Orenda Roadshows 2020 – A Preview

Another week another unapologetically shameless attempt to tempt you into joining me at one of the five (yes five!!!) Orenda Roadshows that are happening around the country from Monday 24th February. I absolutely love these events which are fun, informal and always entertaining. I can’t wait to catch up with faces old and new as I shadow Karen and the authors (shadow – not stalk I’ll have you know!) on this latest round of events as part of this Year of Orenda celebration. I’ve made it my mission to get to as many Orenda events as possible this year and by virtue of having too much annual leave this week of Orenda is a goer. Whoop, whoop.

The Orenda Roadshow 2020 – Glasgow edition

So what is an Orenda Roadshow I hear (some of) you ask? This is the nationwide celebration of all things Orenda where you will find the largest number of authors in any one place, outside of a bog standard festival, talking about their books, sharing the book love and spending time with their readers. It is both informative and entertaining. Fun and a place for serious book purchasing. A little birdy (Karen) tells me there is also the chance you may be able to pick up some not yet released titles as the authors prepare for their upcoming launches. You just don’t know.

To give you an idea what to expect, starting last weekend and going through the next couple of weeks I’m going to be resharing my round up of the last three years worth of Orenda Roadshows. You can find my write up on the 2017 even in Liverpool right here. Before I take you back over the highlights of 2018’s tour, here is the list of this year’s venues and the bookshops you need to stalk on Twitter and Facebook to keep abreast of the bookings opening.

24th February: Waterstones Glasgow
25th February: Drake the Bookshop, Stockton on Tees
26th February: Linghams Booksellers, Heswall
27th February: The Bookcase, Lowdham
28th February: Griffin Books, Penarth

Tickets are already on sale for Heswall, Stockton-on-Tees and Glasgow so don’t delay. Book today. For those of you who are still undecided, let me tempt you some more with some info about some of the authors who will be appearing this year …

Appearing in Glasgow: David F. Ross; Doug Johnstone; Helen FitzGerald; Louise Beech; Thomas Enger; Johana Gustawsson; Simone Buchholz; Antti Tuomainen; Michael J. Malone; Matt Wesolowski ;Vanda Symon

Appearing in Stockton: Helen FitzGerald; Louise Beech; Thomas Enger; Johana Gustawsson; Simone Buchholz; Antti Tuomainen; Michael J. Malone; Matt Wesolowski; Vanda Symon; Will Carver; Kjell Ola Dahl; Helga Flatland

Appearing in Heswall: Helen FitzGerald; Louise Beech; Thomas Enger; Johana Gustawsson; Simone Buchholz; Antti Tuomainen; Michael J. Malone; Matt Wesolowski; Vanda Symon; Will Carver; Kjell Ola Dahl

Now without further ado, here is the round up of what happened when Mandie and I braced the snow and made a somewhat chilly (and pretty slippy) road trip to Warwick for a celebration of all things Orenda. Coincidentally, this was the year of the Beast From the East, the subject of Matt Wesolowski’s latest Six Stories thriller, Beast. No Ergarth Vampire in Warwick but it was held in a rather cold church which made for a very dramatic backdrop to the evening …

The Orenda Roadshow Warwick

In a week which has been dominated by the Beast from the East, travel plans cancelled, people all across the country battening down the hatches and heading into various states of hibernation, it was with bated breath than Mandie and I sat and watched the weather on Wednesday morning, wondering if it was going to change significantly or if we could brave the elements and head to Warwick for our long planned visit to the Orenda Roadshow.


Sadly, due to the madness of the weather in the North-East, Sarah Stovell was unable to make it to the venue but everyone else battled their way over from Nottingham, and thus we found ourselves in a very snowy Warwick in a slightly chilly Church, hoofing down cake (not me – I was being a good girl) and waiting patiently to hear from the stars of the show, #TeamOrenda.

Compered as always by the lovely Karen Sullivan, it was a chance to listen to the authors talk about their latest books and even give a reading to whet people’s appetites. I always love these evenings as hearing an author read from their books adds so much more to the text the nuances and the emphasis that they can bring to it as they know their writing and their characters better than anyone. There was a wonderful mixture of authors, both international and UK based, some taking part in their first roadshow, many now old hats at it all. All were absolutely fabulous.

From left to right: Matt Johnson, Su Bristow, Thomas Enger (mmmmm), Michael J Malone, Antti Tuomainen, Louise Beech, Steph Broadribb, Louise Voss, Lilja Sigurdardottir, Lucy V Hay, Simone Buchholz and Karen Sullivan.

Fabulous line up right? And what a venue – the acoustics were fabulous even if the windows did amplify the cold too. Quite dramatic with that cross in the background though…

First up talking about their book was Simone Buchholz, whose debut novel with Orenda, Blue Night was celebrating it’s paperback birthday that day. I really enjoyed the book, could be described as a little quirky as the styling is quite unique. You can follow Simone on Twitter @ohneKlippo

About the Book.

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in.

Using all her powers of persuasion, she soon gains her charge’s confidence, and finds herself on the trail to Leipzig, a new ally, and a whole heap of lethal synthetic drugs. When she discovers that a friend and former colleague is trying to bring down Hamburg’s Albanian mafia kingpin single-handedly, it looks like Chas Riley’s dull life on witness protection really has been short-lived…

Fresh, fiendishly fast-paced and full of devious twists and all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.

You can purchase a copy of Blue Night here. My review can be found here.

Next up was Lucy V Hay talking about The Other Twin. Released last summer this is a brilliant book which tackles some very sensitive subjects very carefully. You can follow Lucy on Twitter via @LucyVHayAuthor

About the Book

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets.

Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her?

Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well- heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth…

You can purchase The Other Twin here. My review can be found here.

Next, talking cheese smuggling and tigers we had Lilja Sigurdardottir. I absolutely loved Snare, such an unusual story in that you really shouldn’t like any of the characters, their circumstances quite objectionable, and yet you really really do. I can’t wait to read the next one. You can follow Lilja on Twitter @lilja1972

About the book.

After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world.

As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash.

Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

You can purchase Snare here and find my review here.

Another author celebrating publication day was Louise Voss whose new psychological thriller, The Old You was published in ebook on Wednesday. I have this in my pile to be read in the next few weeks and can’t wait as having heard a reading from it, it sound fantastic. You can follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseVoss1

About the Book

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble. 

But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

You can purchase or pre-order The Old You here.

Now who doesn’t like a bit of Lori and JT? Steph Broadribb read from the fabulous Deep Blue Trouble a scene which sees Lori in great jeopardy. If you like action and adventure, you will love this series. You can follow Steph on Twitter @crimethrillgirl

About the Book

Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback, and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking. Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row.

Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking on off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free. Following Fletcher from Florida to California, Lori teams up with local bounty hunter Dez McGregor and his team. But Dez works very differently to Lori, and the tension between them threatens to put the whole job in danger.

With Monroe pressuring Lori for results, the clock ticking on JT’s life, and nothing about the Fletcher case adding up, Lori’s hitting walls at every turn. But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything…

Breathlessly paced, and bursting with high-voltage action and edge-of-your-seat jeopardy, Deep Blue Trouble is the unmissable next instalment featuring one of the most memorable and fearless female characters in crime fiction.

You can purchase your own cpoy of Deep Blue Trouble here. My review can be found here.

Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech is one of the only none crime/thriller books in the bunch but it is a really beautiful piece of writing. Set in Hull after the flood crisis, it examines the life of a young woman who has blotted out part of her past she is now forced to confront. You can follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseWriter

About the Book

Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’ Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

You can purchase Maria in the Moon here  and find a copy of my review here.

Ahhhh. This book. Probably my all time favourite read of 2017, The Man Who Died demonstrates perfectly the subtle and yet undoubtedly brilliant humour of Antti Tuomainen. From the moment I read the teaser back in May, I knew I had to read this book and I wasn’t disappointed. You can follow Antti on Twitter @antti_tuomainen

About the Book

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him.

Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, markinng a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.

You can purchase a copy of The Man Who Died here (you really should) and can find my review here.

Wowing the crowd with his impressive array of Orenda accents, Michael J Malone treated us to a reading from his latest book, House of Spines. This is a creepy, haunting novel which put me in mind of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelJMalone1

About the Book

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who appears to have been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up.

Entering his new-found home, he finds that Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror … the reflection of a woman …

A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly…

You can purchase a copy of House of Spines here and check out my review here.

Warwick really took to Mr Enger, upping Leeds chorus of mmmmm to an mmmmmm and a wolf whistle. Somebody’s popular 😉 I am happy sad when I think about Killed. Happy as it is fabulous, sad because it is our last outing with Henning Juul. 😦 Brilliant reading from Thomas Enger though which had the audience hooked. You can follow Thomas on Twitter @EngerThomas

About the Book

Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning…

Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose … except his own life.

Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?

You can purchase a copy of Killed here and find my review here.

Sealskin is a book that once read, stays with you for a very long time. I was not really aware of the legend of the Selkies prior to reading, and the story is often difficult to stomach, with Donald a character you really shouldn’t like and yet somehow, by the end of the book I found myself strangely drawn to him and moved by his story. YOu can follow Sue on Twitter @SuBristow

About the Book

What happens when magic collides with reality? Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous … and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives – not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence?

Based on the legend of the selkies – seals who can transform into people – Sealskin is a magical story, evoking the harsh beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its people, both human and animal, and the triumph of hope over fear and prejudice. With exquisite grace, Exeter Novel Prize-winner Su Bristow transports us to a different world, subtly and beautifully exploring what it means to be an outsider, and our innate capacity for forgiveness and acceptance.

Rich with myth and magic, Sealskin is, nonetheless, a very human story, as relevant to our world as to the timeless place in which it is set. And it is, quite simply, unforgettable. For fans of Angela Carter, Eowyn Ivey, Alice Hoffmann and Geraldine Brooks.

You can purchase a copy of the book here and check out my review here.

Aww. Matt Johnson is so lovely and his books are brilliant. I’ve loved following the story of Robert Finlay and I’m sad that End Game brings his adventures to a close. I have been promised a few surprises and perhaps a naughty bit (not too naughty) when I read this book over the next week or so. Having spoken with Matt after the event I’m excited to see what he delivers next as he’s had a very high profile author providing tips and a few plotline ideas too. Mentioning no names but it made Mr Johnson very Smiley. You can follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_Johnson_UK

About the Book

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout.

Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. 

End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

You can purchase or preorder a copy of End Game here and check out my review of Deadly Game, its predecessor here.

So there we have it. My night on the tiles in Warwick. I may have purchase one or two books while I was there – seemed rude not to as they were so nicely laid out and everything. I don’t think there is anything nicer than seeing yourself quoted in the books too … Lovely End Game 🙂


Once again I find myself looking forward to the next roadshow (four weeks to go!!!) and making room on my bookcases for all of those lovely books I’m going . to be rehoming. Thank heavens we are driving for half of the week or I’m going to need a bigger suitcase …

Have a brilliantly bookish week all. Same time next week?


13 thoughts on “Orenda Roadshows 2020 – A Preview

    1. Aww. I’m guessing Lowdham is the closest but not really close at all to where you are. I’m making about six train and three car journeys over the course of the week. It’s going to be interesting

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    1. I know. I’m really looking forward to it (as well as eek as I’ll be in my own for half of it and I hate being a lone bod in a sea of others). Going to be tiring but fun I think.

      Liked by 1 person

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