A month of Murder on the Rocks

Book News, J.S. Strange

It’s been one month of Murder on the Rocks, which published March 1st 2019 with Panther Publishing.

It’s been a whirlwind month of talking about my book, thinking about my book, and hoping people buy my book. My first foray into mystery writing has been rather scary. What if people hate it? (They did). What if people love it? (They do!) What if people want a second? (They do!).

Any author writing something new and putting it out to the world is a bundle of nerves. This could be the book where everything goes wrong. Where, actually, you can’t write, and all those readers before no longer care or were just pitying you. It’s especially scary when you’re writing a genre you’re a big fan of, and never thought you could even attempt to write.

The month has been full of promotion. In this months edition of Writing Magazine, there’s a little write up and ‘spotlight’ on Murder on the Rocks. And when better for it to appear than with their bumper edition of plotting the perfect crime novel?

Credit to the photo above to Luke, at Luke at What I’m Reading on Instagram. A few copies of Murder on the Rocks were shipped to Instagrammers, who have been great in photographing the books best angle, showing off its glorious cover, and helping to generate that little bit of buzz that means everything to an author. Yet there are Instagrammers still yet to read Murder on the Rocks, so the fear is still there.

I will also be at Abergavenny Writing Festival this month, on a panel with great authors, talking about my writing process, as well as discussing whether everyone has a novel in them.

I’m also excited that the book has been selling consistently since release date, and so far Panther have said they will publish another in the Jordan Jenner series. I have finished the second novel, and I hope to have it published later this year.

I want to thank everyone who has bought a copy of Murder on the Rocks, and I want to thank everyone that left a review, good or bad!

Here’s to the future in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series!

Visit Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle

Scotland, Travel, United Kingdom, Visit Scotland

When one thinks of Edinburgh, the first thing that comes to mind is the castle.

It’s estimated that there was life on the rock as early as the Iron Age, and evidence the royal castle existed from the 12th century. Possibly, the most notable inhabitant of Edinburgh Castle would have been Mary, Queen of Scots, who gave birth to her son in the castle walls, James, who would later become King of both Scotland and England.

Another fun fact about Edinburgh castle is that it exists on top of an old volcano!

It was a snowy day when I arrived. The photo above is taken from a window in The a Elephant Cafe – more on that in a later post!

As you can see, the castle stands above the Old Town, a staple of history, and an impressive sight.

March prices for Edinburgh castle tickets are £18.50 on site, but online you can buy them for £17.00 in advance. Not much of a saving, but worth noting! April prices increase to £19.50 on site, and £17.50 online advance. Don’t let the price put you off, however. No trip to Edinburgh is complete without a trip to the historic fortress.

On a clear day, the free vantage points in the courtyard show you just how high you are. You would be able to see far and wide, over the rooftops of buildings and apartments. Only on our day, we could only see so far, but the snow added that wonderful charm.

The castle is accessed by the royal mile, where you will find many pubs and tartan shops. It’s a tourist hotspot, naturally, but you can absorb the architecture of Edinburgh, and see why it’s known as ‘the old town’.

So, what’s inside the castle?

Well, naturally, there are tales of family life throughout the castle’s existence. You can read about the royal’s that inhabited the castle, and visit rooms such as the great hall, and even a room that was revamped for only one royal visit.

Inside the castle is also The Stone of Destiny. This was returned to Scotland, and is a stone that has been used for centuries in the coronation of monarchs of Scotland. The Stone of Destiny sits alongside the Scottish Crown Jewels, in a room where photos are not allowed.

Another selling point of Edinburgh Castle is the ability to visit the actual room where Mary, Queen of Scots son was born, James VI. The room is quite small, but holds an impactful tale. It’s also a fun fact to read about rumours that James was gay – something scandalous back in those times!

A dog cemetery is at the castle. These are dogs that belonged to soldiers, who have been given a royal burial. For fans of Pet Sematary, it may be a little eerie!

Wherever you go in Old Town Edinburgh, the castle towers above you. It really does give a sense of what times may have been like back then, where royalty could look down and see life below them, and where they could be aware of any impending siege.

A must visit!

The Arrival of the Paperbacks

Book News, J.S. Strange

It’s always exciting as an author to hold an actual, physical copy of the book you’ve been pouring your heart in to for the past year or so.

It’s an incredible feeling. It’s one that can’t really be explained or described, other than an overwhelming sense of pride, a massive smile you can’t control – your words as you intended them to appear.

My publisher, Panther Publishing, received their paperback copies today of Murder on the Rocks and they look so pretty!

The plan is to eventually have paperback copies available to buy directly from Panther. If you want to support independent publishers and small time authors, that’s the best way to do it – buying directly from the person who took a chance on you.

I also know some paperbacks are being sent to some stores, and a few Instagrammers! How exciting!

My new novel, Murder on the Rocks, is out now!

Abergavenny Writing Festival

Book News, J.S. Strange

I’m really happy to say that I’ll be a panellist at this years Writing Festival in Abergavenny.

I’ll be on a panel titled ‘Do we all have a novel in us‘? You can get your tickets by clicking the link.

I’ll be appearing with some great authors, and it will be fun, yet nerve wracking, to talk about this in front of people. I may also be taking some copies of Murder on the Rocks, too!

I attended the festival last year and really enjoyed it. I attended a talk on journalism, and learned some really interesting insights. It’s a great festival in an area you might not expect, but where support is.

And have you ever visited Abergavenny?! You should! It’s a beautiful place. I’ll write a post on it soon!

Did you know my new novel, Murder on the Rocks, is out now?

Preparing to Travel: Edinburgh

Travel

It won’t be long, and I’ll be travelling to Edinburgh. It’s the first time I’m visiting, so I’m really excited. It’s a place I’ve wanted to go for a while!

Part of the preparation for travel is finding out what to do once you get there. Sure, flights are important, but a big decision for me is working out why I’d want to go somewhere.

Finding things to do:

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, and knowing that J.K. Rowling lived and wrote the series in Edinburgh is a big selling point for someone like me. In Edinburgh, there is no absence of Potter. You can visit a street that supposedly inspired Diagon Alley. You can visit The Elephant Cafe, where J.K. Rowling wrote some of the novels. You can visit a graveyard where one of the graves reads Thomas Riddel. And there’s even a Harry Potter Escape Room! Am I doing all of this?! YES.

As well as Harry Potter, I’ll be looking into the history of Edinburgh, so I’ve found some locations, such as Edinburgh castle, to visit.

Finding flights:

Always browse incognito or on private browsing when looking for flights. Many people check out prices a few times before actually booking anything, by which points those tracking cookies have upped the price, and you’re paying more than you should be paying.

I wanted to fly from Cardiff airport – support the local airport and all that – but flights were £100 more expensive. I instead went with EasyJet, knowing they would be reliable and budget friendly.

Because I’m going for only a few days, I’ve booked an early arrival and a late departure. Absorb as much of Edinburgh as I can!

Now, the importance is knowing our flight time, booking airport parking, and day dreaming about the airport food.

Fashion

ASOS is my friend. And new holiday destinations means new clothes. But I’m only taking a carry on, so I have to be sensible. But hey, new clothes. Even if not for Edinburgh, why not just for general life?

Did you know my new novel, Murder on the Rocks, is out now? Get your copy now!