Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Interview with A D Thorne

Interview with A D Thorne, author of Mass Murder, Book two of the Camino de Santiago Series.

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

Broadly, they are crime novels. The Santiago de Compostela series was intended to be a police procedural series but seem to mutate into political thrillers as I wrote them, Mass murder has almost Dan Brown style action, I love the result but it was unintentional and makes the book hard to describe.

The treasure of Saint Bee series started as cosy mystery and also veered off course into a more traditional mystery. In the New Year, I have planned a series of cosy mysteries which will remain true to the subgenre. I plan to be very strict with my characters and myself, I will not veer off course.

What made you choose that genre?

It gives me a chance to murder people without committing a crime, so my imagination can run riot.

Also, if anyone upsets me they might end up metaphorically dead. It is much easier to forgive people once you have planned their murder in your mind.

I have ideas for stories in other genres too, if I ever get a chance to write them. More seriously, I read quite widely and you have to start somewhere.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I haven't been writing for long enough yet to be certain, because each book takes less time. But about six months start to finish at the moment. I have planned three books for next year so I am banking on writing faster in the future.

What is your work schedule when you are writing?

Again, that is still developing. At the moment, I start the day by editing the previous day's work, then have a break. Then I write about a thousand words before lunch. After that, it depends on what else I have to do. Writing related tasks, like website, answering emails, maybe watching a writing related Youtube video or doing some research. Household tasks tend to go in this slot as well, so washing, cleaning, food prep. Then if I can, I write some more in the evening before my husband who is a teacher gets home.

Tell me something about yourself that your readers might not know.

I am terrified of social media. I have done all kinds of jobs, been climbing, sailing, even parachuting all of which I did without batting an eyelid, and yet the mere thought of posting something on Facebook or Instagram has me curled up in a ball under the bed covers. Twitter is nothing more than a torture device, you write something and then wait for people to hurl insults back and if you are not careful; you lose the ability to escape from it all. I don't know how people do it.

When did you write your first book?

Just over two years ago, I'm a late starter. I was almost 60 when I started. I have always been an avid reader of all genres and had had a blog. I had never tried writing fiction. I would have loved to write a book earlier, but lacked both confidence and time. I'm working on the principal that it's never too late to start a new career.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

We are restoring an old stone farmhouse in Galicia and four acres of land. There is always something to do. Of course, in Galicia it rains, so it's good to have some indoor activities on hand. I read and sew and crochet and sometimes sit on the balcony and watch the buzzards circle overhead.

I also cook sometimes for a stall on an artisan market, or in the summer for a couple of summer camps. At the moment I mostly write, and being a relative beginner, I watch your tube videos on things like formatting, email lists and marketing. There is a steep learning curve and many new skills to learn.

What is the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?

How addictive it is: I had expected it to be hard work; I knew that I would encounter many things that were technically difficult. I'm old enough to feel like a dinosaur at time, when dealing with the digital world. Like many writers, I find the notion of selling or marketing is quite scary. I have never been good at selling. I even lost money selling unwanted items on eBay. Twice I felt guilty when someone bought thing I was selling and I rushed out and bought a new item and gave them that instead. Once, when someone collected something in person, I gave them the item for free and invited them in for tea and biscuits. I had to stop; it was costing me so much money.

I hadn't anticipated the thrill of telling a story, or that I would wake up in the night thinking about the next scene, or the sinking feeling at the start of a day out, that my computer wasn't going with me (I do sneak a notebook into my bag).

How many books have you written?

I have two full-length novels, two novellas, and a short story. My latest full-length novel is being edited at the moment. I'm not sure of the publication date yet though, I might prefer to miss the Christmas rush and publish in January.

Do you google yourself? What did you find that affected you most?

No, I don't. Is that a thing? I mean, do people really do that?

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

As I child, I changed my mind often, but it was usually an explorer or a mountaineer. My mother thought I would end up on the button counter at Woolworths, she meant it as a threat, but I don't remember thinking it would be a bad thing. I remember wanting to live in a croft in Scotland. But that is probably because I was in love with Lillian Beckwith's Hebridean books. I still love them, and I still sometimes wonder why I didn't do that. I suppose a farmhouse in Galicia is not so different though. Now I know that I want to be a writer when I grow up.

How many unpublished or half-finished books do you have on your computer?

Just two: my work in progress, and a half-written memoir, which I haven't yet had the courage to finish. I have a number of short stories though; maybe some of them should be books. I write them mostly to deal with ideas that threaten my current work in progress. But I also give them away to my mailing list.

Bio: Abigail Thorne was born in the Yorkshire mining town of Doncaster and attended the grammar school there, one of the oldest schools in England.

She has been married for over forty years to her husband Steve; they have two children and four grandchildren all living in the UK.

She now lives in a tiny Galician aldea with an ever changing number of animals, a productive vegetable garden and an amazing view over the hills.

She especially loves the tranquillity of life there.

Website and Blog:


Amazon Author page:


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Thursday, 12 November 2020

Author interview with Lisa Rose Wright

Author interview with Lisa Rose Wright. 

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

My books are travelogue memoirs about our life here in beautiful green Galicia

What made you choose that genre?

I guess because I felt I had a story to tell which might interest readers, and maybe even encourage people to find this lovely, little known area of Spain

How long does it take you to write a book?

Well, I suppose my first book was ten years in the making. I wrote odd stories down from time to time with no clear idea what to do with them until I joined a writers’ group. I then wrote a short story as a reader magnet which only took me a couple of months. My second book is at the editing stage now and I’ve started making notes for book three. I think they will each end up being a year in the making.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I don’t really have a set schedule though I do get itchy fingers if I don’t write for a couple of hours a day. I sit typing and staring out of the window at my lovely view!

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

Aged eight I won a writing competition with the milk marketing board. My prize was a two foot high Rupert Bear. He was adorable!

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I suppose I wrote my first ‘book’ around age ten. It was a collection of nine stories about creatures living on each of the planets in the solar system! My first published book went on sale in Amazon stores on July 1st this year at age 55 so it’s taken a while!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

If I’m not writing you can usually find me on my huerta sowing, planting, weeding or harvesting our produce, or in my kitchen preserving the harvest or baking cakes…my favourite pastime!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I can apparently write things people want to read. It sounds daft but I was always shy of letting people read my efforts until I entered a competition in a local anthology called The Good Life in Galicia. In the second year I won second in the non-fiction section. That was a revelation.

How many books have you written?

I have one full length memoir and a short story ‘prequel’ both on Amazon. I also have a free Christmas story out this month and I’m planning on book two of the Writing Home series being out next spring.

Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?

No, I never do…is that odd?

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I always wanted to work with animals though I did have a brief spell of wanting to be a bus conductor when I was six.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?

Ah well, on my computer only the WiP and a short Christmas story for release in December. In my notepads though I have many more half-baked ideas for memoirs and even a couple of novels…one day!

 Author Bio:

In 2007 Lisa left a promising career as an ecologist catching protected reptiles and amphibians, and kissing frogs, to move to beautiful green Galicia with her blue-eyed prince (who has since become her blue-eyed husband but that’s another story).

She divides her time equally between growing her own food, helping to renovate a semi-derelict house (or actually two… but that’s another story too) and getting out and about to discover more of the stunningly beautiful area she calls home.

Lisa is happiest outside in her huerta weeding, watching the antics of her chickens or in her kitchen cooking interesting recipes on her wood burning range.

Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart is her first memoir. Book two of the writing home series will feature more anecdotes, more letters home and more recipes. Oh and more bureaucracy! Tomato, Fig & Sweetcorn Jelly will be available in 2021. In the meantime there is a short story prequel Camino available on Amazon or free to subscriber’s to Lisa’s newletter.





Amazon author page





Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart – A year to write home about

Camino, or a Peanut Butter, Marmite & Banana Butty – a sort of prequel

Tomato, Fig & Sweetcorn Jelly –A year to write home about too (coming soon)

Christmas in Galicia – a Free short story download. My Christmas gift to anyone purchasing Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart in December.

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Friday, 6 November 2020

Friday Fiction Feature: Everything is Fine

This week’s Friday Fiction Feature is Everything is Fine by Gillian Harvey

Ever wondered what it’s like to be an influencer? For Jessica Bradley, fitness guru, things aren’t as wonderful as they may seem.

We all like a bit of attention, but when Jessica started blogging about a diet and fitness programme she’d put herself on, it was only so she’d feel accountable and actually shed a few pounds. 

What she didn’t bank on was a celebrity retweet, and the fame and notoriety that followed.

At first, the attention was quite welcome – as someone who runs her own little PR enterprise, the flood of new clients on the back of her improved social media presence boosted her income and put her business on the map.

But after a while, things start to slip. Like many of us, Jessica’s not the sort of person who can stick to a fitness routine long-term. Certainly not a punishing one. Yet her followers expect daily inspiration from their chosen fitness guru – what is she eating? How is she working out? How does she look in her gym gear?

It helps to have boyfriend Dave on board. He’s the epitome of a well-honed gym goer and is happy to be featured regularly on her online feed.

When Dave leaves her unexpectedly one morning, she’s left trying to pick up the pieces.

She’s caught – forced into a lifestyle she doesn’t fully want to embrace, but one doesn’t feel able to let go of either.

Stuck, Jessica tries to keep up appearances – with hilarious results.

The book explores the idea of what it means to live your life on social media – and encourages the reader to reflect on whether it’s possible to be honest online, or whether happiness is better found in the ‘real’ world.

Everything is Fine

Author bio

Gillian Harvey started her career as a high school teacher in the UK. In 2009 she moved to France, where she now lives with her husband and their five children. In 2012, she retrained as a freelance writer and now regularly writes for national publications. ‘Everything is Fine’ is her debut novel.

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Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Interview with Karen Osman

Interview with Karen Osman

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

My novels fall into a sub-genre of psychological thrillers called domestic noir. Domestic noir novels usually centre around the family and are quite dark in nature. There is usually a thriller element as well as suspense and various plot twists.

What made you choose that genre?

When I wrote my first novel, The Good Mother, which won the Emirates Festival of Literature Prize, it wasn’t a conscious decision to write this genre. However, there are strong themes of motherhood in my book and I wrote instinctively most likely because I was pregnant at the time and also looking after a toddler. Saying that, I read a lot of psychological thrillers and crime novels, so this probably influenced my work as well.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I have written three books so far. The Good Mother took me a year to write, my second, The Home, around nine months, and The Perfect Lie, my latest book, around nine months as well. I’m currently working on my fourth book and I estimate six to nine months to write it.  

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

As I have a four and six-year old, I usually work around the academic calendar so as soon as I have dropped my sons off to school, then I will usually work first thing in the morning when I’m at my most creative. The early afternoons are for admin, marketing, meetings, and so on. I find writing a bit like exercise – if I don’t do it in the morning, it doesn’t tend to happen.

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

I’m originally from the Lake District in the UK but left when I was 21 to live in Japan. Since then, I’ve lived as an expat in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and currently live in Dubai. 

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I’ve written my whole life from a very young age, but it was only when I was 37 that I attempted my first novel, The Good Mother. I submitted that manuscript into a novel writing competition and won. The judge of that competition was a renowned literary agent and he sold The Good Mother as part of a three-book deal.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

In addition to writing novels, I also own a business which I set up in 2011 called Travel Ink. I also run an online book club, Karen’s Bookshelf, because I love to read, and this summer, I launched an online writing course for aspiring authors called Kick Start Your Book With Karen. To relax, I love working out, going to the beach, and spending time with my family.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I think there were two things: the first, how difficult it can be to write a book and secondly, how challenging I found the isolating nature of the job. I consider myself an introvert but sometimes I struggled working on my own for so long. The latter is one of the reasons I set up Karen’s Bookshelf and the Kick Start Your Book With Karen programme. I wanted to connect with other readers and writers as well as pass on book recommendations and writing advice.

How many books have you written?

I have written three novels and currently working on my fourth. For my latest novel, The Perfect Lie, readers can read the first chapters for free by clicking here.

Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?

Great question - I just Googled myself now to answer this! The first few pages are mainly about my books, social media profiles, and other interviews I’ve done but I also discovered another author called Karen Osman who has published a book about the Italian Renaissance!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a war reporter when I was around sixteen and didn’t really understand what it entailed. I studied Linguistics and English Language at the University of Durham so I always knew I would work with words in some way.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?

Just the one, thank goodness! I wrote a first draft, around 80,000 words, but realised the story didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. So disappointing! It took me a while to accept it but once I did, I had the freedom to start working on something else.  




Amazon Author Page:

Link to join the book club:

Link to join writing course:





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The Perfect Lie (pub 2019)

The Home (pub 2018)

The Good Mother (pub 2017)

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Friday, 30 October 2020

Friday Fiction Feature: Revenge, Secrets & Lies

Revenge, Secrets & Lies by Margaret Macklin is this week's Friday Fiction Feature.

The story has many facets: the all-consuming love between a beautiful socialite and a handsome man from a very different culture. Unexpected love - an abused landlady and a recently divorced policeman who happens, by chance,to walk into her pub. The theme running through the book is one of enduring friendship: two couples whose lives have been ruined by the neighbour from hell - how will they seek revenge?

For over thirty years the Jacksons and the Barbers were liked and admired by their neighbours in Waverley Terrace…

After the arrival of Spike McEwan, (the neighbour from hell) their lives become intolerable – music, full-volume, night after night. The Police and Environmental Health are unable to help – leaving a tempting but rather drastic solution. Can Spike’s disappearance be explained convincingly to his ex-girlfriend, the beautiful socialite, Evie Stockwell?

Whilst visiting Northumberland’s rugged coastline, the friends are charmed by Pat Penrose, vivacious landlady of the ‘Jug of Ale’ public house – however, they take an instant dislike to Pat’s handsome lover, Piers Montague…

Whilst on holiday, the foursome discover ‘The Witch’s Waterfall’ with its tragic, 18th century legend. Does a ghostly apparition exist or is it just a figment of an over-active imagination?

A gripping tale of romance, intrigue and enduring friendship. Fascinating characters and more than a touch of dark humour!

Revenge, Secrets & Lies

Biography of Margaret Macklin 

I started writing five years ago after a serious illness. I found writing to be a wonderful form of distraction and very therapeutic...

After publishing three children's books I wanted to branch out and try something new, perhaps I should add a few murders to my stories!

Revenge, Secrets & Lies demonstrates what can happen to ordinary people when their lives are taken over by 'the neighbour from hell'. A gripping tale of romance, intrigue and enduring friendship. Fascinating characters and more than a touch of dark humour...

My home is surrounded by a very large garden with a small deciduous wood at the top - in the spring it comes alive with wild cherry trees, primroses, bluebells and cyclamen. As you can imagine, the garden keeps me very busy as does my new rescue cat - Evie...

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Friday, 23 October 2020

Friday Fiction Feature: Tapestry

This week's Friday Fiction Feature is Tapestry by Beth Duke.

There is so much about TAPESTRY that sets it apart from typical Women’s Fiction. First and foremost, it’s about family heritage; about the importance of the ones who came before us and the ones who love us now.

It’s uniquely suited to 2020 because the book incorporates both African-American and Native American history that will be surprising and memorable to readers. It is a beautiful story of how humans are all connected―there are threads that connect us―in so many ways. Through past, present, and future; through blood, friends, strangers; through the earth, through stories, through memories.

TAPESTRY is an Award-Winning Finalist in the Women's Fiction category of the 2020 International Book Awards, The Bronze Medal Winner in Southern Fiction in Publisher's Weekly 2020 Readers' Choice Awards, and a Five Star Readers' Favorite Award Winner. It is a popular choice among book clubs across the United States, offering a great deal of thoughtful discussion along with a rich story.

 Here’s a quick synopsis:

Twenty-one-year-old Skye Willis lives in Eufaula, Alabama, a tourist mecca of stately homes and world-class bass fishing. Her childhood friends are either stuck at dead ends or have moved on to accomplish Big Things. 

Skye’s grandmother, Verna, insists on being called “Sparrow” because she suspects her ancestors were Muscogee Creek. She dresses in faux deerskin and experiments with ancient Native American recipes, offering a myth or legend to anyone who will listen.

Skye has no idea what to do with her life. She’s smart as hell, but she has no faith or knowledge there’s something out there she was “born to do.” Nor does she know much of anything about her father, who died in Afghanistan when she was a toddler. He and his family are a mystery her mother won’t discuss. But when Sparrow sets out to confirm her Creek ancestry through genetic testing, Skye joins in. 

The results hit like a DNA bomb, launching them both on a path filled with surprises and life-changing events. Skye learns a harder truth than she ever expected. 

Alternating chapters between Skye’s Alabama life and an intertwining tale of greed, deceit, and control in Texas, this story offers proof that all life is a woven tapestry of past, present, and future. 

In Beth Duke’s uplifting and soul-singing voice, TAPESTRY is Southern Fiction at its best; you will cry, you will laugh out loud, and you will wish you were a member of the beautiful, matriarchal family Duke has created for her readers. 


Beth Dial Duke is an Amazon #1 Best Selling author and the recipient of short story awards on two continents. She is eyeing the other five.

Beth lives in the mountains of her native Alabama with her husband, one real dog, and one strictly ornamental dog. She loves reading, writing, and not arithmetic. Baking is a hobby, with semi-pro cupcakes and amateur macarons a specialty. And puns―the worse, the better. Travel is her other favorite thing, along with joining book clubs for discussion. If a personal visit isn't possible, Zoom or Skype are.



Instagram: @onlythebethforyou


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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Interview with Phillip Jordan

Interview with Phillip Jordan

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

My novels fall firmly into the contemporary crime thriller genre.  CODE OF SILENCE is a police procedural with thriller elements. Of the two series that stem from this novel one fall’s firmly into Police Procedural and the other is hi-octane thriller.

What made you choose that genre?

Crime and Thriller are genres I love to read. Write what you love, was a lesson I learned and whether it limits me (I’m not a true believer in writing to market). 

I think the love of writing would be lost trying to write what was popular or profitable at a given moment in time. 

Crime novels have and will always be popular as they satisfy all the elements required for us to enjoy a good story. I also like the fact it allows me to explore the world and current events going on around us. With the broad canvas of real life intrigue, the rise of organised crime and it’s attempt to legitimise business into regular society and the morality of the mega-corporations as they expend their reach; as a backdrop I think topics like these give thriller fiction an air of authenticity and urgency. I think it helps me consider those wider topics and offers the opportunity to explore the reasons behind them and the fears, anxieties and drama these circumstances create.

How long does it take you to write a book?

That’s the million-dollar question. My debut novel is scheduled for release Winter 2020. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. Fits and burst but I never saw anything through. There was always something to inevitably get in the way. I read that Ian Fleming and Lee Child arrived to writing late and that gave me a kick of inspiration not to give up.

CODE OF SILENCE has been a work in progress since March. So I’d say it’s been six months writing with another three to do the spit and polish.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I was fortunate to be furloughed from work during this years crisis which took away any financial burden and allowed me to write what I’ll call full time. I’ll usually write in two or three sessions a day. AM before anyone else is up then another session in the afternoon and another in the evening.

I think the story is always there though whether I’m out walking the dogs or sitting having coffee. I’ll grab my phone and make notes and suggestions.

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

I competed in triathlon to a fairly high level. From Olympic Distance up to Ironman events with a few top-ten finishes, an age-group championship and a World Police and Fire Games under my belt. I think the dedication to train and compete has helped immensely in garnering the focus to write every day. Now writing is the thing which has replaced the hours of swimming, cycling and running.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I probably wrote my first book when I was early teens or younger. I remember printing out pages and Pritt Sticking them together to form a book. I think it was just to have that physical item in your hands that you had created. I’m in my forties now and been able to put the years of practice and reading to work so hopefully now as I head toward mid-forties I’ll achieve that young kids dream.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I still keep myself fit but just not to the level I would have when competing. I have two dogs who keep me occupied with walks and enjoy just spending time with and cooking for family. I don’t think I’m ever not writing though. The story works its way in to your head so it’s always being added to or tweaked and new scenes or new works thought about. I’m also a voracious reader so rarely have a book out of my hand.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That there was so much more than just the writing! Perhaps naively I thought the difficult part would be to get the words down into a coherent story that people would engage with. While that’s true the elements of setting up websites, social media pages, cover and copy design sort of snuck up. As did media and marketing.

I’m grateful to be in the position of learning and putting these new skills into practice. I have been lucky enough to be part of a generous and supportive writing community who have always been near if help was needed.

How many books have you written?

CODE OF SILENCE will be the first full-length novel. It is the first book in what I term the Origins Collection.

The novel is a contemporary Crime Thriller set in Belfast; it follows D.I Veronica Taylor as she picks up the pieces of a failed prosecution against her nemesis, Gordon Beattie, who although now free finds himself in a predicament of his own.

Code launches a narrative and set of characters on diverse journeys across the next books, exploring the themes of redemption and retribution against a backdrop of political greed, corruption, exploitation and the meaning of justice in modern day Northern Ireland and the world at large.

The next two books, THE CROSSED KEYS and NO GOING BACK are planned for next year.

Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?

I don’t exist on Google. I’ve had no social media presence until I began to write. Is that a blessing? Ask me again a year from now or once the reviews start coming in!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I didn’t know. Like a lot of voracious readers I would dream that a career as a successful writer might be something I could do but then life has a habit of knocking the edges off those dreams and you turn to regular pursuits to earn a living.

The big dream now would be to have this passion and love of story telling find an audience who are as enthusiastic about reading the books, as I am to write them. 

If I’m blessed enough to find that then the daydreams of a little boy scribbling in a notebook in backstreet Belfast will have come to life and that will be success.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?

At this minute I have CODE OF SILENCE in the final stages. There are two direct follow on novels pre-planned that I estimate will be available 2021; THE CROSSED KEYS and NO GOING BACK.

I also have four novella tie in’s. Two of which will hopefully coincide with the release of CODE with the other two released to keep appetites whetted prior to the next novels being released.

Bio: Phillip Jordan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and grew up in the city that holds the dubious double honour of being home to Europe's Most Bombed Hotel and scene of its largest ever bank robbery.

He had a successful career in the Security Industry for twenty years before transitioning into the Telecommunications Sector.

Aside from writing Phillip has competed in Olympic and Ironman Distance Triathlon events both Nationally and Internationally including a European Age-Group Championship and the World Police and Fire Games.

Taking the opportunity afforded by recent world events to write full-time Phillip is in the process of completing his Debut Crime Thriller, CODE OF SILENCE, finding inspiration in the dark and tragic history of Northern Ireland but also in the black humour, relentless tenacity and Craic of the people who call the fabulous but flawed City of his birth home.

Phillip now lives on the County Down coast and is currently writing two novel series.

The D.I Veronica Taylor Series is set in Belfast and follows the title character as she seeks to redeem her career and her sense of justice following a failed high profile prosecution against one of the city's premier crime lords. Taylor investigates crime and the city's criminal underworld while navigating the tightrope of politics and collusion.

The Tom Shepard Series follows an ex-special forces operator attempting to exact revenge on those responsible for a personal tragedy. Shepard unexpectedly uncovers a deeper conspiracy that puts him on a collision course with a shadowy global consortium responsible for greater injustice and threat than just that which has befallen him.




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