Why I Write Noir by Stephen J. Golds #guestpost @SteveGone58

I’m delighted to be sharing a guest post by Stephen J. Golds on my blog today. He is the author of Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, Always the Dead and Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once. He has a new book coming out, Love Like Bleeding Out With An Empty Gun In Your Hand which is published the 29th April 2021.

Why I Write Noir – Guest Post

Noir found me on a Spring, Saturday morning at around 8:35. 

I was twelve years old. 

A friend of mine had a Saturday job helping out at the greasy-spoon cafe up the main street from my home. I’d wake up early, walk up there and he would give me a bacon sandwich and a coffee on the house. 

This particular Saturday morning Noir came and looked me in the eye was a beautiful one. The sun was a golden yellow that glimmered from the morning dew and condensation on the pavements and parked cars. Walking up from the bottom of the council estate and the council houses the street gradually transformed classes. The houses got larger and prettier. As did the cars parked outside. Opposite the greasy-spoon cafe was a house that always caught my eye. It was a pure white and always had a maroon Jaguar parked outside. I had never seen who lived there but I imagined it was someone very rich. As I walked wondering how many pieces of bacon my friend would give me in my sandwich that day, three people came out of the house. Two large men and a woman. I can‘t remember the men too well. One was fat and bald and the other was skinny with a big nose and a pony-tail. The woman caught my eye. She was beautiful. Not classy beautiful but that hard kind of beautiful. Jet black hair pulled tight into a ball on the top of her head. The darkest eyes. She was wearing adidas jogging bottoms and a tight t-shirt. As they walked past me to get into their car, another Jaguar, the woman glanced at me and made a disappointed face. I don’t know why. We held eye contact for what felt like an hour but was probably closer to a couple of seconds. 

They got into their Jag and drove away. 

I was still looking over my shoulder at the shrinking car when I passed the white house and heard someone crying and moaning. It was an old guy. He was splayed half in his front door and half out in the pavement. There was a lot of blood. More than I’d ever seen. It was a deep red and it caught the sun. It was beautiful too in a jarring way. 

I thought he had fallen over and hurt himself. The stonewash blue jeans he was wearing were soaked through. He kept saying “they shot me. They shot me.” I kept asking him if he was okay. I didn’t know what to say or do. I put my hand on his back. Snot and tears were slick and glistening on his agonized face. 

I went across the street and told my friend’s boss that an old man had fallen over and was bleeding everywhere. Then I sat in the window eating my bacon sandwich watching the ambulance and police arrive. The woman’s face in my mind then and in my mind now.

I currently have two noir novels available: 

Say Goodbye When I’m Gone – released by Red Dog Press

Always the Dead – released by Close to the Bone Press 

A book of noir poetry – Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once 

And in April a collection of short prose and poetry titled Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand

Stephen’s novels are available to buy:


1949: Rudy, A Jewish New Yorker snatches a briefcase of cash from a dead man in Los Angeles and runs away from his old life, into the arms of the Boston mob.1966: Hinako, a young Japanese girl runs away from what she thought was the suffocating conformity of a life in Japan. Aiming to make a fresh start in America, she falls into the grip of a Hawaiian gang dubbed ‘The Company’.1967: Rudy and Hinako’s lives collide in the city of Honolulu, where there is nowhere left for either of them to run, and only blood to redeem them.

Amazon UK

Always the Dead by [Stephen J. Golds, Craig Douglas]


Los Angeles, California. 1949.
Scott Kelly is a World War Two Marine veteran and mob hitman confined to a Tuberculosis sanatorium suffering from consumption, flashbacks and nightmares from his experiences of The Battle of Okinawa and a botched hit for Bugsy Siegel.
When his movie actress girlfriend disappears, he bribes his way out of the sanatorium to search for her.
What follows is a frantic search, a manic murder spree, stolen contraband, and a briefcase full of cash.
A story that stretches from the war torn beaches of Okinawa, all the way to the playground of the rich and famous, Palm Springs, California.
An exploration into the depths of L.A crime, PTSD and twisted love.
A semi-fictional novel based around the disappearance of Jean Spangler.

Amazon UK

Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once (First Cut) by [Stephen J. Golds, Craig Douglas]


Poems for empty corridors,

subway stations after the last train

and bars after the call for last orders.

Amazon UK

Time for the Dead by Lin Anderson blog tour guest post @Lin_Anderson @panmacmillan

I’m delighted to be sharing a guest post by Lin Anderson today, about a day in her life as a writer, as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of her latest book, Time for the Dead. With thanks to Humfrey from Laura Sherlock Publicity for inviting me to take part.

Time for the Dead (Rhona MacLeod) by [Anderson, Lin]


Time for the Dead is a gripping crime novel by Lin Anderson and sees forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod discover that a terrifying war is unfolding on Scotland’s Isle of Skye.

When forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod returns to her roots on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, a chance encounter in the woods behind a nearby activities centre leads her to what seems to be a crime scene, but without a victim. Could this be linked to a group of army medics, who visited the centre while on leave from Afghanistan and can no longer be located on the island?

Enlisting the help of local tracker dog Blaze, Rhona starts searching for a connection.

Two days later a body is found at the base of the famous cliff known as Kilt Rock, face and identity obliterated by the fall, which leads Rhona to suspect the missing medics may be on the island for reasons other than relaxation. Furthermore, elements of the case suggests a link with an ongoing operation in Glasgow, which draws DS Michael McNab into the investigation.

As the island’s unforgiving conditions close in, Rhona must find out what really happened to the group in Afghanistan, as the consequences may be being played out in brutal killings on Skye . . .


One of the things I love about being a writer is that no two days are the same. When I was a Computing Science teacher my day was very structured. Certainly, different classes provided different experiences, but essentially the days were very similar.

As a writer, I’m never quite sure what the day will bring, and I like that very much. It all depends where you are with your latest book, or your last book, or the other writing projects you have on the go.

My latest outing for forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod, Time for the Dead, is about to hit the shelves. So August is a super busy month, with lots of trips and events and signings, including at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Number 14 in the Rhona series is set on the Isle of Skye and stars a well known and real Skye resident, border collie, Blaze, who has a worldwide twitter following. He becomes Rhona’s forensic assistant in Time for the Dead. So the last couple of days have involved a visit to Skye, a wild swim in a loch with Blaze, plus confirming the launch of the book in Portree Library on the 8th August.

If I’m not travelling to events, then the plan is to spend part of the day working on the next book. I’m around a third of the way through the new one, and my way of working is always to edit what has been written the day before prior to continuing the story.

I never know exactly what will happen next, and don’t do extensive planning. I see Rhona’s investigation as propelling the story, as it would in real life. I start of with a strong visual image which I am compelled to write about, then move on from there.

The idea for Time for the Dead came to me after I visited A.C.E. Target Sports on Skye with Blaze and successfully threw an axe (for the first time) and hit the target spot on. After which Blaze took me a walk up into the birch wood behind the centre, and during that walk I imagined the opening of the book in my head.

I do try to write each day, but  a walk in the nearby woods in my home village of Carrbridge, or a swim in the River Dulnain allows time to think and both often provide me with new ideas for the current book, or a solution to a problem I was having trouble with.

In any given day I might also be working on other projects. I have another crime series set in Cannes in the south of France starring PI Patrick de Courvoisier. I have just completed a first draft of a children’s book, Blaze Dog Detective, and am about to launch a rock musical for which I wrote the Libretto, with John Sinclair (keyboard player with Ozzy Osbourne for 17 years) writing the music. Voice of a Generation is about to hit social media.

One thing is certain, being a writer is never dull.


If you would like to purchase Time for the Dead, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


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Cold as the Grave by James Oswald blog tour #guestpost @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the ninth novel in James Oswald’s Inspector Tony McLean series, Cold as the Grave today on my blog and I have a fascinating guest post from James to share with you. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Cold as the Grave: Inspector McLean 9 (The Inspector McLean Series) by [Oswald, James]


Her mummified body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave.

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place.

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…


1 – Although I come from a Scottish family and have lived most of my life in Scotland, I was actually born in the Rye Street Hospital in Bishops Stortford, England. Just across the road from the vets. I grew up across the county line, in north Essex, and so am technically an Essex boy.


2 – Much like my fictional detective, Tony McLean, I was sent away to boarding prep school at a very young age. I won’t name the school, as it’s not like it was back then at all, but I disliked it as much as Tony did his.


3 – My first car, bought very second hand not long after I had passed my driving test, was a 1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV. It cost me the princely sum of £750, and the same again to insure each of the four years I owned it. Sadly, like many Alfas of its vintage, it dissolved into rust and had to be scrapped. It fired a lifelong love of the marque though – I currently own two – and inspired my choice of car for Tony McLean.


4 – My first paid job was a pre-Christmas stint working on a turkey farm. I initially spent my time stubbing turkeys that had just been plucked (removing the few remaining feathers and broken quills from the still-warm skin), but I soon graduated on to weighing and processing orders. I can still smell them to this day, and haven’t had a turkey at Christmas since.


5 – I lived in a little village in the Cambrian Mountains in Wales called Cwmystwyth for almost ten years, moving there when my partner took up the post of livestock research scientist at the nearby Pwllpeiran Research Farm. The area, and the language and folklore of Wales inspired my epic fantasy series The Ballad of Sir Benfro.


6 – One of several short-term jobs I had while living in Wales was for a project called Wales Worm Watch. The job involved regular visits to a number of sheep farms dotted around the country, to collect fresh samples of sheep pooh for analysis to see whether their intestinal worms were developing resistance to the drugs used to kill them. Mostly this involved picking up pooh from the ground, but a few samples had to be taken directly, as it were. I can thus say that I have had a truly shit job.


7 – (Chief) Inspector McLean began life as a support character I wrote for a comic script submitted on spec to 2000AD in the early 1990s. He was originally called John, until I remembered that the Bruce Willis character in the Die Hard movies is John McClane. That comic script was never published, but it formed the basis for the eighth novel in the series, The Gathering Dark, written twenty five years later. Nothing is ever wasted!


8 – My first ever published work was in 2000AD. A Tharg’s Future Shock three page short story, it was called ‘It’s A Cold World’ and appeared in Prog. 865 in December 1993.


9 – In 2014 I appeared on American TV, on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. It was just as bizarre and surreal a situation as you might imagine. Craig did his very best to promote me and my books, but due to some unexplained error, my US publisher had sent a copy of The Hangman’s Song, which wasn’t actually out until a few months later. It appeared as a prop in the next episode, as they recorded two back to back, but alas, no one was able to go out and buy it.


10 – When Penguin Books bought the rights to my first three Inspector McLean novels in late 2012, I spent the bulk of my initial advance payment on a new tractor. The manufacturer (Claas), found out, and ran a feature in their corporate magazine Tractor Times, with me on the cover.


If you would like to purchase Cold as the Grave, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


Cold As The Grave BT Poster

#Proximity by Jem Tugwell blog tour #guestpost @JemTugwell @SerpentineBooks @midaspr

Today I’m delighted to be welcoming Jem Tugwell to my blog to talk about a day in his life as a writer. His debut novel Proximity is published this week on June, 6th. With thanks to Amber Choudhary at Midas PR for inviting me to take part.

Proximity: If the police always know where I am...how do I kill you? (iMe Series Book 1) by [Tugwell, Jem]


Leading the trend in speculative crime thrillers, Jem Tugwell’s thrilling and thought-provoking debut sits alongside Black Mirror and The City and the City in a compelling exploration of our near future. Proximity draws on Jem’s 20 years of professional experience as a software developer in the city to give an unnerving insight into how our world might be transformed by the rapid advance in embedded technology and fitness trackers.

What if the cash-strapped NHS can be given a second life by using tech to regulate our health and behaviour?
What if we can eradicate knife and other proximity crimes by tracking everyone’s activity?
What if civil liberty is seen as an acceptable sacrifice for the greater good?
What if the convenience of technology is used for control?

“Proximity is inspired by the fascinating possibilities of technology, AI and the law of unintended consequences. From my own experience, technologists are often amazed or horrified about the other uses that people imagine for their products. Clive and Zoe’s world might be closer than we think, but is it heaven or hell? How do we decide the perfect balance of free will and greater good?” – Jem Tugwell

‘You can’t get away with anything. Lest of all murder.’
DI Clive Lussac has forgotten how to do his job. Ten years of embedded technology – ‘iMe’ – has led to complete control and the eradication of crime. Then the impossible happens. A body is found, and the killer is untraceable. With new partner Zoe Jordan, Clive must re-sharpen his detective skills and find the killer without technology, before time runs out for the next victim…


My typical day as a writer varies by season and the phase of the book, and how much ‘real life’ issues and events get in the way.

I have two streams of writing activity going on at any one time: One is the ‘current’ book and the other is the ‘next’ book. At the moment, Proximity is my current book and is out on the 6th June. Book two in the series is my ‘next’ one.

Being so close to publication date, most of my time at the moment is focussed on the PR activities for Proximity. This includes writing blog entries like this, longer articles for magazines and interviews. The PR campaign has been running for three months and I’ve managed to squeeze in time to write the first 10,000 words of the book 2. In the last few weeks, as the PR activities have ramped up, it’s all been Proximity and there hasn’t been any time for the book 2.

In the first three months of the year, the balance was different. Proximity tasks were light and limited to signing off the cover design, printed books layouts and tasks like approving the accents of the characters used in the audio version. This allowed time for the plotting of the book 2. I spend a lot of time here and end up with character profiles and a couple of sentences describing what happens in each chapter. These act as a prompt when I write the actual chapter.

The rest of the year will be split broadly in two. The first few months will be writing the first draft of the book 2. I try and write every morning for 3 to 4 hours. I also try very hard not to reread what I’ve written. I focus on the word count increasing, and leave the rest to the editing phase. Once the first draft is done, I will park it for several weeks and start thinking about book 3 – high level themes and ideas, researching and some plotting.

Then it’s time for the dreaded edits. I will do several passes, each with a different focus like descriptions and similes, dialogue, characterisation, etc. Some edits I will do on paper, some on screen and sometimes reading it out loud.

The rest of the year will be spent with the copy editor and proof-reader, fixing remaining issues, and  tuning and sharpening the prose. This is an iterative process to make sure a fix in one place doesn’t break something else. June 2020 is the provisional date for book 2, so I’m expecting the first half of the year to be a repeat of the first 6 months of this year. I hope I can keep the cycle going and write a book a year.


If you would like to purchase Proximity, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK   Kobo  Waterstones


Proximity Blog Tour Banner (amended 27 May) (002)

Miranda by Stewart Giles blog tour #guestpost @stewartgiles @Books_n_all

On my blog today I’m sharing a guest post from author Stewart Giles about his new crime thriller, Miranda as part of the blog tour.

Miranda cover 2


‘My name is Miranda. I’ll be twenty-eight-years old soon, and I’m a serial murderer.’

‘I might just kill again!’

From #1 bestseller Stewart Giles comes a completely stand-alone psychological thriller that you don’t want to miss.

Miranda is a unique read, the best book yet by Stewart Giles.  Sentenced to life in a secure hospital for the murder of 12 people Miranda tells her story.

In the meantime, the reader is transported back to the time of the murders as we follow DI Keene and her team along the many twists, turns and dead ends as they try to find the murderer of several unrelated victims.

This is an edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline pumping read that will have you turning the pages all the way to the totally unexpected ending.

Buckle up this is a bumpy ride



Miranda is a ruthless killer, yet I still believe one can still feel some sympathy for her. We never really know whether to side with her or not and I think that’s what makes the book different. She’s also a bit of an enigma, in that we never really understand what turned her into what she became. She’s a highly intelligent, if somewhat devious woman, but she also shows moments of extreme empathy towards those who have been wronged.

Detective Inspector Patricia Keene is not unlike Miranda in many ways. Driven and determined, she refuses to stop until she’s found out the truth.

Her team respect and admire her, and she will never ask anything of anybody she’s not willing to do herself.  She’s totally dedicated to her work, and I believe if the circumstances were different, Keene and Miranda could actually become good friends.

My aim with Miranda was to create a scenario where there are actually two protagonists and you are never really sure which one you ought to root for.


Thank you to Jill at Books n All Book Promotions for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Stewart for taking the time to write a guest post.

If you would like to purchase Miranda, you can do so by clicking on the following link below. 

Amazon UK


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Night Time Cool by Jamie Paradise #blogtour #guestpost @JamieParadise_ @unbounders

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Night Time Cool by Jamie Paradise today on my blog, and I have a guest post from the author to share with you as part of the tour.

Night Time Cool by [Paradise, Jamie]


Bent Met police detective DI Frederick Street rules as the ‘Sheriff of Shoreditch’ who loves shaking down the street goons he arrests.

Elvis Street is the son who cannot stand his father for being the balls-out crook he caught in bed with his girl.

Elvis wants to take Frederick down and end him forever.

Neither father or son realises how much the other understands what controls them.

Neither father or son will ever back down.

Night Time Cool is the story of why?


1. I spent the summer of 1991 in Ibiza

2. Chess fascinates and I’m duff at it

3. At age five I remember wanting the villains in movies to get away with their dastardly deeds

4. I once managed a band – was short-lived

5. I spent the summer of 1990 in Rhodes, Greece

6. I directed plays while at university the first time (studying BA Film and Theatre)

7. The Blackburn Warehouse Parties of 1989-90 are the best nights out I’ve ever experienced

8. I spent October 1997 to September 1998 in Goa, Pakistan, China, Thailand and Laos – was brilliant

9. Forget being an Observer and Guardian sports hack for 16 years: being Lancaster Kentucky Fried Chicken chief chip fryer at 17 is the best gig ever (all that free nosh)

10. I’m going to write a novel that involves Silent Era and Pre-Code Hollywood as that time fascinates


I hope you enjoyed reading Jamie’s guest post and that you may be tempted to buy a copy of the book, all the purchase links are below. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Unbound Digital

Publication date: 22nd July 2018

Print length: 376 pages

If you would like to purchase Night Time Cool, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Unbound 


night time cool blog tour poster