Wednesday 29 January 2014

My author in the spotlight is .....Wendy Percival

Please welcome



Silverwood Books
October 2013

A hidden crime, kept secret for 60 years... but time has a way of exposing the truth…

*~ Wendy ~ welcome to Jaffareadstoo ~*

Where did you get the first flash of inspiration for Blood-Tied?

It started with an old photograph, set as a Photo Short Story competition in Writing Magazine. It was of a family group (Edwardian, I think) standing on a railway station. I didn’t enter the competition, eventually, but I did draft out an idea for a story. When I started researching my family history, I recalled the story line and the two things fused together and became the starting point of the plot.

What can you tell us about the story that won't give too much away?

It’s about Esme Quentin, a former journalist’s assistant, who has returned to Shropshire to embark upon a new career as a genealogist and history researcher. Her sister’s apparent unprovoked attack proves to be the catalyst for Esme coming to terms with her own tragic past, as well as resolving the awkward relationship she’s always had with her sister.

Why do you choose to write in your particular genre?

I’ve always enjoyed mysteries, which I attribute to having The Secret Garden read to me as a child! I love being intrigued and surprised in stories, particularly ones where there’s a secret to unravel along the way. And they do say write what you enjoy reading!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?        

I’ve always enjoyed writing, even before I’d ever thought about ‘being a writer’. As a child, I was always dressing up and acting out elaborate stories, and I used to write great long letters to pen friends. It wasn’t until I saw a copy of Writing Magazine in WH Smith’s about 15 years ago that I wondered about writing more seriously. Even then I nearly didn’t buy it, thinking perhaps I was being a bit flaky! But eventually I went back to the rack, grabbed the magazine and marched to the check-out before I changed my mind. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Which writers have inspired you?

I used to read Catherine Cookson avidly. She tells a story so seamlessly. I was introduced to Daphne du Maurier by my mum so I’ve always had a soft spot for her books, particularly with their links to Cornwall, where I’ve been many times on holiday. Elizabeth George’s earlier Lynley novels are favourites. I’ve always enjoyed Dick Francis’s books, although I’m not at all interested in horse riding, which says a lot about his ability to capture his reader! Susan Howatch’s novels, especially her Starbridge series, are brilliant. In recent years I’ve read a lot of Peter Robinson, PD James, Ruth Rendell, Ian Rankin and CJ Sansom, amongst others. But one of my absolute favourites, and probably the writer who I find the most inspirational, is “master of the double twist”, Robert Goddard.

Have you any other novels planned, and if so, can you give us a taster of what is to come?

So many people told me how much they liked Esme Quentin that, after much deliberation as to whether to go down the ‘series character’ route, I decided to write another Esme novel. Again inspired by genealogy and influences from the past, it’s set on the north Devon coast, near where I live. Esme finds a dying woman at the foot of a cliff and gets caught up with the mystery of a 19th century convict, transported to Australia in 1837. I'm currently working hard to get the final draft finished!

 More about Wendy can be found here:

Wendy is very generously giving a printed copy of Blood -Tied to one lucky UK winner of this giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much Wendy for spending time with us.
Jaffa and I look forward to reading more stories about Esme.


My thoughts on Blood-Tied.

Esme Quentin is worried when her sister Elizabeth is attacked in a London park. Thinking that this is a random attack by a stranger, Esme is unprepared when the police reveal that Elizabeth’s attack may not be as random as first thought. With Elizabeth gravely ill in hospital, it falls to Esme and Elizabeth’s daughter, Gemma, to delve a little deeper into Elizabeth’s personal affairs. What they discover are long buried family secrets which span over sixty years, and which open up to scrutiny all that Esme and Gemma once believed to be true.

What then follows is a finely crafted family mystery which abounds with both trickery and deception. The author has a real skill with words, and with fine attention to detail has produced a very convincing crime story. There are more than enough twists, turns and unexpected red herrings in the story to keep you guessing until the very end. I rather liked Esme, she is a determined and feisty protagonist who uses her skill as a researcher to delve into the past; however, it is her tenacity and generosity of spirit which gives the books its heart and soul and which leads eventually to the conclusion of the family mystery.

Blood-Tied works well as a standalone story, it is well presented and professionally produced to a high standard. However, I can see great potential for future character developments as Esme deserves to put her sleuthing skills to good use in future follow-ups.



  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to be on your blog spotlight, Jo and Jaffa! I'm delighted you enjoyed Blood-Tied. I hope other readers will do so too.

    1. It was a pleasure Wendy - thanks so much for taking part and for providing a giveaway copy of Blood-Tied. :)

  2. great interview and giveaway, Blood tied sounds great and I love the cover.

    1. HI Jo - welcome and thanks for reading Wendy's interview and joining in with the giveaway - best of luck :)

  3. What a fabulous cover, and the book sounds great.

    1. Thanks Anne - I agree the cover and the book are both great - good luck!

  4. Great review and thank you for the chance to enter this giveaway.

    1. Hi Jane - Thanks for entering the giveaway - best of luck to you :)

  5. Great review! I love stories that keep me guessing!

    1. Hi Wendy - welcome to jaffareadstoo - nice to see you here:)

  6. Great review and interview Josie and thanks for the giveaway. x


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.