Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Butlins Girls


'Molly Missons gazed around in awe. So this was Butlin's. Whitewashed buildings, bordered by rhododendrons, gave a cheerful feeling to a world still recovering from six years of war. The Skegness holiday camp covered a vast area, much larger than Molly expected to see.'
Molly Missons hasn't had the best of times recently. Having lost her parents, now some dubious long-lost family have darkened her door - attempting to steal her home and livelihood...
After a horrendous ordeal, Molly applies for a job as a Butlin's Aunty. When she receives news that she has got the job, she immediately leaves her small hometown - in search of a new life in Skegness.
Molly finds true friendship in Freda, Bunty and Plum. But the biggest shock is discovering that star of the silver screen, Johnny Johnson, is working at Butlin's as head of the entertainment team. Johnny takes an instant liking to Molly and she begins to shed the shackles of her recent traumas. Will Johnny be just the distraction Molly needs - or is he too good to be to be true?

Today I'm delighted to welcome best-selling author Elaine Everest to the blog.


Elaine Everest was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has written widely for women's magazines, with both short stories and features. When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Dartford, Kent, and runs social media for the Romantic Novelists' Association.
Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent.

 Now if you wouldn't mind answering a few questions Elaine?

How is the title significant?
This is my second novel with Pan Macmillan and as the first book, The Woolworths Girls, did so well it was decided to go with a similar formula for this title. Just as in my Woolies book there are three friends who meet whilst working at Butlins and all have their own stories to bring to the book the title worked.

Where did inspiration for this come from?
My maternal grandfather came from a long line of showmen. They owned their own fairground until just after the Second World War. Growing up and hearing the stories of showmen I knew that Sir Billy Butlin was a showman long before he started owning holiday camps and was known to my family. My parents would take us to Warners holiday camps during our childhood and not much had changed from the forties to the sixties when we stayed in wooden chalets and joined in with the fun and games. Whilst reading about the war years I had noted that the holiday camps reopened pretty quickly at the end of the war and Sir Billy’s Skegness camp was the first to open in May 1946. The ideal place for Molly to run away to.

Tell us a little bit about the characters? What are they like and how did you come up with them?
My main character, Molly Missons come from the town of Erith in Kent – now SE London. It is 1946 and after losing her parents she expects to continue on with her life, living in her parents’ house and running her late father’s business but then things start to happen that mean she needs to leave the town for her own safety. She head to Skegness to work in a holiday camp and shares a chalet with Bunty and Plum.
Plum is our posh girl and she has her own secrets that she eventually shares with her two new chums. Although very posh she is loved by all although she always smell of the donkeys and ponies she cares for. Plum’s past is very sad.
My third girl, Bunty, has the biggest secret of all and is in desperate need of a friend or two.
Add to this the handsome Johnny Johnson and Molly’ life becomes very busy.
I needed to have a variety of character who would also get on well together. My girls needed to come from different backgrounds but also be likeable and have some fun.

Who do you think would like your story and what kind of readership are you aiming for?
After The Woolworths Girls I heard from many readers and was delighted to see they come from a wide age range. Younger readers wanting to know about life ‘back then’ and also ladies (and a few men) who had memories of life during the Second World War. I love to chat and share memories and this has been an added delight of writing my books.

What is your writing process like?
My writing process is to supply my editor with a one-page (maximum) story outline. When approved I work on this to expand it into a chapter breakdown with links to historical research. Then I write – usually seven days a week and around 750 words per day – more if I’m doing well. I plan ahead so that if something should interrupt my day I still manage my week’s goal. I belong to an online group for professional writers and we set ourselves a monthly word count and report daily. There’s nothing like having to confess to failing to keep me going!

How did you go about getting published?
I’ve been published with non-fiction books, article and short stories as well as an e-book with which I graduated the Romantic Novelist’s Associations’ New Writers’ Scheme. I run social media for the RNA and whilst compiling a blog post I was contacted by literary agent, Caroline Sheldon. Caroline read my book and asked if I had representation. After a meeting, where I showed her a half page idea (The Woolworths Girls) I was signed to the agency and sent away to write three chapters. Natasha Harding, then an editor at Pan Macmillan, offered me a two-book contract. Since then I’ve signed another two book contract with my new editor, Victoria Hughes-Williams. I’m still pinching myself!

What were the surprises? Good or bad? If so, what were they?
They are mainly good surprises that my books are doing so well. I appreciate how lucky I am as ours is a hard profession to break into. I still surprised that people know my name – what me? - and that new writers like to chat about my work. Bad surprises are very few and I try not to dwell on them. A little cyber bullying that I’m told is through jealousy. It can upset me, as I’m the most non-jealous person there is.
Cake is another good surprise. I tend to eat a lot of it to celebrate good news with my writer friends!

What plans do you have for the future of your writing?
At the moment my writing future is secure as there are three more books in the pipeline with Pan Macmillan that take me up to May 2018. I like to think they’ll offer another contract but that, as they say, is in the lap of the gods!
I’ve recently joined the Crime Writers Association and do have ideas that are more crime and less historical saga. However, I do love the saga genre so may just keep my crime within my historical novels.

Thank you so much for joining us today and good luck with the new release. You can find out more about Elaine via the links below.

Twitter: @ElaineEverest

Mary Wood

MARY WOOD - Journey to publication

I am the thirteenth child of fifteen born just as war ended in 1945 to parents who were worlds apart in their upbringing, but drawn together by a strong bond of love.

My mother had been brought up in a Middle-Class family. She attended private schools where she was taught how to be a lady. My father was an East-Ender, who, as a boy, took baskets of vegetables around the streets to sell, before going to war as a young man and fighting in the trenches in France.

We were a happy family, and though poor, we were rich in love.

A lot of my growing-up years were spent with my head in a book. We had a cosy place in the kitchen. A small corner next to the Rayburn, big enough for a basket to hold old newspapers ready to kindle the fire with. These provided a comfy seat, where the warmth from the Rayburn seeped into my cold body, and I could be transported to another world by a book.

The seeds were being sown, even then, for me to one day become an author, as the likes of Jane Austin, Charles Dickens and Louisa M Alcott fired my imagination. As did my mother’s tales about my great grandmother, Dora Langlois, who was an author in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I am the proud owner of one of her books.

But, my own journey into publication took a long time to happen.
I married young and soon children arrived and life took many turns. Earning money was a priority and I took on many jobs, from cleaning to factory work, to caring for the elderly and catering. Anything that would fit in with bringing up our four children.

We had grandchildren by the time I at last put pen to paper to write my first novel, and that is meant literally, as not many folk had a typewriter, and computers were something to come in the future.

My work generated nothing, other than rejection letters. But, I never gave up, and after being duped by a so-called, ‘scout for literary agents’ who took my money, messed with my manuscript and my head, before finally letting me down, I found the help I was looking for on an online site, called Here, I found other wannabee authors. We critiqued each other’s work, and became friends. The benefit for me was that at last, with all the help and support, I could feel my writing taking on a new direction. My characters were telling the story, not me, and they were dragging me in and along with them. It was from these fellow authors, that I heard about kindle, but was unsure that was the path I wanted to take. Self-publishing had always held a stigma, and was mostly known as vanity publishing.

After retiring from my nine to five, at the Probation Service, due to being struck down by ME – a debilitating illness that left me unable to walk, I was found to have breast cancer. Two major wake-up calls. If I wanted to realise my dream, I had to embrace all the changes that were taking place in the book world. And so, I took the plunge and self-published my work.

My world did indeed change. My health improved and my books all went to number one in genre. Doors began to open. I was approached by Pan Macmillan and offered a seven-book deal!

All of this at the age of 68! Amazing. Dreams do come true.

I now have my seventh title coming out in paperback, and published by Pan Macmillan.


You can’t choose your family
Megan and her husband Jack have finally found stability in their lives. But the threat of Megan’s troubled son Billy is never far from their minds. Billy’s release from the local asylum is imminent and it should be a time for celebration. Sadly, Megan and Jack know all too well what Billy is capable of . . .
Can you choose who you love?
Sarah and Billy were inseparable as children, before Billy committed a devastating crime. While Billy has been shut away from the world, he has fixated on one thing: Sarah. Sarah knows there’s only one way she can keep her family safe and it means forsaking true love.
Sometimes love is dangerous
Twins Theresa and Terrence Crompton are used to getting their own way. But with the threat of war looming, the tides of fortune are turning. Forces are at work to unearth a secret that will shake the very roots of the tight-knit community . . .
Will Sarah have a chance at a future, and what will become of Jack and Megan? One thing’s for sure: revenge will be sweet.
Available in all book shops, supermarkets and all online stores from May 18th

More about Mary's books on her website:
Follow her on Facebook:
And Twitter @Authormary

Come Sundown



Published 30th May 2017 Hardback | £16.99
A powerful and passionate novel of suspense from Nora Roberts the world's greatest storyteller
Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen... COME SUNDOWN
Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family’s resort in Western Montana, there just aren’t enough hours in the day for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn’t have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time...
But when a young woman’s body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine’s family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine’s Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice’s mysterious disappearance?
As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth before the sun sets on their future together.


Nora Roberts is the number one New York Times bestseller of more than 200 novels. With over 500 million copies of her books in print, she is indisputably one of the most celebrated and popular writers in the world. She is a Sunday Times hardback bestseller writing as both Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb.
For more information please contact, 020 3122 6621, 020 3122 6565 


My Review

It's taken me a while to read my first Nora Roberts but what a book to begin with. At first it seemed like there were two separate stories, the ranch and the abduction of Alice. It was difficult to really appreciate the Bodine/ Callan storyline as Nora Roberts kept giving us tantalising glimpses of Alice's story and to me that was by far the more interesting. add to that a parallel love story to Bodine, that of Jessica and Chase and at times the book felt overly long. With young women being murdered and no plausible suspects it was hard to see where this book was going. About half way through I found myself being caught up in all the stories and the ending brings everything together neatly. Be warned though that Alice's story is tragic and very upsetting and needs the HEA of the romances to offset it. Loved the multi-generational storyline and some fabulous characters.


Revenge of the Malakim


"It’s high summer and the streets of Bridlington East Yorkshire are awash with tourists. A serial killer is on the loose. DCI Will Scott and his team embark upon a fast paced investigation to catch a killer with a unique agenda. As the body count rises the killer randomly moves location and the police are unwittingly drawn into a dark and sinister world where cover-ups and corruption reigns. A place where no one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems."

About Paul Harrison:


Paul Harrison is a retired police officer, with a successful career that spanned three decades.  During that time, he worked on some memorable high profile investigations, and interviewed countless criminals who operated within the darker side of humanity.  Paul began writing and had his first book published during his time in the police.  Since then, he has gone on to write 34 books, mainly in the field of true crime.  Now he has turned all that experience into writing crime fiction.
 On retiring from the police, he spent time working with the English Judiciary, at the Royal Courts of Justice, London.  During which time, he gained what he describes as ‘an eye opening insight’ into what really happens behind the scenes of a criminal trial or civil hearing.
The vast majority of Paul’s professional career has been within the criminal justice system. He’s worked in many varied and interesting roles throughout his life, and he cites as his greatest achievement to date, unanimously winning, The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Outstanding Individual of the Year Award 2009, by a panel of assessors that included the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.  This, primarily, was for his voluntary work in the field of child and male abuse.
He’s passionate about writing, and his first crime fiction novel trilogy is based on genuine experience. It is the first in a series of  books that will feature lead detective, DCI Will Scott, and his trusted sidekick, DI Daisy Wright.  This crime fighting duo will, throughout the series, find themselves not only investigating mysterious murders, but embroiled in the world of police, legal and establishment corruption also.
Currently based in the North, and describing himself as a true northern lad, Paul is regarded as one of the UK’s leading experts on the subject of serial killers.  He has interviewed many such offenders, which has provided a unique insight into their psychology, and all importantly, how and why they select their victims.  Detail that will be used within future crime fiction novels.
Paul has made guest appearances in several true crime documentaries on both television and radio.  He is a popular and entertaining public speaker, and has talked at many high profile crime writing festivals and conferences, both at home, and on an international stage.

Interview with Paul

Welcome to Allthingsbookie

Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I’m a retired police detective, and someone who has worked within all areas of the criminal justice system throughout their working lives. I’ve written and had traditionally published thirty plus true crime and non-fiction books. I’m at the beginning of my crime fiction writing journey, and I’m pleased to be writing for Mike Linane, at Williams & Whiting publishing. Collectively, we are on a journey together. I’m a great reader of crime fiction too, and an avid writer.
How did you get started on your writing journey?
It all began during night shifts as a policeman. In quiet periods, I would read. I was into Jack the Ripper books and had read so much rubbish about the case. I opted to write my on book. I sent it to a publisher, who bought it, and it went from hardback to paperback within a few days. I was hooked thereafter.
Are there any poets or writers who influence you? How so?
I have to say, I love to read the works of my fellow crime writers. I loved Claire Evans book, The Fourteenth Letter. I was fortunate enough to be on a panel with her at Deal Noir earlier this year. Another person I admire is Guy Fraser-Sampson, I love his books and writing style.
Let's talk about your novel! What is it about?
Revenge of the Malakim, is about a serial killer, with a difference, on the loose in Bridlington. The fictional Eastborough police force, are sent into disarray as the body county begins to rise. DI Will Scott and his team pursue the mystery assailant, on a trail that leads them across the country (England) and into a web of deceit, corruption and lies. A place where no one really trusts anyone else. It’s quite graphic in parts, but I can promise the reader an exciting roller coaster of a ride throughout the book. With twists and turns right to the very end.
How is the title significant?
It’s all about the Malakim, an avenging angel, and protector of children. The Malakim delivers double the pain to anyone who harms or abuses children. It actually exists in various religious texts.
Where did inspiration for this come from?

I obviously have a successful police detective background. I also specialised in the field of child abuse. Eventually, on retiring from the police I worked with Charities, and organisations providing support for vulnerable victims of abuse. I speak on the subject of child abuse at national conferences. So my interest came from that. It’s very much remains a taboo subject still, so I wanted to introduce it into the crime writing domain to help further raise its profile. I donate a percentage of every book sale to a child support charities, so it helps in that way too.

Tell us a little bit about the characters? What are they like and how did you come up with them?
The main protagonists is DI Will Scott, who is promoted to DCI part way through the book. He’s a down to earth normal guy, who loves the town he polices. He has no hang ups, vices (other than his support of Leeds United) or issues. He’s an alround good bloke. Married with two kids his wife Mel keeps him grounded.
Will’s supported by DS Daisy Wright, she’s promoted to DI within the book too, filling Will’s position. She’s a cool level headed detective who doesn’t suffer fools gladly and is the ideal foil for Will.
Felicity Harvey. What can I say about her? Well, for a start, she’s secretary to the Home Secretary. She wields a lot of power and authority. A straight, no nonsense talker, she tells it as she sees it and takes no prisoners when giving her opinion. Felicity is feisty, hard-nosed, dare I say arrogant, and classy. Without giving too much away, she’s fast becoming one of the most popular character with readers. In book II - The Dark Web, she plays an even greater role.
Who do you think would like your story and what kind of readership are you aiming for?
I like to think all readers of crime fiction will enjoy it. It’s a sticky subject for my first novel, however, the plot doesn’t go into the actual child abuse. It’s a fast paced police procedural, filled with mystery and intrigue. I wrote it with a view to entertaining crime fiction readers across the genre. One reader from the USA paid the compliment of saying he’d never read a UK based crime fiction novel before. Now, having read Revenge of the Malakim, he’s hooked, and he’ll buy more. So it’s helped engage with overseas readers too.
What is the message you are trying to get across in your book?
I think the primary message is, good does overcome evil. However, maybe, it’s more about the victims of such crime getting their own retribution. If it makes it easier to talk about the subject in general, then it can only be a good thing.
What is your writing process like?
It sometimes shocks me to be honest. I have an idea of a plot, then I create an incident timeline, very much like a real murder investigation. Now the characters are in place, I allow them to dictate the story. I create a murder scene, then it’s like watching them act it out. Naturally this comes from real life experiences within my police and criminal justice background. I like to explore the interaction between different authorities, police, government, MI5, local authorities etc, and show the reader how these relationships operate. Things can, and do, go wrong during an Investigation, simply because there are too many political ramifications and key decision makers protecting themselves.
How do you go about editing your story?

Someone proof reads it for me. All of my facts are double checked, triple checked sometimes. This is to make it as realistic as possible. I have a friend who is a Forensic Psychologist and another who works in Forensic Crime Scene Management. This greatly helps with getting details accurate. Finally, Mike Linane, my publisher at Williams & Whiting, goes through everything with a fine tooth comb. He’s brilliant, supportive and he’s not scared to question anything and everything. All in all, it’s a great team effort.

How did you go about getting published?
My writing background was primarily in non-fiction. I was fortunate to have publishers ask me to write some books, so my reputation grew in that field. When I wrote Revenge of the Malakim, I sent a synopsis and three sample chapters to Williams & Whiting. Mike rang me within a couple of days, and duly signed me up for the book trilogy (The Grooming Parlour Trilogy). I was thrilled. To be honest, he’s supportive, understanding, and very knowledgeable about the crime fiction genre, and what makes a good book, so I’m well pleased to be part of his team.
What plans do you have for the future of your writing?  
I think it fair to say, I’ve written my last true crime book now. I have loved writing Revenge of the Malakim, and Book II - The Dark Web. It’s so satisfying to be able to create characters that are as real as genuine detectives and professionals in the criminal justice system. Even more satisfaction was gained in creating the dark serial killers…I’m saying no more I might give the game away. So I’m hoping that Williams & Whiting will sign me up for further books, including my Christmas 2017 special. If I may, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped among my crime fiction journey, including yourself, and most of all my fantastic readers.

Many thanks Paul for agreeing to be interviewed
My Review

Where to begin? I was drawn to this book as it is set in Bridlington, a town 'where nothing happens' and a place I know from childhood holidays. Believe me, you will never look at the town in the same way again after you read this book.
It is no cosy mystery but quite gruesome in places even for a die-hard crime reader so be warned. However, it does deal with major themes of pedophilia, corruption, political intrigue so is to be expected. It just seems at odds with the location which makes the ending even more shocking.
I liked the portrayal of the policeman leading the investigation and some nice glimpses into his happy family life - a welcome change from his gory job.
This book isn't for everyone but if you're looking for something a bit different when it comes to crime then this book certainly fits the bill. I did enjoy the book and even though it's pure fiction, I have no plans to visit Bridlington in the near future!