March 26, 2020

Everyone is invited to the book launch for The Cut-Throat Cafe


I would love it if people would come and help me launch the latest of my Seth Seppi magical mysteries The Cut-Throat Café. You are all invited!

I will be live-streaming on YouTube on the official publication day.
Join in making Scrumdiddlyumptious Shortbread as part of the Cut-Throat Café activities.

Signed bookplates available!

Thanks to all of the amazing bookshops who are sending book parcels far and wide. Keep safe all of you.

If you would like a signed copy, I am really happy to send signed bookplates to bookshops. Just contact me or your local bookshop to let me know if you would like some.

(My local bookshop, Mostly Books, is also taking orders, and if you get in touch, they can arrange to get a signed and dedicated copy and offer discounted delivery within Abingdon). 

How you can join in the celebrations

If you want to make shortbread, you can look up the recipe I will be using under the activities tab on this website.

My main character, Seth, loves cooking and this is his favourite recipe, passed down by his father. 

But shortbread is a great recipe, lots of people make it different ways. So don't worry if you are short of ingredients, have some sort of flour, butter and sugar, use whatever is to hand!

The Cut-Throat Café is published by Chicken House, so a really big 'thank you' to them for being so supportive. The cover illustration is by the truly exceptional Matt Saunders.

Join me at 1pm BST Thursday April 2. And again, in the evening at 7pm.

The launch party is sadly not in the Cut-Throat Café of the title, and you will have to bring your own drinks.

I will be taking questions – and trying to answer them. These can be sent by email in advance, or on Facebook or Twitter (can’t do live questions on YouTube because of restrictions).

And I would love to give a shout-out to anyone who will be watching. Or schools who may have read The Last Chance Hotel.

And authors who are also publishing books in April. Would love to give you a mention.

Here's a bit more about Seth and Nightshade's latest adventure...

This time it is the magical apprentices who are in trouble

Seth Seppi is excited to arrive in the magical town of Gramichee. He is desperate to discover if he has any chance of fulfilling his destiny and becoming a sorcerer and this is one of the few towns where a number of magical people live.

It is Seth’s best chance of finding himself an apprenticeship, because so far, his magic has been nothing but a disaster and he needs to find someone to help him with his magic.

But he’s arrived in Gramichee at exactly the wrong time. An apprentice has been attacked and it's not the first incident.

This is the start of Seth’s most worrying case so far. Why are apprentices being targeted? Is it an accident? A prank gone wrong? Is one of the apprentices responsible, or is something much darker at the bottom of it all?

Once again, Seth will need all his wits about him and dig deep into the magical world and his own magic to find answers.

Can Seth discover who is the mysterious Apprentice Assassin before the whole apprentice scheme is scrapped and Seth’s dreams of ever becoming a sorcerer fail along with it.
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And remember, you are all invited to my booklaunch  at 1pm and 7pm BST Thursday April 2. Join me here! 

February 11, 2020

Magic is nothing but trouble

I am so excited to share with you details of The Cut-Throat Café, the latest Seth Seppi magical mystery adventure.

So, very big thanks to my publisher, Chicken House, for wanting to revisit Seth and his magical world and give him another mystery to solve...one that probably has magic behind it.

When I decided I wanted to write murder mysteries that happened in a magical world, I asked myself lots of questions about what it might actually be like for there to really be magic. I thought there would probably be quite a few things that happened occasionally that no one could explain

This gives me such a strong and fun basis that all the stories have in common. 

Importantly, the stories are set in a world where magic exists, but it is very rare and sorcerers are very secretive. And this gives me another great way into much of the mystery plots.

I also asked myself what it might be like to be one of the few magical people. You could not reveal your magic without an awful lot of fuss. So how would you use it? Would you use your magic to do good things and help people...or would you realise that magic gave you enormous power? Would some people be tempted to use magic to do bad things?

I decided that some people most definitely would!

And I decided that there would need to be magical police who made sure people obeyed certain laws when using magic.

This is the starting point of the stories and the same is true in The Cut-Throat Café. 
Another brilliant jacket design by Matt Saunders
Seth Seppi is just beginning his own magical journey to discover more about the magical abilities he might possess and how he might use them and improve them.

But so far, his magic has proved nothing but trouble. He arrives in 
Gramichee, a town where a lot of people live close together, but still secretly. Here is where the headquarters of the magical world is based, the Elysee.

And here is where a lot of young magical people are, just starting out on their road to learning magic. Would they all behave themselves and use magic wisely...or might they be tempted to dabble with a little illicit magic and possibly play a few tricks on each other?

And then if (because this is another murder mystery!) one of the apprentices died, how would anyone be able to tell if this was another prank gone wrong – or whether something more sinister was afoot?

I think this one has been the most fun to write as it has the most magic in it and the most magical people.

Seth has the chance to try out his magic and meet others struggling with their magic, so he doesn’t have to be quite so secretive.

But he also now must prove that his magic won’t lead to a load of trouble and breaking the laws of the magical world.

So here's where you can order your copy:
Fancy reading the first chapter for free? Then why not download here...

November 28, 2019

Dare you visit the Cut Throat Cafe?

As any readers of the first two Seth Seppi mysteries will probably have noticed, setting is very important for both the atmosphere and the plotting.

I have always been a big reader of murder mysteries and I particularly like the ones where there is a closed circle of suspects and everyone looking over their shoulder trying to work out which of them is a murderer. (As I always go on to say, this may sound gruesome, but really what I love is the puzzle!)

The first Seth Seppi mystery was set in the middle of the seemingly endless Last Hope Forest, in the Last Chance Hotel and the second was set at the isolated Snakesmouth Lighthouse, where a vengeful ghost was causing accidents to happen (or was it?).

So, expect a bit of a change for Seth's newest challenge, as this time someone is murdered in a bustling and popular cafe, right in the middle of the central square of Gramichee, one of the few towns were many magical people live.

This time it is the magical apprentices who are in trouble.

Seth Seppi is excited to arrive in Gramichee. But he’s worried that Angelique has only brought him here because she’s desperate to find someone to help him with his magic, which has been nothing but a disaster so far.

When the promise of an apprenticeship is offered, Seth is keen for the chance to study properly to become a sorcerer. But he is also worried that if someone discovers that his magic is dangerous, he’ll be banned from ever joining the world of the sorcerers.

The offer of an apprenticeship means he has a chance to find someone who might help him with his magic. Then he learns he has arrived in Gramichee at the worst possible time - an apprentice has been attacked and it's not the first incident.

This is the start of his most worrying case so far. Why are apprentices being targeted? Is it an accident? A prank gone wrong? Is one of the apprentices responsible, or is something much darker at the bottom of it all?

Once again, Seth will need all his wits about him and dig deep into the magical world and his own magic to find answers.

Can Seth discover who is the mysterious Apprentice Assassin before the whole apprentice scheme is scrapped and Seth’s dreams of ever becoming a sorcerer fail along with it.

I am thrilled that Seth is having another outing in his third magical mystery adventure, The Cut Throat Cafe, and hope readers will enjoy being back with Seth, Nightshade, Angelique and Inspector Pewter.

I hope you love the exciting colours by the wonderful Matt Saunders, who designed the cover images for the first two books.

It will be published on April 2, 2020. You can find out how to pre-order it here.

November 08, 2019

Some exciting news to announce - Seth Seppi will return!

I am thrilled to be able to announce that there will be a third Seth Seppi Murder Mystery adventure, and subscribers to my mystery journal will hear about it first next Friday (November 15).

You're not subscribed? Click here - all it takes is an email address...

   

I'll reveal the cover for #SSMM3, some tantalising pieces of plot, and a few other bits and bobs about the return of Nightshade and Seth. But for now, here's a sneaky peek:


So where are Seth and Nightshade? What are they standing in front of? What mysteries await?

I'm delighted that it will be another stunning piece of artwork by Matt Saunders, that has added so much to Seth's adventures this far.

All will be revealed in the next edition of my mystery journal. Remember, you can click here to subscribe and receive it delivered free to your inbox. I can't wait!

October 11, 2019

For anyone wanting a few thoughts on mystery writing

I was honoured to embark on a creative blog tour. All the interviews contain thoughts and tips about writing sprinkled with thoughts about what works for me.
  • A Little But a Lot (17th July) Where do I write? Clue - nowhere fancy! If you think you have to wait for the perfect place, the perfect moment and have an awful lot of time - maybe think again.
  • Golden Books Girl (18th July) Plotting a mystery novel . . . the easy way.
  • Read It Daddy (22nd July) Some imaginative and challenging questions from the blogging legends that are the father/daughter reading team, Read It Daddy! Phew, dodged a few toough ones there.
  • My Shelves are Full (23rd July) An exclusive extract with Erin Lyn Hamilton, primary school teacher turned librarian. If you'd like a snatch of the opening you can find it here.
  • Mr E Primary (24th July) A breathtaking and generous review from Mr E, a primary school teacher in Wales whose blog is a one-stop treasure trove of all the best new children's writing. And he is doing a giveaway to win three sets of both books in the Seth Seppi Mystery Series!
  • Books for Topics (25th July) Another wonderful review from English lead and primary school teacher Alison Leach, in which I also discuss which Hogwarts houses my characters would be sorted into (and a little insight into how much fun it is to revisit characters)!
  • Luna's Little Library (26th July) You can get an immediate emotional connection with music, so I find music helps me write both scenes and characters. Here I muse a little about well Muse... and the creative circle of inspiration.
  • Bookbound (27th July) Another extremely thoughtful and generous book review from the wonderful Sam Thomas on her Book-bound blog. A wonderful way to finish an equally marvellous blog tour :-) 

September 25, 2019

Come and meet me at these two public events - open to everyone

I'm pleased to be invited along to some public events very far apart (geographically) and hope to get the chance to meet some crime fiction fans at both.

Most of the events I get invited to are at schools, so this is a great chance to come along and say hello.

This Saturday I am at the Morecambe &Vice Festival. 

I'm taking part in a children's and YA crime event 'Let Them Lead The Way' with three fabulous crime and mystery writers: Sharna Jackson (author of 'High Rise Mystery'), Sarah Todd Taylor (author, amongst other books, of feline sleuth 'Max the Detective Cat') and Anne Coates (author of the Hannah Weybridge series of crime novels)

And then I shall be diving across to the library to talk with
Fleur Hitchcock about her wonderful mystery thrillers. This event is even free!

I shall be back much closer to home in another library, in Abingdon at another free event on Oct 2nd:



Hope to see some of you there :-)


August 08, 2019

Bring Me Some Crime...

On the weekend of 28/29 September I am very excited to be attending this wonderful crime writing festival in the seaside town of Morecambe.


Morecambe and Vice started life in 2017, and has already established itself as a friendly, quirky and fabulous crime festival by the sea. It takes place at the iconic Midland Hotel, a building that looks like it popped straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.



I'm taking part in a children's and YA crime event 'Let Them Lead The Way' with three fabulous crime and mystery writers: Sharna Jackson (author of 'High Rise Mystery'), Sarah Todd Taylor (author, amongst other books, of feline sleuth 'Max the Detective Cat') and Anne Coates (author of the Hannah Weybridge series of crime novels).


Anyone who works in the book trade - whether author, publisher or book seller - plays a part in raising the next generation of readers, and crime fiction is no exception. I'm really looking forward to discussing the challenges of writing crime for young readers, and the books that inspired us as both writers and readers.

If you are coming to Morcecambe and Vice - do come and say hi. And if you are going to be around Morecambe over the weekend of September 29/30 - come along and join in!