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Monday, October 17, 2016

Westmorland Alone by Ian Sansom - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Ian Sansom and his new book, “Westmorland Alone”!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win THREE ebooks – ALL to ONE lucky winner!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Ian and to increase your chances of winning! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this exciting giveaway!

Westmorland Alone
by Ian Sansom


GENRE:  Mystery & Detective



Welcome to Westmorland. Perhaps the most scenic county in England! Home of the poets! Land of the great artists! District of the Great lakes! And the scene of a mysterious crime…

Swanton Morley, the People's Professor, once again sets off in his Lagonda to continue his history of England, The County Guides.

Stranded in the market town of Appleby after a tragic rail crash, Morley, his daughter Miriam and his assistant, Stephen Sefton, find themselves drawn into a world of country fairs, gypsy lore and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. When a woman's body is discovered at an archaeological dig, for Morley there's only one possible question: could it be murder?

Join Morley, Miriam and Sefton as they journey along the Great North road and the Settle-Carlisle Line into the dark heart of 1930s England.



It was the most violent collision. There was a moment’s shudder and then a kind of cracking before the great spasm of movement and noise began. I fell forward and struck my head on the luggage rack. I was momentarily stunned and knocked unconscious. When I came to I found we were all tilted together into a corner of the carriage – me, the mother and the baby. Our coach seemed to have tipped to the right, off the tracks, and become wedged against an embankment. What were once the sturdy walls of the carriage were now buckled and torn like the flimsiest material: the wood was splintered, the cloth of the carriage seats split, everything was broken. I remember I shook my head once, twice, three times: it was difficult to make sense of what had happened, the shock was so great. The first thing I recognised was that the mother and baby were both crying loudly – though thank goodness they appeared to be unharmed – and that the carriage was shuddering all around us, shaking and groaning as if it were wounded.

‘Are you OK?’ I said.

The woman continued crying. Her face was streaked with tears.

‘Are you OK?’ I repeated.

Again, she simply sobbed, the baby wailing with her.

‘We must remain calm,’ I said, as loudly and authoritatively as I could manage, above the sounds, trying to reassure both them and myself, willing them to be quiet.

‘Where’s Lucy?’ she said.

Where was Lucy?

I stood up, still rather disorientated and confused.

‘I don’t know—’ I began.

‘You have to get us out!’ said the woman, between sobs.

‘I have to find Lucy.’

‘OK,’ I said. I was still gathering my thoughts, trying to work out what to do.

‘GET US OUT!’ yelled the woman, suddenly frantic.

‘I have to find my daughter! You need to do something.’

I didn’t know what to do.

‘You need to do something!’ yelled the woman again.

‘Help us!’

The carriage continued to rock and sway all around us; clearly, we had to get out.

I looked around: the window was open to darkness and the tracks beneath us.

‘What’s under there?’ cried the woman. ‘Is Lucy under there? Lucy! Lucy!’ She did not wait for a response – she was hysterical. ‘Lucy! Lucy! Lucy!’

‘Look!’ I said. ‘You just have to let me check that everything is safe.’ I was worried that Lucy might be trapped beneath our carriage.



Describe Your Writing Space

Dickens had his chalet. Roald Dahl had his shed. Maya Angelou, hotel rooms. Edith Sitwell wrote in bed. All of my books have been written nowhere in particular, and in transit, between jobs and very late at night. My first book, The Truth About Babies, was written while traveling with a baby in a pushchair on buses in central London (mostly the 259 and the 29, from the Holloway Road). My first novel Ring Road was written at my kitchen table, sometime in the hours between 10pm and 6am. The Mobile Library series of novels were written in Bangor Public Library, Bangor, Co. Down (late night opening Thursdays). Paper: An Elegy was written on the 08.37 to Belfast, and on the 16.36 return. The Norfolk Mystery was written in the basement of a B&B in Coventry.

But my new novel! My new novel, Westmorland Alone, was written in an actual office! In a bookshop! Or to be more precise, in an actual office above a bookshop.

My friend David Torrans runs the famous No Alibis Bookshop at 83 Botanic Avenue, Belfast, a couple of doors down from the Mexican takeaway and opposite Costcutter. Unable to find the time or the peace and quiet at home to be able to write, I asked if David might let me use the storeroom above the shop. The room is and was a mess - it’s a bookshop storeroom, and you know what they’re like. Strip lights. Peeling wallpaper. A thin grey filthy carpet. Cracks in the wall that are large enough to keep your pencils in. I love it.

It took me and my sons a day to clear the room of boxes of returns and overstock. Now I have a Black and Decker workbench as a desk and I’m allowed to use the toilet downstairs when the shop is open. Pure luxury.

Westmorland Alone is the second book in The County Guides series of novels - 44 books in the projected series, one for every English county, plus London, all of the Ridings (which make up Yorkshire), and the bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey - in which Spanish Civil War veteran Stephen Sefton sets off with ‘The People’s Professor’ Swanton Morley and Morley’s untamable daughter Miriam to solve crimes and confront the bigotries and prejudices of 1930s England.

Staring out of the high window above the bookshop at Belfast’s rain-soaked streets I imagined Sefton and Morley and Miriam setting off once again in their white Lagonda, packed as always with Morley’s writing requisites and his Hermes typewriter wedged into its stays so that he can type while Miriam drives and Sefton despairs of the entire enterprise.

More writers should write in bookshops. I can recommend it. It certainly helps to put things in perspective.



Ian Sansom is the author of the Mobile Library Mystery Series. As of 2016, he has written three books in a series that will comprise a projected forty-four novels.

He is a frequent contributor to, and critic for, The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, where he was a fellow of Emmanuel College. He is a professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and teaches in its Writing Program.





Goodreads Author Page:





Ian Sansom will be awarding 3 free e-books to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.