Blog Tour – Creativity Matters by Wendy H Jones

I was lucky enough to meet Wendy a few years ago at the first Bloody Scotland I ever attended. I was impressed right away with the confidence and achievements of the bundle of energy that is Wendy H Jones.

Wendy is the author of the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries and the Cass Claymore Investigates series, she also writes various non-fiction. She has also managed that interesting cross over of writing children’s fiction.

Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion For Writing is part of her Writing Matters series and this one is aimed at readers who want to be writers.


Have you always thought about writing a book but don’t know where to start? Are you an experienced author and want to spread your wings? Are you looking for inspiration for every step in your writing journey? This is a book for everyone who wants to write, whether history or contemporary, science fiction or humour, local fiction or set in a made-up world, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, there’s something here for you. Join thirteen authors as they share their passion for why you should write in their genre and find your own passion as you read.
It’s time for you to spread your wings, follow your dreams and find your passion for writing.

My thoughts

This volume is broken into easy-to-read chunks about writing in different genres and themes. Most of the chapters are written by different authors, those write about their area of specialisation. This book, like many instructional volumes, is one that can be dipped in and out of.

I read the introductions, the final chapters and Wendy’s chapter on writing crime, she wrote other chapters too, but that was the one that attracted me. I also dipped into a couple of other chapters by other authors I don’t know, and they are all ably written and self-contained. To be honest, as an already published author, this didn’t encourage me to write more, it didn’t speak to me personally, but then I’m not the intended audience. If you, or if you have a friend or relative who is unsure about writing, what to write, or even if to write, this book has some interesting points to consider, so as always make sure that the book is right for the reader.


Wendy H Jones is the Amazon #1 international best-selling author of the award winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers’ Choice Award. She is also The President of the Scottish Association of Writers, an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. She is the editor of a Lent Book, published by the Association of Christian Writers and also the editor of the Christmas Anthology from the same publisher. Her first children’s book, Bertie the Buffalo, was released in December 2018. Motivation Matters: Revolutionise Your Writing One Creative Step at a Time, was released in May 2019. The Power of Why: Why 23 Women Took the Leap to Start Their Own Business was released on 29th June, 2020. Marketing Matters: Sell More Books was released on 31st July 2020. Bertie Goes to the Worldwide Games will be released on 5th May, 2020, and the third book in the Fergus and Flora Mysteries will be published in 2021. Her new author membership Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy launched in January 2021. Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing the third book in her Writing Matters Series will be published in September 2021.

TWITTER @WendyHJones

Thanks to Wendy and Reading Between the Lines for including me in this blog tour, and Wendy – all this best with this and every book you publish.

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.

Book Review – Sleepless, Louise Mumford

Back in February I was able to host Louise Mumford in my crime author month, and she introduced us to her novel “Sleepless”. I’m glad to say I have finally got round to reading it.

Here’s my review.

Thea crashes her car, probably due to a microsleep. Thea is a woman who doesn’t sleep much, most of us can relate to that, but for Thea this isn’t a temporary difficulty, it’s a long term, seemingly never-ending situation.  So when she gets a chance to be included on a sleep trial, she jumps at it. It is literally a jump from the frying pan into the fire.
There are lots of wonderful elements in this book, Louise Mumford brings the characters to life in a difficult situation so that even the darkness is readable.  It is an interesting exploration of the way that we convince ourselves that our worries are nothing to worry about, even when they are.

My favourite exchange was:
Thea: The man is a creep. 
Rory: The world is full of them, can’t knee them all in the balls.

Louise – we can try. But honestly, I’d sooner recommend reading “Sleepless”, wonderful book.

Previous interview: Louise Mumford

Booklink: Sleepless

Louise Mumford was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed. Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

In the summer of 2019 Louise was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. She lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.

Book Review – The Devil and The Dark Water

The Devil and the Dark Water: The mind-blowing new murder mystery from the Sunday Times bestselling author (High/Low) by [Stuart Turton]

Though The Devil and The Dark Water is listed as Metaphysical Science Fiction, at it’s heart is a great deal of crime.

This book is as full of ups and downs as the stormy seas it sails into. Arent Hayes is Sammy’s protector, even though Sammy has been accused of a crime, they don’t know what that crime is. Sara is a mother doing little to protect herself, but everything to protect her daughter from her father. Sara endures an uncaring husband intent on torturing her. But there is more to Governor General Jan Haan than there appears. The fact that they are facing a huge voyage from Batavia to Amsterdam is the backdrop for the supernatural events that run through the story. And the supernatural starts before they even step off the dock and onto the boat. On board we gradually learn more of the crew and passengers and how they are all interconnected in unexpected ways. Then the Devil lights a light, and kills – well it would be a spoiler to say what is killed. The Devil, it seems works in mysterious ways.

So does Mr Turton! This is his second book and the second that I’ve read. And the second that I’ve loved.

The characters are full of surprises, but they are well-rounded and real, I found myself loving and hating in equal measure, not to mention, understanding where they were coming from. No one was either the perfect paragon nor the pantomime villain, they were real. This works particularly well as an exploration of what fear and desperation can do to an enclosed group of people.

I worked out one part of the solution, but there was another part that came out of the blue to me, though when looking back over the book, the clues were there, I simply hadn’t see them. I don’t think I wanted to. Through the denouement everything is made sense of, and you look back and think, of course, how did I miss that? Simple – you’d have to be Sherlock Holmes to see it all, and even Samuel Pipps isn’t him. The book also keeps you guessing right up to the last page, the last paragraph even. It was brilliant.

I have to say, I loved this book and can imagine reading it again and getting more out of it the second time around.

Book Review – East of Hounslow

I’m trying to read a wider range of books this year, because, honestly, my reading habits are a bit whiter than white. So I asked for some recommendations, got loads! And the first one I picked up was “East of Hounslow” by Khurrum Rahman.

I had no real idea what to expect with this book, it’s a debut, but the fact that on the front of the copy I have it’s recommended by Ben Aaronovitch helped – am a bit of a fan of the Rivers of London books.

Jay leaps off the page as a real person, some of his exploits and the vision he gives of daily life were surprising and beautiful. What he gets put through in the narrative kept me as a reader hooked and off-balance in the best way possible. All the characters come across as three-dimensional, even the ones you aren’t supposed to like much, yet in many ways, there are no real villains either. Rahman achieves that rarity of helping the reader understand the motivations behind some heinous acts, it doesn’t improve the behaviour, but it makes the reason people would behave that way make more sense.

Jay – or more officially, Javid – walks places in London I do know and they were painted realistically, as were the locations I’m never likely to visit. It was engaging and absorbing.

And oh my God – that ending! Wow.

Have already purchased the second book by this author.

One word of warning through – the print is so small I struggled to read for an length of time in one sitting, I was getting eye strain even with my glasses on (without them I couldn’t read a word).