Nemesister blog tour

Why the Scorpion and the frog?

We tell each other stories. We’re a species defined by stories, by the a to b narrative of our lives and the lives that come before us and the lives which are yet to come. So narrative has always been the way we explore what we are, how we teach, how we learn. Even when writing blogs about my novel Nemesister, I’m more often than not asked about it’s story, as if it too were a living thing ; how it was conceived, it’s development in the early years, how it has grown into a fully fledged book with a life beyond my control, a child gone into the world with the best job I could do for it its only resources.
In the story itself,  draw on the imagery of a traditional tale which for me summed up the relationship between the two main characters, and the battle they have to understand both it and themselves.
I’m honestly not sure where it comes from, though Wikapedia has it dating in fully fledged form in the 1950s, elements of the story date back to the  Babalonian   Tallmud, but it goes like this. A scorpion wants to cross a river and so asks a frog to carry it across on his back.
“Your a Scorpion,” says the Frog.”How do I know you won’t sting me?”
“if I sting you,’ the Scorpion says, “I’ll drown too.”
This reassures the Frog and so he lets the Scorpion climb into his back and sets out across the river. Half way across the Scorpion flicks his tail and stings the Frog. As the Frog feels the poison creep through his veins he cries out,
“You said you wouldn’t sting me!”
” True,’ said the Scorpion. ” But I never said I wasn’t a Scorpion.”

It’s a dark tale, about how we so often would rather believe an idea of the truth which suits us, or at least makes us feel better about ourselves – the frog would rather been seen as helpful than distrustful – and how maybe the nature of the beast is as it is, even if we think we might be the ones to change it. For me, it resonated in my story as it spoke of two people doomed by themselves, as so many of us are, unable to escape themselves however far across the river they travel.
If you want to judge for your self if it’s a good analogy, you’re just going to have to read my book!

Guest post by Matt Hilton

Today on my blog I am hosting author Matt Hilton with a guest post.  I have yet to read one of his novels but the descriptions look amazing.

You are in for a real treat with tbis guest post

If you’re looking for trouble…

When publishers issue a new book, particularly by a debut author, they often look for a hook on which to hang it, to attract the readership of another established author in the same or similar genre. Take for instance the recent flood of Scandinavian crime writers most of whom were pegged “The New Stieg Larsson”, despite their styles being very different. When my first Joe Hunter thriller– Dead Men’s Dust – was published back in 2009, my publisher’s marketing team were keen to compare me with Lee Child, and tags such as “If you like Reacher, you’ll love Hunter” were emblazoned on the cover and publicity material. To be honest I was thrilled at being compared to the giant of the thriller genre, but also not a little humbled and nervous. I prepared myself for the backlash from Reacher fans, and it was inevitable that some of them would find the comparison unfavourable, and they did. Thankfully though, most could rise above the obvious marketing ploy and approach my books as separate and unique entities, and enjoy them in their own right. The first time I met Lee Child, I was mortified about the blurb on my book, and made my humble apology to him, but being the top bloke and generous guy he is, Lee laughed it off and reassured me he was in no way offended. In fact he told me when he was first published he was tagged as “The New John Grisham”.

    These days I look on the comparison as a huge honour. Hey, who wouldn’t want to be mentioned in the same sentence as the top selling author in my genre? OK, so my writing style still polarizes opinions, but good or bad, at least my books aren’t being ignored! Joe Hunter has earned himself a legion of fans of his own, so I’m very happy. For those of you wondering if I’m akin to an Elvis impersonator in cheap acrylic wig and rhinestone jumpsuit trying to knock the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll off his perch, the answer is no. If Reacher is The King, then Hunter could better be compared to Jerry Lee Lewis, or Bill Haley, or Little Richard, all unique contenders to the rock and roll throne, depending on individual taste. Hunter strides through a similar fictional crime thriller universe as Reacher, but on his own path and in his own rambunctious style. They are both ex-military men, and prone to meting out vigilante justice, but that’s possibly where the similarities end. Hunter is a reckless spirit, who sometimes acts before he thinks, driven by passion and a questionable set of morals. I describe him as a good man at heart doing bad things to terrible people. And he is the sum of many parts.

    I grew up reading men’s action adventure books – Think Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan (The Executioner), Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir’s Remo Williams (The Destroyer) and George G. Gilman’s Edge and Adam Steele books – as well as heroic fantasy – Robert E Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian, Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone – and my early attempts at writing were pastiche versions of similar characters. As I grew older and my reading habits expanded I began picking up US crime and espionage thrillers by the likes of David Morrell, and Robert Ludlum, and also thrillers by Dean Koontz. All the while I was writing, and aspiring to write in a similar vein. All of those influences went into the formation of Joe Hunter, as did comic book characters I read – The Punisher, Judge Dredd – but first he went through a few incarnations. I wrote some (unpublished) novels in a gothic fantasy setting about a wandering lawman that took justice to the barbaric corners of his world at the edge of his sword, and later a (unpublished) novel featuring a private eye called Phil Ellis and his sidekick Davey Oxford who became the actual flesh and blood progenitors of Joe Hunter and his pal, Jared ‘Rink’ Rington. In its earliest form, my debut novel – Dead Men’s Dust – was written as a vehicle for Ellis and Oxford, but I came to realise that neither of my tough, well-meaning investigators, had the necessary skills to carry them through the kind of adventures I hoped to send them. Ellis became Hunter (albeit after another name change discarded by the publisher) and Oxford became Rink. They’re the illegitimate children of many literary forefathers, but they’re also their own men.

    The twelfth Joe Hunter thriller – Marked For Death – is published on 17th July 2017. In my humble opinion it’s Hunter’s most explosive and daring adventure to date. If you are looking for a cerebral mystery to be solved, well you won’t find it in this book. But…(at this point you should picture me curling back my top lip, flipping back my quiff and swivelling my hips) “If you’re looking for trouble…dum-dum-dum-dum-dum…you came to the right place.”

Thank you very much.


Matt Hilton is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series, and the Tess Grey and Po Villere thrillers. His first book, ‘Dead Men’s Dust’, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph. Dead Men’s Dust was also a top ten Kindle bestseller in 2013 and 2016.

Matt has published novels in the supernatural/horror genre, namely ‘Preternatural’, ‘Dominion’, ‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘The Shadows Call’.

His next Joe Hunter novel, Marked For Death, will be published 17th July 2017, and his next Tess and Po novel, Worst Fear, on 29th September 2017. website  @MHiltonauthor Twitter Facebook official author page at Facebook

About the book:

Marked For Death

Joe Hunter has been Marked for Death in his most explosive outing to date

It should be a routine job. Joe Hunter and his associates are hired to provide security for an elite event in Miami. Wear a tux, stay professional, job done.

But things go wrong.

Hunter is drawn into what appears to be a domestic altercation. When he crosses the mysterious Mikhail however, he soon finds something altogether more sinister…

Before long this chance encounter has serious repercussions for Hunter and his friends. Good people are being killed. On the run, in the line of fire, the clock is ticking.

From the bars of Miami Beach to car chases and superyacht grenade battles, bestseller Matt Hilton dials up the intensity in this rip-roaring, set-piece filled thriller perfect for fans of Lee Child, David Baldacci and Stephen Leather.

Available for pre-order now:

Rachel Amphlett – One to Watch Blog tour 

Hi All

On my blog today I have a guest post by Rachel Amphlett herself as she talks about Book Hangover.

This post is about things that get you all discombobulated once they are over, like a meal you never want to end, films you could watch over and over again and songs you could listen to on repeat, all day, every day.

There are just 8 simple questions:

  1. Who are you and what do you do?

  2. What gives you an actual hangover?

  3. What TV programme?

  4. What film?

  5. What song?

  6. What food?

  7. Which person/people?

  8. And finally, … Which book?

It’s a fun piece which is aimed at getting to know you better away from the book world.

  1. I’m Rachel Amphlett, and I’m a writer of espionage thrillers and crime fiction.

  2. Red wine – specifically, anything of the Cabernet Savignon variety – it’s just too damn heavy for me. Even after one glass, I’ll be waking up at 2am gasping for a pint of water, so I avoid it at all costs!

  3. I really miss Strike Back. I loved that series!

  4. The original Raiders of the Lost Ark. The sequels never really delivered on the first film. I can watch that over and over again, and still see something different each time.

  5. I’m loving some really heavy stuff at the moment – Adelitas Way is a current favourite band, with a couple of their songs becoming earworms over the past few months. Like A Storm is another heavy band – from New Zealand. Great stuff for those late nights when I’m trying to catch up with the business end of this writing malarkey!

  6. Sushi. I love sushi, but can’t be arsed to make it. If I ever win the lottery, I’m employing a sushi chef.

  7. My parents. I’m in Brisbane, and they’re in Dorset. We talk every week on the phone, but it’s hard living so far away from them. They have a wicked sense of humour and taught me inquisitiveness from an early age. Also, my Granddad. He’s 97 now and an absolute riot.

  8. The next Harry Dresden book by Jim Butcher – love the series, but he takes so long to bring out each instalment!