Submit your questions for #MyLittlePodcast and you could #win a copy of my new book @TrapezeBooks

 

True Crime Addict?

Aspiring crime writer?

Love reading crime fiction?

In a few weeks I’ll be hosting a series of podcasts talking all things crime fiction and looking into the facts behind the fiction with a bunch of experts including online behaviour specialist academic Dr Chris Carter, former MET police officer, Rob, the best selling crime writer Angela Clarke and fabulous blogger and reviewer Emma Mitchell.

We’re almost ready to go – but first we need YOUR questions!

So fill out the form using the link below, and if your question is picked you’ll be in with a chance to win a copy of my new book MY LITTLE EYE.

Submit your questions for the  podcast now at:

MLE FINAL

CTG’s #FreebieReadsFriday – #win Lee Child’s No Middle Name and my Deep Blue Trouble #Friyay

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Phew it’s Friday!

To celebrate the start of the weekend I’m running a competition on my Steph Broadribb Facebook page and giving away two paperbacks – thriller master Lee Child’s No Middle Name (short story collection) and my own latest thriller Deep Blue Trouble.

For a chance to win, hop over to Facebook, like my page and tell me in the comments below what your favourite Friday night treat is – here’s the link: Steph Broadribb on Facebook

Ps. mine’s a glass of prosecco, an orange scented candle, and great company).

I’ll draw the winner at random at 8pm on Sunday 28th January 2018.

Good luck!

THREE GREAT NEW CRIME BOOKS: IT’S #CRIMEOCLOCK! WITH SUSI HOLLIDAY, CORRIE JACKSON AND JENNY BLACKHURST

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Fantastic crime novel alert! Out in paperback today are three fantastic new crime thrillers from Susi Holliday, Corrie Jackson and Jenny Blackhurst.

To celebrate, Susi, Corrie and Jenny are doing a live Twitter Q&A today – Thursday 16th November – from 6pm to 7pm – you can ask them anything using the hashtag #crimeoclock

And, in addition, you can win all three books by taking part in the giveaway on my Stephanie Marland Facebook page. Just like my page and let me know in the comments when you prefer to read – what time of day is crime o’clock for you? Click HERE to follow a link to the competition.

Here’s some more about the books and their authors:

THE DEATHS OF DECEMBER by SUSI HOLLIDAY

Here’s the blurb: “It looks like a regular advent calendar. Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors… and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one. The police hope it’s a prank. Because if it isn’t, a murderer has just surfaced – someone who’s been killing for twenty years. But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station? As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them… It’s shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.”

Three fun facts about Susi Holliday:

What was your favourite snack while writing this book? Chocolate oranges (that’s a fruit, right?)

What’s your favourite drink to celebrate on publication night? Prosecco (with a blood-dripping raspberry in it)

Describe your book in three words: Dark Christmassy murders.

THE PERFECT VICTIM by CORRIE JACKSON

Here’s the blurb: “Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart. Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life. Then Charlie flees. Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unraveling marriage, she realizes that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts. As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart. Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.”

Three fun facts about Corrie Jackson:

What was your favourite snack while writing this book? Lindt chocolate balls (don’t ask – I started writing it eight weeks after my daughter was born. I needed an incentive)

What’s your favourite drink to celebrate on publication night? Gin, preferably via intravenous drip

Describe your book in three words: Pants-wettingly creepy (I know that’s officially two. And that ‘wettingly’ isn’t a real world but JUST READ THE BOOK)

THE FOSTER CHILD by JENNY BLACKHURST

What the blurb says: “When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous. Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family, Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss. But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…”

Three fun facts about Jenny Blackhurst:

What was your favourite snack while writing this book? Mature cheddar and caramelized onion chutney toasties

What’s your favourite drink to celebrate on publication night? Hot chocolate and marshmallows (yes, I am that rock n roll)

Describe your book in three words: Chilling, evil, disturbing

To find out more about these three brilliant new releases, link on the book titles below to check them out on Amazon:

THE DEATHS OF DECEMBER

THE PERFECT VICTIM

THE FOSTER CHILD

GIRLS ON TOP: SEX IN CRIME FICTION (PART 1) with STEPH BROADRIBB & SJI HOLLIDAY #GirlsOnTop

 

Today it’s time for something a little different. Susi (SJI) Holliday and me, in conjunction with CrimeTime, have been thinking about sex in crime fiction. You can read our thoughts in a few places – the first half of our conversation here on the CTG blog, the second half over on Susi’s blog HERE, and the full article over on the CrimeTime website HERE

Once you’ve had a read, we’d love to know your thoughts – do you like a sprinkling of sex with your crime? And, if you do, what’s the most memorable sex scene in a crime thriller for you? Tweet us at @crimethrillgirl and @SJIHolliday using hashtag #GirlsOnTop to let us know.

[STEPH] Let’s talk about sex. Sex in crime fiction, specifically. Okay, so I’ll go first – I’m not embarrassed – there’s a couple of sex scenes in my debut novel DEEP DOWN DEAD. One is more of a cut away as the action happens, but the other one, towards the end of the book, is very much the action as it happens; my protagonist Lori Anderson riding a male character cowgirl style. I put it in because the scene felt right for the story and (I hope) conveys something about the characters, adding additional conflict and raising the emotional stakes of the decisions they’re about to make and the (negative) consequences they could have for their relationship. That’s a whole lot of subtext to put on a sex scene, but that’s my rationale.

Back when I was starting to write my novel, I was told that sex and crime fiction don’t mix, but that doesn’t seem quite right to me. I can think of memorable sex scenes in the crime thriller genre like Lee Child’s The Affair – Jack Reacher has sex as a train thunders along the tracks – and that chilling sex scene in Gone Girl between Amy and Desi – the book, and the slightly more bloody film version! But, now I think about it, I can’t think of many detective stories that have sex scenes playing out in full in them unless the sex itself is the crime to be solved. Surely there must be more and my memory is just playing tricks on me? To help, I’ve enlisted crime writer S.J.I. Holliday – author of the Banktoun series – to answer the question, do sex and detective fiction mix?

[SUSI] I really don’t see why not. When you ask people about this, you get very mixed responses. Readers (in general) are absolutely fine with serial killers, blood, gore, death and destruction. But throw a blow job in there and they’re skimming the pages faster than a quickie in the stationery cupboard.

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The Slice Girls [L-R]: Alexandra Sokoloff, Steph Broadribb, AK Benedict, Louise Voss, Susi Holliday, Harley Jane Kozak

Personally, I love a bit of sex. Slotted in at the right time, it can help add to the tension of your story, especially if the characters are having sex with people they shouldn’t. In all three of my books, there is a hint of sex – an encounter reminiscent of 9½ Weeks on a kitchen table in BLACK WOOD, where various food items are strewn around the kitchen… In WILLOW WALK, there’s a first-timer’s sex scene down by the river which I thought was quite touching (so to speak) and entirely relevant to the plot. There’s actually less sex in THE DAMSELFLY than in the other two. A thwarted BJ and an illicit scene in a lock-up that’s kept mainly off the page. It totally depends on the story. It definitely shouldn’t be shoehorned in if it doesn’t advance the plot.

[STEPH] Seems like Susi and me are on the same page about sex-on-the-page, but what about other crime writers, what do they think? We asked a few to find out.

Neil White – From the Shadows (Bonnier Zaffre) – said, ‘Never written a sex scene. Too buttoned up. My mum will read it’ and Mason Cross – The Time To Kill (Orion) – said, ‘I’ve only included PG13 sex scenes so far, although I may need to change that for plot reasons in the new one. But Jeez, my dad reads these!’ So it could be the fear of family members reading intimate scenes is in the forefront of some writers’s minds (and limits them going all the way) but that’s not all. Chris Ewan – Long Time Lost (Faber) – said, ‘I almost wrote one yesterday and then … just cut away again. Performance anxiety.’

It also depends on the character. James Oswald – Written In Bones (Penguin) – said, ‘I don’t put much sex in my books. Tony McLean is incredibly repressed anyway, so there’s that too … on the other hand there’s auto-erotic asphyxiation and death by priapism in my latest, so maybe I do write sex after all.’

Andy Martin – Reacher Said Nothing (Transworld) – said, ‘Sad to say there are few explicit sex scenes of note in Reacher Said Nothing. I only looked over Lee Child’s shoulder while he was writing Make Me. I think there is the occasional manly handshake. But Lee – as straight as a die – had some wry remarks to make on the subject. “Never sleep with someone you know,” still resonates in my mind. And more recently he said that the most erotic experience he had ever had was a brief encounter on a train. They shared a moment but had no actual language in common. I think I may have been influenced by Childean minimalism, that “zero degree” of writing recommended by Roland Barthes. I was at a Norman Mailer writers colony in Wyoming recently when a brilliant Indian writer devised an elaborate sex scene about a dozen pages long. I wrote one, rather shorter, that went like this: “We had sex.” It’s not exactly lyrical or spiritual but it gets the job done.’

It seems, from the guys we spoke to, that male crime thriller writers generally prefer not to write on-the-page sex and to cut away before the act takes place. Mark Edwards – The Devil’s Work (Thomas & Mercer) – bucks this trend, he wants more sex in crime fiction, and said, ‘we Brits are notoriously squeamish when it comes to the squelchy bits. Wouldn’t it be nice if more of our great detectives were as skillful in bed as they are at solving crimes? Don’t you think there should be more people handcuffed to beds in thrillers because they like being handcuffed to beds?’

To find out what the female crime writers thought, why Susi hates ‘panties’ and what the trick to writing a good sex scene is, hop over to Susi’s blog HERE then come find us on Twitter @crimethrillgirl and @SJIHolliday and tell us your thoughts on sex in crime fiction using hashtag #GirlsOnTop

And check out the article in full on Barry Forshaw’s CrimeTime at www.crimetime.co.uk  and check out his Rough Guide to Crime Fiction here

Buy DEEP DOWN DEAD by Steph Broadribb here

Buy THE DAMSELFLY by SJI Holliday here

And you can buy books by our contributing authors by clicking the book titles below:

Neil WhiteFrom the Shadows (Bonnier Zaffre)

Mason CrossThe Time To Kill (Orion)

Chris EwanLong Time Lost (Faber)

James OswaldWritten In Bones (Penguin)

Andy MartinReacher Said Nothing (Transworld)

Mark EdwardsThe Devil’s Work (Thomas & Mercer)

 

More about Steph and Susi:

Steph Broadribb is an alumni of the MA Creative Writing at City University London and trained as a bounty hunter in California. Her debut novel DEEP DOWN DEAD is out now. Find out more at www.crimethrillergirl.com right here!

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday grew up near Edinburgh and now lives in London. She works as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry and writes books set in a creepy and claustrophobic small town in Scotland where the crime rate is apparently higher than in New York. BLACK WOOD, WILLOW WALK and THE DAMSELFLY are a mix of psychological thriller and detective fiction, featuring the terminally unlucky in love, Sergeant Davie Gray. You can find out more at www.sjiholliday.com

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: ONLINE MAG – CRIME FICTION FIX

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Crime Fiction Fix is a digital subscription-only magazine for writers and readers of crime fiction. It’s been running since August 2015 when it was founded by editor Sarah Williams – author of How to Write Crime Fiction (Little, Brown 2015).

Each month’s issue features exclusive content including video interviews with bestselling authors, top tips from criminology experts, opportunities for new writers to showcase their work, and regular articles including:

  • Book reviews:  Free-to-view book reviews on the latest crime fiction reads.
  • Members Showcase: An opportunity for magazine subscribers to showcase their work to fellow Crime Fiction Fix
  • The Back Story: Well-known crime writers give an in-depth commentary on specific passages of their writing.
  • Conference Report:  On the ground reports from key crime events and festivals .
  • Events round-up: Listings of the key must-attend events in the crime fiction calendar.

Editor Sarah Williams told us more about the magazine and how it came about :“The idea for Crime Fiction Fix crystallised on a drive down the M4 on the way back from CrimeFest in Bristol a couple of years ago. I love crime fiction conventions and conferences. They bring together three of my abiding passions – learning about the craft of writing, talking to crime writers and finding out about new authors. I didn’t want it to end. And so I conceived the idea of a monthly online crime writing magazine providing bite-sized chunks of insights and information, together with a video interview with an established crime fiction writer, talking about their writing – a magazine that would be of use to writers and of interest to readers.

Crime Fiction Fix has now been running for just over a year, and an exhausting and exciting year it has been. We have a highly gifted and committed editorial team, some amazing techies, but above all we have been struck by the extraordinary generosity of crime fiction writers, ready to share their time, advice and experience, of the technical experts who provide invaluable guidance on all aspects of crime fighting and of the publishers who have kept us informed about new authors and forthcoming publications.

Our aim above all is to be illuminating, exciting, informative and supportive, providing access to the understanding and insights of established mystery writers and a platform for new crime fiction writers to showcase their work, all in the context of an ongoing conversation about the craft of crime fiction writing.

It’s a great privilege and enormous fun.

 

To find out more hop over to www.crime-fiction-fix.com  and be sure to follow the magazine on Twitter @CrimeFictionFix

To subscribe visit the website at www.crime-fiction-fix.com/join_now

Annual subscriptions are £35 and single issues are £3.50 each.

 

CTG’s Bookish Confessions #amreading

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About ten days ago @bloke_book challenged me and a few others to confess our darkest bookish secrets. Having procrastinated for a little while, I’ve bitten the bullet, and am fessing up to my crimes against books …

Have you ever damaged a book?
Define “damaged”. If cracking a book’s spine before you start reading it is damage, then yes. I can’t help myself. Also turning corners down to mark my place. I do this as standard – there’s no point me having a book mark, I always lose it and then I lose my place! I’m also prone to dropping books in the bath (my favourite place to read). Some books escape with a tide mark around the bottom, others fall victim of a full drowning and have to be hung up to dry out! A book is there to be read, and it’s going to get bruised and dirtied up in the process – that’s my view anyway!

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?
I try hard not to. If it belongs to someone else I’m extra especially careful with it (I don’t read it in the bath). BUT I cannot guarantee not to turn the corners of the pages down – it’s a habit, I just can’t stop!

How long does it take you to read a book?
It depends on the book. Some – like an action thriller – might be a couple of days, others might be longer. It also depends why I’m reading it – if I’m on a deadline for review it has to be fast, whereas if it’s for me, for fun, then I can take my time.

Books you haven’t finished?
Loads! I’m easily bored, so if a book isn’t doing it for me I stop reading immediately.

Hyped/Popular books you didn’t like?
Yes, but I’m not telling! What I will say is that spoilers can be a nightmare with books hyped from a long way before publication. I didn’t read GONE GIRL when it came out because someone had already told me the twist! (I think it’s a great story though, the book and the film).

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?
I’m happy to tell about any book I’m reading (unless talking about the book is embargoed until a certain date by the author or their PR).

Are you a fast/slow reader?

Both. Depends on the book and my mood.

Do you like to buddy read?
I’m not sure what this is. I like talking about books with my blogger friends and getting recommendations though.

Do you read better in your head/out loud?
If I’m reading someone else’s book I read it in my head. If I’m reading my own while editing, I read it out loud.

If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

One book!! *gasps* I really don’t know, but it would be a close run thing between Michael Crichton’s A STATE OF FEAR and Lee Child’s KILLING FLOOR. Or maybe a Jilly Cooper book – either RIDERS or POLO! Simply because with all these books I’d be happy to re-read them over and over and over again.

Now it’s my turn to tag some people so I pick: Susi Holliday, Liz Barnsley, Alex Caan, Rod Reynolds and Mark Hill.

And while they’re putting together their confessions, be sure to check out what others in the chain – @Bloke_book @andymartinink and @KarinaMSzczurek have already confessed to …

http://bookebloke.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/the-reader-confessions-tag.html

http://andymartinink.co.uk/2016/08/confessions/

https://karinamagdalena.com/2016/08/25/reader-confessions/

Happy August: CTG has “Gone Reading”

For the next few weeks I’m having a little blogging holiday. I’ve got a stack of fantastic books to read, some cool interviews to do, and I’m cracking on with writing the first draft of the follow-up to DEEP DOWN DEAD.

I’ll be back on 1st September with a revamped look and bursting to tell you about the books I’ve read.

Until then, here’s a sneak peep at my August TBR pile …

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Until then, you can catch me over on Twitter …