Blog Tour – Scars by Dan Scottow

Dan Scottow’s thrid book “Scars” released on August 3rd.

Scars: an unforgettable psychological thriller by [Dan Scottow]


The wounds you can’t see take the longest to heal…

In an isolated cottage on the banks of a Scottish loch, a reclusive couple take on a new live-in carer.

As Lucy gets to know her employers, she realises the house and the people in it aren’t what they seem. Is the house haunted or is something far more sinister living within the walls?

As secrets and lies begin to unravel, Lucy starts to question what is real. But one thing seems certain, if scars cannot heal, people will never forgive…


When Lucy starts a new job in remote Willow Cottage, the scenery may be idyllic, but the circumstances aren’t. A car crash has left Richard a paraplegic and in need of a great deal of care, care his wife Diana struggles to give with her own injures from the same crash. They need the assistance of a carer, and Lucy isn’t the first. In constant pain, Diana struggles with the overuse of alcohol and narcotics. Lucy learns more of the couple’s troubled past and the truth of what happened. And then things start to happen that no one can explain…

This book starts with a strange tale of torture, but the real pain is inflicted in the following chapters which talk of unstable personalities, lies, and psychosis.

This is a good read, well written, it will keep you turning the pages. The final resolution, however, is not a surprise, though it is well done.

Would recommend.

Link to Buy: Scars (on Amazon)

An image posted by the author.

Dan grew up in Hertfordshire before moving to London in his early twenties. After more than ten years living there, he decided enough was enough, and packed his bags for Scotland in search of a more peaceful life.

Dan works as a graphic designer, but dreams of the day he can give it up and write full time.

Besides writing, he enjoys painting, watching a good scary film, travelling the world, good food, long walks on the beach with his dogs, and of course, reading a great book.

Michelle Salter

I’ve been talking to debut historical crime writer Michelle Salter about her work, here’s what she had to share with us all.

What motivates you to write?

I write historical crime mysteries as I love the research as much as the writing. I find it fascinating to take modern day situations and place them 100 years ago.I’m particularly interested in showing how a woman’s role in society has changed in the twentieth century. My debut novel, The Suffragette’s Daughter, is set in 1920 and is the first in a series of mysteries that focus on crimes and social issues affecting women during this era.

Which do you like to write, series or standalones?  If you write both, what do you find the difference?

I’m currently busy with the Iris Woodmore Mysteries series. However, I would like to write a standalone gothic novel, possibly switching between two timeframes.

What do you like to do to relax when not writing?

I’ve been a volunteer at my local nature reserve, Fleet Pond, for nearly fifteen years now. At 52 acres, Fleet Pond is the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire and is surrounded by an extensive nature reserve made up of wetlands, woodlands, and dry heathland.
Many local locations feature in my books, and the fictional lake Waldenmere, which plays a prominent role in my next novel, is inspired by Fleet Pond.

The Suffragette's Daughter : a gripping historical crime mystery by [Michelle Salter]

Who is your favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

Percy Baverstock is a favourite of mine and my readers. He’s enjoyable to write because he doesn’t always think before he speaks. He has a grasshopper mind and hops from subject to subject – his mood can change as quickly as his conversation.

He loves to go dancing in the jazz clubs that are springing up in London in 1920. He makes his first appearance in The Suffragette’s Daughter and was only going to feature briefly, but he’s very lovable. He’s become a recurring character and returns in the second Iris Woodmore mystery due out later this year.

Who is your least favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

Sir Nigel Bostock is a particularly obnoxious character who appears in The Suffragette’s Daughter. He’s a snob and a chauvinist. He takes his privileged life for granted and shows little empathy for others. I’m sure most readers will have come across someone in their lives who shares a few of Sir Nigel’s boorish traits!

Tell us about your last book…

The Suffragette’s Daughter is a historical crime mystery set in 1920. It’s a period of rapid social change, but even in these progressive times, it can still be deadly for a woman to show too much strength.

Rather than the stylised world of the flapper girl, I wanted to explore the reality of Britain in the aftermath of the Great War and the suffragist movement. It was a period of empowerment and greater independence for some women, but the reality for many others was that their lives were the same as they had been a decade earlier.

Inspiration for the novel struck in the summer of 2018 on a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. Westminster Hall was hosting an exhibition to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act of 1918 – a significant milestone in the suffrage movement.
Despite introduction of the Act, a third of the adult female population in this country still didn’t have the right to vote. The fight for equal representation was far from over – and the seeds for The Suffragette’s Daughter were sown.

What’s coming next…

I hope the second book in the Iris Woodmore Mysteries series will be out later this year, and I’m currently working on a third.
I’m enjoying exploring the maturation of my lead character. Iris is a young woman who’s stepped outside of social convention, and while some doors have opened, others have been slammed firmly in her face.

I hope younger readers of my novels will appreciate the challenges their predecessors faced and how much we owe to the suffrage movement.

Anything else you want to share?

The Suffragette’s Daughter is now available from Amazon.

Michelle Salter is a historical crime fiction writer based in north east Hampshire, UK.

Michelle works as a copywriter and has written features for national magazines. Her love of social history influences her writing, and her novels explore how events from 100 years ago reflect the world we live in today.
When she’s not writing, Michelle can be found knee-deep in mud at her local nature reserve. She enjoys working with a team of volunteers undertaking conservation activities on land and in water, repairing riverbanks, sloshing around in the marshes and driving a tractor badly.

If you’d like to be the first to hear the latest news on novel releases and works in progress, visit to subscribe to Michelle’s newsletter.

You can also find Michelle on:

Thank you, Michelle for sharing with us, and best of luck with the debut.

Charlotte Barnes

The last, but certainly not least of our authors this month, Charlotte Barnes share news of her latest books.

When did you start writing, and why?

It feels a bit fanciful to say it, but I feel like I’ve always written. Mum takes great pleasure in rolling out books that were stapled together by yours truly – written and illustrated by my own fair hand too. I remember always loving the telling; to be gifted the experience of hearing a good story. I think that created a real drive in me from quite a young age. I wanted to give something similar to people. I’ve no idea whether I’ve reached that point yet or not, but either way I still feel that drive, to create the feelings, the entertainment, to give people something to take away. Granted, young-Charley wasn’t as big on crime fiction as adult-Charley, but tastes change!

Which do you like to write, series or standalones?  If you write both, what do you find the difference?

I have written both and I’ve loved writing both, so this is a great question! For the series – that is, The Copycat, The Watcher, and The Cutter – I think I created some real ties with those characters, because I came back to them so often. I was invested in what was happening to them, around them, even what might have happened to them off-screen – or rather, in the time between books. Whereas, with a standalone, my works in that area have been, at least to me, much more grizzly. Rather than juggling many characters and caring about them all equally, standalones (especially when they’re written as first-person voices) require a real mental investment to make sure you get the character just so, and that you can hold them that way for the length of your book.

Is there anything you wouldn’t write about?

Not much, but certainly some things. I find it very difficult to read fiction – well, crime fiction, that is – that deals with children, anything below the age of around thirteen. It’s always been a troublesome area for me to navigate as a reader and, because of that, I’m not even sure I could attempt writing about it without pushing my boundaries a little too far. I’ll stick to the other crimes!

Who is your favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

Gillian – and I have to say that because she scares even me! Gillian is the narrative voice in Intention, which is the first psychological thriller I had published with Bloodhound Books. She steers the first novel that I’ve ever really carried through to its end. She’s vicious, unknowingly so, and curious in terrifying ways, and to this day I’m exceptionally proud of things she does, and ways she behaves, in that novel.

Who is your least favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

There is a pesky journalist who crops up for the first time in The Copycat; Heather, her name is. I originally introduced her to be a bit of a pain during an interview, which she was. But then the DI Watton series continued, into The Watcher and The Cutter, and despite my dislike of her I did always find a place for her – to add a bit of drama, I think! Although she always pokes holes in my other characters.

Tell us about your last book…

The Watcher is the middle DI Melanie Watton novel, but it can easily be read as a standalone piece too. A video surfaces in the local area that looks to show a man being murdered. Watton and her team first have to verify the video is what it looks like, then they have to hunt a killer without having a murder, a crime scene, or even a victim.
But when other snuff films start to surface, it becomes clear the killer is more experienced than anyone first thought…

What’s coming next…

The Cutter is the third and final DI Melanie Watton novel, coming on March 15th. In this final book, things get personal. A taxidermist is murdered and his studio robbed of various structures and projects. But soon these stolen items start to appear at other crime scenes – with messages attached.
The team knows that one of them is being targeted. But the who and the why are yet to be discovered…

Anything else you want to share?

The Cutter is one of three novels that I have coming out with Bloodhound Books this year. The other two, though, are standalone psychological thrillers, which I’m very excited about! All I See Is You will arrive in May 2021 and Sincerely, Yours will arrive in September.

Photo credit:
Marcus Mingins

Charlotte ‘Charley’ Barnes is an author and academic from the West Midlands, UK. She is a Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, where she teaches Creative and Professional Writing, and she is also the Director of Sabotage Reviews and the Editor of Dear Reader. Charley writes crime under the name of Charlotte, but also publishes poetry as Charley Barnes.

Thanks Charlotte, lovely to hear from you and best of luck with everything

Well folks, that’s it from the February Blog Run, 28 excellent authors sharing their stories with us. Thanks to each and every one of them and to you for reading.

Graham Smith

Today Graham Smith joins us to talk about his writing and the various guises of his good guys.

What motivates you to write?

I’m motivated to write by the urge to tell my own stories. Although I plot them out in advance I always leave some latitude for developments brought about by the writing process. I just love the whole creative process, from the planning to the plotting out, but most of all I love the thrill of throwing down a first draft and seeing the story I’ve plotted out taking a real shape and form.

Which do you like to write, series or standalones?  If you write both, what do you find the difference?

I enjoy writing a series because I find that I grow fond of my characters, but I have written a standalone that’s with my agent and I found it a very liberating experience to write knowing that the entire story arc is contained in a single novel and that I didn’t have to create plot lines and relationships to be picked up in future novels in the series.

Is there anything you wouldn’t write about?

There are several things I wouldn’t write about. The main ones being genres outside crime and thriller fiction as I don’t read those genres so wouldn’t know how to write in them. When it comes to crime and thrillers, I stay away from horrible topics like child abuse and while I have a wonderful idea for a terrorist plot, I could never write it as I couldn’t bear the idea of it ever falling into the hands of someone callous enough to use it.

Who is your favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

My favourite character changes very much depending on which series I’m working on. As I’m currently writing novels, under the pseudonym of John Ryder, featuring Grant Fletcher, I’d have to say he’s the man of the moment, but if I ever went back to write about Harry Evans, Jake Boulder or Beth Young, then they’d be my pick. Fletcher has his own logical way of seeing the world and he’s a man of action who I can easily put into fights both fist and gun, have doing the improbable and yet still show his battle logic as he’s dodging bullets. He appears in First Shot, Final Second and Third Kill.

Who is your least favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

I don’t tend to have a least favourite character. However, there’s one who stands head and shoulders above all the others as the least likeable. Despite having written about serial killers, murderers and assassins, the character who is the most callous has to be Cameron MacDonald. He’s Jake Boulder’s biological father and appears in Past Echoes. He doesn’t kill anyone, nor does he actively set out to cause trouble, but he somehow finds a way to one create disastrous situation after another with his self-centred behaviour and utter lack of morality. Conversely, I have a special place in my heart for him as he was involved in my favourite ever character kill and he was absolutely fantastic to write, as when I was writing him, I just kept thinking “what’s the worst thing he can do here?” and then have him do it to massive effect.

First Shot
Final Second 
Third Kill (pre-order)
Watching the Bodies
The Kindred Killers

Tell us about your last book…

My last book saw Grant Fletcher travel to Wisconsin to investigate the murder of a farmer’s wife. He ends up on the trail of a deadly serial killer who is targeting farmers for reasons unknown

What’s coming next…

My next release is Third Kill. It’s surprisingly the third book in the Grant Fletcher series and he has to apprehend and neutralise a wraithlike killer who is targeting casino owners in Las Vegas. If I can say so myself without coming across as egotistical, I think it’s one of the fastest-paced novels I’ve ever written.

Anything else you want to share?

Just my thanks to Gail for hosting this and all those who’ve taken the time to read it. Without readers, I’m nothing more than a stenographer for the voices in my head.

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet.
He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder. His ‘Lakes’ series which has three novels featuring DC Beth Young has received much critical acclaim.

Graham also writes as John Ryder, and as John has released, First Shot and Final Second with Third Kill being released in April 2021

Graham can be found at

Thanks Graham, like you I have the terrorist plot I could never put on paper, but who doesn’t?

Tomorrow we’ll be hearing from Chris Lloyd

Caroline England

Today we are joined by the charming Caroline England, the ex-lawyer with more AKAs than you might realise.

When did you start writing, and why?

Though I’d occasionally written a poem or two, I didn’t start writing short stories or novels until about fifteen or so years ago. I had decided to leave my job as a solicitor to be a stay-at-home mum for a while, and as I was winding down my work files, I penned the first few lines of a chick-lit novel at my desk. The protagonist was an unlucky-in-love lawyer! After that I turned to the dark side and began writing what I thought would be classed as ‘contemporary’ fiction, but it turned out to be crime fiction. I guess that’s what happens when you include lies, betrayal, dark secrets and the occasional murder! I still insist that love is at the heart of all my novels, though.

I think the answer to the ‘why’ was twofold. Firstly, I loved doing it and secondly, it satisfied my work ethic and made me feel I was achieving something when my girls were at school.

What motivates you to write?

I really love writing novels and I have had the good fortune of seeing six of them published so far. When everything comes together, it’s such a joy and there’s no buzz like reading a complimentary five star review from a reader who completely ‘gets’ it! I still show them to my hubby and say: ‘Can you believe they are talking about me!’

Which do you like to write, series or standalones?  If you write both, what do you find the difference?

I mostly write standalone psychological thrillers, but I have also written two legal dramas under the pen name Caro Land, Convictions and Confessions, which star my feisty solicitor Natalie Bach. She likes to fight for the underdog, but inevitably gets embroiled in personal, legal and ethical dilemmas. I think Natalie is a brilliant character, and if ever the novels catch on, I’d love to write more. However, I do prefer the standalone in terms of bringing everything to an end for those characters (sometimes brutally!)

Who is your favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

I think it has to be Dan Maloney from My Husband’s Lies. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I put Dan through the emotional wringer in many ways. He’s a really good guy who doesn’t know which choices to make. I think his storyline was one of the things that helped My Husband’s Lies become a top five kindle bestseller!

Who is your least favourite of your characters, why and in which books do they appear?

This is quite a tricky question as few of my characters are plain bad – I like to give them a back story or a childhood to show why they are a flawed individuals. Also, people are not always what they seem in my books, so I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers! It’s also interesting to read people’s take on characters. Betray Her revolves around Jo and Kate who have been friends since childhood. Some readers think one character is good, the other bad; some think they both are bad and others believe they just got caught up in what life had dealt them!

Tell us about your last book…

Betray Her paperback came out during lockdown last year, so I think it is still trying to make itself heard.

As above, we meet best friends Jo and Kate as eight year olds at boarding school, as teenagers and then as adults in the present time. Is their friendship all that it seems? If one of them could have the other’s life, would she? With a man in the mix, who knows!

What’s coming next… 

Truth Games is currently out in ebook and the paperback will be out in June this year.

Ellie Wilson tries hard to be the perfect mother, the perfect partner, the perfect daughter but she never seems to get it right. When Sean Walsh, an old friend from university, re-enters her and Cam’s lives, dark memories from Ellie’s past begin to resurface.

As she starts to unravel some shocking and sinister realities, she realises that she must choose between keeping the family she loves – and facing the truth.

Anything else you want to share?

I now have a second pen name, CE Rose, and I’m delighted to tell everyone that my first gothic-tinged psychological thriller, The House of Hidden Secrets, will be published on the 14th April this year!


Author of Beneath the SkinMy Husband’s LiesBetray Her and Truth Games, Caroline England likes to write multi-layered, dark and edgy ‘domestic suspense’ stories that delve into complicated relationships, secrets, lies, loves and the moral grey area. 

Drawing on her days as a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer, she loves to create ordinary, relatable characters who get caught up in extraordinary situations, pressures, dilemmas or crime. She admits to a slight obsession with the human psyche, what goes on behind closed doors and beneath people’s façades. She also enjoys performing a literary sleight of hand in her novels and hopefully surprising her readers!

Caroline has also written Convictions and Confessions, a legal drama under the pen name Caro Land, and The House of Hidden Secrets under the pen name CE Rose

Thanks so much for joining us Caroline, and best of luck under any name.

Tomorrow we’ll be hearing from Fiona Kleitch