Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Been having a bit of a break lately but will be back in the new year with some guest posts and special offers.

In the meantime - I wish you a wonderful
Christmas, New Year, Yuletide, 
Winter Festival or any other
 you may be having. 

the man with the horn

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Win a paperback copy of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion

Giveaway Now Closed.
Russ was the Winner!

Win a paperback copy of 
Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion 

Starts 15th November 2014 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Delirium by Barbara  Scott Emmett


by Barbara Scott Emmett

Giveaway ends December 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Good Luck!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Memories of WW1

Bette Masterman aged 17

My mother's memories of the First World War as a tiny child:

One day I was taken into Newcastle to see the soldiers marching down Grainger Street to the Central Station on their way to France. I was held up on somebody’s shoulder so that I could see over the people in front. 

Crowds lined the street, the soldiers marched past, then a deep moan went through the crowd as the girls came into view. 

They were the nurses also on their way to France. I can remember hearing somebody saying, “The bits o’ lasses are ganning as well,” and the tears rolling down people’s cheeks.

From the Autobiography of Bette Masterman Emmett born 12 April 1913

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Wilful Words: The Long and the Short

Being lazy today and reblogging this blog about Awesome Allshorts from awesome indie authors.

Wilful Words: The Long and the Short: It's an exciting time right now. In addition to the launch of my latest novel Still Death , I have a short story that's been accepte...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A Crime Novel with a Difference - Frances di Plino on her latest Paolo Storey novel

 Frances di Plino talks about victims' gender in crime novels and why she has chosen to break the mould. Her latest Paolo Storey novel sounds like a corker and is one I will certainly be reading very soon.


A Crime Novel with a Difference
by Frances di Plino

There has been a lot published recently on the prevalence of violence against women in crime novels. It does seem that the culture of women as victims helps to sell books. I’m not sure why that should be, but I have been guilty of writing a couple of such novels myself.

Certainly, in the first two of my D.I. Paolo Storey series, BAD MOON RISING and SOMEDAY NEVER COMES, females are the victims and men control their lives.

However, in book three, CALL IT PRETENDING, the killer had a motive for picking his targets and gender didn’t have a part to play.

In the latest, LOOKING FOR A REASON, which is out today, the notion of female victims has been turned on its head. The targets are all male – and with good reason.

Someone is subjecting men to systematic rape and torture, but who? More to the point - why? 

After three days of cruelty, starvation and water deprivation, they are released. Detective Inspector Paolo Storey has many questions, but the biggest one of all is this: why, to a man, do they refuse even to admit they were held captive? 

As if the hunt for the elusive abductor wasn't enough, Paolo has to spend time finding out if money has been pilfered from public funds poured into a new youth centre.

He upsets a few local bigwigs in the process, but ruffling feathers is the least of his worries. His most important task is to work out why the attacks take place. 

If he can do that, he'll be a step closer to knowing who is behind them; but can he uncover the answers in time to save someone close to him? It isn't easy Looking for a Reason.

Frances di Plino is the pen name of Lorraine Mace, children’s author, humour columnist for Writing Magazine and a competition judge for Writers’ Forum. She is a former tutor for the Writers Bureau, and now runs a private critique and mentoring service for writers.

Writing as Frances di Plino, she is the author of the crime/thriller series featuring D.I. Paolo Storey: Bad Moon Rising, Someday Never Comes, Call It Pretending and Looking for a Reason

Awesome Indies New Website

Today Awesome Indies Coordinator Tahlia Newland explains what is happening with the Awesome Indies website: 

The animated giff really says it all, but I'll write it a little more conversationally and give you some background:

The Awesome Indies is getting a brand new website. Tahlia Newland (coordinator), Ruthanne Reid (designer), and a team of volunteers have been working hard this past month to get ready for the opening on the 1st of November. 

The new look site will be set up as a shop with purchase buttons linking to all the major ebook sales outlets as well as the Book Depository (free shipping worldwide) for those who like paperbacks. Our Amazon and iTunes links will be global links that will automatically send customers to their local store – no more ending up in the wrong store. 

And those with reading devices that take epub files will find plenty of books for their devices on the new site. Books to suit your taste will be easy to find by searching categories and tags. And books can be listed in more than one category, making it easy to see exactly what mix of genres you’ll find inside. This is particularly important for our books because most of them cross genres. 

Books will have their own product page with a great deal more information about them than on the present site, so you won’t have to leave the site to find the information you need to make your decision. Reduced books will appear on a sale page and in a featured spot on the front page, making the bargains easy to find, and a streamlined menu will make negotiating the site a lot easier. 

This new focus on selling the books is because these are the books from the independent publishing industry that readers should be buying. These are the books that will not disappoint with poor editing and under developed story lines. And if you’re looking for something different, the Awesome Indies is the place to find it. 

And, to mark the opening of the new site, we’re having a sale. Over 50 books priced at less than $3, many of which are rarely discounted, will be on sale for November 1st and 2nd

We’re also giving away a Kindle Paperwhite ereader to the lucky winner. The giveaway closes at the end of the weekend. Visit Awesome Indies Books next weekend to see the new site, show your support and pick up a bargain.

Thanks, Tahlia. 

My novels Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion and The Land Beyond Goodbye will both be on sale as part of the Awesome Indies promotion.


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

France Book Tours

Charleville and Rimbaud – the uneasy relationship
 of a town and its most famous son


Barbara Scott Emmett

Delirium - bustJean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud was born on 20th October 1854 in a flat above a bookshop in the Rue Napoléon, Charleville. 

Now called Charleville-Mézières, the poet’s birthplace is a provincial town in northern France and is the setting for my novel Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion. 

The novel’s protagonist, Andrea, visits Rimbaud’s old haunts and sits, as she says ‘in the exact space Rimbaud once sat in, the molecules of my body mingling with the memory of his.’

Read more at France Book Tours

Read Emma's insightful review of Delirium here.

Thanks to Emma for hosting this blog hop. It's much appreciated.

Find out more about Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion
on the dedicated page on this blog.

Purchase Links for Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion

Easy tweet: 
Find out more about flamboyant poet #Rimbaud - the first punk. @BSE_Writer

  The winners of the blog hop giveaway have now been chosen. Congratulations to Denise and Rhonda - I hope you enjoy Delirium.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sale On - Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion

On sale everywhere for a few days. 

99c / 77p (or less)

DELIRIUM: The Rimbaud Delusion








In honour of Rimbaud's birthday and 
the launch of the paperback version

Paperback available at AMAZON.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

October 1854 - births of Wilde and Rimbaud

October 1854 was a good month for literature – and for future scandal. 

On the 16th one Oscar Fingal O’Flaherty Wilde entered the world at 21 Westland Row, Dublin; four days later, on the 20th October, Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud was born above a bookshop in the Rue Napoleon, Charleville, northern France.

Oscar & Bosie
Both were to have explosive love affaires which were distorted mirror images of each other. Maybe there was something in the stars that October.

Everyone knows about Oscar and Bosie – Lord Alfred Douglas. He was a poet in his own right, Bosie, though not a writer of the magnitude of either Oscar or Rimbaud; he did however coin the phrase ‘The love that dare not speak its name’, which comes from his poem Two Loves. History remembers Douglas as the man who helped ruin Oscar Wilde.

The story of Rimbaud and Verlaine is perhaps not so well-known. Rimbaud, the almost exact contemporary of Wilde was the one who did the ruining in their relationship. 

Paul Verlaine was a respected poet and a married man when the 17-year-old Rimbaud got his claws in him. 

Not that Verlaine did much to resist his degradation at the hands of his protégé; he entered into the spirit of things by setting fire to his wife and throwing his infant son against the wall.

Rimbaud matured earlier than Wilde. While Oscar was amusing his friends at Trinity College, Dublin, Rimbaud was well on in his career as a ne’er-do-well. He wrote most of his unique brand of poetry between the ages of 16 and 20. 

By the time Wilde went up to Oxford in 1874, Rimbaud was becoming disgusted with his way of life. He stopped writing poetry when he was about 21, before Wilde really got started.

Rimbaud’s relationship with Verlaine was probably more violent than Oscar and Bosie’s. Bosie was a spoilt pretty boy; Rimbaud was a devil in angel’s form according to those who knew him in Paris. He found it entertaining to stab his lover in the palms and jump out at him in alleyways on dark nights. 
Plaque at Royal College Street

The insults culminated in an episode involving a herring – Rimbaud spotting Verlaine coming up Royal College Street (formerly Great College Street), London carrying the aforesaid fish shouted out that he looked ridiculous (only in choicer words). Verlaine took the huff, as well he might, and left.

Rimbaud followed him to Brussels where further altercations took place and this time the boy wonder threatened to leave. Armed with a revolver purchased at the Galeries Hubert, Verlaine took a couple of pot shots at him to prevent his getaway. One bullet hit Rimbaud in the wrist.

Verlaine was sentenced to two years in prison after suffering various indignities to his person as the authorities investigated the relationship between the pair.

Mathilde Verlaine

Constance Wilde

Oscar also did two years – with hard labour – and his losses were probably more heartfelt than Verlaine’s. Verlaine’s wife had already given up on him and refused to allow him to see his son again, whereas Constance, I think, may have stayed with Oscar if the pressures of society had not been so great.

Two sad tales with similar outcomes – though Rimbaud and Verlaine’s version had more than a touch of farce to it. 

Well, Rimbaud did say Life is a farce we are all forced to endure.


Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion is available as an ebook from various online stores and the paperback will be launched on Rimbaud's birthday, 20th October 2014.

Now Available

Monday, 13 October 2014

Thursday, 25 September 2014

TRISKELE BOOKS are offering three free copies of the ebook of The Triskele Trail - a How We Did It Guide to Setting up a Writers' Collective.

As well as outlining the path Triskele Books took in setting up their writers' collective, The Triskele Trail is packed with advice on self-publishing from writing to marketing your book and everything in between.

Enter the giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sorry - the giveaway is now over.  Worth investing in the book though!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Proof copy of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion

The proof copy of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion has just arrived from CreateSpace and it looks wonderful. The cover image created by JDSmith Design is beautiful and I chose a matt cover so it's eminently strokeable.

I love it!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Available at 99c my short stories and poetry:


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Oldie but Goldie - a preloved blog post.

I haven't got a new blog post ready at the moment, so here's a pre-loved one for the time being. This post first appeared on Frances di Plino's blog on Sunday, 23 June 2013. Frances is the author of the DI Paolo Storey crime novels and she interviewed me about my venture into crime writing in particular and writing in general.

Ten facts about … me!

  1. When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer? I can remember making little books out of folded paper for my stories when I was fairly young. I can also remember being told off at school for writing compositions so long and involved that the teacher gave up reading half way through. Yes, Mrs Edgecombe, I’ve never forgiven you for that! So, I suppose it’s always been in me though it took a long time for me to get started properly.
  2. How long does it take you to write a book? Years and years usually. I think the shortest time has been two years and the longest seven or eight years. I really do need to speed up though, as I’m no longer in what could be called the first flush of youth (or even the second).
  3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? If it’s going well I’ll probably start writing sometime in the morning and continue until I run out of ideas. This can be after 1,000 to 2,000 words when I’m really in the flow. Other times I might only manage 500 words before I concede defeat. Then I’ll usually turn to editing something completely different, or look over previously written chapters of whatever it is I’m working on. If I’ve had enough of sitting at my desk I’ll go for a swim or a walk or, if I can’t put it off any longer, get the dishes washed and the floor vacuumed.
  4. How many crime novels have you written? I’ve only completed one crime novel – Don’t Look Down – but I’ve started two others. One of these reinvented itself half way through and decided to become a non-crime novel. I rewrote this as Delirium, which I’ve recently finished.* The other part-done one is hiding somewhere on my computer and I hope to track it down one day and finish it off. I also have an idea for a series featuring an elderly woman and her granddaughter as amateur sleuths.
  5. Which is your favourite and why? Since Don’t Look Down is the only one I’ve finished, I suppose I’ll have to nominate that. I am fond of it anyway because it’s set in Nuremberg, Germany, which is a wonderful mediaeval town that I’ve long considered as almost my second home.
  6. Where do you get your ideas? The idea for Don’t Look Down came to me after a visit to Nuremberg to see some friends. I’d been many times before but this was the first time I’d visited in winter and I fell in love with the town and the surrounding countryside all over again and had to use it as a setting.
  7. Who is your favourite character from your own work and why? My favourite character in Don’t Look Down is a minor character called Axel. He’s mysterious and hypnotic and is actually loosely based on someone I once knew in Nuremberg. I expect if I met the real version again now, I’d be most disappointed.
  8. Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why? Giles Brandreth writes crime novels starring Oscar Wilde as an amateur investigator. Initially, I thought this was a bizarre concept but I just wish I’d had the idea first as it’s right up my street. I expect poor Oscar is rolling about in his grave at having been used as a fictional detective though – as if the indignities of his life weren’t enough!
  9. If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or
    BSE (left) playing Belle Elmore
    bad) who would that be and why? I once played Dr Crippen’s wife, Belle Elmore, in an amdram theatre production and have been interested in the case ever since. After murdering her, Crippen and his lover, Ethel le Neve, fled to Canada by ship but were recognised by the captain. The recent invention of the radio telegraph meant he was able to inform Scotland Yard of their presence aboard. Inspector Dew of the Yard got a faster passage to Quebec and arrested the pair as they came ashore—the very first instance of a criminal being captured because of ship to shore communication. I’d like to have been Inspector Dew—that must have been a very satisfying moment.
  10. What are you working on now? I’m having a short break from new writing as I’ve recently finished Delirium which was a long haul project. I still have tweaks to make to that book, and am also lightly rewriting a previously published non-crime book The Man with the Horn, in order to bring it out as an ebook. I have an idea for a new book based on the discovery of a mysterious dead man on a beach in Australia that I might pursue, or I may start on that series with the grandmother and granddaughter I mentioned earlier. I’m eager to get started on something soon and hopefully this time it won’t take me several years to complete.



Barbara Scott Emmett lives in Newcastle and writes in a room overlooking the Tyne – a greener view now than in the old industrial days. She shares this writing space with her husband, crime novelist Jimmy Bain, and their cat Gizzie—who has first pick of the available chairs. When not writing she edits the work of others and assists in ebook creation.

Published work:

Don’t Look Down 
Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion - *ebook available now, paperback following in October 2014

The Land Beyond Goodbye

The Man with the Horn currently paperback only – ebook coming soon.


Wasps & Scorpions: Luv Pomes & Other Lies

All of which can be found at Amazon and Smashwords

and other online stores via PentalphaPublishing Edinburgh


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Last week's links

It's been a busy week - well, ten days now - since Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion was released as an ebook.

In honour of the release of the new ebook I was featured in a few places online and some of them may have been overlooked in the promotions and commotions.

So here are some of the links for those who haven't seen them yet:

Interview by Jane Davis

I talk about all things to do with writing.

Guest blogging for Jill Marsh

My Struggle  
How I Avoided the Allure of False Paths and Became a Writer

Article on self-publishing for Southville Writers

Why Self Publish?

Time & Place: Charleville-Mézières - my page at Triskele Books

Rimbaud's home town and the setting for Delirium

Images of Charleville-Mézières on Triskele Pinterest page.

Rimbaud's grave, statue etc

Well, this has been an easy blog post to write - thankfully because I'm all blogged out for the moment.

And if anyone has read the new ebook and is a member of Goodreads feel free to nip over there and vote for Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Absolutely thrilled to see Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion hit the charts. 

Thank you so much to everyone who helped it get this far.

Gay & Lesbian Chart

Metaphysical & Visionary

Metaphysical (not sure what the difference is!)

Now to write the next one!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion - ebook out today!

The ebook version of  
is released today at the 
24 hour promotional price of only 
99c /77p.
Get it now before it goes up. 

How many times had I dreamt of coming across the yellowing manuscript of La Chasse Spirituelle? Inside an old book on a stall in Paris, perhaps. Or in the attic of some befriended ancient. How many daydreams had I enjoyed over the possibility that one day...?

I shook myself. It couldn’t possibly be true.

1872: The explosive love affair between flamboyant French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine rocks French society. They flee to London, abandoning the manuscript of La Chasse Spirituelle to Verlaine’s scorned young wife. When a lawyer's clerk salvages it from a dusty deed box, the manuscript begins its journey down the decades, revealing the secrets and betrayals of its various keepers.

2004: Andrea Mann, disenchanted with life and love, travels to France. Driven by her obsession with Rimbaud, she’s chasing her dream – the missing manuscript. Beside the poet’s grave at Charleville-Mézières, she meets a beautiful young man who shows her a single page – from La Chasse Spirituelle.

Andrea embarks on a desperate quest. Drawn into a manipulative relationship with the youth and his Svengali-like mentor, the mysterious Albert, she faces unwelcome truths. The closer she gets to the manuscript, the further she veers from reality.

But is Albert’s copy genuine? And can La Chasse Spirituelle fill the void in Andrea’s soul?

The paperback version will be released in October in association with Triskele Books. Meanwhile, the ebook is available at Amazon and Smashwords and will soon be available at other online stores.


More information the background and inspiration of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion  HERE.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Making Research Count … by Gillian Hamer

Today my guest blogger is Gillian Hamer, author of a series of much praised crime novels. Here she is talking about research and the lengths she goes to achieve accuracy.

Making Research Count …
by Gillian Hamer

A thoughtful reviewer wrote this recently about my latest crime novel release, Crimson Shore:

Crime novels are harder to write than they are to read. The author must hold back, keep a twist for the tail without letting too much away but without leaving the outcome too far-fetched or disappointing. The ending has to satisfy. Not only that, but these days a crime author must remain au fait with the latest technology and the latest crime-fighting wizardry of the forensic pathologist.”

I am so glad someone gets it. Crime writing is incredibly difficult for a multitude of reasons, of which just a few have been mentioned above, but getting the research right must be up there at the top of the list. 

The easiest way, in my mind at least, of spoiling a crime novel, and losing the reader, is a lack of authenticity. Getting it right, whatever the ‘it’ may be, is vital. And the ‘it’ in this genre can be wide and varied. 

  • It can be setting the right atmosphere of tension and intrigue. 

  • It can be getting inside the mind of a twisted killer or the victim of a vicious attack. 

  • It can be correct representation of police procedurals, or detailed knowledge of a complex subject such as pathology or forensics.

And that is my chosen topic for this blog post.

In a couple of my books, I’ve relied heavily of pathology and forensic procedures, a topic that has long fascinated me. Reading books has never really been enough for me, I don’t seem to be able to absorb the information. I think it may be because I am a visual writer, so I need to interact more for research to sink in. 
So, three years ago, I enrolled on an entry level Forensics Science course, with the Open University. I’m proud to say I managed to pass although it was a hard years’ work, and I found a lot of the science-based chapters a tough challenge.

The research material supplied on the course is an invaluable asset to me even now, and for that reason alone, I’d recommend taking the plunge in something similar if you get an opportunity. 

The course work started with basic police procedurals such as crime scene investigation, fingerprint analysis, examination of blood and bodily fluids which then led into the more complex world of DNA profiling.

One of the chapters I have recently re-researched for my current WIP is forensic toxicology and drug abuse. I learned so much about toxicity and the analysis of drugs and poisons that I know I can write with confidence when my detective characters face these issues in the course of their investigation.

The most interesting subject I studied was forensic science and the legal system. The role of forensic science in a court of law is an interesting and ever-changing spectrum. With new technology and profiling techniques appearing year on year, UK legislation is constantly changing and adapting to take up the benefits of new developments. As a writer, keeping abreast of these changes is vital to keep your work authentic.

But despite all of the incredible new options that forensic science and pathology offer to the police and legal services, I was also amazed at just how hard and time-consuming it was to ensure the accuracy of the data collated. And the statistics for times when the evidence did prove unreliable due to contamination or foul-play was quite staggering. 
Many crime novels would have you believe that DNA is the saviour of policing. And yes, DNA analysis is a robust technique based on sound scientific principles that has revolutionised both policing and the legal system. But DNA profiling is not 100% accurate and can fall foul of human error with disastrous consequences. 

Example: For sixteen years, German police chased an elusive female serial killer known as ‘the Phantom of Heilbronn’, as the same female DNA was found at 40 crime scenes, including six murders. 

It was eventually discovered that the cotton swabs used to collect the samples of DNA had been contaminated by a woman working at the factory making the swabs, and that the crimes were not linked. If you want to find out more about this case, have a look at ‘DNA bungle’ haunts German police via BBC News.

It seems to me that not even the most up-to-date technology can ever be fool proof and that back-to-basics policing is still always required. 
So, my latest project is a move away from the science-based procedure and I have enrolled on a second OU course, this time examining the human brain in terms evidence. The course is titled “Forensic psychology: witness investigation. Discover how psychology can help obtain evidence from witnesses in police investigations and prevent miscarriages of justices.”

I’m only a few weeks into the course, but I already know it’s going to be hugely beneficial to my writing, not only by re-hashing much of what I learn into my detective team by choosing a character to undertake a similar course, but also my adding another layer of authenticity to my writing. 
Increasingly in many crime novels and TV dramas, we see a talented team of scientists rely on bloods and amino acids to catch murderers. Many more authors now focus on the use of forensic analysis of physical evidence to solve cases and identify killers. And yet, in the real world, understanding how the human mind works, particularly how our memory works, is a crucial part of any police investigation. 
The human element of any story, particularly the evidence provided by victims/witness remains a compelling component. In real life, cases are rarely straightforward because of human intervention and for many reasons there is more likely than not considerable uncertainty as to whether the person accused of the crime actually did it – and with any shred of ‘reasonable doubt’ in place in a courtroom, a conviction is always unlikely. Knowing how to evaluate evidence and how to improve eye-witness reports can be the key to solving the crime and seeing justice achieved.

From a writer's perspective, not only does this research and knowledge add another string to my bow and assist character development, but also it takes me one step closer to a real-life laboratory, crime scene investigation, or police incident room. Not only does this tick the all-important authenticity box, but it’s a great deal more fun – and a whole lot more realistic for the reader – than relying on a Google search or Wikipedia as sole source of our
Gillian Hamer


Gillian Hamer is author to Crimson Shore and three previous novels, The Charter, Closure and Complicit.

More information can be found at her website or you can keep up to date with her on Twitter @Gillyhamer.