HomicIdes of March Big Book Giveaway

Well it’s only been 5 days since Black Wood was released into the wild, and I’m delighted that it’s already broken into the kindle top 50…

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…and it’s a Number 1 Bestseller in both Scottish Crime and Vigilante Justice, and #2 in Psychological Thrillers – next to my release day twin, Louise Voss 🙂

Susi & Louise

Susi & Louise

Thank you all for buying it – and thank you to those who’ve already read it and either sent me lovely messages or left me an Amazon review (currently rated as 4.8 with 11 reviews). I am still terrified every time someone tells me they’ve started reading it, but am delighted that the reaction so far has been very positive!

Also – for anyone who ordered the paperback – it appears that Amazon are fulfilling their pre-orders right now, and some people have already received the book! It’s not officially released until 19th March, with my launch on Wed 18th at Waterstones Chiswick (and the following week, Thurs 26th, in Waterstones West End, Edinburgh)  – I can’t wait!

Now, I’ve got news about TWO giveaways… Firstly, if you’d like to win a signed copy of Black Wood, you can enter HERE (closes on Wed 4th March)… and Secondly, if you’d like to win a copy of Black Wood plus 40, yes *40* other fantastic crime thrillers, then you need to click HERE (closes 31st March – and if you get your friends to enter, you get an extra entry for yourself). I’ll say it once more… WIN Black Wood plus 40 other thrillers – in paperback – delivered straight to you!

Good luck!homicides-of-march-shareable

Black Wood eBook Release

It’s here…

Last night I stayed up late, reading the brilliant serial killer debut Normal by Graeme Cameron on my kindle. But at 11:57, I opened the library and waited… and waited… and at 00:04, this appeared…

*Gulp*

There’s no going back now!

Thanks again to all who pre-ordered – I really hope you enjoy it. If you’d like to leave a review (e.g. Amazon, Goodreads etc) or you want to tell me what you thought via email, then please do. Books are nothing without readers… and as a new author, I would love to know if you enjoyed reading Black Wood as much as I enjoyed writing it 🙂

The eBook already has 2 5* reviews, is currently hovering close to the kindle top 100, and has already reached #1 in ‘Scottish Crime’ and ‘Vigilante Justice’ subcategories – very exciting!Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.53.01

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Have a look here for articles and Q&As this week.

The Venus Trap by Louise Voss #review

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 17.27.38With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, what better than to share my thoughts on a fantastic psychological thriller of obsession and unrequited love?

Here’s the blurb: 

Jo Atkins’ sixteenth year was disastrous: she lost her dad, was assaulted by a stranger, and then had her heart broken. For the last twenty-five years, she’s believed that nothing could ever be as bad again.

She was wrong.

Now, still smarting from her recent divorce, pretty, self-effacing Jo finally gathers the courage to enter the dating scene. She meets Claudio, whom she vaguely remembers from her youth, but after a few dates decides he’s creepy and politely tells him ‘thanks but no thanks’.

But Claudio has no intention of letting her go.

Instead of never seeing him again, Jo wakes up sick and terrified, handcuffed to her own bed. She is given a week to prove her love for Claudio—or he will kill her.

Claudio, it turns out, is a man with nothing left to lose…

And what did I think? Well, firstly, thank you to the author – the lovely Louise Voss – and the publisher for the review copy via Netgalley.

This is the first of Louise’s solo novels I’ve read, and I did wonder how it would differ from those written with her co-writer, Mark Edwards. I’m not sure what comparisons can be made, other than to say that both authors produce very well written, engaging stories that pull you in and keep you there. The main difference, I’d say, is that this is much more of a woman’s book, in many ways (not to say that men couldn’t learn a thing or two from it about what NOT to do!) In The Venus Trap, there is a lot of talk of past dating disasters and the main character, Jo, narrates these in the midst of her current biggest disaster – a date that has led to her being kidnapped and imprisoned in her own home by a man she vaguely remembers from school.

Her tormentor tries to torture her into loving him.

As things unravel, we start to work out what has made him act like this, and through the schoolgirl diaries of Jo, we get a beautiful, if tragic, story of her past loves, her difficult teenage years and what has shaped her into the woman she is. Voss has a knack for capturing the teenage angst with brilliant, often dark humour. There are many excellent turns of phrase and proper laugh out loud moments, in both teenage Jo and adult Jo’s accounts, and the dark side of her current situation is neatly and believably handled. This is one of those books that you’ll want to recommend to your friends, so much of it is relatable – especially for anyone who has suffered the perils of the dating scene.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

ALSO… as The Venus Trap is released on 24th February, which is the same date as the eBook release of Black Wood, Louise and I will be collaborating and chatting over at LizLovesBooks.

Don’t miss it!!

21 days to go…

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 13.18.48I can barely sleep. I am suffering from nausea, shaking and abject terror. The fear has struck! And no, it’s not a side-effect of doing dry January (note: I didn’t do dry January… everything in moderation. Except at book launches.)

Yes, the time has come, well, almost. The eBook of BLACK WOOD comes out in 21 days. TWENTY ONE DAYS. 504 hours. Less, actually, as anyone who has pre-ordered on Amazon will get the book auto-delivered at 00:00… in under 492 hours.

The palpitations have started.

Please send calming thoughts.

Black Wood has a cover!

While I’ve been busy working on my edits from my lovely editor, Karyn at Black and White Publishing (who misses NOTHING, by the way – but that’s another story…) the designers have been working their magic on my cover… I can’t even express how much I love this cover! The woods… the yellow… the font… the creepy little girls…

I’ve had some fantastic review quotes already, and I am so happy with the one that’s been used on the front – it fits the book perfectly! Thank you Fergus and thank you to everyone who’s read an early copy and told me how much they enjoyed it. It’s a scary thing, letting people read your first novel, but I suppose I better get used to it 🙂

Can’t wait to see it in the bookshops… roll on March 2015!

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Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes #review

First off, although this is Elizabeth Haynes’ third published novel, it’s the is the first of her books that I have read (despite having all three in my teetering to-be-read pile…) Something about the title and the premise sold it to me… I’ve often ‘joked’ that one of my neighbours could be dead because I don’t see them for weeks, even months on end; and despite that fact that we don’t really get on, I wouldn’t particularly like to be faced with her putrefying corpse. Her noisy husband though, well, that’s another story… Anyway – here’s the blurb:

How well do you know your neighbours? Would you notice if they lived or died?

Police analyst Annabel wouldn’t describe herself as lonely. Her work keeps her busy and the needs of her ageing mother and her cat are more than enough to fill her time when she’s on her own. But Annabel is shocked when she discovers her neighbour’s decomposing body in the house next door, and appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed her absence.

Back at work she sets out to investigate, despite her police officer colleagues lack of interest, and finds data showing that such cases are frighteningly common in her own home town.

A chilling thriller and a hymn to all the lonely people, whose individual voices haunt the pages, Elizabeth Haynes new novel is a deeply disturbing and powerful thriller that preys on our darkest fears, showing how vulnerable we are when we live alone, and how easily ordinary lives can fall apart when no one is watching.

* * *

What did I think of it? Three words… terrifying, intriguing, realistic.

The story is told through the eyes of Annabel, a police analyst who feels shunned by her colleagues and with no one but a demanding elderly mother to look out for her. The thing about Annabel is that a lot of what she experiences is really down to herself, and it becomes clearer later on that she is an attractive, engaging person who others want to interact with – but by not believing in herself, she’s fulfilled that horrible cliche of ‘if you don’t love yourself, then you can’t expect anyone to love you’. One thing she is confident about though, is her job – and the realism of her investigative skills without turning her into a Jessica Fletcher parody is what really impressed me about this character.

The story is also told through the eyes of an altogether unsavoury chap called Colin… who can’t be called anything other than a complete wanker (sorry, you’ll need to read the book to get the full enormity of this reference). I was fascinated by Colin. His motivations, his emotional stuntedness, and more than anything his ‘technique’. It’s certainly made me far more interested than I was in Neuro-Linguistic Programming!

There are other characters’ POVs too, but I don’t want to say any more as I think it will spoil it. All I’ll say is this: if you look up ‘Psychological Thriller Author’ in the dictionary, you’ll find a photo of Elizabeth Haynes right at the top.

Brilliant.