Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Blog Tour: Death in Shanghai by M J Lee + Giveaway!



Today I'm pleased to be hosting author M J Lee with an excerpt of his new book as well as a giveaway! Welcome, Martin...

Shanghai, 1928. The body of a blonde is washed up on the Beach of Dead Babies, in the heart of the smog-filled city. Seemingly a suicide, a closer inspection reveals a darker motive: the corpse has been weighed down, it’s lower half mutilated…and the Chinese character for ‘justice’ carved into the chest.

The moment Inspector Danilov lays eyes on the dismembered body, he realises that he has an exceptional case on his hands. And when the first body is followed by another, and another, each displaying a new, bloody message, he has no option but face the truth. He is dealing with the worst kind of criminal; someone determined, twisted…and vengeful.

Someone who must be caught….whatever the cost.

Death in Shanghai is the first novel in M J Lee’s Inspector Danilov series, perfect for fans of Philip Kerr.



Now it's over to Martin...

Hi Gina, thanks for hosting me today. My debut novel, Death in Shanghai, is out now, published by Carina/Harper Collins.  It’s the first in a series of novels, featuring Inspector Danilov set in the Shanghai of the 1920s, the city of Joy, Gin and Jazz.

Shanghai 1928. When a murdered blonde is found on the 'Beach of Dead Babies' with a Chinese character carved into the body, Inspector Danilov is called in to investigate.

Danilov is under pressure to solve the case quickly but he has his own problems. He is a White Russian, still searching for his wife and children, separated from him when they fled Russia. While inside the police force, jealousy of his success has created conflict with his colleagues. The opium pipe offers him his only escape.

More bodies are discovered, each with a different Chinese character carved into their corpses. Danilov is now in a race against time, struggling with his own personal demons and with the devil that is haunting the streets of Shanghai.

The second book in the series, ‘City of Shadows’ will be published in March 2016 and is available for pre-order on Amazon now. Martin can be contacted at his website writermjlee.com, on Facebook at writermjlee or on twitter at, you guessed it, writermjlee.
  
Excerpt
  
In the middle of Soochow Creek is a sandbank known by the locals as “The Beach of Dead Babies”. On a bright, cold Shanghai morning, there were no dead babies lying on it, just a dead blonde.

Inspector Danilov stamped his feet on the cobblestones of the bank, trying to force some life into his cold toes. He pulled his old coat around his thin body and searched its pockets for his tobacco tin. Blowing some warm air on his fingers, he opened the tin and rolled a cigarette with one hand.

The first breaths of smoke choked his lungs, producing a series of deep, barking coughs like the alarm cries of a deer. A spit of black tar filled his mouth, the remains of the opium he had smoked the night before. He spat it out and watched it land in the mud at the edge of the creek before it was swallowed by the lapping, grey waters.

His colleague, Charles Meaker, the District Inspector from Hongkew, walked to the middle of Zhapu Bridge, scanning the area as if getting his bearings. At the centre of the bridge, Meaker located the position of the blonde stretched out on the sandbank. From a pocket, he produced a linen measuring tape and laid this along the stone parapet of the bridge.

After an age of measuring, a smug smile spread across his pale face. ‘I believe it’s one of yours. It's on your side,’ he shouted. Then rolled up the measuring tape and put it back inside his jacket pocket, taking the opportunity to hitch his trousers over his large stomach.

He strolled over to Danilov on the city side of the bridge. ‘Floaters are always a nightmare. Hate ‘em meself. Looks like this one topped hersel’ upstream, and the body floated down. Enjoy it.’ He tugged at his moustache. ‘Another chance to enhance your reputation.’

Danilov took a long drag of his cigarette, savouring the bitter tang of the tobacco. ‘Thank you, Inspector Meaker, have you finished?’ He turned back looking for his new constable in the large crowd that now lined the banks. ‘Stra-chan, come here will you?’

‘It’s Straw-aaan,’ said Meaker, the “ch” is silent. But you Russians wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?’

The young detective ran up. ‘Yes, sir?’ He had a shock of black hair, an eager smile and eyes that gave away he was half-Chinese.

‘Stra-chan,’ Inspector Danilov emphasised, ‘go down to the sampans and check if anybody saw anything.’

‘Good luck with that. Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil. Just do evil. That’s what this lot believe.’ Meaker mimed the actions of the three monkeys ending with an expansive gesture that took in all the watching Chinese.

Inspector Danilov ignored him. ‘Go and check them anyway. Somebody may have seen something.’ Strachan began to turn away.  ‘Don’t forget to send a man to the pathologist. The morgue is just across Garden Bridge on the other side of the river. Let Dr. Fang know there's a body coming in.'

‘Yes, sir, anything else, sir?’ Strachan stood to attention awaiting his orders. He was new to the detective squad, and this was his first case.

‘Hurry up, we haven’t got all day,’ said Danilov. ‘The feet feed the wolf, as we say in Minsk.’
‘Er…yes, sir, right away.’

‘I’m off back to Hongkew for a nice cuppa. Good luck with the floater, Danilov, rather you than me, heh?’ With a long, pipe-stained chuckle, Meaker twisted his moustache and walked back across the bridge to his own district.

About the author:

Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he's not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

               Links: Website  Twitter

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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Straight To Hell - Guest Post


Today I am welcoming author Michelle Scott and her book, with a guest post...

About the book:

I, Lilith Straight, was the woman you always wanted to be. I was married to someone better looking than your husband, we lived in that house you always wanted. Within a year, however, all of that changed. My marriage dissolved, my house burned down, and my job hardly paid the bills. So when I was hit by a car and died, I thought my life couldn’t get any worse. Boy, was I wrong.
Hell was not the place I imagined. It was worse. During my brief stay, I learned some disturbing truths about my family. Most worryingly my ancestor’s deal with the devil promising him every female descendent as a succubus.
So these were my options: Life on earth as a soul-sucking seductress. Or death and pass the succubus baton to my sweet little daughter. There was no choice. Welcome to hell on earth, Lilith. Mother, teacher, wanton she-demon.

Buy links:




Guest Post

What I Want for Christmas – A Writer’s Wish List


It’s true – the best things in life are free.  On the other hand, some of these free things are very hard to come by.  This year, I’ve compiled a list of things that aren’t expensive, but at the same time are very elusive.  If I get just one of these gifts, I’d be a happy writer.

A Character Who Rocks My World

Don’t get me wrong – I love all of my characters.  However, there are only a select few who really make my blood run hot.  Sexy William from Straight to Hell is one of these.  I love fiery hot characters who make me weak in the knees.  I also like complex characters who aren’t always sure of their own motivations.  I like characters to grow and to breathe.  If I could have one of these next year, I’d do my happy dance.

A Perfect First Draft

Not that it will ever happen!  But just once, I’d love to type THE END on the last page of a manuscript knowing that nothing needed to be changed.  That I’d gotten it all right the first time around.  Unfortunately, in the real world, there are rough drafts and second drafts and third drafts.  And edits.  And then more edits.  It all comes together in the end, but I’d love to see it happen from the get go.

Two Solid Hours with No Interruptions

It never fails.  Every time I finally hit my rhythm and the words are coming freely, someone feels the need to walk into my office.  Maybe it’s my daughter wanting to know what’s for dinner.  Or perhaps it’s Bandit, our border collie, who has the sudden need to run outside and chase a squirrel.  It could even be my husband who wants to find out how my writing is going.  But there’s always someone (or something – like my cellphone) clamoring for my attention.  While it’s nice to be needed and loved, it’s also good to have some time alone!

Yes, these are gifts that I would treasure.  On the other hand, a lot of these things wouldn’t be nearly so satisfying if they came too easy.  After all, hard work is a part of the process of writing, and work is what makes the job fulfilling.  And as far as the (sometimes) overcrowded house goes, I do appreciate my family – even when they come knocking on my door!

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About Michelle: 

Michelle Scott has been a fiction junkie all of her life.  Although she’ll read everything from literature to mystery to modern classics, she has a special penchant for urban fantasy. She is also a huge nerd and an unapologetic Doctor Who fan, preferring Tom Baker above all others.
In college, Michelle earned her BA in psychology and met the guy of her dreams. Thirty years later, she has never once used her psychology degree, but is still married to Mr. Right which proves that a good college education is worth every penny.
Currently, she is a straight-laced community college English teacher by day, while at night, she stalks supernatural beings in her hometown of Detroit. Michelle lives with her husband and three children, all of whom are addicted to Doctor. Who (and urban fantasy) as much as she.

Straight to Hell, book one of the Lilith Straight series, is available on Amazon.uk.
Michelle's website: www.mscottfiction.com
Find Michelle on Twitter: @mscottwriter

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Thanks for stopping by, Michelle!

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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Always Golden Launch Giveaway Winners!


Yesterday was the online launch for my new book, Always Golden, there were excerpts, teasers, and giveaways...here are the winners of the giveaways:

Giveaway One - Earrings - Melanie Robertson-King

Giveaway Two - Ribbon notepad - Jo Hughes

Giveaway Three - Crown decoration - Jennifer Marston

Giveaway Four - Owl pen and address book - Natalie Carney

Giveaway Five - Key decoration - Sara King

Congrats to the winners, please email your postal address to:   ginadickerson@live.co.uk



About the book:

Being a princess is both a blessing and a curse…
  
Growing up in a castle, Oriana was accustomed to the security of living within its walls…until the day an evil tore through the fortifications and shattered her perfect world. 

Wanted by a ruler known as “The Collector” Oriana now has a battle on her hands to escape his clutches. With The Collector’s best tracker hot on her heels, Oriana is forced to fight for her freedom while trying to work out why she is so desirable to The Collector.

One problem is that Oriana didn’t expect her heart and head to also be at war. Will she do what’s right for the kingdom, or is she at risk of losing not only the realm but also her heart?

Oriana is about to discover life as a princess is most definitely not always golden…




Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Amazon.com    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble



Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Always Golden Launch - Fifth Giveaway!

Join the event on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/512461722263832/

Giveaways are also posted on Facebook -  to enter just leave a comment under the post on this blog for the giveaway you wish to enter (or go to the  Facebook event and find the photo).

All names will be put into www.dsrw.org and one winner for each prize picked by random! Winners will be announced tomorrow morning on this blog (9th December) so the giveaways run from now until 9th December 8.00 AM (UK time)...here is the fifth giveaway!

A golden key decoration fit for a castle!




Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Amazon.com    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble

Always Golden Launch - Fourth Giveaway!

 Join the event on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/512461722263832/

Giveaways are also posted on Facebook -  to enter just leave a comment under the post on this blog for the giveaway you wish to enter (or go to the  Facebook event and find the photo).

All names will be put into www.dsrw.org and one winner for each prize picked by random! Winners will be announced tomorrow morning (9th December) so the giveaways run from now until 9th December 8.00 AM (UK time)...here is the fourth giveaway!

An address book and owl pen!




Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Amazon.com    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble

Always Golden Launch - Third Giveaway!

Welcome to the launch party for my new book, Always Golden, the event on Facebook can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/512461722263832/

Giveaways will also be posted on Facebook to enter just leave a comment under the post on this blog for the giveaway you wish to enter. All names will be put into www.dsrw.org and one winner for each prize picked by random! Winners will be announced tomorrow morning (9th December) so the giveaways run from now until 9th December 8.00 AM (UK time)...here is the third giveaway!

A Crown decoration...



Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Amazon.com    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble

Always Golden Launch - Second Giveaway!



Welcome to the launch party for my new book, Always Golden, the event on Facebook can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/512461722263832/

Giveaways will also be posted on Facebook to enter just leave a comment under the post on this blog for the giveaway you wish to enter. All names will be put into www.dsrw.org and one winner for each prize picked by random! Winners will be announced tomorrow morning (9th December) so the giveaways run from now until 9th December 8.00 AM (UK time)...here is the second giveaway!

A beautiful notepad...




Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Amazon.com    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble

Always Golden Party - Giveaway One!


Welcome to the launch party for my new book, Always Golden, the event on Facebook can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/512461722263832/

Giveaways will also be posted on Facebook to enter just leave a comment under the post on this blog for the giveaway you wish to enter. All names will be put into www.dsrw.org and one winner for each prize picked by random! Winners will be announced tomorrow morning (9th December) so the giveaways run from now until 9th December 8.00 AM (UK time)...here is the first giveaway!

A pair of amber glass heart earrings in a gift bag...


To enter, leave a comment below!


Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Amazon.com    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble

Monday, 7 December 2015

Launch party for Always Golden

Help celebrate the launch of Always Golden by joining the Facebook event here:

There will be excerpts, teasers, and giveaways throughout the day!


About the book:

Being a princess is both a blessing and a curse…
  
Growing up in a castle, Oriana was accustomed to the security of living within its walls…until the day an evil tore through the fortifications and shattered her perfect world. 

Wanted by a ruler known as “The Collector” Oriana now has a battle on her hands to escape his clutches. With The Collector’s best tracker hot on her heels, Oriana is forced to fight for her freedom while trying to work out why she is so desirable to The Collector.

One problem is that Oriana didn’t expect her heart and head to also be at war. Will she do what’s right for the kingdom, or is she at risk of losing not only the realm but also her heart?

Oriana is about to discover life as a princess is most definitely not always golden…




Book links:  Goodreads    Amazon UK    Amazon.com    Smashwords    Barnes&Noble