#Article #CelebratingAuthorsSeries By Lou #CelebratingAuthor Erica James @TheEricaJames @HQstories #bookish #ReadingCommunity #WritingCommunity #blogger

Celebrating Erica James
By Louise (Lou)

As part of my blog in 2023 until it reaches 5 years old in September, I will be celebrating an author or publisher every so often. Join me as I celebrate works of Erica James. Beyond, just a small number of the over 20 books she has successfully had published is a short intro and then 2 featured books with links to the full reviews, and a write up of one of the talks she gave virtually.

Erica James has successfully had over 20 books published and are bestsellers and many are Sunday Times Bestsellers and even won awards. She also has a podcast which can be accessed via her Website  which includes sections on her books and a candid part about being a writer. When Erica James is no writing, she has other passions, such as her garden. Here is a link to more about her in a candid talk she gave online that I wrote up: Event Write Up
I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing 2 of her books since starting my blog, but actually I’d read a few prior to writing a blog and enjoyed them, such as A Breath of Fresh Air, The Real Katie Lavender, The Hidden Cottage and Swallow Tail Summer to name but a few. After a few years of writing my blog, I got the opportunity to review Letters of The Past and Mothers and Daughters. There will be a new book published this year too called A Secret Garden Affair


Letters From the Past is an intriguing book where secrets are uncovered in the 1960s from the late 1930’s into the 1940’s.
The book delves into the RAF and Bletchley Park and then some of the glamour of the 1960’s as well as the times when there was a deal with Australia for UK citizens to move there.

There are great characters to get to know and a wonderful mix of historical facts amongst the captivating fictional story.

Discover the blurb and review- Letters From The Past

Mothers and Daughters has warmth and wit as well as some pretty dark themes. It is an intriguing and gripping as family secrets are uncovered. The dynamics of the characters brings a depth that makes it compelling to read on and on as you get to know them very well…

Discover the blurb and full review – Mothers and Daughters

Coming in 2023 – A Secret Garden Affair


All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle #VirtualEvent #Writeup by Lou #HodderBooks #Fiction

All The Lonely People
By Mike Gayle
Available Now in Paperback

I attended a lovely Paperback Publication Day Event of All The Lonely People and had such fun, I thought I’d write a bit about it. Find the blurb of All The Lonely People below. It has been given a new cover and is a vibrant, sunny yellow. Congratulations to Mike Gayle on his RNA news!

Mike Gayle does a number of Facebook events and they are worth looking out for if you want a relaxing, entertaining evening. Although on Facebook they are a real interactive event. He reads many messages out and chats directly to people, as though in conversation with his audience.
Throughout the conversation, he sets the diverse topics to chat about as the events go on… last night it was awards, Netflix/TV, books and he even sings happy birthday to people. It’s a jovial chat that you can easily just go with the flow with. I’ve been to a couple of his events and always had fun!

Mike Gayle then did a lovely reading of All The Lonely People with all the accents of his characters to great aplomb and with much fun!
All The Lonely People is available in Hardback, Paperback, Audiobook, E-Book. Now in the UK.
All The Lonely People is published in the USA in the summer.


All The Lonely People Paperback

‘A heartwarming story about the power of community and human connection. Hubert Bird stole my heart’ Beth O’Leary, author of The Flat-Share and The Switch

Hubert Bird is not alone in being alone.
He just needs to realise it.

In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship and fulfilment.

But Hubert Bird is lying.

The truth is day after day drags by without him seeing a single soul.

Until, that is, he receives some good news – good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on.

Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out.
Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .

Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows will he ever get to live the life he’s pretended to have for so long?

From bestselling author Mike Gayle, All the Lonely People is by turns a funny and moving meditation on love, race, old age and friendship that will not only charm and uplift, but also remind you of the power of ordinary people to make an extraordinary difference.

‘Timely and poignant…Mike Gayle’s writing is beautiful and engaging and All the Lonely People is both heartbreaking and uplifting, devastating and thought-provoking. It is the kind of book you will want to press into the hands of everyone you know and tell them to read immediately’ Heat

‘This poignant book flits between the present day and Hubert’s early life as one of the Windrush generation. Heartbreaking, yet also uplifting and thought-provoking’ i Paper

All The Lonely People Paperback All The Lonely People Hardback

#Review by Lou of Love In The Wood – 5 stars for the entertaining play (still available) by William Wycherley, Directed by Hermione Guiliford @hermy1G @JSTheatre #theatre #TheShowMustGoOn #YouTube

  Love In A Wood
By William Wycherley
Rated: 5 stars *****

Love In A Wood is a great night in! There is humour, intrigue, romance and jealousy in this entertaining play with a terrific cast from stage and TV. It premiered on Sunday 31st January and is available for a week. Find out more below in the plot and then my review. Throughout, you can also find the link.

Love In The Wood is a  free online reading of a 1671 comedy by William Wycherley (The Country Wife), conceived and directed by Hermione Gulliford, is performed in aid of Equity Charitable Trust, supporting industry professionals in need of urgent assistance. There is an opton to donate on Just Giving.

Discover more about it in the plot and then you will come across my full review.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood

Love In A Wood


Lady Flippant wants a husband, while pretending not to, with her eyes on Dapperwit. Sir Simon Addleplot’s looking for a wife with a fortune, eying up Mrs Martha. Valentine only has eyes for Christina, but is jealous of everyone. Ranger has his eye on anyone, playing fast with his love, Lydia. And Vincent only has eyes on anyone if it’s in the dark. The night is young, and never has there been a better time for frolics and fun in the wood. —————- LOVE IN A WOOD By William Wycherley Directed by Hermione Gulliford STARRING Jo Stone-Fewings as Mr Ranger James Anderson as Mr Vincent  Danny Sapani as Mr Valentine Ian Gelder as Alderman Gripe Nicholas Le Prevost as Sir Simon Addleplot Paul Chahidi as Mr Dapperwit Christopher Chung as Mrs Crossbite’s landlord, a waiter & servant Nancy Carroll as Christina Lorna Brown as Lydia Linda Bassett as Lady Flippant Ellie Fanyinka as Mrs Martha Debbie Chazen as Mrs Joiner  Hermione Gulliford as Mrs Crossbite Shaofan Wilson as Miss Lucy May Walker as Isabel Jules Melvin as Leonore   Stage Managed by Lou Ballard Edited by Daniel Morley-Fletcher.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood


Love In A Wood is a delightfully entertaining play in 5 Acts with a 15 minute interval. There is also a lovely surprise from the cast during part of that time.

You get a wonderful feel for who the characters are at the start to read about and then the cast come on. It clearly and ingeniously states character names as people come on and the setting for each act and scene.

It’s brilliant and witty and technically it works well with what they’ve got. It’s a wonderful script and one which I was not familiar of, but that’s one of the beauties of the arts. There are opportunities to explore something different.
The cast speak as though they were in character and on a stage. The characterisation of the households is sublimely played out.
You cleverly only see each character at the time you need to ie not all at once, which works so well and seems theatrical, even on screen. The timing from them all is perfect in all aspects, from comedic timing to when they appear on screen, to passing on coins. It would be no mean feat, but is expertly done and is so well directed by Hermione Guilliford.

Acts in St. James Park, has some lovely sound effects to suggest so. There are occasionally some props and inventive ways to create scenery and costume – pretty impressive for such times. The timely period music is used to great effect between scenes.

There’s some gossip and passing on information and some scandal to be had, which has some intrigue to see what happens next. Throughout they are able to create some changes of atmosphere from humour, to a bit of seriousness and trepidation to more comedy and the energy given, even in a reading is brilliant!

It is above all, such an enjoyable, entertaining Restoration Play that is well worth a look.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood

Love In A Wood

The Deal by Jonathan Whitelaw @urbanebooks @JDWhitelaw13 @HoneyandStag @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

The Deal
By Jonathan Whitelaw

Blog Blitz

The Deal Poster 2

Today I am so very pleased to share with you – The Deal by Jonathan Whitelaw, a book perfect for Halloween, thanks to an invitation by Kelly Lacey at Love Books Group for this 1 special day. This isn’t just any ordinary book. This book is for a charitable cause – The Samaritans, which I think is amazing and lovely. What is incredibly exciting is the interview links into one he did for Honey and Stag Literary Events on You Tube.
The book is a short, entertaining read and the cause is fabulous, plus you get time to relax a little and enter someone else’s world and get to the end as it is a novella and help such a worthy charity.
The interview lasts just 30 mins. It is so fascinating to find out about the book and why The Samaritans will benefit.

Please don’t find yourself alone. Samaritans are there to help 24/7 all year round. You can call them for free on 116123  The website is http://www.samaritans.org and you can find them across all social media too.

Now onto the book. Please enjoy a moment to yourself to discover about the author, the blurb and finally, the terrific interview, the buy link.

About The Author

The Deal authorJonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.

After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.

He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.

HellCorp, from Urbane Publications, is his second novel following his debut, Morbid Relations.

The Deal pic


Following the sinful shenanigans of Hellcorp and The Man in the Dark, the hellishly handsome Devil turns his attention to the most frightening of all holidays … Halloween.

onathan Whitelaw has written a unique, one-off special tale starring Ol’ Nick himself – and set in the wild Wild West. After lending a hand to a down-on-his-luck prospector, The Devil returns thirty years later to collect his debt – but as ever when The Devil is involved, nothing ever goes to plan.

A prequel to the bestselling HellCorp, this enthralling and very funny tale is the perfect read for Halloween and fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Christopher Fowler and Benedict Jacka.

All proceeds from every sale of The Deal will be donated to Samaritans.

Interview with Jonathan Whitelaw


Buy Link 


The Deal poster


Write-up by Lou of Interview of How To Catch A Killer @DrCJMerritt @KatRamsland #BloodyScotland @Brownlee_Donald

How To Catch A Killer
Dr. Chris Merritt and Dr. Katherine Ramsland

Bloody Scotland Online Event

This was a rather fasinating and yet chilling interview between Dr. Chris Merritt and
Dr. Katherine Ramsland about forensics and the psychology of those who kill or to be more precise – psychopaths.

Dr. Chris Merritt started proceedings with an introduction:

Dr. Chris Merritt
Author of the Boateng and Jones series and the Lockhart and Green series; Dr. Chris Merritt is also Clinical Psychologist. He has produced a lot of research papers on mental health, which he has researched and also studies the impact technology has on our lives.

He has practiced clinical psychology in the UK National Health Service. Now, he consults on psychology for businesses and write.

Dr Katherine Ramsland

Dr Katherine Ramslet teaches forensics psychology and has appeared in 200 documentaries, consulted on The Alienist (now on Netflix). She has an article about her in Psychology Today. She has spent 25 years, specialising in serial killers.
She is a Professor at  DeSales University  specifically to teach forensic psychology, focusing on her field of expertise—extreme offenders.

She has worked on a book called How To Catch A Killer about Dennis Radar, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time.

A Notorious Killer

She has known Dennis Radar for 10 years and seemed fascinated by him and in writing about him, although 85% is his work, with some suggestions etc being made. She shown an interesting slide show, which can be seen when the recording is shown of the event.

Finally, caught in 2004, he didn’t come across as a totally stereotypical guy who would be a serial killer. He was a president of a church group and a public figure.
He, however started with a family of 4, so was a mass murderer before he became a serial killer, with more victims outwith the family.
His thing was binding, torturing and killing people. He killed 6 more people. You’ll get a bit more about it in Mindhunter.
What is described is chilling, but there certainly seems a clever way of catching him.  
Katherine talked about how he was manipulative and how she seemed to pay attention to what he said and how he said it. She said that they played chess and she was watching how he played. She talked about the layers of him; which was fascinating to hear about.

She talked of compartmentalising or cubing, which describes the behaviour and she learnt how to talk to him and she reckons it all allowed her to do an indepth study of him.

The Effect

Dr. Chris Merritt asked about the psychological effect that her work could have on her.

Dr Katherine Ramsland talked about how she approaches the case with a clinical perspective and says it hasn’t really effected her. She did however, talk a bit to some of her friends about a few of the more disturbing things. She said she had studied so much and reckoned her approach made the difference in coping.

How she came to start working on this

She was curious as a child, when in Michegan and became fascinated by the process. She worked with John Hunter and started to write for the Crime Library and wasn’t intending on becoming an expert on serial killers. She teaches forensics at universities. She talked about how there is so much diversity in serial killers in certain traits and backgrounds.
She is interested in many unique cases these days and less so, than those that hit the main news headlines.

The History of Serial Killing

Interestingly, she talked about how serial killers can be traced way back in history.
The earliest was 2nd BC in China and says it is of interest to psychologists in what leads them to study that. She also wrote about serial killers that go back to Ancient Rome.

She also talked of many different types of seriel killers and of all the different manifestations of murder.

Debunking Myths

Dr. Chris Merritt talked about there being myths around serial killers and one being single white men.

She says that women are also seriel killers and are mostly quiet around it with poisonings, but not always. She says that she is past the whole women are all nurturers and can’t possibly do this. She talked of some women being in teams as they go about their killing. They talked of some in England and the manipulation that presents itself in their behaviours.

They both talked about the psychology of team killers and used the Moors Murderers as a prime example and how she sees how much females in a male/female team can be involved.


All serial killers are not psychopaths, it would seem. It is fascinating to hear that there is so much work that is going into studying the traits really early on and kids who are maybe at risk of becoming a psychopath. Sometimes, however there isn’t a childhood history. She studies the case histories and looks into what arouses a person and their perspective on the world.

Most Like To Interview

Dr. Katherine Ramsland would most want to interview Jack the Ripper.

Dr. Chris Merritt’s and Dr. Katherine Ramsland’s books are available to buy.

Pics of their latest….


Desert Island Crooks – Crime Authors Desert Island Books @BloodyScotland @cbrookmyre @lizzienugent @harriet_tyce @RuthWareWriter

Desert Island Crooks
Bloody Scotland Online

The chair of this panel, Jonathan Whitelaw has dumped fellow crime authors on a desert island and asked them which books they would take with them.

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming an author and has written many successful books, including Quite Ugly One Morning and his latest is Fallen Angel.

Liz Nugent worked in Irish TV and radio dramas and is now also a novelist of many books, including Our Little Cruelties.

Harriet Tyce was a Criminal Barrister before becoming a writer, with her debut being Blood Orange and her second is – The Lies You Told.

Ruth Ware published in 40 languages and has written many books recently had even more success with The Turn of the Key and  her latest is One By One


The 3 books they would each have with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

Chris Brookmyre

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Reason unsual and absorbing – takes place in US and Laszlo is a pioneer of psychological pioneer. Has Theodore Roosevelt as the protaganist.
Sense of political events and corruption and is like reading history as it takes place.
Hugely atmospheric, rollicking Tale.

The Alienist: Book 1 (Laszlo Kreizler & John Schuyler Moore)

The Crow Road by Iain Banks,
Reason – He wants to relive it over and over. It’s quinessentially Scottish book. It takes place in Glasgow and there is a road there in that. It is in urban and rural Scotland. It’s about complex relationships and he told of a great opening line. There’s the rights of passage and the jealousy. There is crime within it as an uncle goes missing. He reckons they would be his surrogate family whilst he was on the desert island.

The Crow Road: 'One of the best opening lines of any novel' (Guardian)

 Holistic Detective Agency series by Douglas Adams
Reason there’s a fantasy/sci-fi/crime fiction book with Dirk Gently as the detective. It deals with time travel, but brings humour and you can read it a second time straight after to get something different out of it. It shows people can seem nicer than what’s really lying beneath. He says you can always find something new in it.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently Series Book 1)

Liz Nugent

The Collector

Reason: About a butterfly collector has decided to collect a woman instead. Average loner who suddenly wins the pools and he buys a house and has creates a basement where Miranda is kidnapped and wants to pin her to the wall with his butterfly collection
The story is told from both points of view.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper.
Reason Set in Australia, she was taken by the deadly landscapes and how stranded you can become in the harsh elements and poisonous snakes.
She talked of so many people having skin cancer too and it sounded so routine.
The lethal landscape attracted her. The story is of 3 brothers and one who is presumed to have committed suicide and another who is estranged. It’s about families and redemption, she says how it is a terrific read.

The Lost Man: the gripping, page-turning crime classic

The Book of Evidence By John Banville

Reason: Freddy Montgomery has come back from living in the med where he squandered his money and has decided he will steal a painting. He ends up murdering a maid by accident and is about the horror of knowing you’ve done something really bad and can’t escape from himself. It’s based on a harrowing true story.
She says it’s an outstanding read and there’s so much in it to unpick.

The Book of Evidence by John Banville (2010-03-05)

Harriet Tyce

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

ReasonPublished in 1938, who has a 17 year old psychopath is the protagonist, with Ida being the antagonist. It’s about good and evil and nicely forgives Greene for how he describes Ida.
She seems to like the atmosphere and the ending.

It was interesting that she started a small division about the view of Brighton.

A-Level Notes on Graham Greene's Brighton Rock

Endless Night for Agatha Christie.

Reason: She wants to unpick it for the ending. Michael has a dream of the perfect house and marries an heiress. There’s a curse and lots of bad things happen and it all builds up before the reveal at the end. You think it might be one thing, but a great twist at the end as it becomes another.

Endless Night

In A Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes

Reason: Written in 1948 – Set during war times and the protagonist strangles women and there is feminism and evil.

In a Lonely Place (Penguin Modern Classics)

Ruth Ware

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

Reason – It’s a psychological thriller, but not categorised as such. A poisoning takes place

Says it’s really well-plotted and the characterisation and it being told through Phillips eyes and swings that takes place. Du Maurier takes you into agreeing, but also mistrusting him.

It’s poisoning in its state, but also is Phillip actually poisoned for his thoughts of women.

My Cousin Rachel (Virago Modern Classics)

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Reason: She suddenly realised that it is about a bunch of strangers killing each other. She thought, if things went bad, she would know what to look out for.

The Talented Mr Ripley and The Secret History by Donna Tartt were in a tie as they both have compelling characters, with her plumping for The Secret History for its faintly horrible characters and the settings.

The Secret History: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Goldfinch