RIP to one of my readers, Jessica

It’s an unusual feeling when you reach out to one of your readers and your message to them bounces back.

I thought it was strange, so I googled their name. Top result – ‘Funeral Notice’. Same location in the UK where she lived.

I headed to her Facebook page and it was confirmed, a comment on one of her photos. Terrible news, a life ended too soon!

How I knew Jessica

Jessica was kind enough to read my novel, DECEPTION: A Love of Lies. She wrote a FANTASTIC review for it. Her in-depth look into my story and writing is something a writer dreams of. She made one of my dreams come true.

This is her review for DECEPTION. She had a wonderful mind – a really inquisitive reading mind.

Jessica’s DECEPTION review

Deception is an excellent read full of underlying themes, a powerful, emotional, gripping plot as well as overlying the main theme of deception, full of vivid imagery which brought the story to life in my mind, mind blowing and astounding twists, believe me, when you’ve read this review with the others here, you’ll be dying to read it yourself after my personal, analytical review!

Deception follows the main characters perspective in the 1st person (our main protagonist, Billy) and refers to other characters along the way and whisks you away into their world, the only criticism of this is that it is at times confusing in the book and at times i’ve wondered at what the other characters perspectives were. It also explores the following themes, i shall be expanding the themes in this review and they’ll be no spoilers:
1. Love/Lust/Obsession
2. Lies
3. Deception
4. Blackmail
5. Depression and Loss
6. The Sense of Community
7. Secrets

1: Love/Lust/Obsession:
Our main protagonist meets a woman called Eve in the woods walking his own dog, at first he has lustful thoughts and then falls in love. This book did make me cry at the sadness of the loss of love for Billy as he’s the sort of person i’d go for in my ideal man; smart, sensitive, loving and above all loyal and willing to fight for the person he loves. Obsession is experienced in this book too but i wont elaborate here for fear of spoiling the book for you.

Lying features heavily in this novel and the lies in this book are not all good intentioned as they have a tiny effect on Billy’s state of mined and leads him to question things.

3. Deception (the main theme):
Deception can come in many forms such as lying but mainly a persons deception can happen on different levels. The deception in this book is so shocking and at points in this book horrible and it did make me angry at first but when you read this you may understand the motives just as I did.

4. Blackmail:
This is another theme discovered in this book and is another method of deception (point 3) and can be really harmful. Blackmail can be on a par with cohersion and Lies and i am grateful to say this is one theme i’ve never experienced and i hope i will never experience this.

5. Depression and Loss:
Depression and Loss is experienced in the novel in places and speaks volumes. Our lead, Billy has experienced loss that render anyone depressed ( shall not spoil things for you here). Depression and loss can happen on many horrible, hurtful levels they fringe from small losses such as the loss of freedom. 

6. The Sense of Community:
This book is set with a community of characters, each one with their own identity. But we don’t get to know them very well as they are only featured at times in this book. 

7. Secrets
Now i’ll start by saying here that everyone has secrets, some secrets can be more shocking than others. Secrets can be kept to both protect a person and harm another person. We are complex as human beings and can have reasons to keep secrets. In this book there are many secrets but i’m afraid you’ll have to read it for yourselves as to find out what they are.

These are all my compelling reasons for why I’ve given this book a 5 star rating and believe me, I was so glad i read this book and did this review. This author is one to watch in years to come and I for one will be keeping a close eye on his books for further titles! T.J. Blake, I was extremely honoured to read and enjoy your book and wish you all the best for your long future as a author!

A really great review from Jessica. A lot of thought and time was put into this one. It reminded me of the kind of review you would write in an english class for a book – it’s wonderful.

Jessica wanted to keep an eye out for my future work, so it’s a real shame I can’t entertain her some more in the future!

RIP Jessica.

You never know what’s really going on in someone’s life – DECEPTION’s inspiration

“You never know what’s going on in someone’s life. You never know what’s really going on behind what they present.”

Hill Harper

The above quote rings true in the 2016 psychological thriller, DECEPTION: A Love of Lies.

When you wander past someone on a stroll, do you greet them? It’s polite, so why wouldn’t you.

I don’t know why we do it, but consider the amount of strangers you’ve greeted, you haven’t known any of them. But they all seemed nice enough on the surface, right?

I’ve always been intrigued by people; the way they behave, the decisions they make, how cruel a person can be, how kind someone can be, how a person can treat another person.

Humans are complex, and that’s the driving force behind the main protagonist in DECEPTION, Billy. To be honest, it’s essential for every character in my novels. I like to play on the psychology of a person and really dig deep into the mindset of a person.

For DECEPTION, it’s a small world from the point of view of one person. That person is most likely one of those people you have greeted on a morning stroll.

What is DECEPTION about?

Deception: A Love of Lies by T. J. Blake

DECEPTION is a psychological thriller based on Billy, a dog walker, who walks in his woodlands daily. He knows the woodlands like the back of his hand, and he has really taken a liking to a fellow female dog walker.

“Through the stark and leafless trees, I see her.

I remember the first day I saw her; an instant attraction. I think she’s beautiful. She has such pensive blue eyes; they remind me of a blue sky right before the sun descends. Every time I see her I want to talk to her, I want to get to know her, and I want to be her friend.

She usually completes the lower woodland walk in six minutes and forty-two seconds; she misses the deeper woodlands and goes home, I believe.

I walk down the road at the same speed as her. She reaches the crossroads at the bottom of the road, looks both ways, and then jogs across into the garden of a house. I stop walking and concentrate on which house is hers.

I can’t stare too long but I am intrigued already, I will come back.”


Read reviews Goodreads

Now we’re all on the same page, let’s look at Billy. After all, DECEPTION is told from his point of view.

How often do you wander by a dog walker?

I don’t know about you, but I see them all the time. Whenever I go for a walk, or even a run (when I’m not being lazy), I pass at least a couple of them en route.

When I pass an owner and their furry friend, I play with their pooch of course, but after that, I do sometimes wonder about them.

Who are they? What’s their name? What do they do for a living? Married? Kids? Do they have hobbies?

Walking your dog is the perfect cover story 👀

What I like most about a dog walker is that, from the point of view of the dog walker, you can be on your own in a woodlands (with your dog of course!) and no one would bat an eyelid. Be seen walking in the woods on your own, it’s a different story.

This was the inspiration for Billy Allen – he’s a man who lives with his dog, Ella. He knows the woodlands like the back of his hand, after all, he walks there every day. More importantly, he has an infatuation for a fellow female dog walker.

No one knows of his motive (except the reader), but what Billy has going for him is that he is a dog walker and he can wander around and watch the woman without being judged.

Even in other situations, Billy knows that by taking Ella with him he has a cover.

Early into the book, Billy heads to the woman’s house one night, he watches her through the window. Of course he has Ella with him, and like a good dog, she waits for him at the end of the drive.

If you want to know if Billy gets caught, you’ll have to read the book!

Do we ever truly know someone?

A question for you to think about. How well do you know your friends? What about your colleagues – how well do you know them?

What about the people closest to you, your family? Your partner?

How well do we truly know a person?

Sorry if this is making you paranoid that’s not the aim here. But it does make you think, doesn’t it?

If you like a psychological thriller read that will play with your mind and digs deep into a dark psychology of a person, then DECEPTION: A Love of Lies is certainly a great read – I’m not being biased!


The DECEPTION audiobook is coming soon.

Christopher Pizzey to narrate the new ‘DECEPTION’ audiobook

On top of the release of Familiar (available for pre-order, August 21), I’m super excited to reveal that my novel, DECEPTION: A Love of Lies, will be released as an audiobook this year.

I’ve heard segments of it already – it’s fascinating and very unnerving. For those of you who have read DECEPTION, you’ll understand why.

DECEPTION: A Love of Lies audiobook coming soon

I will be teaming up with actor, writer and director, Christopher Pizzey, to release DECEPTION as an audiobook.

After listening to many auditions to narrate the protagonist, Billy Allen, it was Chris Pizzey’s that stood out to me. There were a lot of high quality auditions, but Chris’ voice was perfect. His voice, tempo and accent were what I had in mind for Billy. Not only that, Chris really took the time to understand the character. So much so he became Billy, it was amazing to be a part of.

I’d go as far as saying if DECEPTION was adapted for the screen, Chris would be my first choice to play Billy!

Who is Chris Pizzey?

Chris has been involved in many big TV shows and films over the years. Some of his works include Eastenders, The Basil Brush Show, Doctors, The Bill and Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.

When will the audiobook be released?

You know how it is, I’ll be secretive on this – it will be this year.

Keep an ear out for Chris Pizzey as Billy Allen!

Did you know you can read DECEPTION free with Kindle Unlimited?

That’s right, if you’re signed up to Kindle Unlimited you can read DECEPTION without paying a penny for it.

What is Kindle Unlimited?

Unlimited Reading. Unlimited Listening. Any Device – that’s what Amazon says.

You will have access to 1 million titles and thousands of audiobooks. At the moment, there is a 2 month deal where you can sign-up for free.

It’s a no brainer really; you might as well join Kindle Unlimited for free… and then read DECEPTION: A Love of Lies by me 😃

Should you follow these steps – sign-up to KU and start reading DECEPTION, put a tweet out and let everyone know… something along the lines of:

Hi everyone, #amreading  DECEPTION by @TJBlake93 FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

The Real Life Setting of DECEPTION

I think this blog will be interesting for those of you who have read DECEPTION: A Love of Lies, and those of you who write. This is all about the establishment of the setting of the novel. Although the novel is fictional, the location itself is very real – with some slight twists.

The DECEPTION woodlands and its surroundings

I put out a post on my Instagram – showing off the locations of where my book DECEPTION is based.

Here are those photos and the post if you missed it:

DECEPTION woodlands - the road leading to Eve's
A view of the road that leads to Eve’s home. The very road where Billy follows her home.

DECEPTION woodlands first scene
The opening scene – Billy watches Eve walking her dog.

DECEPTION woodlands
The lining of trees, one of which Billy climbs up… those who have read my book will know why he does and what happens 🙄😬

Some background…

These woodlands are out the back of my childhood home. I used to love going down there with my friends to play all sorts of games, build bases and simply explore. And because I spent about 70% of my childhood there, I knew the woodlands like no one else.

Why my childhood woodlands?

I did consider creating a fictional woodlands for the story, but it wouldn’t have been the same; I needed an authentic woods to base my novel around.

I needed to know the woodlands like the back of my hand. Otherwise I would have been drawing a layout for the woodlands on a piece of paper and using that as a map to plot out Billy’s moves. But that wouldn’t have worked, and I wouldn’t have been able to go into the details that I manage to go into in the book about the woods.

The woods drive the story and characterisation. They allow the reader to become the protagonist, Billy Allen, and to really understand the mindset of Billy.

For the story to work I needed to know so much about the woodlands:

  • How they smell
  • How they look in different seasons
  • Where the trees are
  • Where there is or isn’t coverage from trees or hedges
  • Where the quieter parts of the woodlands are
  • Where people actually walk their dogs
  • How the woodlands made me feel
  • Where the pathway runs through the woods
  • Where you could realistically hide

That’s why I decided to choose my childhood woodlands – I had literally explored EVERYWHERE.

Thanks for reading guys. Hopefully this gave you some insight into how I wrote DECEPTION and how I decided on the characterisation and setting for my novel.

If you want to see the woodlands in action, then why not check out DECEPTION?

The 5* psychological thriller that won’t let you look at passing dog walkers the same.

“Through the stark and leafless trees, I see her.

I remember the first day I saw her; an instant attraction. I think she’s beautiful. She has such pensive blue eyes; they remind me of a blue sky right before the sun descends. Every time I see her I want to talk to her, I want to get to know her, and I want to be her friend.

She usually completes the lower woodland walk in six minutes and forty-two seconds; she misses the deeper woodlands and goes home, I believe.

I walk down the road at the same speed as her. She reaches the crossroads at the bottom of the road, looks both ways, and then jogs across into the garden of a house. I stop walking and concentrate on which house is hers.

I can’t stare too long but I am intrigued already, I will come back.”


Reviews for DECEPTION

“This is a beautifully written gem of a psychological thriller, very creepy and atmospheric.”

“Be warned, though; this is an unsettling read at times, especially if you’re reading it in the dark just before going to bed.”

“A psychological thriller that leaves you breathless.”

“If you are looking for an edgy, addictive read, this is it!”

Read DECEPTION on Kindle

“DECEPTION” and “Alive” free today and tomorrow – stay home, stay safe, keep reading

Stay at home, save lives

This won’t cure coronavirus, but I do hope it will provide some respite from all that’s going on.

We may be in lockdown, but this is a chance to get your head into a book and have a break from all the stress surrounding the current situation.

This is a global issue, which is why my novels ‘DECEPTION’ and ‘Alive’ are free to download from Amazon on Kindle today and tomorrow.

If you enjoy reading psychological thriller novels, or you know someone who does, let them know about these free books. It might give them the relief they need from everything.


#StayAtHomeSaveLives – read, people! 📚👌

DECEPTION: A Love of Lies FREE to Download This Black Friday Weekend!

DECEPTION FREE to download on Amazon today!

For the first time since its release, DECEPTION: A Love of Lies will be FREE to download on Amazon for eBook and Kindle.

But only for this Black Friday Weekend!

DECEPTION Black Friday Deal - Free eBook on Amazon

Are you a psychological thriller reader?

So am I, this is why I wrote DECEPTION. It’s dark, it’s detailed, it’s gritty, it’s disturbing.

Reader reviews on Amazon for DECEPTION:

“Be warned; this is an unsettling read, especially if you’re reading it in the dark just before going to bed.” 5 stars

“You need to be a fan of psychological thrillers for this to work on you, but if you are, then I highly recommend Deception.” 5 stars

“With Deception: A Love of Lies, T. J. Blake has once again created a story of normal surroundings with a mysterious character.” 5 stars

“This author knows how to mess with you. I had a hard time figuring out who was doing what and why. That kept me turning pages until 3 in the morning.” 5 stars

Grab your free e-copy buy clicking here – this link will take you to your local Amazon site.

For the first time my novel has been stocked in a book shop

Unbelievably, this is the first time since publishing my first book back 2013 that I’ve managed to get a physical copy of my book stocked in a book shop.

One Tree Books in Petersfield, Hampshire is that book store.

DECEPTON in One Tree Books on the Local Authors Book Shelf

It’s a real honour for me.

I’ve been writing and publishing my stories for many years now. So why has it taken so long to get my book into a physical store?

Getting my novel stocked in a book shop

A change in mindset was key – be confident

A big part of it did come down to confidence. When you first start out as a writer, you (well I did anyway) doubt your ability. I think that’s just a normal trait to have. You wonder if you’re a good writer and whether your stories are worth telling and worth reading.

It’s only recently with experience of publishing and great reader reviews that I’ve learned that I am indeed worthy of having my novels stocked in book stores, and I have more confidence in myself and my books.

I haven’t tried to achieve this before, so the change in mindset was key as it pushed me to explore my options.

Making contact and following the process

By contacting the book shop, I explained that I’m a local author who has written a novel (called DECEPTION), which is based in the local area of a town nearby called Haslemere.  I mentioned that it would be a great opportunity for me, but also a nice proposition for them as a business to stock and sell a book by a local author.

They then came back and said they would like to stock the book. Then it was easy enough to complete the steps to make it happen.

So I ordered a bunch of copies, provided them with more information about the book and its RRP, went in to the book shop and dropped off the copies of DECEPTION.

Not every bookstore you approach is going to be a local one to you. But don’t disregard those small, independent book shops.

If you’re an author looking to get your book into a local bookstore, then most definitely approach your local book shops.

Nearly get run over

I’M JOKING, PLEASE DON’T! So this didn’t actually contribute to DECEPTION being stocked in One Tree Books, but I thought it was quite funny on reflection.

One Tree Books - T. J. Blake

If you’re in the Surrey/Hampshire area of the UK any time soon, then why not drop into One Tree Books in Petersfield? You can grab a copy of DECEPTION and a coffee (they have a cafe)!

DECEPTION’s book cover is on the move…

A little play on words here – you’re about to see why!

Something I’ve wanted to do for a while is animate one of my book covers. And what better opportunity is there than doing it for my favourite novel, DECEPTION: A Love of Lies. I finally found someone who could do it, and so I decided to work with them.

You can check it out in my latest tweet:

Let me know your thoughts!