Fancy you stopped in

J Kahele

 

Today, I would like to welcome author LJ Ross.

 

Hi LJ. Why don’t we start by you telling us a little about yourself:

 

I am a thirty-year-old mother of an active two-year-old boy and, before I came to my senses, I worked as a lawyer in the City of London. Now, I write romantic suspense mysteries under the pen name L.J. Ross and love my job! The series, featuring DCI Ryan, is based around the beautiful county of Northumberland, which is where I grew up.

Name some of your favorite authors and why?

I have so many favourites, from different genres - it’s hard to choose! For vintage crime writing, I still enjoy Arthur Conan-Doyle for his superior ability to craft a well-written mystery within a relatively short word count. His character, Sherlock Holmes, is iconic and has stood the test of time. I am quite a fan of Russian literature, particularly Dostoyevsky, for his observations on human nature and the socio-economic climate of his time. I have always loved sweeping adventure stories and I remember being particularly inspired by the richly descriptive writing of M.M. Kaye, after reading ‘The Far Pavillions.’ In terms of everyday reading, I’ve enjoyed some of Nora Roberts’ standalone romantic suspense novels, such as ‘The Reef’, or ‘Northern Lights’.

 

When did you decide to become an author?

 

I’m a firm believer that a person is capable of being many things during the course of a lifetime. After a fairly intense period of academic study, followed by another intense period of work in one of the world’s major capital cities, I felt that it was time to explore a more creative side to myself. I’d always loved to read and ‘fall into a story’ and I started to wonder if, after all this reading, I might be able to write something myself. It wasn’t until the birth of my son that I really made a serious change and started to write. It is a great lifestyle option for a working mother, because it allows me to be flexible and to work around his needs, without forsaking my own. My husband and family were all very supportive, which helped enormously.

 

What inspired you to become an author?

 

I wondered about the possibility of writing as a career for a while before I began seriously putting pen to paper. Although there are anti-discrimination laws and regulations in place to allow working mothers to continue their careers, in my experience I found that women were inevitably forced to compromise somewhere, in reality. When my husband and I decided to start a family, I knew that I didn’t want to be forced to compromise either on my child’s care, or on my career prospects – why can’t women have it all? So, you might say it was my son who inspired me to become an author, because I wanted to be the best mother I could be: a happy one, who could be there for him when he needed me as well as setting a positive example of womanhood.

 

Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

 

Don’t procrastinate! Keep going! Writing is hard work, a big investment of your time and requires a thick skin to take on board critique and the inevitable mixed bag of reviews (even the greatest writers can’t please everyone!). But, you must grasp the moment with both hands and ‘give it a go’. If you don’t you’ll regret never trying or, worse still, trying but never releasing your work into the world. Remember that first and foremost, you are writing to please yourself, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t have useful comments to make and it makes good sense to listen to them.

 

Any hobbies?

 

I used to be very sporty as a child and I still enjoy running. Aside from reading (other people’s work, when I have time!), I love dancing and all forms of music. I usually keep a small sketchbook in my bag and I try to find time to paint whenever I can.

 

What is your most sinful craving?

 

Cake…passion fruit daiquiris…chocolate (every kind)…various Hollywood actors…oh, wait, you only asked for one!

 

Haha! I certainly can relate to that, I have many guilty pleasures myself.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview.

 

I was so intrigued by LJ Ross, I decided to check out not one but two of her books.

 

My reviews are below.

 

 

 

 

My review

 

DCI Maxwell Ryan had been hiding away on the island of Lindisfarne, taking some time off from his job. When Lucy Mathieson’s body is found on The Priory, he finds himself launched into a strange murder investigation. Further investigating the body, he notices how clean it is, besides a gash on her forehead and also that the body has been staged, as if it was being set up for a ceremonial ritual of some sort.

Anna Taylor, a specialist in ceremonial rituals has been called in to help on the case. She is a little hesitant, because this island at one time was her home and her reason for running was because of her sister Megan and an argument that has kept them emancipated for years.

When Ryan and Anna are able to sit down and go through photographs, Anna explains to him that sign carved into Lucy, looks that of a Pagan sign of femininity. More bodies begin to show up and as the investigation deepens so does the attraction between Ryan and Anna. But with everything going on they surely wouldn’t consider taken their attraction father than they should? Would they?

First I would like to say what the hell? That ending had me spinning. Second, I would like to say that this is most definitely not my type of read, but the writing, the characters had me engaged completely from start to finish. So I must say this is definitely a read for everyone.

 

My rating 5.0 out of 5.0

 

Purchase book here

 

 

 

My review

 

'Come out, come out, wherever you are.'

I am not one for prologues, but found in reading this book by LJ Ross, it was necessary to read it. It starts during the Summer Solstice, Amy is gazing out into the valley near a large Sycamore tree, when footsteps startle her and turns to see a man standing there. It is a man that Amy has been close to at one time. When he tries to kiss her, she pulls away realizing the attraction she once had for this man is lost. Her lack of affection, angers him and the man goes into a fiery rage and they exchange words. When she tells him that he is mad, his arm shoots out and grabs her by the wrist with such force, it breaks.

The story reintroduces DCI Ryan and his lover Anna. I enjoyed these two characters in the first book and really loved them in the second. There were a lot of questions left in my mind after the first, that were answered in this one. Like, Why was Ryan on Holy Island in the first place? And exactly why was he prescribed Xanax? These were clues that were left unanswered in the first, but were defined with answers in the second. The premise of this book was amazing, the clues stragetically placed for you to wander with as you read on. I thought the first one was good, but the second one is even better.

 

My rating 5.0 out of 5.0

 

Purchase book here

 

Author Bio

Louise was born and grew up in Northumberland. She completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Law at King's College London, where she met her husband, and she continued her studies in Paris and Florence. After spending most of her twenties working in the City as a lawyer, she began to feel it was time for change. 

 

After the birth of her son, she wrote the first draft of Holy Island, having been inspired by the atmospheric beauty of the real island of Lindisfarne, a place she knew well from childhood. Following its success, she now writes full-time. The second book in her series of DCI Ryan novels, Sycamore Gap, showcases another part of the region: this time, Hadrian's Wall country. 

 

She lives with her husband and son in the South of England, but visits Northumberland regularly, where she enjoys walking and building sandcastles on the beach with her son and reading other people's books! She likes to travel and spend time with good friends and family, dancing to 80's music (singing, badly...), watching old black-and-white movies, drinking coffee and eating cake. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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