Well you can guess just how excited I was when I got a wee email from Tara asking if I’d review the new book from her and Mel, “The Caller” AND if I would take part in their forthcoming blog tour….damn tooting I will, I replied! Even better, Tara agreed to let me put her on the spot by asking her a few questions! Want to find out what makes her tick, then read on lovelies!
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I started writing last year – to the month in fact, as I was gifted with a laptop for my 30th birthday in June. I have co-written a novella and the first novel in a new crime series with Mel Comley and published my solo debut crime/psychological thriller, In the Shadows. I’m a single mother to my three-year-old son, Leo. I have seven tattoos, a metal plate in my right ankle and love chocolate peanuts.
- How did you and Mel meet and was it “co-author love” at first sight?
We were introduced by a friend in common, Maria Lee – who also invited me to THE Book Club. I had already read Mel’s Justice series and was a huge fan. She found out I was writing a book and soon we were chatting online every day, as Mel lived in France at the time. When she came to the UK to house hunt, I met up with her and joined her on her adventure and we thought it would be amazing to write together. We like similar books, TV shows, music and are both Geminis – I’d say it was a co-author match made in heaven. J
- What’s the best and worst thing about co-writing?
The best thing is bouncing ideas off each other. One of us suggests an idea and the other sees it from a different angle and it becomes a well thought-out, interesting plot. I’d say the worst thing is the distance; I’d love to see Mel more often as we get things done a lot quicker when we’re in the same room!
- What kind of a writer are you… a planner or a fly by the seat of your pants kinda girl?
Definitely a planner – which is something you need when you’re co-writing. But, even though there are plans in place, characters will always take you off onto another path while you’re writing, so you have to be flexible with those plans too.
- Can you describe yourself in 5 words?
Laid-back. Organised. Stubborn. Chatty. Fun (I hope).
- If you could have written any book what would it be and why?
This is difficult. I’ve read so many books that I love… But, Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes really changed my reading habits and ignited my love of psychological thrillers. On the B-side, Charlie & Pearl by Tammy Robinson because she made me feel so emotional. I was invested with her characters, I laughed, cried and wanted to visit New Zealand.
- If you won 1 million pounds how would you spend it?
I would buy a home for myself and for my parents so we were mortgage free, and then travel so my son and I could see the world.
- Reviews – what’s your best and worst review been and how do you deal with the negative ones?
I couldn’t choose a favourite review because I appreciate every single one of them and the time people take to write them. I received a one-star review saying my characters were one-dimensional, and that was upsetting. But, I fully understand I can never please everyone and instead hope to learn from the critical reviews to make the next book even better.
- What are you reading now? (If not currently reading anything what book would you recommend to others?)
Wow, I could be here for some time recommending, but I’ll recommend one that both myself and Mel thoroughly enjoyed and that’s Beyond a Reasonable Doubt by Linda Prather. It’s a legal thriller, so personally, I found it a refreshing change to the “norm” crime and thriller books out there. Linda writes brilliantly short and snappy chapters with great twists and characters.
- What reality TV show would you appear on and why?
When Big Brother first aired my mum wanted me to apply! For some reason she thought I’d be a fab housemate, but I don’t function well with lack of food, so I don’t think it would work for me. I was in the army cadets, so always thought “yeah, I could do I’m A Celebrity…” but the more I watch that show, eating creepy crawlies and having things crawl all over your skin… no way! Does The Chase count? I love that and am always shouting the answers at the TV.
Brilliant answers Tara, absolutely loved them and I’m sure your readers will too! We are sure you would be a star in I’m a Celebrity…. we would all be rooting for you!
“The first gripping book in The Organised Crime Team series by NY Times bestselling author of the Justice series, M A Comley and co-author Tara Lyons, author of In The Shadows.
When The Caller rings… what would you do?
The Organised Crime Team is a newly-formed unit with one of the toughest tasks in London. Led by DI Angie North, their first investigation is a cold case that has foxed several officers in the Met for months.
After Angie holds a TV appeal regarding the case, a number of similar aggressive attacks are brought to her attention. The team call on their contacts on the street for help. Their interest is sparked when several local names surface.
To bring the criminals to justice a member of the Organised Crime Team is asked to risk their life in a dangerous covert operation.”
The Caller is the first in a new series by the talented duo, Tara Lyons and Mel Comely and what a belter to the start of a new series. I have read most of the Justice series by Mel (and no kidding you need to get out there and read it!) and also Tara’s debut novel, “In the Shadows” which gave me the shivers! So I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read this book by 2 great minds combined!
DI Angie North leads her new team in a race to find out who is behind a spate of burglaries that have led to murder. The book takes the reader through a fast paced and gripping journey through gangland London. The crimes committed are brutal and Angie is determined to bring the killer to justice.
As a DI, Angie is committed to getting the most out of her team, she takes the time to get to know them individually and this helps the reader build up a picture of each character as the story develops. The Caller is action packed and at times feels a little overwhelming, as the reader gets to grips with a new team and an intense plot – but this doesn’t detract in any way from the book. I loved the team dynamics as they began to work together and you can see them going through all the “storming and norming” stages – this added an extra dimension to the book as it leaves the reader wanting to find out more about them as the series develops.
Mel and Tara work well together as writers and it is clear that they team up to make a formidable pair! There are no “jittery” passes from one writer’s style to another, they just merge into one which made for great reading.
I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series! Highly recommended!
To purchase your copy of this fab book then head on over to Amazon