Freitag, 26. Oktober 2012

The Taylor Street Gang files, part 14. L.Anne Carrington.

Think of Pennsylvania and the mind automatically flies to such great historical and cultural landmarks as the American Revolution, the Birth of a Nation, Lake Erie, the Battle of Gettysburg, Quakers and Flashdance, (?). 
However, what's missing there, in that there list, is the name L. Anne Carrington. Author of the Cruiserweight series of books, Lori, (which is the "L" in her author name, in case you were wondering) is on my blog today, so let's check out some blurbs and then read her answers ;-)

The Cruiserweight

In this punchy, romantic take on the wrestling world where only some of the physical contact takes place in the ring, sports journalist Karen Montgomery has been following for years the career of Brett Kerrigan, one of the smallest cruiserweight wrestlers in the business, and can recall in detail every bout he has ever fought, recognising his outstanding skills as a wrestler and his intuitive flair for entertaining the crowd. She has even written an award-winning article about him. 

Now she desperately wants to meet him. One night, after many failed attempts to reach him, she looks up to find him standing right there in front of her. They get talking and they immediately hit it off. 

However, as they become involved and grow ever-closer, Brett loses his contract and must strike out on his own. Will their relationship survive the pressures on both of them, their differences in ages, and the other women in Brett's life? Or will one of them decide they are not the ideal tag-team after all?

The Cruiserweight's Daughter (The Cruiserweight Series)

Autumn is now the grown-up daughter of retired cruiserweight superstar Brett Kerrigan, but in the love stakes she’s a heavyweight.
She is searching for two things: success as a wrestler, just like her father, and for the intoxication of intimacy – she longs for an injection of the real love her parents share for each other. Several failed relationships leave her disillusioned and alone.
Three men each play a prominent role in Autumn’s pursuit of professional and personal success: Peter Klass, a retired cruiserweight legend determined to help make Autumn a star while trying to reconcile his own personal and professional lives, Mike Stackhouse, the fellow student wrestler who wins Autumn’s heart while on the edge of stardom with International, the world’s largest stage in professional wrestling, and Marcus Tucker, Brett’s personal assistant, the shining star of Peter’s cruiserweight class, and one of Autumn’s closest friends – and confidant – who once harbored a crush on her.

One night following the graduation show at Brett’s academy, the lives of Autumn and one of these men took a turn no one expected – yet affected those around them who cared the most.

Will her relationship with Mike survive the pressures of both their budding careers and that fateful night?

Or will she once again be a singles performer in the romance division?

1.) Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in South western Pennsylvania. I love Pittsburgh and wouldn't leave this area unless there was a very good reason. I studied cosmetology in my late teens and hold a two-year degree in Business Office Specialist, which is basically a glorified secretary. I took classes in modelling and professional development at Barbizon Pittsburgh in the mid-90‘s.
I started writing as a teenager and had my first article posted in a major newspaper at 17. I kept writing throughout the remaining years of high school while also taking acting lessons. I continued writing off and on, but mostly as a hobby, until the early 2000‘s.
I got back into freelance writing full time a few years ago. One of my articles, An Overview of Causes of Hearing Loss and Deafness, was bought by Internet Broadcasting Systems, which reprinted the article on various major news and health-related web sites. My first novel, The Cruiserweight, was published in 2010 by my first publisher, Night Publishing.

2.) What genre do you specialise in?
I’ve written erotica and romance, but my most recent work is genre fiction/sports.

3.) What's your inspiration?
For my novels? I was always fascinated with professional wrestling from the time my former sister-in-law took me to a match when I was 18. She had dated Ivan Putski many years before she met and married - then subsequently divorced - one of my brothers. As a result of her previously dating Putski, she had developed a lot of contacts in that world. Since we were good friends, she took me to a lot of matches where we got in for absolutely no charge and always had great seats (and sometimes got backstage).
I got away from wrestling for a few years to pursue other interests. It wasn’t until around 2000 and after that I again started watching. Though I haven't watched much wrestling on TV recently, I will admit it's been fun writing wrestling-themed novels. The Cruiserweight took a little over two years to write, whereas The Cruiserweight’s Daughter only took six months.

4.) Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?
I love Ann Rule. I think I’ve read every book the woman’s ever written. Whether you’re a true crime buff or not, her books grab you from the first chapter and keep you there until the final word. I was influenced by books of many genres, from biographies to classic fiction.

5.) How do you feel about
I think Taylor Street Books is a great publisher! So many people out there still believe the myth that no one is truly a successful author unless their books are published by one of the “Big Six” publishers. Truth is, more small (and independent) publishing houses are becoming prominent and publishing excellent books. Lucky for many of us, Taylor is among those publishing companies.

6.) What are your plans?
My next novel will literally begin November 1. I am participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year with writing The Cruiserweight Series’ third book.
Klass Act focuses on Donovan Klass, the son of Autumn’s former wrestling trainer, Peter. He is now a juvenile probation officer and father of a young daughter, Avadon. When he sees his child’s mother, Ava Hassan, become a success on the independent wrestling scene and his best friend Marcus (Brett’s personal assistant in the second book) become a cruiserweight superstar with International, Donovan ponders offers from both his father and Brett to take wrestling training and have his own career in the squared circle.

7.) On the Web?
Twitter: @lacarrington1
Amazon Author Profile (you can find all my books here):

Well thank you very much, Lori! You've made me see Big Daddy, (A famous British wrestler from the 70's, early 80's in case you're wondering) in a whole new light!
Now you know peeps!
As you were.

Donnerstag, 18. Oktober 2012

The Taylor Street Gang files, part 13. Valerie Tate.

Ontario is famous for a lot of things. None spring to mind right now, well not at this present moment in time, but I'm sure there's something there somewhere.  What I do know is that Ontario is home to one of the newer additions to Taylor Street, Valerie Tate.
Valerie's book, "CATNIP" is out on That Right publications, (a sister to Taylor, it's all very incestuous, but in a healthy, whole wheat sort of way) and can be bought on Amazon in paperback and download.
Let's read the blurb and then see what she has to say.


What can go wrong when an elderly matriarch leaves the family fortune to her cat?

Just about everything, including ‘catnapping’ and murder!

CATNIP is a mystery set in the picturesque town of Dunbarton, Ontario, and tells the story of what befalls the dysfunctional Dunbar family, and the chaos that ensues, when the matriarch of the clan leaves the family fortune to her cat.

That formidable feline proves to be more than a match for the humans in his life, until one fateful night when, caught unawares, he is stuffed in a sack and carried away.

A nosy neighbor with a nasty, suspicious mind points the finger of suspicion at the Dunbars and Christopher Mallory, the young attorney who is the trustee of the estate, and under the terms of the will, they face losing everything.

When a murder occurs, Christopher finds himself confronting a ruthless killer who would do anything to conceal his or her identity, including kill again.

Sounds interesting actually, let's hit the questions.
Valerie Tate, COME ON DOWN !!!

1)Tell us about yourself
I’m a Canadian living in Ontario. I started writing as a child and always intended to make it my career but since bills have to be paid, I put that on hold to pursue a teaching career. There were many opportunities to use my writing to enhance my teaching and to encourage the children to develop their own abilities. We wrote stories and plays in English and French.
I don’t have cats of my own but my sister has two, Bob and Simon. They are getting on in age now and are very affectionate, but when they were young their misadventures were legendary and many of Marmalade’s misdeeds and antics were actually committed by Bob and Simon.
I do have a Jack Russell Terrier named Hamish and a horse named Devon. Most days I head to the barn and since it is about a seventy-five minute drive each way, I spend a lot of time in my car. I keep a pad and pencil handy and if something comes to mind I pull off the road and write it down.

2)What genre do you specialize in?
I write mysteries. CATNIP is the first in the Dunbarton Mystery series that is set on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron in Ontario. Dunbarton is based on Kincardine, Ontario, a lovely lakeside town where I have spent many summer vacations. When I was looking for the setting for CATNIP, it seemed an ideal location.
The plot of CATNIP stems from the practice of people who leave their estates to their pets. Why someone would do this and what happens after the will is read? You have to read CATNIP to find out!
 The second book in the series is HORSE SENSE. It begins in Dunbarton but moves to King Township, traditional horse country in southern Ontario, when it is discovered that Olympic rider, Alex Craig, has been the victim of fraud and the theft of a $20,000 straw of frozen semen from the world’s top breeding stallion. Investigations are set in motion that lead to murder.
 Many of the things that happen in HORSE SENSE are based on my personal experiences including the fire that destroyed a barn on a farm where I was boarding a horse. I watched helplessly as a wisp of white smoke became a fireball that engulfed the hundred year old bank-barn. HORSE SENSE is complete and is currently being revised. I’m very pleased with the characters in HORSE SENSE and am considering spinning them off into a series of their own where all of the books would have horsey plots and settings.

3)What's your inspiration.
I’ve always loved reading and so writing seemed a natural extension of that love of a good story. In the Dunbarton series, animals play an important role and I’ve tried to include some aspect of animal welfare or environmental concerns in each of the books.

4.) Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?
I have a lot of favourites but I would have to say that Elizabeth Peters has certainly influenced my writing style. Her wonderful settings, intriguing characters and tongue-in-cheek style always make for a fun read and I hope that I have achieved that in CATNIP.

5) What are your thoughts on That Right and Taylor?
CATNIP was published by That Right on July 20 and I’m very appreciative of the opportunity. It is extremely difficult for a new author to break into publishing and That Right and Taylor Street have displayed a lot of faith in their fledgling authors.

6.) What are your plans?
I have ideas for several more books in the Dunbarton series. The third is in the planning stage and I’ll be getting to work on it soon.

7.) Go for it, sell your work. (Links, reviews, what ever you want).
CATNIP is available on Amazon.

My website is .

Thanks very much Valerie, all the best with your writing and welcome to Taylor :-)

OK peeps, carry on...
Reg :-)

Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2012

The Taylor Street Gang files, part 12. B.A. Morton

 Number 12 on the list of all time best Great British Authors, otherwise known as the Taylor Street Gang, is B.A. Morton, (Babs to her friends, Barbara to me).

Mrs. Morton has written a very well received thriller called, (wait for it), Mrs. Jones!
No, it isn't about my poor wife's edge-of-her-seat life with her "mental age of 16", heavy metal hubby, it's about "A British girl with a secret. A New York cop with a past. And a mob that wants revenge..."
 Sounds good, doesn't it?
Anyway, here's the blurb for Mrs. Jones and her next offering, Wildewood.

A British girl with a secret.
New York cop with a past.
And a mob that wants revenge

In the slickest, sneakiest twistiest-turniest hard-boiled crime noir novel to come out in a long time, ruggedly pragmatic but honest cop Detective Tommy Connell picks up an English girl, Mrs Jones, who claims to be the witness to a murder, and promptly falls in love with her.

Well, Mrs Jones, whoever she is, must be very attractive because an awful lot of people seem to want to get their hands on her if they can prise her from Connell's determined grasp, including some prominent representatives of organised crime and the Feds.

Detective Connell definitely has his work cut out here if he wants to end up with the body of Mrs Jones, dead or alive, that's for sure.

All-in-all it's probably safe to say he hasn't a clue what is going on. It is probably equally safe to guess that Mrs Jones does.

Not that 'safe' is quite the right word to use here or, there again, maybe it is.

A knight. A witch. A Secret.

When Grace, a twenty first century heroine, is accidentally transported through a time portal into the clutches of an impoverished medieval knight with one eye on her ransom, we are treated to a brilliant evocation of medieval
England which heaves with corruption and intrigue.

The remote and beautiful wilderness of ancient Northumberland rings out with the sound of clashing swords, the hiss of arrows, thundering hooves and the chink of coin bags changing hands in shady deals.

It is all there: a spirited and sensual romance, an action-packed adventure story, hidden treasure, revengeful and devious barons and corpulent and corrupt clergy.

Beset on all sides by danger and deception, with only their wits and a small band of loyal followers to assist them, Grace and Miles of Wildewood find their lives inexplicably entwined as they battle for justice, honour and love.

OK, without further ado, I give you B.A. Morton: 

1.)   Tell us about yourself
I’m married with three grown up children and one grandson. I live in a cottage in a wonderful village in Upper Coquetdale, Northumberland...a land of castles, hills, woods and red squirrels. No public transport, no mobile phone signal and intermittent electricity...but God’s country nevertheless. I enjoy the outdoors and gardening and can be bribed with chocolate. I currently work part time in the village GP surgery, but in my time I’ve been a civil servant, nursery nurse and at one time I was even a kennel maid at a Greyhound stadium. Take it from me, those dogs are big! I once had a three month stint at a well known frozen food factory...ah... the things you do when your children are small. My position was “shrink wrap” the last person on the crispy pancake production line. The mantra drilled into us on day one was, no matter what the emergency “Don’t stop the line!” when you’re under five feet tall, have twenty thousand crispy pancakes hurtling unchecked towards you and suddenly realise you can’t reach the emergency stop button...well...that’s a story in the making! I’ve been messing about with writing for as long as I can remember but only took it up seriously when we sold up and escaped to the country about five years ago. I’m still messing about, some day someone else might take me seriously...

2.)   What genre do you specialise in?
I write crime fiction and historical romance. Hopeless at poetry...apart from limericks...there once was a lady from...and can’t get the knack of short stories, every time I try I end up with the first chapter of a novel.

3.)   What's your inspiration?
Crime fiction is what I like to read, I love twisty turny plots and fast paced thrillers. My historical fiction inspiration is another matter entirely. Our cottage was built on the foundations of a medieval chapel using stone from the now ruined castle. There are stones from the castle spiral staircase in our inglenook and reputedly a crypt beneath the floor. The history of our land is fascinating, with bodies discovered in the grounds, secret assignations and suggestions of witchcraft, it was a perfect starting point for my new book Wildewood. We’ve had many ghostly encounters at the cottage, all benign I should stress, so plenty more fodder for the next book too.

4.)   Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?
I don’t have a single favourite, there are too many good books and fabulous authors, but to give you an idea of where I’m at, I’d say Crime fiction, has to be John Connelly. I love his tortured hero, Charlie Parker, trying to do the right thing, with an underlying menace provided by his unusual sidekicks, his scary nemesis and his own paranoia. I also like the black humour of Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and the quick pace of Dennis Lehane. For Historical Fiction, my all time favourite, by that I mean a book I would read time again and never part with, is Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth...fantastic book. I also have practically everything written by Bernard Cornwall. I admire the way their attention to historical detail and accuracy doesn’t smother the story. Favourite children’s book’s would have to be Chronicles of Narnia...superb, and my kids’ favourite, Noggin the Nog, which must be the best read aloud book ever...just love it! 

5.)   How do you feel about Taylor?
Taylor Street/ Night, gave me my first chance at publication. They believed in my first novel Mrs Jones and I’m grateful for that. Now with the second book, Wildewood released on the unsuspecting public, I’m looking with interest at all the new possibilities that TS are embarking on. TS are looking ahead, diversifying and in a fast changing publishing world that’s exactly what we need. Writing is by its very nature a lonely business and there are great benefits to being part of a vibrant and forward looking community.

6.)   What are your plans?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches to Molly Brown, the sequel to Mrs Jones which will hopefully be out by the end of the year. There is a third book in that series which is in rough draft. Next up though, will be a dark twisted thriller about a felon on the run with a hostage from hell...I’m having great fun with that one; lots of black humour and deliciously bad, baddies. The second book in the Wildewood Chronicles is itching to get out and in addition I have four further crime novels in various might have noticed I like to have a few pans on the boil at the same time. The winter is the best time for me to write as we are far from anywhere and often get snowed in and lose the leccy, so I’m anticipating a productive few months ahead.

7.)   Go for it, sell your work.
Mrs Jones is a cracking crime fiction, which has proved popular with both crime fiction readers and romance readers. It came second in the 2011 Yeovil Literary Prize and got to #21 in the Amazon UK top 100. If you like fast paced action with a touch of humour and romance I think you’ll like Tommy Connell and his attempts to get to the truth concerning his enigmatic witness Lizzie.
Available in e-book and paperback here:
Wildewood is a medieval fiction/fantasy time travel romance based, very loosely, on the history of the valley where I live. It’s a tale of unchivalrous knights, unscrupulous barons and secrets aplenty. It’s a wild romp with a cast of colourful characters. So, if you like your knights with slightly tarnished armour and damsels who can throw a mean know what to do. And if you’re quick about it you might even get it for free. Mark your calendar Monday 8th October...
Currently available in e-book, paperbacks to follow shortly;

BA Morton Oct 2012

Thanks Babs ;-)

OK, off you go now and buy Barbara's books, the show's over, there's nothing more to see.

Take it easy.
Reggie :-D

Presenting Shalini Boland

 Shalini Boland is someone I've known for a couple of years now, don't ask me how though?
She may have been on the Night website, or perhaps someone just introduced us, I can't remember.
Whatever, what I can say is that I feel like I've known her for aeons she's so easy going.
Here's a couple of blurbs for her books and then she can tell us something about herself.


A post-apocalyptic romance thriller.

The world of the future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky, if you’re outside life expectancy takes a nose dive. 

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through the Perimeter and murders her sister. She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable than she ever expected.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor's world is falling apart. This time next year, civilisation won't be quite so civilised . . .

Hidden, (The Marchwood Vampire series part 1)

HIDDEN is a paranormal adventure that spans the centuries from modern London to 19th century Paris and ancient Cappadocia.

Sixteen-year-old Madison Greene is in foster care until one day she inherits a fortune, she inherits a house, she inherits a cellar full of danger.

Eighteen-year-old Alexandre lives in 19th century Paris. On an archaeological expedition he discovers a lost underground city where his life changes forever.

For each of them, life is finally starting. Little do they know it is closer to ending. Something lies buried which should have been forgotten. A Pandora's Box that was meant to stay shut. But Madison and Alexandre have never been any good at following the rules. They are about to find everything they've ever desired and everything that could destroy them. 

Falling in love has never been so dangerous.

OK, Shalini Boland, COME ON DOWN !!!

Tell us about yourself:
Before kids, I was a singer songwriter signed to Universal Music. But now I’m now a mother of two noisy boys and so writing novels fits in perfectly with my life. A typical day is taking the kids to school, doing an hour or so of online promo (while trying not to get sucked in to the chat) and then sitting down with a coffee to write.

I’m allergic to housework.

I love to spend time outdoors with my family. We live a few minutes from the beach and quite close to the forest. A long walk always makes me feel good, especially if there’s a cup of tea and a piece of cake at the end of it.

What genre do you specialise in?
Mainly teen fiction. I write the kinds of books I love to read - gripping young adult adventures with a sprinkling of romance and a spattering of horror.

What’s your inspiration?
Anything and everything. Music helps me to create moods for certain scenes. Interesting people, atmospheric places … I find inspiration everywhere.

I used to live in a very old house in London which had a large basement. I was always terrified of going down there and I can still remember the musty smell and the grey stone walls. It wasn't hard to imagine all kinds of terrible things lurking down there - awful creatures, ghosts, things bricked up in the wall. That basement inspired my Marchwood Vampire Series.

Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?
I don’t think I have one particular favourite author. But I guess if I had to pick one, I would say Anne Rice. I read nearly all her books during the nineties and would always be impatiently waiting for her latest novel to come out. I love the way she combined the historical stories with the modern. I've definitely absorbed this aspect into the way I write.

What are your plans?
I want to finish both my trilogies. I’m currently working on Books 2 and 3 of The Outside Series – a post-apocalyptic romance thriller. And then I’ll be writing Book 3 of the Marchwood Vampire Series.

I also have the rough outline of a new supernatural series which I'm pretty excited about. Too many ideas, not enough hours in the day!

Go for it, sell your work.
If you like epic adventure with romance and a few mind-bending twists thrown in, then I think you might enjoy my novels. They’re written for teens, but also enjoyed by adults.

The Marchwood Vampire Series (YA, scary, love across time, urban fantasy/historical)

The Outside Series (YA gritty post-apocalyptic adventure)

A Shirtful of Frogs (WW2 timeslip adventure, ages 10+)

Here’s a short excerpt from Hidden (Marchwood Vampire Series #1):

‘He felt the drumming of the earth, the heartbeat of all humankind in his bones and blood, in his skin and soul. It sang a song that he had known forever and in that instant everything became clear. He knew the reason for it all; the key to life and it was so obvious. How could he not have known this simple truth before now?
    And then as suddenly as it had come, it left. His beating heart slowed, the song faded and the knowledge slipped away like an elusive memory refusing to come to mind. He felt a devastating loss, worse than if his dearest love had died. 
    A heavy melancholy descended, so profound he felt as though he should like to sleep for a thousand years. In the cold darkness, tears rolled down his face and stung his cheeks like acid. He closed his eyes and tried not to think. It hurt to think.
    It hurt.
    God, it hurt.
    Like the skin being stripped from his body. He could not breathe and his eyes burned white hot with a searing pain.
    He tried to speak but his throat constricted, closed shut. Was he in hell? Was this the fate he deserved? Please, God, no! Help me! he silently screamed. Save me! I promise … I promise anything. I will do anything. Just please … make … it … STOP.’


Thanks so much Richard!

No probs Sha, I should thank you :-)
... and since when have you called me Richard?

Whatever, now you know peeps, as you were.
Reggie :-)