Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Watch me - Angela Clarke

Watch Me
by Angela Clarke


About the book...
YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…

The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE. MAKE THEM COUNT.

My thoughts...
Avon books have just the best marketing campaigns and when I received an advance copy of Watch Me along with a mirror, giving me 24 hours to tweet a photograph I was intrigued.  I wasn't disappointed, Watch Me is a gripping, emotionally charged read that at times is so fast paced you don't have time to think and then slows just enough to grab a breathe before hurtling straight back int the abyss.  To say I was totally hooked is an understatement.  Angela Clarke pulls no punches, reading the story set over a 24 hour period was a pure adrenalin rush.  

D S Nasreen Cudmore is part of the investigating team, investigating a suicide note that was circulated by snapchat just before a teenage girl killed herself.  It all kicks off when their phones start pinging.  Snapchat again - this time an ultimatum.  It would appear another girl, a bit too close to the team has been taken hostage and the potential killer has given just 24 hours to find her or he'll kill her. Are the two linked is the question immediately on everyone's lips?

Nasreen drags childhood friend Freddie Venton into the investigation.  She helped with a previous case known as the #hashtagmurders - where the killer taunted the police via twitter.  Are the two cases connected? So many questions rattled around my brain as I raced around London on the hunt for a potential murderer with them.

I admire Angela Clarke's ability to produce characters that are hard and gritty, who get right under your skin.  Her ability to cut to the chase with sentences devoid of excess words - straight to the point and unambiguous then switching back with just a few words that showed the softer, more human side to each and every one of the team.  From Nasreen and Freddie, to top dog DCI Jack Burgone, DI McCain and even DI Pete Saunders. The latter and Nasreen butting heads at every turn with DI McCain playing good cop to his bad cop image.

My one regret is that I didn't log my bpm on my Fitbit - it went through the roof, especially in the final chapters - a total captivating read that I haven't stopped telling everyone about.  It's not often I can't make several stabs in the dark as to who the 'guilty party' or what the motive is but this time, I hadn't a clue.  There are some revelations that left me thinking WOW I didn't see that coming and I don't know anyone who wouldn't be captivated and gripped by Watch Me.  

Huge thanks to both Avon Books for the opportunity to read Watch Me and a special big thanks to Angela Clarke - this book was blimmin brilliant! 

About the author...
Angela Clarke is an author, playwright, columnist, screenwriter and broadcaster. Her debut crime thriller Follow Me was named Amazon’s Rising Star Debut of the Month January 2016, longlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Dagger in the Library 2016, and shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Page Turner Award 2016. Watch Me is the second instalment in the Social Media Murder Series. Angela’s memoir Confessions of a Fashionista is an Amazon Fashion Chart bestseller. 

Her play, The Legacy, enjoyed its first run and rave reviews at The Hope Theatre in June 2015. She hosted the current affairs show Outspoken on Radio Verulam for six months in 2014, and has appeared on the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, BBC Three Counties and more. Her journalist contributions include: The Guardian, Independent Magazine, The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, and Writing magazine. 

In 2015 Angela was awarded the Young Stationers' Prize for achievement and promise in writing and publishing. She volunteers with Womentoring, and the RSA Meet a Mentor scheme, and others, to help encourage and support marginalised artists into the industry. 

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Angela lives with her husband and far too many books

Guest post...
How to find Your Writing Muse
Finding that creative spark to keep you motivated can be tricky, when ultimately the writing buck stops with you. Some call it Writer’s Block, I prefer to think of it as merely a passing trip hazard. Block sounds so immovable, right? Whatever you call it, we all panic when we think we’ve lost our writing mojo. So here are some ways I’ve found to help you calm and tap back into your creativity. It’s time to get your muse back on side: 
Go for a Walk
Get your coat and get outside! A change of scenery can help clear your mind and let your subconscious get back to working on your story. Plus, you never know what you might see that can help you untangle that messy plot point.
Have a Shower or a Bath
Many authors I know have confessed that the perfect idea just popped into their head while they were washing their hair. Something about being in the water just does it for your writer brain and gets those creative juices flowing. Have a soak. Play with your rubber ducky. And watch your muse float to the surface. 
Read a Book
Taking a break and reading someone else’s story for a while can help your mind relax and unwind. It’s also a good way to “refill the creative well” so to speak, since you’re not going around in circles on your own story. The same can be said for watching telly, or a film, or checking out an art gallery or museum. Ideas are all around us, sometimes we’re just looking in the wrong place.
Do Something Fun
When you’re frustrated by the words not coming, or you just can’t get the plot to fit together, you need to take a mental break. Removing yourself from your stress is the best way to get your muse to sit up and pay attention. Start a new hobby, or simply carry on with something you already do (see below) and you’ll find those words will start creeping back into your mind.
Spend Time Doing Other Creative Things
A lot of writer’s I know have multiple creative outlets. Whether you take photographs, crochet, knit, scrapbook or paint (I took up painting and drawing last year) - doing other creative tasks helps when your writing when it’s going slow. Your inner muse still gets the fulfilment of creating something, and you also get the benefit of productive relaxation. You can even tie it into your book itself.  Stuck on how to choreograph a fight scene? Draw some stick figures or play with some action figures to work it out. Can’t work out how to describe your heroine’s hair? Go through some magazines and cut out all the ones that look like her and stick them on a piece of paper. 
Write Something Entirely Different
A lot of the ideas above help when you’re mid-book, but what about that initial inspiration? You might have an idea but you’re just not quite sure how to implement it. So shake it up and write something completely random. There are dozens of ways of doing this. You can look up prompts online and write a paragraph based on it. Or open a journal or notebook and just start writing anything that comes to mind (even if it’s “I don’t know what to write!”). Fill two or three pages with a stream of consciousness. Get your brain engaged in the act of writing even if you’re not actively working on your story. The results may just surprise you.

There are countless ways to find your inner muse, but don’t come to rely on it. Sometimes you just gotta sit down and get on with it. That way, when the muse shows up, they’ll find you already working. And that’s the best position to be in. Good luck! 
Giveaway... UK ONLY!
Angela has teamed up with a huge number of authors to offer a giveaway of both her and their books on each day of the blog tour. 

You could win a copy of A SAVAGE HUNGER by Claire McGowan, along with Watch Me by Angela Clarke.

To be in with a chance to win tweet a link to this blog post or RT one of my tweets promoting Watch Me 

The fourth in the acclaimed Paula Maguire crime series sees the forensic psychologist investigate the links between a missing student, a decades-old mystery, and the hunger strikes of the 80s.

‘The story races along…Clarke is certainly someone to watch.’ DAILY MAIL

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