Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Summing up 2014

As some of you may remember, in June I set myself a list of goals for the remainder of the year. Shall we take some time to revisit those goals?

1. Tweet!
I definitely achieved this goal. I went from a measly 62 followers to almost 1,100. I'd like to think I've made some twitter buddies, who will continue to support me in 2015 - of course, I will continue to support them too. If you're not currently following me, my twitter is @KatieLThompson1 - please follow, I won't bite :-)

2. Finish Cameron by the middle of October.
Tick. I did this too. Cameron is currently live on Amazon for any of you who fancy a peak. It is the second book in The Snowdon Sister Series, following on from Daisy. 

With her sister, Daisy, about to get married Cameron Snowdon finds herself swamped with wedding preparation. However, not only does she not have time for a new man in her life, she doesn’t want one. After countless breakups Cameron decides to give up on men altogether. They just aren’t worth the hassle… 

Cute, sexy and dependable are just some of the words that Cameron doesn’t want to use to describe Max Runacre, but she soon finds herself falling for the attractive man who is trying to capture her heart. Will Cameron stick to her original plan and give up on men or will she give Max a chance? And how far will she go to protect herself from the inevitable heartache?

3. Win Camp NaNoWriMo for the second time this year.
I set myself the challenge of writing Poisoned Blue, my first murder mystery novel. It turned out that Poisoned Blue did not want to be a full length novel and hence, I started writing a series of murder mystery novellas. My 50,000 word Camp NaNoWriMo challenge - yes I managed the whole 50K - split itself between #1 and #2 of the Jamie Stanley Crime Scene Investigation Series.

#1 Poisoned Blue

Jamie Stanley moves to the middle of the British countryside to take over the role of Detective Inspector. Excited and nervous for her first day at work, she walks into the station to be greeted by less than eager colleagues. Will the murder of a local business woman bring the team closer together?

#2 Deathly White

When a bride is stabbed to death on her wedding day, DI Jamie Stanley and the team are called in. They immediately pluck three suspects from the wedding party of over two hundred guests. Why would anyone want to kill a bride on her wedding day?

4. Finish Poisoned Blue by the middle of October.
Achieved! I also managed to finish Deathly White.

5. Book Signing at WARFARE in November.
A weekend book signing success. The first Jamie Stanley Crime Scene Investigation Series Trilogy went down a treat - and some of the others did well too. Oh yes, trilogy, I'll tell you about #3 later. 

6. Win NaNoWriMo for the second year running.
In November, I introduced you to Casey Adams. Casey is a fourteen year old girl, the central character in my NaNoWriMo 2014 novel. You will be hearing more of Casey in 2015.

So out of my six goals, I managed to achieve all six!
But that's not all.
Below is a list of other achievements.

1. Deathly White
I did not intend to write Deathly White, but since the first book in the series only made 23K, I had to write the second book in the series in order to reach my 50K target for Camp NaNoWriMo July.

2. Multicoloured Death Trap
Book #3 in the Jamie Stanley Crime Scene Investigation Series. I started writing this book in July and finished it in October before publishing it as part of the trilogy which I took with me to the book signing at Warfare.

#3 Multicoloured Death Trap

The death of Melanie Jess Seymour could have been caused by one of four people. When the team are brought in to investigate, it is clear that nothing is quite as it looks at first glace. One thing is for sure, they won’t be able to rest until the case is closed and the murderer is behind bars.

3. Author Page
I finally sat down and read the Terms and Conditions for Author Central and set up an Amazon Author Page. You can see it here.

4. Christmas Short Stories
Last year my Christmas story Sally's Christmas Cupid hit #131 in the free amazon charts. This year I've written four short stories for Christmas. Check the post below for more on these.

Overall, I think the second part of this year has been pretty successful (in terms of writing anyway). Join me tomorrow as I list my writing goals for 2015. In the meantime, why not check out my website for free extracts from all of my books?

Thank you for sticking by me this year.
I hope to see you all in 2015!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

5 Christmas Freebies

It's been a while since I last posted anything, but I hope you'll be able to forgive me. After last Christmas, when my short story Sally's Christmas Cupid rocketed to #131 in the free kindle chart, I decided that I wanted to write another short story for this year. I got a little carried away. This Christmas I have four new stories for you to dig in to.

My four new Christmas stories, along with Sally's Christmas Cupid will be free 24th-26th December. Please download, they're 100% free, and maybe we can smash last year's chart position.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

The new stories are listed in order of length (starting with the longest) and I've added Sally's Christmas Cupid on the end, just in case you've forgotten what it's about. All books are available to download from my Amazon Author Page.

Christmas Mishap
When Hannah's car breaks down the week before Christmas, Chris comes to the rescue. Chris is everything she's ever wished for - tall, dark and handsome. But will his past be too much for her to handle?

Christmas Dreams Come True
Liz has been in love with the same man for two years. Now it's time to move on.

A Christmas to Forget
After her breakup with Jon, Gee can't imagine how her Christmas can be anything but miserable. However, with the help of her two friends, maybe Christmas won't be so bad after all. Who knows what the new year will bring? 

Christmas Without Mum and Dad
When Scarlet's parents drop the bombshell, they're leaving her at boarding school over Christmas, she can't imagine anything worse. But when she finds out that Jason isn't going home for Christmas either, things begin to look up. 

Sally's Christmas Cupid
Sally and Jason have lived next door to each other for three months, and they've never exchanged more than a friendly greeting, but when the postman delivers Sally’s baubles to the wrong address, she gets more than she ordered.

All books are available from my Amazon Author Page.
Wishing you the best Christmas ever!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Revenge Blog Tour

Revenge by Paula Rose
Anaiah Romance

As a job coach, it’s up to Olivia Foster to ensure her clients work in a safe environment, understand their positions, and serve their employer’s mission. The death of her brother drives her career choice, and she loves her job. It remains her only focus until one of her autistic clients goes missing. Then Olivia’s employer ends her position and adds her to the suspect list, but she makes plans to bring the missing young man home.

Meanwhile, Detective Lt. Phillip Landon is deep into second-guessing his career choice, but his well-honed instincts see major flaws inside this missing person’s case. Surprising contacts, mysterious happenings, and threats can turn deadly. Can he keep Olivia safe, protect his heart, remove the job coach from someone’s target list, and adopt a faith he never knew all while adjusting to the new lives of his old family?

Release Date: December 16, 2014
Add it to Goodreads:


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Author Bio:
Paula Rose provides inspiration through Christian romantic suspense stories where "average" families come into extraordinary situations, brushed with life-size strokes of reality and a touch of humor. Born in Philadelphia, she lives in Southern New Jersey with her husband and rescue kitty but often plays amateur photographer in both states.

Author Links: Website: Twitter: Goodreads Paula Rose: Goodreads Revenge: Facebook page: Pinterest: Anaiah Press: profile: Website:

Author Interview

What have you had published? 
An Inspirational Romantic Suspense titled Revenge that releases December 16, 2014.

What genre(s) of book do you write?
I like to write Mystery, Suspense, and Romantic Suspense.

What inspired you to write your first book? 
An old photo starring conveyer belts and one person assisting another brought forth the idea that would become Revenge.

How long did it take you to write “Revenge”?
The story only took a few weeks to draft, but the draft is only just the beginning of my process. Rewrites will often change the characters and move a plot forward.

What is the working title of your next book(s)? 
You’ll laugh at this, but my titles don’t come until the book is completed in rewrites. Why? That answer is easy. My rewrites tend to change the story around and could then change a title. I tend to name my files as I’m working on them after one main character and the type of book it is for instance Revenge during my working stage was aptly named “Oliviaromsusp”.

When and why did you begin writing?
Writing naturally flowed from years of loving to read as a child. I often thought up stories even as a youngster. However, I didn’t actively start to consider this a serious endeavour until much later in life, during my own period of convalesce. It was my husband who encouraged me to write these stories down.

Do you self publish your books or go through an agency? 
I published with Anaiah Press. Anaiah Press is a digital first publisher with a Mighty Presence inside a wonderful family atmosphere.

What part of writing books do you find the hardest? 
The ever changing plot twists.

What do you do in your spare time? 
Amateur photography and reading.

Who is your favourite author?
I don’t have one. I have many! My reading tastes go from Amish to Suspense within Christian Fiction and does include non-fiction and devotionals too.

What’s your favourite genre to read?
Romantic Suspense. However, I do love those Amish reads!

Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Keep writing and reading but focus on more than one genre to find the ones you truly love.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Interview: CJ Heath

The 'real' CJ Heath - rarely seen outside his avatar
What have you had published?
I’ve two books completed.
Dark Angel is a dark fantasy with a touch of romance. Rachael is the main character who is a soul too good for Hell but not pure enough for Heaven. There is a touch of the erotic too it but it’s not overly explicit with most ‘naughtiness’ occurring behind closed doors. Told  in current day London, the story tells of a demon seeking to possess Rachael’s 600 year old soul in order to burn a corridor to Hell and permit all the Spawn to reap havoc in our world. Set against this are the Host of angels, led by Briathos who seek to thwart the demon and if possible, redeem the dark angel. Though it appears as a traditional good versus evil story, the truth is Rachael wishes to be on neither side and wants only to be left to her own devices and pleasures.
The second work is a very different story and more the kind of tale I would like to continue to create; Her Name is James is about an 18 year old boy who returns to the family home after 3 years in care. He is transgender and as he makes the decision to become she, James meets Tina. Tina is a friend from school who announces she has always loved him. The story explores familial conflict but mainly looks at James and his emotional assessment of who he is and where his life is heading, especially with regard to a possible future with Tina.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I enjoy writing fantasy that entertains but my passion is for the authentic, ‘rip your heart out’, coming of age tales. I have to admit, I’m not one to naturally place a book within a single genre. Life doesn’t have one aspect, neither do my stories.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Although Dark Angel is the first published, James was written first. The largest inspiration for that was David Bowie’s song, Rebel Rebel:
                She’s got her Mother in a whirl,
                Not sure if she’s a boy or a girl.
It conjured an idea and I began to research the world of gender identity and found so much pain and love in that community, I wanted to share what I found but I wanted people to understand too.
How long did it take you to write “Her Name is James”?
It’s embarrassing to admit but I wrote James in just 6 weeks. I was dedicating myself to writing full-time in that period and writing James became a compulsion.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I have three on the go at the moment. A sequel to Dark Angel is titled Hell on Earth and there is another trans story currently called She’s Just a Poor Boy that I’m going to put on Wattpad a chapter a time. The third work is one I’m very excited about but has no title as yet. It’s set in 1953 England and is a pained romance between a macho gypsy boy and a soft and meek local lad. Their potential love isn’t going to be easy as aside from their love being illegal, the gypsy culture is a harsh environment. In addition, the fact the gypsy is engaged could prove volatile. Part of me is looking at the title Gypsy Boy but it doesn’t feel right.
When and why did you begin writing?
I remember my parents dropping me at my aunt’s house and my parents and my aunt and uncle went out leaving me with my older cousins, I would have been about 8. One of the amusements was we all went into different rooms to write a story. I wrote something about a werewolf and lost myself in the story. In retrospect I think it was just a way to keep me quiet and out of the way but in those few hours, I discovered I had worlds in my head I could vanish into. That was the start, that imagination amused me for a long time; it still does.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I’m self-published as I originally submitted a story to one single agent and it took so long to hear back, I decided I wasn’t prepared to go through that wait all over again. I may make another approach when my gypsy tale is ready as I’ve not been knocked back for my writing, merely for submitting ‘unsuited genres’.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Staying focussed on one story. I have so many stories burst fully formed into my mind I am tempted to put a current work aside to move on to a new story (which is just what did for decades).
What do you do in your spare time?
Tragically, if I’m not in my employed work, I’m generally at my laptop screen writing. I do have distractions of three grown sons and also, my wife and I make time for ourselves by walking the countryside. And of course, there’s always candy crush.
Who is your favourite author?
Every author has written a book that has let me down a little but the most consistently enjoyed writer I’ve found is David Gemmell. He was an author of traditional fantasy but his characters are so complex and engaging I can fall into his stories and not resurface until the closing page.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I do dip into many genres but my favourite is fantasy such as Terry Brooks, David Gemmell and Storm Constantine. Curiously, the stories I love writing are in genres I’d not read myself.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Set a routine. I have four days out of eight I have no commitments. On those days I’m in front of the laptop before 7am and write until the battery dies. Until I established this routine, I would prevaricate and delay. Days and weeks would pass and I’d produce nothing. Setting myself a specific time to write has given me the discipline I needed. In those two to three hours, I may write 4,000 words, I may write 100 but I know it is my opportunity; I try not to waste that time.
I have much more advice I’d gladly share but the discipline of a routine can’t be under-stated.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank everyone for reading, not just this but books, all books. Any author will still write without a reader but it would be an unrequited love. When we write we put so much of our heart and soul into a story that it becomes a part of us, when you read our tales, you give us meaning.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

"A Very Postal Christmas" by Kelli Sue Landon

Title: A Very Postal Christmas
Author:  Kelli Sue Landon
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Blurb: A Christmas Party is planned for some different postal workers, including a White Elephant gift exchange. Most employees are reluctant to join in, since they are so grouchy, but organizer Angel Noel miraculously gets everyone to gather around the tree, share stories, open gifts, and have some good food. While arguing over each other's gifts, the partiers soon find out that the big boss, Krissy Winters, is dead in her office. She died from blunt force trauma. A champagne bottle to the head is what caused her violent death. 

Rumor has it that Barry Jingles was sleeping with her. Could he be the murderer or is it short-tempered clerk, Ginger Snap? Rolly Jolly and Candie Cane hated Krissy with a passion! Grouchy mail carrier Jack Frost is also a suspect along with Star Spice, the meanest boss around. Which postal nut did it? Investigator Charles Chestnut is called in to solve the mystery!
Kelli Sue Landon is a short story writer and mystery novelist. Her novels include Sudden Moves, Nightmare at Camp Forrestwood, Summer Shack: A Killer Vacation, The Henderson Harbor Killings (Summer Shack Prequel), and Stranded in Time (1970's time travel). She works for the U.S. Postal Service and is from Peoria, IL USA

WebsiteTwitter - @kellisuelandon, Facebook
Amazon link Paperback - $6.99, Kindle - $0.99

1) You had the idea for "A Very Postal Christmas" for two years before you started writing it. Why did you wait so long to start? 
Well, the first year was a totally different story, but had the same characters. I lost all holiday inspiration after Christmas, so I quit writing it.  I switched to a different post office before Christmas 2013 and my new co-workers loved this idea and the more we talked about the funny names and people who I based the characters on, new plot points came up in the conversation. I started it later in December last year again, but stopped because of the holiday inspiration being lost again. Now, this year with the start of Nanowrimo, I started this old idea a third time on Nov 1!  I was determined to get this book out by December!

2) What encouraged you to start writing "A Very Postal Christmas"? 
Everyone at work joked about me writing a book about the post office - so many co-workers have stories in that place. Anything from theft to affairs, they have it at the post office! 

3) Where did the idea for the story come from? 
I figure, what better time to write a story about the post office during the most hectic time of year, when everyone is crazy? LOL!

4) Tell us a little about your favourite character in the book. 
The main character, Angel Noel. She is not based on anyone in real life (only a few of my characters are), but she is the person who does her best to give everyone a good Christmas. From reading about the characters, the reader understands that they never have a good holiday. Angel's name is the perfect name for her character!

5) What do you usually do around Christmas? Do you have any yearly traditions? 
Me and my husband run around all day, going to our families homes. My parents are divorced, so we go to both houses (my mom cooks early), then later, go and visit my husband's extended family (Cousins and aunts) who are all together. We end up eating twice, but the meals are spaced out. The second house, which is my father's, is mainly for visiting. As for my  husband and I, we open gifts that morning that we get each other. HIs mom and dad travel to Texas to see my brother-in-law and his family, so when they get home, we have Christmas with them around New Years Day. It's a busy day, so we are worn out by the time we get home.

Excerpt from book
         Angel and Brandy walked back in from the parking lot after Brandy calmed from the fight. 
         “We’re going to have a Christmas party on Christmas Eve! Isn’t that fun?” Angel told her.
         “Wait a minute,” Brandy stopped walking, “you mean I have to have a party with Cookie?”
         “No, no, Brandy, you don’t have to interact with her. I am going to bring everyone together here in a few, to discuss the whole thing. It will be fun! Something different for us!” She smiled.
         Brandy nodded. “So am I in trouble?”
         “I tell you what. If you go along with this party, you will be fine. I think that’s a good rule for everyone.”
         Brandy sighed. “I guess.”
         “Hey,” Star approached Angel, taking her by her sleeve and leading her toward the break room. “What happened with hot-head Brandy?”
         Angel told her it was just a little spat between girls and explained the party. “She’ll be okay.”
         “I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Cookie was terrified.”
         “Terrified? Come on! It’s just a little crush on Damien.”
         “Angel!” Star clapped her hands together. “This is serious! What if Brandy kills her? That’s how scared Cookie was! She was crying!”
         “Well, we’ll keep them separated. It can’t be that bad. They don’t even interact here. One’s always making labels while the other one is up here in the register room.”
         “We don’t call it that anymore, Angel. It’s the paddle cage.”
         “Whatever. I will take care of it. I think between me and Nicholas, we’ll do okay.”
         “Hey.” Eve approached them. “Are you going into the break room?”
         “Why?” Star asked her.
         Eve shrugged. “I was just going to tell you that I would like to help with the party, Angel. I can’t wait! So exciting!”
         “Thank you Eve!” Angel was thrilled as Star stood there, her mouth agape. “I’m going to call a meeting soon and we’ll discuss the details.”
         Eve left them, as she entered the break room.
         “Now Eve is willing to contribute! Oh Star, I think this might bring everyone together.”
         “In harmony?” Star said with sarcasm.
         Scrooge! Angel thought as Star walked away.