Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

Two determined authors, bulletproof and dangerous…


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Ben interviews Author Jaye Marie

Ben Starling

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Welcome, Jaye! Tell us a little about yourself and your work. How did you get started writing?

DSC02093I had no intention of becoming a writer. I loved to read, and for most of my life that was enough for me. More than enough really, for I am a compulsive reader and will read anything I can put my hands on. Present me with a bookshelf full of books, and I will start at one end and read my way to the other.

Then I offered to edit my sister’s books. She hates computers, so I offered to type them up too. Before I knew it, my brain began to explore what other things I could be doing.

I tried to ignore that inner voice, for I was busy enough. Anita was writing faster than I could format, and there were all my other interests too. Gardening, DIY, dressmaking and a…

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Would You Like a Perfect Life?

 

Who wouldn’t?

But could you describe in great detail the perfect life you would have if you could create it yourself?

First, you have to decide on the basics, the where, what and when.  Then you will need to create a pros and cons list to help you compare your life now with one you want to create. List all the things/people/ scenarios that need changing and why.

Make a list of exactly what you would need to do to make it work. Then make another list detailing how nothing would change if you do nothing.

Do you believe in your dream and yourself enough to make it happen? Or do you intend to wait until everything looks easy?

Consider what would need to be done and if you could actually do it?

Do you trust yourself enough to make these judgements?

Do you find yourself making bargains with yourself – If I can do this then that is possible?

Once you know, really know what you want to do, are you brave enough to do it? Or will it be just a daydream, a constant torment of what you cannot have?

How do you get past the lifelong notion that good things only ever happen to other people? Have always happened to other people, like in the movies?

How do you get around the idea that you are too old to entertain any of this? Simply writing things down does not make things happen or fears go away.  Does it? No it does not.

If what you want to do or change is so huge, can you test yourself and the theory with a smaller goal? What else do you want or need, or is this just another stalling mechanism?

Maybe you should focus on something beyond your capabilities. (overreach yourself.)

This is something I do all the time.  I never think ‘I can’t do that’. Being a bit of an crafts person, I look at something I like, usually expensive or unattainable and think, ‘can I make one of those? and I have a go.

You know, most of the time what I come up with is pretty good, even if I do say so myself.  Maybe I was a forger or counterfeiter in a former life.  I think the moral is that you have to try, as you don’t know what will happen. (and it can be a lot of fun!)

 

My Not so Perfect Life

Throughout my life, disasters of one kind or another have befallen me, both before I was old enough to do something about them and afterwards.

I never made lists of the things I wanted to change, of all the things, people, events that were wrong in my life.

No, I just got on with life (such as it was) and soldiered on, changing what bits I could and keeping my mind on everything else that I wanted to be different.

Some things I have never been able to change, and it has not been for the want of trying! But my mind never lets go of the idea of my perfect life. My Shangri-La.

But again, nothing changes. Same old hopes and dreams and frustrations.

I know what I want, but something stops me from doing anything about it. So what the hell is it?

I have always resisted new things, but usually have the courage to do what is necessary. But this time, what I want is seemingly selfish and will upset a lot of people.

Is it worth it?

Will I regret it?

Do I still want to do it anyway?

We have to stop putting up with things- out of duty, guilt, pity- or simply the dislike of change.

We have to recognise what we no longer need. They say if you haven’t used something for a year, you should throw it away. (and that can apply to anything)

Start with little things and build up to the big stuff. Somewhere along the way you will get braver. (Hopefully)

Mark bad days on the calendar and at the end of the month count them. Were there more bad days than good? If there is,  something needs to be done and soon.

There are more bad days than I would like on my own calendar, but not as many as there once were. For not only have I changed a lot over the last few years, my acceptance levels are different too. I no longer yearn for what is obviously impractical and I’m afraid that has a lot to do with my advancing years. They say that youth is wasted on the young and I guess that’s right. I sure as hell wasted a lot of mine, but what is done…

Jaye


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Make an Author Smile…

LLsss

The #Free promotion on Amazon for The Last Life is coming to an end, and I wanted to thank everyone who has snapped up a copy. The response has been amazing!

I try not to think about reviews, and how many of you will be kind enough to say a few words about my book on Amazon, but it is difficult not to. Without your comments, we writers have no real idea of what you think, and we need to. This is how we go on writing, getting better as we go, and this would be so much easier to do if we knew you liked our work even a little bit.

I know some of you have no idea about reviews, that it must be a complicated thing to do, but believe me, it isn’t. Amazon make it really simple. Just find the book on Amazon and scroll down to where you will find other reviews (or not, as the case may be) and type in your comment. You don’t have to say much either, one simple sentence and the amount of stars of your choice and that’s all there is to it. Then you can go about your day, knowing you have just put a smile on an author’s face.

So far, I haven’t had much to smile about today, so how about it?

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Shallow Waters…

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When catching a killer isn’t enough…
The naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway and post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.
Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team in the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock, they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?

 

Shallow Waters is a crime thriller, one of my favourite genres. The blurb on Amazon had the hairs on the back of my neck standing to attention, so I knew I had to read it.

The story opens with the discovery of the naked body of a woman, and DI Hannah Robbins and her team are going through the preliminaries. The body was found dumped in an alley, and it was interesting to watch the team gradually come together to gather all the information, from the initial findings and through to the post mortem. These usually revealed far more about the victim.

Along with the details of the murder, we are introduced to the rest of the members of the cast and their secrets and the level of detail was astounding.

The storyline for Sally, the police officer, was interesting in that she decides to keep so many secrets from her husband and the people she works with, a mistake that will cost her dearly. It can’t be easy to do the right thing, especially when your heart disagrees with your head.

The author is a master of character description, using a few well-chosen words to show glimpses of their inner fears. Their vulnerabilities made the cast real, far too real in some instances.

The fact that the author is a retired detective has lent a strong authenticity to the storyline, and as a crime writer myself, I really liked this story, despite the sad ending. Just enough drama and more than enough tension kept me reading way past my bedtime.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves this genre…


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The Last Life…#Free on Amazon!

LLsss

From today, 19th April to 25th, the second book of Jaye’s trilogy is #Free on Amazon.   This is a brilliant book, well worth a read!

 Amazon Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Last-Life-Introducing-detective-Thriller-ebook/dp/B017DNXBXE/

Book description

Kate Devereau wakes up in a hospital, unable to speak or move. Her brain has shut down, refusing to acknowledge her dark and disturbing past, concealing a web of painful secrets.

Michael Barratt brought her to the hospital, insisting that her ex-husband had tried to kill her. And from the state of him, had tried to kill him too. He had been searching for Kate for years, ever since their doomed love affair, only to discover someone else had been hunting her too.

With the help of the DI David Snow, Kate will gradually piece her life back together, only to discover the nightmare is far from over.

Her first instinct is to run, but David Snow convinces her to stay and help him put an end to the nightmare. A nightmare that will get progressively worse before it gets better.

Haunted by his own demons, will the Snowman manage to catch the twisted killer?

Evil lurks in this story and people die, but amidst the tears and heartache, a lost love struggles to survive…

Book Excerpt

Kate sat at the table in the Vestry with her head in her hands. She couldn’t believe Jack had found her again, in spite of all the Snowman’s security. She kept seeing the ivory roses, Michael’s blood dripping from the petals, laid on the altar like an offering. Only Jack could have thought of something that macabre. The blood reminded her of what had happened to her beloved Dylan, her silver tabby. Jack had ripped him apart in her kitchen, strewing blood and fur all over the floor for her to find. At least this time, she wouldn’t have to clean up the mess.

Why had Michael gone outside?

She knew he was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that their relationship was over. After all this time it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. But going against David Snow’s specific orders was foolish and irresponsible. Maybe his depression had grown bad enough to warrant taking such a risk. Or had he wanted to die?

The voice in her head disapproved. ‘I did ask you to try and be kind to Michael, Kate. Even though you couldn’t love him, you, of all people, should have treated him better than that…’

It was true; she could remember feeling that bad. Jack had that effect on most people. Just knowing he was out there somewhere had made her suicidal in the past, and the feeling wasn’t too far away at the moment.

The Snowman should have let her see Michael, her imagination couldn’t be worse than the real thing. Right then, it didn’t seem real, and she kept expecting to see him come through the door at any minute. She wished with all her heart that she had run away the first time she suspected Jack was back on the scene. Michael’s sudden reappearance had reawakened all her old desires and dreams, rendering her incapable of thinking straight.

Fate was too cruel. Why had it conspired to bring Jack back into her life at that particular time? If he hadn’t arrived when he did, her brother would not have died, and the chain of destruction would have broken. She wanted to run away but suspected there was no point. Jack would find her wherever she went. The knowledge sunk in that none of them were safe anymore if they ever were. What would it take to be rid of Jack for good?

Kate heard the door open but realised the noise had come from the wrong side of the room. As she raised her head to investigate, a damp, sweet-smelling cloth covered her face. She struggled against it, but he was too strong. The room went dark and then faded away.

When Kate opened her eyes again several hours later, she was lying on a bed in what looked like a bedroom. It seemed familiar somehow as if she had been there before. Her memories stirred, and she began to recognise the bare walls and drab carpet, the austerity and soulless quality. It was or had been her son’s bedroom, the sad little room he had died in. On that morning, so long ago now, she had come to wake him for school. She found him lying on a pillow stained with vomit, and his skin felt cold. Too cold, she thought, pulling him into her arms to warm him. When she realised her son was dead, her hatred for Jack Holland finally overflowed, and she ran screaming from the house.  The house Jack had bought for her, where her dreams had died along with her son. How cruel to bring her back here, to remind her of everything he had done to her.

 

Is Amazon Changing How We Write Books, As Well As How We Buy Them?

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Tara Sparling writes

Is Amazon Changing The Way We Write Books, As Well As How We Buy Them? Yay for uniformity!

The other day, I tried a little experiment, and attempted to browse Amazon as though it were a good old-fashioned, bricks-and-mortar bookshop. It didn’t end well. It’s a miracle that my laptop survived the experiment, given my frustration.

Most bookshops I know, whatever the size, broadly have 3 sections for adult fiction: ‘Bestsellers’, ‘General Fiction’, and the perennially popular* ‘Crime’.

The bigger bookshops, in this country at least, might have further sections for ‘Sci-Fi/Fantasy’ or ‘Irish Interest’: but broadly, and for decades, booksellers simply used to separate ‘Fiction’ from ‘Non-Fiction’ and ‘Children’s’.

My experiment on Amazon went broadly as follows: first I stupidly thought I’d browse through ‘Bestsellers’. But Amazon said ‘No’. Amazon decreed that I couldn’t merely browse by ‘Fiction’ bestsellers from their home page. There were only 5 Fiction bestsellers available on the landing page, and no option to click through to a longer list.

Is Amazon Changing The Way We Write Books, As Well As How We Buy Them?

With some effort I eventually…

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Bucket of Dreams… reposted

The First Dream has happened again… so I’m reposting

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I have reached the time of life when you start to think of all the things you wish you had done. The proverbial Bucket List.
Usually this consists of something you have never done, but always wished you had. The one I am going to tell you about is something I have been trying to do for a very long time.
As a keen bonsai grower, the exquisitely beautiful flowering trees have always fascinated me. Usually far too expensive, so I didn’t have one in my collection.
So I tried the next best thing. I planted seeds, pips, fruit stones, anything I could get my hands on. Some of them did grow, but a lot of them didn’t. Peach stones in particular, are impossible, and what they never tell you, is that it can take years for a seedling to produce any flowers.
I have two cherry seedlings that I planted four years ago, and every Spring I watch and watch as the first buds appear. But so far, none of them have been flowers buds.
It tests your patience to the absolute limit, but you do it anyway, repeatedly.
Apple pips are never very successful I have found, for some reason, they get mildew and gradually die.

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The Year one Dream Came True

When we first moved to our present house in Hampshire, in the south of England six years ago, I noticed a Laburnum tree on a roundabout in the middle of town. You don’t see many of these anymore, as people are a bit put off by the fact that the seed pods are poisonous. Silly really, when you consider that most of the plants in our gardens wouldn’t do you any good either.
I love the Laburnum. Such pretty leaves, and in the Spring, long spikes of drooping yellow flowers cascade like a sunshine shower. I had to wait until the flowers had finished and the seed pods were ripe, and then I went and retrieved some.
To cut a long story short, they started to grow. The years passed, and every Spring I waited for the buds to appear. When no flowers appeared, I just assumed they would come along when nature was ready.
But this year something was different. What I first thought were just leaf buds began to change shape, becoming pointed. I showed them to Anita, but she doesn’t really share my passion for bonsai. She took a quick look and said I was imagining it.
But I was having none of it. I believed.

Gradually, the flower shoots emerged, growing steadily longer with each day that passed, some even had a faint tinge of yellow. Every day I watched as they grew bigger. I had finally done it. Something I had grown from the seed I collected had finally flowered.

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I wonder what will be next?

I look at it every day and marvel. Now I keep thinking about all the other things that should be on my list…

This is what a full grown tree looks like…

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