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The “Familiar” book trailer is OUT NOW!

Familiar by T. J. Blake – August 2020

Hello, I’m so ecstatic, excited and proud to show you my new (and first!) book trailer.

It’s for my sixth novel “Familiar”, a paranormal, suspense thriller which is coming out in August 2020.

Let me know what you thought of my book trailer

Drop me a comment below.

You can even pre-order Familiar today on Amazon Kindle!

Familiar book trailer - coming August 2020 - Pre-order now, free on Kindle Unlimited

Ask the author: T. J. Blake – Goodreads

I enjoyed answering some great questions on my Goodreads page, check them out below.


Goodreads author questions

What are you currently working on?

T. J. Blake: ‘”Familiar” – a psychological, paranormal thriller. Coming August 2020.

Here’s the blurb if you’re interested:

For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.

Being the centre of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?’

How do you get inspired to write?

T. J. Blake: ‘I create a plot, character and story worth telling and showing. Without the excitement to write, there is no writing.’

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

T. J. Blake: ‘You can be who you want to be. Even better, you can let your readers experience the world and characters you create.

I can’t ignore plot though – I really enjoy creating plots that my readers will not predict. Meticulous planning is my favourite element of writing.’

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

T. J. Blake: ‘Keep writing, never give up, and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t.’

How do you deal with writer’s block?

T. J. Blake: ‘If your mind is elsewhere then do something else away from writing; you can’t force it. Take your mind off the writing; exercise, wander around the house, read a book, anything just to give yourself a break. Then, come back to it and try again.

You can’t always control your mind, and you MUST be in the right mood to write. Writer’s block hits us all, so don’t let it get you down. Stay positive.’

Can you tell us a two-sentence horror story?

T. J. Blake: ‘Sure.

“I really love the clown costume hanging up in the corner of your bedroom.”
“What… I don’t have a clown costume.”‘


Got a question for me?

You can ask me anything on my Goodreads author profile or by clicking HERE.

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.

Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

The perseverance paid off on this one… three attempts though.

The plot

Anna hasn’t been outside her flat for the last 10 months; she’s too terrified to. She has neglected life, she’s been forgotten by society, and her window is the only view of the world.

The world she knows gains some excitement – in the form of neighbours moving in opposite to her. The Russells – husband, wife and teenager – a picture perfect family.

One evening, a scream pierces through the silent night. Anna goes to her peephole to the world, to her neighbours. And as she looks out, she witnesses something horrific.

She needs to go get help. But she can’t go out. Even if she calls the Police, will they believe her?

My review

I have to be honest, this took me three attempts before I was enveloped into Dr Anna Fox’s world. This was my first, and my biggest, criticism of this novel. It’s also why I struggled to rate this novel come the end.

By the end I was like, “well written, decent story, nice twist (even if I did predict it on this occasion)“. But reflecting on my experience overall, it shouldn’t take three attempts to get into a novel. It was the amazing reviews this book had received which urged me to continue.

With a theme of film noir throughout the book, the plot itself screams Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ (which I believe Finn does on purpose), which is a cracking film. But equally, it feels as though this plot has been done many times before – Rear Window, Disturbia (the film, which was also inspired by Rear Window I believe), and now The Woman in the Window.

I would say that once the book FINALLY gets to the scream that’s when Finn’s writing really comes to life. You can sense a shift. I found myself reading faster and faster, trying not to jump ahead to find out what’s going on.

My next issue is around some clumsy writing and the repetition of a… let’s call it a phrase. Due to the repetition, it actually gave the twist away for me before it happened. I read the phrase once, then again, and again, and again AND AGAIN. It was at this point I turned to my wife and said, “I think I’ve guessed this book already.” It turns out I had. Actually, I didn’t even guess, I just picked up on the repetition of the ‘phrase’.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Ok, so this was a tough one. Originally I wanted to rate it 3.5-4. The beginning however let it down massively, which makes me think 2. I had settled on 3.5 (rounded up to 4 on Amazon), but I don’t think I can justify that rating unfortunately – not when other books much stronger I’ve rated 3.

So, in the end…

A bittersweet rating of 3 – I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this one!

⭐⭐⭐
3/5

My Instagram Q&A – Highlights

I hosted my first Q&A on Instagram today – it was great to have received so many questions for it!

There was also a big piece of news on the progress of Familiar.

If you missed it, you can catch it all HERE.

Q&A with T. J. Blake – Highlights

The big update on Familiar:

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If you have any other questions, drop it here and I’ll get back to you!

My First Instagram Author Q&A – ask me anything

Fancy asking me a question? Here’s your chance.

You can do so on my Instagram story. Ask away, I’ll answer your questions tomorrow.

See you there!

Here’s a ‘backstage pass’ into the editing of “Familiar”

Who doesn’t love a backstage pass? It’s always cool seeing a set or the characters of a TV show or movie from a different angle. It’s no different for authors writing a story.

You wonder (well, I do anyway), what’s their process? How do they set themselves up to write for the day? What times of the day do they write? What do they drink and eat whilst writing? Tea or coffee? Beer or wine?

In the UK right now it’s HOT. No amount of sun is worth missing, but then again there’s no time for an off day when it comes to editing my latest novel, “Familiar“.

So, here’s a backstage pass for you into my editing day…

T. J. Blake drink writing - editing Familiar

So there you have it!

I will say, I don’t usually drink when I’m writing or editing my novels. But you’ve got to treat yourself once in a while.

Paranormal thriller ‘Familiar’, coming soon!

For the living, it’s closure. 
For the departed, it’s the last chance to expose the truth.

Familiar T. J. Blake

For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.

Being the centre of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?

Available to pre-order on Amazon

Book review: “Seven Days” by Alex Lake

A great start to my isolation reading!

This is my first read in COVID-19 lockdown – what a start!

I was thrown into a dark, miserable and disturbing world. By reading the blurb, you can see this darkness.

Seven Days by Alex Lake - Book Review

The plot

It’s a simple enough premise yet extremely disturbing – Maggie (who is being held somewhere against her will) has seven days to save her son, Max. Otherwise, on his third birthday, just like her other children, he’ll be separated from Maggie. But why? Where will he go? Who will take him? We, just like Maggie, have NO IDEA.

What to expect

An instant, gripping hook. Mystery, questions, grit, anger, sadness, darkness.

There are so many questions. I had so many theories, but none of them were right.

The story will not disappoint. We may be locked up with Maggie, but we get to see what is going on outside of the basement. The segments in the basement are engaging. It’s a heartbreaking and difficult read at times, seeing the effect Maggie’s disappearance has on her family. Desperation, despair, sadness. I imagine it to be quite a realistic view and experience if you were to lose a loved one in such a way. Never knowing what happened to them, always wondering if they’re still alive. It’s enticing and addictive. You just pray the struggles are worth it when there’s a happy ending… you hope it’s happy.

There’s a shift in the story at one point. Without saying too much, the hunger to finish changes for a different reason. At this point I think some people will think, “well why should I bother carrying on”, but keep at it, it’s worth continuing.

This is a great read. When I wasn’t reading Seven Days it was on my mind. And when I was reading it, I was reading fast, yet not wanting it to end!

I imagine this was a tough story to write, knowing exactly how to tell the story, particularly when working towards the ending and the big reveal. But I think Alex Lake did a good job.

A 4.5 star, rounded up to 5.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

New psychological, paranormal thriller “Familiar” cover reveal

Familiar cover reveal

I started the reveal with a couple of teasers on my social channels. Always looking for a Gif to accompany!

It was great hitting the target of completing the 1st draft, and this then led to the reveal of the Familiar cover – which I’ve been holding back several months now.

But now it’s out there for all to see. Even better, Familiar is available to pre-order on Amazon Kindle!

Here it is:

Familiar by T. J. Blake

I love this cover so much. It’s retro, it’s creepy, and most importantly, it’s perfect for the story.

Blurb

For the living, it’s closure. 
For the departed, it’s the last chance to expose the truth.

For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.

Being the centre of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?

Pre-order Familiar

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