Interview & Giveaway ~ I had fun with this interview with Jamie Ford, author of two amazing novels!

Jamie Ford with scarf

I just had to interview Jamie Ford because I kept finding him all over the place with his books getting tons of 5 Star reviews and lots of other accolades!  

I was simply drawn to him, so I wanted to have him as a guest on my blog.  I am so grateful that he accepted the offer to let me interview him. I was rather humbled, to be honest.

The next few days, I will be spotlighting his books. So, be sure to check back. 

Comment Below to Enter your chance to *WIN

a signed copy of both of his books!!

(Pictured Below)

*Winner will be announced on Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist? 

When I went to Norway for a book tour. That’s when I realized I’d created something that had taken on a life of its own. Basically, it feels like my book has a career now and I’m just along for the ride. (I stole that line from Pamela Anderson who once said, “My boobs have a career, I’m just along for the ride.”)

 Annie ~ You are funny!! I love it..

Songs of Willow FrostHotel on the corner of bitter and sweet

Q:  As you geared up for your Books being released, what was the most exciting part(s) for you? 

Writing a novel is a like giving birth to a ten-pound baby, sideways. So after laboring for months and sometimes years—to finally hold that printed book in your hands is an amazing moment. Also, my wife who is a Labor & Delivery nurse just assured me that the sideways baby thing is not possible.

Annie:  I can imagine how wonderful it is to hold the book in your hands for the first time!!  You had me concerned that a baby could be born sideways. Thanks for getting that visual out of my head. :)

Q:  You have written two novels so far; what is that your favorite topic to explore?

I love forgotten history. I’m like a little kid, I love turning over rocks and looking at the squishy things underneath—the stuff that we forget as a society.

Annie: Your stories definitely show that this is where you heart is!! 

Q:  Will you always write Historical Fiction? 

I cheated a little bit last year and wrote a trio of steampunk stories. They’re published in the Apocalypse Triptych—three anthologies about the “end of the world as we know it.” But, there was a lot of research involved and they have a historical vibe. And I have a bit of crime noir in the works. Let’s just say that I’m enlarging the canvas of my imagination a bit.

Annie: Make sure I get to read your crime noir book! It sounds very different for you!   

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style? 

This isn’t a comparison as much as it’s pure admiration, but I love Pat Conroy’s writing. He’s a pure storyteller, who also weaves in amazing, lush prose that never obfuscates the story. Some people have lucid dreams where they’re flying. In my dreams I’m writing like Pat.

Annie: That was beautifully said! My friend, Sonya met Pat Conroy. Just recently, I was so sad to hear of his passing.  The best thing though is that his books will live on. Sonya LOVES Pat Conroy….I am going to look for their picture and send it to you. 

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us 

I write in the mornings, upstairs in my office, surrounded by books, comics, and research materials, with my three dogs lazing about. Around noon I take the dogs for a walk to the Missouri River, about a mile away, then edit. Life, and writing, is better with dogs.

Annie: Dogs do make life better! That is for sure!! I have one dog, and he is enough to take care of, LOL..I could not imagine having three. Where do you live? Jamie Ford reading

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books? 

Fiction: Pat Conroy – The Great Santini

Non-Fiction: Jon Krakauer – Into Thin Air

Short fiction: Harlan Ellison – Deathbird Stories

Poetry: Buddy Wakefield – He’s a slam poet. Best seen LIVE.

Comics: Marjorie Liu – Monstress  

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author? 

Doing interviews! Kidding. In Italy I once did 11 interviews in one day, with an interpreter. By the end, my brain was tapioca.

Honestly, the best part has been meeting some of my favorite authors. I’m still just a fanboy.

 Annie: I love that you are still a fanboy!!! You are so cool!

Q:  Any hobbies you’d like to share with us? 

I like red shoes. I like Hiking. I especially like hiking in red shoes.

Annie: Love it!!!  This is a great picture! #HAPPYFEETJamie Fords red shoes

Q:  I see that your books have been translated in to 34 languages, and you won an Award. Can you please tell me more about that…? 

Books in translation are amazing; in fact, HOTEL was #1 in Norway for nearly four months. I always credit the translator—they must be doing something right. They could put zombies in my books and I’d never know

As far as awards, they’re a lovely validation, but nothing compared to getting a tweet from a high school student who says “This is the first book I’ve been forced to read that didn’t actually suck.” That kind of stuff makes my year. 

Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?

As soon as I finish it. I’m close—and this time I meant it! The new book (no title yet) is about a mixed-race boy who was raffled off at the 1909 World’s Fair in Seattle. That part’s true.

Annie: A must read, for sure! 

Lastly, Book or eBook? 

Book. I do read eBooks as well, but prefer comfort over convenience.

Annie: I am an Old-School person too. I have a library in my home, and my husband has a man cave.  I love being surrounded by books…it is rather calming for me.

Jamie Ford Hotel

Annie: Thank you Jamie. I appreciate your time, and patience.

I have enjoyed all of your answers, and getting to know you better!!

Keep me in mind when you release your next book!

I am a fan!!

 

#Interview & #Giveaway – Meet author Maha Gargash!!

Maha Gargash ap1Meet Maha Gargash: Author of the newly released book “That Other Me”!

http://bit.ly/ThatOtherMe

She is a fascinating woman and author. This is an interview not to be missed.

Comment below to win one of two copies of “That Other Me”
(US/CA Residents)

That Other Me - Maha Gargash
Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist?

When I got my first novel published! That’s when I could introduce myself with confidence as an author.

Q:  As you geared up for your Books being released, what was the most exciting part(s) for you?
I’m usually geared up even before I finish a book. The most exciting parts are when the editor says we are ready to go to print and when I receive the advance author copies.

Q:  You have written two novels so far; what is that your favorite topic to explore?

I love to put my protagonists in tricky situations or push them to the edge of desperation. I have an idea of what they will do and then, it’s a question of writing it all down. But we all know how characters can get. They take a life of their own and surprise you with all sorts of possibilities—and before I know it, they are the ones pulling me along. The Sand Fish

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

I think this should come from the reader because, quite simply, like most writers, I get so engrossed in the whole process of writing a book that it’s near to impossible to provide an objective comparison.

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us…

Think of exercise: it always gets easier once the effort has been made with the feet snug in socks and sneakers. For me, it’s the same with writing: the mind alert yet lazy, sifting through all manner of trivial distractions and chores. Should I wash that mug or watch a bit of news on television or play a quick round of solitaire on my Iphone?

I have to jump up and hurry to my desk, shake the mouse to wake up the screen and start. My desk is modern and broad. I chose this shape so that I have hand and elbow space whenever I feel the urge to slide my arms about (a quirky habit). That means I can’t write unless it’s organized. And even then, concentration is not something that occurs magically.

I have to keep telling myself to just sit and do it. And that’s when it comes. Ideas form and flow. Then, the hard part becomes pulling myself away from the story.Maha's Desk
Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books?

Oh, so many!

All time favorites include: Rohinton Mistry and his ‘A Fine Balance’; Arundhati Roy, and her ‘The God of Small Things’; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’; and more recently, Adam Johnson and his mind blowing ‘The Orphan Master’s Son’.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author?

There are days (and weeks) when the writing goes smooth as butter. The words and sentences don’t thin no matter how much you spread them. These are rare time spans where everything falls into place, and I find myself thinking, I love being an author.

Q:  Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?

Reading, of course, and photography. I enjoy watching BBC documentaries and television dramas. Years ago, I used to collect tiny perfume bottles. But the interest waned when I realized that the fragrances were not going to stay bottled up forever and that the tiny things might as well be filled with water.

 Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?

Nothing concrete yet. I’m dabbling with many ideas at the moment, flinging a hook with the hope that something will soon bite.

Lastly, Book or eBook?? 

I feel more grounded when reading a hardback or paperback copy. It’s to do with the texture of the paper, the solidity of the book, and seeing a page number (as opposed to being told on a monitor) that makes it more real, if that makes sense. Having said that, an eBook brings the convenience of instant delivery (and that wonderful built-in light) and the choice of many books at the same time: very handy when traveling.

For more detailed information on “That Other Me”, Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: The Girl without a Name by Sandra Block

YOU COULD WIN THIS BOOK AND PART 1 TO THIS ON MONDAY!!!The Girl without a NameThis book was fabulous!  I wish it was not over, and I can only hope there is more to come! Sandra Block is a magnificent story teller!! A psychological thriller at its best! I need to go back and read Sandra Blocks first story with Dr. Zoe Goldman, “Little Black Lies”.

The story begins with a patient being admitted…..

Read the rest of this review at Chick Lit Plus:

http://chicklitplus.com/bookreview-the-girl-without-a-name-by-sandra-block/

 

#Interview & #Giveaway ~ Author, Sandra Block

Meet this amazing author, Sandra Block! She is giving away a copy of each of her books, which I will post my reviews for this weekend, when most of us are snowed in!!! So, join in the fun, and comment below!!!

Sandra BlockQ: When did you realize you were a novelist?

 I was a poet first. I remember writing on little scraps of paper around seven years old, describing the jet trail from a plane as “chalk across the sky.” My mom asked with some surprise, “you’re writing poetry?” I realized then, “oh, that’s what this is.” I guess I always knew I’d be some kind of writer. 

 

Q:  I see that you are a practicing Neurologist! Where do you find the time to do both jobs? How do you manage both careers?

It isn’t always easy, but it is doable. I usually write first thing in the morning, before anyone in the family is up. For years, I didn’t write because I was too tired after a full day of work, not to mention kids. Changing my routine to writing first thing in the morning made all the difference. 

Q:  Does your medical career help with your stories?

My medical career definitely colors my writing. Both Zoe books were based off memories of my neurology residency, a formative time for me. At this point, I subspecialize in sleep disorders and epilepsy, so I don’t really see some of the cool cases that pop up in my novels. But, I know enough psychiatry to fake it at least! 

Little Black LiesQ:  As you geared up for your Book Releases, what was the most exciting part(s) for you? 

For Little Black Lies, I was having a medical procedure done on my pub day  (everything turned out fine🙂 ) so I was pretty much sedated. Not an ideal pub day. For The Girl Without a Name, my pub day was quite special – like a hundred birthdays. One of my fondest memories is an unlikely twitter exchange with Salmon Rushdie. It turns out his newest book came out the same day. In response to his simple tweet of “pub day,” I joked how I was sorry that his book would likely be overshadowed by my book, but “take heart, your day will come.” With utter grace, he retweeted: “Happy to stand in your shadow. Have a great pub day.” to his 1M (seriously, one million!) followers. I still smile thinking about that. 

Q:  How long did it take you to write each book? Releasing two books in one year is huge accomplishment!  

The Girl without a NameThank you! It took me about one year for each. I was writing The Girl Without a Name before I even sold Little Black Lies. When negotiation came around and they were willing to do a two-book deal, I just happened to have one all ready! It definitely taught me the lesson that no matter what happens: keep writing. 

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

I would say Gillian Flynn and Meg Abbot for their colloquial, yet poetic style. 

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us

 I write whenever and wherever is my honest answer. As I mentioned above, I definitely put in a good forty-five minutes in the morning. But then I just grab time. I write on my iPad and take it everywhere. I might write while waiting for my daughter at school or my son at a swimming lesson for example. Even if it’s just half a page, it’s something. 

Q: May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books?

I split my reading time between mystery/suspense and literary fiction. For literary, I would say Ann Tyler, Sue Miller, and Richard Ford. Oh, plus Louise Erdrich and Jennifer Egan. (I could go on and on.) For mystery/suspense, I love Henning Menkel, Charles Todd, Gillian Flynn, and Kate Atkinson. Plus Sara Gran. (I could go on and on.) 

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author?

I would say the writing community. I belong to a group of women writers (shout out the Tall Poppies!) Some days writing is drudgery, some days it’s a joyful. The publishing side is also full of highs and lows. But writing friends are always there for you. That’s been a wonderfully unexpected side benefit. 

Q:  Lastly, Book or eBook??

Both, baby! Read, read, read, I don’t care how you it!

#AuthorSpotlight: Sandra Block

Sandra BlockThis Friday my interview with Sandra Block will go live along with a chance to win a copy of each of her books!  Be sure to check back daily for more information about this outstanding author!

Sandra A. Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and proud Sabres fan, and lives at home with her husband, two children, and impetuous yellow lab Delilah. She has been published in both medical and poetry journals. “The Girl Without a Name” is her second Zoe Goldman novel. Her debut was “Little Black Lies.”

#BookReview: “Coming to Rosemont” by Barbara Hinske

Coming to RosemontSummary:

Forensic accountant Maggie Martin survives the sudden death of her husband, the charismatic President of Windsor College, only to uncover the secrets of his carefully-concealed double life. Dealing with the financial and emotional wreckage left in Paul’s wake, she is stunned to learn he inherited an estate known as Rosemont in the seemingly-serene Midwestern town of Westbury. Why had he never told her?

Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a fresh start in Westbury. Behind closed doors, however, lurks a cadre of evildoers, playing with multiple wild cards of fraud, embezzlement and arson.

With a quiet, orderly — and distinctively solitary — life in mind, Maggie is instead thrown headlong into a crusade against political corruption, where defeat and retreat are not an option. Still bearing the scars of betrayal, will she find joy, romance and possibility in Westbury?
This fast-paced, smart novel has enough twists and turns to make the reader want to buckle in! Coming to Rosemont is the first book in the Rosemont series.

Review:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I want to move to the town of Westbury and be Maggie’s roommate in that awesome house known as Rosemont! This is a story that will touch your heart…..

After Maggie’s husband passes away, she learns that he had many secrets from her. After 25 years of marriage she is in a bit of shock. One of the things was that her husband had a huge home called Rosemont in the town of Westbury. He left this house to Maggie.

Maggie travels to Westbury with the plan of setting the house up to be sold. Only she did not expect it to feel like home when she walks through the door.

Maggie is a character that you will simply adore. Her heart is huge, and she is so smart and generous.

While Maggie needs saving, so does this town. Together maybe they can help each other.

Barbara Hinske introduces us to so many fabulous characters, and truly brings this story to life. Her writing is a talent that you cannot make up.

You will be rooting for them as both individuals and a community.

I look forward to the next book in her “Rosemont Series”, and I am recommending this book to all of my family and friends that read.

5 Stars.

#Interview & #Giveaway ~ Come meet author, Barbara Hinkse

Please comment below for a chance to win Barbara’s Giveaway. She is offering “Coming to Rosemont”, One print copy (US Only) and one eBook.

  1. Q:        Have you always wanted to be a novelist?Barbara Hinske

A:        I’m an attorney and have done a lot of technical writing, but knew I wanted to write novels. I planned to do so when I retired. Fate stepped in, as it often does, and put me on this path sooner. I broke my neck in an auto accident and suffered from double vision for months. I couldn’t read or watch TV, so I conceived and outlined the plot for my 5 book Rosemont series.

Annie: I broke my neck too, and it changed the course of my life…I am glad yours was a positive one!  5 Book Series! This is exciting!Coming to Rosemont

  1. Q:        Why did you decide to write a series?

A:        I write a fictional series because that’s what I enjoy reading. I like an in-depth, continuing relationship with characters. I very much admire Alexander McCall Smith’s Ladies Detective Agency series and Jan Karon’s Mitford books. My Rosemont series is set in the current day, but I’ve tried to capture a feeling of comradery and connection that takes us back to a slightly simpler time and place.

Annie: I think you have definitely accomplished that feel. I was in love with the town of Westbury.

  1. Q:        Who has had the greatest influence on your author life?

A:        My dad–without question. He read me a bedtime story every night of my childhood, often adding his own twists and turns to the plots or dialogue. He also wrote novels–who-done-its–when he retired. I have 17 of his manuscripts and can feel his comforting presence in the room with me when I pick up his pages and read.

Annie: I bet he is so proud of you…

  1. Q: What of your own interests have you written about in the Rosemont series?

A:        I love my home and all things related to homemaking: cooking, gardening, decorating, and entertaining. I love celebrating all of the seasons and I change my decor for Easter, 4th of July, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring. I’m also addicted to vintage silver and china, with a special fondness for teapots.

Annie: I could totally feel your love of good china, and I love that you chose Easter as the big holiday in “Coming to Rosemont”. It was beautiful.

  1. Q:        When do you typically write? Where do you write? Set this up for us…Barbara Hinske Writing Space

A:        A small office in my home is my perfect place to write. It’s cozy and I look out onto a beautiful garden with a fountain. I’m a morning person and am most productive between 4 am and 6 am. I also write for longer periods of time on the weekends. I’m very disciplined and can produce the first draft of a novel in 6 weeks (while working full time).Barbara Hinske view from office

Annie: That is impressive. I don’t know how you do it!

  1. Q:        What are your favorite books?

A:        The Shell Seekers

Any of the Harry Potter series

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

A Long Way from Chicago

Annie: I love The Shell Seekers, too! Did you know that they rereleased it this past year?

  1. Q:        What is your favorite review?

A:        I’m extremely grateful for all of my reviews—good or bad. Reader feedback helps authors grow in our craft. If I had to pick just one, it would be a review for Uncovering Secret (third book in the Rosemont series). The reviewer wrote “Another cozy visit with old friends. I always hate for the Rosemont books to end.” That’s exactly what I’m hoping my readers will experience.

Annie: I look forward to getting to that book! I felt the same.

  1. Q:        What is your favorite part of being an author?

A:        Hearing from and interacting with readers. Hands down.

Annie: I love authors that make themselves available to their fans.

  1. Q:        When can we expect your next book?

A:        The 4th book in the Rosemont series—working title is Drawing Close—will be published mid-2016.

Annie: Please make sure I get a copy to review!!

  1. Q:       Book or eBook?

A:        eBook. I have terrible eyesight!

Annie: I find that my kindle love is growing.

 

 

#Spotlight ~ Barbara Hinske’s Books

Coming to RosemontCOMING TO ROSEMONT

Forensic accountant Maggie Martin survives the sudden death of her husband, the charismatic President of Windsor College, only to uncover the secrets of his carefully-concealed double life. Dealing with the financial and emotional wreckage left in Paul’s wake, she is stunned to learn he inherited an estate known as Rosemont in the seemingly-serene Midwestern town of Westbury. Why had he never told her?

Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a fresh start in Westbury. Behind closed doors, however, lurks a cadre of evildoers, playing with multiple wild cards of fraud, embezzlement and arson.

With a quiet, orderly — and distinctively solitary — life in mind, Maggie is instead thrown headlong into a crusade against political corruption, where defeat and retreat are not an option. Still bearing the scars of betrayal, will she find joy, romance and possibility in Westbury?

This fast-paced, smart novel has enough twists and turns to make the reader want to buckle in!

Coming to Rosemont is the first book in the Rosemont series.

Weaving the StrandsWeaving the Strands

BookBub Bestselling author Barbara Hinske’s beloved Rosemont saga continues, with secrets in the shadows and love in the air. A fun, fast read to lose yourself in over a weekend or on vacation.

Maggie Martin’s plans to start a serene new life have been derailed. As the beleaguered mayor of Westbury, she’s at the epicenter of the town’s worsening financial crisis. The looming foreclosure of its senior center followed by a suspicious death have fueled a barrage of public criticism all pointed her way. And she may have unwittingly invited a traitor into her inner circle. Throw in a lovelorn daughter, an attic full of surprises—at least one of which is most unwelcome, too many guests for Thanksgiving dinner, and an uncertain relationship with her favorite veterinarian, and Maggie has her hands full.
Her nemesis on the town council, wealthy businessman Frank Haynes, is up to what he does best—no good. He’s poking around in her late husband’s shady past to unearth whatever he can find that will help him gain the upper hand over Maggie. But his new assistant from Scottsdale may have her own tricks up her sleeve.
With trouble all around, will the winds of change blow favorably or foul for Maggie? Curl up and travel to the enchanting world of Rosemont and its irrepressible owner.

Uncovering SecretsUncovering Secrets

This third book in the beloved Rosemont series (but easily read as a stand-alone) finds Mayor Maggie Martin knee-deep in the financial problems facing Westbury. With a stagnant investigation into the fraud and embezzlement that brought the town to the brink of bankruptcy, Maggie needs results—now. The bad guys, however, are always one step ahead, with bribes and blackmail at their disposal.

Her late husband’s mistress also has an ace to play against Frank Haynes and his cronies. But the woman’s plan for revenge may be derailed by her daughter’s sudden illness. Will Haynes slip through the net once again?

Meanwhile, Maggie is busy planning her wedding as Roman forms an unlikely alliance with a litter of kittens. And Rosemont’s attic gives up its secrets; some welcome, some not. While Maggie delights in a newly discovered collection of vintage silver, Frank Haynes is on a mission to establish his claim to Rosemont. Surprisingly, his cold heart may not be impervious after all.

Dive in as Maggie seeks her silver lining.

The NIght Train

The Night Train

Some of the best words in the English language are “Once Upon A Time.” My dad told me a bedtime story every night of my childhood, and now I’ve grown up to become an author.

When I posted a few lines of a mystery/thriller under a photo of a red train making a nighttime crossing of a mountain trestle on my Facebook page in May 2014, it garnered a surprising response; readers wanted more. So for thirty-seven nights, I continued to post a few installments of the story. This e-book is a collection of those thirty-seven nights; I’ve done some editing, but kept the chapters as they were—a few paragraphs. You can decide if you want to read a bit of it each night, or all in one sitting.

Go ahead, if you haven’t already, and get your jammies on. Then come back and join me for a tale of international mystery and intrigue that I call The Night Train …

#Spotlight & #Excerpt ~ “The New Mrs. D” by Heather Hill

The New Mrs. Dclp button

 

The New Mrs DSummary:
Four days into their honeymoon in Greece, Bernice and David Dando have yet to consummate their marriage and after having accepted his almost non-existent desire for sex throughout the relationship, Bernice finally discovers the reason; he is addicted to porn. Learning that the love of her life chooses the cheap thrill of fantasy over her is devastating but then, ‘every man does it; it’s just looking, right?’ If she leaves the relationship because of virtual adultery, will she be labelled as pathological, overreacting, or even worse, frigid?

When funny, feisty, forty-something Bernice plans the adventure trip of a lifetime, she doesn’t expect to be spending it alone. But as it turns out, unintentionally contributing to a Greek fish explosion, nude karaoke and hilarious misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?

“The New Mrs D is a refreshing, sharp-witted and empowering romp that reflects real life, delves into unspoken about subjects and slaps the reader in the face with honesty.” Fleur Ferris, author

It is a story about one woman’s midlife awakening… on her honeymoon alone.

Click Here for My Review

Excerpt:

Would a stolen pencil really warrant such an elaborate daylight operation? Of course not, stupid woman. Maybe I was being mugged. Was it the stash of Euros in my purse I’d flashed while paying for the moped? Oh no, wait – they surely weren’t after my faux diamond emblazoned Primark flip-flops?

In a panic, I kicked one off into the path of an elderly couple as they strolled out from a hotel car park. The shoe shot straight into the old man’s portly, bare stomach with a sickening slap.

‘They have the diamonds!’ I called, mercilessly pointing them out to the gangsters before whizzing onwards to make my getaway.

But it was all for nothing; the roar of bikes continued behind me. I slowed to turn a corner into another side street and heard a shout.

‘Stop! Mrs Dando! You stop NOW!’

What on earth could they want? I reached down with one hand, trying to take the other flip-flop off to throw back as a ransom, but dropping it instead. As I cursed myself and looked up, an ancient Greek woman on a scooter was zipping round a bend straight at me, only swerving at the last second to avoid a collision.

‘What the…’

‘WAAAAHHHH!!!’ We screamed the last part in unison; ‘Waaaahhhh’, it transpired, being the international synonym for ‘OH SHIIIIIT!’ In an instant, her front wheel bounced off the kerb, sending both the old lady, and the basket of lemons balanced on her handlebars, flying, Frank Spencer style through the air towards a couple of teenage boys. Christ, I’m in a Carry On film.

‘Save the lemons!’ I called back, rattling onwards with no time to look behind again or wonder why my first manic thoughts were for Frank Spencer and the fruit – not the little old lady. Speeding away from the increasing chaos behind, I rounded a honking car pulling out from a driveway and yelled at its startled occupants, ‘CALL THE POLICE!’

Despite the throttle being fully open it seemed the tiny moped engine had no more to give and the roar from the biker gang got closer. Turning round once more, I could see the two bikes were still in hot pursuit, and for the first time I noticed the boy had a very fat man riding pillion. So there were four of them! And the fourth had mad lady-killer written all over him. Heart pounding with fear, I grabbed the nearest thing to a weapon from the moped basket and began hurling ammunition overhead at the assailants. However, taking my eyes off the road to lob miniature chocolate croissants was a last, fatal mistake.

Crunch!

The moped bumped straight up a kerb, sending my stomach boinging up to my lungs and my knicker tops rolling back down below my belly again, as the bike came to a near halt. This was it, the end. I waited for my life to flash in front of me… but a massive, spiny bush got there first. Without testing the moped’s brakes and fuelled by an extraordinary burst of adrenaline, I dived off, sending it ploughing, un-helmed, into the bush. This was where, in a moment of TV cop-esque brilliance, I rolled over-and-over onto a grass bank before springing back to my feet.

‘Whoa!’ For a split second, Mrs David Dando was Lara Croft; crime-fighting, tomb raiding stunt rider. That was until My Big Fat Greek Assassin got off his bike and made towards me and I remembered who I actually was. Bawling Binnie – with her knickers rolling down again.

‘Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! I’m unarmed!’ I yelled, trying – and failing – to get my helmet off before throwing up my hands in surrender to the waiting gang.

‘Other side, Mrs Dando! Other side!’ yelled Zorba the Crook, taking a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe bits of chocolate and pastry from his fat sweaty face. Spying his accomplices coming up behind, I turned around and flung myself face down in the dirt with my hands behind my still helmeted head.

‘Okay, okay,’ I whimpered, ‘just, please don’t hurt me.’

There are moments that should flash through your mind when you think death is imminent; the faces of loved ones, lifelong friends, long-forgotten happy moments, childhood memories. This was my crucial moment – and I was going to die wondering if Greece had body bags big enough for me in this colossal monstrosity of a biking helmet.

The Fat Assassin flopped down beside me and prodded my shoulder. ‘Oh God,’ I thought. ‘He’s really mad! Goodbye cruel world!’

Dear Facebook, today I was so hot. Oops, bloody mobile phone typos! I was s-h-o-t. 

‘Mrs Dando…’

As I lay there with my eyes screwed shut waiting to feel a gun in my ribs, (please God let it be a gun in his pocket) hearing him huffing like a muddy, wet contestant on Total Wipeout, his voice took on a calmer, more sinister tone.

‘I not kill you. You kill yourself.’

I froze. Oh my God, he was going to make me shoot me.

I heard him take another deep breath and cough. ‘Mrs Dando,’ he said finally. ‘You drive with the moped on the other side!’

‘I didn’t mean… I wasn’t… oh!’ Ah. Right… I rolled back over to face him, but again, met with nothing but blackness. Bloody helmet! So, I wasn’t going to be bumped off for stealing the island’s only pencil. Or for assault with a supersized bag of mini croissants.

Twisting the monstrous headgear off and easing myself upright, I was met by four nonplussed faces caked in, well… cake.

‘Oh,’ I said, smoothing my hair in an attempt to recuperate some composure. ‘Well, er… why didn’t you just say so?’

heather hillAuthor Bio
Heather Hill is a Scotland based comedy writer, author and mum of five (not the band). She is one of a rare kind; the rare kind being one of only 0.5% of women who are colourblind. She has been known to leave the house with blue eyebrows on at least one occasion. Her debut novel, ‘The New Mrs D’ is being pitched for film by a British TV comedy producer and Snipper Films.

Website: www.hell4heather.com
Twitter & Instagram name: @hell4heather
Links to buy The New Mrs D:
Amazon UK 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00P4D57KQ
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Mrs-Heather-Hill-ebook/dp/B00P4D57KQ
Paperback: 
https://www.bookdepository.com/New-Mrs-D-Heather-Hill/9781634157735

Also available to order at all UK Waterstones, Foyles Bookstores & WH Smiths branches

CLICK HERE FOR GIVEAWAY

 

 

#AuthorSpotlight ~ Barbara Hinske

Barbara HinskeThis week we will be meeting Barbara Hinske! Her Interview and Giveaway will be posted on Friday! I will introduce you to all of her books, as well as my review of “Coming to Rosemont”!!!

Be sure to check back every day for new and exciting information!

Author Bio:

Barbara Hinske is a BookBub Bestselling Author. She is an attorney by day; novelist by night. Barb inherited the writing gene from her father who wrote mysteries when he retired and told her a story every night of her childhood. She and her husband share their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs. The old house keeps her husband busy with repair projects and her happily decorating, entertaining, cooking, and gardening. Together they have four grown children.