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‘Familiar’ Progress – First Draft

T. J. Blake’s “Familiar” Progress

It’s been a while since giving you guys one of these updates on my not so secretly titled novel, “Familiar”.

Now that you know the name of my next novel, I can start opening up a little more about the novel and what you can expect once it’s released.

This psychological paranormal thriller is due for release this year. The first draft is nearly complete and ready for the editing phase, but there’s still work yet.

Don’t judge me too critically on the excerpts I will be sharing with you over the coming months, it is work from my first draft; it’s far from perfect.

Here goes:


The floorboards creak under her weight. Vibrations reverberate through her feet, skulking up her ankles. The drapes in front of her sway. The noise beyond them mounting.

Remember what you rehearsed, Arabella tells herself.

The drapes part. A beam of light swivels, locking onto her.


 

What can you tell from this small piece of content? Would love to hear what you guys think what this novel will be about and who the main character is.

More excerpts of “Familiar” to come

Familiar - coming 2020

New Year. New Book. New Title.

For most of 2019 I referred to my next book as the ‘untitled but secretly titled novel’. Today I can FINALLY reveal the name of my next novel – which is coming in 2020!

Familiar – coming 2020
Familiar - coming 2020

 

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

 

I will be keeping you guys up to date on the progress of Familiar throughout 2020. Still to come; release date, book cover and blurb.

Thank you to all of you for your support over the years and I can’t wait to see what you all think of Familiar once it’s released!

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)!

Untitled yet secretly titled novel progress – 36,883

I just finished writing a scene in my untitled but secretly titled novel. It didn’t take long at all and it was almost as if I barely had control as the scene unfolded; as if entirely by itself.

It prompted this post on my socials:

Holy moly, there was some intense writing yesterday.

Fast pace, creepy, foreshadowing, gore, mystery – that was all rolled into a couple of pages of the book.

I’m making slow progress through this first draft, but it’s coming along nicely.

It’s different to DECEPTION, but I hope that it’s as well received.

To give you some insight into this book…

It’s a paranormal, psychological thriller following a famous psychic medium called Arabella. The story is focused on her life, particularly focusing on her ability to communicate with those on the other side.

However, there is a darkness to her and what she can do. She may be able to talk to her ‘friends’, but not all is as it seems.

This story offers a unique take on spirits and their presence and the signal of their presence. There is also the added twist of a murder mystery, unwanted fame and how complex we are as people.

That’s all I can tell you for now. There is no official synopsis, title or cover, but they are coming.

Let me know your thoughts on this. Does it sound like something you would like to read? Is there anything else you would like to know about this story?

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!

From 17676 to 31473 – progress on my WIP

It’s been a while since I last posted some progress on my latest novel.You know the one, the one that’s currently untitled but secretly titled? Don’t worry, I’ll be revealing the title soon enough.

The last time I posted an update on here my untitled book was at the 17676 word count mark. Now it’s 31473.

It’s just numbers I know, but I’m happy to say I’m on track for release in 2020. But let’s not jinx it.

A cheeky teaser for you all

So what’s the last sentence you wrote T. J.? I hear you cry.

Well, this:

“I said I was sorry,” Arabella groans to the empty room.

We want more!

Ok:

Arabella wakes to the rippling sting on the side of her face.

But that’s all you’re getting today!

‘Untitled’ will be publicly titled soon enough

I am working on the unveiling of the title, so keep an eye out for that.

It will all come out here on my blog, and on my social pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) very soon.

Book Review: Holiday Readings

Whilst in Santorini for the week, I read three thriller books. Here are my reviews of them below.

Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse

Sweetpea C. J. Skuse

Dark, outrageous, humorous

My wife unintentionally recommended this book to me. She told me about the premise of it to illustrate her dislike of the story and the main character. Her description though caught my attention.

I made a start on the book and quickly thought it was quirky and original. It was a refreshing change to have a foul mouthed, dirty minded female lead in Rhiannon. The best way to describe her is that she has shades of Fleabag and Killing Eve’s Villanelle.
I will say, I believe C. J. is testing the reader early on as the tone of Rhiannon is far more crude in the opening stages of the book. If it’s not for you, just persevere. This risk though didn’t pay off in terms of keeping my wife hooked into the book – she immediately disliked Rhiannon. I, on the other hand, enjoyed it and really took to Rhiannon’s personality and tone of voice.

The story itself is a fresh take on serial killers. We’ve seen it many times before with the likes of Hannibal and the TV series Dexter, but Sweetpea is another extension of that. Similar to Villanelle in Killing Eve.

It’s a book that follows Rhiannon and her devilish ways. I don’t want to say too much more but it is a thrill that keeps you hooked.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

 

Believe Me by JP Delaney

Believe Me JP Delaney

Brilliant start, but lost its way.

Ok so some of the reviews I think are quite harsh. However, the start of this novel is brilliant. If it kept to that tempo throughout the book it would have been one of my favourite reads. Ever.

I finished this book in one day.

The start of it is intoxicating. A really unique premise – the main character, also an actress, Claire, works for a firm of divorce lawyers. A great combination this, actress posing as an easy pick-up in hotel bars to entrap straying husbands to win a case.

We see her in action quickly, fooling a man and getting the job done expertly. But not all is as it seems, because Claire is quickly pulled into a murder investigation, where the man’s wife has been murdered.

I think JP Delaney really portrays a female lead very well. I don’t think she was particularly likeable, but that also made the read interesting because you don’t know who you can trust in the story. Midway through the book, it does lose traction unfortunately and I did find myself reading for the conclusion rather than out of enjoyment.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

 

The Friend by Teresa Driscoll

The Friend Teresa Driscoll

Disappointingly predictable, but I did still want to finish!

It seems that a lot of other readers enjoyed this one. However, I thought it was disappointingly predictable.

If you read the synopsis then the story doesn’t stretch much further than that. I was compelled to read the book as there was more to solve than what the synopsis was letting on. Some nice enough writing and moments in the book, I liked the use of time.

I read this after enjoying ‘I Am Watching You’.

Rating: *** (2.5 stars)

Book Review: “A Stranger in the House” by Shari Lapena (Sorry Shari)

I don’t like giving these reviews… but here’s my truth.

A Stranger in the House Shari Lapena

The less said about this novel the better really. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, but it was lacking in so many departments.

The plot was,… ok. It wasn’t all that enticing, but it obviously had enough to make me want to know more and read to the end. Part of me thought there was going to be something more underlying here.

My amazon review sums it all up well:

“Cliché after cliché, the characters were dry and ‘the twist’ wasn’t a surprise at all. Disappointing.”

I guessed what was going on very early on. But I read on, hoping that there was going to be a shocking twist.

There wasn’t.

Unfortunately, we’ve all already read and watched these kind of stories before.

** (2 stars)

This was Lapena’s last chance to convince me…

I’m always willing to give books and authors a chance. This was Lapena’s last chance to convince me.

I wasn’t at all fussed with “The Couple Next Door”, but “A Stranger in the House” was the chance to convince me to read more of her work.

Unfortunately, I’ve not been converted. So this will be my last read.

If you thought differently of this novel, then please let me know. I’m interested to know what you like about it.