Tuesday 17 May 2016

20 FREE copies of new e-book to giveaway!

With the launch of my new Agatha Christie Book Club—Murder on the Orient (SS)—I'm giving my devoted blog readers a chance to win one of 20 free copies of the e-book!

Image result for agatha Christie images

That's right, baby, TWENTY!!

All you have to do—and it's uber easy—is jot down the name of your favourite Agatha Christie Book. I mean, really? Could it be an easier?

Do you adore Murder on the Orient Express, as I do? Is Evil Under the Sun a smarter choice? What about something more cryptic like The ABC Murders or Peril at End House?

Image result for agatha Christie booksDame Christie wrote around 82 detective novels, so you've got plenty of books to choose from.

Just jot the title in the comment box below or, if you'd like more privacy, via a direct email to me, and I'll get back to you if you're one of the first 20: christina.larmer@gmail.com

That's right—there is no right or wrong answer. Just get in quick!

I promise NOT to use your name and email for any other purpose so please don't worry about that. I just want to share my story with other Christie fanatics, and I want to do it fast.

So, let's recap…

Six Steps to Success

Step 1: Stop screaming at this wondrous opportunity and get a grip!
Step 2: Think about all of the Dame's many fantastic whodunnits and decide which one takes the cake. Can't recall them all? Try: the Agatha Christie website or Wikipedia.
Step 3: Write down the name of that chosen book in the comment box below, or via email to me.
Step 4: Sit back, take a breath and wait to hear if you're the lucky winner. (Gasp.)
Step 5: If you ARE the lucky winner, just let me know which format you prefer (for Kindle, iPad etc) and wait for it to be emailed directly to you.
Step 6: Download the book then sit back, take a breath, and enjoy the read :-)

Good luck everyone and thanks, once again, for all your support! I couldn't have done it without you.

xo Christina

Thursday 12 May 2016

This Black Friday the real SS Orient is back from the dead!

Today I'm donning my finest boat shoes and popping on the captain's hat for the official launch of the Agatha Christie Book Club 2—Murder on the Orient (SS). But don't worry! 

I'm not going to bore you senseless with a sales pitch here—check out your preferred e-retailer for that. Instead I'm going to remind you where I got the idea from and how true synchronicity works, courtesy of my Author's Note from the book (see below). 

I think the backstory is almost as fascinating as my novel. Damn, there I go with the sales pitch…

S.S Orient (5,390 tons),  Orient liner which made its maiden voyage to
                     Australia in 1879. From a lithograph after T.G. Dutton at the National
                     Maritime Museum, Greenwich, U.K. (PAH5285) 

Murder on the Orient (SS): A Note from the Author

"When I started conjuring up the second adventure for the Agatha Christie Book Club I wanted to take them on an exotic journey à la the infamous Orient Express, one of my favourite Poirot settings, and began looking around for ideas.

Boy, did I get lucky!
Worsley, William. The S.S. Orient galop [music] - Front Cover

In the early 1900s, there really was a classic steamship called the SS Orient that sailed between London and Sydney, via the Suez Canal and The Cape. According to my research, it was a gleaming ship, full of glamorous characters and several rather dubious deaths, and proved a perfect fit for my book club friends. While I have changed some details, including the original itinerary, for the sake of this contemporary plot, much of the information about the ship is authentic and can be found in the bibliography.

Sadly, however, the SS Orient has not been recommissioned nor is there a real-life replica floating about as I have imagined here, but an author can dream can’t she?

And a book club can jump aboard for the ride…
Bon voyage!"

For more info on the (real) SS Orient 
The SS Orient Story by Roy Clifford and Dave Knight

Happy reading, everyone, and I hope you enjoy the voyage.
xo Christina

Sunday 8 May 2016

FIVE free copies of Agatha Christie Book Club up for grabs

I've got a touch of the Excitements and it's getting infectious! Just four sleeps to go until the official launch of my second Agatha Christie Book ClubMurder on the Orient (SS), which is now available for pre-order at Amazon and Smashwords.

The book will be on sale from Friday, May 13.

To celebrate, I prescribe a good dose of Book 1—The Agatha Christie Book Club (original cover pictured below).

If you haven't already read it, or you'd like a copy of the paperback version, then here's your chance.

I'm giving away FIVE free copies at Goodreads.

***The competition opens Monday, May 9 and closes June 9 and all Goodreads subscribers are welcome to enter. ***

If you haven't already, this is your chance to catch the Agatha Christie Book Club bug.

If you're not a member of Goodreads but you'd also like a chance to win a free copy of the first book, get in touch here and I will set up a separate competition just for you. But you do need to contact me ASAP.

Until then, good luck and happy (feverish) reading everyone!

xo Christina

Sunday 1 May 2016

The true story behind the real SS Orient

“The SS Orient, kiddoes! It’s a sign from Dame Christie herself!”
Missy Corner, Murder on the Orient (SS)

At last, here it is... 

If you enjoyed the first book or are just looking for a classic whodunnit, the Agatha Christie Book Club is back, this time on a nautical adventure called Murder on the Orient (SS), now available for pre-order at Amazon.

Murder on the Orient (SS) follows our beloved book lovers as they embark on a "quiet cruise" (cough, cough) between Sydney, Australia and Auckland in New Zealand.

Naturally, the first dead body shows up within 24 hours, but it's not really until a second body goes missing—this time with a loud squeal and an ominous splash overboard in the dead of night—that the club decides to pull on their Poirot mo' and investigate.

Based on a real ship

Like all my mysteries, this one was a lot of fun to write, but it was even more fun to research. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to sink my teeth into crusty old documents, dusty old reference books, and pages and pages of web material to get at the truth.

I'm a research junkie with no desire to kick the habit.

And this book was research (Acapulco) gold. The SS Orient really does exist. Or it did, back in 1879 when it was first built. And while the steamship only sailed a mere 30 years or so, mostly between London and "the colonies", it was also literary gold as far as I was concerned.

I quickly created a modern-day replica of the SS Orient and lured my book club aboard.

Not only does the ship have the perfect name—“The SS Orient, kiddoes! It’s a sign from Dame Christie herself!”—it was the ideal setting for an old-fashioned style whodunnit, the kind of ship Dame Christie (Miss Marple or Poirot) might have voyaged on had the opportunity come up.

It's elegantly designed and decorated and has few mod cons like CCTV and WiFi to get in the way of a good story. After all, there's no chance of sneaking into someone's cabin to bump them off on the Pacific Princess what with all those pesky cameras catching your every move.

Based on a favourite story

Now that I had the setting I just needed a great plot and I may—or may not—have borrowed from the Queen of Crime. I wanted there to be echoes of the original Murder on the Orient Express without being a carbon copy. Some elements are similar, some are wildly different, and Agatha Christie aficionados will enjoy a little trainspotting as the story progresses.

Just don't expect it to be handed to you on a silver platter. Like Christie's books, I provide a stack of clues and some fishy red herrings to keep you guessing right until the 'great reveal' at the end.

Or at least that's the plan.

I'd love to hear your thoughts once you've read the book. For now, jot me a line and let me know what you think of the cover, the setting and the basic premise of the story. Or simply sign up for your early copy at Amazon here.

Murder on the Orient (SS) will be officially launched on Friday, May 13. Yep, that's black Friday.

Unlucky for some.

If you haven't read the first in the series, The Agatha Christie Book Club, grab a copy now or look out for future discounts. There'll be plenty of those.

Until then, happy (retro) reading, everyone!
xo Christina