Staying in with Liza Perrat

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I’ve got a bit of a thing about Australia in fiction so it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome back Liza Perrat to Linda’s Book Bag today to tell me a little bit about one of her books which is set there. Liza was last on the blog with an extract from The Silent Kookaburra and although the giveaway is now over, you can read the post here.

Staying in with Liza Perrat

Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag Liza and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it? 

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I’ve brought along my latest novel, The Swooping MagpieThis is the second story (but they are both standalones) in an Australian 1970s family drama series. It is set at the same time and in the same place in New South Wales, as the first in the series, a psychological suspense, The Silent Kookaburra.

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(I love books that take me to Australia Liza and I think both your books would be exactly my kind of read. I’m so glad The Swooping Magpie is on my TBR.)

As well as evoking a true-life scandal that shocked Australia, The Swooping Magpie explores the effects and consequences of a dysfunctional family, and a rigid society, all set during a time of great change in Australia. Women were on the cusp of liberation, society itself was becoming more liberal and tolerant and everyone was protesting against Australia’s part in the Vietnam war, as America’s “puppets”.

(This sounds really interesting.)

What can we expect from an evening in with The Swooping Magpie?

Entertainment and enlightenment, I hope! Early readers have said this about the story:

It’s so tempting to look back on the 1970s as halcyon days for a young girl but The Swooping Magpie shows a seedier side of the end of the swinging 60s and the still early days of the sexual revolution where traditional values and the power of the church were such that young girls were often caught in the middle, and subterfuge and denial robbed them of what was rightfully theirs, affecting them for the rest of their lives.

Beautifully written, the novel combines the twists and reversals of a psychological thriller with a heart-rending drama that is also a searing commentary on a shocking aspect of all too recent history.

I recommend The Swooping Magpie if you enjoy books with strong psychological insights into their characters’ lives and a serious underlying theme.

 … as with all Liza Perrat’s novels, the settings send you straight into the heart of the location, engaging all the senses: the story abounds with lorikeets and cockatoos, the sounds of cicadas and the scent of frangipani, the heat of the Australian sun.The story’s twists and turns are shocking and yet totally credible and will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

(These are fabulous responses Liza. You must be completely delighted with them. They make me want to read your books even more.)

What else have you brought along and why? 

Chocolate Paddlepop

Probably for nostalgic reasons, as I grew up in the 70s in Wollongong, where the story is set, I’ve brought some pictures of food I enjoyed back then (and still do), and which is mentioned in the story: chocolate paddlepops and Vegemite (complete with finger smudges!), a Vitamin B spread that all good Aussie kids grow up on. I don’t think I’ve ever met a non-Aussie who likes Vegemite, and no, it’s really NOT the same as Marmite.

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(Isn’t it interesting how food can evoke an era and setting?)

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I’ve also brought some photos of 1970s Wollongong and the harbour where part of the story takes place. I remember Friday night treats eating fish and chips down on the shorefront, the gulls wheeling and squawking around us! It’s changed a lot now, but every time I go home to Australia, that place tugs at the heart strings.

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Photos courtesy of the collections of the Wollongong City Libraries and the Illawarra Historical Society

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I also have a photo of a “swooping magpie” danger sign, which is really just a bit of a nod to the title.

(Ha! That made me smile, Liza.)

Thank you so much for staying in with me, Liza and telling me about The Swooping Magpie. I can tell it’s going to keep calling me until I read it!

The Swooping Magpie

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The thunderclap of sexual revolution collides with the black cloud of illegitimacy.

Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Townsend is pretty and popular at school. At home, it’s a different story. Dad belts her and Mum’s either busy or battling a migraine. So when sexy school-teacher Jon Halliwell finds her irresistible, Lindsay believes life is about to change.

She’s not wrong.

Lindsay and Jon pursue their affair in secret, because if the school finds out, Jon will lose his job. If Lindsay’s dad finds out, there will be hell to pay. But when a dramatic accident turns her life upside down, Lindsay is separated from the man she loves.

Events spiral beyond her control, emotions conflicting with doubt, loneliness and fear, and Lindsay becomes enmeshed in a shocking true-life Australian scandal. The schoolyard beauty will discover the dangerous games of the adult world. Games that destroy lives.

Lindsay is forced into the toughest choice of her young life. The resulting trauma will forever burden her heart.

Reflecting the social changes of 1970s Australia, The Swooping Magpie is a chilling psychological tale of love, loss and grief, and, through collective memory, finding we are not alone.

The Swooping Magpie is available for purchase here.

About Liza Perrat

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Liza grew up in Australia, working as a general nurse and midwife. She has now been living in France for over twenty years, where she works as a part-time medical translator and a novelist. She is the author of the historical The Bone Angel series. The first, Spirit of Lost Angels is set in 18th century revolutionary France. The second, Wolfsangel, is set during the WW2 Nazi Occupation and the French Resistance, and the third novel, Blood Rose Angel, is set during the 14th century Black Plague years. All of Liza’s books are available here.

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Liza is a co-founder and member of the writers’ collective Triskele Books. Liza also reviews books for Bookmuse.

You can find out more by visiting Liza’s website, her blog and by following her on Twitter @LizaPerrat. You’ll also find her on Facebook.

Staying in with Kris Pearson

Summer Sparks

You all know how much I love to travel and although Australia has been on my list, I’ve not yet made it to New Zealand. Consequently I’m delighted to welcome Kris Pearson to Linda’s Book Bag to stay in with me and chat about one of her books as she’s going to get me to New Zealand – albeit vicariously.

Staying in with Kris Pearson

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Kris. Thank you for staying in with me. Which of your books have you brought along to share with me and why have you chosen it?

Summer Sparks

I’ve brought along the first in my Scarlet Bay series. It’s called Summer Sparks and it’s a sexy contemporary which introduces my readers to the Wynn family and the New Zealand holiday destination of Scarlet Bay (which doesn’t quite exist.)

(What a shame – I like the idea of visiting Scarlet Bay. I’ll just have to read Summer Sparks and travel through my reading.)

What can we expect from an evening in with Summer Sparks?

This is older daughter Anna’s story. She’s been hiding a shameful secret for fourteen years and it has turned her into a dutiful busybody. She unexpectedly meets a man who shakes her out of her comfort zone and demolishes her world as she’s known it.

(I know a few busybodies who could benefit from the same treatment Kris. I think I’d be very interested in Anna’s story.)

What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?

I also heard you like gardening so I also brought along some photos of my garden.

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Garden from top step

(What a beautiful space Kris. I’m not at all jealous. No. Definitely not. Not a bit. I do have that self same cat ornament in my own garden though…)

Just to make sure you’re really not jealous Linda, and knowing how much you love travel, I have also brought a photo my husband took looking our over Wellington Harbour too.

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(That makes me even more jealous!)

Thanks so much for staying in with me Kris, to introduce your Scarlet Bay Series and Summer Sparks. Despite being insanely jealous of your beautiful photos I’ve really enjoyed our chat and I love the sound of the whole series. I have very much enjoyed our evening in. Good luck with the series.

Summer Sparks

Summer Sparks

A woman with a fourteen-year secret. A man with a harrowing past.

Jason’s dreams were ruthlessly crushed by his alcoholic father, but he’s finally become the man he always hoped to be – the strong, focused boss of his own construction company. Now, uptight interfering Anna Wynn is threatening to turn his life upside down.

Anna has arrived at the idyllic beach house to prepare for her wealthy family’s Christmas holiday. Big tough Jason Jones is right in the way – even in the bed she intended claiming as her own. She vows not to let this infuriating tower of testosterone upset her careful plans, but his rippling body and huge tattoo are hard to ignore.
Soon her closed-off heart is under siege from a man determined to break through her reserve. Enemies become lovers, but when her secret is revealed and her life is in tatters, will he be willing to pick up the pieces?

Summer Sparks is sexy, funny and heart-warming, and is intended for mature readers.

Summer Sparks is available for purchase here.

About Kris Pearson

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Kris was born to write – at twelve she completed her autobiography – an easy subject which required no research. It filled a whole school exercise book.

She lives in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. She has used this lovely city as the setting for six of her novels – hot, passionate, contemporary romances full of love and laughter.

She’s taken readers to wider New Zealand for the three stories that make up her Heartlands series. This is where you’ll meet the girls and guys who live in remote country areas. She has also published two sheikh novels and has another waiting in the wings.

Her current series is set in Scarlet Bay – a beach holiday resort which doesn’t quite exist – but it would be a little north of Wellington if it did.

Her most widely distributed novel is The Boat Builder’s Bed. Gambling that people would enjoy it, she made it free for a while in 2011 when this was a new thing to do, and more than two million copies were downloaded in a few weeks which kick-started sales of all her others.

Her first proper job was as an advertising copywriter. After living in Italy and London she returned to the capital city of Wellington and worked in TV, radio, several advertising agencies, and then spent many happy years as a retail ad manager. Totally hooked on fabrics, she followed this by going into business with her husband as a curtain installer. (Obvious career progression!)

It was finally time to write fiction. In nineteen years she hasn’t fallen off her ladder once through drifting off into romantic dreams. All the places she’s visited and people she’s met on décor jobs have been wonderful inspiration for her settings and characters. She once stole a whole house, although politely ‘built’ an extra storey on to disguise it.

She writes sizzling contemporary romance, pure and simple. Well, maybe not that pure. They’re sexy stories about modern couples who fall in love and into bed along the way, just like real people do. She’s the author of fifteen novels so far, three of which were finalists in New Zealand’s full-novel Clendon Award. Four have been translated into Spanish, two into Italian, and one into Portuguese. Five are very close to being released in China. Because sexy stuff is not culturally appropriate in China, she was asked to create new ‘sweeter’ editions of these, and they’re also available in English under her (sweeter) author name of Kerri Peach.

Kris inherited her mother’s love of gardening, and has so many flowers that hay-fever is possible if you visit. She has a much tidier garden than house.

You can find out more by visiting Kris’s website, finding her on Facebook and following her on Twitter @krispiewrites.

You’ll find Kris’s books here.

Staying in with John Mayer

The Trial

There’s a wry smile on my face today as I welcome John Mayer to stay in with me thanks to Caroline at Bits About Books and tell me about one of his books as, when I was preparing the blog post, I was so intrigued I decided to buy the book John has brought along. Turns out I bought it a while ago it’s been on my TBR some time! Let’s see what John has to say about it:

Staying in with John Mayer

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, John. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Well firstly, thanks for the invitation. I’m looking forward to this.

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

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I’ve brought along a copy of The Trial which is the first full length novel in my series The Parliament House Books. I’ve chosen it because it deals with something we all meet at some point in our lives, and when this thing arrives, it flies like an arrow piercing the very heart of people’s lives from which they don’t recover. I think it is an apt analogy, because when this thing does arrive, it’s not unusual for people to commit suicide. I’ve known that to happen several times.

(Crikey. What on earth is it John?)

What that is? I’ll tell you in a moment. Patience, grasshopper. The subject of The Trial is a weighty one, but as we’re staying in, we have plenty of time to get into it. Perhaps we shall open the wine first? I’d love a red, please.

(You can have all the red you like. I’ll have prosecco as ordinary wine doesn’t agree with me.)

The reason I mentioned ‘first full length novel’ is because there are three Prequels to this series. These develop the central character from the auspicious night of the birth of my protagonist, Brogan McLane, through a ‘coming of age’ story which revolves around an old Glasgow phenomenon; that of a criminal trial in a pub, and lastly, to his first case as an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland in Parliament House.

(Sounds intriguing.)

These Prequels set up the message, which I hope comes over loud and clear, that this series is about one deeply important thing to people all over the world and that thing isn’t justice: my books are about something much more damaging than the pursuit of justice, though that in itself is usually a long and arduous journey. My books are about injustice: something that happens all the time, but of course, there are no votes about it in Parliament, no money from local authorities to right wrongs and far too often, nobody cares whether injustice ruins lives or not. I accept that injustice is very occasionally high profile and gets TV coverage. But just as quickly, that flash in the pan is over and the vast majority of people just settle down to eat their dinner before watching Spiderman and forget about those suffering injustice. One thinks of the cases of the Guilford Four and the Birmingham Six, but there are millions of others. Ask any child who is standing in a school playground crying and screaming that what has happened to them isn’t fair. They’ll tell you about injustice and exactly how damaging it is to the body and the psyche. If that all sounds a bit preachy, it’s really not supposed to. What I’m trying to do is remind adults what injustice felt like and of course, how with the right lawyer, the tables can be turned.

(Yes! At last! I loathe injustice with a passion and it’s the one thing guaranteed to get me yelling at the television or in a real strop.)

JM in Wig and Gown

I thought long and hard about the title The Trial. After all, who would, as an unknown novelist, title their book after a classic which has the same title and subject matter? Only an idiot? Or someone who’s a successful trial lawyer with over twenty years’ experience, if you don’t mind me saying so? I’m the latter who’s read Franz Kafka’s The Trial maybe a dozen times. Of course, my book isn’t the same as his in any way, but the subject matter i.e. injustice, is identical.

(I’m a bit ashamed to say I’ve never read Kafka…)

Essentially, The Trial highlights the motto of the entire series: which is ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.’

(The more I hear, the more interested I become John!)

What can we expect from an evening in with The Trial?

Ooh that wine is good. An excellent choice.

(Have another glass and tell us more.)

Well, readers tell me that what you can expect from an evening in with The Trial is a fascinating journey behind the scenes in Parliament House. The central character Brogan McLane inhabits two worlds. Parliament House in Edinburgh where he is an Advocate of the Scottish Bar, and the Calton Bar in Glasgow, where he drinks and eats with men he’s known all his days and whom he can trust with his life. Which group of people do you think comes out more honourably?

(Erm…)

Ah! Don’t judge too quickly grasshopper. Life is complex and arriving at a just solution to an unjust situation is one of the most complex parts of life. I won’t spoil the ending by saying how nor even if that journey is completed. What you can be sure of is that justice is in the hands of a very few people in every country of the world and not all of them are honourable. Particularly in Parliament House in Edinburgh. Believe me, I know every inch of the place and every story which has unfolded over its five hundred year history. What you have to understand is that justice isn’t automatic. Not by a long way.

(I’m fully aware of that John! I’ve seen injustice all over the world but it makes me so cross when there are those who claim we live in a wholly just society. We do not!)

In The Trial you’ll encounter blood brothers, old school ties and not always of the material kind. You’ll meet judges who are reluctant members of the secret brotherhood called The Lochie Society and others for whom being a Member is all that supports their position on the Bench of the Supreme Court of Scotland. In particular, you’ll learn a lot about a scumbag judge called Lord Aldounhill. Is he representative? Well, you must make up your own mind. You’ll also meet honest men and a lowly but important man in Parliament House who is old Jimmy Robertson the Queen’s Macer; a man without whom Parliament House couldn’t function. You’ll see how it’s the interactions of these people which facilitate that pinpoint moment when a jury pronounces ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty’.

(Quite a lot to ponder there John. Have some more wine. Cheese too?)

Gosh, that wine is really good and goes very well with the cheese.

What else have you brought along and why? 

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Here, try the Wensleydale. For my money it’s the best English cheese and every bit as good as Wallace says it is. Did you know we have a dog called Gromit? So I guess that makes me Wallace. You may know that we’ve been living on a tiny island in Greece for the last two years. Well, when we got back I discovered a few manuscripts tucked away in the attic. I’ve brought them along just for old times’ sake. The first three are law books which are used in universities and occasionally by the courts. I’m very proud of having been an expert in international child abduction law. In fact, the character ‘Ababuo’ who’s featured in The Order was based upon a real child whom we rescued and saw through to adoption in Edinburgh. I also discovered a full novel called The Power of Clean Hands which was written twenty years ago. Another project waiting to be completed!  Anyway, I’m presently writing the sixth novel in the Parliament House Books series entitled The Court. But you’ll have to wait a few months for that one.

It sounds to me as if you’ve plenty to be getting on with John. Thanks so much for staying in with me and telling me all about The Trial. Now I realise I have already bought it, I’d better get reading it.

This has been great. We should do it again sometime. Many thanks for having me.

(My pleasure.)

The Trial

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Parliament House Books #1

In Parliament House,scandal can be deadly.
A maverick lawyer. A secret worth killing for….

Brogan McLane has always been an outsider. Born on the wrong side of the tracks, he learned to fight tooth and nail for justice in the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland. But now, after years of of hard work and study, McLane has been ‘Called to the Bar’, and become a member of the most prestigious legal club in the country; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House…

But his legal career may be cut short before it even begins. In the wake of a seedy sex scandal, a High Court Judge is found dead… murdered in his palatial estate. The victim’s wealthy and connected friends close ranks. One of them knows the killer’s identity, but they care more about appearances than justice. They need to pin the heinous crime on a scapegoat. And who better than ‘outsider’ Brogan McLane…

Out on bail, his career on hold, McLane needs to get ahead of his enemies fast, or go down for a crime he didn’t commit. Enlisting the help of his scrappy Glasgow friends, and an honest police commander, the rogue lawyer decides there’s only one way to clear his name… find the real killer!

From Russian mafia bordellos to the halls of Scotland’s highest court, McLane must use every trick in the book to catch a murderer as skilled at legal manipulation as he is. But will it be enough to win the most important trial of his career… His own?

The Trial is the first standalone book in the addictive Parliament House Scottish crime series. If you like heroic lawyers, scandalous twists, and edge-of-your-seat suspense, you’ll love this gripping legal thriller.

The Trial is available for purchase here.

About John Mayer

John MAyer

Like his leading character, Brogan McLane, John Mayer was born in Glasgow, Scotland and spent much of his time in the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds.

Having as the owner of a record company had a court battle with global giants, John decided to study law and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland – yes, at Edinburgh’s Parliament House. John acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.

John’s experiences as an Advocate are the foundation for his Parliament House Books, his battle to seek justice is what motivates and inspires his protagonist, crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane,  who fights injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.

To find out more, visit John’s website, find him on Facebook, Instagram and Amazon or follow John on Twitter @johnmayerauthor.

Staying in with Rachel Walkley on Publication Day

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As you know, I’m not taking on new blog tours or posts for 2019 until I have reduced my TBR a little bit and I do fear I will be missing out on some fantastic books. With that in mind I simply had to invite Rachel Walkley onto Linda’s Book Bag to stay in with me and tell me about her second book as it’s one of the ones I would otherwise have been on the tour for!

Staying in with Rachel Walkley

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Rachel. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Thank you for having me!

My pleasure. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it? 

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I’ve brought along my second book, The Last Thing She Said. A mystery involving three sisters who, like many siblings, don’t think they have much in common. When I wrote the book, I had in mind the expression ‘like chalk and cheese’ and because there are three of them, I added chocolate for Naomi, a sweet natured woman who becomes involved with a man with an identity issue. What binds the three sisters together are their special gifts and a rather eccentric grandmother, Rose.

(Hmm. I think you’re right Rachel. My sister and I are like chalk and cheese in many ways and yet quite similar in others. I also understand that The Last Thing She Said is out today so Happy Publication Day.)

What can we expect from an evening in with The Last Thing She Said?

A bit of intrigue, I hope. What do you think when your grandmother blows out a candle on her birthday cake and makes a prediction – “Beware of a man named Frederick.”

(I think I’d be disconcerted to say the least…)

Naomi just wants to forget she ever heard it. Her eldest sister, Rebecca, has made a collection of Rose’s sayings but can’t leave her home to investigate (why you might ask; it’s one of the secrets of the book), and Leia, the sceptic, just doesn’t care.

The mystery is woven into the family’s relationships and brings with it the tales of Rose’s prophecies, including her last one. Like my first book, there is something magical hinted at from the opening chapter.

Naomi tried hard to relax. Her sisters were right – Rose’s peculiar declarations were harmless. If they came true, nobody had seen or heard anything. The anxiety refused to abate, though. Regardless of her calm delivery, why had Rose stared right into Naomi’s eyes?

(I rather like the sound of that opening Rachel. I might have to break my own rule about not adding anything else to my TBR!)

What else have you brought along and why?

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I could have brought cake, since there are plenty of references to cakes in the book, but I’ve gone with music – Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. Naomi plays the flute, like me, although unlike her, I remain an absolute amateur. She teaches and performs with a wind quartet, and this is one of the pieces they love to play. I first heard it years ago performed live by a quartet of flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, just like in the book, and I remember the bouncy rhythm, and thinking what fun it must be to play.  Naomi is comfortable in her quartet, but can she break out and go solo? That is somewhere I never went, so it’s been a journey I’ve shared with her, trying to figure out what makes a shining performer.

(I’m so jealous of Naomi. I am tone deaf and totally unmusical. Mind you, when my husband used to play his flute the dog next door but one would howl so maybe it’s just as well I’m not playing an instrument too.)

You can find all kinds of versions of the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, so go Google!

I did! Thank you so much for intriguing me by staying in and chatting about The Last Thing She Said, Rachel. I hope you enjoy your publication day and your blog tour after Christmas.

The Last Thing She Said

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“Beware of a man named Frederick and his offer of marriage.”

Rose’s granddaughters, Rebecca, Leia and Naomi, have never taken her prophecies seriously. But now that Rose is dead, and Naomi has a new man in her life, should they take heed of this mysterious warning?

Naomi needs to master the art of performing. Rebecca rarely ventures out of her house. She’s afraid of what she might see. As for Rebecca’s twin, everyone admires Leia’s giant brain, but now the genius is on the verge of a breakdown.

Rebecca suspects Naomi’s new boyfriend is hiding something. She begs Leia, now living in the US, to investigate.

Leia’s search takes her to a remote farm in Ohio on the trail of the truth behind a tragic death.

Just who is Ethan? And what isn’t he telling Naomi?

In a story full of drama and mystery, the sisters discover there is more that connects them than they realise, and that only together can they discover exactly what’s behind Rose’s prophecy.

Three sisters. Three gifts. One prophecy.

Who will believe her?

Published by Spare Time Press today, 13th December 2018, The Last Thing She Said is available for purchase here.

About Rachel Walkley

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Born in the East of England, Rachel has lived in big cities and small villages including London and Bristol, before settling in Cheshire.

For most of her working life, she’s been a scientist and librarian, and her love of creative writing has never ceased even when surrounded by technical reports and impenetrable patents. Among moments of mummy taxi, delving into museum archives, drawing pictures and flute playing, Rachel finds a little time to pen her magical mysteries.

You can find Rachel on Goodreads and Instagram, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Twitter @RachelJWalkley. You’ll also find Rachel on Facebook.

Staying in With R. D. Kardon

Flygirl Cover

Once again I’m delighted to stay in with a new to me author to find out about a book I think is one I’d thoroughly enjoy. Today it gives me great pleasure to welcome R. D Kardon to Linda’s Book Bag.

Staying in with R.D. Kardon

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Robin. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.  

Linda, I’m thrilled to be invited. Thanks so much.

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?  

Flygirl Cover

My debut novel Flygirl is joining me tonight. My main character, Tris Miles, is an ambitious woman who runs into a wall when she tries to advance in her career–the male-dominated world of flying airplanes. Set in the late ’90s, before #MeToo gave women who experience workplace obstacles a stronger voice, Tris struggles to overcome the bigotry rampant in her chosen industry. And, like so many of us, Tris is haunted by her own demons, which make her already impossible choices even tougher. Flygirl is inspired by experiences my peers and I had as we tried to make our way as professional aviators.

(That must have been an exciting and frustrating time in equal measure Robin. I love the sound of Flygirl.)

What can we expect from an evening in with Flygirl?

My goal was to tell an engaging story the very best way I could. My teacher, twelve-time novelist T. Greenwood, said it best in her advance praise quote:

Tris Miles is a heroine for our times. Set in the late 1990s, Flygirl by R.D. Kardon examines one tenacious woman’s struggle to survive in a vocation dominated by men who want nothing more than to see her fail. Readers will fall in love with Tris who is a force to be reckoned with. Based on Kardon’s own experiences as a female pilot, Flygirlis written with both authenticity and heart.

T. Greenwood, author of Rust & StardustWhere I Lost Her, and Two Rivers

(That must make you feel so proud Robin. Congratulations.)

What else have you brought along and why?

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No way I’m settling in with a good read without my beloved rescue pets, dogs Smokey Pete and Chiclet and cat James Bond. And we might be joined by the occasional foster dog from time to time!

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(They are all absolutely gorgeous and most welcome!)

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Pizza is my favorite food, so there may be some hanging around the kitchen. C’mon, join me! I’ll get the fireplace going. Nothing like a bunch of people sitting around reading and snacking.

That sounds like a plan to me! Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me about Flygirl. I love the sound of it and wish you every success Robin. I hope Flygirl flies. Now, where’s that pizza?

Flygirl

Flygirl Cover

It’s 1997. Women stand beside men in combat and fly fighter jets. Pilot Tris Miles is not content with her job as a First Officer for tiny Clear Sky Airlines. She wants to be a Captain—the only way she knows to prove her worth as a pilot and atone for a deadly mistake. To further her career, Tris accepts a prestigious job with Tetrix, Inc. But her dream of becoming pilot-in-command twists into a nightmare.

As the company’s first woman pilot, she encounters resistance, marginalization and harassment on a daily basis. Fortunately, Tris has one thing her co-workers can’t deny—skill. When Tris finds herself in a crippled airplane thousands of miles from home she must prove she can lead.

With her career on the line, can Tris earn the respect she’s been craving?

And if this is the end, can she find the strength to forgive herself?

Published on 3rd January 2019, Flygirl is available for pre-order through the links here.

About R.D. Kardon

R D Kardon

Robin “R.D.” Kardon was a litigation attorney before beginning a twelve-year flying career as a corporate and airline pilot. She holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and three Captain qualifications. Her travels took her all over the world in every type of airplane from small single-engine Cessnas to the Boeing 737. Robin earned her B.A. in Journalism and Sociology from NYU and J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law. A native New Yorker, Robin now lives in San Diego, California with her beloved rescue pets.

Flygirl, a work of fiction inspired by her own aviation experience, is her first novel.

You can find out more by visiting Robin’s website, following her on Twitter @rdkardonauthor and finding her on Facebook.

An Extract from The Woman Who Kept Everything by Jane Gilley

the woman who kept everything cover

My enormous thanks to Sabah at Avon books for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for The Woman Who Kept Everything by Jane Gilley. I’m delighted to be able to share an extract from the novel with you today.

Published by Harper Collins imprint Avon, The Woman Who Kept Everything is available for purchase through these links.

The Woman Who Kept Everything

the woman who kept everything cover

The Lady in the Van meets The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry in this uplifting, funny and moving debut novel about a 79-year-old hoarder who is convinced the world is against her.

79-year-old Gloria Frensham is a hoarder. She lives amongst piles of magazines, cardboard boxes and endless knick-knacks that are stacked into every room of her home, and teeter in piles along the landing and up the stairs.

She hasn’t left the house in years, but when a sudden smell of burning signifies real danger, she is forced to make a sudden departure and leave behind her beloved possessions.

Determined she’s not ready for a care home, Gloria sets out to discover what life still has to offer her. It’s time to navigate the outside world on her own, one step at a time, with just one very small suitcase in tow…

Heart-warming and poignant in equal measure, this is a story about the loneliness of life, the struggles of growing old, the power of kindness, and the bravery it takes to leave our comfort zones.

An Extract from The Woman Who Kept Everything

A few days after the people from the electricity board came to check on the situation, three people from social services turned up; one with a clipboard. They looked official, to Gloria, with their curt smiles and long dark coats. She would’ve said they were calm and sympathetic, if someone’d asked. But they didn’t look that way after their first encounter with 75 Briar Way.

They came into her house, sniffing the air and gagging for some reason. One of them, a man, ran out muttering something. Gloria found it amusing. Tilsbury went round shrugging.

‘Must’ve eaten summat off before they came here.’

The plump, friendlier woman who finally arrived later that first day, Diane, was the most understanding, but even she had a strongly scented handkerchief she kept wafting across her face. Gloria screwed her nose up at the smell and stood a little distance away from her. She wasn’t keen on heavy perfumes.

Oh, but there was nowhere to sit per se. That was the tricky thing about having more than one person over at any one time. And in order to be courteous, Tilsbury had to clamber over a lot of stuff, upstairs, to get the stool off the top of Gloria’s bedside dressing table, so Diane could sit down in the tiny bit of space between the hall and kitchen door. Gloria leant against the architrave and rested her burnt hand on a stack of crumpled magazines.

Now that Diane had finished looking around – her mouth gaping in awe, her handkerchief not far from her nose – she said that her mother had been just like Gloria when Diane’s grandparents died. Couldn’t quite accept it; still didn’t; in a nursing home now.

‘Much better for her. All her woes dealt with and she’s properly cared for.’

Gloria didn’t really know what the woman was talking about. She wasn’t interested to know something about someone she didn’t know and would never know and, anyway, her hand ached. She grimaced as she tried to reposition it.

‘Oh my, that hand looks sore, love. Should’ve wrapped it in cling film or something clean if you had it. But, anyway, don’t you worry about all that, now. We’ve got to get you away from here and do some sorting out,’ Diane informed her, with a bright smile.

Gloria shook her head solemnly. ‘Don’t want to go anywhere else. Been here so many years, ducks, and I certainly don’t want to go anywhere now.’

‘I know that, Gloria! But we’ve, um, we’ve got to sift through all this – er – this stuff to try and find where the electrics blew. Your house’s become a bit of a fire hazard now, so we’re taking you somewhere safe while we sort things out. And that hand of yours needs looking at.’

Clegg appeared at that precise moment, his large frame filling the already clogged front doorway. He was sweating and also trying not to gag. He squeezed past them to try and look at the kitchen, pushing boxes and piles of magazines aside in his attempt to get through, but then he stopped, deciding against it.

(I wonder how many of us have experienced something similar with a person we know or love? It really makes me want to get stuck in to The Woman Who Kept Everything Right away.)

About Jane Gilley

jane

Jane Gilley was born in Nottingham and now lives on the beautiful island of Jersey, with her husband, a rabbit and a Senegal parrot.

Following a career in Interior Design and after writing 6 children’s books, Jane now writes adult books full time.

You can follow Jane on Twitter @JaneGilley2 and visit her website. You’ll find Jane on Facebook.

There’s more with these other bloggers too:

The Woman Who Kept Everything Blog Tour

Staying in with Erik Therme

Keep Her Close

I absolutely love a psychological thriller and when I discovered Erik Therme had a brand new one out I had to ask him on to Linda’s Book Bag to tell me all about it. I only wish life had enabled me to read it as it sounds a cracker. Let’s find out more as Erik stays in with me.

Staying in with Erik Therme

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Erik. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Thanks so much for having me. “Staying in” seems to be underrated these days, but if you have good company and good tea, what more do you need? Outside of a 9:30 bedtime, of course!

(Well of course. I much prefer to be be in with a cuppa. I’ll just put the kettle on…)

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

Keep Her Close

I have in my possession my newly released crime thriller, Keep Her Close.

(I understand Keep Her Close came out on 5th December Erik. Happy one week birthday!)

The book is very special to me, as the story revolves around a father and his daughter, who has recently left home for college. When my own daughter left for college last year, I found myself in a state of constant worry, and my imagination ran wild at the thought of her going missing. The book was difficult to write at times, but it was a good way for me to address my fears in a safe, fictional environment.

(Writing has many benefits I think Erik and writing what you know has obviously contributed to Keep Her Close! I’m sure many parents are terrified when their children fly the nest – at whatever age.)

What can we expect from an evening in with Keep Her Close?

A lot of movement in a short amount of time. The majority of the story unfolds over a few, frantic hours, where we’re introduced to a slew of colorful characters who might—or might not—have something to do with the daughter’s disappearance.

(Keep Her Close sounds gripping.)

One of the things that drew me to this story was my fascination with people’s motivations and the choices they make, because even the best of us have dark moments. Do the ends justify the means? Do two wrongs make a right? These are the types of questions that drove my characters to do what they did.

(I agree completely. I’ve had a few dark thoughts myself at times and I often wonder how far we might go when we really have to…)

What else have you brought along and why?

Gremlins

Only the necessities: Mt. Dewand my Mogwai slippers (from the movie Gremlins). I’m convinced both are magically tied to my muse, and I never leave home – or stay in – without them.

(Writers do have some strange rituals and beliefs at times I think Erik! Those slippers are very fetching…)

Thanks so much, Erik, for agreeing to stay in with me and tell me about Keep Her Close. I feel sure I shall be reading it very soon as it sounds exactly my kind of book.

Keep Her Close

Keep Her Close

Someone took your daughter. And nobody believes you…

Then:
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot.
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter.
What kind of person would abandon their daughter?

Now:
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family.
But her real father has sent her a letter.
And now Ally is missing.

A gripping twist-filled thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Teresa Driscoll. 

Keep Her Close was published on 5th December by Bookouture and is available for purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

About Erik Therme

Erik Therme Author

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

You can join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways, visit Erik’s website for more details and follow him on Twitter @ErikTherme. You’ll also find Erik on Facebook.