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Death at Lovers Leap by Catherine Coles #Review#PublicationDay

    Today I am featuring the third in a cozy crime series by Catherine Coles , The Martha Miller Mysteries . Death at Lovers' Leap is published today, on February 16th by Boldwood Books .You can read my review of the first in the series, Poison at the Village Show   here amd the second, Death at the Country Fair   here .     Westleham Village 1948 As Valentine's Day rolls around, Martha Miller finds herself unusually melancholy at the state of her own love life. With husband Stan still missing and with her growing feelings for Vicar Luke still shrouded in secrecy, there’s only one place Martha can go - famous local beauty spot, Lovers' Leap. Legend has it that those with a broken heart throw themselves off the bridge that spans the river, but Martha is certainly not about to do such a thing! But it looks like someone else has had other ideas…. Because there in the river, Martha finds a body. But is this misadventure, a moment of lovesick madness, or is foul play a

Beyond the Yew Tree by Rachel Walkley #AuthorInterview #Giveaway

Today I am delighted to welcome author Rachel Walkley along to the blog to talk about her novel, Beyond the Yew Tree. I also have a great giveaway for you to enter. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post (International).

Whispers in the courtroom.

Only one juror hears them.

Can Laura unravel the truth by the end of the trial?

In an old courtroom, a hissing voice distracts shy juror, Laura, and at night recurring nightmares transport her to a Victorian gaol and the company of a wretched woman.

Although burdened by her own secret guilt, and struggling to form meaningful relationships, Laura isn’t one to give up easily when faced with an extraordinary situation.

The child-like whispers lead Laura to an old prison graveyard, where she teams up with enthusiastic museum curator, Sean. He believes a missing manuscript is the key to understanding her haunting dreams. But nobody knows if it actually exists.

Laura is confronted with the fate of two people – the man in the dock accused of defrauding a charity for the blind, and the restless spirit of a woman hanged over a century ago for murder. If Sean is the companion she needs in her life, will he believe her when she realises that the two mysteries are converging around a long-forgotten child who only Laura can hear?

Ordinary women.

Extraordinary experiences.

Welcome to Books, Life and Everything. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.

Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer?

I started writing while my kids were young; it filled the time around their needs. I had been working as an information professional for many years in R&D, and at the start of a career break, I decided to do what I’ve always wanted to do since a small child – write a book. Initially I planned to write a crime series, but I put that on hold, and decided to try my hand at more upbeat stories blended with magical elements. This led to The Women of Heachley Hall, my first book.

What is the inspiration behind your latest ghost mystery, Beyond the Yew Tree?

Sitting in an old courtroom during a difficult trial, it struck me how archaic the building was, and not really fit for purpose any longer. You could barely hear the witnesses across the vast expanse, and we jurors were crammed into a tiny box on uncomfortable benches (cushions were provided). It just seemed an ideal environment to conjure up a ghost, especially if that ghost is only affecting one person: a member of the jury.

Without giving the plot away, can you tell us a little about Beyond the Yew Tree?

The main character, Laura, is a somewhat reluctant juror who has no incentive to do anything than what is required – sit and listen. What she doesn’t expect to hear is a child’s voice, especially as the court case is about fraud. The trial, the haunting whispers, then the nightmares that visit her, all seem to link to an executed woman buried in an unmarked grave. The story follows Laura as she tries to unravel the mystery with the help of a museum curator.

Conveniently for me, Lincoln castle has both a courthouse and a graveyard where prisoners were buried, and Laura is stuck in this castle for the duration of the trial. Can she identify the ghostly voice before the trial ends?

How do you plan your different story threads and ensure that they sit properly within the novel?

The best approach is to write sections of each thread, rather than work chronologically, and hope it all fits together, especially if you’re using different voices and points of view in the story. The editor is key to making sure it all fits together. What makes sense in your head isn’t always what the reader is thinking. I had to add a couple of chapters after I finished the original manuscript, which is a challenge for continuity.

Secrets are at the heart of your story. Is there anything you would like to confess which your readers may not know about you?

I don’t think I have any thrilling secrets to unveil!  I have a blog which I write anonymously, not for any particular reason other than it’s nice not to worry about brand or image. I use it to share short stories and flash fiction, and every year during April I participate in the A to Z blogging challenge. Each day I write a post about a theme and use a letter of the alphabet as a starting point. Readers from all round the world take part. In the past I’ve done gardens, castles, and cathedrals. This year it’s the history of British theatres (I like to focus on the buildings and the people involved with their creation).

What do you like to read when you are not writing?

I’m eclectic in my tastes and move around genres. I’ve always enjoyed procedural crime stories, and in recent years I’ve discovered Spanish authors (translated, naturally), including Carlos Ruiz Zafon who writes magical realism books like me.

Do you have 3 words which sum up Beyond the Yew Tree
Women’s extraordinary lives

Thank you for joining us today, Rachel and good luck with your book!

About the Author

Aspiring writer who pens Women's Fiction and magical tales about family secrets.

What else?

An East Anglian turned Northerner - almost.

Information professional, always.

Biologist, in my memories.

Archivist, when required.

Amateur pianist and flautist.

Reluctant gardener.

Scribbler of pictures.

And forever.... a mother and wife.

Oh, not forgetting, cat lover!

You can follow Rachel here: Goodreads   |  Twitter   |   Facebook
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Book links:    Amazon UK  |  Amazon US   |  Goodreads

Thanks to Rachel Walkley and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for the interview and a place on the tour.  

Check out these great bloggers!


Giveaway (International)

To win one copy of The Last Thing She Said or The Woman of Heachley Hall (Open INT) just follow the link below and good luck!

             If the winner is in the UK then it will be a print copy, otherwise International winner is e-book. 

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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for the interview and sharing my book. I'm delighted to be with you today.


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