Would you like me to Read you a Story?

When our children were young, they loved their dad to read to them and I loved to listen in because he had a great way of making the written words come alive. When they were older, the fact they could read for themselves didn’t mar their enjoyment.  I took the  time and opportunity to study what it was about his reading that was so special, and I think it was to do with the fact that, while he respected the written word, he also knew when to take liberties with it in order to entertain.

Maybe you’ll permit me to entertain you for a few minutes as I read the first section of my latest novel. I don’t claim to have my husband’s skill in this matter, but I’ll do my best.

For What it’s Worth is contemporary women’s fiction.
It is not part of The Reluctant Detective Series by the same author, but it is a spin off where Mirabelle has a part to play but in a supporting role rather than the main character.
This is a stand-alone novel and while readers who enjoyed the earlier series might be keen to find out what Mirabelle has been up to, the main storyline concentrates on Yvonne and her husband Hugh and explores themes familiar to many young thirty-something couples when they decide it’s time to expand their family.

For What it’s Worth can be bought on Amazon as a paperback or ebook as can other novels by the same author.

~~~

 

Making a Book Cover

Who would have thought from all the fun and nonsense we had that day, we could manage to get a new book cover? 😀

Writing a novel is only one part of the process of producing a novel. There are many other parts to the process, including designing a cover.

And there are many parts to designing a cover, including, in this instance, setting up a photo shoot in the garden with one of my sons and his wife. While one of my sons-in-law set up the camera, they couldn’t resist fooling around so it all turned into great fun. Happy memories 😀

With the resulting book cover completed by the photographer, our own Tim Pow of Pow Productions, here it is, the release of my new novel, For What it’s Worth.

For What It's Worth Final

So what’s the story?

Yvonne’s biological alarm tells her it’s time to start a family before she’s past her prime, but first her husband, Hugh, must find a job. But will any job do?
When Hugh seems to be taking his time to find one, Yvonne finds one for him, but is it the right job? Will it cause more stress when she is already juggling two jobs herself and is trying to hold on to their flat?
When things start to go wrong, Yvonne finds herself facing a choice no woman should ever have to – her marriage or a baby.
When she met Hugh, Yvonne was working as an Edinburgh tour guide, so she knows the city well and has a great fondness for it, taking us to some of her favourite places as she tries to work out what the important things in her life are worth: her dreams, her plans – and her marriage.
For What it’s Worth is contemporary women’s fiction with more than a touch of romance, seasoned with a sprinkling of humour, a spot of drama and a splash of tears.
It is not part of The Reluctant Detective Series by the same author, but it is a spin off where we get to know Mirabelle’s sister, Yvonne, better. Mirabelle has a part to play in For What it’s Worth, but in a supporting role rather than the main character.
Although it is a stand-alone novel, those readers who have enjoyed the earlier series will no doubt enjoy being reacquainted with so many of the characters and finding out what Mirabelle has been up to since finding Summer, but the main storyline concentrates on Yvonne and her husband Hugh and explores themes familiar to many young thirty-something couples when they decide it’s time to expand their family.
Life is complicated, love is complicated, must our dreams be complicated too?

Like all Christine Campbell novels, For What it’s Worth is available both as paperback and eBook on Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, FeedaRead.com and can be ordered in bookshops.

Enjoy!

101 Names to Conjure With

3D CC Promo Visual

These are my published novels. Don’t you just love the covers?

I’m looking forward to showing you the cover to the next novel, called For What it’s Worth, which will be coming soon. I’ve done the writing, the rewriting, the editing, the proofreading, the polishing, the cover is underway, and it’s almost ready to go to the publisher. Yay!

So what’s next, you may well ask. And I’ll tell you.

My next WIP is called Gold Plated. I completed the first draft some time ago and am about to embark on the second draft. This is the time when my mind keeps going back to the story and the characters. I’ve let it marinate for a few months, since November actually. It was my November 2016 NaNoWriMo novel, so it has marinated for almost eight months and it’s started to bubble up into my consciousness again.

During the writing of the first draft, I became unhappy with the name I had chosen for one of my characters, and I am ready to think about what she should be called instead. She’s not a Rose or a Violet, nor is she a Tabitha or a Geraldine. Because she is my character, created in my imagination, I can call her whatever I want to, but I’d like it to be a name that fits her and the story.

She is a feisty, Scottish lady in her early fifties, but she was named by her much gentler, artistic mother. If you stop and think about it, a mother has no idea at all what her child will turn out like, so she can hardly choose a name that will describe that child’s nature as she grows and matures. It’s a fortunate coincidence when the name happens to fit in real life, an easier thing to pull off by the creator of fiction. So am I looking for a name a gentle, artistic soul might name her daughter, but that actually suits the daughter’s stronger, feisty nature? Or might it be fun if it turns out the mother chose a name that really doesn’t suit at all? Any thoughts?

I put this question to a group of FaceBook friends, and we had a lot of fun with their suggestions. I must have at least 101 names to conjure with, and a short list that’s not much shorter. I wondered if you’d care to join the fun and help me out at the same time.

Just tell me in the comments what you think would be a flowery, artistic name that a feisty, fiery lady would love or hate to be called. Either way, it will be fun to get your suggestions. They may add to my shortlist or help me whittle it down. Who knows, you may be the one who comes up with the name I settle on.

~~~

To read more about, or buy any of  my published books:

Please click the link to

Christine Campbell Amazon Author page

~~~

 

Interview with Christine Campbell

It was such a pleasure to be interviewed by Elizabeth Hein for her blog. She asked some interesting questions about my writing process and the theme that runs through all my novels.

Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling In The Storage Room

Rusty Gold small .jpeg

It’s my pleasure to welcome Christine Campbell to the Storage Room today. Rusty Gold, the third book in her Reluctant Detective Series, was released yesterday so it’s a real treat to talk with her today. Christine and I write in the same genre and tend to address many of the same issues, but in very different ways. I love how that happens. Anyway, here’s Christine –

What genre books do you write?

Contemporary Women’s Fiction, though some of them almost fall into the cosy mystery/cosy crime sort of area.

What types of books do you typically read?

Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Cosy Crime, Mystery, Legal/courtroom novels, Relationship novels (not really romance)

Whatever I read, I like it to be a ‘clean’ read, as in no swearing, sex or violence. I’m also not into fantasy or science fiction – and especially not paranormal or supernatural.

So I suppose I have a…

View original post 1,394 more words

Traces of Red

It’s here! It’s here!

Traces of Red

Book Two in The Reluctant Detective Series

Traces of Red

Traces of Red is the sum of several interwoven stories.
While searching for her daughter, Mirabelle finds herself running an unofficial Missing Person’s Bureau from her flat in Edinburgh, where Kay comes to ask for help to find her missing husband.
Meanwhile, an abandoned baby is found in an Edinburgh pub and DI Sam Burns is happy to use Mirabelle’s expertise to trace the mother and the young woman who went missing with her.
Somehow their stories interlink and, when they find a body in the burn, they can’t help but wonder how many of them they’ll find alive.

Once again, much of Traces of Red is set in Edinburgh, but in this book, some of the action takes place further North in Scotland. If you’ve ever driven up the A9 towards Inverness and looked out at the hills, you may have wondered what it would be like to walk there, to climb some of these beautiful hills. But how would you feel about being lost in them?

~~~

Contemporary Fiction, A Cozy Mystery with a Woman Sleuth,

Traces of Red is available to download now on Amazon Kindle

or if you prefer the paperback, it can soon be ordered on

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

and all good bookshops.

~~~

It can already be bought

on

FeedaRead.com

~~~

I know, I know.

I should have waited until the paperback is ready in all the other outlets too, but so many of you, having read Searching for Summer, have been asking when Book Two of the series, Traces of Red, would be ready. I got overexcited and had to share it with you straight away as soon as the ebook was up and running.

The paperback shouldn’t be long before it’s showing on the other sites too, if that’s your preference, but it can be bought now, hot off the publisher’s press at FeedaRead.com 

~~~

Book One of The Reluctant Detective Series, Searching for Summer, is still available at the discounted price of 99p/99c if you haven’t read it yet, and it is available now from:

Amazon

FeedaRead.com

Barnes&Noble

Waterstones.com

and can be ordered from all good bookstores.

~~~

Happy Reading!

~~~

Now Would be a Good Time

Searching for Summer Final

Now would be a good time to grab a copy of Searching for Summer. Three reasons:

One, it’s a great read.

Two, the eBook is reduced to only 99p/99cents.

Three, you’ll have time to read it before book two is released. It’s on its way.

~~~

So what is Searching for Summer about?

~~~

It’s the first novel in The Reluctant Detective Series.

Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will.
Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer.
Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.

~~~

Set in Edinburgh, Searching for Summer could be called Kaleidoscope Fiction: a Cozy Mystery novel, but also a relationship novel with a hint of romance, a soupçon of crime, and more than a dollop of mystery.

If you don’t know Edinburgh, you will get to know it as Mirabelle wanders its streets and wynds.

Mirabelle loved living in Edinburgh: loved the atmosphere created by a city whose main shopping street looked across the road to a castle, Edinburgh Castle standing guard over Princes Street, its severe façade softened by the gardens skirting it, the gardens themselves cocooned from the bustle and noise, folded into their own tree-lined valley, with paths dipping into and out of its depths.

She knew the adage, Edinburgh was ‘all fur coat and nae knickers.’ She was well acquainted with its underbelly, its darker side, saw its dirty linen, but loved it anyway.

A novel to take you through a multitude of emotions as Mirabelle searches for Summer.

Trouble is, she keeps finding other people.

~~~

Searching for Summer

Available NOW

both in paperback and as an eBook

On Amazon

FeedaRead.com

or to order in bookstores

It is only the eBook that is reduced in price.

~~~

If you need further persuading to give Searching for Summer a try right now, here’s its beautiful book trailer:

Why Did You Write That Book?

Readers often wonder what inspired a writer to write the particular book they have just enjoyed, and it’s a fair question to ask, since the novel may deal with a subject that is somewhat out of the ordinary or a place they have never been. I know I find it interesting to have some background information about a book I have enjoyed.

What about you? Let me know in the comments if you feel the same.

For me, It is the same with a series. I like to know a bit of background, if possible. I love if I can find out what experience or snippet of information inspired the author to write on that particular subject.

The series I am currently writing, The Reluctant Detective Series, is about Mirabelle, a rather eccentric lady whose daughter went missing. While searching for her daughter, Summer, she builds up a network of contacts and, with the help of them and her friend, DI Sam Burns, she finds other missing persons and is able to reunite them with family.
People become aware of her expertise in this area and begin to come to her for help. Reluctantly, she becomes a bit of a private detective and her home becomes an unofficial missing persons agency.

The inspiration for this series springs from personal experience. I grew up not knowing my birth father and, over the years, concocted many stories to explain his non-appearance in my life. As an adult, I became a very private detective, since I was my only client, and set about finding out who he was and where he was. It’s a theme I return to in many of my writings.

41QJW-AUatL._UY250_ Family Matters, my first published novel, revolves around a woman whose husband abandoned her and her two young children. She’d like to know why, and what happened to him. Eleven years later, after her son dies, she discovers that he’d been trying to trace his father, so she follows the steps he took in an effort to find out how much he’d uncovered. In this book, I draw on some of the procedures I used to trace my father.

41C9fKLVtzL._UY250_Making it Home has, as part of its theme, leaving home and whether it’s possible to make one’s way back. The main protagonists are three women who become friends and help one another overcome their different problems while each works out what ‘home’ means to them and where ‘home’ is.

41WL0eRCVLL._UY250_ In Flying Free, the main protagonist loses contact with her father, when she and her mother leave the family home when Jayne is still a young child. So, in effect, it is she and her mother who are the missing people in this novel. The story traces Jayne’s efforts to come to terms with the why and how of the situation.

517rcMAIR-L._UY250_ Here at the Gate is a story of a secret past, one threatened with exposure. Who is Mhairi? And why is she so afraid of what her daughter might find out when she traces the family tree.

~~~

In researching for my novels, I found that:
Approximately 2,300 Americans are reported missing—every day.
This includes both children and adults, but does not include Americans who have vanished in other countries, individuals who disappear and are never reported, or the homeless and their children.
That’s somewhere around 900,000+ a year.

In Britain alone, an estimated 250,000 people go missing every year. Many of those cases are resolved by police; just 2,500 people remain untraced more than a year after they disappear, some of them stay missing long after a year, ten, twenty, thirty years and more.

But that can still mean those who are contacted by police or other authorities do not return home and that families are not told if their loved one is alive or safe.
A closed case simply means the police are confident that no crime took place.

And how many of these missing people are children or young teenagers?

It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year.
800,000 children in the U.S; 40,000 children in Brazil; 50,500 in Canada; 39,000 in France; 100,000 in Germany; and 45,000 in Mexico; 230,000 in the U.K.
And in most of the developing world—including Africa, Asia, and Latin America—no one is counting missing children.

These figures, while chilling, also show me that the fictional stories I have written or will yet write are a drop in the ocean compared to the true stories no-one is writing.

I know how it feels for someone to be ‘missing’ from your life. I wonder how many of you know that feeling too? If you feel you’d like to, please feel free to share your story in the comments.

~~~

In The Reluctant Detective Series, Mirabelle is mostly able to find young women, in their teens or early twenties. Those who have not been missing too long. Though her expertise stretches further, and, with the help of her network of unusual contacts, she’ll have a try at finding anyone.

Searching for Summer Final

The first of the series, Searching for Summer, is mainly focused on Mirabelle’s search for her daughter, and the building up of her network of helpers. As her reputation for finding missing people grows, she becomes increasingly involved in other cases, the reluctance of the title of the series being because each case takes a bit of the focus off Summer.

Traces of Red, the second book in the series, is almost ready to be released, so, if you haven’t yet read Searching for Summer, now would be a good time to do so. It makes a great holiday read, absorbing enough to make your journey pass quickly or to keep you resting by the pool.

~~~

Reading for Pleasure

Reading can be a real chore if you’re not interested in the topic and you have to study it for an exam. It can be a pain if it’s a long, close-typed, legal document or something you have to check through to keep yourself right, but you could do with a lawyer to interpret for you. It can be frustrating if it’s in an unfamiliar language or if it’s badly written and lazily presented.

But, oh, reading can be fun!

image

It can be such a pleasure when you find a subject that enthrals you, a story you believe in, poetry that resounds with you, a writer who reaches your soul.

The joy of getting ‘lost’ in a book.

The delight of finding a ‘new’ author, someone whose work you have never read before and find you love. Their style, their language, the story. When it all adds up to a book you don’t want ever to end.

Have you read anything recently that just makes you want to curl up in a deep armchair by the fire and read way into the night? Or a book you read on the beach that had you turning pages but forgetting to turn to the sun?

image

There are quite a few authors who usually ‘hit the spot’ for me: Anita Shreve; Rosie Thomas; Nicholas Sparks; Maggie O’Farrell; John Grisham; Steinbeck, Austen, Trollope, Twain … the list is long …

Reading can be such a Pleasure.

Don’t you just love it?

~~~

If you’re looking to find a book to read by the fire, curled up on the sofa or your favourite armchair, or you’re looking for a book to read on the plane or by the beach this summer, why not try

Searching for Summer

The First in the Reluctant Detective Series

Searching for Summer Final

Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will.
Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer.
Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.

Searching for Summer

Available on Amazon now

~~~

If you’ve already read and enjoyed Searching for Summer, and would like to read another novel by Christine Campbell, click here, and you will be directed to Christine Campbell’s Amazon Author Page, where you will find details and links to all five novels.

~~~

Ever Had Hiccups?

Hiccups hurt.
Mhairi’s life hiccupped when she was eight years old and the hiccup lasted until she was twenty-one. A long hiccup.
This one looked like being longer.

There are many folk remedies for hiccups, including standing on one’s head, drinking a glass of cold water upside-down, being frightened by someone, and holding one’s breath.

Life hiccups are different. Mhairi’s life was stood on its head, cold water thrown over her, and fright caused them. Mhairi held her breath for thirteen years then set about rebuilding her life.

Now her daughter, Rhona, was causing another hiccup, and there was only one way to stop it.

FINAL Front Cover

HERE AT THE GATE

Available on Amazon:

http://a-fwd.com/asin-uk=B00KIW95OW

FeedaRead.com:

http://www.feedaread.com/books/Here-at-the-Gate-9781784077211.aspx

Barnes & Noble, Waterstones

and can be ordered from bookstores.

~~~

ENJOY!

Let’s Open That Gate an Inch or Two

FINAL Front CoverIt was difficult to decide which part of my new novel to let you read. I didn’t want to let you peep too far into the gate and spoil the story for you. Nor did I want to show you the beginning, because you can read that on Amazon, can’t you?

So, what about this part? It is fairly near the beginning and lets you see how Mhairi is coping with the things that are upsetting her.

~~~

She could be going about her daily life, thinking of nothing more than the task she was working on, the meal she was planning, when a word, a phrase, a smell, a trick of light, and there, something was triggered in her head and she’d be taken back to that garden or to the life without it.
To the abyss of loneliness: overwhelming despair that had bowed her head and bent her back. To the void of hopelessness: deepening shadow that had darkened her eyes and destroyed her sleep.
It amazed her she had lived through it: shocked her she had been forced to.
Mhairi dragged herself from the brink again, as she had so many times over the years. Whenever she allowed herself, or was unable to stop herself remember those barren years, she came so close to losing her mind that it frightened her. Each time, it took a huge effort of will not to allow the past to drag her down into its morass of hurt and blame. Each time, she had to remind herself she had survived before, she would survive again.
Forcing herself to take a long, deep breath, she gathered her coat and keys and took herself out.
Driving into Edinburgh at this time of day didn’t take too long and she reached Holyrood Park in thirty-five minutes. Parking the car, she crossed the road and walked briskly to the bottom of the hill. At a slightly slower pace, sometimes walking the well trodden paths, sometimes scrabbling over rocky parts, she reached the top of Arthur’s Seat in not much more than two and a half hours. Breathless and elated, she stood at the top and gloried in her accomplishment. It got her every time. That hard push beyond thinking, beyond pain. No matter how desperate she felt, no matter the weather, climbing this hill imbued her with power. As long as she was able to force her legs and her lungs through the burning pain of this climb, she could believe there was hope that the past would not catch up with her, that she was strong enough to fight against its drag.
The wind was strong up here by the cairn, but Mhairi loved it. Sitting on the grass, she closed her eyes, leant back on her hands and offered her face, feeling the wind chill her skin and whip her hair, taking her breath and throwing it back at her with full force as it swirled. Not until it had whipped the last thoughts of the past from her mind did she open her eyes to look at Edinburgh lain out at her feet.
The city, the castle, the river, the hills: it was all set out before her like an architect’s model, with background views all round, full-circle: over the Pentland Hills; the city; the Forth Road Bridges; the Fife coast, and out to Bass Rock and the conical shape of Berwick Law. When she stood up, she had almost a complete three-hundred-and-sixty degrees of ever-changing view — all wrapped in blue sky with heavy white clouds hanging in it, undecided whether to release their load now or wait till later.
Autumn had already rushed in on the scene with a chill wind, ripping half-turned leaves from their branches earlier than they would have chosen to fall. Though there were no trees up here at the top of the climb, she could see them in the vista she surveyed.
Mixed with the peaty smell, there was the sniff of snow in the air and she filled her lungs with the sharp, freshness of it, loving how cleansing it felt.
The city looked very small: cars and buses moved along the grid like tiny ants, insignificant from this vantage point; people were no more than dots, too small to even bear the label ‘insignificant.’ What arrogance to think mere mortals were the pinnacle of creation. What were they but specks of dust on the surface of the planet: a planet placed in a veritable plethora of celestial bodies all moving in a majestic choreography.
What was her life compared to the vastness of the world around her? What place did she hold in the universe?
Yet there was something in her that clung to life, clung to the value of her own life. She spread her arms to the wind, turning slowly in a circle, embracing the sky, the hills, all of it. “I am here,” she told the world. “I am me. This is my place.”
No traffic smells, no traffic sounds, but the smell of snow and heather on the wind, the sound of the same wind in her ears, the distant mumble of the earth turning. Up here, she had space in her head to hear the hum of life. It was made up of insect noises and bird calls, human voices and the thrum of her own blood. Up here she could shut out the past and live in the moment, her only thought how to drink it in and hold its healing in her heart. Up here, she knew she was alive. Up here, she felt invincible.
“I am here. This is my time.”
There were always walkers on the hill, regardless of wind and weather. She acknowledged with a nod the one or two she passed as she walked round its crest, revelling in the rawness of the day and the bounce of the tough grass beneath her feet, pulling the crisp air deep into her lungs and holding it for as long as she could. Spreading her arms wider and lifting her face back to the sky, eyes closed, she spun slowly round and round, round and round until she felt as though the whole world spun on this axis, this was the centre of the planet, everything spun out from this point.
Other walkers smiled back at her, complicit in her pleasure. It was good to be here. Good to get perspective: to know that just as every blade of grass on that hillside added to the wealth of its beauty, so too, did each one of them have a part to play in the great drama of life. ‘I am here. I am me.’
Enough. It was enough. She was restored.
As she made her way to the car, she studied every part of the walk back down the hill as though she would be asked questions about it later. Was there much heather still blooming? Had the wind stripped the gold from the gorse? What about birds? Did she see many? Which ones? She was greedy for it all, anxious to store it for barren days ahead, when this walk might be denied her.
Enough? It would never be enough.

~~~

HERE AT THE GATE

Available on Amazon:

http://a-fwd.com/asin-uk=B00KIW95OW

FeedaRead.com:

http://www.feedaread.com/books/Here-at-the-Gate-9781784077211.aspx

Barnes & Noble, Waterstones

and can be ordered from bookstores.

~~~

ENJOY!

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