Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers Conference

We are off to a conference on Bookaholic today. Or rather I was privileged to be a speaker at The Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers Conference last Saturday. This took place in the lovely Scottish City of Stirling. It was great to meet up with old friends and make new ones. The fabulous Caroline Johnston, seen below holding a copy of my Book 'Killer's Countdown' gave a really interesting talk on using Facebook. Caroline is a fascinating speaker, knowledgeable about marketing, and herself has published a book, 'What if', a YA book for girls. This is available on Amazon if you want to know more. 

Sandra Bain gave a really interesting talk on research for writers. She took a unique approach as she told us what she did wrong during her research and how she would do things differently now. She had me hooked and I was sorry when her talk came to an end. 

I was asked to speak about blogging and I had so much fun doing this. I am assured that everyone else enjoyed the presentation as well. One of the best parts of the day was chatting to other Christian Writers and getting to know more about them and their books. There are so many excellent writers in Scotland and I feel privileged to be a part of them.

The reason my books are all over the pictures is that this was the first day they were for sale. A little premature as the official launch isn't until next week. The picture at the top of the blog is when I cracked open the first box of books which was a very exciting moment. When I was asked to sign the books it took me by surprise but it was such a good feeling. I love being a writer and an author and I am so looking forward to the launch.

That brings another bookaholic missive to an end. What do I have in store for you next time. Drop by and find out. Until then, keep reading. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

There's Been a Murder

We're taking a departure from the norm today on Bookaholics. I am very excited as I have been featured as the up and coming crime author of the month on the fabulous There's Been a Murder Blog. This is a blog well worth following if you like crime books and I am honoured to be featured. I would love you to drop by and read my interview. You'll find out more about me and the journey to publishing my first book.

The excitement continues as I won second place with a humorous article in the Angus Writers Circle yesterday. My article called 'The St Swithuns on the Undertow Church Newlsetter' was warmly received. I may feature it on a future issue of the blog.

So with all these announcements over, I will leave you to read the blog, and to get back to reading a good book. See you all very soon back here on Bookaholics. Keep reading.

Friday, 24 October 2014

What Keeps a Writer Busy?

As many Bookaholic Readers will know I will soon be releasing the first book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. These are exciting times for an author and let me tell you I am excited. The book Launch is in Waterstones Dundee on 17th November, so not long to wait now. 

I hadn't actually realised how much work there is whilst preparing for a book launch. My advice to all authors is start early. The time will go past more quickly than you can ever imagine or realise. Still, I am pleased to report that all is going well and I am on track for the launch. It sounds like it is going to be a great affair and I am really looking forward to it. By the looks of things it is going to be well attended and all my various friends, relatives and the local community are being supportive and are looking forward to the launch. 

I have to give a shout out to two young men who have gone above and beyond to help me in the process. Firstly, Nathan Gevers has built my author website. I am sure you will agree that he has done a fabulous job. Take a look and find out what he has done. Website

Joseph Wilson also deserves a mention. He is busy producing a video to go with the book and his ideas have blown me away. He is also writing, playing and producing the music to go with the video. Watch this space for an update the minute it is ready to go public. I can promise you it will be well worth the wait and anticipation.

Before the book launch I will be speaking at the Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers Conference in Stirling. If you are a writer and live in Scotland it is well worth joining this organisation. At the conference I will be talking about Blogging for Writers, and will also be running a blogging workshop. I am very much looking forward to this. 

I will be posting about both the conference and the book launch in future blogs. 

As well as all the above, I am also furiously writing to try and finish the first draft book number two in the DI Shona McKenzie series. I am having a great time writing it but there are parts which send shivers down my spine. Never fear, Shona is on the case. 

So as you an see I have been very busy. Reading has taken a little bit of a back seat, but I will be back on it this weekend. I have the first in David Hewson's The Killing trilogy ready and waiting for my attention. See you all soon my Bookaholic friends. Until then keep reading and writing. 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Book Review: Miracles by Eric Metaxas

Good morning Bookaholics, and a fine morning it is too. The October sun is shining brightly here in Scotland.I am sorry there hasn't been a blog for a couple of weeks but I have been really busy getting my first book ready for launch and publication. In my spare time I have been reading this fascinating book on Miracles. 

Miracles are something that have always fascinated me, and this book did not disappoint. This is not an on the surface, this is what happened to me book. It is a well thought out and in depth look at miracles. It approaches it from many different angles. Firstly it looks the miracles in the bible and why these should be held to be true. There is overwhelming evidence that these did happen. The next section of the book looks at conversion miracles and the damascus road experiences of several, often well known, people. The discussion about C.S. Lewis's conversion was, to me, particularly interesting. 

The final part of the book looks at miracles which happen today. This outlines many different miracles including, but not limit do, healing miracles. It does not gloss over the facts that some people may not be healed and God has his own purposes in this. Joni Erickson Tada is given as an example.

I was given this book as a pre order copy from the publishers. I was not at any time asked to provide a positive review. The review is based on my fully reading, and engaging with, the book.

This is a book which is well worth preordering. Links are given below

That's it for another week bookaholics. I look forward to seeing you back here soon. Until then keep reading. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Meet Crime Author Juliet B. Madison

We are joined on Bookaholic today by Crime Author Juliet B. Madison. Juliet has agreed to tell us a little about herself and  her new release, Best Served Cold, the fifth title in the DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series. 

Welcome Juliet, it's great  to have you here. Where did you get the idea for the DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series?

I’ve been reading almost nothing but crime fiction since my late teens and I was sure I could write a crime novel too. About seven or eight years ago I came up with the idea for a paranormal crime story where the senior detective on a cold case turned out to be a reincarnation of the original murder victim, but I decided that working out the mystery would be time-consuming enough. I kept the reincarnation aspect to a degree because I had a Hindu detective. That book became Second Chances, the first in the DI Lyle series.

There may be some bookaholic readers who have not read your books. For their benefit can you tell us a bit about DI Frank Lyle.  

DI Frank Lyle is six feet three inches tall with blonde hair and blue eyes, modelled on roles played by my favourite actor Robert Bathurst. At the beginning of the series he is a recently divorced youthful thirty-nine with a young son, James, whom his ex wife makes it very difficult for him to see or spend time with. She left Frank for another man as she got sick of coming second to the job so there are some pretty acrimonious scenes. By the time of Best served Cold Frank is five months short of his fiftieth birthday. He is dedicated to justice and giving a voice to people who have none. He is also a devoted family man and happily married to his second wife, ex Detective Constable Jayseera Lyle. He is extremely supportive of his son, James, who came out in the previous book, Murder in the Wings, and he adores his little daughter, Jasmine. Unlike a lot of fictional coppers Frank doesn’t have any real vices; he is not addicted to alcohol, gambling or drugs and keeps a clear head.

How much research do you have to do for your books?

I have learnt a tremendous amount from reading crime fiction as well as watching TV crime drama and criminal investigation documentaries. I completed a Distance learning online course in Forensic science earlier this year and learnt a huge amount from that. The subjects of bereavement and Type 1 Diabetes also crop up at various points during the series, but these I can write about from personal experience. If I have a technical question I usually ask my author friend, Paul Trembling, who is a real life CSI. I also attended an inquest once so I draw on that for Coroner’s court scenes in the novels. I’m aware they don’t have Coroners in Scotland, but things are different south of the border.

The DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series is set in the 1980s and early 1990s. Why did you choose this particular time period?

I chose this time period because forensic sciences were very much in their infancy compared to what they are today, which allowed more scope for mistakes. I also wanted to remind people of a time when people actually talked to each other face to face rather than resorting to emails, ipads and cell phones. It’s the era in which I grew up. I was seventeen in 1992 when both Murder in the Wings and Best served Cold are set.

believe Best Served Cold takes the reader into the darker recesses of the human mind. Do you mind telling us a bit more about that?

This novel does go into darker places where I found it hard to go. A man who feels let down by both the local authority and the legal system, is set on a path from which he cannot turn back. The book also delves into paedophilia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and racial hatred; none of which are pleasant subjects. It looks at the question or whether or not murder can ever be morally justified and reopens the Nature Vs Nurture debate, which is whether wickedness is inherent from birth or developed due to life’s circumstances and misfortunes.

Who would you say has helped you the most in writing the series?

My editor, Katrina Bowlin-MacKenzie, who gives her time for nothing. My cover designer John Holt. My real-life CSI Paul Trembling, who gives me technical advice. Also everyone who tweets and shares my stuff on Facebook, everyone who has had me on their blogs to promote Best Served Cold. Malika Gandhi gives me advice on Hindu-related issues (especially in the first book), Caroline Lee, who did the wonderful DI Lyle sketch and edited the last part of Murder in the Wings as Katrina was on holiday.

Are you writing any more books at the moment?

I’m working on the sixth DI Lyle novel, Dead on Arrival, but I haven’t got very far with it yet. I am also working on a DI Lyle novella A Murder-Free Christmas, which should be available to pre-order from Mid-November.

It has been great to have you here Juliet. I am sure your readers will enjoy your latest, and future books. 

Thanks Wendy, it has been good to join you on Bookaholic today.

Where can we find you and your books Juliet?

Twitter: @JulietBMadison

Facebook There are a number of DI Lyle related pages on Facebook but here is a small selection: