marți, 12 februarie 2013

Showstoppers & Three Sisters Blog Tour (Giveaway, Review & Interview)

~About the author~

 Helen Smith is a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain and English PEN. She travelled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both - from cleaning motels to working as a magician's assistant - before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel which was published by Gollancz (part of the Hachette Group).

She writes novels, poetry, plays and screenplays and is the recipient of an Arts Council of England Award. She's a long-term supporter of the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture and mentors members of an exiled writers group to help them tell their stories. She likes knitting but she doesn't like driving. She likes dancing. 

 ~Author Interview~

1. Hello, Helen! Can you tell us something about you and your books “Three Sisters” and “Showstoppers”?
 Hello Sabrina, thank you for interviewing me on Fantasy Books. Three Sisters and Showstoppers are two murder mystery novellas featuring twenty-six-year-old amateur sleuth Emily Castles. In the first, Emily goes to a party in a big house at the end of the street where she lives in London – and ends up investigating a murder. In the second, she helps out at a local stage school run by her neighbour, Victoria, and she gets involved in blackmail and murder.

2. When have you decided that you want to be a writer?
 I loved reading when I was a child and decided I would like to be a writer at about the age of eight. I used to make up poems and stories and even started writing a novel when I was about ten years old. I never finished it!

3. Where do you find your inspiration for your novels? (If it’s not a secret) Have you ever found it in your real life?

 Yes, I quite often find inspiration in real life – something happens and I think, ‘What if…’ and use it to develop a scene in one of my books. All of my books are set in London, where I live. I find the city quite inspiring.
4. Does any of your fictional character ressemble you?
Yes, the main character in my book, Alison Wonderland, is a private detective called Alison. She’s a grumpier version of me.

5. Which book is the first one that you’ve read?
 I can’t remember but I can tell you some of my favourite books from childhood. I used to love the Narnia books and The Borrowers. I also used to love the Flower Fairies books – I gave a set of them to a friend’s baby just the other day. I think the pictures and the little poems that go with them are charming.

6. Do you have a favorite book?
 I always find it really difficult to choose just one. I like all sorts of different books, including mysteries, thrillers and literary fiction. So long as there’s no violence or cruelty in it, I will try anything.

7. If you were about to leave on a trip which book would you take with you?
I’d want to take a fun mystery or an adventure story with lots of surprises and funny lines it in, and interesting characters.
8. Tell us one thing you’d like to change about people from nowadays.
 I wish people wouldn’t drop litter. London is a beautiful city but it’s quite dirty because so many people drop litter in the street. I don’t understand it, when there are rubbish bins everywhere.

  9. Is there a moment in your life you’d like to live again?
 When my daughter was little I took her travelling around the world. We went all over the place, going from beach to beach to build sandcastles. That was fun – but it was longer than a moment!

10.Do you have a message for Romanian readers? Why would you recommend your book?
 I’d love to visit Romania and set one of my books there. Until then, I hope that Romanian readers who have never been to London will enjoy a trip to the city by reading my books. I’d recommend the books because they’re fun, quick reads with a main character that readers can identify with. I hope that Romanian readers will enjoy them.

Three Sisters

Twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles has been invited to a party in the big house at the end of her street. How could she know, as she left her house that evening, that she was making an appointment with death?

This 70-page comic mystery novella will appeal to fans of M C Beaton and Alexander McCall Smith.

My thoughts

"Three Sisters" was a short, but interesting story. After Emily's dog - Jessie - died, she couldn't forget him. But when Emily is invited to a party in the neighborhood, she tries to go back to her normal life. But the thought that she doesn't have Jessie anymore is freting her. At the party she makes new friends and meets two interesting sisters, Zizi and Zsa-Zsa. They are twins and they're going to give a knife-trowing performance. But during the performance, a knife hits Zsa-Zsa's chest and she dies. When the police comes, Zsa-Zsa miracoulously revives and everybody believes her. But Emily, who just went through her dog's death, is convinced that she witnessed a murder and, helped by Dr. Muriel, she discovers that Zizi and Zsa-Zsa have another, identical, sister. Finaly, Emily realized that she doesn't want to forget so fast Jessie's death.

This story was really realistic. I liked very much that Emily was so suspicious and she doesn't believes other's tricks so easy. She has her own personality and she's very smart. She managed to find Zsa-Zsa's corpse and to make justice very easily.

~Praise for "Three Sisters"~

“Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious.” Socrates’ Book Reviews

“It grips you from the very beginning.” Babs Books Bistro

“Bright, colourful and full of surprises.” Vine Reviewer

“Fast-paced and unusual, I highly recommend this one.” Eva’s Sanctuary


When twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles helps out at a local stage school, she’s soon mixed up in murder. She teams up with eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel to solve the case.

This 75-page comic mystery novella will appeal to fans of M eaton and Alexander McCall Smith.

My thoughts

In "Showstoppers", the protagonist is Emily. When her neighbor, Victoria, is receiving threatening letters about a video that she made when she was younger, she asks Emily for help. A little time ago, Victoria and her friend made a video and, because of it, a man died laughing. Victoria is suspecting that her friend sent the letters. Because Emily didn't have a job, she accepts to help Victoria to organize the Showstoppers show. But Emily ends up being inolved in a murder and she tries to discover, along with the excentric Dr. Muriel, who the murderer is.

Showstoppers is a pretty captivating story, with a lot of twists. I'm really sorry that it was so short and I really think that everything happened too fast. And again, Emily and Dr. Muriel made a perfect team and, working toghether, they managed to discover a murder and, by the end of the day, the show was saved.

~Praise for "Showstoppers"~

“Helen Smith is a master story-teller." Socrates Book Reviews

“Suspensefully created and plotted.” Vine Reviewer


Please leave a comment with you email address for a chance to win an ebook copy of Showstoppers and Three Sisters by Helen Smith.

Deadline: 20 feb.

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