Events

March 29th – April 8th 2017 – Research for the next Fiona Mason Mystery

One of the great things about writing novels set in foreign locations is that they need to be researched. What better excuse could there be for a holiday?

The scenery and the places we visited on our trip to the Rhone River valley in France from Lyon to Avignon were everything we hoped. Having soaked myself in the setting, all I need to do now is come up with a convincing plot.  I confess I have no ideas at present – we will have to see…

Perhaps something might happen here on the legendary bridge of Avignon?

 

February 2017 – Writing Magazine

Nothing boosts the writer’s ego more than seeing one’s name in print and when it’s combined with quotes AND a picture, you start to float on air!
For his article in this month’s Writing Magazine, Simon Whaley asked me how I tracked my royalty payments and how well I understood the statements. It seems that, like me, he and Richard Blake – the other author he interviewed – have great difficulty! It seems we’re not alone.

 

 

 

 

11-15th December 2016 – Free Book Promotion

A Death too Far cover iguana copy 300 tallA Death to Far will be available as a free download from all Amazon Kindle stores.

How can Kathy uncover the truth about her sister’s death when all she has to go on is a holiday journal and someone is determined to stop her investigation?
Kathy is devastated when Leanne dies on a holiday. It doesn’t help that they argued at the airport. How did Leanne fall from the boat in the middle of the night? Attempting to solve the mystery becomes an obsession that threatens to alienate Kathy from her friends.
Leanne’s journal describes not only her exotic wildlife adventures in a remote Amazon eco-lodge and the fabulous Galapagos Islands but also her suspicions that all is not as it should be. Had she stumbled onto a smuggling racket?

The story centres on Kathy, a woman trying to unravel the truth behind her sister’s tragic death while on holiday in the Galapagos Islands. The author guides us seamlessly through the clues, both in the present and through excerpts from her sister’s journal, and delivers numerous twists, turns, and red-herrings as we follow Kathy’s determined quest for answers.

Available on:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

and all other Amazon stores.

 

18th – 22nd October 2016 – Free Book Promotion

Blood and Chocolate eBook cover copyBlood and Chocolate will be available as a free download from all Amazon Kindle stores.

Fiona Mason’s hopes of leading a pleasant culture tour of Belgium visiting the great centres of Flemish Art go badly awry. One of Fiona’s passengers is found dead soon after the assassination of a British MP at a rally outside the European Parliament Building in Brussels. Could there be a link between the two deaths?
Once again, Fiona finds herself at odds with MI6 chief, Peter Montgomery-Jones who always appears to have his own agenda.

Available on:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Amazon.au and all Amazon outlets

 

7th – 9th October 2016 – Murder Mystery Weekend

murder_logo-principleWhat better way to celebrate completing the first first draft of Blood Across the Divide than attending a Murder Mystery Weekend. Saturday also happens to be my birthday!

The fictitious setting for the plot is The Crime Authors Society’s annual conference, where they present their Crime Author Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

How could I resist?

 

28th June 2016 – Launch Day

Blood Hits the Wall- is available on Amazon Kindle in all territories including:- the UK and America

Blood Hits the Wall front cover copyWhen Peter Montgomery-Jones turns up posing as one of her passengers on Fiona’s Elbe Valley tour, she knows there is going to be trouble. She doesn’t have to wait long. Their local Berlin guide falls to his death and the police chief is convinced one of her passengers is guilty of his murder. Montgomery-Jones refuses to help. He has his own investigation to worry about. Once again, the two are at odds. She knows better that to expect Peter to tell her about his MI6 mission, but can she believe him when he claims that it has nothing to do with the guide’s murder? Fiona begins to suspect that Peter and his so-called wife are not the only passengers who have something to hide.
A missing Ukrainian politician, a zealous reporter eager for a story and a sick grandchild all add to the mix making this one of Fiona’s most challenging tours to date.

If you have missed any of Fiona’s earlier adventures, you can find details on my Amazon Page – UK or US – or on the book page of my website.

Happy reading – when you finished, please don’t forget to leave a review – we writers need them!

When you do post a review, don’t forget to let me know so I can thank you personally.

 

17th May 2016 – Talk

I shall be giving an illustrated to Swindon’s Carry on Club at the Community Centre on Windsor Road at 2.30pm. Like all writers, I love talking about my books and how I write.

 

24th April – 4th May – Land’s End to John O’Groats Cruise

Boudicca-in-Scotland-banner_originalWhy not join me aboard Fred Olsen’s Boudicca on this voyage around the west coast of Britain. Although once again I will be giving the port talks, I’m sure there will be an opportunity to give one of my writing talks.

 

31st March 2016 – Talk

Beechcroft Thursday Club have invited me to give them a presentation on my writing life. The meeting will be at the Beechcroft Road Community Centre, Swindon at 2.30pm

 

31st January – 14 February 2016 – Central America Cruise

cent americaI will be one of the lecturers on this wonderful cruise with ‘Voyages of Discovery’. Although my main role will be to give the port lectures, I will also be giving a talk on writing ‘Murder on My Mind – confessions of a crime writer.’  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd – 6th November 2015 – Free Download of All in the Mind

AllinMindCoverThumbnailAmazon Kindle will be running a promotion on my  prize-winning first novel All in the Mind so take opportunity to download a copy for FREE!

Someone is playing tricks. Someone wants her to lose her mind.
Successful career woman, Sarah Harcourt, is a woman in jeopardy. Her self-confidence takes a knock when she is mugged, but that is only the start. The nuisance phone calls, the arrival of unordered goods and missing files at work make her begin to doubt her sanity. Someone is trying to undermine her position as a College Principal. The petty harassment soon escalates into something more dangerous. Life turns into a nightmare rollercoaster over which she has no control. When a colleague is killed and Sarah feels that the police have her down as the chief suspect, she knows she must find the murderer before he finds her.
An edgy award winning psychological suspense.
ALL IN THE MIND
Winner of the NAWG Award
‘The moment I started to read I knew it was the winner. The story is compelling, fast past, and well written. But there is something more than just the skill of the writing or a gripping storyline. It has that certain something – the X factor – the secret ingredient, so hard to define and even harder to create!
Perhaps it the deceptive effortlessness with which the writer spins her spell. Perhaps it’s the way she cleverly builds up the tension as her heroine realises that the attack in the underpass wasn’t just a random mugging, but the start of a sinister and bewildering campaign of hate against her. Perhaps, it’s the determined and feisty way the heroine fights to unmask her tormentor. Whatever it is, I like it… I couldn’t put it down.’
Iain Pattison – Award judge

Review
‘I really enjoyed this book. It has a compelling plot that captured my attention, right from the start. Lots of twists and turns along the way and a lot of characters who could be “the bad guy” right up until the end of the story. And no, I hadn’t picked the right one, I like that too!
Very well written, good characterization, plot moves along quickly throughout. It’s also a story that makes you wonder if something similar could happen in your own life.
Highly recommended!’
Geraldine Helen Hartman author of the Haiku Reflections and Groovy Green Kitchen series.

 

30th September 2015 – U3A Study Day on Forensic Science at the Culham Science Centre, Abingdon.

Culham Science CentreThe programme for the day includes:- The role of Forensics in policing – Cameron Addicott (a former undercover officer with H.M. Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency); How plants solve crime – Dr.Michael Keith-Lucas (Senior Tutor in Plant Sciences at the University of Reading) and Modern Forensic Science services – David Hartshorne (Commercial Director, Cellmark Forensic Services).

For a crime writer like me, this is too good an opportunity to miss.

 

 

28th September 2015 – Talk at Stratton Library at 2.30pm

audienceThe Friends of Stratton Library have invited me to give an illustrated talk in the library.

The title of my talk is – Ask the Author.

I’m often asked questions such as why do I write crime? Where do I find my ideas? How do I do my research? Plus many others. As regular readers of my blog will know, the inspiration for many of my novels comes from travel. At the end of my talk, I will happily answer any questions from the audience.

It is an open meeting and all are welcome. If you live near Swindon do come and join us.

Upper Stratton Library, Beechcroft Rd, Upper Stratton, Swindon, Wiltshire SN2 7QQ

 

5th to 9th June 2015 – Free Book Promotion

Blood and Chocolate copy 300 tallBlood and Chocolate will be available as a free download from all Amazon Kindle stores.

Fiona Mason’s hopes of leading a pleasant culture tour of Belgium visiting the great centres of Flemish Art go badly awry. One of Fiona’s passengers is found dead soon after the assassination of a British MP at a rally outside the European Parliament Building in Brussels. Could there be a link between the two deaths?
Once again, Fiona finds herself at odds with MI6 chief, Peter Montgomery-Jones who always appears to have his own agenda.

 

 

 

13th to 24th Apr 2015 – Forensic Science and Criminal Justice

Forensic ScienceFutureLearn are running another online course – Forensic Science and Criminal Justice starting on April 13th. Provided by the University of Leicester, this course will run for  six weeks.

It will demonstrate how police use science in criminal investigations and explore its role in the criminal justice system. Just the thing for a crime novelist, which is why I’ve already signed up! Details are on the website.

All the previous FutureLearn courses I’ve followed, (one on writing, another on forensic psychology and witness statements and the last on forensic science working on a murder enquiry) have been excellent!

 

27th to 31st March – Free Book Promotion

Blood on the Bulb Fields will be available as a free download from all Amazon Kindle stores.

Blood on BF copyMurder and mayhem on the Dutch Bulb Fields

Tour manager Fiona Mason’s first assignment turns into a nightmare. As if coping with difficult passengers were not enough, one of them disappears in mysterious circumstances. Suddenly a full-scale investigation is in swing headed by the autocratic Peter Montgomery-Jones who doesn’t make Fiona’s job any easier. The reason quickly becomes clear. The missing man was undercover on the trail of diamond smugglers. When his body turns up Fiona must face the fact that she has a murder in her party.
The body count quickly mounts up when they move on to Amsterdam and Fiona needs to work out which of her passengers is the killer before she becomes his next victim.

The first in the series. A cozy whodunnit with plenty of edge.

 

February 2015

Simon's articleSimon Whaley’s regular column in the latest Writing Magazine (Feb ’14 Pages 32/33) – Business of Writing – looks at making a professional approach to publishers and agents. I feel very honoured that Simon asked me to contribute my thoughts on the subject of what constitutes a good personal photo, CV and biography. When I read the publish article, I realised I was in distinguished company as the other two writers he had asked were Suzanne Ruthven – writer of over 30 books, former editor of ‘The New Writer’ and now commissioning editor for Compass Books – and Marvin Close who has written over 70 scripts for ‘Emmerdale’, story-lining over 100 ‘Coronation Street’ episodes and many drama scripts including episodes of ‘Tracey Beaker’ and ‘Doctors’.
By co-incidence, my January blog covered a related topic – the finding a suitable photo for your author profile.

 

1st December 2014 – Winner of the Audio book Giveaway

Congratulations to Sally Schmidt who won a copy of Susan Holmes audio book ‘Deadly Ties’ in the Giveaway competition.
She completed the sentence with – “I love mysteries because … I can have excitement and danger and suspense and a puzzle all without leaving my comfy chair and steaming cup of coffee!’
A sentiment we can all agree with! Well done Sally.
My thanks to everyone who entered the competition. ‘Deadly Ties’ is a great story and you can listen to a sample here: http://tinyurl.com/oaxdanq

 

9th – 30th November 2014 – Audio book Giveaway

Deadly tiesWin an audio book of Susan Holmes Deadly Ties.

All you need do is answer the question – “I love mysteries because …”

For details of the competition see the blog post on my Welcome page.

 

 

 

 

15th – 20th November 2014 Mystery Cruise on ‘The Black Watch’

I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to join another mystery cruise. Yet again, I’ve no idea where we are going – so its pack ready for the possible cold of arctic waters or somewhere nice and warm. We shall see!

Mystery Cruise coverFred Orson Judith page

This time, rather than a series of talks, I shall be running a series of fun writing workshops. My fellow lecturers are:

Mei Trow – Author

A writer of mystery and crime thrillers for over 25 years, Mei will provide guests with enthralling and entertaining tales of murder and mayhem. Regularly seen on TV, Mei will use his special range of talents to unravel some of the great sea mysteries.

Professor Terrey Keefe – Writer and mystery specialist

An acclaimed language academic, lecturer and author, Terrey has a keen interest in all things mysterious. An engaging and entertaining speaker, Terrey will thrill, bemuse and amuse guests onboard with his range of mysterious stories and analysis.

Although I have been a cruise lecturer for several different companies, this is the first time I’ve been featured in the cruise brochure! They have certainly ‘done me proud’.

Fred me

It looks like a being a fun cruise. In keeping with the Mystery theme, there will be special events on board, including a Murder Mystery dinner.

If you would like to join me, you can find more details at Fred Olson Mystery Cruise

 

 8th October 2014 – Book launch

Blood and Chocolate copy 300 tall

The third Fiona Mason Mystery ‘Blood and Chocolate’ is now available as an eBook – Amazon.co.uk,  Amazon.com etc

Fiona Mason’s hopes of leading a pleasant culture tour of Belgium visiting the great centres of Flemish Art go badly awry. One of Fiona’s passengers is found dead soon after the assassination of a British MP at a rally outside the European Parliament Building in Brussels. Could there be a link between the two deaths?

Once again, Fiona finds herself at odds with MI6 chief, Peter Montgomery-Jones who always appears to have his own agenda.