Saturday, 19 August 2017

Summer Surprises continue with Death in Dulwich by Alice Castle!

Saturday Surprise! 

Alice Castle
I've a special guest today, Alice Castle, who has popped in to share news of her soon to be released novel Death In Dulwich. Crooked Cat Books launch it on the 6th September 2017 but since I'll be away on my cruising holiday I'm sharing the update today, just in case I have no internet access on the 6th. 

Congratulations in advance of the launch and my best wishes that it's a fantastic and profitable day, Alice. I've got it pre-ordered and look forward to reading it very soon! 

Welcome to my blog and please tell us a little about what Summer Surprises are in store for us in Death in Dulwich ....  

A big thank-you to Nancy for having me today on her lovely blog. Nancy writes delicious contemporary romantic mysteries as well as historical and time travel novels so, as my book is a mystery with a dash of romance on the side, I’m hoping there will be a crossover appeal to some of you devoted Nancy fans.

I’m really excited about my book, Death in Dulwich, which is coming out on 6th September. It’s a nod to the Golden Age of crime fiction, in that I’ve set my story in a small, enclosed community where everyone knows each other, with all the joys and strife and intense claustrophobia that brings. The twist is that the community is set in the heart of south east London. As a major world capital, London is not the kind of place where you’d expect the neighbours to know what you had for breakfast. But then, Dulwich is no ordinary part of the city.

My heroine, too, is out of the usual mould. She is a single mum, widowed very young and now struggling to make ends meet and keep up with the mortgage payments. She lands a great job and then, on her first day at work, she stumbles over… oh, but that would be telling.

Suffice to say, she is pitched headlong into a situation where she has no choice but to clear her name. It’s a struggle which brings her up against the police, her bosses and, worse still, the judgemental yummy mummies at her son’s school.

I’m really thrilled to say I’ve already had some lovely reviews for Death in Dulwich. My favourite is, ‘a modern twist on Miss Marple.’ I have to confess, I did rather shout, ‘yesssss!’ when I read that. But the book has also been called ‘a compelling page turner’ and been described as ‘murderously good fun.’

Dulwich is undoubtedly one of the heroes of the book. I lived there for four years, my children went to school there and it is both a wonderful and daunting place to make a life. It’s at the heart of my series. The sequel to Death in Dulwich, The Girl in the Gallery, is coming out next year (also with Crooked Cat) and there will be at least two more instalments in the series to follow. I’m really looking forward to writing them and I hope you’ll read them with pleasure. I’d say the books are quite a light read, but hopefully deal with contemporary issues that affect parents, small communities and the society we live in.

Death in Dulwich
By Alice Castle

Already described by early reviewers as ‘murderously good fun’ (author TP Fielden), a ‘keenly observed page turner … highly recommended’ (Amazon) and ‘well-written, engaging and fun,’ (author Jo Blakeley), Death in Dulwich is the story of thirty-something widow Beth Haldane.

Beth has her hands full – she has a bouncy nine-year-old son, a haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and a ton of bills to pay. She loves her little home in plush south London suburb Dulwich, but life here doesn’t come cheap.

That’s why she is thrilled to land a job as archivist at top local school Wyatt’s - though she has an inkling the post is not what it seems and she doesn’t think much of her new boss, Dr Jenkins, either. Then, on her first day at work, Dr Jenkins is brutally murdered. Beth finds the body, and realises she is the prime suspect, with means, opportunity and a motive.

Beth has no choice but to try and clear her name, bringing herself into conflict with the police and the school. But who is the real culprit? And is the cause of the killing a horrifying secret buried deep in the school’s past, or does evil lurk behind the comfortable fa├žade of daily Dulwich life?

Beth grows in confidence during her dogged pursuit of the murderer and, by the end of the book, is ready for any adventures that may come her way. Which is just as well, because there’s trouble brewing at the Dulwich Picture Gallery ….

Pre-Order your copy  HERE 

Alice Castle
Twitter: @DDsDiary

Alice Castle was a national newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph before becoming a novelist. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, was a European best-seller which sold out in two weeks.
Alice is currently working on the sequel to Death in Dulwich, The Girl in the Gallery. The second instalment in the London Murder Mystery series, it will be published by Crooked Cat next year.
Alice is also a top mummy blogger, writing DD’s Diary at
She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

Thank you for visiting today, Alice, and once again best wishes! 


Friday, 18 August 2017

Welcome to my Friday Feature! 

Miriam Drori
Today, I'm delighted to welcome a return guest, Miriam Drori, a lovely lady I've met many times both 'in the flesh' and virtually during the last few years. Miriam's a fellow Crooked Cat Books author who has visited this blog a number of times promoting her fiction titles but today she comes with information on a new venture, one fits into the newest category of non-fiction from Crooked Cat Books. 

Social Anxiety Revealed by Miriam Drori will be published very soon on the 22nd August 2017.

I'm very interested in the topic of Miriam's latest book because I believe that Social Anxiety can affect pretty well all of us at some time in our lives. Not all people experience it the same way, and it has more lasting and lingering effects on some more than others.

I'm very keen to have a read of what I know will be a very well polished book and Social Anxiety Revealed by Miriam Drori will be one of the books on my kindle that I hope to read during my coming holidays. I've already Pre-Ordered my copy from Amazon and all I have to wish for now is that I get sufficient access to the internet on my cruise holiday to download it onto my tablet! 

Welcome again to my blog, Miriam. What a great image for your latest book, it really captures the essence of your topic. Thanks for sharing with us your non-fiction journey...

That Question Again

“I’m an author,” I might begin. “I’ve had two books published so far and one more will be released very soon.”

“Oh really,” they’ll say with some surprise, because I didn’t give the impression I’m clever enough to write a book, let alone have it published. “What are your books about?”

“The first is a romance set in Jerusalem. The second is a novella written with another author; it’s the first of a series, based on a painting by Klimt. The third is non-fiction and it’s about social anxiety.”

Eyebrows are raised again. Then they’ll ask that question: “What’s social anxiety?”

And I want to shout at them, “How can you ask such a question? Social anxiety is the most common anxiety disorder there is. It’s the third most common mental health issue. About 12% of people will suffer from it at some time in their lives. And you ask what it is! You wouldn’t ask what depression is!”

But I don’t shout at them and I know I’d be wrong to shout. Because social anxiety, despite being very common, is hardly known about. Most people don’t even know the term and even fewer understand anything about it.

That’s why I’ve been so keen to publish this book: Social Anxiety Revealed, and why I’m delighted that it’s happening now (August 22). It’s a book I first wrote in 2004 and have recently updated. I began it when I became passionate about raising awareness of social anxiety. The reasons for that passion will appear in a different post on someone else’s blog.

The book isn’t just my story. It contains quotes from many other people with first-hand experience of social anxiety. It shows similarities and differences amongst those experiences, because people with social anxiety come from different places and have led different lives. And it contains humour, because humour provides a relief to the tension. And because even those who suffer from social anxiety can see the funny side of its illogicality. It is a fact that several stand-up comedians have or had social anxiety.
Miriam Drori can be found all over the Internet, including:

Social Anxiety Revealed will be available from Amazon from August 22 in paperback and ebook formats.

You can Pre-order Social Anxiety Revealed from Amazon HERE. 

Thank you for coming today, Miriam. Best wishes for a fantastic launch next Tuesday (22nd August) and for great sales of Social Anxiety Revealed


Thursday, 10 August 2017

A classic 'Ancient Roman' bestseller - Eagle in the Snow

Thursday top up...

This is about a recent read that took me a while since leisure reading time has been seriously curtailed over the last week. 

Eagle in the Snow: The Classic Bestseller by [Breem, Wallace]

I can see why this book, written around the 1980s, set a trend for later Roman military history authors. I didn’t find it read as easily as some other Roman legionary battles’ novels that I’ve read recently but the style was similar in that it told the tale via one main protagonist, in this case General Maximus. In parts the tale seemed longer than it needed to be but there was certainly plenty of enjoyable action in other places. Though fiction, I think it’s still a good read for getting a general gist of Roman military life both in settled peaceful times, as in northern Britannia, and in the horrors of engagement on the frontier in Gaul. (I confess to not seeing much in the novel that would have led to the script for a very famous film.) 

I'm not sure the addition of his cousin Julian/ friend of his youth was dealt with adequately. I can believe that some jealousy might have occurred between two youths when one got all the family 'rewards' and the other got less but as Julian pops in and out of the plot it seems irrelevant to the main storyline. 

Having read yet another piece of fiction set loosely around some factual Ancient Roman military details I'm glad I have personally chosen to write my novels predominantly from the Celtic perspective. That said, something like 'Eagle in the Snow' gives me some ideas for the creation of the roman characters who do appear as minor characters in my Celtic Fervour Series.

I'm sure that this novel will appeal to those who love a good tale that's brimful of Roman military details.