusion of movement amongst the dark, bare trees.

A cloying, sickly sweet smell seemed to cling to the trees as Donna and Alice picked their way along the dirt track, crunching their way through dried leaves and bracken, careful to step over the gnarled roots that veined the way.

On reflex, Donna brought tissues from her pocket and covered her mouth and nose, as she would do at a post mortem.  She noticed Alice doing the same.  The smell, now like burning rubbish, found its way through the tissue, and it was all Donna could do to stop herself from gagging as the noxious air reached for her taste buds.

Just as the stench threatened to overpower, she and Alice found themselves at the backs of a team of blue-clad forensics personnel.  One of them turned round, alerted to the arrival of the two officers.  Donna saw that he recognised her from the murder scene at the football club.  He nodded to her, trying to form a smile, but the grim line his mouth made only served as a warning of the horrific scene she was about to look at.  He allowed her to peer past him and lean in for a look.

“Oh, dear God,” she heard Alice at her shoulder.

Jackie writes crime fiction, and spies on people in real life for ideas and inspiration…

She lives in Glasgow and has a varied background, including being a government economist, a political lobbyist, and running a pet shop in Glasgow’s Southside (ask her anything about pets). She currently works with East Ayrshire Council, where until recently her job involved frequent visits to Kilmarnock Prison.

Toxic is her first crime novel, introducing DI Donna Davenport, and was shortlisted in the Yeovil Literary Prize before publication by ThunderPoint Publishing Ltd.
The sequel, Shadows, was published in October 2017, and
Her third book in the DI Davenport series (Run) was published in October 2019.

Jackie has appeared at crime writing festivals Newcastle Noir, Crime at the Castle and Literally @ Newbattle, and regularly appears at Noir at the Bar events (including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Dundee and Dunfermline). She also forms part of the Dangerous Dames and Murder & Mayhem along with a number of other crime writers, and has appeared at events in libraries and bookstores across Scotland as part of these.

Until recently, Jackie ran the writing group at Waterstones Braehead, and has also run creative writing sessions with the men in Kilmarnock Prison.

 

More Books in the DI Donna Davenport Series

1. Toxic

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00MYOKGSG/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

2. Shadows

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B075XKMG7L/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Links

Website: https://jackiemcleanauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterJackie/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieJamxx

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B077GQBY1Y

 

 

 

There’s been a murder interview with Val Penny

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ Hunter’s Revenge and Hunter’s Force are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood, follows shortly.

 

1. How did you get started writing?

I have always enjoyed telling stories, reading and writing. However, I started writing my first novel when I was recovering from cancer. I found chemotherapy and radiotherapy debilitating and could not undertake many of the activities I enjoy. I could not travel, as I had to stay close to the hospital treating me. I could not swim due to risk of infection at the pool and I could not go for walks because the fatigue I suffered was extreme. What was left? Watching day-time television, which gets old very fast or reading. I have always read voraciously, and luckily, I was still able to do that. As I became a little better, I started my blog www.bookreviewstoday.info to review the books I read.

 

2. What drew you to write a novel

Happily my recovery continued. I was still too poorly to do much but felt good enough to get bored. It was then that Handsome Hubby said in exasperation, “If you know so much about what makes a good book, Why don’t you write one!” Thus Hunter’s Chase was born.

 

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?

I write police procedurals and chose to write that genre because it is the type of story I most enjoy reading. Authors writing this type of novel include Ian Rankin, Val McDermott and Mark Billingham. I do think it is important for writers to read widely within and outwith their own genre. I believe everything you read improves style, vocabulary and pace. I have been very lucky to have had support from gifted and successful mentors within the writing industry including Peter Robinson who writes the DCI Banks series; Erin Kelly who write psychological thrillers and Michael Jecks who writes the historical Templar series.

 

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?

I knew very little about the publishing industry before I completed my first novel. The one thing I did know was that there was no point sending my manuscript of a crime novel to publishers or agents who were closed to submissions or only interested in romances, sci-fi or historical novels. So I checked out independent publishers who would accept a manuscript direct from the author, open to submissions and interested in my genre. I also made sure that I followed the guidelines they required. This maximised my chances of the publisher expressing interest.

 

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?

I like Hunter; I can trust him. However, I think my favourite character is Jamie Thomson. He is a bad boy with a good heart and is always getting into trouble. I like his cheeky sense of humour too.

 

6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novel?

The main research I have to do is looking into drug trafficking and how to commit murder. I hope nobody every looks at my internet history!

 

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?

I think everyone is influenced by everybody they meet and each experience they have. So while I may have encountered the some of the types of people who inhabit my novels, each of the characters is fictional and definitely not based on real life.

 

8. Do you have a particular favourite scene in the book and why.

I have favourite scenes in each book, but in my most recent book, Hunter’s Force, I do like the scenes where Hunter has to fight for his life when he is caught and bundled into a car.

 

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?

I have heard that each author must struggle to create their characters and ensure each one acts as theywould act and not as the writer themselves would act. I write full biographies for each of my characters to try to ensure that I avoid this trap.

 

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you might planned.

I have recently finished the fourth novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mystery Series: it will be Hunter’s Blood and centres around mysterious deaths in an Edinburgh Hospital. My website is to be found at www.authorvalpenny.com

 

11. If you had the opportunity to write a novel with any writer alive or dead, who would it be and why

I do not think I would like to co-write a novel with anybody! I think I am too possessive about my work. I know that there are very successful writing duos like Nicci French and more recently Ambrose Parry. Both of these are husband and wife teams – however, I do not think I could cope with the restrictions of writing with somebody else, especially Handsome Hubby!

 

12. Do you have words of advice you can share with anyone who is interested in writing a novel.

Persevere! Writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint and many people get stuck at around 20-25,000 words. But if you plan your story in advance, know your characters well and just keep writing – you too can write a novel.

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course.

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough.

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series

 

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is avenged.

DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold.

Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense?

Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify George’s killer.

When a new supply of cocaine from Peru floods HMP Edinburgh and the city, the courier leads Hunter to a criminal gang, but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough, and local gangster, Ian Thomson, to make his case.

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.

Hunter’s Revenge is the second in Val Penny’s gripping crime series featuring DI Hunter Wilson.

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature.

Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted?

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son. Cameron’s flatmate was murdered. Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city?

Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation due to the reorganisation of police services. Hunter’s ability to be involved, however, is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing, and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks?

Meanwhile, Hunter’s team must work closely with the MIT, with or without him, to solve the murder in this taut crime thriller.

 

Author contact details

http://www.authorvalpenny.com

http://www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

http://www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

 

Author buy links

myBook.to/HuntersChase

myBook.to/HuntersRevenge

mybook.to/huntersforce

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Val-Penny/e/B07C4725TK/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1