Meet the Characters – Luci from Son of Secrets by N J Simmonds

A warm welcome to fantasy author N J Simmonds who has dropped by today to share an interview with Luci from her fabulous new release, Son of Secrets. Son of Secrets is the second book in the Indigo Chronicles.




In a fight against destiny – who will win?
Ella has been waiting for Zac for three years. She’s convinced he’ll return for her, but fate has other plans. When Josh is thrown back into her life, Ella has a choice: step back on to her rightful path, or wait for the one who dared her to rebel.
But Ella’s not the only one missing Zac. Luci has been searching for her blue-eyed boy over two millennia and will stop at nothing to get him back. Even if that means hunting down the only girl he ever loved. From Tuscany 5BC to 17th century witch hunts, Ella, Zac, Luci and Sebastian’s lives have been forever intertwined. The time has finally come to complete the circle.


Buy links


Those of you who enjoyed the first book in N J Simmond’s series, The Path Keeper, will remember that towards the end Zac discovers his mother may still be alive.

Meet a Luci, a woman who’s been walking this earth two-thousand years looking for her boy. Whether you love or hate her, you’ll never forget her.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today, Luci.

Time is something I have in abundance. Continue.


Spit it out. There are more important places I need to be.

Yes. Sorry. Over the centuries you’ve been described as evil. How do you feel about that?

Throughout history scared men have been painting strong women as evil. If you can’t control a person, you control their reputation. I’ve been called the devil, a witch, a slag – they are just words for women who don’t do what they’re told. I’ve lived with a bad reputation for a very long time, but all that’s about to change. It’s time to right some wrongs.

You have a son. Tell us about him.
Zadkiel is my life – he’s the reason for everything I do. I was taken from him when he was just six years old and I’ve been searching for him ever since. He thinks I died two-thousand years ago, that I was nothing but a peasant woman from a village. He has no idea how powerful I am, or how important he is. Zadkiel is the key to destroying his tyrant father, Mikhael, and the realm. Yet unfortunately, all my boy cares about is that tiresome girl Arabella – or Ella as she calls herself now.

Who’s Ella and what does she have to do with anything?
She has something to do with everything. She’s the girl my son has been obsessed with for two millennia. She keeps coming back lifetime after lifetime, and he just stands by and gives in to fate. It’s infuriating. When I finally get my boy back, I’m going to teach him the importance of power and taking what you want.

Are you in a romantic relationship with anyone at the moment?
Ha! Romance is a ridiculous notion. I learned that lesson the hard way. Sex is great though. Sex I enjoy thoroughly and often with whomever takes my fancy, but the only man I love now is my son. I used to have friends whose company I enjoyed. Is respect the same as love? Perhaps. I miss them – especially Gabriel.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Revenge. As well as the usual uninhibited fun, destruction and chaos. Now, are we done? Because this interview has been incredibly dull and pointless. Although…you are very attractive with a very pretty smile. Okay, I can spare an hour. Follow me.

luci (2)                  Gabriel

A photo of Luci and Gabriel by Salome Totladze


“Fantasy at its best. Fresh, beautiful and moving” – Anna Day, Author

“I fell in love with this series in the first book and have patiently waited to read the second installment to find out where the story of Ella and Zac takes us and boy did she take us on an amazing ride! Simmonds’ creativity is brilliant and her beautiful writing style and detail makes you feel like you are watching a film in your head.” – Netgalley Reviewer

“Just wow! The imagery and creativeness in this book is amazing. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next… A must read.” – Netgalley reviewer

It sounds a captivating story, doesn’t it? If, like me, you want to read more you can purchase the book here:


Meet NJ Simmonds



N J Simmonds is the author of fantasy series The Indigo Chronicles – she also writes Manga comics and is one half of Caedis Knight. Her stories are magical, historical and full of complex women, page-turning twists and plenty of romance. Originally from London, she now lives with her family in the Netherlands.

Contact links

Twitter: @NJSimmondsTPK
Instagram: @NJSimm INFO:onds_author

Thanks for dropping by to talk to us about Sons of Secrets,  NJ. Wishing you many sales.

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Sassy, heartwarming romances set in glorious locations: Amazon Author Page

Meet the Characters – DS Mark Webber from A Conspiracy of Silence by Anna Legat

I’m delighted to welcome novelist Anna Legat to the blog today. Anna is interviewing Detective Sergeant Mark Webber from her latest crime novel, A Conspiracy of Silence, the fourth book in the DI Marsh series. The DI Marsh series comprises four titles: Swimming with Sharks, Nothing to Lose, Thicker than Blood and Sandman.

A Conspiracy of Silence will be published on 15th October 2020. Here’s the cover and blurb.


When a body is found in the grounds of a prestigious Wiltshire private school, DI Gillian Marsh takes on the case. The young groundsman, Bradley Watson, has been shot dead, pierced through the heart with an arrow.

As the investigation gathers pace, DI Marsh is frustrated to find the Whalehurst staff and students united in silence. This scandal must not taint their reputation. But when Gillian discovers pictures of missing Whalehurst pupil, fifteen-year-old Rachel Snyder, on Bradley’s dead body – photos taken on the night she disappeared, and he was murdered – the link between the two is undeniable.

But what is Whalehurst refusing to reveal? And does Gillian have what it takes to bring about justice?

It sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? you can preorder here:



Barnes & Noble

Now let’s move onto Anna’s interview with with DS Mark Webber:

Background notes: this is the transcript of an interview that was carried out by an undercover reporter in the aftermath of the Sexton’s Canning terrorist incident (handled by Detective Inspector Gillian Marsh). When officially approached for an interview, DI Marsh was not available for comment, claiming that she had better things to do than talk to the press. Sexton’s Canning Herald’s reporter subsequently approached DS Webber in a pub for an informal chat which was recorded without DS Webber’s knowledge. The transcript was then reviewed by the Board and a decision was taken that the interview with DS Webber was not publishable as it could result in costly libel proceedings. It was accordingly archived.

Sexton’s Canning Herald: They say you’re DI Marsh’s second in command. There aren’t many high-ranking female officers on the force. How does it feel to work for a woman?
DS Webber: Personally, I don’t mind her being a woman though she can be a pretty bloody-minded individual… Anyway, it makes no difference to me what sex my boss is so long as they’re good at their job.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: And DI Marsh has a great track record. You watch her every day in action – how does she do it?
DS Webber: Search me! She doesn’t say much, doesn’t share her thoughts. She doesn’t do any paperwork to speak of unless her job is on the line and she absolutely has to. Even then, it’s just tokenistic. She’s our gov’s [Detective Chief Superintendent Scarfe’s] best asset and worst nightmare, all in one.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: So, you don’t know anything about her methods? I was led to believe she was your mentor.
DS Webber: Gillian – a mentor?! The woman doesn’t have the first idea about team spirit or hierarchy… She’s certainly not into mentoring – too impatient to explain anything. Her brain runs at a hundred miles an hour… She’s rubbish at delegating. She does everything by herself – churns it over and over in her head… When she gets the faintest scent of a lead she follows it with her nose to the ground. Behind her back we call her Pit Bull because of her dogged determination and, let’s be honest – the brutality of her methods. Once she’s got her teeth into a suspect she won’t let go – like a pit bull… But, don’t tell her that! That’s off the record. I wouldn’t dare say it to her face. [laughter] She has no sense of humour. In fact, sometimes I wonder if she doesn’t have that condition… You know, when somebody can’t read people’s faces and emotions… What do you call it?
Sexton’s Canning Herald: Asperger’s Syndrome? Are you saying DI Marsh displays symptoms of Asperger’s?
DS Webber: I’m not saying anything to that effect, and by the way, this is off the record too. All I said was that she struggles with feelings, can’t form or sustain relationships… the woman is a desert island, if you know what I mean. Off the record, of course.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: Am I to conclude that on a personal level DI Marsh is… inadequate? I did get that impression-
DS Webber: No, I didn’t say that! Gillian is the most decent human being and the best friend you can wish for. She just doesn’t make a fuss about it. She probably doesn’t even realise how decent she is. There were times when I was down on my knees, and the first person I’d go to for help was her. She has always been there for me, through thick and thin – you know? – no questions asked… Though, come to think, she can be scathing when she puts her mind to it. When she thinks you’ve messed up, she’ll let you have it big time. You won’t know what hit you! She’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks [nervous laughter and a mild expletive].
Sexton’s Canning Herald: What of her personal life?
DS Webber: That’s none of your – or my – business. Anyway, she’s married to her job. And like I said, she finds relationships difficult to digest. She’s seeing someone at the moment…um, if you thought of trying your luck with her– don’t! I don’t fancy your chances [thundering laughter].
Sexton’s Canning Herald: I am a married man, DS Webber, like yourself. I was thinking more in terms of her family…
DS Webber: She has a daughter – Tara. And even that relationship is odd. Completely incomprehensible: on the one hand Gillian can be so neglectful that she forgets she has a child – on the other hand, she’ll move heaven and earth to protect Tara from harm, sometimes totally imaginary harm if you ask me. It’s surprising how well-rounded Tara has turned out in the end. I mean, she’s a grown-up now, got married last year.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: And the girl’s father? Where’s he?
DS Webber: In South Africa, but again, I can’t see what business that is of yours.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: Probably none, but you see, our readers are interested in our heroes’ personal lives.
DS Webber: Gillian, a hero? [laughter] Then again, maybe you’re right – maybe she’s a hero of a kind… The woman knows no fear. Maybe it’s the Asperger’s… Do you think? Oh well, whatever she is, she’s a bloody good copper.

What readers are saying:

‘Brilliant. I didn’t want to put it down!

‘It’s a rare author who can keep me guessing until the end – and the ending was a shocker

Plenty of twists and turns’

‘A brilliantly complex spaghetti of unrelated sub-plots to challenge any armchair sleuth

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, reading it cover to cover in a weekend’

‘I shall look out for more from Ms Legat’

If, like me, you’re hooked and want to read the books mentioned in the interview, you can purchase the books here:

A Conspiracy of Silence (book 5, ready to pre-order) at:



Barnes & Noble:

Sandman (book 4)





Meet Anna

P1040507 (3)

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Contact links

Amazon profile:





Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your fascinating new book, Anna.

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Sassy, heartwarming romances set in glorious locations: Amazon Author Page

Meet the characters – Cass Lynch from Death on a Shetland Isle by Marsali Taylor

Today I’ m delighted to welcome Marsali Taylor to the blog. Marsali is interviewing Cass Lynch from her murder mystery novel, Death on a Shetland Isle. Let’s find out a bit about the book first.

death on a shetland isle mock copy


Indomitable Cass Lynch has a shock as her tall ship Sorlandet prepares to leave for the Shetland Islands: the new third mate looks like, is, her dead lover Alain – but why is he pretending to be a Spanish stranger? She’s also concerned about Laura and Oliver Eastley, trainees on her watch. Laura is still recovering from the shock of their parents’ car-crash death. An accident in the Neolithic Mousa Broch makes Cass suspect that another death is planned…. but how can she protect Laura from her own brother? This seventh investigation for Cass and Gavin reunites them with Cass’s parents, her friends Inga and Magnie and of course the engaging Peerie Charlie in a summer investigation on Fetlar, one of Shetland’s outer isles.

Buy Links


Now let’s move onto Marsali’s interview with Cass

I looked gloomily at the email. Editor, Shetland Times, it was headed, and underneath was a cheery missive suggesting that, as a notable local sailor, I might like to give them an interview for their “Shetland Boat Week” advertising feature. I could think of nothing I wanted to do less, but I supposed I could have a look at their questions, just to show willing.

The opening was easy enough. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Cass Lynch, aged thirty, daughter of an Irish oil man and a French opera singer. I grew up on Muckle Roe, and went to school in Brae.

They didn’t need to know about Maman tearing herself away from us to go back to singing, or the rows I had with Dad when he announced that he was being posted to the Gulf, and I was to go and stay with her in Poitiers. It had been an awful year. I’d missed my friends and the easygoing Shetland lifestyle, but most of all I’d been homesick, heartsick, for the sea I’d grown up with, the beach below our house in waves of frothy lace, the ribbons fluttering on the red sails of my own little Osprey. When Maman began talking of the French bac and Poitiers University, I began planning. I booked a berth aboard a Russian tall ship in the Cutty Sark race going from La Rochelle to Edinburgh, emptied my bank account and got myself safely back in Scottish waters, where sixteen counted as an adult.

I contemplated the e-mail, and wished I had a pen to chew. I could tell them about my sailing career. I’ve crewed on a number of tall ships, I supposed I’d better mention my longship. I came back to Shetland to skipper the replica longship Stormfugl, which featured in the recently-released Hollywood  film Sea Road.  A fun job that had turned out to be – oh, not my beautiful Stormfugl, who sailed like a dream, the Vikings were ship wizards, but the shenanigans involved when I’d come back from a night sail to find a dead body on the deck. My dad and I had shared the role of chief suspect … I moved on rapidly. I’m now second officer on board the Norwegian tall ship  Sørlandet, the world’s oldest square-rigger.

What was your first boat? Easy. I began sailing in Mirrors, up at Delting Boating Club, and my first boat was called Osprey. When I was fifteen I came second in the Mirror World Championships, at Largs. No, that was too much like boasting. I scored it out.

Do you have a boat now? Stupid question. When I’m not on Sørlandet I live aboard my own Khalida, a Van de Stadt designed  Offshore 8 Metre, moored at Brae marina.

Where’s the furthest you’ve taken your boat? I brought her across from Norway, with my friend Anders crewing. That had been a straightforward voyage, at the start of the Longship case. I’ve sailed there singlehanded several times since, across to Bergen and down to Kristiansand, to join Sørlandet. My furthest trip was down to the Highlands of Scotland. That had been to meet Gavin, not yet my lover, whose family lived in a farm at the end of a remote and beautiful sealoch. I was just thinking we might get our first kiss when we discovered a body in the bracken.

Tell us about an interesting sailing experience. “Interesting.” I’d had a few of these.  There was the time in the Body in the Bracken case when a suspect had cut my Khalida adrift in a flying gale, and the time I’d had to get myself hurriedly away from the bay where I’d seen the ghost of a Viking warrior before a hurricane blew up.  That had been in that case involving Maman’s company of temperamental opera singers.  Then of course there was the voyage from Norway to Belfast which had ended in me being stalked round the Titanic museum by a professional killer.  I sighed, and wrote, I always enjoy crewing in the local regatta. You get some great spinnaker duels.

Have you any exciting voyages planned for this summer? In between voyages on Sørlandet I’m going to be relief crew aboard Swan, Shetland’s own tall ship. I’ll be going to Papa Stour and Foula on her in October, so I’m looking forward to exploring the caves, and seeing the second-highest cliffs in Britain.

Dogs or cats on the water?  Strange question. My Cat has adapted very well to liveaboard life. On board Sørlandet he makes it clear she’s the highest-ranking ship in the harbour, which makes him the highest-ranking cat. When we’re at Brae he enjoys foraging along the shoreline. He mostly stays below at sea, but he had a lifejacket and lifeline for when he wants to be in the cockpit.

If you could have any boat in the world, which would you choose? I grinned to myself. The Shetland Times was still  a Wishart-owned newspaper. I’d go straight for a local boat – Robert Wishart’s beautiful wooden yacht FloraNot really, of course – classic wood was very well, but to keep it head-turning you had to spend your life varnishing – and besides, my little, tough Khaldia was my other self. We’d got each other out of rather more trouble than I cared to think about.

What do you find most satistying about being on the water?  I couldn’t say any of it in public. Perhaps to Gavin, only to Gavin, and he didn’t need to be told. I loved being out there alone, with the endless sea stretching from hill to horizon. I loved the silence, away from other people’s cars and radios and TVs. I loved being captain of my own ship, with nothing but sea-knowledge and common sense to guide me. I loved the feel of my boat under me, and the white curve of sails above.

I deleted the last question, re-read the rest, pulled a face and pushed send.

Cass sounds a fascinating character, doesn’t she? If you want to read about her adventures you can buy the book here:


Cass’s next adventure, Death on a Shetland Cliff is to be published by Headline in July.

Meet Marsali

M Taylor

Marsali Taylor’s crime series is set in contemporary Shetland, and features livaboard sailor Cass Lynch and her ally, DI Gavin Macrae. She is also a columnist and reviewer for Practical Boat Owner, and a crime novel reviewer for Mystery People. Marsali has lived in Shetland since arriving there as a green probationer teacher of French and English in 1981. She lives on the scenic west side with her husband, a three unruly cats and a self-willed Shetland pony. She is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history.  She has published plays in Shetland’s distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women’s suffrage in Shetland. She’s a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, as well as going on tall ship trips further afield, and an active member of her local drama group.

Contact Links

Please follow me on Twitter, FB and on my website.

Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Marsali. 

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