BLOG TOUR: Dead Jealous by Helen H. Durrant.

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Dead Jealous, Helen Durrant’s latest Calladine & Bayliss Mystery, published by Joffe Books on the 17th July. Without further ado, let’s find out more about the book.

Book Description.

A teenage girl’s body is found in the back of a car on the notorious Hobfield housing estate. No one had reported her missing, but she’s been dead for a week.

Meanwhile, an old jar is brought into the station. It was found carefully wrapped in a blanket, with a child’s pink hairclip. The jar contains ashes and bone fragments.

Seventeen years ago Detective Tom Calladine had been part of a team investigating the disappearance of Jessica Wilkins. Her mother had taken her to Leesdon Park one summer afternoon.

She went to get the child an ice cream and when she returned her daughter was gone. Over the years there were no sightings, no witnesses — nothing.

Will there finally be closure for this unsolved mystery?
And why was the girl found in the car killed and why are her friends not telling her the whole story?

Detectives Tom Calladine and Ruth Bayliss will unravel a web of lies and pain, in this fast-moving and gripping crime mystery.

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the stunning conclusion

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.

DEAD JEALOUS is book seven of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine.

THE DETECTIVES
Tom Calladine is a detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.

Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking  but loyal. She is balancing her professional life with looking after a small child.

THE SETTING
The fictional village of Leesdon on the outskirts of an industrial northern English city. There is little work and a lot of crime. The bane of Calladine’s life is the Hobfield housing estate, breeding ground to all that is wrong with the area that he calls home.

 

My Review:
This is the 7th book in this series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone as there is plenty of back story about the previous book to explain certain things in this one.

The plot flowed well, and the cases being investigated by Calladine and Bayliss held my interest, bringing together an excellent cast of characters. A cold case involving the disappearance of a two-year-old girl, the murder of a 16 year old girl, and a housing estate being terrorised by a violent moneylender, kept the police busy and me turning the pages.

Some of the characters feature in more than one of the investigations, but the story is written clearly so you never lose track of what is happening, or the reasons why the police are questioning certain people. About halfway through the book I thought I’d worked out what was going to happen, and who the culprits were, but I was wrong! The way the cases were resolved made for an excellent conclusion to the investigations.

I read this book having only read the first in the series beforehand. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and definitely plan on going back and working my way through the rest of the series. I’m sure readers who have been following the series will be pleased to see Calladine and Bayliss back again. If you enjoy getting involved in complex well-written crime fiction, then I highly recommend this book.

 

 About Helen:
OVER 450,00 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

Twitter @hhdurrant

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl

THE DCI GRECO BOOKS
Book 1: DARK MURDER
Book 2: DARK HOUSES
Book 3: DARK TRADE

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: DEAD WRONG
Book 2: DEAD SILENT
Book 3: DEAD LIST
Book 4: DEAD LOST
Book 5: DEAD & BURIED
Book 6: DEAD NASTY
Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS

5 Things I’ve Learnt as an Author.

Today I’d like to talk about some of the things I’ve learnt since I’ve been writing. I hope sharing my experiences will help other authors.

Don’t pay for things you don’t need to.
There are many people out there who claim to be miracle workers when it comes to marketing books, or getting more book reviews. Most are not, and should be avoided. I had many people approach me when I started writing trying to market my first book, claiming they could send the book shooting up the Amazon charts with no proof of any previous successes.

Book marketing is a steep learning curve that I’m still on, but much of what is offered by these ‘services’ can be done yourself. Offering your book for free on Amazon, for example – you can set this up yourself and make social media posts telling people about it. Book reviews shouldn’t be paid for – Amazon will remove reviews if they believe they’ve been bought, rather than given by a genuine reader. You can approach book bloggers with your book description and cover and ask if they’d be interested in reviewing it for you. Make sure the bloggers you ask read the same genres you write in, to ensure you get more positive responses.

 

Write your book how YOU want to:
What’s the best way to write your book? On Word? With Scrivener? Plan every detail, or just have a rough idea of the story? It’s all up to you – whatever works best. I write in Word because that’s what I’m used to, and I don’t see any benefit from changing to Scrivener. The most important thing is that you’ve got an idea and you want to write it. Don’t feel as though you need to use everything that is suggested to you. If you’ve read books telling you how to write a book and you get something out of it, then great, but it isn’t necessary to read them. You can help yourself though, by reading a variety of authors and picking out what does and doesn’t work in their writing. Continue reading

Double blog tour thanks!

Both The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused were recently re-launched by Bloodhound Books, and a week-long blog tour accompanied each publication.

I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all the book bloggers who took part in both tours. Each of you gave up your time to read, review and share your thoughts on both books across social media.

Without the invaluable work of book bloggers, authors wouldn’t be able to spread the word about their work. They help with exposure, getting people talking, and encouraging people to pick up books and read them. This takes each blogger a considerable amount of time, for which they don’t get paid – they do what they do for the love of books. Not only that, but the blogging community is very supportive, and those who didn’t take part on the Whittle tours either shared or re-tweeted the reviews that were part of them. Massive thanks to everyone who helped in any way with each tour.

Below are links to the blogs of the people who took part in the tours. I recommend you have a look through them for some really great reviews and book recommendations:

 

Amy writes reviews at Novel Gossip 

Dee writes over on Novel Deelights

Susan posts reviews on Books From Dusk till Dawn

Shell reviews over on Chelle’s Book Reviews

Mark posts reviews on Mark Wilson Books

Sarah reviews on By the Letter Book Reviews

Jen writes on Jen Med’s Book Reviews

Sam posts reviews on Clues and Reviews

Kate reviews over at The Quiet Knitter

Noelle posts reviews on Crime Book Junkie

Ronnie writes reviews at Ronnie Turner

Sean reviews over on Sean’s Book Reviews

Kerry Ann reviews at Chat About Books

Chandra writes over on Where the Reader Grows

Jill posts reviews on Books ‘n’ All

 

Once again, thanks to everyone who took part, and I look forward to reading your future reviews and blog posts.

Best wishes,

Mark.

 

The Eyes of the Accused Re-launch

Today, I’m delighted to share the new cover for The Eyes of the Accused. It will be re-launched by Bloodhound Books on 6th June. Below is the first chapter of the book. I hope you enjoy it.

Book Description:

Fresh from the horrors of their last case, private investigators Ben and Maddie are plunged into a disturbing world of terror as they search for missing pregnant girl, Hannah Heath.

Drawn to Frank Crowley, a suspect in Hannah’s disappearance, Maddie is about to come face to face with true evil. As she gets close to Crowley, Maddie will learn all is not what it seems.

Crowley is just a small part of something much larger. Something so terrible and deranged, it defies reason.

When Maddie disappears, Ben is left in a desperate race against time to find her and uncover the truth.

But can Ben and Maddie both survive this time?

 

First Chapter

Hannah Heath knew she was dying. Her head felt strangely detached from her body, as if it might float away at any moment like a helium balloon. A strip light blinked above her. Perhaps a mothership come to take her home. But where was home? Over the hills and far away, for all she knew. Her swollen bladder threatened to burst.

Outside the echoing dome of her skull, she heard a voice. ‘You asked to go to the toilet. Don’t you dare wet yourself. Get up!’

So tired now. Tired enough to die. She closed her eyes and waited for the angels to take her to heaven. The angels seemed otherwise engaged. Perhaps this terrible place was beyond their jurisdiction.

‘Stand up. I’m not dragging you all the way to the toilet.’

The words sounded as if they’d been fired from a canon. She wanted to say she couldn’t move. Her body was too tired. Exhausted. But the words refused to form on her lips. Hands on hers. Pulling her upright. A grunting noise, followed by several short sharp pants. ‘Come… on… get… up…’

Hannah opened one eye. Bright light forced it shut again. She tried to speak. Ask to be left alone, but the words came out all wrong. ‘Schmalone.’

Something pressed into her right breast. It bore down into her chest. She reached out, and her hand brushed against something coarse. Hair? She tried to grip it, but her fingers felt swollen and useless.

‘Stand up, you stupid girl.’ Continue reading

The Revelation Room Re-launch

Today, I’m delighted to be able to show you the new cover for The Revelation Room, and share the first chapter with you. The book is going to be re-launched by Bloodhound Books next week:

Book Description:
Ben Whittle’s father, a private investigator, has been taken captive by a cult whilst investigating the case of a missing girl. When Ben receives a desperate call from his father asking for help he is drawn into a dark underground world.

As Ben retraces the last known steps of the missing girl he discovers his only option left is to join the cult and rescue his father from the inside.

The leader of the cult, Edward Ebb, is a psychopathic egocentric who uses his position to control his small group of followers in The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. When he initiates Ben into the group it soon becomes apparent how sick and twisted Ebb is.

Ben must find his father and the missing girl, but the odds are stacked against him and time is running out.

Can Ben rescue his father and the girl and escape with his life?
And what is the gruesome secret concealed in the Revelation Room?

The Revelation Room is the first in a new series of psychological mystery thrillers.

 

To give you a taster of the book, here’s the first chapter:

Chapter One

Geoff Whittle stood in a tree twenty feet above the ground and stared at death. Death stared back at him in the guise of an automatic rifle with sunlight glinting off the barrel. A man wearing bright yellow overalls levelled the weapon at Geoff’s head. Geoff propped his long-range camera in the fork of two branches, wrapped his arms around the trunk for support, and tried to make contact with God for the first time since his dog had got run over when he was a kid.

A short fat man accompanying the shooter asked, ‘Who are you?’

Geoff searched his mind for lies. Terror shut down his imagination. The man with the rifle had shoulder-length brown hair and a goatee beard. He also had a nasty twitch in one eye. Continue reading