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The second guest in the CROOKED INTERVIEW series is the ever-surprising Geoff Nelder whose twist on the ‘crookedness’ of the interview/self-interview aspect is unique and unexpected. But only for those who don’t know this amazing SF and thriller author. His contribution to the product and creation of both the Twisted Tales and the Crooked Tales has been simply marvellous, as everyone at Readers Circle of Avenue Park knows. Here is a bit more on his ‘crooked’ tale and current writing projects, as penned by his extensive imagination.


Geoff Nelder is a former teacher in rural England, thrown out with hearing problems, but lured into writing and into being a bad-ass editor.

Amazon author pages 

Geoff’s UK Amazon author page

And for US readers

Geoff facebooks at

and tweets at @geoffnelder


1. What is your Crooked tale about and what inspired it? 

Ubiquitous is set in the near future about—hey, what’s this? Get off you mad quack!

“Va via, Nelder, you’re a nothing, a scribe, piccolo, whereas I am, Doctor Antonio Menzies and I’m a main character in your crazed award-winning medical , ARIA TRILOGY. I usurp the author and will give you the answers because Nelder is too lazy and my responses are magnifico. This spazzatura story you dared inserta into your otherwise bene Crooked Tales is just a crazy crime of the near future. Idiot uomo has the mafia after his fingers. He uses the web, but idiota boy cannot escape quando internet is everywhere, si? Ubiquitous. He gets off, a bit clever. Someone must have told Nelder how to write it. It must have been inspired by me, his best ever character, no?

2. What do you like writing and/or reading best?  3. What else do you do in life apart from writing?

Nelder doesn’t like writing, or reading. He’s a what-do-you-say, a Cassanova, haha. He wishes. He chases women on his bicicletta but they’re all faster than him. Butterflies overtake him. When he’s tied down he reads science fiction and literary nonsense like China Miéville and Julian Barnes. He’d like to write like them. Ho ho.

4. What are you currently working on? 

Nelder? Work? When he falls off his bike… Nelder’s gone all historical fantasy in his latest novel. He holidayed in Malta, discovered my predecessors, Ottoman pirates, abducted the people of a whole island. Well, the spirits of those slaves are crying out for revenge, apparently. Hence XAGHRA’S REVENGE is finished and the world will have to suffer it this year – 2017.

5. Ask yourself any 5 questions you wish to be asked and answer them. 

I’ve no time for this. No, I’ll give you un po. One question you shouldn’t ask. Does Nelder do research?  Arrgh. Don’t mention research! He’s obsessed by getting stuff right. He has to name streets, towns and rivers in the right places. I blame it on him being a geography professore for 100 years. In ARIA he read every damn book on the brain, amnesia, Alzheimer’s, you name it. No don’t. He emailed an astronaut, Leroy Chaio, for data on the struts of the International Space Station and get this, Leroy replied while he was in orbit! For some unfathomable reason the astronaut wanted a signed copy of Nelder’s ARIA: Left Luggage – huh, you should’ve seen his cycling with legs a whirr to the ufficio postale.

Un altro question. Where does Geoff Nelder get his ideas from?

He steals his ideas from ME. No question. Nelder says he oxygenates his brain while on his long cycling tours but I’ve no doubt at all that he sneaks a peek at my prescription pad and little black book for his ideas. He’s always after my women.

Okay, you want more questions and risposte? 

Does he have a favourite place to write?

As an idiot researcher, Geoff Nelder likes to write his stories in their setting. If a scene is in Paris, that’s where you’ll find him, sat at an outside café table swimming in the language, atmosphere and booze. I encourage this, especially with his science fiction. Go to the Moon I tell him. Often.

What would Geoff Nelder’s reaction be if a character from one of his books came to life and turned up on his doorstep?

You’re kidding, right? I am here you know. 

Whoops, he’s coming back with a shotgun. I’m off.

GEOFF NELDER’S QUESTIONS for other Crooked Tales authors
Please, reply in the comments below. Other, non-‘crooked’, authors welcome, too.

Ask one of the other Crooked Tales authors a question.
I know it takes Senor idiot Nelder two years to research and two more wasted years to write his diabolico novels so Mark Fine or anyone else, how long does it take you to write a novel?

Well, thank you both, gentlemen of the pen and ideas! Looking forward to more of your work.

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The CROOKED TALES is another bountiful reader feast prepared for you by Readers Circle of Avenue Park and 15 extraordinary authors from around the globe. It contains 15 short stories on deception and revenge from all genres and walks of life, and is now available in kindle and paperback. It gives me a mixture of pride and humbleness to state that my story Beneath is also featured.

This spring I have an amazing treat for you as these superbusy authors have agreed to be my blog guests and do an interview. Crooked Tales inspiring my crookedness, I have also given them a task – in the second half of the interview they have to interview themselves:). 

To open this series of Crooked Interviews, here is MARK FINE, a man whose autobiography alone would make for a stunning movie. Thank you, Mr Fine!


Mark Fine [Mark of the Hyena], a self-confessed, tone-deaf music executive, was born in South Africa, However, now Los Angeles is his home. There with his two sons—and Charlie, an affectionate neighbor’s dog—Mark wrote his historical fiction novel, The Zebra Affaire—the story of a mixed race couple and their struggle to survive under the racist regime’s oppressive 1970’s apartheid policies. Mark also takes a broader look at the travails of greater Africa; a topic that concerns him greatly. A charming aspect of Mark’s writing is how he looks to nature—Africa’s animals and wildlife—for inspiration and a solution to human shortcomings. In the process of telling the truth via the freedom fiction provides, a reviewer said, “Mark Fine has been brave like William Faulkner in his journey of truth telling – he has simply done it with a much different kind of Southern accent.”  For further info on Mark, check out these links— Website: Blog: Fine Ruminations~ or you’re welcome to connect on Facebook and Twitter: @MarkFine_author

THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Story  (Paperback)

THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE  (Kindle Edition) 


– What is your Crooked tale about and what inspired it?

MARK OF THE HYENA: ‘Fish out of water’ stories intrique me. The set up of an elite academic from New York City stranded in the Kalahari desert with a tribe of San Bushmen as his only means of survival was too tempting to ignore. In the telling we learn of hubris wrapped in first world arrogance, and simple grace in respecting nature’s lore. 

– What do you like writing and/or reading best? 

I now have so many stories within me to tell, I’ve shifted my focus to short stories. This permits me the time to write them, and affords busy readers the time to read them.

– What else do you do in life apart from writing?

I mentor aspiring talent in both the music world, especially songwriters, and print publishing. It is the joy of collaboration that finally motivates me.

– What are you currently working on?

An historical fiction/suspense novel based in sub-Sahara Africa. It is based on a true story, and has the tantalizing title, “THE CULTURED SPY”.


Conversation with myself: The whys and wherefores that shaped author Mark Fine’s novel, “The Zebra Affaire”

Mark Fine: What was the genesis of Zebra Affaire? Was it a grueling process or did it write itself?

Myself: More complex, more a creative evolution. I originally wanted to write a biography about my father. But, despite his accomplishments, he remained a modest man. I began to sense that the notion of a biography would be awkward for him. So I scrapped the idea. However, a great deal of research I’d already completed about his life and times. Subliminally, my mind must have churned away at this problem, because one day—a true kismet moment—the idea of courageous love story between a white woman and black man in the land of apartheid manifested itself. Only then did The Zebra Affaire ‘write itself’.

Mark Fine: Did you find that, as the characters developed, they changed the trajectory of the story from the original vision of the book?

Myself: The arc of the story remained surprisingly consistent. Probably because I wrote the end of my novel first. Seems counterintuitive, but it made sense to have a final destination as a guidepost. Kind of like a closing argument in a legal trial, I instinctively focused on the book’s conclusion when I began. Of course, as characters assumed a life of their own, the ending was constantly revisited, and refined.

Speaking about characters, I enjoyed adding the animal world and their instinctive code-of-honor into the story. As allegories to the foibles of human behavior, the natural behavior of these creatures was rather instructive. I’m thrilled I found a place for Africa’s wildlife in the book. It makes the experience all the more authentic for the reader, and foreshadows the human narrative at the heart of the story in a fresh way.

Mark Fine:  Which of the characters, if any, did I shape from personal experiences?

Myself:  The patriarch, the DGF character, typifies the decent people that tried to make a difference within the discriminatory apartheid system. Despite onerous job restriction laws that prohibited people of color from any management position, the real DGF did in fact hire and mentor a black man as a senior executive for a public company—despite such a hiring being illegal.

Due to the real DGF’s mentorship and ‘civil disobedience’, Rupert Bopape became a legendary music producer and label chief. DGF’s philosophy was simple in a complicated color-shaped society: merit is the only sustainable litmus test, and surpasses all other things that divide, such as race, tribe, gender, and faith. 

In the context of the times, DGF was quietly brave. Now for a confession, my late father David Gabriel Fine inspired the DGF character. Fittingly, by weaving his memoire within the tapestry of my historical fiction story I was finally able to pay tribute to a wonderful man, and terrific dad.

Mark Fine:  Your Zebra Affaire story deals with many areas of history and diverse ethnic groups. How much of the final work was a result of inspiration or research?

Myself: The schism between the various races and tribes was my motivation to write the novel, as it remains a cautionary tale. I felt the world tends to adopt a simplistic ‘bumper-sticker’ view of what in reality is a more complicated state of affairs. Things are invariably seen in stark black and white, when in fact it’s anything but immutable. For example, in South Africa the white clans hated each other (English speakers versus the Afrikaners from Dutch heritage), as do the various native tribes (Zulu, Sotho, Venda, Xhosa and others). It’s ironic that South Africa’s motto was “Unity is Strength” when it was such an intensely balkanized society.

But the challenge as a writer was to humanize this constantly shifting tide of societal unrest, and so the context—shocking for that time and place—of an illicit interracial romance. As such, the arcana of South Africa’s convoluted legal code needed thorough research.

However, my main goal is to entertain the reader. It’s the thrilling fusion of romance and suspense set against a canvas that’s vividly authentic and powerfully provocative that makes The Zebra Affairestory worth writing, and reading. This is about the courageous love story of Elsa and Stanwell, the two of them on a collision course with the mighty racist regime, which is the compelling narrative that draws the reader through the book’s pages. If the reader becomes better informed in the process, well, that’s an added bonus.

Mark Fine: If you could return to post-apartheid South Africa and make sweeping changes, what would they be?

Myself: Out with the men! The women of Africa are saints. That image of a humble woman walking miles in the heat of day, barefoot, with a five gallon bucket of water balanced on her head—and with a baby wrapped in a blanket bound to her back, is for me the essence of selfless sacrifice. Unless there is another Nelson Mandela, these women should represent the true voice of Africa. Tireless and dedicated they may be, yet sadly they remain marginalized, underappreciated, due to gender discrimination and patriarchal tradition. I believe it is time for an authentic, nurturing, honest African woman to become the next president of South Africa! Maybe this will become the topic of my next book…

MARK FINE’S QUESTIONS for other Crooked Tales authors

Do you find a silver lining in a bad review? If so, please give an example.

What percentage of the research you do for a novel actually lands up on the printed page?

Do you have an author you admire? If so, why?

Could the Crooked Tales authors please reply to this kind gentleman in the comments below? Other authors also welcome:)

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The Shield of Soren has arrived!

It is an outstanding pleasure to be able to host a wonderful author. D. M. Cain has a new booknout and it is everything and more than you could have hoped. THE SHIELD OF SOREN has arrived!

(All subsequent materials have kindly been provided by the author herself.)


I’m so excited to share with you the cover for my upcoming release! This next installment in The Light and Shadow Chronicles is called The Shield of Soren. Set thirty years before the events of A Chronicle of Chaos, this novel covers the story of mischievous trouble maker, ten-year-old Soren Nitaya and the events that change the way he will see the world forever.  


The Shield of Soren

Ten-year-old Soren Nitaya’s marked talent makes him the youngest soldier ever to become an apprentice to the legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. As a prince of Alcherys, he will be expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow when he reaches sixteen.

But is the young prince up to the task when he’s more interested in causing mischief than in mastering weapons? 

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he unwittingly unleashes a deadly threat. It appears that an age-old prophecy is finally coming to pass, and Soren and his family must take a perilous journey deep into their enemy’s land. Does Soren have what it takes to save his country before the Brotherhood destroys everyone and everything he loves?

The Shield of Soren EXCERPT
With a loud clang of metal slamming into metal, the final bolt was undone. Reign slowly pulled the door open, and Vincent found his breath catching in his throat. 

High-pitched whimpering came from the tiny bundle of rags cowering at the back of the cage. Her long silver hair parted for a moment and Vincent could see her wide, silver eyes, terrified and innocent. Vincent’s skin prickled with discomfort. He hoped that Reign had a damned good reason for capturing a small child like this. 

Beside the glass cage were two oil lamps, both resting unlit. Reign reached up and took one down. Then, in a single savage moment, he slammed the lamp onto the floor of her cage. The girl screamed in terror and covered her head with her hands, but he hadn’t been aiming for her. 

The shattered glass gave way to a stream of oil that spread out in a pool across the floor. This seemed to scare the girl even more, and she began to cry quietly, sobbing into her clenched hands. 

Reign looked back at Vincent. Excitement flashed in his eyes as he drew a match from a box in his pocket. A small flare of light, a flicker of sulphur and a small flame danced on top of the match. With another laugh, Reign tossed the match into the glass cage.

Vincent gasped as the oil ignited in a rush of intense heat. The entire floor of the cage burst into flames. Vincent tried to rush forwards to save the girl from a fiery death, but the heat was too intense. A hand tapped incessantly at his shoulder, and he tried to brush it away, but Reign grabbed hold of his hand.

“Look! Look!” Reign shouted excitedly, pointing at the cage. 

When his eyes fell upon the cage, Vincent froze to the spot, his eyes nearly popping from their sockets. “But…how?”

The girl, who Vincent had assumed would be burning in agony, was somehow floating above the flames, hovering at the top of her cage. From her back sprouted two enormous wings of the purest white feathers Vincent had ever seen. The two beautiful white fans could only just fit within the confines of the cage, and as she beat them to stay afloat they fanned the flames beneath her. 

It wasn’t just her wings that dazzled Vincent with their purity. Her whole body had adopted an ethereal, almost ghostly, silver aura, her hair shimmering with radiance. She didn’t seem too frightened any more, but there was a definite hint of sadness in her gentle eyes. 

Vincent studied her carefully, struggling to catch his breath, which he hadn’t realised he had been holding. “What is she?” he managed to croak. 

Reign grinned and draped an arm across Vincent’s shoulder. “She, my friend, is an angel.”


D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for Creativia Publishing. The Light and Shadow Chronicles series features a range of books which can be read in any order. The first of these to be written was A Chronicle of Chaos. The Shield of Soren will be released in March 2017. She is currently working on the next novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series, The Sins of Silas, as well as two complementary novellas entitled Genesis of Light and Origin of Shadow.

Cain has released one stand-alone novel: The Phoenix Project, a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. The Phoenix Project was the winner of the 2016 Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi novel Award.

D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story The End was published in Awethology Dark  an anthology by the #Awethors. 

Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal. 


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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Neil D. Newton

The issue of abuse has long been one Neil Douglas has been fighting against, so no wonder his book The Railroad covers the same topic, relevant as much as it is uncomfortable. Brutally honest, Neil discusses his characters, himself and the topic here today.

Can you love annoying characters? – by Neil D. Newton

Several years ago I wrote a book, “The Railroad” which is full of difficult characters. To my surprise, when I began to put the ideas together for this blog, I realized that I couldn’t think of one character from the book that I truly loved. Our host, Anita Kovacevic, suggested that being annoyed can be part of loving someone, a relevant part that can’t be avoided. To paraphrase some Billy Joel lyrics “You can love someone for the rest of your life but you won’t want them every day”. And that brought to mind the fact that my distaste for my characters is because they are all damaged and show it, liberally. Can you love and should you love people who are upsetting because they can’t help themselves?

There’s a thin line between damaged and self-indulgent and my characters seem to lean in the latter direction.  But in fact, the effects of PTSD and exposure to extreme trauma are well documented. Before you can find your way to the light, you have to spend a lot of time stumbling around in the dark. How many real people who have taken this journey are called heroes? So should people who are in the midst of that noble process be considered purely annoying or heroes in the making?

Can we say that people that are damaged aren’t deserving of love? The story was inspired by 911 or my experience on 911. There is no way to say that without sounding dramatic but the true inspiration for the book was the fact that I spent half an hour in the subway in New York as the towers went down. The main character, Mike Dobbs, had this same experience. Unlike me, he ran away from his New York City life and became a reclusive alcoholic. Due to his experience he became self-absorbed, angry, sarcastic and very difficult. At the same time he grapples actively with his demons and tries to figure himself out. He also becomes willing to take on the lives of two other damaged people and offers them some measure of security. What he needs more than anything is love. And perhaps he deserves it.

One of the hard facts you learn in New York City is what I like to call the attractiveness paradox. Homeless people are everywhere, asking for money. Except, the ones who are so messed up that they can’t form the words. At some point it occurred to me that the people who were in the best shape and had a good patter down were much more likely to get money. And the people who are sleeping on the ground or are bloody from having fallen or gotten into a fight get nothing. I once met a beggar who, after being outed by a woman working in a restaurant, admitted that he had an apartment in Queens.  

What is worse is that I wrote the Railroad with the intention of shedding light on the plight of people with PTSD and victims of various types of abuse. The reality of 911 loomed so large for all New Yorkers and the rest of the world that it couldn’t be ignored. And that gave rise, in my mind, to other characters that were absolutely devastated in the same way; victims of abuse, victims of fractured families. The feeling that nothing might ever be right again is not something that everyone has experienced but it is more common than many people would like to believe. I have found that a surprising number of people have berated me for bringing up and describing in some detail the aftermath of scourges like child abuse, the implication being that I was abusing them by bringing up the subject. I have taken issue with this several times. The fact is that there are millions of people who have experienced a sense of true helplessness and it has taken its toll.

So it is a bit humbling to realize that I am not fond of my poor characters; I have to wonder about my own morality. As a society, we are intolerant of people with difficult problems because it’s too annoying grappling with their problems. Most of us feel that going to work every day and supporting our families is more than enough and reaching out to people who are already tough to deal with is not their burden. So what happens to those who are broken through no fault of their own?

I carry a few scars from 911, some physical and some not. And I have, with great horror, read multiple stories of first responders who woke up one day and found they couldn’t leave the house or live effectively from day to day, the result of PTSD. And  then there is the poster child for 911 PTSD: The Dust Lady. This woman was photographed wearing her business outfit, covered in a thick layer of the dust that was created by the fall of the towers. After that day her life imploded; she quit her job, rarely left the house and eventually became addicted to drugs. And, insult added to injury, shortly after she finished rehab, she was diagnosed with cancer. Marcie Borders died in 2015, fourteen years after 911.

And so, can I love my character Mike Dobbs? Can I love the mother and daughter he takes in, both running from an abusive father? Can I love Steve Moskowitz, a lawyer who lived through his sister’s anti-social behavior that ruined his family? The most awkward character in this scenario is me. Perhaps I see too much of myself in these creations of my mind for me to feel comfortable with them. 

For me to resolve this question, I need to go back to see where all these characters came from and I suppose this applies to characters that people love as well as those that are annoying. Where do they come from? Mike Dobbs is, for the most part, me. He is an IT professional, he is from New York City; that’s enough. So, do I love myself? Well if any of those of you who are reading this can figure that one out, I will pay you.  In many ways, Mike Dobbs is a much bigger jerk than I am; he’s an inveterate Yuppie, he is a conspicuous consumer and he is not at all aware of anything beyond his success in business. But I have to ask myself how I would feel if I met him, post 911; would I be able to hold my hand out to him to try to help him? Or the other characters.

While I haven’t lived up to this high bar, I feel that the answer has to be yes. Our history is full of people who’ve gone past their comfort zone to help people who need help. Oddly, despite the fact that I’ve written this book, The Railroad, to make a point, that same point is something I also have to accept, as well as my readers. But beyond that, the high road, as it’s been portrayed in scripture and philosophy, demands leaving your comfort zone to extend a hand. I made the commitment to write the book for this very reason. 

So I will try to make the full circle. I will return to 911 in my mind and forgive myself for my reaction to it, the fear it instilled in in me, my desire to run away and my anger. And I will try…and I have to emphasize the world “try”, to love my characters. 

And now I have to ask who else I might extend my hand to. Physician, heal thyself. 

Neil has started a project to help abuse victims, with an open invitation to all willing to share experiences and help, especially with music. It is called Abuse Nation.

He is currently working on a fictional novel based on the life of Nikola Tesla.

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Margaret Ann Loveday

Margaret Ann Loveday is an Australian author I met through a Facebook group. She always has a positive message to share and delights all with her Threads of Love posts. I simply love her inspirational nature and photo posts. Today she tries to decide who her favourite character is in her novel Emily.

Why do I love my characters? – by M. A. Loveday

How can I choose just one, they have all grown close to me, even the dysfunctional ones, (who, by the way will be redeemed in a future book).  

Would it be Great Grandma Ruby, who fights for Emily’s right to life, and raises her on love and good old fashioned values?  What about Emily, the heroine, with her charismatic personality, who is adored by everyone except her parents?  

I know!  It will have to be Dimmy! A loving partner to Nick, they co-own, the Wildlife Park that draws Emily into their lives.  Dimmy is passionate, strong, intelligent woman with an enquiring mind.  She has been through some very emotionally traumatic times, her body and her emotions suffering much, from the injuries she sustained.   The Post-Traumatic Stress took time to overcome, she gradually returned to health with the love, support and patience of the people around her.  Emily becomes the pivot that enables Dimmy to finalise change and to love and let go of past hurts.

Dimmy is an interesting character, who taps into her sixth sense, or as she puts it herself, ‘a knowing’ a pre-empting of circumstances, that Nick doesn’t understand, but Emily, does.  Dimmy and Emily as their relationship develops we find, they are connected in more ways than one.

‘Emily’ is available from Amazon and other online stores:

Threadsoflove facebook page:

Twitter: Threads¬¬_Of_Love  


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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Rebecca McCray

One of the wonderful authors I’ve met and had the privilege of working with on the Awethology is the fantasy author Rebecca McCray. She is right – it is definitely difficult to pick one as a favourite character, but I am glad she tried.

A Character I Love…. – by Rebecca McCray

When Anita asked me to pick one character, I knew I would struggle. I love all of my characters for various reasons. There’s Tip, the comic underdog. Natal impresses as the likeable bad guy. Then, of course, there’s Prizene, the stereotypical beauty queen that wants nothing to do with the stereotype.

For me, Kenrya from the Undergrounders stands out. You meet her in chapter one as she debates whether to let another sixteen-year-old be killed by those hunting him. Her self-preservation instinct overrides her compassion. She’s a survivor, haunted by her past.

Throughout the Journey of the Marked, Kenrya frequently reacts with anger or frustration. She dismisses weaker companions as unimportant. Her irritation with these individuals nearly costs her life, yet she struggles to trust. And then, of course, there’s the smell….

So, why would she be a loved character?

She’s resilient and a fighter. An abusive childhood shaped her. Despite not being able to shake that past, she sought refuge among an admirable group and contributed to their cause. She learns from her past. For example, when she encountered a traumatic situation, she sought education to prevent it from happening again. 

I admire her strength, her ability to overcome adversity, and her unwavering confidence in herself. She’s not unlike some of the strong women I’ve known in my lifetime and I respect her for that. 

As the series progresses, I look forward to watching her evolve.

(Beautiful fan art)

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Why authors ♡ their characters by LE Fitzpatrick

The Reacher Series by LE Fitzpatrick is a splendid mix of thriller, dystopia and paranormal. Having relished the teaser short story Safe Haven and the first book in the series, The Running Game, I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Border Lines. Delighted LE joined this February blog series with her favourite character from the Reacher novels.

Introducing James Roxton – L E Fitzpatrick

From The Reacher Series

The afternoon daylight whipped at Roxy’s eyes. His tuxedo was scarred with debauchery and torn at the sleeve. He scratched at his mop of yellow hair and scanned the bleary faces around him. Despite the hangover, the vomit stains over his trousers, and his missing socks, it had been a very profitable night. He was poor of pocket but rich with information. He fished out a packet of liquorice cigarettes and ran one under his nose. Breakfast; the most important smoke of the day.

He checked his phone as he meandered down the street, looking for an update from his beloved mother as she recovered in hospital. The burns to her arms and legs weren’t as bad as some of her girls, but broken pride was difficult to mend. She’d left him just one message, some filth about one of her doctors. Roxy sent a quick text back, telling her he was close.

[The Running Game – Book 1 Reacher Series]

James “Roxy” Roxton is the outcast of the series. He’s a character wedged between the bad and the worse, double-crossing wherever he can. When he first appears in The Running Game he’s hunting down the arsonist that targeted his mother’s club, but his search sees him running into old allies, allies he could betray for a bigger prize. A notorious gambler, Roxy can’t deny his temptation – but this time the stakes are too high.

In contrast to the other character in the series, many of which are broken and burdened, Roxy is a carefree concoction of lovable rogue and despicable villain. He’s the morning hit of caffeine after a rough night. The winning hand with an extra ace up his sleeve. And I can’t wait to show you what happens to him.






TWITTER: @l_e_fitzpatrick

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Stewart Bint

Stewart Bint is an amazing author I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the Awethors group. This man of many talents and a truly kind person, shares with you today his favourite character.


I’ve made an unusual choice with featuring this character, Abigail Carter, who I particularly like from my most recent novel, The Jigsaw And The Fan.

Why unusual? Because apart from just one three-page scene of her own towards the end of the book, she is only mentioned two or three times in passing. 

But I hope with what we see and hear through Abigail in this one scene shows readers the true nature and character of her dead husband – our hero, Albert Carter. Until this point Albert’s antics could definitely polarise opinion…you either support him or violently disagree with him; there’s no real middle ground. And that is why I love Abigail so much.

It’s amazing how things work out, isn’t it? This scene wasn’t in the original manuscript, and my publisher’s editor said she wanted to know a little more about Abigail. As her role had only been in passing and in flashbacks until then, I wrote Abigail’s three pages as an epilogue. But my editor said no. She absolutely loved the final line of the manuscript, which everyone tells me is an absolute stunner, and she told me to include the scene earlier on.

I felt that with a little rewriting the episode could really pave the way for what happens when Albert meets his final destiny. And do you know what? I believe it really works in that way. I hope everyone reading the pages where Saint Christopher passes judgement on Albert will relate back to Abigail’s scene in the cemetery, and see why the story ends in the way it does. 

So I’m hoping that thanks to Abigail, all readers will finish with the same opinion of Albert.  

Let’s take a look now at our last glimpse of Abigail in The Jigsaw And The Fan:    

And as Abigail turned away from the grave, her vision blurred.

She blamed the shaft of sunlight slanting through the branches of the ancient Yew tree. But in reality it was the tear which paused in her eye before trickling its way slowly down her cheek.

She looked back over her shoulder, one last glance at the grave.

“Goodbye love, God bless.”         


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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Marcia Weber Martins

Marcia Weber is a lady of many talents, one of which is a knack for romance writing. Her Brazilian origin blends with her life in Germany, making her a multilingual author. Here is a post her reader fans will love – why she loves her character.

Why I Love Mary?

   I love Mary Walker because she was the first character I created. She has the same values I have and she is also romantic.

  Mary walker is a charismatic girl from San Francisco, who is on her way of becoming a defense lawyer. Mary values family bonds and friendship.

  She has a lovely family and has a special bond with her brother Mark, who has the tendency of overprotecting her. 

  I love the way Mary and Mark get along. I’m an only child and sure I would like to have a brother like Mark.

  Mary is somewhat naïve and because of that she was taken advantage in a frightening way.

  Mary, as any girl of her age, dreamed of a “happy ever after”.  She met Robert, who was a nice and romantic guy. She falls in love with him.  But he wasn’t the man she thought he was but a creep. She didn’t notice that she was in a controlling and abusive relationship until it was too late. To make things worse, she was kidnapped.

 Thanks to her family, she recovered from this traumatic event and has her life back.

  She avoids the date scene and focus on her studies. She was betrayed by the person she trusted and loved. She had her dreams destroyed and she doesn’t believe in love anymore.

  I love Mary because she is a fighter. She keeps her life going despite all she went thru.  She found the strength to overcome her fears and learnt to trust and love again.

  She is a sympathetic character and we cannot help but feel for her and identify with her struggles.



Twitter @marcia_w_m 

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Tom Fallwell

Tom Fallwell is the author of a phenomenal fantasy series. I loved reading the first book and am looking forward to its sequel. His characters are truly strong and intriguing. Here is why he likes his leading character. 

Why I Like Baric – by Tom Fallwell

Baric is the greatest Ranger in the world that I’ve created with my Rangers of Laerean series. While to many now reading my stories, he’s someone new, I’ve know the steadfast warrior for many decades. The character of Baric was created back in the late 1980s, originally as one of three characters in an unsuccessful comic book called Dark Regions. How Baric acts and thinks is the same now, in this new series, as it was back then. His personality and attitude have remained the same.

I think it was actors like Fess Parker, Clint Walker and James Arness that had the greatest influence on how I saw Baric when he was created. I’d always loved the characters they played, the big hulking guys with a big heart, like Davy Crockett, Cheyenne Bodie and Marshall Matt Dillon. This is how I see Baric.

Baric is huge, a giant of a man, and he has a heart to match his size. He can be gentle and compassionate, or fierce and terrifying in battle. He sees all people, even non-humans, as equals, without a shred of prejudice. Always ready to lend a helping hand, always caring about others more than himself, and always ready to put down any evil or injustice that tries to raise its ugly head.

Most of all, I think what makes Baric my favorite out of all the characters I’ve created, is because there is more of who I aspire to be in him than in any the others. He’s what I consider the ideal man. Strong, just, kind, courageous, caring and determined. The qualities of a true hero.

Author Pages

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Rangers of Laerean Page

Trailers by Tom Page

A Whisper in the Shadows

Where Shadows Fall

The Shadow of Narwyrm


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