Thursday, August 8, 2019

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Sweetest Poison by Jane Renshaw @GoddessFish

The Sweetest Poison
by Jane Renshaw
GENRE: Mystery


When life has cast you in the role of victim, how do you find the strength to fight back?

When she was eight years old, Helen Clack was bullied so mercilessly that she was driven to a desperate act. Now she is being targeted once more, but this time her tormentor’s identity is shrouded in doubt.

When her life starts to disintegrate, she flees home to the wilds of north-east Scotland, and to the one man she knows can help her – Hector Forbes, the dubiously charismatic Laird of Pitfourie, with whom she has been hopelessly in love ever since those hellish days in the school playground, when he was her protector, her rescuer, her eleven-year-old hero.

But is Hector really someone she can trust?

And can anyone protect her from the terrible secret she’s keeping?


It was a day like any other. The sun fell across the windowsill like it had yesterday morning, like it would tomorrow. She put her palm flat on the warm ledge and looked out across the yard and down the track to where it kinked across the burn. Then she turned and slowly walked right round the room, trailing her hand on the wall like a blind person, and thinking, stupidly:

Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.

Stupid because it was just walls, a little metal fireplace, a window, an old hook on the back of the door.

‘Helen?’ Mum called from downstairs.


In the kitchen Mum was standing in the middle of the room, like a visitor.

‘Right, I think that’s everything.’

Their steps sounded too loud as they walked across the empty room, and Helen put her hand on the doorknob and opened the door and went through and out into the yard like she’d done all her life.

And now she was looking across the yard at the byre tap, set into the stone, a huge old thing, green where the copper had tarnished. She and Suzanne used to shove their fingers up it to make the water spurt out at each other. But the person doing the spurting always got just as wet as the one being spurted.

And – how daft was this? – she wanted to pull the tap off the pipe and put it in her bag.

Interview with Jane Renshaw

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A crow. I would send him off to spy on my characters and report back!

How many hours a day do you put into your writing?
Most days, sadly, zero. I would love to be able to write every day, but I have a lot of other commitments. When I do have time, I tend to write for three hours or so in the morning.

Do you read your book reviews? If yes, do they affect what you write in the future?
This is my first book and I only have four reviews so far – I have read each of them several times over! I think if a lot of reviews picked up the same niggle, I would bear that in mind for the future as that would suggest there was a problem. Otherwise, though, I would try not to be influenced. I think if you start being self-conscious when you write, you lose the freshness and honesty.

Do you leave hidden messages in your books that only a few people will find?
Maybe I do... No, I don’t, but I wish I’d thought of this! Maybe in the next one...

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Sweetest Poison?
The main character, Helen Clack, is a bullied little girl who does something terrible. It seems that she’s got away with it, but years later her actions have devastating consequences...

Wild child Suzanne, her cousin, is the same age as Helen and they’re as close as sisters – although Suzanne is glad they aren’t actual twin sisters because twins are ‘unholy freaks of nature’. She’s Helen’s best friend and worst enemy, and their complicated relationship is at the heart of the story.

The Pitfourie Series is a little unusual in that I’m introducing the main series characters, brothers Hector and Damian Forbes, through the eyes of the other characters, the idea being that the reader gets to know them gradually through the series. So I won’t say too much about them...

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?
I hope to write a whole lot of books in the series! I have started working on the next one, Bad Company, in which undercover policewoman Claire Castleford poses as a housekeeper in an attempt to gather evidence against a certain person... I also have some ideas for subsequent books: in Book 4, for example, a capricious character from The Sweetest Poison makes an alarming reappearance and the action moves from Scotland to Europe.

Do you allow yourself a certain number of hours to write or do you write as long as the words come?
If I have the time, I tend to write until my brain gets tired – which sometimes doesn’t take very long at all.

Do you have a certain number of words or pages you write per day?
No – I’m not that organised and have too much else going on in my life to be able to do that.

What inspires you to write?
Reading and thinking about great books, including the work of my friends Lucy Lawrie and Lesley McLaren, inspires my own writing – a bit like a kid watching Wimbledon and then going out to knock a ball against a wall!

Would you rather

Read fiction or non-fiction?
Fiction every time. I remember a primary school teacher suggesting that I should read more factual stuff rather than just stories stories stories... She’d be very disappointed that I’m still reading 90% fiction.

Read series or stand-alone?
Series. I love getting to know a ‘world’ and its characters. If it’s a stand-alone, I like it to be as long as possible (I love The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, for instance). I don’t really enjoy reading short stories because I’m just getting to know everyone when it’s over!

Read Science fiction or horror?
Science fiction I think.

Read Stephen King or Dean Koontz
Stephen King. (Is it terrible that I haven’t read any Dean Koontz?)

Read the book or watch the movie?
Read the book. You can’t get inside people’s heads when they’re on a screen.

Read an ebook or paperback?
Hmm, either. But probably tipping more towards ebooks these days.

Be trapped alone for one month in a library with no computer or a room with a computer and Wi-Fi only?
This is tricky. I do love my Wi-Fi but, for a whole month, I think the library might be better. There would be books in there I didn’t know existed and would never find, or think of looking for, online.

Do a cross-country book store tour or blog tour online?
Blog tour online, please. As an introvert, I find the prospect of talking to an audience quite scary. This has been much less stressful. Thank you!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Having discovered early in her 'career' that she didn't have what it takes to be a scientist, Jane Renshaw shuffled sideways into scientific and medical editing, which has the big advantage that she can do it while watching Bargain Hunt! Jane writes what she loves to read –  series of novels in which the reader can immerse herself, which let her get to know an engaging, interesting and/or terrifying cast of characters slowly, in the same way you get to know people in real life. Ideally, the drama should be played out in a gorgeous setting, and the cast should include at least one dangerously charismatic, witty, outrageous protagonist with whom the reader can fall in love. A bit of murder and mayhem in the mix never hurts either... Hence the Pitfourie Series.

Buy Links:


$20 Amazon/BN GC

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

It has been great hearing about your book and although I am not the reader myself, my 2 sisters and 2 daughters are. They love hearing about the genre's they like and me helping them get to find books they will enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

Victoria Alexander said...

I'll definitely be checking this one out!

Jane Renshaw said...

A belated thank you! (I'm on holiday in a very remote area with dodgy internet...)

Daniel M said...

sounds like a fun one

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