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Witness X by SE Moorhead – Blog Tour Book Review 

About the book
Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. A dark and gripping crime novel set in a convincing near future – SE Moorhead is the future of crime writing.’ STEPHEN BAXTER

From one of the most original new voices in fiction comes a startling vision of a world where hero Kyra must fight the past to save our future. A genre-bending thriller for the Netflix generation, for fans of Altered Carbon, Dark and Mindhunter.

She’s the only one who can access the truth…

Fourteen years ago, the police caged a notorious serial killer who abducted and butchered two victims every February. He was safe behind bars. Wasn’t he?

But then another body is discovered, and soon enough, the race is on to catch the real killer. Neuropsychologist Kyra Sullivan fights to use a new technology that accesses the minds of the witnesses, working with the police to uncover the truth. Will Kyra discover the person behind the murders, and if so, at what cost? And how far will she go to ensure justice is served?

About the author

Born in Liverpool, S.E.Moorhead has told stories since childhood and  uses writing as bubblegum for her over-active brain – to keep it out of  trouble. Fascinated by meaning, motivation and mystery, she studied Theology at university.

Over the last twenty five years, apart  from teaching in secondary school, S.E.Moorhead has attained a black  belt in kickboxing, worked as a chaplain, established a Justice and  Peace youth group, and written articles for newspapers and magazines  about her work in education and religion.

She still lives in her beloved hometown with her husband Seán and two sons.

What I Thought 
Crime isn’t my natural genre but I was totally drawn in by the tag line Silence of the Lambs meets Blade Runner. 
Kyra is immediately a loveable heroine who you can see has her heart in the right place. She has developed a mind reading technology that can delve into people’s memories – but it’s not quite ready for public consumption for a number of reasons, and she’s definitely not behind the use of it by force. 
And suddenly the killer is back, along with some horrifying memories she doesn’t need a machine to bring back to life. Kyra has a very personal reason to want them caught, and works with the police to see justice done. 
The writing is great, pacy and thrilling. The characters are intriguing: as well as directly hearing from Kyra we get to delve into the mind of the killer and the victim they are on the clock to save. 
Relationships are a vital plot point and there are a whole host of complex ones explored. 
The book is set in 2035 so it still has relevant references as well as new technology to make it both present and futuristic. And I always enjoy when the ethics of technology is explored well, which it is here.
I found it interesting that the memory device didn’t really come into real play until half way through so we got some “old fashioned” detective work thrown in the mix too. 
With some clever misdirection and just enough of the reader being steps ahead of Kyra this was an on the edge of your seat thriller that I would highly recommend. 
This was published on the 6th February so it’s out now. If crime, psychological thriller, and/or sci-fi are your bag you won’t want to miss this. 
Thank you to @TrapezeBooks  for the gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review. @semoorhead 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group Jan 2014 #IWSG

The theme of my very first IWSG post is – Is this mine? Did I write this?

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The other day I was going through the notes app on my iPad to tidy it up and I found the poem below (which I’ve tweaked a bit since finding it). My problem or insecurity this month is not remembering writing it. Did I? Did I see it somewhere and make a copy? I’ve Googled it and came up with nothing. I think it’s mine but what if it isn’t?

Is it just me who writes things and doesn’t remember writing it? 

I think this little foible of mine does make it hard to write longer pieces and keep them coherent. I think that’s why something like NaNoWriMo works for me – having that concentrated and dedicated time to work on things. Now to create that feeling year round. 

Anyway please enjoy this poem – and if it’s actually yours do let me know!

How to inspire a love of reading:
Make books like chocolate!
Don’t dictate what children should read,
instead place them in a library and
let them look, nibble, sniff out their favourites,
sampling from the entire range.
Some they will spit out, because they don’t like nuts
but others they will savour, not wanting it to end
reading again to re-taste the experience.
Let them write about why they devoured something
and when they didn’t love its flavour.
Let them explore everything to do with that world
beyond the words on the page;
often there’s another layer hidden beneath
and for each person that layer is unique,
based on their taste buds,
which mature over time,
coming back to old favourites
and trying the one spat out at five,
to discover it tastes different at thirty.

If you want to sign up – here’s the link.

M is for… (#atozchallenge)

M is for…

Mindfulness, Minddumping and Memory

This is something I’ve mentioned before but I thought it deserved more attention.

In January I took part in the ‘a river of stones’ writing challenge, that asked us to really pay attention to one thing each day and to write a small stone about it. See my previous post ‘Skimming Stones into 2011’ for details.

The resulting book ‘pay attention’ is now available from lulu. I have linked to the paperback but it is also available as a download or hardcover. 

As we grow ever busier in our daily lives we race around, jump in the shower and don’t feel the water on our skin, scoff down food so we don’t taste it and do two or three things at once, never truly being ‘in the moment’ of any of them. This is where Mindfulness comes in. This is growing in popularity as a therapeutic tool and should be something we can try and incorporate into our everyday activities. When was the last time you stood outside and breathed the air in deep, felt a flower petal or leaf, looked at the picture on the wall of the room you’re in? Kids can be good teachers for this. 

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Another useful tool can be something I like to term minddumping. This is basically an outpouring (it can be a verbal offloading to a friend) of everything that is on your mind. I think I’m in need of this. When I do I will write a to do list (it won’t always help me get everything done but it will help me take stock and feel a little more in control), I might also write about what I’m feeling or just put pen to paper and scribble away. This latter thought can be a useful tool for creative writing too, and is often called freewriting. 

I have to say this blog is a useful place for a minddump (sorry about that guys) and it may become increasingly handy as I progress in my PhD. For me it also serves as a great Memory aid. I enjoy going back and reading things I’ve written (fictional and otherwise). It helps me remember things I’ve done or seen. I was at my parents house tonight looking for a children’s picture book I have vague recollections off reading (It’s about a party in a castle where everyone gets a number and they have to climb the stairs to find the step with the same number.  On the steps were a box with food in. That’s all I can remember but if that rings any bells for anyone please let me know). I didn’t find that book but spotted another called The Tovers, I don’t remember the story but I remember the picture. 

Do you minddump? What are the benefits for you?
How could you/do you incorporate mindfulness into your day?
Are any of my OTs using mindfulness in practice? How?
Do you know the title of the book I’ve mentioned above or how I can find it (I’ve tried Google!)

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