Monday, 29 June 2020

Psychological Suspense SALE + Cozy Mystery Out NOW (yay)

Apologies, folks. Last newsletter I forgot to mention that I've discounted my psychological suspense, After the Ferry: A Gripping Psychological Novel
The paperback is on sale for $14.95 and the eBook is down to just 99c.
Grab your discount copy at a link, below, or continue reading for some reviews. It's a slow-burner, this book, but the best thing I've ever written and I do hope you enjoy the read.
@AMAZON       kobo  


"Larmer's plot is a clever one...The characters the reader gets to know during the course of this psychological thriller are finely honed and credible, and Amelia's contrasting lives and personalities are brilliantly rendered and made plausible." -- Jack Magnus, Readers Favorite
"Well written, intriguing, captivating mystery/thriller about what-if that was creative, original, and interesting. All tied together quite cleverly in the end." -- Riley, Booksprout
"A great read. Had me drawn in from the beginning. I found it suspenseful and very well written. I highly recommend reading this book." -- Heather177, Booksprout
"An intriguing mystery that explores life, or death, as the case may be. It is a unique story and I do recommend it." -- HeatherW, Booksprout  

And Then There Were 9: Agatha Christie Book Club

It's alive! My fourth Agatha Christie Book Club—And Then There Were 9—is now available as an eBook and paperback at all good online bookstores. 
Grab your copy, make yourself a coffee, and settle in for the next nail-biting chapter. 
Inspired by the recent bushfires Australia just endured, this time the group are stuck at an isolated lodge with a fire roaring up the ridge and a killer on the loose… 


"The plot is skillfully written with lots of red herrings making it a delightful read. It's a wonderful mystery book and one that is impossible to put down once you have started reading it no matter how many times you promise yourself you'll take a break at the end of the chapter. Superb." -- SharonR, Booksprout
"I always consider it a good sign when you read the fourth in a series and immediately upon finishing set out to buy the first one. … Like books by Christie the path through to the solution is as interesting as the solution itself. It is nice to read a book set in Australia." -- Sandra Ballasch, Booksprout
"And Then There Were 9 was engaging from the start. A fresh premise and well plotted mystery made reading this book in one sitting easy. There was plenty of misdirection to keep me questioning who the murderer was and I really wasn't sure until almost the end." -- Anne Glass Kasaba, Booksprout

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Are YOU This Week's Winner? + How the Book Club Came To Be

AS YOU KNOW to celebrate the launch of my latest cozy mystery, I've been selecting a subscriber each week to win an earlier book in the series (or any of my eBooks if you've read them all). And this week I'll get straight to it. Drum roll please…
Elaine Hall
Woohoo! Congratulations Elaine. I'll be in touch with you shortly to claim your prize.
Everyone else, you can download the Agatha Christie Book Club series here, or pre-order the new instalment at the links below. Until then, here's a preview…


REMOTE LYLE'S LODGE: Deep in isolated rainforest, the Agatha Christie Book Club gathers to meet four new members, each one hiding a secret from the group…


With membership now at nine, the club settles in to discuss Christie’s best-selling mystery—the one about the madman bumping off his isolated guests.


First one person is murdered, then another, and then a mighty bushfire ignites in the forest below, cutting them off with their own "madman" on the loose. Employing the wisdom of Poirot and a trusty bushfire survival plan, they must unravel each new member's secret to unmask the real killer and survive the book club from hell.

But this time not all of them will get out alive.
@AMAZON       kobo  
Apple iBooks   B+N nook     

How & Why I Started this Series
(an excerpt from Book 3)
"IT WILL COME AS no surprise to hear that I have been an Agatha Christie fan since I can remember (no, really), and yet I feel the need to mention it as I am often asked how I came up with the idea of the Agatha Christie Book Club series. Did a marketing dynamo whisper it in my ear? Am I just riding on Dame Agatha’s tails? Who do I think I am?
So let me answer the question once and for all.
Yes, I adore Agatha Christie, but it goes deeper and farther than that—all the way, in fact, to a secluded island in remotest Papua New Guinea. 
I was holidaying with my family. I was not yet ten. There was no television, no radio, nothing to tempt a bored tweenie at night but a termite-infested bookshelf bursting with pulp fiction and Agatha Christie novels.
I scooped one out. I dusted it off. I opened the pages… You know the rest.
It was that first book—Evil Under the Sun, as it turns out—that planted the seed that eventually grew into a love of mysteries and a flourishing writing career.
This series is my homage to the greatest mystery writer of them all.
Each and every book is in honour of Ms Christie, and yet I’m not trying to write an Agatha Christie novel—I wouldn’t dare. Nor am I trying to recreate her extraordinary characters in my own. Instead, I’m simply extending the joy to a new group of fans, my book club friends, and exploring what happens when you take a bunch of amateur sleuths, plonk a complex puzzle in their laps, and let the words of Miss Marple and Monsieur Poirot guide them home.
I hope you enjoy these modern adventures as much as I have enjoyed writing them, and I hope they renew your love for all things Agatha Christie. "

Happy reading, everyone.
xo Christina

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Pre-order My New Cozy + Another eBook winner, below

At last! Here's a sneak-peek at my new Agatha Christie Book Club mystery, which is now available as a PRE-ORDER at Amazon. (Hurrah.)
To lock in your copy, just click HERE. And don't hesitate to get in touch and let me know your thoughts on the new cover (above).
And Then There Were 9
(The Agatha Christie Book Club 4)
REMOTE LYLE'S LODGE: Deep in isolated rainforest, the Agatha Christie Book Club gather to meet four new members, each one hiding a secret from the group…


Now with nine members and blissfully unaware, ACBC Mark 2 settle in to discuss Christie’s best-selling mystery—the one about the madman bumping off his isolated guests. 

Very soon, life begins to imitate art…
First one person is murdered, then another, and then they find themselves cut off by a giant bushfire that's roaring up the mountain towards them.
With their own "madman" on the loose and the flames getting closer, they must employ the wisdom of Poirot, to unravel each new member's secret and unmask the killer.
But this time not all of them will get out alive.
Once there were nine… Soon there will be six. But which six will survive the Book Club from hell?

AS YOU KNOW… I've been celebrating the upcoming release of my latest Agatha Christie Book Club adventure and am handing out an eBook prize every single week until it hits the stands.
TO WIN: Just keep reading these newsletters! I'll pick a subscriber randomly from the list and announce the name each week until it's published. If that's you, I'll contact you directly to find out which book you'd like.
*Don't panic if you've already read ALL THREE in the series. You're my favourite kind of subscriber and will get a chance to choose from any of my other cozy mysteries (see here).

Jane Starcher
Congratulations Jane! I will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your eBook prize.
Everyone else, please don't despair, there's at least one more free eBook to be given out. Check the next newsletter to see if your name comes up. And catch up on the Book Club's back story via the links, below.
xo Christina 

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Walking For Friendship or For Readers? Can You Do Both? + Weekly eBook Winner (see below)

Photo: Bruno Cervera // Unsplash

During a recent Zoom class (yes, I've joined the dark side), one of my students asked what inspires and motivates me. She's trying to finish her first book and knew I'd just finished my 16th.

"How do you do it?" she wanted to know. "Where do you find daily inspiration?"
"Walking!" I told her, without hesitation.
I have always been an avid walker but, since getting our frisky Blue Heeler, Kasper, three years ago, it's become a mandatory daily event. Some time between one and three every single afternoon, Kaspie appears at my desk, leash (shoe, sock…) in his mouth, eyes piercing, ears high. And he won't take no for an answer.
"Come on, woman," that look says. "It's time for walkies."
And off we set, for a fast-paced, 40-minute adventure, but it's always my mind that gets the best work-out.
Walking is the perfect way for me to gather fresh ideas, dialogue, plot points and character development. Without fail, I come back from these walks re-energised and inspired. It works every single time.
Until lately, that is.
You see, thanks to COVID-19, the world has changed and people have been stuck in their small neighbourhoods, and suddenly I have found a lovely, well-meaning neighbour who wants to walk with me. And at first I was delighted. It's such a fun way to catch up— chatting, gossiping, venting about the hubby and kids.
But it's been atrocious for my writing.
In the past, I returned from a walk so inspired, I barely had time to remove Kasper's leash before flying to the keyboard to tap away like a lunatic, getting all these exciting ideas down.
Since my friend started joining me, we inevitably stop for a (socially distanced) cup of tea, and so the chatter continues, and before I know it, another hour has passed and no writing has been done, let alone fresh ideas gleaned. By the time she leaves and I sit at my desk... nothing.
It's been great for my friendship—really, I adore this neighbour and enjoy our talks!—but lousy for my readers.
So, what to do? Do I put her off next time she calls? Do I take two walks a day—one for myself, one for my books? I'm yet to work that out, folks, but it's not such a bad quandry to have. I could be all alone with no friends, no readers, no ideas. I have to find a happy medium, I'm just not sure what it is, yet.
Perhaps I'll work out the solution on my next walk…
"Kasper! Walkies?"
Until then, happy reading (and walking) everyone!
xo Christina

IT'S OFFICIAL! I have just finished the 4th adventure for my Agatha Christie Book Club! And to celebrate, I'm giving YOU a chance to win a prize. 
Every. Single. Week. 
Titled And Then There Were Nine: The Agatha Christie Book Club 4, in this installment the Book Club have expanded, inviting four fabulous new members to join the fold. 
To get to know each other better and discuss the latest book (Christie's And Then There Were None), they head off to an isolated rainforest lodge.
That is their first mistake!
Before you know it, two people are murdered, there's a fire roaring up the mountain and a killer still on the loose.
Is there a stranger lurking in the forest or is the killer one of them?
If you liked the sound of that, you'll be happy to hear the manuscript is now with my editor (hey Annie!) and will be launched very soon. Until then, I'm giving one devoted subscriber a FREE ecopy of one of the previous Agatha Christie Book Club adventures—whichever one they choose.*
TO WIN: Just keep reading these newsletters! I'll pick a subscriber randomly from the list and announce the name each week. If that's you, I will then contact you directly to find out which book you'd like.
*Don't panic if you've already read ALL THREE in the series. You're my favourite kind of subscriber and will get a chance to choose from any of my other cozy mysteries (see here).
Congratulations R.Dawn.Brown! I will be in touch with you soon.
Everyone else, keep watching for more weekly giveaways. Or catch up on the story via the links, below.
xo Christina 

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

In Honour of Cruising + 99c Cruise Ship Mystery (Virus-free!)

The first ship I ever fell in love with was the Oriana, back in the early 1970s. I was just a little girl, it was my first sea voyage, and my family was travelling between Papua New Guinea and Australia. So it was a relatively short trip but, boy, it left its mark.

I've been in love with cruising ever since. 

And it's not just about the ship, although I do love a glittering atrium, a sparkling Lido deck, and a small but oh so cosy cabin. The truth is, I'm just as happy in a leaky dinghy as I am on a luxury vessel like the Queen Elizabeth, pictured below. I jumped aboard last year, pre-Corona, for my Dad's 80th birthday, and what better place to celebrate? 

I just love being on the water! I love the rich, salty smell and rhythm of the sea, the slapping of the waves against the bow and, most of all, the anticipation and mystery of all that lovely open ocean ahead.

It's no wonder, then, that I set one of my murder mysteries on a cruise ship, this one an imagined replica of a real ship that once sailed the Antipodes—the SS Orient, which I wrote about in a previous blog.

As you all know, cruise ships have taken a battering during this time of the Corona virus, and it breaks my heart, if only for the beautiful, hard-working crew, and for those of you who never got a chance to don your best nautical gear and set sail.

But take heart, I'm sure cruising will be back. I don't think it's such a bad thing if there's a few less of them, though. Massive ships are not exactly great for the environment and we have to consider the next generation. But I do want my kids to experience cruising as I did, just more sustainably, and minus deadly diseases while they're at it!

Until then, here's an exciting voyage you can take from the comfort of your own self-isolation, and it's virus free! Of course that's not to say there's not other dangers lurking somewhere on the ship… 

In this refreshingly modern take on the classic whodunit, the AGATHA CHRISTIE BOOK CLUB set sail on replica steamship the SS Orient and quickly encounter eerie echoes of another murderous voyage—a menacing note, a passenger dead in bed, and more clues than you can poke a blood-soaked dagger at.

With no CCTV, a shipful of slippery passengers, and enough red herrings to fill a seafood platter, the amateur sleuths decide to abandon their shuffleboard and solve the crime before they hit land and the professionals boot them off.

Jump aboard for the second gripping adventure of the beloved book club friends, who include devoted sisters, a dashing doctor, a flighty librarian and two vintage fashion queens. This time there's a new member lurking in the wings, a brusque barman with a bad attitude and a secret that will change absolutely everything.

With a dash of romance, a splash of adventure and plenty of good humour, this is a fun, fast-paced cozy adventure for those who like unexpected plot twists, endearing ensemble characters and a gripping final denouement.


And happy (cruisy) reading everyone!
xo Christina

@AMAZON online
 Apple iBooks   B+N nook   kobo 

Thursday, 2 April 2020

99c Book Sale + 3 Crime Series To Self-Isolate With

During these mad and worrying times, it's easy to make light of self-isolation, especially if, like me, you feel as though you've been rehearsing for it your whole life.
Even though I have a full house with kids, a hubby and a frisky Blue Heeler, I've always enjoyed my own company and am very good at sneaking away. (Growing up in a large family and then six years in boarding school taught me a few tricks!)
If I'm not hiding out in my sunroom/office to write my latest mystery (Agatha Christie Book Club 4—more on that next newsletter*) I'm usually perched in the sun, on the sofa or under the covers, reading a good book.
And while I've been enjoying the zany way people have been reaching out to each other—from hilarious online memes to singing together on balconies—I must say there is still no better distraction than a book.
But not just any book. It has to be thick with plot, rich with characters and keep the pace and your heart beat galloping.
With that in mind, I've selected three crime series I think tick all the boxes, all by authors other than me. If these don't help you block out the world for a little while, you could always work your way through my seven Ghostwriter Mysteries. The latest, Without a Word, is now on sale online for just 99c. But only for three days so don't dillydally!
And happy (safe!) reading everybody.
xo Christina
*NB: Yes, I have immersed my Agatha Christie Book Club in another mystery, which is why I've gone to ground. I'll try to reach out every month or so but please be patient with me. :-)


I love everything British author Ann Cleeves writes, but my favourite is her series starring the best character this side of Hercule Poirot—Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope.
A seemingly innocuous middleaged copper, Vera has a hilarious ability to sting her opponents with just one look, and you underestimate Vera at your own peril. 
Portrayed brilliantly by the beloved Brenda Blethyn in the BBC TV version, I think the books are even better. Start with her first, The Crow Trap and work your way through all seven.

What's not to love about kick-ass Kinsey Millhone? She lives in somebody's renovated garage, barely has a social life and, as far as I can tell, only three items of clothing, but when you need someone to do a little snooping, this no-nonsense California PI is your go-to gal.
Starting with A is For Alibi—where else?—you'll have an almost complete alphabet of murders to work with. Sadly Ms Grafton never got to pen the final Z, may she rest in peace, which leaves our imaginations wide open...

If you thought I'd leave the Queen of Crime off the list, you're not the most intuitive detective. But don't worry, after a few rounds with Hercule Poirot, you'll get the hang of it, and learn a few French words while you're at it. Miss Marple is just as beguiling.
Once again, start with Christie's first attempt—The Mysterious Affair at Styles—or just select from the 82 detective novels she ended up writing. (Yep, you read that right!)
Okay, that's it from me. I do hope you enjoy my suggestions and stay tuned for updates on my next cozy mystery. If you want to share some riveting book ideas of your own, don't hesitate to get in touch by reply email or leave a comment online. 
xo CA