Well, I thought February came and went fairly quickly, but March, even with three extra days, seems to have passed even quicker. Here we are, almost in April and it’s gone back to winter with falling temperatures and a bitter north wind. Despite this, it’s good to see colour coming back into the gardens and blossom everywhere, making a statement and reminding us that the better weather is not far away.
The word count on my WIP has progressed well and I’ve reached 65,000 words. I have a cover organised – a great incentive to get on with the writing – and my editor lined up for May.
This month I also met up with writer Lizzie Lamb, whose contemporary romances feature hot kilted heroes. We had lunch in Bath and it was a lovely opportunity to chat and meet each other for the first time (and hopefully not the last).
Home projects include a new gazebo for the back garden and some tables for the patio. We’re lucky to have a south facing garden which gives us the benefit of sunshine well into late afternoon. Nothing is better than spending time (when not writing) relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book.
So far this year the weather has been very anti-social and my walking has suffered. However, during the last couple of weeks, it seems to have turned a corner and I’ve been able to get out to exercise without the threat of getting caught in a downpour. I hope to build on this during April and get back to a regular five days of walking. With our first holiday on the horizon, I need to get in shape for our visit to the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
And finally, reading. Seven books this month. I’ve reduced the number next month as I really need to push on with writing and meeting that May deadline for editing.
i’m delighted to be part of the above tour for Fair Game, which is the second, gripping novel in the Clifford-Mackenzie Crime Series from the brilliant R.D. Nixon.
BLURB It’s autumn in Abergarry. The nights lengthen and the weather turns and the atmosphere darkens as the community is rocked by a brutal roadside murder: a loan shark’s ‘bag man’, Craig Lumsden, is found bludgeoned to death in his car in the early hours of the morning. The season for murder. The case seems simple enough, and the fingers quickly point to the most obvious suspect. But things are rarely as simple as they seem… A murder that’s too close to home. Too close for comfort, and definitely too close for complacency for private investigators Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie. Delving into the case brings at least one of them face-to-face with danger… will life in Abergarry ever be the same again?
This book is the 2nd in the PI Mackenzie & Maddy series.
It reads well as a standalone, although there were references to book one which made me feel I maybe should have invested some time following Mackenzie and Maddy from the beginning of the series.
The story begins in the 1980s with five friends and a tragic accident. It then moves on twenty years to catch up with these characters and their now grown-up children. A body is found in a car park. An anonymous tip off sends the police to the door of Maddie’s fiancé Gavin, and an arrest is made. But have the police made a serious error of judgement?
All through the book there are many twists and turns and when the murderer is revealed, I really didn’t see it coming.
Set in Scotland it is a well written story with engaging characters and a pace that never lets up. Highly recommended.
My thanks to R D Nixon and Anne at Random Tours for a copy of Fair Game in exchange for an honest review.
Now Read an Extract…
New Year’s Eve, 1987
The downstairs rooms had been opened up, and the hallway of Glenlowrie House transformed into as close to a ballroom as the Wallaces could make it. The wilting Christmas greenery had been thrown out and replaced with fresh, glossy holly, artificially studded with berries where it fell short of perfection. Two enormous Christmas trees, one at either end, twinkled with tiny white lights, and more lights were draped over the stags’ heads that adorned the walls.
The Glenlowrie Hogmanay parties traditionally started in the late afternoon, and it was still early when Mary Wallace signalled for music, rearranged her red tartan sash, and swept everyone away from the dining table and into the makeshift ballroom.
Will Kilbride was around somewhere, but, contrary to his usual attempts to include the relative outsider, Duncan drew only Rob and Sandy into his office and poured them drinks.
‘To absent friends,’ he said, raising his glass. ‘To Mick.’ ‘Mick,’ Rob and Sandy echoed. ‘You’ve forgiven him, then?’ Rob asked after he’d drunk. ‘Nope, he’s made me look a proper fool tonight.’ Duncan shrugged and sighed. ‘Aye, of course I’ve forgiven the annoying little gobshite. He’s still our friend.’
‘I saw him yesterday,’ Sandy put in. ‘Took the boys’ presents over. You know he asked his family to buy him a mobile phone for Christmas? A Cityman 1320, exactly like Will’s.’
‘No!’ Duncan couldn’t help laughing. ‘The only thing that does surprise me is that he didn’t buy it himself.’
‘Probably didn’t want to admit he wanted one,’ Rob said. ‘This way he can deny everything.’
‘Turns out Will was telling the truth about what it cost, too,’ Sandy went on. He put his glass down to dig around in his wallet. ‘He gave me his number, asked me to share it with you.’
‘To do what? Call him and tell him he’s missing the party of the century?’ Duncan shook his head. ‘Serves him right!’
‘It’s not his fault,’ Sandy said, predictably loyal. ‘He’s never missed one before.’
‘And he won’t miss one again,’ Duncan said, with deliberate emphasis.
Rob eyed him suspiciously. ‘Meaning?’
Duncan re-filled his glass, and offered a top-up to the others. ‘Meaning I think we need to teach him a friendly little lesson.’
Rob and Sandy looked at one another, then back at him. ‘Go on,’ Rob said, clearly interested, while Sandy just looked uncomfortable.
‘Is he staying overnight at that shindig he’s gone to?’
‘No, he’s got meetings first thing. He said he’ll be heading back soon after midnight.’
Duncan put down his glass. ‘Right, now don’t go interrupting, just hear me out.’
‘Sounds ominous,’ Sandy murmured.
‘Shut up!’ Rob and Duncan said in unison, but both were smiling.
Sandy grinned and held up his hands. ‘Fine! Stop beating around the bush and get on with it then!’
‘Okay. We’ve all read John Macnab?’
‘Aye,’ Sandy said, but Rob pursed his lips.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
R.D. (Terri) Nixon is a prolific writer, with thirteen books under her belt now. In addition to this crime series, she also writes historical fiction, family sagas and mythical fiction. When she’s not writing, Terri works in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Business at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.