Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New blog, new look, new era

Hi guys,
I've developed an exciting new blog that's snappier and easier to use at: calarmerspits.blogspot.com.au/

If you've found your way to this page, welcome and I hope you enjoy my future rants (and a couple of older rants I've pasted below, FYI).

If you're on my old blog: christina-larmerspits.blogspot.com.au/ you'll still find plenty to read here. Just scroll down and enjoy. However, please be aware that all my future rants will appear on my new blog page, so I do hope you tag that page and continue following my regular sprays.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you ALL for your past support and hope you'll follow me on my new journey at: calarmerspits.blogspot.com.au/

Do get in touch with me below, or at: christina.larmer@gmail.com

Happy reading!
xo Christina (C.A.) Larmer

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Death by Smart Key

good_kindle_booksYou know what they say: there are two types of people who are fascinated by murder—sociopaths and crime writers. I like to think I fall into the second category but I do have to wonder whether there's a little of the former in me as well.

You see, just the other day I was thinking about the new fangled 'smart key' and how easy it would be to kill someone with it. For anyone who doesn't drive a swanky new luxury vehicle (which would be, er, me) take a look at my latest Ghostwriter Mystery—Words Can Kill (now out on Amazon and slowly making its way to other ereaders). I feature a Mercedes 'smart key' in this one, although it's not used as a means of murder. But it could be!

The 2012 Audi Q3, like the one that Amanda Stevens drives.

When Cars Attack!

I read recently in the Sydney Morning Herald how some poor woman was trapped in her own car in soaring heat by her smart key. She used the keyless entry remote to get into the luxury Audi Q3. Then, once in, the doors automatically locked and she couldn't reopen the car. What's more, she couldn't start the engine to get the airconditioning going. The key had glitched! Suddenly, the desperate soul found herself trapped on a sundrenched parking lot, in the heat of the day, with no-one else about. She couldn't get out, the heat inside the car was unbearable, and her screams for help went on deaf ears. Well, no ears, as the parking lot was empty at that time.

Saved by the bloke

Fortunately, some bloke showed up after 12 minutes and managed to open the door from outside, and the gasping woman was able to escape, collapsing onto the searing pavement with great relief and, I suspect, never quite looking at her fancy new vehicle with the same innocent delight again. Apparently someone else had a similar experience a few years ago with a Porsche.

The key to a good murder?
So, of course, this all got me thinking: What a clever way to murder someone without leaving so much as a print! Here's how it would go: You have two smart keys and one car. You give your husband—let's bump him off shall we?—the wrong key and keep the right one. Then you lure him to a secluded spot on a hot day and watch as he goes to unlock the vehicle with the useless key. You press your smart key at the same time, so he thinks his key has worked and gains entry to the car. Then, once in, you lock it again and stop him from getting out.

He tries to start the car and his key fails. He tries to get out, but you have secured the doors. He starts to panic and you walk away (or drive your old bomb, whatever works for you) as his final gasping cries for help go unheeded, his screams echoing down the empty road. (Cue sinister laughter now.)

Okay, so it's a little elaborate and he could probably just smash his way out, but it gives you a tiny glimpse of the worrying way my mind works. And it must make you wonder how my husband sleeps so soundly in the bed beside me each night. I certainly do.

Of course we can't afford a luxury vehicle with a smart key, so he's safe for now. (Cue more sinister laughter, then fade away...)

Happy reading, everybody.
xo Christina

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Free/99c book celebration!

To celebrate the launch of my latest Ghostwriter Mystery, Words Can Kill, and to thank my many devoted readers, I'm giving you all a fabulous gift! For a limited time, the fouth book in the series will soon be FREE through Smashwords (that's iPad, Nook, Kobo and Sony) or just 0.99c at Amazon. (Sorry, Kindle lovers, but Amazon won't allow me to charge less than that, the party poopers!)

Still, you're getting a pretty cool deal. It now costs very little to download Dying Words via your favourite eReader. This way, if you haven't got 'round to reading it, you can quickly catch up before you get the latest installment. If you have already read it, download it anyway and offer it to your flatmate, hubby or BFF.

We're spreading the Roxy magic this month, and the more readers who share in her adventures the better.

Thanks again for all your support. Don't forget to drop me a line, below, send me an email (see above), or pop a quick review on Amazon if you have the time.

Happy reading!

xo Christina

Monday, February 24, 2014

She's baaaaack!

Good news for Roxy Parker fans. Australia's favourite Ghostwriter is back, this time traipsing all over Europe—from the snow-capped heights of Mt Pilatus to the craggy cliffs of the Italian Riviera—in her quest to track down her estranged boyfriend Max. He's vanished from a luxury Swiss resort and his flatmate, Jake, has just shown up murdered back in Berlin. The cops think Max did it, but Roxy knows better ...

To find out more about the fifth Ghostwriter Mystery, Words Can Kill, head straight to Amazon where it's now available on Kindle. You can also download a copy through other readers, including iPad and Nook, in a few days.

In the meantime, I do hope you enjoy the read and, if you do, please jot me a quick review. It helps to spread the word and enable more Roxy Parker adventures to come.

Happy reading, everyone.
xo Christina

Sunday, February 16, 2014

$1.99 Ghostwriter Mystery Sale!

Fast-talking, merlot-swilling, fashion savvy Roxy Parker is back and better than ever. In her fifth, death-defying adventure, Australia's favourite ghostwriter finds herself on the hunt for her estranged boyfriend Max. He's disappeared while working in Berlin and all she has to go on is a cryptic text message and some unsettling Facebook photos.

Has he run off with a married bimbo? Are the Swiss Army hiding something? And why has his flatmate shown up bludgeoned to death with his 1920s Gibson guitar?

Before you get a chance to find out, why not catch up on Roxy's previous adventures? Exclusive to Amazon, and in the lead up to the release of Ghostwriter Mystery #5 (out soon), I'm offering the first four books for the discounted rate of $1.99!

The sale will only last a short time so get in quick. (And a word of advice: if you haven't read book #4, Dying Words, be sure to download that now. It helps pave the way to Berlin!)

Happy reading.
xo Christina

Monday, February 10, 2014

Your chance to name Roxy's 5th book!

Fans of my Ghostwriter Mystery series will be happy to hear I have finished the latest Roxy Parker adventure, and my children are still in one piece—see blog below. Of course the fact that they've spent the past few months being ignored by their mother, staring at far too many screens, and generally learning that writers are a grumpy bunch on deadline, is neither here nor there.

We're alive and we're happy. Well, actually, not everyone is. There are at least three very unhappy people in my latest novel. One of them has just fallen off a cliff on the Italian Riviera, so that's not so much fun. Another has been bludgeoned in his Berlin apartment, and it's ruined a perfectly good guitar (not to mention his head). And the third? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out what happens to the third. It's Roxy's boyfriend Max and he's gone missing while working in Europe.

Why has Max vanished?
Is he still alive?
Can Roxy Parker find him, even with his annoying, self-absorbed sister by her side?

Before you can find the answers to those questions, I need YOUR help. The manuscrpt is currently with my US editor and will be online in a few weeks, but I'm looking for a creative title.

What would you name it?

If you can think of a good title you get to name the book and be credited in the Acknowledgements section. How good is that? All you have to do is think of a snappy title that encapsulates what the Ghostwriter Mysteries are all about: writing, murder, adventure, fun. But this time we need to add a spice of travel.

I've been playing with the titles: Lost in Translation or Globe Plotting. My cover designer tells me the former is a film, the latter an embarrassment. Can you do better than that?

I'd love to hear from you. Don't forget it HAS to include some kind of reference to writing, words, books etc, just like the previous four titles (but also mystery and travel, tricky huh?):


You have one week to complete your task. Good luck!

xo Christina

UPDATE: A big THANK YOU to all my readers who got in touch with cover titles (all via email, although a comment here would have been just as good). There were some fun, inspiring and just plain loony suggestions, but sadly, none were quite right. Special mention to Hannah P's contribution: Dead on Arrival. (Very clever, Hannah, and I might store that away for another time.) So what did I end up calling it? You'll have to wait and see when the book gets published, very soon!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Writing with kids is murder

So I've just bashed a man across the head with his 1920's Gibson guitar, there's blood spurting everywhere, bits of his brain are bubbling out through his skull. We're in a dark Berlin apartment, I'm spouting Italian and he's looking very confused as he takes his final gasping breath. He'd just given me a lift from Riomaggiore, he'd thought I was a good guy, so why ... why ...?

"Muuuum! Can you come here?"

Huh? What? Who?

Damn it, there goes that thread again. Writing with kids in the house can lead to murderous thoughts, but not a lot of actual crime writing. I'm two-thirds of the way through my fifth Ghostwriter Mystery and now that the summer holidays have hit, it's all starting to go AWOL. Sort of like attempting to drive a manual vehicle when you've only ever driven automatic, it's a case of spits and spurts, bunny hops and splutters and you occaisonally make ground but you never really get anywhere. Not in a hurry, anyway.

"Mum, Felix can't find his money."

There he goes again. Except that's the other one. There's two of them, you see, so it's twice the battle and half the luck.

"It's your fault for having us," he says now, reading over my shoulder as I write this. That's the older one again, the cheekier one, the one who should know better. "It sounds like you absolutely hate us," he adds.

"Muuum, I can't find my money," says the younger one now, wandering into my office. "What are you writing?"
"Mum hates us."
"No I do not."
"Yes you do, says so right there on your blog."
"I'm just explaining to my readers why it's so HARD to finish novels with you guys on holidays. Now, if you'll let me get on with it, I'll stop writing about you."
"But what about my money?" demands the younger one.
I sigh, stop typing and turn to face him. "Why do you need your money, sweetie?"
"Because I want you to take me shopping to buy Ratchet & Clank. It's on special at EB Games."
"Shopping? Really? I was hoping to finish a few chapters today."
"But Mum, I'm really bored."
"And then we'll have something to do and we'll leave you aloooooone!" adds the other one, the older one. Did I mention he was cheekier?

At some point, this point actually, I start screaming like a hapless murder victim and they rush out of the room knowing they've pushed me too far, and I'm left alone for a blissful paragraph or two before ...

"Muuum, I can't find my socks!"
I try breathing deeply. "Why do you need your socks?"
"Because I have to put my shoes on if we're going to go shopping."
I growl quietly to myself, I save the pathetic three pars I've managed that day, I push away from my desk and I search for the money, the socks and my car keys.

It looks like we're going shopping.

xo Christina