Thursday, 26 October 2017

My 7th Jefferson Tayte Mystery is written!

New Jefferson Tayte Genealogy Mystery moves into editing. YAY!

It's been almost ten months in the making, but I'm very glad to be able to say that my next Jefferson Tayte story is written. Not only that, but I've also finished editing the first draft, and having only just read the book for the first time as a complete story, I must say that I'm very pleased with it. My first reader, Mrs R, is currently reading it, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she likes it, too. She may be my wife. but she 's a tough critic and knows how important it is to make the book as good as possible at this stage before I pass it on to my publisher and the structural editing begins.

So what's next? Well, tomorrow I'm going to give myself a break and go and play some golf, then we have friends visiting over the weekend, so on Monday I'll begin formatting the manuscript to make it ready to send to my editor. That involves compiling the scenes from Scrivener, which I use to write the story and to go through the first draft, into MS Word. Then I'll make sure it all looks okay and go through some basics, like spell checking and checking misplaced words, such as 'onto' when I meant 'on to' and 'isle' where I meant 'aisle'. I have a long list that I've gathered over the years and won't send an MS in until I've gone through it all, checking to see if I've fallen foul of any such errors. Then I'll go through a second draft, this time listening to the story as an audiobook, which I find helps me to create realistic dialogue, and spot missing words that my brain too easily fills in for me when I'm reading the words off my screen.

If you've been following my posts on my writing progress over the years, particularly on Facebook, you'll know that I dread the structural editing stage, which is basically where my editor tries to pull all my hard work apart an then asks me to fix it. At least, that's how it can seem, but it's a necessary and invaluable part of the process and one I wouldn't want to miss, however difficult it can be. It's the part where the story is made better. That means it's better for you when you read it, so although I dread it, I love it at the same time. Maybe that dread stems from the fact that I'm against the clock during each round of editing, particularly during the first round where I only have two weeks to find a solution to any points raised and implement them, which can be quite a challenge.

I'll be sure to let you know how it all goes, and as ever I can't wait to tell you more about it.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

News Roundup and snaps from Snowdon

Bestsellers, Translations & Holiday Snaps

This week I was thrilled to see that the first book in my Jefferson Tayte Genealogy Mystery series, IN THE BLOOD, shot to number one in the bestseller charts. Wait a minute, did I just say number one? I'm not sure I believe it even now. Thankfully I took a screenshot to remind myself it really was true! Almost a week on and it's still performing very well, currently at number four in the entire Mystery & Thriller category. I'm so pleased to see that JT is being introduced to so many new readers through this entertaining format.

The series has been narrated by Simon Vance who has done a wonderful job with all the many and varied characters I've written about across the six Jefferson Tayte books so far. Winner of multiple awards for his work, Simon really brings the books to life. If you've already read the series, they're a great way to experience it again in a different way, and to those readers who have previously bought the paperback or Kindle editions from Amazon, you can pick them up for a very low price. 

Adding to my excitement this week, the Czech language edition of the third book in my Jefferson Tayte series, The Last Queen of England, was released, and I'm told that the translation of book four, The Lost Empress will be released later this year. The reviews for the first two books in the Czech language from the Czech media were very good, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that book three meets with the same approval. My Czech publisher Mystery Press posted these photos on their Facebook page to mark the launch. They filled my head with notions of taking a book to a meadow, lying down and reading all day, but then I reminded myself that I have a word count target to reach and a seventh Jefferson Tayte book to write. I recall writing The Last Queen of England with great fondness, not least because it's such a pacy book that it practically wrote itself. At least, I recall that my writing seemed to flow with equal pace and fervour. 

The week before these exciting events took place, I went hiking in Snowdonia with my  best friend from school days, Andy Brooks. It's something we've started doing every year, camping for a few nights and going for long hikes. Last year was South Wales and Pen-y-Fan, so this year we thought we'd hike Snowdon in North Wales. As usual we lugged around 20kg of camera gear (and water of course) up the mountain with us, tackling the peak twice in three days by various ascents and descents. Here are some of my favourite snaps from the trip. Just click on any image to see the larger versions. I hope you enjoy them.

It was cloudy and wet on our first hike up Snowdon. As we neared the bottom
again, a splash of sunlight shone through, giving me this moody shot.

The sun came out for our second hike, which made it hot going,
but at least we could see the view, and get some photos at last.

Climbing higher.

This was taken near the top of Snowdon.

A welsh lamb and mint pasty later and we were ready to descend. This is the start
of the trail down to the pub for a well-deserved pint, via the ridge you can see.

Lots of lovely old trains still operating in North Wales.

And relax... :o)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Dying Games is out! What do you think?

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 'Dying Games is not to be missed! It is Robinson's finest work to date.'

My new Jefferson Tayte Genealogy Mystery, Dying Games, has been out for one month now, and I couldn't be happier with the reception it's received. Thanks to everyone who's bought a copy, and to those who have let me know what you think about the book on Facebook and Twitter, and in your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, which are much appreciated as always.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 'This book was amazing! The mind of Steve Robinson to devise a plot like this is a little scary!'

The Facebook launch party was a lot of fun, and thanks again to everyone who came along. Hopefully we can do it again next year. The competitions were fun this time around too, and I particularly liked the 'books in deadly situations' game where you had to guess the next murder weapon. I'll try to come up with something for the next book, which is coming along nicely. There's going to be an historical narrative to this one and I've just finished writing it. Now I'm getting reacquainted with JT again as I work out the plot for his side of the story in the present day.

If you've not visited my website since Dying Games was released, you'll now find there's an information page about the book, where you can discover what inspired me to write it among other background things, such as the research that went into the book. Here's a LINK if you'd like to take a look.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 'WOW! I haven't read a book this exciting and physiologically draining as this, in I don't know when.'

'A well written nail biter from beginning to end.'

Visit DYING GAMES on Amazon HERE for more information.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Dying Games pre-launch reviews!

My new Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery, DYING GAMES, will be out next week (4 May) and it appears to be going down a storm! Here are some of the reviews from book bloggers and other ARC readers who received advance copies via NetGalley prior to its release. Follow the links if you'd like to read the full reviews. 

'Like the rest of this series, once I started on this book, I found it difficult to put down. The ‘race against time’ element made it a very fast-paced, exhilarating read.’ — GoBuyTheBook

‘Once you’ve started reading, you’ll be hooked.’ — Peter Calver,

'The book is a page-turner, in all the senses of this expression. I was tense while reading it. I do recommend this book, and I would certainly buy it as a gift to someone who enjoys intelligent thriller plots.’ —

'This was absolutely brilliant, Steve Robinson has produced a real puzzle within this thriller! For lovers of puzzles, mysteries and a rollercoaster of a ride. I really can’t recommend this book highly enough.’ —Cleo Bannister,

And some comments from the Goodreads community. The full reviews to these can be read HERE.

‘It gets more exciting with every page and if you have enjoyed the previous five books you will definitely enjoy this one.’ — Angela, Goodreads

‘It is action packed, tense and gripping so I have no hesitation in recommending it as a good read.’ — Elaine Tomasso, Goodreads

'I found it exciting and terrifying in equal measure. It’s a dead sure winner and I enjoyed it immensely.’ — Kath Middleton, Ignite Books

'Totally hooked, I wanted to shut out everything happening around me.’ — Sarah, Goodreads

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

DYING GAMES - Read the prologue

Here's a 'look inside' my latest Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery, DYING GAMES, which will be released next month on 4 May. It can be pre-ordered in all formats worldwide HERE.


When the woman awoke, she was instantly aware of two things. The first was that she felt cold, the kind of cold you feel deep inside your bones. It made her teeth chatter uncontrollably, and she wanted it to stop. She had to be quiet, or the man would find her.
The second thing she felt was fear.
She couldn’t recall why she felt so afraid, but she instinctively knew she was. She was terrified. It was dark, absolutely dark. She was sitting in a crouched position with her knees pulled up close to her chest, hands by her feet. She tried to move, her cold limbs still and aching, but there wasn’t enough room. Wherever she was, she thought she must have gone there to hide. Yes, that was it. She was hiding from the man, and she must have been there for some time to feel as cold as she did.
But where had she hidden, and why was she wearing only one shoe?
She tried to think. She wished she could remember. Her hands wandered up from her numb feet, and she began to run them over the smooth walls around her, which were so close she couldn’t even straighten her arms. She imagined she must be in a box of some kind, and the idea caused her to catch her breath as claustrophobia gripped her. She wanted to smash her way out of there. She wanted to scream, but she knew that would be bad.
An image flashed through her mind, and it startled her. It was the man. He was angry, and she was running from him, trying to find somewhere to hide. She supposed he was the reason she was hiding in the box now, but was she hiding? She shook her head as the answer came to her. In her mind she could see her other shoe. It was on the floor at the back of the garage at her home. She was lying on her back a few feet away from it, reaching out for the hammer she’d seen just moments before the man caught up with her. She was kicking out at him as he pulled her back, away from the hammer. Her shoe had come off in the struggle. She had not found a place to hide. She had not managed to escape.
So why was she crouched inside a box?
A fearful shiver ran through her as she realised the man must have put her there. At last she screamed.
Her husband had not been home when the man came to the door, but then she thought the man must have known that. She began to cry as she thumped on the walls, which resounded with a low, hollow note. Wherever the man had put her, she was starkly aware that it was with no good intent. She had to get out. She pushed at the wall in front of her and felt her spine brace against the wall at her back. A moment later she thought she heard a crack. Then she heard another sound and froze. Somewhere beyond her confinement, a door had clicked open. She heard echoing footsteps, becoming louder. Her breath quickened.
It was the man.
Silent again in the darkness, she listened until the footsteps fell silent with her. Then she heard the man sigh, and her eyes were suddenly blinded by light. She blinked and tried to focus. A small square, no bigger than a matchbook, had opened in the wall to her right. Light was cast into the box, and she saw her surroundings for the first time. There were pictures on the walls—miniature pictures. She could see a bookcase and several fireplaces. There were tiny portraits of indistinguishable people, and above her she saw the interior of an apex roof with a tiny chandelier hanging down. She touched it in disbelief. She was inside a doll’s house, with all the floors removed to accommodate her.
 The light at the small window the man had opened was suddenly interrupted, and she turned towards it. What she saw startled her. It was an eye—his eye—as grey as steel and easily recognisable by the scar that cut a deep line across his left eyebrow, cleaving it in two. The woman caught her breath again, still uncertain of the man’s intentions, fearing she would soon find out.
The eye blinked as the man focused on her.
‘I wanted to be sure you were awake,’ he said, showing no emotion, no nervousness or excitement in light of what he had done, or was about to do. ‘The others were awake when it happened. You can be sure of that.’
 The others? What others?
‘When what happened?’ she asked, but the man gave no answer.
 The eye at the tiny window withdrew, and the interior of the doll’s house became bright again. A moment later, she caught the distinctive chemical smell of gasoline. She heard it splashing on to the roof above her. She saw it dripping in through the window.
‘What do you want?’ the woman asked, panic in her voice. ‘Why are you doing this?’
The only sound she heard in reply was the unmistakable striking of a match. It scratched and fizzed, and then the man’s eye returned to the tiny window.
‘Jefferson Tayte knows why,’ he said as he offered up the flame.  Then he dropped the match inside.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

DYING GAMES is now on NetGalley

A serial killer. A deadly game of revenge.

If you're a NetGalley member you can read my latest Jefferson Tayte mystery thriller now.

Out 4 May
About Dying Games:

Washington, DC: Twin brothers are found drowned in a Perspex box, one gagged and strapped to a chair. It’s the latest in a series of cruel and elaborate murders with two things in common: the killer has left a family history chart at each crime scene, and the victims all have a connection to genealogical sleuth Jefferson Tayte.

Hoping his insight and expertise will help solve the case, the FBI summon Tayte back to the capital. But as he struggles to crack the clues, the killer strikes again—and again. Tayte is known as the best in the business, but this time he’s up against a genealogical mastermind who always seems to be one step ahead.

With the clock ticking and the body count rising, Tayte finds himself racked with guilt, his reputation and career in tatters. The killer is running rings around him; is it only a matter of time before he comes for the ultimate target?

This is the sixth book in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

Pre-order DYING GAMES here.

About NetGalley:
We help readers of influence discover and recommend new books to their audiences. If you are a librarian, bookseller, educator, reviewer, blogger or in the media, get started right now by signing in or joining for free.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Another Jefferson Tayte book is under way!

Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery Book 7!

It always seems a little odd to talk about the book I'm currently writing before the next one is out, but I can't hold back any longer. I've been hard at it since 2017 began, having worked on the plot in the closing months of last year after finishing DYING GAMES, which I am of course very excited about. Thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered it, by the way. If you've yet to pre-order your copy, it's on Amazon now and will be released on 4 May worldwide in all formats. Here's a link.
Anyway... As you can see from the photo I've attached, it's not been easy getting started (it never is). So much so this time that I've had to follow Jefferson Tayte's practice of breaking open a bag Hershey's miniatures to help me grind out the beginnings of the story, which is really two story beginnings is this case, as there's a present and a past timeline to write.
The Hershey's seem to have worked, because I'm now around 17,000 words in. I've started JT's storyline off, which has taken him somewhere new in the British Isles, and I'm also underway with the past narrative, which is set almost 200 years ago in a country that's new to both JT and me, so as you can imagine, I'm knee deep in research again.
I think book 7 is going to be quite an adventure, and one I have high hopes for. I even have the title worked out, which is a first for me this early in the process. Hopefully, I'll have the first draft finished before the winter, so publication shouldn't be too far behind a year on from DYING GAMES.
I'll keep you posted. 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Dying Games - The cover is out!

A serial killer. A deadly game of revenge.

I'm delighted to be able to share the cover design for my new Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery, DYING GAMES. It's the sixth book in the series, although as with all the other books it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

It will be out for Kindle, paperback and audiobook worldwide on 4 May, and is available to pre-order from Amazon in your country HERE

I think the cover designers have done a great job again. I particularly like the stormy sky and the birds. It sets a moody tone for JT's return to Washington, DC and the murderous challenges that await him. I hope you like it!