New Book News


2017 has been a fabulous year with two books written in the Detective Temeke Crime Series. Dead Cold, available on Amazon, and Easy Prey, coming out in eBook on December 28.

Dead Cold, Book 4 in the series was one of my favorites to write. The case winds its way through New Mexico and Arizona as the police pursue a fugitive thought to have been involved in a murder. For those of you who know the area around Schnebly Hill road will appreciate these majestic views.


Easy Prey, Book 5, is set in Albuquerque around the Rio Grande River and the general area known as the Bosque, a constructed wetland intended to replicate the natural wetlands that historically occupied the floodplain of the Rio Grande.

Easy Prey for newsletter

Short Description:

Something dark and brooding stalks the mysterious Bosque nature reserve. Bird watchers fall prey to the menace and thefts of rare falcons are on the rise. But it is the body of a murdered girl discovered on the banks of The Rio Grande River that eventually brings Detectives Temeke and Santiago onto the trail.

During a camping weekend, Jessie Bowman’s best friend, Bree, has disappeared. Guilt ridden, yet determined to do the right thing, she tracks the man she believes is responsible and begins to unravel a mystery that tests every ounce of her resilience. She has only two choices – fight or flight. And Jessie is done with running.

Now Detectives Temeke and Santiago must locate Jessie before the madman snares his final prey.

What people are saying:

‘Stibbe handles the latest mystery in the Detective Temeke series with the dexterity of a master falconer. The climax will swoop down and seize you when you least expect it, leaving you feeling as if you too have become ‘easy prey’. Dr Maurice Singleton, PhD in Narrative Theory, Author and Lecturer



AWARDS: Night Eyes, Book 2 of the Detective Temeke Series won the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award this year in the Crime Mystery Category. This is a big award, where books are read by publishers, librarians and bestselling authors. Thank you to all those who voted for this book!

SALES: During Christmas and the New Year, the first three books in the series have been discounted to 99p/99c. So click on the picture below to reserve your copy.

Thank you to all those who read and received Advance Reviewer Copies (ARCs) for Easy Prey and made helpful suggestions to the overall book. We are giving away free copies by mobi/ePub format in the New Year to all those who would like to review the book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you to all my readers and for your wonderful reviews. Keep them coming!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Famous Five Christmas sale


Derailed & Disappointed? Maybe not.

amazon boxI briefly mentioned overcoming the one star bandit reviews in my last post. But having noticed a few anxious, confused and disgruntled Facebook posts from authors recently, I thought a little cheering up was in order. It’s not all bad news.

Reviews such as ‘Difficult reading made no sence!’ (note the spelling) and other gut-wrenchers like ‘Don’t waste your money’ ‘Absolutely hated it,’ might seem a little extreme in contrast to the many five star reviews present on every author’s book page. So my question is this. While some of these critical reviewers don’t like your book, others might just not get your book.

Most of us may think we have skin like a rhino, but when faced with criticism we become derailed and disappointed ― a temporary interruption from writing the next 1000 words. We research the reviewer, study the books they read, wonder what on earth possessed them to buy something they hated when the first 15% is available in the Look Inside feature on Amazon – if only to determine the writing style.

My motto is: If the first page doesn’t hook, then don’t buy the book.

RevivalFor some authors it may come as a surprise and a comfort to learn that there are a few bestsellers out there who also have one star reviews. Depending on format and edition, here are some of their stats on Amazon:

Stephen King: Revival: A novel

Number of 1 star ratings: 325 out of 1,737 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: In the trash can as I write

Ann Rice: Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles

Number of 1 star ratings: 148 out of 502 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: Flat, Uninspired, Completely Devoid of Plot

Dean Koontz: Ashely Bell: A Novel

Number of 1 star ratings: 102 out of 392 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: Worst. Koontz. Ever. (sorry…)

the-other-boleyn-girl-by-philippa-gregoryPhilippa Gregory: The Other Boleyn Girl

Number of 1 star ratings: 90 out of 234 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: This book should be burnt

E L James: Fifty Shades of Grey

Number of 1 star ratings: 9,028 out of 17,014 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: Fifty shades of dysfunction.

George R. R. Martin: Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice And Fire Book 1

Number of 1 star ratings: 326 out of 953 critical reviews

Most gut-wrenching Quote: A Game of Yawns


You can see for yourself (just click on the hyperlink) and take a look at a few more while you’re at it.

Author Anne Rice told the Guardian: “They’ve worked their way into the Amazon system as parasites, posting largely under pseudonyms, lecturing, bullying, seeking to discipline authors whom they see as their special prey . . .  They’re all about power. They clearly organise, use multiple identities and brag about their ability to down vote an author’s works if the author doesn’t ‘behave’ as they dictate.”

Award-winning author P.D. James has had a few herself.

Amazon bad reviewsIf authors feel they have truly received a malicious one star review, or been down voted (as Rice puts it) the rule of thumb is not to engage. For anyone wanting to buy that book a 20-comment bashing thread might be a turn-off. Leave it alone and that one star review becomes an outlier compared to dozens of good ones.

The presence of the bad lends validity to the good.

Now… does anyone feel a little better?

I think I do.

Amazon happy box

A Warm Welcome to author Angela Wren

AEWBlackWhite (2)I’m really excited to welcome author Angela Wren today who is here to talk about her favorite scene from a book called ‘In this House of Brede’ by Rumer Godden.

Angela has written her own book Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

Messandrierre was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in December, 2015 and is currently available in Kindle format.

For background information on Angela, see her bio and book blurb below.

Author Bio

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.

I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

Favorite Scene

I’d be hard pressed to say that the scene I want to talk about is my favorite because it is so very sad. Read on and you’ll understand why.

The book is ‘In this House of Brede’ by Rumer Godden. Published in 1969, it is one of around 60 that Godden wrote in her long career, which ended at the age of 91 in 1998. She is perhaps best known for her novels, ‘The Greengage Summer’, ‘Black Narcissus’ and ‘An Episode of Sparrows’. All of which, along with ‘In this House of Brede’ were adapted for film, although not all of the original titles were used.

Philippa Talbot is a successful businesswoman when the story begins in London in 1954. She has a history and a torn heart but, at this point in the novel, the reader does not know why. She gives up her job to join the sisters at Brede Abbey and the story of her new life unfolds gradually along side the very clever drip-feed of what happened to her son, Keith. In chapter 12 Philippa finally explains herself to Abbess Catherine.

Pic01BkCover‘It began with a nugget…’ she says. The nugget being gold and her son Keith and Darrell, a young friend, seeking adventure in an old mine whilst the adults were enjoying a lunch party in the garden. The ensuing description of Darrell’s return to the adults without Keith, the rush of grown-ups to find the missing boy, the realization in Philippa’s mind of what might have happened, the desperate search in the mine and the recognition of voices between separated mother and son is one of the most moving pieces of writing that I ever come across.

Keith was trapped at the bottom of a short shaft and over the three days that he was there with the local men who were trying to rescue him, Philippa never once moved from her spot at the top of the shaft and never stopped calling and speaking to her son. By the end of the chapter you know the child suffered greatly as he waited. And there is one very simple sentence, which I believe, absolutely no one can read without being brought to tears. It is at this point the Philippa admits that she should have left the mine and let the men recover the body out of her sight.

I have read this book several times and I have never been able to get through those seven pages in Chapter 12 without a hanky. However, the final outcome of the book is happier and Philippa had to exorcise her grief and this particular scene is a masterpiece despite the sadness of the content.

As you can probably work out from the cover, my copy is a first edition. I it picked up in an old bookshop for a fraction of its true value. But, if you want to read the book, you can get a paperback copy for as little as 1p on Amazon. A seriously insulting price, in my view, when you consider the artistry and word-smithing evident in chapter 12 alone!

I can only aspire to write as well as Godden, but my current novel is also available on Amazon!

Book Blurb

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.

If, like me, you are a fan of great detective stories, do yourself a favor and pick up this book, it’s that good! Amazon 5 Star Reviewer

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.

CoverArt (2)Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

There are many twists and turns before the book ends … The author keeps us guessing throughout. Five Star Amazon reviewer

Why not visit Angela at her links below:

Book Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK