RELEASED TODAY: “The Body In The Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery” #NewRelease #MurderMystery #CozyMystery

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

body-in-the-snow-kindle-cover#NEWRELEASE FROM CHRISTOPH FISCHER

I’m very pleased to announce the final release of: The Body in the Snow.

The Body in the Snow is a delightful romp through snow drifts, candle light, nosy neighbors, and fading singers as Bebe Bollinger drinks her way to solving a mystery and discovers her way back to her daughter and her career. I loved how he used the event of a massive snowstorm to hold neighbors captive and to keep other things from moving forward throughout the story.

While there is laughter, there’s also pathos in the characters and certain universal threads through them all. From the couple in a dysfunctional marriage filled with jealousy and rage to the lonely divorcee only wanting a friend, there’s a glimpse into the humanity of us all. The detective off her game is revived by the sometimes ridiculous yet irrepressible Bebe who may not always do the right thing, yet somehow finds a way to right her wrongs.

It’s a fun read. I almost didn’t want the mystery part solved because that would mean the characters would leave me! Here’s hoping there’s more to come from these unforgettable and all too human folks created by the talented Christoph Fischer.”

You can find me today at the Tenby Book Fair with the book 

Between 11am and 3pm at the Church House , St Mary’s Church14379696_10153658908962132_3756253075510440550_oimg_8322-xl

| Judith Barrow on WordPress.com

Meet me today in Tenby at the Tenby Book Fair 11am – 3pm

Source: | Judith Barrow on WordPress.com

 

Tenby Arts Festival 2016: Day One: Saturday 24th

Posted on September 5, 2016
Tenby-Arts-Festival-logo (2)

As usual our Book Fair is part of the Tenby Arts Festival . We’re at Church House between 11am – 3pm and it’s free to come in and chat with all the authors and publishers.

c392a-tenby2bheader

Here’s our line up :

Authors

Authors and Publishers who will be at the 2016 Tenby Book Fair

Authors of all genres will be present:

Children’s & Young Adult Angela Fish, Sharon Marie Jones, Colin R Parsons, Lisa Shambrook, David Thorpe, Sharon Tregenza, Wendy White, Eloise Williams
General Fiction Judith Barrow, Christoph Fischer, Carol Lovekin, Julie McGowan, Thorne Moore, Lisa Shambrook
Romance Judith Barrow, Juliet Greenwood, Julie McGowan
Historical Judith Arnopp, Judith Barrow, Christoph Fischer, Juliet Greenwood, Jo Hammond, Alex Martin, Julia McGowan, Thorne Moore, Tony Riches, Graham Watkins
Sagas Judith Barrow, Alex Martin
Thrillers Christoph Fischer, Matt Johnson, Alex Martin, John Nicholl, Sally Spedding, Nigel Williams.
Crime Judith Barrow, Matt Johnson, Alex Martin, Thorne Moore, Sally Spedding, Nigel Williams
Science Fiction & Fantasy David Thorpe, Colin R Parsons, Wendy Steel, Graham Watkins
Magical & Paranormal Carol Lovekin, Colin R Parsons
Short Stories Phil Carradice, Julie McGowan, Kathy Miles, Wendy Steel
Poetry Phil Carradice, Kathy Miles.
Biographical & memoirs Sarah Jane Butfield, Jo Hammond
Non-Fiction Phil Carradice, Jo Hammond, Wendy Steel, David Thorpe, Graham Watkins.
And here are the interviews of everyone involved:

Thorne Moore: http://bit.ly/1P6zDQh Matt Johnson:http://bit.ly/1RUqJFg , Christoph Fischer: http://bit.ly/1svniAr , Sally Spedding: http://bit.ly/1VNRQci, Wendy Steele: http://bit.ly/1PMoF8i ,Kathy MIles: http://bit.ly/1twN3Bg , Graham Watkins: http://bit.ly/2aEgwRv , Carol Lovekin:http://bit.ly/1Y2z6HT, Colin R Parsons:http://bit.ly/1tvBc5G , Lisa Shambrook: http://bit.ly/28NMI5v: ,Alex Martin: http://bit.ly/28VLsQG , Judith Arnopp: http://bit.ly/290cJMl , Sharon Tregenza:http://bit.ly/29frGPq Juliet Greenwood:http://bit.ly/29jylrM , Nigel Williams:http://bit.ly/29racfO , Julie McGowan:http://bit.ly/29CHNa9 , John Nicholl:http://bit.ly/29NtdtX ,Tony Riches: http://bit.ly/29y3a8k: ,Wendy White: http://bit.ly/29TMCpY ,Angela Fish:http://bit.ly/2a5qY2U David Thorpe:http://bit.ly/2a9uG0V , Eloise William:http://bit.ly/2aoZk1k , Phil Carradice: http://bit.ly/2aYINV5 , Jo Haammond:http://bit.ly/2b7nMqf , Sharon Jones: http://bit.ly/2bhZ9sa and Judith barrow: .http://bit.ly/2cTviGV

Together with:

Honno/HonnoPress: http://bit.ly/2cfHkvO ,

FireflyPress: http://www.fireflypress.co.uk/

Cambria Publishing Co-operative: Cambria Publishing Co-operative

Showboat tv will be there to video the event http://showboat.tv/

Events

Events to be held at the 2016 Tenby Book Fair, 24th September

Revised
Some talks, readings, Q&A sessions will be held in an adjoining room at the fair. Numbers will be limited, so it is advisable to reserve a place in advance. There is no charge.
CONTACT US NOW TO RESERVE A PLACE.
11:00 Cambria Publishing Co-operative will be giving a talk and taking questions about the services and assistance they offer to independent authors.
11:30 Poet Kathy Miles will be giving a reading of some of her work.
12:00 Firefly Press will be talking about publishing children’s books and what they look for in submissions.
12:30 Prizes for the short story competitions will be presented in the main hall – no booking necessary.
1:30 Colin Parsons, children’s writer, talks about his popular work
2:00 Honno Welsh Women’s Press will be talking about their work, publishing contemporary novelists, anthologies and classics, and discussing what they look for in submissions.
2:30 Matt Johnson, thriller writer and ex-policeman, talks about his work and experiences.
2:55 Main hall (no booking required): raffle prizes.
RESERVE A PLACE AT YOUR CHOSEN TALK NOW.

Presentations for the Tenby Book Fair Writing Competitions will take place at 12.30 on Saturday, 24th September 2016
Results of the writing Competitions

Children’s Competition.

FOR ENTRANTS AGED 7 – 12, AN ESSAY (ONE PAGE) ENTITLED: MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER.
COLLECTIONS OF BOOKS ARE VERY GENEROUSLY BEING DONATED AS PRIZES BY FIREFLY PRESS.
First category

1st Prize: Leo Robertson

2nd Prize: Olivia Robertson

3rd Prize: Libby James

Second category

1st Prize William Russell

2nd Prize Darcy Conbeer

3rd prize Zihan Lin

Congratulations to all the winners. And thank you to everyone who entered the competition. There were a many entries and the standard was excellent. The judges had great difficulty coming to their decisions.
Young Adult Flash Fiction Competition

FOR ENTRANTS AGED 12 – 18, A 100 WORD CREEPY TALE.
First Prize £15 book token. 2 runners-up: £5 book token.

Prizes sponsored by Cambria Publishing Co-operative
1st Prize: Gracie Ardolino

2nd Prize: Catrin Lawrence
3rd Prize: Zack Spencer
Congratulations to these three winners. There were some very Creepy Tales indeed. I think the judges had nightmares after reading some of these!

Short Story Competition

FOR ENTRANTS 18 AND OVER: A SHORT STORY, “THE BAG LADY.”
First Prize £25 Second prize £10 Third Prize £5.
The prizes are donated by Cambria Publishing Co-operative
1st Prize: James Purchase
2nd Prize: Eloise De Sousa
Joint 3rd Prize: Keith Bell & Wybert Bendall
There were a great many excellent entries in this category and some interesting and innovative slants on the title. I am told it was a difficult choice.
As well as receiving their prizes on the day the winners will have their stories published on the Tenby Book Fair website
TenbybeachB

TAF vs

efdc4-firefly2bvsmallacf5e-cambria2bvsmall

showboat vsmall (1)

Link: http://tenbybookfair.blogspot.co.uk/

Read the first chapter of “The Body In The Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)”

To whet your appetite for the official launch day tomorrow, here is an excerpt from the first chapter of “The Body In The Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)”

body-in-the-snow-kindle-cover

 

“…and now for the weather: In the West and North of Britain we are currently seeing the worst snow falls in over twenty years. All roads and motorways have been closed.  Road services are working around the clock to restore normal transport conditions but with so many areas affected it will mean that some communities will be isolated for some time to come.

Most airports and railway stations are closed, too. Please check with your local news and council websites for exact details. People are advised to stay indoors and make only essential trips while the snow is still falling so heavily. Please remember to stay safe.

In other news, Cheryl Cole has been replaced on the X Factor panel by Bebe Bollinger. The industry is in shock over this surprise choice, apparently this is Simon Cowell’s dream cast ever since the beginning of the show. Younger people may not be aware of Bollinger’s singing career in the 1980s but the move is rumoured to be part of a wider comeback plan of the retired singer…

Bebe Bollinger was torn from her magic dream by the piercing sound of her alarm clock. She swiftly switched the thing off and rolled back on her pillow, smiling and indulging herself for a few more moments at the idea of a return to the limelight. The mere thought gave her a surge of energy, she bounded out of bed and her knees immediately let her know that bounding was now not a good idea. “Dreams can come true,” she hummed as she paraded through her bedroom. As she pulled back the curtains she saw that at least one part of her newsflash dream had come true: she looked with amazement at the snow-covered landscape. It was just as the announcer in her dream had foretold. She could hardly even make out her car beneath the huge amounts of snow. Trees, bushes and fields were all only vaguely distinguishable, and the snow kept falling in heavy flurries.images-7

For more than twenty four years Bebe had lived in the hamlet of Llangurrey and not once had there been bad weather like this – there had to be at least a metre. Everything had turned into a winter wonderland, but as beautiful as it looked, there were practicalities to be considered. She and her neighbours were cut-off from the world. With snow this high, no regular car would be able to drive the few miles to the main road, and it was too far to walk to the rest of civilisation.

There had been weather warnings on the radio, but Bebe had heard such grim predictions many times in the past and nothing had ever come of them. Only the day before, the teller at her bank had told her that it might be as severe as the winters of 1947 and 1963. She had gasped at the impertinence of the woman for implying that Bebe should have first-hand knowledge of those years. Yes, she had been around in ‘63 but liked to pretend that she was younger than she was. Anyway, for Llangurrey such conditions were totally unheard of. No one could blame her for being surprised that this time the weathermen had actually been right.

The phone rang. Bebe sighed. This had to be Bryn, her hairdresser, to cancel their appointment. He was one of her biggest admirers. Not in a sexual way, Bryn was gay as the proverbial goose although he still pretended to be in the closet at the age of 65. He was an incredibly talented stylist, though.

“Yes,” she said abruptly into the receiver, trying to sound busy.

“Bebe my darling, please tell me that you’re alright,” Bryn sang into the phone. “My sister said that the road to Llangurrey is completely snowed in. I take it our hair session today won’t be happening if that’s the case. How will you cope?”images-8

“Bryn I’ll be just fine,” she said. “Don’t worry about my hair. I’m not likely to see anyone until this snow is gone. I might as well look scruffy, nobody will care.”

“That is exactly the moment when some paparazzo will get you and write a nasty ‘where-are-they-now-article’ about the retired singing legend Bebe in the gossip magazines,” Bryn said. “And people will think like that it was all my doing.”

Bebe rolled her eyes. Bryn was such a drama queen.

“Tell me, do you have enough food for a few days?” he asked, his voice panicked.

“Of course I have darling, please don’t worry,” she reassured him. “There is plenty in the freezer, and a little diet will do me good, if the worst should happen and I’m stuck for longer.”

“But there is nothing of you,” Bryn said.

Bebe perked up at the compliment.

“Sweetheart, I need to go,” she said, wishing to examine the situation outside first hand. “I’ve literally just woken up.”

“No problem Bebe. Look after yourself and call me if there is anything I can do,” he said.

“Thank you. I promise I will.”

She hung up. Bebe had to come to rely on Bryn over the years for a weekly ego boost, but wouldn’t dream of relying on him for anything else. He was good for make-up advice and for sourcing the right chemical peels, but he would be the last person capable of rescuing her from the snow.

If she had known that this amount of snowfall was a real possibility then she would have joined the panic buyers at the supermarkets and petrol stations over the past few days. After the incident with the bank teller, she had walked the aisles of the local superstore and had been disgusted by the scramble for goods. Manic people were pushing in her way, rushing from shelf to shelf and taking as much as they could get their unwashed hands on, probably without even knowing if they needed it or not.

 

Bebe refused to be seen pushing towards the emptying shelves. She only bought a few essentials and left as soon as she could get out via the self-service check-out. Having to scan her own shopping was a little beneath her but on a day like this she really did not want to speak to anyone.

Now that she was actually snowed in, it looked as if she would be stuck with the little provisions she had brought home that day. Bebe’s larder was filled with snacks, so she wouldn’t starve, although theoretically she had planned to go on a diet in the New Year − always ready for that return to the musical stage – she had just not got around to starting it yet.js54813892

Llangurrey consisted of an old abandoned farm and three country cottages, tucked away in a small valley, several miles away from the nearest town. Fields and a little stream acted as natural borders and a narrow country lane ran through the hamlet, rather close to the houses. Petite front gardens served as buffers from what little traffic that passed.

 

From her window she could see that her neighbour Ian had already tried to get out of the hamlet with his car. His Rover had been meticulously freed from snow and ice. Bebe could make out tyre imprints that showed he had attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to make his way through the meter-high drifts. If he with his superior car and driving skills had failed then there was no hope for Bebe. Her brand new Nissan might look like a 4×4, but it was of no use in this weather.

She almost rejoiced in the drama of her situation. Without even noticing she started to hum the theme of Love Story, which had also had such a beautiful winter setting in the film. Only when she started to lilt the words “Where do I begin?” did she remember that Shirley Bassey and Nana Mouskouri had both covered the Andy Williams song and that was enough to stop her in her tracks. A wave of envy rushed over her: Those two women had managed to make it big in a small market that should have belonged exclusively to Bebe.

She decided to go outside and examine the situation first hand. She put on her big mink coat, her Russian-style hat, also made of fur, and the warm leather winter boots. She adored the look. In her mind it was the perfect cross of Dr Zhivago and Sex and The City and she looked herself up and down in the mirror before making for the door. A former publicist had been so bold as to call it the ‘Babooshka’ look. Bebe found the word distasteful. It rang too much of Kate Bush, another musician whose guts she hated, and because the remark put her prematurely in the casting category of older women and mothers. It was no wonder she let said publicist go.

Bebe stepped outside her front door. She felt clumsy and unwieldy in the winter clothes. Since she was neither tall nor slim she feared that, despite the glamour factor, these big coats might also give her a square and disadvantageous figure, even though Bryn assured her that it was not the case.

Wrinkles could be painted and operated away and hair could be bleached, but few fabrics and styles could cover up the results of comfort eating.

The truth was that Bebe was far from being fat. At close to sixty she was entitled to a little bit of extra weight. For someone with such a dislike for physical activity she had a fantastic body. With the right dress her large chest could distract from her expanding belly and her bottom could pass as curvy and voluptuous. Or so she told herself successfully on a good day, and Bryn said so every time they met.

She studied the snow-bound hamlet: only a snowplough could free them from isolation. Given that there were so few inhabitants along this insignificant loop of a lane, Bebe knew they would not be a priority on the council’s list of rescue missions.

As she stood outside her cottage she heard a door open nearby. Bebe turned as quickly as she could on the icy ground without losing her balance and hurried towards her house. She was not in the market for pleasantries, nor interested in other people’s stories, yet didn’t want to appear rude or ignorant.

As she turned around to close the door behind her, she could just about make out Dora standing in her garden only wearing winter boots and a pink morning gown. What on earth was this woman doing outside dressed so sparsely? She must be catching her death, never mind about the rudeness of it.

 

The Body in the Snow” is now available as e-book on Amazon on pre-order via these links:

http://smarturl.it/BodyInTheSnowBB

http://bookShow.me/B01LVYRI9Lbody-in-the-snow-twitter-banner-preorder

For those who can’t wait, I have some ARC copies to give out.

THE BODY IN THE SNOW – A BEBE BOLLINGER MURDER MYSTERY:

Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens.
Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap. 

Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback?  All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.

Bebe 1

IMG_8322-XL

Picture courtesy of Neil Deardon @Manchester Author Event 2016

Eden’s Exchange talks to author Chris Rose (@WritingOnaCloud)

Author Chris Rose and I have crossed paths on several writers’ groups, and I’m happy to finally have him on my blog. He has a sense of humor, and I think you will enjoy his interview. P…

Source: Eden’s Exchange talks to author Chris Rose (@WritingOnaCloud)

Author Chris Rose and I have crossed paths on several writers’ groups, and I’m happy to finally have him on my blog.

He has a sense of humor, and I think you will enjoy his interview. Please learn more about Chris and all he has to offer.

* * * *

Welcome Chris! Let’s start with a personal question. How would your best friend describe you in 20 words or less?

Shy & outgoing. Black and white. Yin and Yang. And on it goes. But passionate always. Oh, and charming (cough).

Sweet. Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? 

I’m a translator, for now, which, ideally, when the good work’s there, is much the same as writing – it is, indeed, re-writing, rather like editing someone else’s work – so I flit between the two, theirs, mine, theirs, mine…

Sounds like great work for a writer. What part of the world do you live in? 

I live in Norfolk now, Norwich, Europe’s centre of all things literary, and I LOVE it! For its sense of community; for its beautiful coastline, and for all its many cultural and historical aspects.

What is your biggest extravagance?

My clothes. I’ve always been a bit of a dandy.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Well, I’ve recently read a quote by Helen Mirren, at 70, where she says that if she could go back and advise her younger self about how to deal with people, day to day, there would be many more ‘Fuck offs’ in there. I was brought up to employ the old stiff upper lip, and to not let the bastards see they were grinding me down, and to get through matters on wit. Which isn’t the way to go about things.

Helen Mirren is wickedly beautiful and I love her. What profession other than your own would you like to try?

Be a member of the S.A.S, anything that makes me feel alive. May sound silly to compare the two but that’s why I do theatre.

What is one thing you want to do before you die?

Other than indulge in quite a number of sexual fantasies, all involving willing participants, I’d say get my Italian up there with my French and Spanish.

It’s wonderful to know many languages. Do you have favorite curse words, in English or any other language?

If they can be classed as curse words this day and age, I love the old British working class ‘bleedin’’ this and that – ‘Shut up, ya silly bleeder!’ That kind of stuff, very dry and genuine. But I tend to swear in French most of the time, and so get away with it now: you know, like, ‘Putain de bordel de merde !’ I say get away with it, but I can get caught out sometimes.

How about a motto you live by?

I have so many, as trite as they sometimes sound, but I think ‘Nothing ventured’ holds very true.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

My good lady and kids aside, my having become tri-lingual to native level in French and Spanish, having started late on in life, from scratch. It’s what seems to impress people, although I never initiate the question; it’s always due to their curiosity, no cats involved.

🙂 What makes you REALLY laugh?

Wow, where to start! Nothing too intellectual, and it always tends to be quite visual; and it’s something that can catch me completely off guard, all very reactionary and natural. Very basic.

Let’s learn more about the writer in you, Chris.  Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Memory, mainly, I have quite a vivid memory. It’s strange, but I think somewhere, deep down, I always knew I’d become a writer, and it’s as if I’d subconsciously record stuff, from situations right down to something somebody said. And I can go back decades on those alone.

And then there are books I’ve read of course.

What motivates you to write?

The previous question, I think. It’s a need to purge, like most writers, I imagine.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-4-43-13-pmWhat is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?

To write for me, not some 23 year old agent. Or publisher. Hence why I love the route I’ve taken and wouldn’t change it.

Name a few of your favorite authors and books, and why you like them.

The question I feared. Albert Camus. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Truman Capote. Kurt Vonnegut. Christianne Rochefort… I could go on, and on.

Yes, it’s always hard to choose just a few. How do you market yourself?

Twitter and Facebook, generally. I mean to do more by putting myself about with the paperbacks, but life keeps getting in the way.

Do you do much research for your books?

Very little. I write about what I know about. Based on what I like to read personally. I’ve yet to attempt some new area.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a writer?

I love the editing part, it’s what I call the real writing, even when it means deleting chunks of text; in fact, I love that part most, clearing away the debris.

The least favourite is the few days after a book has come to completion, and I feel a little lost.

I can relate to that. It’s the anti-climax. Define your style of writing.

Different. Original… hopefully. But to place it somewhere I’d go for poetic prose.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-4-42-48-pmIs it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?

Fantastic question. The title of a book works as a wonderful catalyst for me. I base a book around it. For the ending, no, that just writes itself… as long as it isn’t a happy one, I don’t like those.

Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

The second option. Or rather I sit down and bleed😉

So true! Do you have a set schedule for writing? 

Not really. Whenever it’s quiet, mainly. And if the muse isn’t there, I don’t. No rush.

What is your best advice for new authors?

Be you. There’s room for us all. And read when you can.

What are some of your “must-have” tools for writing? 

A thesaurus – sometimes, that is; I don’t like repeating words when I can help it. And my guitar.

Ah, a musician, nice. What is the name and genre of your latest book?

The latest is called Nancy Boy: for one year only…

Although genre is always a tough one with me. Let’s call it ‘contemporary, introspective, family drama, and romance – there are many more, I’m sure, I like to give value for money (cough).

Yes you do! Let’s  learn more about the book.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-4-44-17-pm

Buy link: Amazon

Nancy Boy: for one year only…

It’s a time of great social and political upheaval – industrial disputes… and… hang on, that was the last book, Wood, Talc and Mr. J, which I hope you’ve read; it might help keep you in the loop. This time the upheaval’s personal; less a “Britain on the brink” for more our protagonist being on it, the brink, on Britain’s brink, heading outwards, over the water by way of the odd blunder.

You’ve got it, Phillip Rowlings is back, all grown up (cough…)

A new dawn approaches – “the real out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new,”deems Emmaline; “the shedding of crinkly baggage.” What with a tired and tested Conservative party spiralling downward, and the emergence of a New Labour drawing near, the writing is on the wall; things, as they’d in time say, could only get better. And how better might Britain these “things” than by her ever innovative, her unique, musical sons! Oasis? Blur? The ’80s are gone and good riddance to them, that’s what Phillip thinks!

Or he would, were he to think at all…

He couldn’t give a garlic snail about emerging British dawns; he wants out. And has invested years applying himself to that end – he’s heard the call, you see. Or rather, the calls, conveyed by T.Rex’s Marc Bolan, and Blind Date’s Cilla Black. And if you think that’s weird, how might they inspire our ex-Soul rebel-without-a-clue to… become a Nancy Boy,for the one year only?

France. 1994-’95.

Phillip no longer sees life in black and white, for blue, white, and red, perfect symmetry, height, width. And it all looks lovely on the brochure. Save that – hélas – he’s never been skilled in the shedding of crinkly baggage.

Still, he will encounter the unforeseen, as you do when things come… unforeseen. Poor Phillip, somebody once said. Well, maybe this time it’s more a case of lucky Phillip. Maybe.

Cigarettes are cheaper in France, too.

But let’s get one thing clear from the outset – dès le départ, as they say in the old hexagon. This isn’t A Year in Provence…

Why should people read Nancy Boy?

Because I like to face taboo issues. Or maybe issues people don’t even think to write about, hopefully. They can then, perhaps, find themselves in my books.

How long did it take for you to write it?

Off and on, about two years – with quite a few offs.

What inspired you to write it?

Memory, unresolved issues?

How are you marketing Nancy Boy?

More of the above, really. Which is quite difficult in a paranormal romance dominated world. But as long as someone reads it, I don’t mind… (sniff).

How did you celebrate when you finished the book?

I stopped drinking. I tend to celebrate during.

Ha! Okay. What has the reception been to it?

Great. Initially. And then zilch. Which at least goes to show I have a fan out there (another sniff).

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing Nancy Boy?

Again, self-belief. And it’s a great feeling.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

Its originality.

What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

That detailed (5 star, cough) review.

What is next for you, Chris?

I’m hoping to write a number of flash fiction stories, perhaps based around the same novel.

Excellent, let’s finish with a fun lightning round!

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My cashmere coat.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? I love Cortona, in Tuscany. But I guess my heart will always be in France.

Name a food you can eat every day. Eggs.

Salty or sweet? I swing both ways.

Coffee or tea or something else? COFFEE !!

Cat/dog/other pet? Hamster.

Favorite style of music? Why, Soul music, sista !!

The best gift you’ve ever received? A boy and a girl.

Your most guilty pleasure. Chocolate and banana crèpes – that’s when I’m anybody’s…

Favorite season. Autumn.

Name something you cannot go a day without. A cuddle… (please!)

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

YES. PLEASE BUY MY BOOKS & I LOVE YOU ALL !!!!!

Ps: sorry, but my original website no longer exists (long story, & one I’ll no doubt write about in 20 years or so), so what you have at the moment are the splutterings of a new and basic blog. But just you wait, folks !!

Got it! Thanks again for sharing of yourself with my readers, Chris. It’s been a pleasure to learn more about you.

* * * *

Connect to Chris

chris-roseWebsite | Linkedin | Google +

Facebook | Twitter: @WritingOnACloud

Born and bred in the city of steel: Sheffield.

Spent – or misspent, whichever your viewpoint – the majority of his ‘young’ years on the Northern Soul circuit. It’s around this time and place that his novel is set – ‘Wood, Talc and Mr. J : We never had it so good’, which is the 1st in the ‘The Rowlings Years’ series.

His academic education came much later, from scratch, in a sense.

In time, he fell in love with the idea of languages, French in particular, and went on to get a BA Hons in French Language and Literature with subsidiary Spanish, at The University of Sheffield. He was a ‘mature student’, though maybe not as mature as he would like to think, looking back…

After which, he moved down south – mid 90s – and eventually further still to the South of France for a few years, where he taught English. He then moved up to northern France to do much the same thing.

But it was here where he also began to write, or experiment with writing.

He came back to England in the mid-00s and lived in North London for five years, teaching and writing again.

And for the last four or five years, he’s lived in Norwich, where he’s completed a Masters in Literary Translation, at the UEA – he likes to believe he’s most definitely mature now!

He’s now working his way toward making a living by writing, with a little translation on the side…

He tends to be picky about books, and take his time reading them; he expects each word to count; something he can go back to, read again – and again. Things witty, satirical, poetic… Moving. Favourite writers of late? Maybe Markas Zusak. Anna Funder, her ‘All That I Am’. Actually, he’s only just discovered Kurt Vonnegut, and read ‘The Slaughterhouse Five’.

Soulful writers, and their soulful things. And maybe he tries to emulate them.

Same goes for his taste in films, music… and people

**

Introducing Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper from my #cozymystery “The Body In The Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)”

body-in-the-snow-kindle-coverOnly two more days before “The Body in the Snow” can be delivered to your kindle.

Since my main character Bebe Bollinger is first and foremost a singer and only gets involved into the investigation reluctantly, I had to give her a professional side-kick.

So please meet Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper in this excerpt when she first appears in the novel:

Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper was in a foul mood. Working weekends didn’t agree with her, and things weren’t helped when she spilled a water bottle on herself as she tried to switch off her iPhone alarm.  The sound of Bob Geldof singing I Don’t Like Mondays filled the room.  Lately, every day felt like Monday morning for Beth. Today she was hungover and damn tired.

The bottle of water next to her bed had been to help detox her but she had forgotten to put the lid back on. Probably too tipsy to bother with it last night . . . She dried herself with the sheet and looked at her Buddha statue. There’d be no chanting this morning. Loving kindness and forgiveness were not coming naturally to her right now. Since she had been dumped a few weeks’ back she had been in a bad state and spiritual ambitions had given way to bottled spirits and nights out in town. Why had she allowed herself to be led astray yet again? she lamented. Her body craved a greasy breakfast, not Bircher muesli, and she longed for a cigarette, a habit she only recently had beaten for good.

The first one of the day was the one she missed the most. No other cigarette ever gave her quite the same rush. Unlike the straight-A students in her school, from an early age onwards, Beth saw herself more like as a society’s misunderstood and stigmatised outsider and smoking befitted that image. Her decision to join the police force raised a few eyebrows.

Poacher turned gamekeeper was how her friends described it.

She ended up a Detective Sergeant for the murder squad in Cardiff.

Now at the wrong side of thirty – or teetering on the abyss of forty to be more precise – the rebel in her was still alive, albeit less active and noticeable. Going to the local Buddhist centre and living healthily wasn’t the panacea she had hoped it would be.

She slipped out of bed and grimaced as she stepped barefoot on her jumper, also wet from the water spillage. She ignored her pressing bladder and put the kettle on to be one step closer to that much-needed caffeine fix. As she entered the kitchen she saw that there were several mugs on the table. Fred (nee Fredericka) her ex-lover and now ‘friend and flat mate’, must have had another book group meeting yesterday. Surprise, surprise: There was no coffee left.

Her only choice was herbal tea.  Ill-tempered, she assembled the progress report on her current case files that she’d have to present later in the day. Her case had been stagnating for a long time and she knew a scheduled early morning meeting with her boss, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Warwick, would be a rough telling off.

She had a quick shower. Once she had dried herself she glanced in the mirror. Her dark short curly hair was just on the verge of turning into something longer and more difficult to manage. A quick dab of gel took care of that though. Who needed expensive trips to the hairdresser? She preferred to just slick it back and be done with the issue for the rest of the day, but it was exactly this lack of vanity that got her under constant fire from her friends and family – let alone her boss.

“Why are you going out of your way to make yourself ugly?” was her mother’s favourite line. “You’ve got a beautiful figure, curvy and all, you should be showing it off, not hiding it behind baggy jumpers and tucking it away in those horrible jeans. You’ll end up an old spinster!”

Beth rolled her eyes just thinking of those words. She, too, wanted to be sexy and admired but not in the same way and certainly not by the type of men that her mother regularly tried to set her up with. The fact was Beth was gay and, for the entire 16 years that had passed since she had come out, her stubborn mother had insisted on trying to find the ‘right one to put an end to that adolescence phase’.

Beth made herself put on a dress, tights and high heels. She was going to be scrutinised for her incompetence by her choleric boss and hoped this would lessen his anger. Her dressing up was in a sense an admission of guilt if ever there was one.

She liked what she saw in the mirror. Maybe her skin was a little worse for wear and her complexion paler than could be thought of as healthy. Some make-up covered the paleness, but a critical eye could still detect the signs of nicotine and vodka abuse. She sighed.

“All right!” she said to herself in the mirror. “Let’s see if we can pull this off.” She put on extra lipstick, grabbed the large leather handbag her mother had given her on her last birthday and wobbled on her heels towards the door. Beth could do sexy very well but she had to be in the mood for it. Today just wasn’t one of those days, and she would have preferred to shout at the people on the pavement who would not get out of her way rather than smiling seductively and obediently at men who had no clue how little she was interested in them. Still, she tried hard to get herself into an agreeable and inoffensive frame of mind.

On the bus she sat opposite a ‘briefcase’, the name she had given to the middle-aged men she guessed were accountants or advertising executives of the lower ranks who were either on the phone to Terry in the office to talk about the email they had definitely sent yesterday or who were reading tabloids and dirty magazines. Today’s specimen was shuffling some documents on top of his briefcase but spent a considerable amount of time staring at Beth’s cleavage. “Well, you put them on display!” he’d probably tell her if she complained about his obvious drooling.

She got her phone out and pretended to be talking to a friend

“Oh yes, thanks, the interview went very well,” she said loud enough to make sure the pervert opposite would hear every word of her fake conversation. “. . . The filthy swine was staring at my breasts the whole time . . . of course not. He was wearing a wedding ring naturally but you know the type. Greasy hair, growing belly and a moustache, thinks he’s god’s gift to women and that I dressed specifically to cater for his sexual appetite . . . probably not getting any at home . . .”

She was very pleased to see that her words hit the mark. ‘Briefcase’ was no longer paying any obvious attention to her but was sorting his documents head down. As she was basking in her little victory over chauvinism on the underground, her phone rang while she was still pretending to talk to her imaginary friend. ‘Briefcase’ was looking at her with a mixture of contempt and hostility. Unable to think of a face-saving way to recover, she answered the call. It was her boss, Warwick, to enquire why she was late.

“So sorry,” she said in her sweetest voice. “I’m on the bus and won’t be long.”

She hated giving ‘Briefcase’ the satisfaction of witnessing this transformation − if he was still listening.

“Listen Coopette,” her boss DCI Warwick shouted into the phone, as he always did. She hated when he called her that name. “Don’t bother coming in today. I’ve given your current cases to someone more reliable. I have statistics to run and need to show that the department can solve at least some cases. I know that you’ve got nothing on the Schreiber case, and nothing to report on the Miller murder. I want you over in Carmarthenshire. They’re struggling after the snowfall. Yesterday, a body turned up in the snow, near a hamlet – Llangurrey. I’ve emailed you all the details. Go home, read the file and head over to Carmarthen police station. You’ll be in charge of the investigation.”

“But . . ,” she began to protest, but her boss had already rung off.

Darn it! This was the worst possible punishment: A Midsomer Murder setting, a ninety minutes’ drive into the motorway-less Welsh countryside. God, how she hated Warwick . . .  He had done that on purpose.

The Body in the Snow” is now available as e-book on Amazon via these links:

http://smarturl.it/BodyInTheSnowBB

http://bookShow.me/B01LVYRI9Lbody-in-the-snow-twitter-banner-preorder

For those who can’t wait, I have some ARC copies to give out.

THE BODY IN THE SNOW – A BEBE BOLLINGER MURDER MYSTERY:

Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens.
Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap. 

Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback?  All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.

Bebe 1

IMG_8322-XL

Picture courtesy of Neil Deardon @Manchester Author Event 2016

Welsh Wednesdays: Reminding you all of the Tenby Book Fair on Sat 24th

As usual our Book Fair is part of the Tenby Arts Festival . We’re at Church House on the first day, Saturday 24th September, between 11am – 3pm and it’s free to come in and chat with all the auth…

Source: | Judith Barrow on WordPress.com

c392a-tenby2bheader

Here’s our line up:

Rebecca Bryn: http://bit.ly/1XYWbtF, Thorne Moore: http://bit.ly/1P6zDQh  Matt Johnson:http://bit.ly/1RUqJFg , Christoph Fischer: http://bit.ly/1svniAr , Sally Spedding: http://bit.ly/1VNRQci, Wendy Steele: http://bit.ly/1PMoF8i ,Kathy MIles: http://bit.ly/1twN3Bg , Graham Watkins: http://bit.ly/2aEgwRv , Carol Lovekin:http://bit.ly/1Y2z6HT, Colin R Parsons:http://bit.ly/1tvBc5G , Lisa Shambrook: http://bit.ly/28NMI5v:  ,Alex Martin: http://bit.ly/28VLsQG ,  Judith Arnopp:  http://bit.ly/290cJMl , Sharon Tregenza:http://bit.ly/29frGPq    Juliet Greenwood:http://bit.ly/29jylrM , Nigel Williams:http://bit.ly/29racfO , Julie McGowan:http://bit.ly/29CHNa9 , John Nicholl:http://bit.ly/29NtdtX  ,Tony Riches:  http://bit.ly/29y3a8k:  ,Wendy White: http://bit.ly/29TMCpY  ,Angela Fish:http://bit.ly/2a5qY2U  David Thorpe:http://bit.ly/2a9uG0V , Eloise Williams:http://bit.ly/2aoZk1k , Phil Carradice: http://bit.ly/2aYINV5 , Jo Hammond:http://bit.ly/2b7nMqf, Sarah Jane Butfield: http://bit.ly/2cKQ3Xs   and Sharon Jones: http://bit.ly/2bhZ9sa .And thanks to Thorne Moore for interviewing me: http://bit.ly/1VTvqGq 

 

Together with:

efdc4-firefly2bvsmall

showboat

Welsh Wednesdays: Review:: “Dark September” by Brendan Gerad O’Brien

Cover Dark_September-_500pxI am glad to present my review of “Dark September” by Brendan Gerad O’Brien, who you might remember from my Welsh Wednesdays Interview.

I hesitated to read this book because it is about the bleak scenario of a ‘what if’ Hitler had won the war.
Here, the Uk and Wales in particular are invaded by the Nazis.
The idea is not new, admittedly. Many an alternate history book have tried to imagine the harsh reality of such a scenario.
O’Brien’s novel stands out because of his understated approach. Instead of going over the top and creating a futuristic fantasy, he paints in more realistic tones and stays within the more serious parameters of actual historical fiction. This makes the book all the more effective and dark.
The pace is perfect, too. I will remember this for times to come.

Connect with Brendan on social media:
Twitter –      https://twitter.com/obgowan
Find his Books: 
Smashwords:  – Dark September
                          Gallows Field
                          Dreamin’ Dreams
Amazon books – Dark September
                           Gallows Field
                           Dreamin’ Dreams
Author Bio:  Brend

Brendan Gerad O’Brien was born in Tralee, on the west coast of Ireland and now lives in Wales with his wife Jennifer and daughters Shelly and Sarah.

As a child he spent his summer holidays in Listowel, Co Kerry, where his uncle Moss Scanlon had a Harness maker’s shop, which, sadly, is long gone now.

The shop was a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters. It was there that Brendan’s love of words was kindled by the stories of John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon, who often wandered in for a chat and bit of jovial banter.

Most of the ideas for the stories in the collection Dreamin’ Dreams originated there, and some are based on actual real character – though Brendan would never admit it, simply because he couldn’t afford the ensuing litigation …

Dark September is a thriller set in Wales during WW2.

Gallows Field is a thriller set in Ireland during WW2.

Another Excerpt from “The Body in the Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)” #cosymystery #murder #Wales #

body-in-the-snow-kindle-coverHere is another excerpt from my novel “The Body In The Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)”

 

Bebe was oblivious to the world outside. She had been busy in her basement which served her as a recording studio. It wasn’t quite industry standard but it was most certainly good enough for the purpose of working on new material as well as her back catalogue in preparation for a return to the limelight. She was determined to make it happen before she turned 60, and for that she was running out of time.

Producing music was not the same as in the good old days. She had to do both the recording and the singing, but once she got started she felt like she was back in the heyday of her success. She could lose herself in the past for entire days. A small cupboard with snacks ‘to keep her going’ prevented her from having to walk up the steep stairs to the kitchen continuously, something rather important when you had creative juices flowing and the muse whispering into your ear.

In the basement, Bebe re-lived her glory. She rehearsed her large repertoire, wrote her own compositions and practised songs which she thought would sound so much better in her voice.

She was particularly jealous of Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse and Adele, all of whom were nothing but younger incarnations of herself, she felt. If only the record-buying audience could give her another chance to prove how much more soul and class her voice had compared with those amateurs. Why had there been a need for them when she was so perfectly capable of singing those songs just as well? Why did it always have to be someone new and younger? Why did composers and producers stop giving you their greatest work when you had the audiences ready?

Right now, however, none of that mattered, and neither did theimages-7 snow. Bebe had suddenly been catapulted into her private showbiz heaven. In a TV talent show, the magnificent Will Young named Bebe as one of his favourite British artists. She could hardly contain her excitement and ran around her cottage like a headless chicken. There was just so much to think about. She could do a duet with the young man. He could invite her to be on the show? She’d always thought that Will Young and maybe Michael Buble were her natural male equivalents in the music industry. She could do well using either of them as a vehicle back to stardom. Admittedly, Buble, being Canadian, might not even have heard of her. But Will Young! What a joy! Her gays – her true and loyal admirers, would just love that. Oh how pleased she was that she had kept relations to their community amicable.

Overly excited, she went wild downloading music and instrumental versions of duets she thought would be candidates for a cover version between her and Will. Oh she was so pleased that he had won that talent show back then and not the other boy. Will Young was a godsend.

Bebe was so focused on her new project that she completely forgot to eat or worry about the snow. Motivated more than ever to be ready for that phone call to bring her back to the biz she started to use her Wii Sport, a Christmas present from Helena. Of course it had been a present meant to hurt her feelings but as it turned out it was another great piece in the jigsaw puzzle. Stuck indoors, Bebe had plenty of time to figure out how this thing worked and she practised plenty. She could feel an instant effect and felt years younger and slimmer already.

As soon as the snow was gone she would take up singing lessons again. She had set her eyes on a few difficult numbers, like I Feel Love and It’s a Heartache. Bonnie Tyler and Donna Summer were high on her list of artists whose repertoires could be sampled. Bebe had just about the vocal range to pull it off; the songs were well known and yet could easily be transformed in to the Jazzy funky new image that she envisaged for herself. All she had to do was take the big fog-horn parts out of the songs and make them sound hurt and soulful. She could do that, she had experienced enough pain to pour it into the new arrangements.

Helena did have the courtesy to telephone and enquire about her mother in the middle of the snow catastrophe.

“How sweet of you to call,” Bebe said, still high on her Will Young rush. “What a pleasant surprise.”

“Of course mother,” Helena said. “Listen, you haven’t heard from Aidan, have you?”

“No,” Bebe said, bemused. “Your lovely husband, unfortunately, never calls me. Is he alright?”

“Well,” Helena said, “if he does call, can you please tell him that I’m staying with you?”

“Why, where the devil are you, you naughty child?”

“Stuck in the snow,” Helena said sheepishly.

“Oh darling, please say it’s not with another man?”

Helena kept quiet.

“Oh Helena, what have you been up to now?” Bebe asked. “How do you always end up in so much trouble? You’ve only been married for a year and already you’re going astray and risk being caught in the act? The snow was forecast. Could you not have thought of that before going to some guy’s house?”

“Will you cover for me or not?” Helena asked.

“I don’t know,” Bebe said, “Aidan’s such a nice man.”

“There’s no point in making things worse by telling him the truth.”

“OK,” Bebe sighed. ”I suppose you’re right there.”

The Body in the Snow” is now available as e-book on Amazon on pre-order via these links:

http://smarturl.it/BodyInTheSnowBB

http://bookShow.me/B01LVYRI9Lbody-in-the-snow-twitter-banner-preorder

For those who can’t wait, I have some ARC copies to give out.

THE BODY IN THE SNOW – A BEBE BOLLINGER MURDER MYSTERY:

Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens.
Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap. 

Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback?  All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.

Bebe 1

IMG_8322-XL

Picture courtesy of Neil Deardon @Manchester Author Event 2016

Mystery Mondays: Writing my cosy mystery: The Body in the Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)

body-in-the-snow-kindle-cover

Some of you have asked me why I suddenly decided to break into yet another genre and write a cosy murder mystery. That’s a very good question.

The short answer is: Because I had the idea.

The long answer is:

My partner is a devoted fan of crime fiction and cosy murder mysteries and turned me into a fan of the genre, too. At first, I only watched a few TV shows with him. I still preferred to read the high-octane thrillers and big dramas. However, he’s annoyingly good at determining who did it. Someone might appear on the TV screen for the first time and he’d say: He or she did it, and 9 out of 10 times he’s right. Gradually, I caught the bug of solving the riddles and observing how the shows are written.

Since the mystery books lie around our house en masse I picked more and more of them up and read them. I was surprised how much I liked them. With my senses heightened I saw them advertised on twitter and Facebook and began to devour the works of Amy Metz, Jinx Schwartz, Celeste Burke, Dianne Harman and Barbie Silkstone.

Writing a cosy mystery on the other hand was rather difficult and so the book was four years in the making. I learned that in this genre you can’t rely on action scenes and adrenalin kicking gore, yet you must keep the pace going fast and keep the readers guessing. It takes skill to invest in the red herrings and mystery elements and I realised just how accomplished many writers in the cosy genre are and how underrated in the public eye. Only after I had released two thrillers did I consider finalising the draft and have a go at publishing ‘cosy’.
I love that the genre allows for more colourful and flamboyant characters. Not quite a laugh-out-loud comedy, “The Body in the Snow” allowed me to explore the fun side of writing without losing credibility as a writer.

I’m still nervous about the release, but, if the readers find that I got it right, I will turn this into a series. I have ideas galore, now that the main characters are set up.

The Body in the Snow” is now available as e-book on Amazon on pre-order via these links:

http://smarturl.it/BodyInTheSnowBB

http://bookShow.me/B01LVYRI9Lbody-in-the-snow-twitter-banner-preorder

For those who can’t wait, I have some ARC copies to give out.

THE BODY IN THE SNOW – A BEBE BOLLINGER MURDER MYSTERY:

Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens.
Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap. 

Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback?  All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.

Bebe 1

IMG_8322-XL

Picture courtesy of Neil Deardon @Manchester Author Event 2016

Beautiful feature and First Review of “The Body In The Snow” 

Beautiful feature and FIRST REVIEW of my book from the amazing P.C. Zick who kindly beta-read the book for me

Source: #NEWRELEASE FROM CHRISTOPH FISCHER

#NEWRELEASE FROM CHRISTOPH FISCHER

image007I’m very pleased to announce a new release from Christoph Fischer, The Body in the Snow. This new book takes a sharp turn for this prolific writer who is known for his historical fiction that often visits the dark corners of eastern Europe prior, during, and after World War II. He’s also written some outstanding works of contemporary fiction that deal with mental illness and Alzheimers.

So when he asked if I wanted to beta read this novel, I couldn’t wait to delve into something lighter–a cozy murder mystery! And I wasn’t disappointed. The Body in the Snow is a delightful romp through snow drifts, candle light, nosy neighbors, and fading singers as Bebe Bollinger drinks her way to solving a mystery and discovers her way back to her daughter and her career. I loved how he used the event of a massive snowstorm to hold neighbors captive and to keep other things from moving forward throughout the story.

While there is laughter, there’s also pathos in the characters and certain universal threads through them all. From the couple in a dysfunctional marriage filled with jealousy and rage to the lonely divorcee only wanting a friend, there’s a glimpse into the humanity of us all. The detective off her game is revived by the sometimes ridiculous yet irrepressible Bebe who may not always do the right thing, yet somehow finds a way to right her wrongs.

It’s a fun read. I almost didn’t want the mystery part solved because that would mean the characters would leave me! Here’s hoping there’s more to come from these unforgettable and all too human folks created by the talented Christoph Fischer.

Christoph and I followed parallel roads recently as we both were seeking out new places to live. I moved to the Smoky Mountains in the States, and he moved to Wales in the UK. Since our moves, both of us have set our novels in our new homes. As Christoph relates below, he did it for the same reasons that I did. Here’s Christoph on how “place” created his setting.

img_8322-xlThe Setting for The Body in the Snow

By Christoph Fischer

The Body in the Snow is set in West Wales, which has been my home for the past two years. Originally, I placed the story in England, but when I started my first re-write after moving to Wales, I was so in love with my surroundings that I brought the characters across the border with me.

West Wales is wonderfully beautiful with lush green hills, beautiful mountain tops, spectacular beaches and world-renowned coastal hiking trails. Why not more people live here is beyond me.

The setting of The Body in the Snow is a declaration of love to this beautiful and unique country and seemed a great fit, with plenty of inspiration to add to the next draft of my novel.

I came to the UK many moons ago because of a Welsh lawyer from Swansea and have been with a Welsh man for the past ten years. Although I only lived here for a short period of time, my connection to Wales has been long standing. Prior to moving there, once a week, we crossed the Severn Bridge into Wales to visit my partner’s fragile parents and each time I liked the sensation of going to Wales.

The book is particularly dedicated to the welcoming people of my adopted new hometown and the people who helped us to settle in there so quickly. After fifteen months, I now rarely go somewhere without bumping into someone I know and having a chat on the way.

In 2012, our house in England was snowed in on a hill top and the electricity was cut several times for almost entire days. My partner joked that this was the perfect setting for a murder mystery since nobody could arrive or leave. I liked the idea. We were cut off from everything, as is so often the starting point of good crime fiction such as  Agatha Christie’s Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express. Living in a rural location, we learned firsthand the far and unforeseen limitations of life in such a big snowfall. Where we live in Wales could easily be affected in the same way.

image009

 

 

Purchase links for The Body in the Snow

Kindle (Preorder – release September 24, 2016)

Paperback (Available now)