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Monday, 23 April 2018

It isn't write what you know, it's know what you write! .@rararesources #steamy #novels #thriller #research .@SCCunningham8

S C Cunningham discusses how she researched the steamy
The Penance List

As with many Authors, being observational and asking ‘why?’ is my research. I tend to write what I know; my storylines are mainly founded on real life experiences. For characterisation research I draw on people I know or have closely watched, it’s easier to write from truth. 

I’m in my fifties and luckily have had quite a hectic life (see below). I’ve worked in a few fascinating industries and have gleaned a wide range of characters and scenarios. Living in the very topics you write about, ie as a Police Crime Investigator is research gold.

For finer detailed research, ie blood splatter, gun calibre, psychotic behavioural patterns I read up as I go along. trying not to get too bogged down in detail as it can kill the flow.

My life experience ‘research’ is as follows – am British born of Irish parents, was plonked from the age of 8yrs into an Irish Catholic Nuns Boarding School. After a short spell of studying law (frustrated at lack of justice in our systems) I went on to work as a fashion model, married a rock musician and worked in the music to film industry. Got divorced and then as a single mum worked within football, sports celebrity management, horseracing, children’s charities, and more recently for the Police as a Crime Investigator – Intel Analyst, Major Crime Team, Wanted and Absconder Units.  Oh yes, and somewhere in there I got drunk and married (again) in Vegas (Oops!). Am proud mum to a wonderful daughter (Contemporary Artist) and owned by three dogs.

For the past ten years I’ve been drawing on this natural research resource to write steamy Psychological Thrillers (The David Trilogy) and gritty Paranormal Crime Romance (The Fallen Angel Series).

The Penance List (The David Trilogy) was kick-started by an incident that happened to me in my twenties when I was living in London. Quite frighteningly and out of the blue, I crossed paths with a prolific serial attacker who targeted single girls living alone in basement flats in Notting Hill and Olympia. It was then that I realised evil can sit around any corner - learn to trust your gut.

This male haunted London for a long period of time; he was astute, studied his victims for days and avoided capture. I believe he attacked 14 or so women, luckily I got away unscathed (must have an Angel looking out for me) and managed to help Police ID him with a photo fit. He was a nice looking, well dressed, calm, cold, precise and unhurried. He didn’t say a word, just stared, seeming to revel in the fear he instilled.

I remember looking into his face and asking why? I needed to understand how a human could be that cruel to another. He had the look of a spoilt mother’s boy; I guessed his mother must have loved him at some stage, but what life changing event or who had turned him from a sweet little boy into an evil adult? The seed for complex protagonist David Howard was sown.

Using a mix of my own experiences (boarding schools, models, the press, celebrity management, footballers, London haunts, and fun loving career boy and girl friends) and further study into the psychotic mind, I created David’s fictional world which shines a light on the ripple effect carnage the misuse of power, religion and passion can cause.
The book has been adapted to film script, so we may see David on our screens one day. I loved working on his character so much that I’ve dragged him into The Fallen Angel Series where he causes further chaos in the skies.

The research for the paranormal Fallen Angel Series was based on a kidnap incident I experienced as a child. At 3 or 4 years old I was taken and got away (that Angel again!). The following week another little girl was taken, she didn’t get away. I remember being upset that the nasty man had got away, and said my prayers every night, asking God for a deal – That if I was a good girl, when I die, would he let me sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, and help him get the baddies that slip through his fingers? This wish has stayed with me throughout life, I tend to find myself supporting the underdog, and looking for justice.

The only research for this series is the imagination I had as a child, what I envisaged the place in the clouds to be like. My childhood experience mixed with my crime knowledge and the empowering thought that we’re not alone, creates a fictional fantasy where vigilante Angels dish out tough karma from the skies, protecting the underdog and sorting out the baddies. It’s fun, the angels are feisty, naughty and brave, their work is contemporary and thought provoking.

I guess, in a nutshell, my research has been my life.
Pleased be warned, The Penance List is a sexy thriller, think Psycho meets 50 Shades. It can be a little naughty at times and may not be for everyone. But if you’re brave enough, grab a glass of vino, close the bedroom door and read alone.

Thank you, and remember to follow that gut of yours, it’s the strongest tool in the box.

The Penance List

This one comes with a warning - a steamy suspense-ridden psychological thriller - think Silence of the Lambs meets 50 Shades and hold on tight! S C Cunningham writes with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Grab a glass of wine, close the bedroom door and read alone!

Amazon UK
What happens when opposites attract - when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a gorgeous sexual tour de force - when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge - when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay - when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder... and he's just getting started!

Author Bio –
British Crime Investigator and Crime Writer, Siobhan C Cunningham creates steamy psychological thrillers and kick-ass paranormal romance with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the very industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).
Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker who haunted the streets of London, the seed for The David Trilogy was sown, book one is The Penance List, and has been adapted to film screenplay.
She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and is owned by three dogs.
Social Media Links –
Website   || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram ||LinkedIn || Google+ ||Amazon Author Page                 


Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed Copy of The Penance List (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Friday, 20 April 2018

When your world shatters, how do you put it back together? @rararesources @JuneAConverse #mentalhealth #coverreaveal

Decide to Hope

An unimaginable trauma. A future that seems impossible.
When your world shatters, how do you put it back together?
For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone.

After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother's intent, he discovers Kathleen.

Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?

Cover Reveal
…drum roll...

Pre-order your copy!
Author, June Converse, happily resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia, with her husband, Dave, and their dog, Sodapop.  They have two wonderful adult children and two grandchildren.  She is an enthusiastic exerciser and an accomplished cook.  She and her husband enjoy hiking with Sodapop, traveling, scuba diving, trying new restaurants, concerts, and whatever other adventures they can find.  Reading and a constant desire to learn keeps her busy too. 
A trauma survivor who struggles with mental illness, June is continuously reaching for hope like the characters in her books.  She openly discusses her personal struggles on her blog, JuneConverse.com
Decide to Hope is her first novel and relies a great deal on her own experience with trauma, choices, recovery and hope.  If you’d like to discuss trauma, coping and recovery, contact her at JuneConverse.com or DecideToHope.com

Monday, 2 April 2018

Move over Wonder Woman! A new superhero is in town! #capecrusader #superheroes #comedy #romance .@capesandcorsets .@rararesources



Elle Spellman

One of my favourite aspects of beginning a new writing project is deciding on characters; who they are, what they like, how they act. There's always a whole host of things to consider. When I start writing a new book, I usually have a vague idea of my characters, their personality beginning to shine through as I get down that first chapter, but for me the fun part is delving into their lives and working out just who they are.

In my debut novel She's Bad News, the protagonist is Bella Brown; a twenty-nine-year old aspiring reporter living in the fictional small town of Hartleybourne, UK. Despite her childhood dream of becoming a successful journalist, luck hasn't exactly been on Bella's side, resulting in her still living in her uneventful hometown with a flatmate (albeit her best friend Chloe), and working as an Editorial Administrator (translation: typing up press releases and writing reviews for a 'health' column nobody reads) for the local paper, The Hartleybourne Gazette.

Still, Bella's determined to achieve her dream of being a real reporter, even though her boss, Layla, refuses to take her seriously. However, everything changes when she wakes up one morning to find that she has some amazing new abilities. Super powers, even.

After accidentally catching one of Hartleybourne's well-known vandals, Bella realises that her mysterious new powers have provided her with an opportunity she could once only dream of. Soon Bella's out tracking down local criminals for front-page leads in the Gazette, whilst trying to track down the source of the powers. For someone who's always hated feeling invisible, suddenly invisibility is what she needs the most.  

Bella Brown was one of the most interesting characters I've created. At first, when the initial idea for She's Bad News first entered my head, I knew that I wanted to write a superhero novel. Having been a fan of comic books for years, I wanted to combine my love for the superhero world and women's fiction. The idea for the protagonist just came to me; I saw a female journalist, in a small town. Someone who is perhaps struggling with life, and maybe love, and gets some superpowers thrown into the mix. And so there she was – Bella Brown. 

Of course, this was simply the brief idea. When it came to plotting the novel, there was a lot I needed to think about. Especially since the story involved a superheroine. Bella doesn't simply don a cape and take to the streets to fight crime; she uses the powers to her advantage. Which made me think; is she a heroine, or essentially a villain? Does her slightly selfish streak make her less of a hero? 

One of the main things I wanted to explore with the book was that question that we've all probably pondered at some point. If you had super powers, what would you do? Just like some of us question what we would spend a lottery jackpot on (I do, and I don't even play the lottery). Sometimes it's just fun to wonder.

When thinking about Bella's actions, I had to consider her ambitions. Her likes and ultimately dislikes. What makes her angry, what makes her care. Bella is a caring and determined individual; her life goal was to be an investigative reporter; finding the truth, helping people. Making the world a better place. However, as her dreams seem to have fallen by the wayside over the years, it doesn't take much to convince her that a step up on the career ladder is just what she needs. And if the strange new abilities she possesses can help, then what's wrong with a bit of, ahem, assistance?

The way I see it, Bella is more of an anti-hero. Her desire to do good in the community is always prevalent and has been throughout her life, though her determination can often be a downside to her character, becoming clear later on in the book.

As She's Bad News is a comedy, I wanted to make Bella relatable and fun, someone that I'd personally want to hang out with. Bella leads a relatively normal life; she goes to work, is newly single after a recent breakup. She writes a health and wellbeing column, but barely exercises and has a fondness for biscuits and cheap wine. But she's also strong and persistent. In the beginning, I based her partly on myself and others I knew (she inherited my sarcasm, at least), but by the time I had finished the novel I realised that Bella and I are very different. I could see myself teaming up with her perhaps – but we'd definitely have some disagreements!

During the rewrites, I tried out different 'versions' of the novel; for example, I wrote a couple of versions set in London rather than Hartleybourne, and at one point made the book a bit darker. I liked this new, darker Bella, but at the same time didn't think the change was for the best, preferring the small-town setting and more of a lighter story. Personally? I love the book as it is now, and enjoyed writing Bella Brown and her changes throughout the book, as she went from a seemingly invisible wannabe journalist to an actual superhero that really put her determination to the test.

When reading comics, I love the 'secret identity' aspect of the characters. Seemingly normal, everyday people, anonymous in their big cities, who take on other lives to help save the places and people they love. I really wanted to include this in the novel, and had so much fun with Bella and her (unplanned!) alter-ego.

So far, there are no plans for a sequel as yet, but truthfully? I already have some ideas for a possible second novel. Bella Brown was such an interesting character to write, that perhaps some more adventures in Hartleybourne are in order. At the moment though, other projects are taking over my writing life, but I thoroughly enjoyed working on She's Bad News and could hardly refuse writing more superhero-themed adventures in the future! I'm already missing Bella.

She’s Bad News
What would you do if you woke up with super powers?

For Bella Brown, life hasn't gone according to plan. She's almost thirty, still living in her uneventful hometown, and her dreams of becoming an investigative reporter have fallen by the wayside.

That is, until she wakes up one morning to find she's been gifted with some amazing new abilities. What’s a girl to do with heightened senses, super speed and the ability to lift a truck one-handed? Bella quickly discovers that her new powers can easily help her land front-page leads at local newspaper The Hartleybourne Gazette.

Amazon.UK | Amazon.US 
Soon Bella's out every night chasing down local criminals for stories, while keeping her powers a secret from everyone besides flatmate Chloe.
But when a burglary-gone-wrong accidentally turns her into the mysterious Hartleybourne Heroine, Bella finds herself on the front page for the wrong reasons.
Her secret becomes harder to keep as she tries to track down the source of her powers, and especially when crime reporter Matt Gilmore is intent on unmasking the town's new vigilante...
Suddenly, having an extraordinary life is far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

Elle Spellman is a writer and comic book geek living in Bristol, UK. She's been writing since a very young age, spending her childhood afternoons penning stories about fictional adventures, and illustrating them too.

Now, Elle tends to write contemporary fiction with kick-ass heroines and a little bit of magic. She's Bad News is her debut novel, and she's just finished working on her second. Her other interests include running, wine, red lipstick, the paranormal, and all things Batman.