Category Archives: romantic suspense

It’s National Book Lovers Day!

Today is National Book Lovers Day!

National Book Lovers Day
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

How will you celebrate, participate?

This year on National Book Lovers Day, I currently have two books on the go – one fiction, one non. Thunder Bay by Douglas Skelton is a crime novel set in Scotland.

The non-fiction is Marketing Matters by Wendy H Jones. Right now, I need all the help I can get in this department.

In addition to reading, I’m also working on Book 3 in my It Happened series set in the village of Percé on the Gaspé Peninsula of the province of Quebec.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, I’ve struggled with writing, but my reading has flourished. According to my 2020 Goodreads challenge, I’m nine books ahead of schedule. That should give you an idea of how I’ve been spending much of my spare time.

Some of these books were already on my TBR (to be read) list having languished on my shelves or Kindle for some time. Others were new purchases that I just “had” to get. Still, others were review copies.

What to read?

There are many genres out there to choose from – crime, romance, erotica, YA, memoirs, creative non-fiction, and the list goes on.

All these main genres have a multitude of sub-genres as well, so there is something out there for everyone’s taste in reading.

I write romance, primarily, although YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS has a psychological thriller element included. It’s probably my darkest work yet. I remember when I was having the computer read it back to me, my husband entered my ‘writing cave’, and the particular segment scared him. I guess I nailed the creepy, unnerving bit.

You can check out all my books on the novels page on my website. Perhaps, you’ll find a little something to your liking.

What format do you prefer to read?

Are you a hardcover fan? Paperback (trade size or mass market)? E-book (kindle, kobo, nook, or other)? Or do you read from a combination of all of the above?

Leave a comment staying what your favourite genre and format is. I’d love to hear your thoughts and preferences.

5 ebook copies of YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS up for grabs

5 ebook copies

5 ebook copies up for grabs!

I’m a guest on Marie Lavender‘s blog today, and I’m giving away 5 ebook copies of my romantic suspense/psychological thriller.

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS recently won a silver badge in the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards.

This is what the book is about…

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment, her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled, but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

 

Excerpt

~ 1 ~

31st December, 2010

He stepped out from the entrance of the Vue Cinemas. One day she would be his. But not today. Now was not the right time. He was not ready. No instructions came from within his brain. The voices hadn’t spoken to him yet. Only when they did, would the time be right.

In the month since his arrival, he spent hours at the Central Library searching through the city directories to confirm ownership of As the Pages Turn. The business had not changed hands. In addition to those, he perused back issues of The Press and Journal on microfilm for more information about the shop and its owners.

The streets were busy tonight. A group of giggling young women, their skirts too short, and their heels too high, wearing far too much makeup, walked past his hiding place forcing him to retreat further into the shadows. Any one of these girls could be his, but his heart was set on the one with the fiery red tresses. The owner of the bookstore.

Captivated by her beauty, he emerged from the darkness and started across the street, careful not to be seen by the CCTV camera. He crept to the corner of the casino building giving the video surveillance a wide berth.

Back garden fireworks popped and banged. The occasional starbursts of red, green, blue and white rose above the buildings. One, louder than the others made him jump – so nearby it could have been set off beside him. Aberdeen’s official display wouldn’t start until midnight. The clock, barely visible over the rooftops read fifteen minutes to six.

His threadbare overcoat was useless in this cold, damp night air. He rubbed his hands up and down his upper arms in an attempt to warm himself but the action only provided temporary relief.

He pressed himself against the back wall under the shelter of the roof. He could see her clearer. No one could notice his interest in her.

Oblivious to his presence, she carried on as usual. Just the way he wanted. She couldn’t be aware of him. Not now. Not yet. He was the invisible man, skulking in the gloom a short distance from her store. Just beyond her vision. He didn’t exist to her, as it had to be for now. But the day would come and she would be the first to know when he was ready to reveal himself.

This book contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended, so bear this in mind when entering the giveaway. If that’s not your cup of tea, you likely won’t enjoy the book.

You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on Marie’s blog or here for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you aren’t lucky enough to win a copy in the giveaway, here are the buy links for kindle and kobo.

kindle

Kobo

 

 

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR & IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Award-winning author. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. I certainly don’t feel like an award-winning author, but then how are you supposed to feel? Yet, here’s the proof — the silver badge.

award-winning author

In the beginning, the cover didn’t fit the genre, so I tarted it up on the ebook version because it was the easiest. The plan was to wait until closer to the next print run before putting the full cover wrap on it (which has been done with the award gracing the front – same as the ebook).

award-winning author

And further proof that I’m an award-winning author. Bang, right there on the cover. So why don’t I feel comfortable shouting it out to the world that I’m an award-winning author? Why do I feel like a fraud?

Ah, that’s the dreaded imposter syndrome.

I was so excited when the announcement I was a recipient of a silver badge. I shouted out the fact my book was a silver medalist – not me. But, if I didn’t write the book, it wouldn’t have received the award.

It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation, don’t you think?

Maybe, I’m merely feeling sorry for myself because my book sales have been flat thus far in 2020. Flat to the point of being non-existent. More fuel to the imposter syndrome feelings.

Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? If so, how did you overcome it?

 

 

A warm welcome to 2020! What will you do in the new year?

welcome 2020

A warm welcome to 2020!

By the time this post goes live, I’ll be long since asleep. Thank goodness for the ability to schedule, so before I fall asleep, I wish a warm welcome to 2020!.

I’m not much of a night owl anymore. I prefer early to bed and early to rise. Those few hours when the house is quiet allow me to formulate ideas for my books, which is best done while working something ‘mindless’ like jigsaw puzzles online. I love doing them, and usually, during the process, I come up with some crackers!

My 2019 achievements

2019 was a great year for me. I crossed an item off my bucket list – train trip to and from Vancouver on The Canadian.

On our return trip, the idea for a children’s book came to me and All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! came to be. Currently, it’s only available in paperback from me, but in the new year, I plan on getting it formatted for kindle and kobo.

Something that is unheard of for me is I released two books in 2019. The above-mentioned children’s book and the second in my It Happened Series – It Happened in Gastown.

My crowning achievement, YESTERDAY TODAY AWAYS, received a silver Recommended Read Badge in the mystery/thriller category!

a warm welcome to 2020

So now that I’ve given you the highlights of 2019, let’s give a warm welcome to 2020!

I’m hoping to cross another item off my bucket list – The Ocean from Montreal to Halifax. That way I can say I’ve travelled across Canada from coast to coast by train.

Book three in the It Happened Series (It Happened at Percé Rock) takes place in the Canadian province of Québec on the Gaspé peninsula in the quaint village of Percé. A time-honoured tradition is to walk to the rock and back from the mainland at low tide. Needless to say, that event features heavily in the story.

Unfortunately, my characters aren’t cooperating at the moment and not talking to me. I have the plot outlined (sort of). Actually, I think they’re miffed at me because this was supposed to be book two in the series, but got shuffled back.

The idea for a third time-travel book featuring Sarah Shand, so perhaps it will be my 2020 release.

What are your plans/goals for 2020?

 

 

Silver Badge “Recommended Read”

Wow! I’m so excited. YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS won a Silver Badge “Recommended Read” in the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards!

silver badge

Isn’t it gorgeous? It looks even better on the cover, don’t you think?

silver badge

I must admit, I didn’t think I won anything because the email didn’t come in early this morning, like the announcement that I moved on to Phase 2 did.

You can imagine my surprise when I checked the mail on my iPhone, and there was the news. Well, let me tell you, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

The next stage begins on January 15th, 2020.

That is the date Author Shout begins the following benefits of my silver badge.

Promotion – YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS will receive six months of promotion in which it will be featured as a Silver Badge “Recommended Read Reader Ready” book in its category on their website, shared across all of their social media platforms and featured spots in the newsletter.

Graphics Pack – YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS will receive a “Silver Badge Recommended Graphics Pack” consisting of a 3D book cover mockup, teaser banners, animated teaser banners, and a book teaser video all with my Silver Badge on my book cover.

Author Teach Access – I will receive six months of free access to Author Teach (http://authorteach.com/). Author Teach is a members-only community of authors teaching authors with a focus on sharing tips, tools, techniques, resources, and networking opportunities.  My six months of access to Author Teach will include a featured author interview, my very own landing page inside the community, access to a private Facebook group, and more.

Blurb and buy links

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

It contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

kindle

Kobo

B&N nook

iBooks

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS reaches Phase 2 of the Author Shout Reader Ready awards

Phase 1 of the Author Shout Reader Ready awards closed to entries at the end of October. November 15th, the announcement of the books that made it through that phase came through.

author shout reader ready

My, romantic suspense/psychological thriller, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS, made it through to Phase 2. *queue fist pumps*

Judging in the first phase was based on the following criteria:

Section 1: Book Cover

Below is a list of the criteria we are considering in this section

FRONT COVER (eBook and Print)

I scored well in this category.

My cover is visually compelling, very well colour coordinated with good use of font, and the use of the tag line is great!

The only downside is, I still have the original cover on the print version which could be confusing to readers. At the time I changed the ebook cover, I still had a number of print copies in my inventory and wanted to wait until stocks with that cover got lower before updating the whole cover wrap.

Section 2: Book Description

Again, I scored well.

My description is clear, concise and hooked the judge right in. As well, it didn’t leave it up to the imagination what the book was about but left enough intrigue to want to read more.

It was recommended that I put my opening statement/tag line in bold. I don’t have much luck with getting html to work at amazon – hence no bold.

Section 3: Look Inside Sample

The fact I didn’t bother with a table of contents scored well. I jumped straight into the book.

The ‘look inside’ sample is free of grammatical and spelling errors, and has a nice flow/pace, making it a good read to continue.

It was suggested I have a link to my website and my other books in this area, but that could backfire and lead readers away from purchasing the book. I include my other books and a link to my website at the end of the book which isn’t available to look at in the ‘look inside’ sample.

Section 4: Overall Feedback

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is highly competitive in the criteria considered during this phase of the judging.

*****

So, now it’s on to Phase 2 of the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards. I’ve already sent off the kindle version of the novel for appraisal.

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

kindle

Kobo

B&N nook

iBooks

Please welcome Katherine and Jared from YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS

Today, I have the pleasure of not just one guest in the “hot seat” for a fireside chat, but two. Katherine Murphy-Whithorn and Jared Martin, from Melanie Robertson-King’s novel, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS, are with me here today.

Can you tell us a bit about YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS?

Katherine: Unbeknownst to me, I have a stalker. I thought he was just a poor homeless bloke, plenty of them in Aberdeen, so never paid much attention to him.  That’s it. In a nutshell, it’s a psychological, romantic suspense, thriller.

I understand you met under somewhat unusual circumstances. What can you tell us about that?

Jared: I still have the mark on the top of my foot where she rammed a spike heel down on me. *chuckles*

Katherine: It wasn’t that bad. * swats playfully at his arm* I was looking at CDs in HMV and backed up to move away from the bin. I didn’t know Jared was behind me and I trod on his foot. He’s never let me forget it.

I imagine it was rather painful at the time.

Jared: If she’d been half an inch closer to my toes, she would have hit the steel cap in my work boots, and I wouldn’t have felt a thing. *winks at Kat*

What do you do for a living?

Katherine: I own a bookstore on Exchequer Row – As the Pages Turn – you might have heard of it? *far away look crosses her face*

Jared: I work offshore on the Alba Ecosse platform.

After a long time apart, you recently found each other again. How?

Katherine: I had sent my part-timer, Melissa, up to the corner of Shiprow and Union Street to collect the new chalkboard sign, so it didn’t get nicked like the old one. I advertise our shop up there because of the increased foot traffic.

Jared: I happened along, onshore for a few weeks, and saw her struggling with it, so I offered to carry it for her.

Back up one second. Katherine, you just said you advertise our shop. Earlier you said you owned.

Katherine: *takes a deep breath* My husband, and I started the business before he was killed in the London Bombings when he was off on a book buying trip.

I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m sorry for your loss. *leans over and rubs the back of Katherine’s left hand*

Jared, before I interrupted you, you were saying?

Yeah. I picked up the sign and carried it down the street and into the shop. Poor kid never have managed on her own. It’s a heavy sucker.

Katherine: You could have knocked me over with a feather I was so gobsmacked to hear Jared’s voice and see his face. I didn’t think I would ever see him again.

If you don’t mind me asking, how did you fall apart in the beginning?

Katherine: My father was high up in the Royal Bank of Scotland. My parents didn’t approve of mine and Jared’s relationship, so when the chance came to get me away from Aberdeen, he accepted the position in Canada. They dragged me off kicking and screaming.

Jared: Didn’t approve was an understatement. Back then, I was living in a grotty bedsit trying to work my way through school. Not only was I from the wrong side of Aberdeen, I was from the wrong side of the border.

I thought I detected an English accent. What part of England?

Jared: North Yorkshire.

Recently, Melanie redesigned the cover of the book. Can you show us?

Katherine: *brings up the image on her iPad*  This one is different from the print version. While it was beautiful, it didn’t quite pull off the theme of the book – the psychological thriller aspect. This new design says it so much better.

Katherine
Yes, it is quite a powerful image.

Fire and blood are both red, making it associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. It’s also an emotionally intense colour.

In contrast, the hint of yellow reveals freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honour, loyalty, and joy, but also cowardice and deceit.

Melanie’s name in stand-alone white on red grabs the reader. The relationship of colours works well together. This book is going to the top of my TBR list.

Did I hear the book is nominated for an award?

Katherine: The 2019 Reader’s Choice Award in the thriller category. Reader’s Choice Awards in the thriller category which you’ll find on page 9. I’d love it if you voted for this book. It is a cracker.

The trailer for it is amazing. Do you think your readers would like to watch?

Blurb

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled, but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

Where can YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS be purchased?

amazon

kobo


Books a Million


Barnes and Noble (print & nook)

iBooks

Diesel

Thank you, Katherine and Jared, for stopping by Celtic Connexions. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you.
Thanks for stopping by everyone. I hope you enjoyed the second in what I hope will be a number of fireside chats with characters from Melanie’s books.

I’M A READER’S CHOICE NOMINEE

Not me, but my book!

Toot! Toot! My novel is a nominee in the thriller category!

nominee

Yes, you read that correctly. YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is a nominee in the thriller category of the  2019 Reader’s Choice awards.

Blurb

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

 

You can only vote one time per category so I hope you’ll make it count by voting for YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2019-readers-choice-voting-page/

You can purchase your own copy of YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS from these retailers.

Amazon

Kobo

Books a Million

Barnes & Noble paperback

Nook

iBookstore

Cheers, and thanks for you vote!

Book Trailer ~ YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the plunge and created a book trailer. In fact, Windows Movie Maker was still available. I read where you could make them using the Windows Photos App. A little search for ‘how to’ instructions and a lot of tweaking, and here’s the result.

 

Prologue

1st December 2010

The ScotRail service to Aberdeen pulled away from the platform at Stonehaven. The next stop would be his destination. As the train accelerated, the carriage swayed from side to side. The action reminded him of his mum rocking him after a bad dream. He drifted into a light slumber. When the compartment he was in crossed through a switch, it lurched waking him.

Less than thirty minutes to go. He settled back but was too excited to relax. When the Girdle Ness Lighthouse came into view, he knew he was almost back to the place he was born.

New, to him, construction dotted the landscape. Fresh graffiti adorned the stone parapets of the bridge over the River Dee. The Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, the clock tower of the Aberdeen Town House and the Salvation Army Citadel, vied for attention over the tops of the cluster of newer buildings.

He fooled the medical staff at the secure forensic unit in the south of England. After feigning rehabilitation, they released him into the community but he didn’t stay there long. He did a runner. He had unfinished business in the north east of Scotland.

Adrenalin coursed through him. Giddy with excitement, it was hard for him to remain calm. He shook his hands to try to stem some of the fidgetiness. Now, he was back in Aberdeen where it all began. How much of the city would he recognize? What changed since his departure?

Were the authorities looking for him yet? He would have to act normal so as not to attract attention. Stepping off, he adjusted his Fedora and strode across the concourse to the exit. Diesel fumes hung in the air and caught in the back of his throat. He coughed.

With the exception of the Union Square shopping complex adjacent to the railway station, Guild Street stayed more or less unchanged. Some of the storefronts in the granite buildings transformed, but overall, not a huge difference since he left.

The pavement ended at Market Street forcing him to cross over the road. He continued eastward. The location he sought should be nearby. He stopped for a breather – pressed his back against the building. The ships that supplied and supported the offshore oil industry occupied the available berths on this side of the harbour. Through a gap, the ferry to Lerwick and the terminal were visible on the far side.

The familiar Maritime Museum dominated the head of Shore Brae. Beyond that, the artery curved and became Shiprow. The cobbled road surface and pavement were difficult to traverse. Even the larger stones nearer the buildings were uneven. When he rounded the corner at Provost Ross’s House, another well-known building peeked out. He had come so far now, he couldn’t go back. He strode with purpose up the hill.

The Aberdeen Town House clock tower stretched above the roofline but that was the place he sought. Nestled between Henry’s Bar and the pedestrianized portion of Shiprow stood the As the Pages Turnbookshop.

When a customer exited holding a carrier bag emblazoned with the same signage as over the door, his heart skipped a beat. He hoped the establishment’s ownership hadn’t changed. That would defeat the purpose of his returning to Aberdeen.

The voices in his head only told him to come back. He had unfinished business with the woman with ginger hair – the one with no soul – who ran the retail outlet in front of him.

Now, to find a suitable place to wait and watch and bide his time until the moment was right.

BUY LINKS

amazon

Books a Million

Barnes and Noble

nook

Kobo

iTunes

What do you think of the trailer?

 

NEW COVER MEANS UPDATED SYNOPSIS ~ I need help deciding…

NEW COVER MEANS UPDATED SYNOPSIS

A shiny new cover means updated synopsis for YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS. I mentioned when I first unveiled the ‘new and improved’ version, I needed a kicked up synopsis for the back cover, too.

This has to be the hardest part of writing the book. Boiling it down to a few paragraphs and I’ve got two variations written, but I’m not sure which one I like best. Both bring the thriller aspect forward while not removing the romantic suspense element.

Here they are:

#1

A stalker prowls the streets of Aberdeen with one person in mind. Katherine Murphy-Whithorn.

Who is he and what is his relationship to her?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the July 7, 2005, London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled, but as their second chance relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Can he survive the ordeal? Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have something different in mind.

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

#2

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled, but as their second chance relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Can he survive the ordeal? Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have something different in mind.

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

You can buy YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS from

amazon

Books a Million

Barnes and Noble

kobo

nook

iBooks

Which version of the synopsis do you like best?

Let me know by leaving a comment.

Thanks so much!