Supernatural suspense thriller, “Familiar”, now available – what inspired me?

It’s been one hell of a journey, but I’m delighted to reveal that my sixth novel, “Familiar” is available to read.

Available on Amazon Kindle – FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited!

The inspiration for “Familiar”

The of idea Familiar came to me once I was done and dusted with DECEPTION in 2016. It was the character Arabella who came to me first; strangely after having gone to see a live Derren Brown stage show.

It was a segment in Derren’s show that impressed me – he was outing psychic mediums and their ‘ability’. In fact, he was more convincing than any psychic medium I had ever seen. It was incredible. He revealed the most personal details about members of the audience. I was jealous – and I actually went up on stage to see if he could speak to my grandfather. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Derren’s work really inspired me. It made me consider all the things that could happen to a psychic medium – I had a lot of interesting thoughts, a lot of dark ones too.

The different scenarios that unfolded really excited me. I soon had a huge collection of situations that would create an interesting plot. I didn’t rush these ideas – I let them sit in my brain for a bit.

These ideas of mine loitered for a year I’d say. There was huge potential and a lot of different paths to explore.

One plot really stuck out to me. One that I thought, “now that would make an awesome Netflix show.” More like it would make another great T. J. Blake novel!

The plot was something that I had not seen before – in a book or even a TV show or film. So, I moved forward with the idea of a whodunnit – but not like other whodunnits, it had a spiritual twist.

Just over two years later, Familiar was written and what a great story it is.

What to expect

Secrets, darkness, mystery, twists, creepiness, ghosts (although Arabella calls them friends), loss, complex people (and ghosts!) – Familiar has it all.

It’s a story that has one main plot going on with Arabella, as well as other little mini stories running alongside it. Because Arabella is a psychic medium, she’s rarely left in peace.

Arabella meets interesting ‘friends’ and wants to tell their stories. Everyone has the right to have their story told, right?

Read Familiar now and let me know what you think!

Book Review: “Secrets and Lies” by Lynda Renham

New home, new village, old secrets… and a haunting spirit?

Flora and Adam McIntosh move to the country. It’s a setting they’re not used to, but they absolutely love it, or at least Adam does. Flora isn’t so keen. She’s torn. She can admire the home’s charming quaintness, but she can’t shake off the feeling of a presence in the home.

The proud villagers are welcoming, but they’re also suffocating. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone knows everyone’s business. Everyone’s doors are open, literally, even if you don’t want them to be.

I did enjoy this book. The premise was great. Wherever Flora was, she wasn’t safe. Nowhere was safe for her. This added a lot of mystery and fear of what was going to happen next. The mix of overfamiliar villagers, secrets, Flora’s inquisitiveness, and a haunting spirit made this story addictive.

There were however a few things about the narrative I didn’t enjoy. Reflection and thoughts. Flora has many of them during the story. They were mostly following the line of questioning of: Is it this? Is it that? Could this happen? Or could this? Maybe this person did this. Maybe that person did that. It was a little much. Let the reader think about these questions, not Flora. Or not Flora as regularly as she does throughout the book.

There was also a twist which I DID NOT see coming. But as I reflect (not as much as Flora) on it, I feel the author cheated a little bit here and there to make this twist impossible to guess, which kind of ruins the fun. A character can’t react a certain way to something and then later in the book it’s revealed that same character already knew about it. Unless I’m misunderstanding the scenes, I would say that’s cheat storytelling. I can’t say too much more without giving away this twist (it’s not the big twist). Hopefully those of you who have read it know what I mean.

Overall, a fair 3 star rating. 4 star for the premise itself, brought down by my little doubts. 

Secrets and Lies by Lynda Renham