Why Lie? Lisa Hartley Tells the Truth

Tell No Lies Book Cover Tell No Lies
Lisa Hartley
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
19th February 2018

Now they’re coming after Caelan’s team…

A tortured body is found in a basement. Drug dealing and people smuggling is on the rise. Then police start going missing.

There seems to be no connection between the crimes, but Detective Caelan Small senses something isn’t right.

Plunged into a new investigation, lives are on the line. And in the web of gangs, brothels and nerve-shattering undercover work, Caelan must get to the truth – or be killed trying.

And then there’s Nicky...

Utterly gripping, written with searing tension and remarkable dexterity, Tell No Lies is a blistering crime novel for fans of Angela Marsons, Rebecca Bradley and Faith Martin.

An Interview with Lisa Hartley

New Book: Tell No Lies

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 have an idea at the back of my mind for a while – maybe a couple of weeks? It might be the main theme of the book, maybe part of a sub plot, or even a minor scene that will set up major events later on. I don’t really have a notebook or make a list to choose a theme from. I tend to start writing before I make any concrete decisions about topics and wait to see where the story goes.

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

Much of the research I do for this series is based on locations, or how a character can get from one part of London to another, and how long it might take them. For this book, I spoke to my partner who grew up in one of the areas mentioned. Because I don’t really plot before I start writing, I tend to do the research as I write, and as necessary.

 What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Generally: newspaper articles, interviews. Google maps (and street view). I also use relevant books such as Blackstone’s Senior Investigating Officer’s Handbook for my series featuring CID officer. For this book: mainly Google maps, and the Transport for London website to plan Tube journeys. I also read articles about people trafficking, accounts of drug use and talktofrank.com.

 What do you read when you are ill in bed?

It would depend how ill I was feeling. Probably a book I’ve read before, so it’s familiar and a comfort. Maybe an Agatha Christie?

 What is your favourite genre?

It has to be crime, doesn’t it? But I love historical fiction too, and of course historical crime fiction…

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

There are loads, and more every month. Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, C.J. Sansom, Toby Clements, S.D. Sykes, Ann Cleeves, Abir Mukherjee, Jane Harper, Nicci French, David Jackson, Alex Barclay, Joseph Knox, Sara Paretsky, Rachel Howzell Hall, and so many more I can’t think of at the moment. Sue Grafton and Helen Cadbury are two writers whose work I’m really going to miss.

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

It’s probably predictable for a crime writer to say Agatha Christie, but I’m going to. The first “grown up” book I read after the Famous Five and Secret Seven was an Agatha Christie, and I’ve been hooked on the genre ever since. Christie had the knack of conjuring up a character within a few short sentences or even less, and Poirot and Miss Marple are wonderful creations. Her books are short, but if you want an easy read and a clever plot, they deliver every time.

Author Bio:
Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. She is currently working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel, as well as a new series with Canelo.

Twitter: @rainedonparade

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Andris Bears all

Angel Unborn
Deadly Sins #1
Andris Bear
Paranormal Romance  - Urban Fantasy - Science Fiction Fantasy- Psychic - Angel - Demon & Devils - Time Travel
Jezebel Press
(8 Oct. 2012)

Had your fill of Vampires and werewolves? Prefer your immortal warriors with a bit more legend?

Hell has literally come to Earth for one mortal and what’s worse, she is expected to leave behind all hope for a family of her own to stand in defense of humanity against the darkest forces of Hell. But when Satan offers her the normal life she covets, Joey must decide if the price of mankind’s salvation is worth her own damnation.
Strong-willed Joey Benton is the half-mortal child of an angel with heavenly powers. She has no knowledge of her heritage or the power running through her veins until she meets a handsome stranger who forces her to question her life and the world around her. And she quickly becomes a key player in a battle that will define a victory for Heaven or Hell.
Ursus, a sexy Archangel, doesn’t want the responsibility of another charge, especially when Joey is so defiant. Protecting her from Hell might very well be the biggest challenge of his immortal life. But when his feelings for Joey get in the way of his duty, it’s a challenge he refuses to lose.

Interview with the Author

Q – So, what makes the Deadly Sins series special?

A – When I set out to write Angel Unborn, I wanted to write the kind of books I like to read. My favorites are usually paranormal romance novels with not only strong heroes but strong heroines who can stand on their own. I enjoy a great fantasy or science fiction novel as well. Basically, anything with a kick-butt attitude and a touch of something different that grabs my attention.

The Deadly Sins books are a great mix of these genres. You’ll find the series focuses on angels and demons but also features psychics, ghosts, the mythical gods, and other supernatural favorites. Either I have commitment issues, or I like to keep things interesting! I’d like to think it’s the latter.

Overall, the Deadly Sins series is designed to keep you turning the pages – and I’ve made sure there’s never a dull moment.

Q – What order should I read the books in?

A – I’ve written the series so you can read the books in any order (except for All Wicked’s Eve—it should be read after Demon Undamned). If you do want to read them in order, I’d suggest the following sequence:

– Angel Unborn
– Angel Redeemed (accompanying novelette to Angel Unborn)
– Angel Unleashed
– Hexed (novella that ties into Angel Unleashed)
– Demon Undamned
– All Wicked’s Eve

Q – So, why should readers give these books a try?

A – Because the Deadly Sins series is a fast, fun, humorous ride that takes no prisoners! Ultimately, readers who enjoy strong heroes, snarky heroines, and lightning-fast pacing with a plot that twists and turns all the way to the end will get a kick out of this series.

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Heather Christie gives advice

What The Valley Knows
Heather Christie
Romance, Young Adult
January 25th 2018

Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.

When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton—a nice guy with a bad drinking habit—longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.

The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield. She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.


guest post

by Heather Christie

I thought the hardest part of writing a book was going to be writing a book. During my MFA program, I remember toiling through revisions, attempting to create perfect sentences, craft fast-paced scenes, and nuanced characters. I believed my huge publishing contract was just around the corner. There were fantasies of agents fighting over my novel. My book would go to auction and I’d have to quit my job as a real estate agent because I’d have a new career as an author. Oh, how naïve I was.

As I was crafting my novel, I should have been spending equal amounts of time building my writer’s platform. Little did I know how important it would be in my search for an agent/publisher search.

My advice to budding authors is to build an audience BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE! Even if you are considering self-publishing, you would be wise to first create a rabid group of readers who can’t wait for you’re next word. If you can boast a true following, and you’ve written a wonderful book, your quest to secure an agent or a publisher, OR launch a successful self-published novel, becomes increasingly more attainable.

Here’s a list of simple, first-steps,  platform-building MUST DO LIST to get started:

  1. Create your writer identity/pen name and claim it across cyberspace. Heather Christie wasn’t available (apparently there’s a famous model with the same name), so I chose Heather Christie Books. (HeatherChristieBooks.com)
  2. Set up a writer page on Facebook, not a profile, which caps your followers at 5000. You can find me on Facebook @
  3. Pick two other social media platforms (three is about the maximum most people can manage without becoming overwhelmed) and create writer accounts. For me it’s Twitter (@hchristiebooks) and Instagram (@heatherchristiebooks).
  4. Now, post regularly . . . even it’s only once a week. Pick a schedule and stick to it. Share writerly meme, poems, inspirational quotes, excerpts from your WIP, recipes, word puzzles, riddles, anything that will engage people and reflects who you are.
  5. Start a blog. Write about anything (parenting, your pets, your job, your favorite books, politics)—show people you can write and what you have to say is interesting. Your blog readers will be the people who will line up to BUY your book one day!
  6. Connect with other authors. Join Facebook groups, follow other writers on Twitter, figure out who the Bookstgrammers are in your genre and then—ENGAGE. Write reviews for other authors on Goodreads and Amazon (5 stars), comment on their posts, share, tweets, build up other writers . . . create lots of good, sincere mojo—the kind of stuff you want coming back at you when your book is published.

Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

A signed copy of What the Valley Knows, a 30″ inch sterling silver necklace, and a What the Valley Knows mini book charm


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36198199-what-the-valley-knows

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZbVwGmysDI


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-Valley-Knows-Heather-Christie/dp/1612969402/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-valley-knows-heather-christie/1127052493?ean=978161


Heather Christie grew up in rural Pennsylvania and, at age seventeen, took off for New York City in hopes of becoming a movie star. Flash forward several decades, a couple degrees, a bunch of cats, two kids and one husband later, she’s back in Pennsylvania writing her heart out and chasing dreams again. She loves to read, run, drink tea, and make Sunday dinner. Follow her blog at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com and say “hello” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Author links:








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Leslie Tells it Like It Is

Heavens Rage Book Cover Heavens Rage
Leslie Tate
biography, true accounts, non-fiction
TSL Publications
(28 Nov. 2016)

HEAVEN’S RAGE is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage — William Blake

Leslie Tate talks about he/r book Heaven’s Rage:

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?

There’s an urgency about writing from life, and as long as it’s well-judged, avoiding self-pity or therapeutic gushings, it can speak directly about intimate experiences and widen people’s idea of what it’s like to be human.

So I wrote my trans memoir Heaven’s Rage, inspired and encouraged by Bruce Springsteen’s refusal to play in states on the wrong side of the bathroom dispute and the rise of the trans movement. The fact that there were young trans people who were ‘out’ and accepted in schools also gave me strength.

I’d already written a trilogy of novels in third person where the subject didn’t come up – not surprisingly really, because fiction needs focus and a trans character would be a distraction. In that respect novels are edits driven by language and character, and different from life.

In life, my trans-self was a person I imagined, an inbetweener, a  Janus-type character facing both ways. I had two spirits inside me; they’d begun in opposition but by the time I wrote Heaven’s Rage the gap had narrowed. In the process I’d come to believe that being trans comes from the dream-self.

For me, it’s a case of mind over matter, a refusal to be bound by the demands of gender – although it’s quite involuntary, and not, as some people suppose, a choice or a vanity.

So, although I’d cross-dressed for years with family and friends and had left behind my youthful sense of being outcast, writing a memoir was a big step. Suddenly I had to reinvent myself on the page, speaking from the inside about who I was and finding an approach that didn’t gloss over the problems or concentrate purely on appearances.

The answer I came up with was a book in seven sections, using many different styles.

So Heaven’s Rage contains reflective prose, true-life stories, quotes, articles, interviews, poems and a play script. I went down that route to avoid the story getting ploddy. It also gave me the opportunity to look at key events from different angles.

So instead of having to rush the reader on I could go inside my different stages and tell the full story – my family inheritance and my spiritual childhood, my love of music and gardens, and my struggles with alcoholism and finding my own voice as a writer. That way, my trans experiences weren’t marked out as ‘different’ or ‘strange’ but became part of an inquiry into what it’s like to be fully human.

In the words of the blurb: ‘Heaven’s Rage is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life.’

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it?

For me, the thinking time is all part of coming to terms with memory and how you feel about yourself. The therapeutic process, which takes years, has to reach a point of self-acceptance before the real writing begins. But it’s also about technique. What drives a good book is ‘the right words in the right order’ (to paraphrase Coleridge) so in a sense, style is story.

I made several attempts to write about being trans when I was younger but they were too subjective and self-indulgent – which is why I went for the bigger picture.

So my memoir is written in what you might call ‘universal first person’, taking in the wider social background and ideas current in the Fifties. Stepping back a little also helped me to see that my personal history was selective and had been shaped by my own emotional schemas. In a sense I’d always been rewriting my past, making choices about which incidents mattered most and changing how I viewed them through the power of language.

During the actual writing new material did pop up; but mostly it was a search for the exact phrase or expression, because how you articulate your past reshapes your life-script. And how you speak to yourself determines who you are.

  1. How has your book been received?

I was delighted that Jonathan Ruppin, a judge for the Costa, Geoffrey Faber, Desmond Elliott and Guardian First Book Awards, wrote the following review about Heaven’s Rage.

‘Leslie Tate’s memoir is by turns an elegy for a lost childhood, a tribute to the power of literature and a demand for the right to identity in a world that turns too easily on those who differ from the conventional.

There is a raw candour to his struggles with alcohol and coming out as transgender, but there is no self-pity here, more a gesture of companionship amid life’s twisting fortunes. Just as it is the characters who bring a story to life, so he reminds us that our lives are enriched by the characterful and the curious.

Light-footed poems stud the prose like gemstones, and these shifts of gear reflect the truth that we host not an internal monologue but a dialogue of multi-faceted voices. Leslie Tate’s joyful embrace of the gamut of linguistic possibilities is the culmination of a quest for the right to write his own story, both figuratively and now on the page.’

Bio and Links:

Leslie Tate studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and has been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes.

Heaven’s Rage is available, signed, at https://leslietate.com/shop/heavens-rage/ or from the publisher, TSL Books, at http://tslbooks.uk/product/heavens-rage-2/ as well as at Foyles & Amazon.

You can read about/buy his first two novels Purple at https://leslietate.com/shop/purple/

and Blue at https://leslietate.com/shop/blue/

as well as at their publisher https://www.magicoxygen.co.uk/.

The third part of his trilogy Violet can be pre-ordered at  https://leslietate.com/contact/

Leslie’s website https://leslietate.com/ carries weekly creative interviews and guest blogs showing how people use their imagination in life, in many different ways.


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Downs tells all

The Convenient Escape Book Cover The Convenient Escape
Robert Downs
crime, thiller
Black Opal
November 12, 2016

To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her. Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won't last...


Robert Downs the Author

 Penchant for Vengeance 2018; The Convenient Escape 2017; LaCours Destiny 2016; Graceful Immortality 2015

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I’ve always been fascinated with police procedurals, even though I had never written one before. I like challenging myself, so in this type of scenario, I often look at it as what’s the risk. If it’s no good, no one will ever read it but me. But I finished it, I sent it to my publisher, Black Opal Books, and they liked it, and here we are. I do believe I am growing and improving as a writer, and more than anything, I hope I show that with PENCHANT FOR VENGEANCE.


I grew up in a religious household, so there were themes in this novel that I wanted to explore, and that were important to me. It’s a bit of a departure from what I’ve written before, but I look at it as a good thing, not a bad one.

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

I believe in John Grisham’s approach to research. I do as little of it as possible to sound believable and creditable. With that being said, I love to learn, and I am always learning random facts that I may, or may not, use in one of my books. I am like a sponge, and I constantly soak up the world around me, because I never know when I will discover some tidbit that will set my story off on a new course. When I discover one of these, my first thought is that’s fantastic. I can use that.


My process, and it’s not the process that will work for every writer, is to write the story first, as fast and as furious as my fingers and brain can go. Over the course of this process, I’ll discover where I get stuck, and therefore what I need to learn more about. Once in a while, I’ll surprise myself with what I do know, and sometimes I’ll bend the truth a little in order to make the story work. But either way, I don’t want to spend more time doing research than is absolutely necessary, because I get more joy from writing than I do from research.

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

I’ve been rejected so many times I’ve lost count. Stephen King used to nail his rejection letters on a wall, and the story goes that he had to get bigger and bigger nails to hold up his increasing number of letters. Rough guess is I’m hovering close to 1,000 myself, but that’s over the course of seventeen years of writing, and making every mistake you can imagine, like trying to publish books before the story was ready for an audience. I’ve also discovered that as a writer you never stop being rejected, so I just take it as another part of the process. It’s much easier to say no than it is to say yes, because yes requires some action from the other party. I also have this personality quirk where I can take the energy from negativity, and turn it into a positive that works for me. I have no idea where this particular gift came from, but it’s absolutely fantastic.

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

I did not. As writers, we shouldn’t compare our writing path to anyone else’s, because this can sometimes be a losing proposition. My journey has been to gradually build my writing career over time, and I have worked with some wonderful small presses thus far. If we’re being completely honest, some have been a bit more wonderful than others, but all have taught me valuable lessons about publishing that I will take with me for the rest of my life. That’s valuable, and when value is bestowed upon me, I consider myself lucky.

  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?

I’m gonna steal from my previous answers a bit, but I’ll try to do it with a slightly different spin. I would say writers need to look to carve out their own path, and not worry about what someone else has done. It ultimately depends on your goals as a writer, and how much control he or she wants to have throughout the writing process. Self-publishing gives you a whole lot of control, but you have to use that power wisely, otherwise it can end up wasted, or it might even blow up in your face.


When you’re starting out as a writer, the best thing you can do is write. After you’ve been doing this a few years and possibly published a few novels, the best thing you can do is write. That particular aspect never changes. Think of it like practice. You have to continue to show up and put in the work. If self-publishing is what gets you to write, and you use that platform to grow and improve as a writer, learn from your mistakes (most beginning writers make mistakes), and build your audience through marketing, hard work, and more writing, I don’t think anyone can fault you for doing that. It can be a great process if you use it right. I understand it as a process, but it just wasn’t the right process for me.

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

That’s gotta be the funniest thing I’ve ever heard, and it’s also one of the biggest myths about being a writer. Readers assume we’re all driving around in Porsches, and we have two or three homes, one of which is somewhere like Florida, Nantucket, or California. But we all can’t be Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, James Patterson, or Harlan Coben. Let me dispel this myth completely right now. The average writer makes $7,000 a year. If you can live on $7K a year, then I have to say you are a much better person than I am.


If that ever happens, I will certainly let you know. But I’m not gonna hold my breath on it ever happening, and I am not gonna build my retirement plan around such a farfetched scenario.

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

There are many writers who have influenced me over the years, and I feel like I discover more every day, since I am a reader first and a writer second. But I will go with the late Robert B. Parker and his Spenser novels. Spenser was a smartaleck, and Parker wrote some fantastic dialogue, and I adored the stories very much. Whenever he and Hawk busted a few heads, I was ready to stand up and cheer.

  1. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Again, there are many writers I could place here, and all have a fantastic sense of humor, but my answer for today is Dave Barry. He comes up with fantastic characters and places them in the midst of fantastic situations, and he is just such a joy to read. I believe a lot of humor can be found in the extremes, and he utilizes this particular theory to a fine art. If you ever need a good laugh, I don’t think you can go wrong with Dave Barry. I know I sure haven’t.

Website: http://www.RobertDowns.net

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/RobertDownsBooks

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