#Interview with Val Penny Conducted By Louise @valeriepenny @zooloosBT #Interview #CrimeFiction #ScottishNoir #BlogTour #HuntersChase

Interview with Val Penny

Recently I caught up with Val Penny and interviewed her on her book – Hunter’s Chase. It’s a series of books set in Edinburgh. So I asked her about this, getting into the mindset of her characters and the dark humour. First a little bit about the book and the link to my review, which I wrote previously, can also be found after the interview.

“Thank you for inviting me to your blog today, Louise. It is always nice to speak to you.

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe is the byline.

D.I. Hunter Wilson needs to find the source of cocaine flooding the city, but then a corpse is discovered, he also becomes focused on this. Then there is a second murder and a young women’s life hanging in the balance as the son of his nemesis joins the team.

Now onto the questions.

1. What inspired you to write crime fiction and set your series in Edinburgh?

I have to admit that the type of book that I enjoy most to read is crime fiction, so I decided to write what I like to read. Before I set the DI Wilson series in Edinburgh, I did debate making up my own town like Peter Robinson did for his crime series. However I know Edinburgh well and it is a city many people have visited or want to visit. It is also quite a small city, but cosmopolitan and it has everything I needed, so Edinburgh is Hunter’s home.

2. The book has some dark humour within it as well as some pretty brutal murders, how did you manage to combine the two without it sounding forced and was it intentional to combine both and yet keep a gritty feel?

Aah, yes, well that was intentional. I enjoy humour and especially dark humour. I think you need to lift a crime novel from darkness.

3. How do you get into the mindset of the characters to write both the murderer and the police solving the case?

I drafted biographies for each of my main characters and that allowed me to get to know them before I started to write the novel.

4. Did you have to research for the procedures? If so, how easy or difficult was this and then to translate it into a work of fiction?

Yes, I am lucky to have a friend who is a retired detective chief inspector and another who is a CSI. They were most helpful in guiding me in the right direction. Of course, I may have strayed for dramatic effect and any errors are mine.

5. There are several books in the series now, do you have more planned or what’s next in your writing career?

I certainly plan to write more in the Hunter series. I have a second series now where Jane Renwick is the main character. I am writing the second book in that series now.

6. You write a blog and keep a social media presence as well as books. From an author’s perspective how does this benefit both you and your readers?

I like to keep in touch with my readers and to hear from them through my website, blog and social media. It is always lovely to keep in touch.

7. What genres do you like to read and what are you reading just now?

I read many crime fiction novels, but also women’s fiction. I have just finished reading My Extra Life By Maggie Corbett, a non-fiction book about her 20 year career as a tv and film extra. Now I am reading a historical fiction novel, There is Mo Going Home By Madalyn Morgan.

Link to the review I wrote previously: Hunters Chase Review

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#Extract of Extreme Prejudice By Gordon Bickerstaff @GFBickerstaff @ZooloosBT #Espionage #Thriller #BlogTour

Extreme Prejudice
By Gordon Bickerstaff

Today I am on the blog tour for Extreme Prejudice and have a little bit to whet your appetite for the espionage thriller. So, follow down to the blurb and then an extract from the book.

A foreign embassy official warns the UK government of a bomb attack on London. Zoe Tampsin’s Lambeth Group team is launched into a race against time to find the terrorists.
​​​​​
As Zoe unpicks the details, she suspects the informant didn’t tell her the whole story. With time running out, her team chase a promising lead only to have it wrenched from their grasp
Either the bombers were incredibly lucky​​​​​, or they received a tip-off.

One of her team infiltrates the bombers. She discovers the attack has started, and her colleague Gavin Shawlens is missing, presumed killed by the terrorists.

While searching for Gavin, a massive disaster unfolds.

Can Zoe stop colossal loss of life in a small community and prevent the collapse of a key pillar of society.

Extract

Carver emptied a bottle of water over Liam’s mouth. He woke, coughing, spluttering, and spitting. Liam discovered his hands and feet were bound, and he lay on his back on the floor of his camper van. Carver towered over him.

He looked all around. ‘Where are Kacey and Jeff?’

Carver said, ‘We have questions and we’ll do them separately, then compare the answers.’

‘What questions?’

Carver pulled a stool and sat beside Liam. ‘You know how this works. I ask you the same questions as Peaty asks Kacey. Every lie you tell me will be punished.’

Around Liam’s bare left arm, Carver fitted a band like a blood pressure cuff, except this one had red and blue wires leading to a black box.

‘Who do you work for?’

Liam peered anxiously at the band on his arm. ‘I’m a driver for Consolidated Northern News Corporation.’

‘Does Kacey and Jeff work for you?’

‘They are freelancers. They contact an editor and outline the scope and likely outcome of a proposed investigation. If agreement is reached, the paper will provide expenses and some support such as a driver. That would be me.’

‘Doing well, Liam. What was the outline that your paper agreed?’

‘Documented and verified exposé of medical deception and fraud by Cartwright’s company New Lifestyle and Destiny, operating out of Serennity House. Kacey is following up a raft of complaints already on file.’

Carver looked up and down the camper. ‘I’ve rummaged around your van. No-one was living here. Where did Kacey go went she went home after her shift?’

‘We rent a cottage.’

‘Where?’

‘Howwood. The address is on an invoice in my wallet.’

Carver smiled. ‘Good. Keep this up and you’ll be home free without a mark on you. What about side issues?’

‘What?’

‘Teenage boys attending a prayer group What did she get out of them?’

Liam’s face paled, and he showed the whites of his eyeballs. ‘Look. I wasn’t there. I stayed here. I don’t know about the stuff with the boys.’

Liam didn’t lie well under pressure. Not even an average liar. He transported people and documents, and didn’t need lies or deception while driving.

Carver lifted the black box similar to a TV remote control. He pressed a few buttons to activate the arm cuff. ‘This will jog your memory.’

He pressed a red button to send a single high voltage, low current charge through Liam’s arm.

Liam screamed and his whole body shuddered.

Carver leaned closer to Liam’s face. ‘That’s setting one. Next lie will move to setting four. Setting 12 will stop your heart.’

Carver examined Liam’s phone. ‘Your phone shows she called you twelve times over the week. Does she have a fetish for grubby old tossers in seedy vans? Or did she tell you about her progress?’

Liam struggled to say the words. ‘Part of the agreement. I receive progress reports to keep the editor in the loop.’

Carver smiled. ‘Now we’re getting somewhere.’

‘What did she tell you, and what did you pass on to the editor?’

‘Cartwright is—aagh!’ Liam squealed as another charge seared through his body, setting his nerves on fire.

A faint smell of burning hair drifted out from the cuff on Liam’s arm. One side of his trousers became soaked with urine. In a few minutes, the smell of urine would overcome the smell of burning.

Carver said, ‘I don’t have all day. I’ve cranked the setting to six. The next shock will do some internal damage to your organs. Think before you answer. I’m not interested in Cartwright.’

Perspiration ran down Liam’s face and his voice cracked with an edgy tone. ‘She met a group of boys from a prayer group.’

‘Correct. What did they tell her?’

‘She said one boy was upset because he was made to watch other boys attack an unbeliever. Kacey comforted him and he confided in her. He told her about clients being blackmailed. A lot of people have been blackmailed.’

‘Much better, Liam. The boy’s name?’

‘Peyman… I think. Pay-something. I don’t remember exactly.’

‘What did Peyman tell Kacey about the attack?’

‘I don’t know. She was going to give me the story after we left Lochwinnoch.’

‘What did you pass on to the newspaper?’

‘Nothing. I told them the story was coming later today, and as soon as Kacey told me I would pass it on to the editor.’

Carver held the remote in one hand. The fingers of his other hand hovering over the keypad. ‘Think carefully. Did you pass anything the boy told her to the paper?’

‘What the boy told her is in a video they captured today. I haven’t seen it so I have nothing to report.’

‘What about names? Did Kacey mention names to you?’

‘Only his first name, Peyman. The paper told me they wanted the name of the boy and his father. I told Kacey the paper wanted names—we need full names. It happened this afternoon. That’s as far as we got.’

‘My boss needs to know if his name will appear in the paper. Did Kacey name him?’

‘No. The only name she’s got is Cartwright.’

Carver knew he heard the truth and put the remote on the floor. ‘That wasn’t too bad.’

He climbed out of the camper to make his report to Omar.

Extreme Prejudice By Gordon Bickerstaff @GFBickerstaff @ZooloosBT #Espionage #Thriller #BlogTour

Extreme Prejudice
By Gordon Bickerstaff

Today I am on the blog tour for Extreme Prejudice and have a little bit to whet your appetite for the espionage thriller. So, follow down to the blurb and then an extract from the book.

A foreign embassy official warns the UK government of a bomb attack on London. Zoe Tampsin’s Lambeth Group team is launched into a race against time to find the terrorists.
​​​​​
As Zoe unpicks the details, she suspects the informant didn’t tell her the whole story. With time running out, her team chase a promising lead only to have it wrenched from their grasp
Either the bombers were incredibly lucky​​​​​, or they received a tip-off.

One of her team infiltrates the bombers. She discovers the attack has started, and her colleague Gavin Shawlens is missing, presumed killed by the terrorists.

While searching for Gavin, a massive disaster unfolds.

Can Zoe stop colossal loss of life in a small community and prevent the collapse of a key pillar of society.

Extract

Carver emptied a bottle of water over Liam’s mouth. He woke, coughing, spluttering, and spitting. Liam discovered his hands and feet were bound, and he lay on his back on the floor of his camper van. Carver towered over him.

He looked all around. ‘Where are Kacey and Jeff?’

Carver said, ‘We have questions and we’ll do them separately, then compare the answers.’

‘What questions?’

Carver pulled a stool and sat beside Liam. ‘You know how this works. I ask you the same questions as Peaty asks Kacey. Every lie you tell me will be punished.’

Around Liam’s bare left arm, Carver fitted a band like a blood pressure cuff, except this one had red and blue wires leading to a black box.

‘Who do you work for?’

Liam peered anxiously at the band on his arm. ‘I’m a driver for Consolidated Northern News Corporation.’

‘Does Kacey and Jeff work for you?’

‘They are freelancers. They contact an editor and outline the scope and likely outcome of a proposed investigation. If agreement is reached, the paper will provide expenses and some support such as a driver. That would be me.’

‘Doing well, Liam. What was the outline that your paper agreed?’

‘Documented and verified exposé of medical deception and fraud by Cartwright’s company New Lifestyle and Destiny, operating out of Serennity House. Kacey is following up a raft of complaints already on file.’

Carver looked up and down the camper. ‘I’ve rummaged around your van. No-one was living here. Where did Kacey go went she went home after her shift?’

‘We rent a cottage.’

‘Where?’

‘Howwood. The address is on an invoice in my wallet.’

Carver smiled. ‘Good. Keep this up and you’ll be home free without a mark on you. What about side issues?’

‘What?’

‘Teenage boys attending a prayer group What did she get out of them?’

Liam’s face paled, and he showed the whites of his eyeballs. ‘Look. I wasn’t there. I stayed here. I don’t know about the stuff with the boys.’

Liam didn’t lie well under pressure. Not even an average liar. He transported people and documents, and didn’t need lies or deception while driving.

Carver lifted the black box similar to a TV remote control. He pressed a few buttons to activate the arm cuff. ‘This will jog your memory.’

He pressed a red button to send a single high voltage, low current charge through Liam’s arm.

Liam screamed and his whole body shuddered.

Carver leaned closer to Liam’s face. ‘That’s setting one. Next lie will move to setting four. Setting 12 will stop your heart.’

Carver examined Liam’s phone. ‘Your phone shows she called you twelve times over the week. Does she have a fetish for grubby old tossers in seedy vans? Or did she tell you about her progress?’

Liam struggled to say the words. ‘Part of the agreement. I receive progress reports to keep the editor in the loop.’

Carver smiled. ‘Now we’re getting somewhere.’

‘What did she tell you, and what did you pass on to the editor?’

‘Cartwright is—aagh!’ Liam squealed as another charge seared through his body, setting his nerves on fire.

A faint smell of burning hair drifted out from the cuff on Liam’s arm. One side of his trousers became soaked with urine. In a few minutes, the smell of urine would overcome the smell of burning.

Carver said, ‘I don’t have all day. I’ve cranked the setting to six. The next shock will do some internal damage to your organs. Think before you answer. I’m not interested in Cartwright.’

Perspiration ran down Liam’s face and his voice cracked with an edgy tone. ‘She met a group of boys from a prayer group.’

‘Correct. What did they tell her?’

‘She said one boy was upset because he was made to watch other boys attack an unbeliever. Kacey comforted him and he confided in her. He told her about clients being blackmailed. A lot of people have been blackmailed.’

‘Much better, Liam. The boy’s name?’

‘Peyman… I think. Pay-something. I don’t remember exactly.’

‘What did Peyman tell Kacey about the attack?’

‘I don’t know. She was going to give me the story after we left Lochwinnoch.’

‘What did you pass on to the newspaper?’

‘Nothing. I told them the story was coming later today, and as soon as Kacey told me I would pass it on to the editor.’

Carver held the remote in one hand. The fingers of his other hand hovering over the keypad. ‘Think carefully. Did you pass anything the boy told her to the paper?’

‘What the boy told her is in a video they captured today. I haven’t seen it so I have nothing to report.’

‘What about names? Did Kacey mention names to you?’

‘Only his first name, Peyman. The paper told me they wanted the name of the boy and his father. I told Kacey the paper wanted names—we need full names. It happened this afternoon. That’s as far as we got.’

‘My boss needs to know if his name will appear in the paper. Did Kacey name him?’

‘No. The only name she’s got is Cartwright.’

Carver knew he heard the truth and put the remote on the floor. ‘That wasn’t too bad.’

He climbed out of the camper to make his report to Omar.

#BookReview by Lou – The Abdication by Justin Newland #JustinNewland @MatadorBooks @Zooloo2008 #ZooloosBookTours

The Abdication
By Justin Newland

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Abdication takes readers on quite a fantastical and in many ways, a biblical and spiritual quest, which is full of trepidation as two lands that had come together, are now less than harmonious. I would say that Dan Brown fans, especially, would enjoy this, as well as fans of Justin Newland’s other books. You can find out more about his other books, in order, and links of where to follow and buy, after my review.
Thanks to Zooloo Book Tours for inviting me to review and to Justin Newland for sigining my book and to Matador for gifting me the book. My review remains unbiased.

The Abdication Book Cover

About the Author

Author Justin NewlandJustin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real peoplefrom history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

Blurb

The Abdication Book CoverThe town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgeling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity. They built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo. Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!

The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.

Review

The Abdication (the title all becomes clear as you read the book), blends fantasy, biblical, and spiritual references well. Firstly, Tula is met and she takes readers into Topeth, a highly regarded town, now in decline due to how mankind are developing. The writing is elegant and edges along between the complete fanatastical and parts of reality that all humans can recognise.

Tula ends up on a quest to meet the angels, but it isn’t as easy to cross the bridges between Topeth and Unity, which were once united and working harmoniously together and now that relationship is in perilous danger of disappearing as evil is abound.  There are also people, such as Sarah’s daughter, Opal, mysteriously going missing.

It’s a quest that has so much trepidation as there is evil around. There’s a strong supporting cast, whose lives are also in danger at times and times of desperation for their Creator to help them out.

Readers will also, amongst so many characters, such as Ruth and Abel, which are biblical, but also Taurus, fom horoscopes. It’s an interesting mix of characters who readers are introduced to, to see if they can move passed the ‘Old Guard’ and move their nations into better and more peaceful times.

Further Books by Justin Newland

The Genes of Isis

The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the

skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the

mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind.

 

The Old Dragon’s HeadThe Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set

during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of

China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the

beginnings of modern times.

 

The Coronation

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of

the Industrial Revolution.

 

 

The Abdication Book CoverHis latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery.

Links

 

Follow him at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justin.newland.author/
Website : http://www.justinnewland.com/

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Abdication-Justin-Newland/dp/1800463952

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/Abdication-Justin-Newland-ebook/dp/B098PHD84Y

The Abdication Book Tour Poster