Friday 27 December 2019

Aussie Bushfires, A Real-Life Mystery + 3 Festive Gifts!

It's been a big year for me on a personal level and while I only published one book in 2019—After the Ferry: A Gripping Psychological Novel (see more on that and whether you've won a copy, below)—I want to say a very big THANK YOU for all your support in 2019, and APOLOGIES for not getting my seventh Ghostwriter out in time for Christmas as planned. 

I do have a pretty good (well, bad!) excuse

My eldest son finished school this year, which was whopping for him and us, but it wasn't the biggest event of 2019. As you may have seen on the news, large swathes of Australia have been burning now for months, and we have had our own battles in my immediate area, in the hinterland beyond Byron Bay. We had to evacuate our property at one point and while everything is okay for now, it has been extremely unsettling and, as you can imagine, a major distraction. But that's not the worst of it.

To date, across Australia, almost a million hectares of bushland and forest and about 1,000 homes have been destroyed, several lives have been lost as well as countless wildlife, including our precious and already endangered koalas. It really has been a horrendous start to our summer season here and, with no leadership at a political level, sadly, things remain very grim.

That's why, in 2020, I'm hoping for rain and lots of it! I'm also hoping for relief for our beautiful 'firies' - the unpaid, volunteers who leave their own homes, families and jobs to fight the fires for the rest of us. Many of them have been working for two months solid and THEY are the real heroes in all of this.

To them, I say THANK YOU,  and to you, my beloved readers, I say, here's to a calmer, cooler, happier year ahead—not so I can write more books, but so the firies can finally find time to put their singed boots up and read some!


For more on my books and other news, visit:

Why I Love My Latest Book

As some of you may know, I conjured the idea for this psychological thriller many decades ago, and have been itching to write it ever since. 

Back in the 1990s—pre-mobile phones—I really was a young Aussie backpacker travelling with a group of guys and girls making our way on a ferry to Santorini in Greece.

During the long, sunburnt voyage, one of the guys in my group—a handsome American lacrosse player—fell head over heels for a woman from a different group. I think she was a Kiwi but I'm not 100% sure. In any case, he fell hard and literally jumped ship with her long before we got to our destination! He threw caution to the wind and deserted all of us for someone he had only just met.
There were no mobile phones back then. No way to track each other down, and I often wondered how things turned out. WAS it true love and are they now living happily in New Zealand? Did he realise his mistake and get the next ship out? Or did something untoward happen? I certainly never saw him again and have wondered about him ever since. Hence the book. 

In my story, I upped the ante by turning the traveller into a naive young woman and her love interest into a dark, Greek stranger. Then I wrote two versions of what happened—a parallel story, with a startling murder thrown in.

The result is my fictional suspense/thriller AFTER THE FERRY and, while it's a lot more complex than my other books, it's also richly rewarding and those who have made it to the end agree that it's the best thing I've ever written. 

Which is why I'm handing out free copies as a festive gift!

* Lesa Neace
* Thomas Palmer
* Joann Lord

I'll be in touch shortly to offer your free ebook. For everyone else, thanks again for all your support in 2019 and happy (calm!) reading, everybody.

xo Christina

Sunday 8 December 2019

Are YOU Named in My Next Mystery? + 99c Suspense Novel!

In my last blog I asked you to send in the names you'd like to see used (and abused) in my next Ghostwriter mystery. And wow, what a wild and wonderfully named bunch you are! There were some beauties amongst the mix.
Most of you offered up your own names or names of people you know for my seventh in the series, and very few of you specified exactly what type of character you'd like to be—a 'good' one or a so-called 'baddie'. Which is just as well because I won't be revealing which name is which. Wouldn't want to give away the plot, right?
The two names I have chosen were names I would never have thought of, but really resonated with me and fit two of my characters perfectly (you'll understand when you finally get to read the book ;-) in early 2020).

So, without further ado, a big CONGRATULATIONS to (drum roll please)…
• Presley (adapted from the name Preslea, a reader's granddaughter)
• Paisley (a pretty suggestion from reader Nancy)
The generous providers of the names will be credited in the book and sent a free paperback copy when it's published.
Big THANKS to them and to everyone who contributed. I feel like I will never be short of sweet and surprising monikers again!

Meanwhile, my gripping new romance/suspense is on sale—99c!

It's the 1990s, pre-mobile phones, and a young traveller must make a terrifying—exhilarating—choice: Will she jump ship with a seductive stranger? Or stay cocooned on the Greek ferry with friends and miss what could be the love of her life?


In this fast-paced, psychological thriller, we follow Millie Malone across two very different lifetimes. In one life she remains onboard with her 'mates'—two Sydney lads with shaky motives, and an old school pal with a crush of her own—and in the other she jumps.

One decision sees Millie shacked up in the country, the other sees her married to her career, but both 'Millies' are harbouring a shocking secret that could blow their worlds apart.

THIRTEEN YEARS LATER… and 'Millie' has vanished overnight from her respective lives. Has she returned to Greece to face her past? Or has the past caught up with her, violently?


From the best-selling author comes a cracking, stand-alone story with twists and turns that will make you question every decision you ever made, and everyone you ever trusted.

This is a story of choices, and how one bad decision could end up being the best decision of your life.

Genre: Mystery // Travel // Thriller // Romance // Suspense 
NB: This book follows British English spelling and usage, and contains some adult language. No graphic violence or sex. 


Thursday 21 November 2019

WIN eBook 'Gift Baskets' + Get YOUR Name in My Latest Mystery!

2 x "Gift Baskets" of ALL ebooks
12 x individual prizes of one ebook or paperback

For those who like a little romance with their mystery suspense, I've signed up this week with a great group of authors to give away books in the Romantic/Suspense genre.

To win, all you have to do is sign up at AuthorsXP between November 19-25 and you will automatically be in the running. Just click here and you could be a winner! The giveaway includes my latest mystery: After The Ferry (see more on that below).

I'm looking for killer names!

I'm always on the look out for new and interesting names for my fictional characters and it's not always easy. Writers tend to choose names they're already familiar with, whether they realise it or not. 

I try to shake this up from time to time by glancing through magazines, newspapers and phone books, noting down names I see on telly, and asking my readers to get involved. 

This is where you come in...

Would you like to see your name in print? Would you be interested in loaning me your name—or the name of someone you love (or loathe!)? I'm looking for two names: one will be used for a "goodie" and one for a "baddie".

For the next two weeks I'm auditioning names! If you think your name (or the name of someone else*) is worth using, get in touch. Just sign up for my fortnightly newsletter here and then email me back with the name—first, last or both—and I'll choose the two best to feature in my next Ghostwriter Mystery, the seventh book in the series. Or just pop your name in the comments box below!

The winning names will be announced in an upcoming newsletter but I won't reveal whether the name is being used for a good character or bad—as I don't want to give away the plot!  

The winner will not only get boasting rights, they'll also receive a FREE copy of the book when it comes out. 

It's the 1990s, pre-mobile phones, and a young traveller must make a terrifying choice: Will she jump ship with a seductive stranger? Or stay cocooned on the Greek ferry with friends and miss what could be the love of her life?

From the best-selling author comes a cracking, stand-alone romantic suspense with twists and turns that will make you question every decision you ever made, and everyone you ever trusted. 

This is a story of choices, and how one bad decision could end up being the best decision of your life.

Here's how to get your copy

Does that sound intriguing? There's two ways to grab your copy. Over the next week, sign up to the giveaway, above, and see if you can score yourself a FREE ecopy or, if you can't wait, just download your $3.99 eBook at Amazon now.

Thanks, and happy (romantic) reading, everyone.

xo Christina

Monday 28 October 2019

4 Reasons Miss Marple is THE Queen of Amateur Sleuths

A few weeks ago I did a survey…

Sure, it wasn't exactly scientific, but after more than 100 responses to my question "Who's your favourite amateur sleuth?", I think we can safely say that Miss Marple is Queen of the Quizzes, Master of All Mysteries and the least amateur of all amateur sleuths.
And I'm not surprised.
Agatha Christie had already penned the perfect professional detective in Hercule Poirot (who appeared in her first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles), so it's no surprise that she got her amateur sleuth so spot-on. So how did she do it?
They're in it for love (not money)
There are a few core ingredients to a good amateur sleuth (AS). For starters, they really do need to be an amateur. They can't be a police officer or a detective or even a private eye (which is why Poirot does not make the list). They must be a layperson, someone incidental, someone who just happens upon mysteries and can't help but use their natural instinct for intrigue to get involved. But it must also be justifiable, reasonable, logical that they would get involved. Otherwise it's all a bit of a stretch.
That's why so many amateur sleuths are priests and doctors—people who naturally interact with the public and come across suspicious corpses.
Miss Marple is neither of these yet she ticks all the boxes, which brings me to another core ingredient:
They're nosey parkers
The best AS's are naturally nosey and Miss Marple is your classic nosey neighbour, the 'little ole biddy' next door who peeks through curtains and eavesdrops on gossip. It's no surprise she spots criminals sneaking about and overhears death plots. She's got a constant ear to the ground and knows everybody's business whether they know it or not. Which brings me to the next ingredient of a good AS.
They're invisible!
Well, perhaps not literally but it's hard to poke about when you're the centre of attention, which is why women of a certain age make terrific AS's (Jessica Fletcher anyone?). Invisible Woman Syndrome really does exist—just ask any woman (and some men, for that matter) over the age of 50 who have ever applied for a job or tried to order a drink at a busy bar. It's like you're not there! Which can be so frustrating—unless, of course, you're trying to solve a murder. Then you can use it to your advantage (mwahaha). 
They're disarming
Even when she does get noticed, Miss Marple comes across as sweet, harmless, even a little slow-witted. She's an 'elderly spinster' after all! Few people take her seriously and that is her superpower. Both cops and bad guys underestimate her, letting clues slip and being disarmed in her presence. Yet she's whip smart and playing them all! (It's a trick that works for pros like Vera Stanhope, Columbo and Monk.)  
And while there are plenty of AS's who disprove the rule—there's nothing invisible about Phryne Fisher, while Nancy Drew uses youth to her advantage—I still believe nobody does it better than Jane Marple. 
And, it seems, most of you do, too.

Meet MY Bookish Sleuths!

My Agatha Christie Book Club series features a club full of passionate amateur sleuths who clearly love a good mystery—hence the reason they've joined this particular book club—and each bring their own ingredients to the mix. 
Club founder Alicia Finlay has a rather eerie way of looking at the world, seeing the worst in everything and suspicious of everyone, which really helps when it comes to crime, while her stunning sister Lynette and classy club member Claire have a splash of Miss Fisher about them. They often use their 'feminine wiles' to flirt their way to the truth. 
Yet it's probably librarian Missy who most resembles Miss Marple. Missy might be young but she does waffle on, and can seem ditzy and airheaded. The truth is she's as switched on as Miss Marple and people underestimate her at their peril.
There's also a fastidious Poirot-style character in Perry and, one of Christie's achetypes, a dashing doctor with a penchant for poison—Anders.
Want to meet the whole gang and see how they got together? You can grab the first eBook and paperback in the series now from any good online bookstore, or at Amazon here.
Happy reading, everyone, and happy amateur sleuthing, too. Because when you think about it, we're ALL amateur sleuths!
xo Christina

Tuesday 8 October 2019

All 6 Ghostwriter Mysteries Up For Grabs + News On The 7th!

A young girl wakes up to find her entire family has vanished. Many years later Phoebe decides to tell her life story, and enlists the help of a ghostwriter.

Enter Roxy Parker…

The last time we met Ghostwriter Roxy, in A Note Before Dying, she'd fallen in love and settled into a quiet country life. 
Or had she? 
In Book 7 of the best-selling series, Roxy returns to Sydney, minus the love interest but with an adorable pooch by her side. She's home to write the life story of the aforementioned 'Forgotten Phoebe'—and, knowing our Roxy, uncover what really happened to Phoebe's missing family. 
But it's not the only reason she's back. Roxy has a very important announcement to make, and it's going to put a few noses—and at least one mother—out of joint!


As you can see, I've been busy concocting the next fun, fast-paced adventure for my Ghostwriter Roxy Parker, and to celebrate—and you know how much I love to celebrate—I'm giving YOU a chance to win ALL SIX!
For more on how to win, see below. It's very easy to enter, and writing book seven is coming easily, too. 
As many of you know, it's been a few years between Ghostwriter books and I know some of you have missed Roxy and her fab, fast-talking friends. I've missed them all, too, and have been having a blast reuniting with the cast, getting under Roxy's mother's nose (it's like a blood sport!), and throwing them all into the middle of my most perplexing mystery yet.
I'll be giving more info on the mystery in later emails, as well as a title and cover reveal, so be sure to stay in touch. And keep reading to be in the running.


To score a full set of Ghostwriter Mystery eBooks, all you have to do is tell me what you miss most about Roxy Parker. Is it her witty one-liners? Her motley mates? Or her uncanny knack for sniffing out crime?
Or maybe it's something else entirely?
I'd love to hear from you! Just jot me a quick email reply—just a few words is fine—and you'll be in the running!* Entries close in just one week and I'll announce the lucky winner in my very next email, so be sure to look out for it. 
Best of luck everybody and happy reading!
xo Christina


*Ts&Cs: You have one week to enter the competition. The best entries may be quoted in a future email. The winning entry and their name will be decided by the author and will be quoted in a future email. Ebook prizes only. You have four weeks to claim your prize. No further correspondence will be entered into. Thx :-)

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Funny ha-ahhh!! Win 12+ Humorous Mysteries (including mine)

Love a good laugh while immersed in a mystery? Here's another chance to win FREE eBooks & paperbacks! 
I don't know about you, but I find some mystery novels a little, er, droll. I mean, sure, tension has to be built, somebody's gotta die, but that doesn't mean we can't have a bit of fun along the way, right? (It IS fiction, after all!) That's why I always try to inject some humour in my crime novels, especially my Ghostwriter Mysteries which feature a cast of cheeky, wise-cracking characters who love a baffling whodunnit.
It's also why I've teamed up with the lovely Amy at AuthorsXP to give you all another chance to win eBooks and bonus paperbacks, including my second Ghostwriter, A Plot to Die For, which, like all the books in the giveaway, includes a good, healthy dose of humour.
Want to tickle your funny bone? Read on…

Win up to 12+ Humor eBooks + Bonus Paperbacks!

(2) Grand Prize "Gift Baskets" of ALL eBooks!
(12+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)
So, how do you win?
No, you don't have to send in your funniest jokes. All you have to do is click on the image above or at and then follow the prompts. For more on A Plot to Die For and my latest mystery After the Ferry, read on, otherwise good luck and happy (funny!) reading, everyone.
xo Christina

Pack your Gucci sunglasses for another fun whodunnit…
When Roxy accepts the exotic ghostwriting gig she expects little more than a good story and a touch of sunstroke. What she gets is her hotelier client buried in the sand, her head protruding ghoulishly for the crabs to devour, and an ensemble cast of cocktail-sipping characters who are all hiding something behind their Gucci sunglasses.
In this modern homage to a Christie classic, Roxy must solve the mystery of her client's murder while stuck on an island with the prime suspects. Along the way, the amateur sleuth encounters machete-wielding locals, shifty fellow guests, and an island paradise where the ghosts of past mistakes still linger behind every coconut. 
With a cracking pace and plenty of humour, this baffling mystery will have you scratching your head until the final, Hercule Poirot-style conclusion. If the 'Big Reveal' doesn't leave you gasping into your gin and tonic, it just might make you reconsider your next island holiday.
Funnier and more contemporary than your typical 'cozy', A PLOT TO DIE FOR is the second, stand-alone mystery for ghostwriter Roxy Parker.

One woman, two parallel lives, a murderer in waiting…
It's the 1990s, pre-mobile phones, and a young backpacker must make an exhilarating, terrifying choice—will she jump ship with an intriguing stranger? Or stay cocooned on the ferry with her friends and miss what could be the greatest love of her life?
One choice leads to true love.
One choice leads to murder.
Which way does she go?
In this fast-paced, psychological thriller, we follow Millie Malone across two parallel lives. In one life she remains onboard with her mates—two Sydney lads with shaky motives, and an old school friend with a crush of her own—and in the other she jumps. One life sees Millie married in the country, the other sees her married to her career, but both 'Millies' are harbouring a secret that could blow their worlds apart.

THIRTEEN YEARS AFTER THE FERRY… and Millie's two lives are colliding. Both women have vanished from their respective worlds—one is back in Greece, facing her demons; the other has been murdered. But which one is which?

From the best-selling author comes a cracking, stand-alone romantic suspense.

Monday 26 August 2019

Ghosts, True Love & the KGB—Your Best Travel Stories

To celebrate my new travel mystery After the Ferry, I asked you to share your own gripping travel stories. Here are the four best entries who've just won a copy of the book!

 Turkish Delight by JLV

"At 42, recently divorced, I met and fell in love with a man from Turkey. He went back to Turkey without saying goodbye. Having never left the USA, I bought a one way ticket to Istanbul, applied for a short-term teaching job, said goodbye to my family and left. I did not tell my lover my plans. After doing my teaching gig, which was a wonderful experience, I tracked down my lover and, two weeks later, we were married. We have been married 10 years now. I was so scared not knowing what to expect in a foreign country and not knowing my lover's feelings. I have never regretted my decision."

 Spy Kids by Mike B.

Three friends and I were, unbeknownst to our parents, traveling through Germany and Austria—in 1967, at the height of the Cold War. We were 16 and 17 years old—riding rented Vespa scooters during the day and camping in remote areas at night. On the 4th night, we were arrested (by non-German-speaking military men; I couldn't understand them). The charge was 'suspicion of espionage.' We found out soon that we had ventured into Communist controlled Czechoslovakia at an unmarked rural border crossing. We were in the custody of the Soviet KGB. . . "

A Near Miss by Nancy Marte

"I travelled to Jamaica by myself after my friend cancelled at the last minute. Met a guy that worked at the resort I was staying at and he invited me to a party with some of his friends. I had the funny weird stomach butterfly feeling so I told him yes as I did not want him to be suspicious of me, then changed rooms at the resort and stayed away from the area he was working. This was in the 1980s. Never regretted this decision." 

Spirited Away by Sammi K

"Went on a Ghost tour on the QEII Long Beach, California with my daughter and granddaughter. When we got to the swimming pool area, they turned off the lights and boy was it really dark.  While we listened to the story, something grabbed me but I couldn't see what. When the lights came back on I didn't see anything. I left the area rather quickly and won't be going back."

Thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their travel stories. I loved hearing your tales of shady travellers, feisty friends, unexpected soul mates and seriously close shaves. I'm sorry I can't give you ALL a lovely prize, but I have chosen FOUR winners instead of three, as promised. So, it's a big CONGRATULATIONS to the subscribers, above, whose stories all captured my imagination. 

You have all just won yourselves a FREE copy of my latest eBook AFTER THE FERRY. I'll be in touch soon with details on how to claim your prize.

Everyone else can grab their own copy by clicking here.

Happy reading, everybody!

xo Christina

Saturday 10 August 2019

Tell Your Wildest Travel Story & WIN New Travel Mystery/Suspense

It happens every single time… 

No sooner have I started telling the true story behind my latest mystery / suspense After The Ferry (see the full story from a past newsletter, below), when the listener invariably rushes in with an extraordinary travel tale of their own. Some stories are sad, some shocking, some sidesplittingly funny, but the ones that grip me the most are the ones that end with words like, "I was so lucky! It could have turned out so different!"
That's what I love about travel—you throw caution to the wind and yourself open to fate. Travel makes you a hostage to destiny. Anything can happen and it often does! At the very least, you meet all kinds of weird and wonderful people and have all manner of wild and wondrous experiences. 
And THAT'S what I want to hear from you! Have you, or someone you know, got a 'near-miss' travel story? A gripping adventure to reveal? A tale of sailing very close to the wind? If so, jot me a few lines today. The best THREE stories that come in over the next week will score a FREE e-copy of my new book. (And just for the record, those of you who have already shared your stories with me, no need to re-send—you're officially in the running!)

But first, the rules…

  1. Please keep your stories short and sweet. No more than a few sentences or I won't have the time to read them or the space to repeat them.
  2. Please only send gripping tales—something memorable or life-changing that happened to you or someone you were travelling with.
  3. Stories must be received within the next seven days to be eligible for the prize. Just reply directly to this blog, leaving a comment below, or sign up to my newsletter and email me that way:
  4. You MUST be willing to share your story and your name (but not your full email address) in my upcoming newsletter. If you don't want your details revealed, best not to apply.
  5. Due to the enormous number of entries that I usually receive, no correspondence will be entered into before, during or after this competition (in other words, I won't be able to reply to each story but I will read them, I promise!) 

That's it, folks. I look forward to hearing your near-misses and/or magical, memorable travel moments.
Now, for those who missed my past newsletter (you can sign up at, here's the true story behind my latest psychological mystery. Just scroll down to the blog, below, or click here!
Happy reading, everybody.
xo Christina

Wednesday 24 July 2019

PRE-ORDER NOW: Sliding doors-style mystery // thriller // suspense

My latest stand-alone mystery is now available and ready for pre-orders. To get your copy delivered straight to your e-reader, just click on the link hereOtherwise, look out for it August 14.

by C.A. Larmer

LAUNCH DATE: August 14, 2019!

'After they had pulled my battered body from the dark sand I began to wonder: What if? What if I had never met a handsome stranger on a Greek ferry, or two possessive Sydney lads, or set off on a journey with an old school friend with a chip on one shoulder and a crush of her own?'
It's the mid-1990s, pre-mobile phones, and a young backpacker must make a terrifying choice—will she jump ship with an alluring Greek man she's just met? Or stay safely on the ferry and miss what could be the love of her life?
One woman, two choices, which way does she go?
In this Sliding Doors-style psychological thriller, we follow Millie Malone and her friends across two dfferent lifetimes: in one life she remains in the belly of her friends, and in the other she throws caution to the wind and jumps.
One life leads to true love, the other leads to murder.
This is a story of choices, and how one bad decision could end up being the best decision of your life.


Wednesday 12 June 2019

The Real Story Behind My New Mystery THE FERRY MAN (out soon!)

A young backpacker meets an alluring stranger on a ferry to the Greek island of Santorini. When he gets off miles from her destination, she has to make a terrifying choice. Will she jump ship with him and desert her travelling companions? Or stay safely onboard and miss what might be the love of a lifetime? 
This is the story of one woman, two lives, and the consequences that lead to murder.


The year was 1991. I was in my early 20s. A wide-eyed backpacker fresh from Sydney, Australia, with an old school friend beside me and a team of American Lacrosse players we'd met up with somewhere in Europe. We were en route to Santorini, on the deck of a ferry, laughing, flirting, having fun.

Then, in the middle of the eight-hour journey, one of those US players struck up a conversation with a total stranger, another Aussie woman with an alluring smile. He was instantly smitten and before we knew what was happening, he was deserting us all and jumping ship with her on a completely different island.
Now remember: This was BEFORE mobile phones, before instant messaging and GPS. It was back in the days when you still had to book a call from a Greek post office if you wanted to phone home. It was another time and era and so his decision to abandon us for a relative stranger was a brave and potentially risky one. And yet we all laughed and waved him off as if it was just a lark. 
To this day I don't know how it went with that Aussie girl and if he ever caught up with his mates again. But I do know that choice he made has haunted me ever since.
Over the years, I started to wonder, what if?
  • What if the man who abandoned his mates had been a woman, a young and vulnerable one? 
  • What if the stranger she jumped ship with was a man who turned out to be a monster? 
  • And what culpability did WE all have, not pulling our friend back to safety?

Have you ever made a risky travelling decision? If so, you'll relate to this book. It's the one I've been madly typing for the past nine months (but conjuring in my head for almost 30 years). It's a ripper of a tale and I look forward to sharing it with you very soon. 
Unlike anything I have written before, it's a little less 'cozy' and a lot more 'thriller/suspense', with a dash of Gone Girl and a Sliding Doors-style twist. It's now with my editor (love ya work, Annie!) and is due out next month. 
For more on this mystery, a cover-reveal, and your chance to win FREE COPIES, just keep an eye on future newsletters.
Until then, happy (safe!) reading everyone.
xo Christina