Monday, May 30, 2016

Blog Tour: Interview with novelist, Thea Hartley

Where did you get the idea for your book from?

My daughter had a dream about my late husband, where he gave her the message 'Wear bright colours for me' that became the title. I was also inspired by my grandsons and his friend Isla, who have been extremely close since nursery school. They are inseparable. They made me think that they could have met in a previous life....I had read a great deal about reincarnation and was interested in the subject. I wanted to write something about it. 

Are the characters based on anyone you know?

Well...they weren't intentionally ( except Alex and Isla as the two children, but not older), However, some of the characters reminded me of some people, although I'm not saying who!

What are your thoughts on reincarnation?

After all the research, I am very open minded. There could possibly be something in it.

What are your thoughts on Karma?

I don't think it's the strict karma of some beliefs, but I do believe that some things are destined and you get good or bad things happen to you relating to past deeds.

Do you think there's a lesson somewhere in your book?

Yes, I actually think it's a very moral book. The message seems to be that certain behaviours and values bring rewards, whilst others bring some form or another.

Which time period did you prefer?

I liked them all. I really enjoyed researching each and every one. If I had to choose, it would be the gypsies in Victorian times.

Have you any plans for further books on the topic of reincarnation?

I have some ideas, but it depends on the success of the first book. I would like next time to have one person who remembers their previous life or lives and tries to solve mysteries from them.

9What is your writing day like?

Very disorganised. I get up and deal with correspondence first. From then on its anyone's guess. If I have time I will write for an hour or two, then do chores etc. If not, the writing will take place later in the day...sometimes in the middle of the night. Other times if I am deeply into a book, I might write for most of the day.

What are you writing at the moment?

I have almost finished editing "Gone and Forgotten" a crime thriller. I will then start on the third book in the 'French Letter' series..."Fall of the French Letter King".

Where can readers find information about you and your books?

On any of the following links:

Twitter @thea1710

LinkedIn. Thea Phillips.

Wear Bright Colours for Me:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Great New Dark Fantasy Novel!

dark fantasy
Be Careful What You Wish For by SuZanne Ahlin
When an old woman decides that she’s had enough, and decides to end it all to relieve herself of her constant pain, she doesn’t expect a handsome young man to intervene.
Not content with saving her from her intended suicide attempt, he gives her a new chance at life.
Suddenly, in the body she’d had when forty years younger, she finds herself thrown headlong into a life that she could only have dreamed about… if her dreams had been particularly bizarre fantasies.
As part of a worldwide community of witches and warlocks, along with a selection of vampires, werewolves, and other mythical species, all of them ruled over by the mysterious ‘Regime’, her life becomes anything but boring.
Throw in some grisly deaths, mystical spells, and an uncertain romance to season this supernatural adventure, and you have all the right ingredients for a tale to entrance, captivate, and entertain.
 ** Visit the publisher's website to view a video of this book and link to an extract! **

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Blog

I've got another new blog as well as this one. I've started a Word Press one. Well reactivated an old one I had as I've been told Word Press is better for writers. Anyhow, we'll see how it goes. So far, I've posted the usual sort of posts I post here, but the good thing about it is, it seems to be reaching more people I don't know, and will post directly to my Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus accounts etc.

You can find the new blog here:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Steamy Romance: The Sicilian's Proposition

She wrapped her large beach towel around herself and came above deck to find Dante had already changed into a pair of white swimming trunks. She held her breath when she saw his tanned, trim body. He had a smattering of black hair on his chest and looked very muscular. His chest was broad, and she longed to run her fingers over its contours and lay her head on it. She inhaled, exhaled, and tried to keep her composure.

“Come on, Joanne,” he teased.“Drop the towel.” His chocolate brown eyes glinted devilishly.

She let her towel fall to the floor and watched as his eyes widened with desire.

“Mamma Mia. Why do you fear showing your body to me? You are beautiful…and that gold chain around your stomach, it makes you look very sexy…”

No one had ever called her sexy before, ever. Her mouth dry, she licked her lips.
“I haven’t let a man see me in a bikini for years, Dante. I’m not as slim as I used to be.”

“No, no, Joanne. To me you look fabulous. I love your curves. They suit you. A man needs somewhere comfortable to land.” He laughed, making her laugh too, and it helped to ease her heightened nerves. He pecked her on the cheek and then, much to her astonishment, he turned, walked to the side of the boat, climbed on the edge, and dived into the water, sending up a huge splash of sea spray.
She stood and peered overboard but couldn’t see him for a few seconds; her heart thudded. Where had he gone? Then there was a splash as he emerged and wiped the water out of his eyes, laughing and bobbing up and down in the water. 

“Come on in here, join me please, Joanne,” he urged. She hadn’t been expecting this at all.
Gingerly she sat on the side of the boat. “Will you help me into the water?” She bit her lip.
“Of course, amore mio. Jump to me, I will catch you.”
She closed her eyes and with blind faith threw herself into his arms. For a moment the combined weight made them dip under water and she began to panic a little. Then they were fully submerged, and eventually returned to the surface, bobbing up and down. There was a small ladder at the side of the boat she could cling to if she wanted to and that reassured her somehow. Who could fail to feel safe with Dante around?
“But…but…where are we?” she spluttered.
“Joanne, we are only just off the coastline of Sicily. Over there are the Aeolian Islands.” He pointed and she made out some dark shapes in the distance. “We shall have a little swim here, rest later, and eat too. Then I am going to sail the boat over to one of them. It’s called Lipari and it’s the largest island, it’s volcanic. The food there is out of this world.”
“You are full of surprises, Dante.”
“I know.” He smiled and drew her close to him, stroked her face, and then pressed his lips down on hers, stealing her breath away as his tongue danced with hers. “Like that you mean?” he asked, drawing away.
She nodded. “Yes.”
“And like this?” He wrapped his arms around her and untied her bikini top. She gasped at his cheek and watched as he spun it around his head and tossed it aboard the boat.
“What did you do that for?” She blinked several times.
“Because you have a beauty, Joanne, that needs to be admired.” He cupped a breast in his hand and lowered his head to suckle. She groaned as a tingle of desire coursed around her body. “Please do not worry, there is no one to see us here like this.”
He pushed her up against the boat; the water was so clear, so aquamarine and warmer than she thought, though that might have been because he had switched on her button of desire. There were some fish swimming down below in among the fronds and rocks. She gazed in awe.
“Yes, this is a good place to catch fish, Joanne. I have been scuba diving here. You should join me sometime.”

She laughed. “I think this is as much of the ocean I can stand, Dante. I’m not a strong swimmer.”
He ran a wet finger along her cheek. “Ah, you are frightened, I can see that, but you need not be when you are with me. I can teach you about so many things.”
She shivered; without a doubt, there were many things Dante Alphonso could teach her, not least of all love-making. He was her tutor and she was about to become a very willing student...

Available here in both Kindle and Paperback version:

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Jack the Ripper Tour

Happy Days Fish and Chip Shop
Property rented out to movie companies
Last weekend my husband took me away to London for a Jack the Ripper Tour arranged by Edwards Coaches. It was an anniversary present and a great one at that! Other women get flowers and chocolates but I got a slasher tour. Just kidding I got the flowers and chocs too. It was honestly the best present he could have given to me as going on that tour brought the area to life for me. The tour lasted for two hours and was well worth it as the guide took us around the streets and alleyways that the victims and Jack the Ripper himself would have used. I actually asked if some of the cobbles were the very ones they had walked on and I was assured that they were!
One place we were shown was the Happy Days Fish and Chip shop at Goulston Street, which was the site where Catherine Eddows bloodied apron was found. Apparently the police had hold of it for six weeks and then it conveniently disappeared! Although there was no DNA back then, imagine if they'd kept it, later on it could have been analysed! But apparently lots of evidence went missing back then as our guide told us they were just left lying around and not always labelled.

A nearby street
Another building we passed was this eerie building on the left that was light up inside and full of old furniture. Apparently, it's used by movie companies for programmes like Ripper Street and would be very expensive to purchase even though it looks run down! No one lives there, it's just rented out.

The street intersecting with that one was extremely spooky I found, it looked very olde worlde, yet properties there would cost a fortune!

The Ten Bells pub next door to Spitalfield's Church was of interest to me as it was said that some of the Ripper's victims would have drank there, maybe even the Ripper himself!
The Ten Bells pub

Wikipedia says: "The Ten Bells is a public house at the corner of Commercial Street and Fournier Street in Spitalfieds in the East End of  London. It is sometimes cited as being notable for its association with two victims of Jack the Ripper; Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly." I was most interested in seeing Miller's Court where Mary once lived but it's no longer there, now it's a building site with a huge crane stuck in the middle!

The pub is just a short walk from that area so I could well imagine Mary having a few gins at the Ten Bells, maybe picking up a client and staggering back to her humble abode, which is most probably how she met her grizzly demise!

Of all the victims I find Mary Jane Kelly, the most intriguing of all!

A crane now stands on the site of Miller's Court

I suppose I imagined the walk would meander along deathly quiet streets, swirling with fog, but of course it wasn't like that at all. It's a very busy area indeed and especially as it was a Saturday night as people passed us dressed up for a night out and on some parts of the tour you could hear the 'Boom Boom' of music vibrating from pubs and clubs out onto pavements beneath our feet, though some parts like near the expensive houses, the streets were quieter which added to the ambiance. A good imagination is needed for this tour to get the full effect!

Also I imagined there would be just the one tour going on, quite naively! There were several going on at the same time with various guides and we were almost bumping in to one another as we criss-crossed the streets, not to mention almost colliding with several other members of the public.

Spitalfields Church is very close to the Ten Bells pub. According to this website:

Spitafields Church "Christ Church was built between the years 1714 and 1729 as part of the church building programme initiated by the Fifty New Churches act of 1711, backed by Queen Anne, which was implemented by four different parliamentary commissions. At the time, there were fears that ‘godless thousands’ outside the City of London had no adequate church provision, and that non-conformists – including large numbers of French Huguenot silk weavers – were moving into Spitalfields and bringing their non-conformist worshipping ways with them."

Another Ripper Tour near ours
It seemed strange to think that the 'unfortunates' as they were known back then, i.e. prostitutes, were frequenting a pub so near to that the church where the moralists of that time would have attended. Would the prostitutes have gone there to worship too? Although the guide told us that it was St Botolph’s Church near Mitre Street that they encircled to ply their trade.     

I would say all in all, the Jack the Ripper tour we attended was very good and we got our money's worth from it. The guide told me something I hadn't heard before and that was [he got it from good authority] that the 'intestines over the left shoulder' thing that the Ripper did was connected to the Masons. It seemed to be a symbolic thing. He also showed us various photographs of the victims which were quite gruesome. Some of the women appeared to be middle-aged with Mary Kelly being the youngest at around 25 years of age.

So, I suppose it begs the questions did any of the women know their murderer? Had they encountered him beforehand, maybe say at the Ten Bells pub? Why was Mary Kelly's murder far more brutal than the others? It was almost as though 'Jack' wanted to hack off their identity and make them less of a woman by removing their uteruses. And strangely enough, why did Doctor John Rees Gabe [a qualified gynaecologist], attend Mary Kelly's murder scene along with an obstetrician?

The questions swirl around and around in my mind...

Thursday, May 05, 2016

New blog: My Name is Jack!

I've made a new blog about Jack the Ripper. If you're interested, click here:

'Jack the Ripper' was the name given to the person who went on a killing spree back in White Chapel in the East End of London, in 1888. He killed five prostitutes: Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly.