I’m absolutely delighted to be participating in my first blog tour today for a great new crime fiction release. I’m so glad you stopped by, as not only am I sharing my review for Scared to Death, I’ve also got a Q&A with the author herself – Rachel Amphlett!
So without further ado, I give you: a little bit of background on Rachel, a Q&A and my review, I hope you enjoy…
About the Author:
Before Rachel moved to Australia in 2005, she lived in the UK and helped run a pub, played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
Rachel loves to travel and usually knows where she’s going on holiday two years in advance. To date, she’s visited 15 countries and now has two passports, UK and Australian.
In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, horse-riding, going to the cinema, playing guitar, reading, and writing.
For those who haven’t read Scared to Death yet, can you tell us a little bit about the book and where the idea for it came from?
Thanks for having me here, Janel!
Scared to Death is the first crime thriller in a new series featuring DS Kay Hunter. When we meet Kay for the first time, she’s been put through the wringer both professionally and personally, and is clawing her way back. She’s incredibly resilient, which is just as well because there’s a particularly nasty serial killer on the loose.
Here’s the blurb:
When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.
With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…
Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller from author Rachel Amphlett, in a new series introducing Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…
What’s involved in self-publication, can you tell us a little bit about your journey?
In short, I turned to self-publishing because when I was pitching my first novel around to agents and publishers in 2012, no-one wanted an espionage thriller written by a female author (despite Stella Rimington doing very well in the genre!). I did receive some fantastic feedback from a couple of agents and one of the publishers, who apologised and said although they loved the book, they simply didn’t have a market for it at that time.
I had the idea for the second book in the series going around in my head, and at the same time I got talking with a self-published mystery writer over here in Australia who suggested I follow that route.
I knew absolutely nothing about marketing and promotion though, so it wasn’t until the end of 2014 that I wised up to the fact I’d have to do something if I was going to take this writing malarkey to the next level, and so I paid to have two out of three of my book covers redesigned and re-launched at the beginning of 2015 to make them look more professional, and taught myself everything from search engine optimisation to how to write a proper business and marketing plan. I haven’t looked back since.
I think if you’re willing to run a business, including all the marketing and networking, and work in excess of 14 hour days so you also hit your word count targets, then indie publishing is for you.
It’s a heck of a lot of fun, and I enjoy every minute of it.
Can you tell us anything about book 2, what’s next for Kay Hunter?
Book 2 in the series is scheduled for release in March 2017, and Kay is determined to uncover who is behind the professional vendetta against her as well as working with her team to investigate a savage murder.
I can’t say more than that at the moment without giving too much away, but look out for a cover reveal early in the New Year!
Can you tell us the best and worst thing about being an author?
I sat here for a few minutes and wracked my brains, but I honestly can’t think of anything bad about being an author. I love everything about the publishing world and I’m constantly learning new things, which I particularly enjoy. I wouldn’t change anything right now.
What book, if any, have you read that you wish you had written?
Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re about a Chicago PI who also happens to be a wizard, and there’s a wonderful mix of thrills, fight scenes and humour, as well as having scenes that’ll have you bawling your eyes out. I’d highly recommend all the books, but do read them in order.
Where will you be going on holiday in two years’ time?
In May 2018, I’ll be visiting family and friends in the UK again, which also gives me a chance to refresh my memory about locations I’m using in the Kay Hunter series in between visits to castles and pubs to get my fix in history and proper beer. ☺
I’ll also be back in Bristol for CrimeFest that month – I can’t wait, as I’ll know even more people this time around to catch up with. I’ll probably lose my voice…
I would like to say a massive thank you to Rachel for joining me on the blog today and for providing with me an early copy Scared to Death. You can get social with Rachel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and her website.
If I was giving out book awards today, this book would receive two – firstly for ‘best opening chapter’ and secondly for ‘best last line.’ I can’t share the last line with you, you’ll have to read the book to see why that one made me laugh. But I can talk about the opening paragraph, it’s so thrilling, you can really feel the character’s urgency and you can do nothing but read on, so make sure you’ve got a clear schedule when you start this one!
This is the first book in a new crime series feature ultra likeable DS Kay Hunter, her and the team are after a killer, who at first appears to be kidnapping for ransom but the team soon discover, it’s more than that, this killer is murdering for pleasure. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘scared to death’, how do you catch a killer who is using fear as a weapon and literally scaring his victims to death?
This is a fast, thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable read. The plot well-thought out and gripping, you don’t realise how quickly you’re flying through the pages of this one!
Now, for Kay’s backstory, after previously being brought before the Professional Standards Committee, Kay’s boss, DCI Larch is putting immense pressure on her to solve this case; while Kay is still on the job, the Committee ruling in her favour, she has to deal with the additional pressure of an unsupportive boss, who makes it extremely clear he doesn’t approve of Kay still holding her badge. We also get an insight into Kay’s personal life – her husband Adam is a vet, between her unsociable working hours and him being called away to animal emergencies, they don’t get to spend as much time as they would like together but I really enjoyed their interactions, at times it added lovely elements of humour.
What I particularly liked during this read was the hints Amphlett gave us about what’s to come in book two, and let me tell you, I’m excited for it – the continuing backstory and what I hope will be another chilling and thrilling case.
I highly recommend this book for fans of both crime thrillers and police procedurals.
This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK