How often do you Lie? Jody discusses this.

I Never Lie Book Cover I Never Lie
Jody Sabral
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Canelo
11th June 2018
Kindle

Is she the next victim? Or is she the culprit?

Alex South is a high-functioning alcoholic who is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Her career as a television journalist is hanging by a thread since a drunken on-air rant. When a series of murders occur within a couple of miles of her East London home she is given another chance to prove her skill and report the unfolding events. She thinks she can control the drinking, but soon she finds gaping holes in her memory, and wakes to find she’s done things she can’t recall. As the story she’s covering starts to creep into her own life, is Alex a danger only to herself – or to others?

This gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Fiona Barton, B A Paris and Clare Mackintosh.

An Interview with Jody Sabral

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I think the topic chose me in a way. I lived with an alcoholic for a year and felt the need to write about it in a realistic way. To capture the absolute denial of it and what the impact of that can be on everyone who comes into contact with it. I think it’s unique in the sense that I lived up close with it and therefore have a real passion for the issue. I’m not just using it as a plot ploy in a flippant manner. I hope it starts a positive conversation around alcoholism as I feel it’s something that is lacking in this country. I’ve always felt that literature and art can have a much longer lasting impact than that of news, the other business I’m in, so I guess I wanted to bring this to my novel, which I hope is also extremely entertaining. I still recall scenes from books I read ten or fifteen years ago and they make me think differently about the world we live in.

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

 Not really, for me it’s a very organic process. I think we all have themes in our lives that we feel strongly about for one reason or another and my writing is born from that. I’ve just completed a screenplay in which the main themes were born out of reading an article in the newspaper and a conversation with my niece. I felt strongly about the issues so I wanted to write about them.

3. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

It depends. I tend to pull off my experiences and those of friends. I’m not writing police procedurals. Yes, I have an investigation and an investigator but the emphasis is on the characters affected by it and the impact it has on them. So I tend to write about people’s emotions, which I think is about connections and the human condition. People fascinate me, so my writing is born out of conversations with others and observations about how people deal with a crisis.

How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

As a journalist I’ve always found them very helpful and happy to cooperate. I have contacts who will read to see if it’s plausible and they will tell me if it’s not working.

5. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

I’m proud to say upwards of sixty-five rejections in my writing career. Obviously with this novel it was different as my agent handled those rejections. But with the two earlier books, the first CHANGING BORDERS I sent it out to almost thirty agents and got a heap of rejections. The second, THE MOVEMENT, which I won the CWA Debut Dagger for got me lots of interest from agents, yet many more rejections. I met my agent on the back end of those rejections. He had the foresight to ask me what I was working on next and a partnership was formed. He’s been with me since the conception of I NEVER LIE and it’s a very supportive and nurturing relationship. Finally I have someone behind me, believing in my work. What I will say to aspiring writers is just keep at it, at some point something will give.

Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

I think you self-publish because you want to put it out there. To move on to a new project. To draw a line under it. But self-publishing has its pitfalls. Selling a book is a full time job.

Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

I found self-publishing to be a very tough sell even though I had an audience of millions at the time that I wrote CHANGING BORDERS because I was a foreign correspondent on TV regularly. I write. I’m not a marketing person so I found that part of it tricky. It depends on your skills. If you’re good at sales and marketing I suppose you’d be in with a better chance than me. I don’t think there’s one perfect route. It’s a personal journey, but the important point is that you keep writing because at the end of the day it’s the words that will eventually pay off and resonate with someone. I like the support I have with an agent and publisher behind me because writing is a solitary job.

Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Not yet. This is my first novel to be released via a publisher, so let’s see!

What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

I haven’t done a book tour yet, so not sure I can answer this. But some interesting people have a copy of my first book. Sir Patrick Stewart has one via someone I met on a plane, and the musician Moby. I inscribed on Moby’s copy, ‘if you like it Tweet it!’ Obviously he didn’t, but you have to be your own ambassador for your work in a competitive environment. Maybe one day he’ll tweet about I NEVER LIE, who knows!

What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I don’t get ill very often. I write a lot in bed though.

 What is your favourite genre?

Crime obviously. I like Sci-fi too because it makes you think about the bigger questions in life as in ‘why are we here?’

If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

That’s tough because there are so many amazing authors dead and alive. J G Ballard is my all time fav. Living, there’s just so many. It’s like asking me what my favourite song is, it changes all the time. I really love Gillian Flynn, S J Watson, Nicki French, John Le Carre’s earlier works…. I mean the list just goes on.

Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Dan Brown possibly? I’m not a literary writer. It’s pacy and not overly descriptive. I don’t read as much as I used to, which may shock some people, but that’s because I find that other writer’s voices get into my own and presently I’m trying to hone my own, which I think I did with I NEVER LIE. I found my voice with this book and that’s a very satisfying feeling.

In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

I think the best comedy writers of the moment for me are Sharon Horgan and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, oh and Charlie Brooker, but they write for TV, which I’m also attempting to do after attending an evening class in screenwriting. I tend to watch more comedy on TV than read it in books.

Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

When I was retraining from journalist to novelist during my MA at City University I used to copy sentences from Raymond Chandler’s books word for word into a notebook then change the adjectives for my own, I did this so I could try to capture the show aspect of writing rather than tell. As a broadcast journalist I’ve had to work on my description a lot because news writing is stripped back and we don’t use a lot of adjectives. I think Chandler’s writing is all about the atmosphere, which he creates through even just describing the materials in a room. He is my guru of descriptive writing.

What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

Sadly, they’ve been lost over the years as I left home at sixteen and moved endlessly to a million different flats and many countries. So if you find a diary in a charity shop somewhere one day that has me name in it, please return it to me!

About the Author

Jody Sabral is based in London, where she works as a Foreign Desk editor and video producer at the BBC. She is a graduate of the MA in Crime Fiction at City University, London. Jody worked as a journalist in Turkey for ten years, covering the region for various international broadcasters. She self-published her first book Changing Borders in 2012 and won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2014 for her second novel The Movement . In addition to working for the BBC, Jody also writes for the Huffington Post , AlMonitor and BRICS Post .

Twitter: @jsabral

I Never Lie will be followed by Dont Blame Me in early 2019, which will explore the dark side of instant celebrity culture and the deadly  consequences of overnight success.

Canelo books can be found on Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Google Books – some books will be limited to UK publication places only:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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How Many Layers?

Twenty-Seven Tiered Almond Cake Book Cover Twenty-Seven Tiered Almond Cake
Amber Laura
Womens' Literature, Romance , Women's Fiction, Humour
Nov 2017
Kindle

Charlie does not want to plan her sister’s wedding.

Erin is flakey, flighty. Irresponsible. And her upcoming marriage is proving no different. It reads like the playbill to a comedy of errors: the groom—what’s his name again?—is currently, mysteriously incarcerated; the bride is MIA; but don’t dare mention postponing the stupid thing; that would be scandalous.

Worse, in an industry that booked out months ago, Charlie has six weeks to hunt down everything from a reception hall to napkin holders! Ironically, the only person who may be able to help her accomplish this is Kantor O’Brien, aka the pastry chef she hired to create Erin’s wedding cake, aka the guy who seems to think Charlie’s antics fall somewhere between exasperating and not quite sane. (Okay, so maybe the cake she chose was a little, ah, unusual. Whatever.)

Kantor has interesting, if somewhat unconventional, contacts. Charlie’s got a colorful way of spinning the truth. Together, they might pull off something spectacular. Now if she can just convince him to go along with it….

TWENTY-SEVEN TIERED ALMOND CAKE is a light-hearted story about one woman’s struggle to give her sister the wedding she deserves. The novel’s primary themes—a contentious sibling relationship hanging in the balance of self-reflection and redemption—offset by its quietly comedic timbre and romantic undertones, will resonate and appeal to readers of commercial women’s fiction.

The Review

So I like almond biscotti too, but isn’t 27 layers of them a few too many?

An amusing tale of the responsible sister organising the feckless sister’s wedding right down to choosing the cake.

Light and frothy but don’t expect too much story-line beyond girl eats cake; girl eats more cake; cake baked by hunky baker; and the inevitable – girl falls for baker – and his cakes!

About the Author

Amber Laura’s biography, also known as “Five Fun Facts about the Author”:

  1. As a writer, Amber Laura does her best daydreaming as a window-gazing passenger on long car rides.
  2. If there’s creamer, she’s drinking coffee. When she edits, there’s always creamer.
  3. A blogger, she also writes web fiction—(free stories updated chapter-by-chapter, week-by-week). Check it out at www.litliber.com.
  4. Psst! Her debut novel, Topaz and Lace, a contemporary romance set in a fictitious Texas town, got its start on that same blog.
  5. While she may physically reside in the beautiful country of Northern Minnesota, in her imagination, Amber Laura lives all over the world. She considers it one of the best perks to being a writer: easy, cheap travel. That and the oddball characters she meets along the way….

https://www.facebook.com/AmberLauraAuthor/

https://twitter.com/LitLiber

http://litliber.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36590084-twenty-seven-tiered-almond-cake

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-seven-tiered-almond-cake-amber-laura/1127426150

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If He Wakes: Zoe explains

If He Wakes Book Cover If He Wakes
Zoe Lea
Fiction, thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
April 30, 2018
300

You can always trust your best friend... can’t you? When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit and run using his car. Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened. Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse than they could ever imagine... Can their friendship survive? 'A tense, pulse-quickening tale. If you read the first chapter, you can’t help but read the second. I flew through this perfect summer read of best friends in turmoil in one feverish session.' Paula Daly

ZOE LEA – IF HE WAKES

 1.Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I got the initial idea for If He Wakes, and that very early idea would just not leave me alone.  I wrote about it because I couldn’t not write about it, and I realise how corny that sounds!
The idea of complete betrayal appealed to me, and although If He Wakes is similar to a lot of other books out there in this genre, I think the way it handles female friendship is a little different. In so much as it’s the central characters friendship that’s the narrative spine of the book, not the horrific acts that surround it.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I usually think about a topic for quite a while before starting to write about it.  I like to keep a note book and write down the initial premise and then continue to add to it until I’m pretty sure the structure the book will take, by that time, I know if I’ve got a whole book or not.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I’m lucky in that I have several friends who work in the force and one in particular that is happy to answer all of my questions!

  1. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Too many times to remember!  I’ve been writing in one from or another for years so getting rejections is part and parcel of it all.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

This is hard one because there are two schools of thought, I know people who have an amazing online presence and because of that, have been approached by agents and publishers.  However, if the book you write isn’t up to scratch, I don’t think it will make any difference how big your audience is.  It always comes down to the quality of work in the end.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I like to read a good escapist novel when I’m looking for a book to nurture me, something that will help me forget where I am and transport me to a different world.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Mystery and crime.  It can be any genre, so long as there’s an element of mystery or crime to the plot, I like to read something and try to solve it.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Stephen King has had the biggest influence on me and my writing.  His book, ‘On Writing,’ is a must read for anyone who is writing at the moment or thinking of becoming a writer.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Zoe Lea lives in the Lake District with her husband, their two children, three dogs and peregrine falcons. She has previously worked as a teacher, photographer and freelance journalist and is a writer in the day and a reader by night. If He Wakes is her debut novel.

Twitter: @zoe___lea

Instagram: ZoeLeaWriter

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How do you know if he is the Right Man? Kate White explains

The Wrong Man Book Cover The Wrong Man
Kate White
Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
9th October 2017

A moment of pleasure leads to a deadly game of cat and mouse in this slick and suspenseful thriller.

Kit Finn meets handsome sculptor Matt Healy on a business trip and the two share a night of passion. They arrange a second date, but when Kit arrives at Matt’s apartment she is greeted by a stranger claiming he is the real Matt and that his identity was stolen.

Realising she has been duped Kit decides to put the encounter behind her. Shortly after, the police ask her to identify a man killed in a hit and run, carrying only her business card, and she is shocked to find the dead man is the person she knows as the genuine Matt Healy.

Kit fears she has become unintentionally embroiled in a sinister web of deceit. With no real evidence to take to police, Kit resolves to unravel the mystery herself. But can she do so before more lives, including her own, are put in danger?

For fans of psychological suspense and compulsive mysteries, don’t miss this tense and page-turning novel.

Kate White answers some questions
  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique? The Wrong Man opens with a woman going, by invitation, to the apartment of a man she slept with on vacation, and the person who opens the door is not the man she expects to find there. Life is filled with unexpected twists and discoveries, some very unsettling, and I love thinking and writing about them.

     Though the twists in my book tend to be bigger than ones I’ve faced in life, I’ve had my share of rude awakenings. I dated a guy in my twenties who turned out to be a huge liar and it was unsettling to eventually find that what I assumed to be reality wasn’t at all. Those experiences ideally teach you to be better at reading situations and trusting your gut. And writing about them helps, too

How is my book different than others? I’ve never actually read a plot exactly like this, though many thrillers have details in common. For instance, I love the new thriller The Flight Attendant by Chris Bojalian. It opens with a woman waking to discover that the man she spent the night with his lying stabbed to death next to her. That happened in my psychological thriller Hush. It was really fun for me to see what another author did with the same basic idea.

 

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time? I start with a germ of an idea and then I think about it over several months. (I often have to do this while I’m finishing up another book). I like to know the ending of a book before I start and also have a rough idea of all the major plot points.

     Funny you should ask about a notebook because I do keep one for each book. In the beginning I use it to jot down all sorts of questions about the plot, and somehow my subconscious gives me the answers, sometimes even as I’m making notes. I read this technique somewhere and it works fantastically (even for life in general).

Eventually I use the same notebook to do a rough outline of each chapter before I write it.  And to be honest, I love feeling a little like a schoolgirl again–but without the angst!

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book? I research when I’m developing the idea and then research other details as I write. I’m often still researching when I write the final chapter.  So in a sense it’s always a year.
  2. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote? I use the Internet constantly for research, but I also like to actually go to a setting I’m writing about. The Wrong Man opens in the Florida Keys and though I researched the area thoroughly online, I ended up going down there for a few days (you should have heard me explaining the need for my trip to my husband!) When I started up the writing again after the trip, I didn’t change the opening chapter much (though the trip gave me the idea to have a gecko dart up a tree), but I felt more confident about what I’d written. While in Florida, I also visited the Miami morgue for a later scene in the book and that was a very gripping experience.
  3. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience? I’ve found that police and forensic experts are more than happy to help. You just have to get up your nerve to ask and make sure your questions are smart. And thank them in the acknowledgements!
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted? My first mystery was accepted with only four chapters written and the publisher gave me a two-year contract. But I was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan then and had written several non-fiction books, so they had confidence I wouldn’t flake out on them. It was a bit of a fluke situation.
  5. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist? From what I’ve picked up, self-publishing can be fruitful and some authors have done really well with it. But many people in the business say that it still pays to be published, if possible, by a major house. I love to write so much that if a publisher stopped wanting to publish me, I definitely try self-publishing.
  6. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened? For me being an author has been a real financial success, but that’s in part because for many years I combined it with having a day job. My day job provided me with a pension and health insurance and the like. I wrote my first eight mysteries while still at Cosmo. Yes, it can feel like burning the candle at both ends, but I do believe it’s best to try to really establish yourself as an author before you quit that day job. I didn’t leave until I had all my ducks in a row financially and knew I could afford to live even if my books stopped selling.

           And though it may not sound very creative, I think it’s important to approach the situation like a business.  Get a sense of what genres are selling and where there may be room for you.  I’ve heard great writers recommend that write the book you’re dying to write, and there’s truth in that, but I think if you’re writing a thriller or mystery, it can be smart to know the marketplace. As an entrepreneur once said to me, “It’s not enough to think about what you want from the world. You have to think about what the world wants from you.”

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour? I did a major event with several other authors and the event planners had a set designer create a scene from each of our books. They were all terrific, except I don’t think the designer realized that with the scene he created for my book, he was giving away the killer and the ending. Oops! I just had to laugh to myself and hope no one realized it.
  2. What do you read when you are ill in bed? I love mysteries and thrillers at all times but I find they’re particularly good as “comfort” reading.
  3. What is your favourite genre? I love literary fiction, books that stay with you forever, like Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending or James Joyce’s The Dead. I love to go back and read those books again and again and think about them endlessly.
  4. If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author? Someone who comes to mind right away is American writer Anita Shreve, who just passed away at 71. Her novel The Last Time They Met is one of my favorites.
  5. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre? I can’t name just one. I have so many favorites. In terms of mysteries, I am a total sucker for Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. It helped me learn to be better at creating red herrings and legitimate clues and not being unfair to the reader by having a killer no one would have ever expected.
  6. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing? I don’t read a lot of humor though I’m enjoying the new memoir Just the Funny Parts by screenwriter Nell Scovell. If Hollywood intrigues you, you’ll like it.
  7. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why? No, not at all. My favorites are so talented I couldn’t come close.
  8. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school? I saved everything for years and when moving left them in my then-boyfriend’s parents’ basement, in a suitcase. They threw everything out my mistake. It made me ill, and it took a long time for me to just let it go and accept. I know a lot of it was silly, but I’d love to get a peek at the girl I once was.

Author Bio:
Kate White
is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve works of fiction: seven Bailey Weggins mysteries and five stand-alone psychological thrillers, including most recently, The Secrets You Keep. For fourteen years she was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2013 to concentrate on being a full-time author and speaker.

Twitter: @katemwhite

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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How many Fathers? Kate Morgan says why.

Five Fathers: Reverse Harem Book Cover Five Fathers: Reverse Harem
Kate Morgan
Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Sarian Royal
March 2018
Kindle

Sin or piety.
Those are the two things I’m choosing between when I walk up those stone steps and into the church. Heaven or hell. Pain or pleasure. But sometimes, pleasure brings more hurt than pain.
I’ve learned my lesson the hard way and that’s why I’m doing this, giving up everything I know and love for a whole new life. A life dedicated to something, someone, other than myself.
The thing is, sometimes fate has other ideas.
Out of all the churches in town, I picked this one. This building with its vaulted ceilings and stained glass and all its secrets.
This building that houses them.
My five worst sins.
My five most awesome pleasures.

Kate Morgan, author of Five Fathers tells us how.

How I get my ideas for a story and why these ideas appeal.

I get my ideas for new stories from every facet of life—sometimes it’s a dream, sometimes an off-handed comment from a stranger, or sometimes it’s a pre-made cover that I just can’t resist!

My goal with my first release was to pick something taboo, something familiar, and put my own twist on it.  I wanted something that would tantalize those scrolling through book after book on Amazon.  What’s weirder than a romance novel about five mercenaries-for-hire going undercover as priests?!  Even once I had the idea of writing about priests, it morphed and changed to the point where it’s virtually unrecognizable from my starting point.

I have so many other ideas in mind for my second release that the real trouble is narrowing them down!  I really enjoy stories with themes—for example, teachers, stepbrothers, snowboarders, surfers, billionaires, etc—so I always try to look for something that I feel is a tad underdone, and then figure out how to put my own twist on it.  I also have a huge group of author friends who help me work through my messy ideas and form them into polished stories.  Without them, I don’t know what I’d do!

Biography

Kate Morgan is a sassy girl from the coast who likes sun, surf, and reverse harem romance with a naughty twist. If you like a little steam, a little taboo, but always a happy ending with your RH reads, you’ve found the right woman to get you there.

Kate’s books are hot, sassy, and sexy. Plus, this isn’t her first rodeo, so you’re in good hands. 😉 This is a pen name for another popular RH author, but can you guess who?

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