Five years ago today I was published for the first time, launching my writing career with the first book in my Blackthorn series. I marked the day today by working on Blood Broken, the final book.
Anyone who has been supporting me for a while will know I always celebrate Blackthorn’s anniversaries with blog posts and giveaways. I’m holding back on all of that for now though until our finale’s release, especially with it not being far around the corner.
In some ways it feels a long time since Blood Shadows was published, in other ways time has passed so quickly. I now have eight books out there (Haven: A Lowtown Novel included in that), am almost at the end of Blood Broken, and am underway with the second Lowtown book too.
It’s been a unique journey from day one. It’s certainly never been short of twists and turns, some to even put my Blackthorn and Lowtown plotting to shame! I’ll share more about that when I mark the end of Blackthorn though.
However, a new twist has made a very timely appearance today. I can safely say I’ve never been able to mark a Blackthorn anniversary this way before! I’ve actually had a character in a book named after me! Not only that, but the book has been published by Blackthorn’s publisher today of all days. This was in no way timed. Bookouture didn’t even know about it.
I want to say a huge thank you to Kierney Scott for making the decision to name a supporting character after me in her debut crime thriller, Now You See Me, the first book in her Detective Jess Bishop series (click on the book for a link to Amazon).
Although we’ve never met, Kierney and I have known each other for six years, both having entered the New Voices writing competition back in 2011 – the competition that led to Bookouture discovering and selecting me to be their launch author. This will be Kierney’s first book with Bookouture and I’m beyond thrilled to see her realise her dreams of being published by them too.
It was a few months ago that Kierney first got in touch to let me know she was naming Detective Jess Bishop’s best friend after me, but was uncertain whether to use my married or maiden name. When I found out I’d be “playing” a clinical psychologist, we opted for the latter.
You may not know that I studied psychology for my degree, having strongly considered becoming a clinical psychologist afterwards. Back then I had a fascination with Forensic Psychology, particularly abnormal behaviour and psychopathology. I even managed to arrange to get my copy of Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon/The Silence of the Lambs signed by Welsh legend Sir Anthony Hopkins, aka Dr Hannibal Lecter in the film version, when he was back home in my neck of the woods visiting his mum (no, sadly, I didn’t get to meet him). As if that wasn’t enough, I named my first car that I used to drive back and forth to university Clarice (after Clarice Starling). Well, the number plate did start with CL.
A couple of years into my degree I’d resolved I would be much more at ease exploring my fascination through fiction rather than fact though, and turned my attention to the safer option of working on psychological thrillers in the background instead. To be honest, I thought that was the genre I’d launch my career with, even after Blackthorn was already several years underway in the background.
So now, more than twenty years later, to finally be a clinical psychologist working with the FBI, even if only in fiction, is such a fun twist of events for me. OK, so after I’ve read Kierney’s book “fun” might no longer be the word I choose to use!! I’ve heard it’s more than a little brutal in there!
Here’s wishing Kierney a wonderful publication day and every success with her book. I truly am flattered that you did this, Kierney. And if anyone reading this dives in to read the book before me, no spoilers please!!
For now, it’s back to Blood Broken. Thank you so much for your patience as you await news on its publication date, something I will share as soon as it’s confirmed. And talking of Caleb, hopefully now you understand a little more about why I love writing the dark and complex characters that I do.
And, of course, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported Blackthorn – whether for 5 years, or 5 days so far. Team Blackthorn, I couldn’t do this without you.
As of midnight last night, HAVEN should have landed on your e-reader or already be on its way in the post to you. It’s been an absolutely incredible day (now almost half past ten in the evening here in the UK) all thanks to a whirlwind of incredible support from my wonderful readers. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing my day with me. ❤️
As well HAVEN being the start of a brand new adventure for you, it’s also the start of a brand new adventure for me. Although you can already buy my Blackthorn series in paperback, this will be the first time ever that you might even spot my book in your local bookshop over the forthcoming months. Courtesy of my awesome new publisher Piatkus (Little, Brown Book Group), I am officially in traditional print as of today! I’ve had my first newspaper review in The Peterborough Telegraph (a wonderful 7/10 from a thriller specialist), HAVEN will be featuring in a mainstream magazine soon and I’ll also be appearing on radio for the first time ever. It’s majorly exciting for me. I can’t thank my superb publicist at Piatkus enough. Sophia, you’re fantastic!
I’m already a little overwhelmed today. Five years ago this month my publishing career launched with Blood Shadows, the first book in my BLACKTHORN series. Soon that series will be coming to an end. But now, because of your enduring support and because of your requests not to let go just yet, I’m able to show you even more aspects of this world you’ve come to love. I hope you enjoy my LOWTOWN books as much as you have Blackthorn. I certainly loved every minute of writing HAVEN for you. It’s been an incredible journey up to this point and one I’ll share with you in the forthcoming weeks.
But, for now, I will leave you in peace with your HAVEN. I’ve posted some of the events of the day below, including some of the fabulous reviews that have started to filter through. I’m overjoyed that it’s already being so well received. So thank you to every single person who has participated in today and made it so special for me.
REVIEWS SO FAR
“The plot went places I never saw coming and as always, I was left with nothing but admiration for how well Lindsay weaves her web, to the point where we’re never quite sure what path the story will take. The pacing was fast and relentless, the tension was electrifying throughout, the hot scenes were, well, sizzling (as always) and there was mystery and intrigue on every page. It’s been a while since a book got me so hooked that I spent my time in between reading thinking about what might happen next and each time I returned to it, I lapped it up and hoped it would never end. It did, of course and yes, I may have cried a little (although this was mostly due to plot, damn you LJP!).
Gritty, relentless and hot as Hell, with new favourite characters to adore and darkness and danger lurking at every turn, Haven is without doubt my PNR top read of the year so far. Five stars for this breath-taking, brutal, dark fantasy tale!” ~ Lindsey Clarke
“Haven will draw you in with a compelling couple, a truly dark and gritty world, and a story that will twist, turn, anger, sadden and completely consume you. You’ll find light in this dark world, and watch as two people defend the good that needs to survive while falling deeper into each other. There are moments that will make you want to look away from the page – but you can’t. Moments that will give you a smile in the midst of darkness.
I am always amazed at the magic that authors create. Lindsay J. Pryor has given us another paranormal world to rival Blackthorn. Not take its place, but companion with. Her world building, the descriptions that place me right in the middle of the action, the emotions that are drawn out of me while in her worlds always leaves me in awe. And I don’t say that lightly. If you haven’t read Ms. Pryor’s works yet then I would strongly, gently encourage you to take that dive off of a cliff and emerge yourself in this world. You’ll never view Paranormal the same way again – 5 stars.” ~ Keeper Bookshelf
“This book grips you right from the beginning. The goal, the motivation of the main protagonists seem clear from the start and you invest in them instantly. But then, as you get deeper, so do the goals, so does the motivation, getting more desperate, more urgent. And that’s without the conflict! My goodness does the author put them through an emotional wringer! The plot is amazingly good, simply wonderful, something that is the only thing that doesn’t surprise me about the authors writing. I’ve never been able to figure out one of her plots and Haven is no exception. Lindsay J. Pryor’s world building is perfection. The plot is skilled and engrossing. Each chapter has some snatches-your-breath revelation. The conflict builds and builds, as does the tension. The final word is perfect and deeply satisfying. Everything about this book is satisfying. Dark, gritty, urban fantasy at its absolute best. Ah, Haven. You came, I read, I cried and fell in love. I found my haven in Haven!
Pure fantasy. Pure Genius. 5 Butterfly Rating!” ~ Tracey Rogers
“This is a well paced story, with the great world building from the Blackthorn series used to great effect and enhanced in this story. I don’t think you need to have read that series to enjoy this one, as the author continually gives reminders and additional information so readers are aware of the various scenarios, rules, restrictions and expectations which apply in this dystopian community. The characters are easy to relate to and empathise with. The dramatic encounters are brilliantly brought to life in the imagination of the reader. I didn’t want to put the book down and the twist at the end is superb! I have no hesitation at all in highly recommending this to anyone who enjoys reading about suspense filled paranormal societies, with mobsters, murder, mystery, magic and romance all having key roles in the unfolding story. I can’t wait to read more in this series! 5/5.” ~ Splashes Into Books
“Lindsay transports you right in the middle of the world she has created. She takes you into the heart of the action. You can smell the desperation of what it’s like to live in Lowtown, you can feel the terror, the hopelessness of being one of the unlucky folks who happened to be born into the wrong family, the wrong area. But you can also be uplifted by the spirit of the people who live there, and none more so than our heroine, Ember…
At the beginning, I read slowly, keen to make sure I followed the story, for Lindsay J Pryor’s writing is not only absorbing, but it’s also intelligent. You have to pay attention… From about the fifty percent mark, I couldn’t flick the pages fast enough… as the author has done many times before, Lindsay J Pryor surprised, shocked, and astounded me with her storytelling, her guts, her ability to make the tough calls. Her ability to pull out something amazing… and when the covers are peeled back to reveal the outcome, she definitely provides that ‘What the heck’ moment!
Make no mistake: Lowtown is dark and gritty, and gives us more than a glimpse into the depths of human depravity. But it’s also uplifting, inspiring, and shows the strength of humanity, of how there are still those with determination to do the right thing, no matter what it costs them.” ~ Passionate About Books
“Haven has all the grittiness and the rawness of her Blackthorn series. It comes with the depravity and the nitty gritty. She has this way of creating a world that in all reality should disgust you, it should make you want to run for the hills BUT you know with absolute certainty you’d run straight into those pages and into that world. It’s fantastic creativity.
It’s not just the world building that amazes me, it’s also the story itself, there are so many plot twists and second guessing. You go through one chapter thinking you know what’s coming and then bam, you hit another plot twist. If this book was a theme park ride it’d definitely be a rollercoaster…The chemistry between the two was electric. The tension palpable… It was fantastic writing.
I’m always in awe of an author’s ability to take you away from the real world and Lindsay seems to do this every time. Blackthorn will be my first love but it most definitely won’t be my last. Lowtown has just become a very real contender.” ~ Wopsywoobookblog
“I am totally speechless after finishing this story. I loved her Blackthorn series and didn’t think anything could surpass that and keep me gripped like that series did but WOW this book blew me away with how this plot unfolded, Lindsay’s attention to detail throughtout this story is just astonishing.
The depth of passion and emotion throught out this book is sheer genius from this author,she has set the bar very high,but this is what she does… this was a dark and gritty story with lots of twists along the way that you never see coming.
This book is pure genius from a fabulous author that will keep you hooked and intrigued till the last page…it is PNR at its very best. SUPERB.”
A MASSIVE thank you to all the above reviewers for your time, effort and incredible feedback. ❤️
And before I go, thank you for all the incredible support that has come through on my Facebook Page, Twitter and all your emails throughout the day and evening too. I’m still catching up but I will respond personally as soon as I can. ❤️
Happy (if not slightly angst-ridden) reading, everyone! As always, come back safely. xxx
Thank you for the fantastic reviews that have continued to come in for HAVEN over the past week. Including:
“I can easily predict this new urban fantasy series from her will be my next favorite thing. Loving the fact these books will be standalone. Haven was utterly engrossing. It had the usual flare of Lindsay’s awesome writing, alluring world-building and her fantastic characters that I have come to associate with her after loving and following her Blackthorn series. I couldn’t stop reading this book even when I should have. But I just couldn’t. Put. This. Book. Down. It was so captivating.
I loved the plot, the contrast it has to Blackthorn, the rawness and the brutalness–the familiar unpredictability that makes you fall in love with Lindsay’s writing and the world(s) she has created.” ~ Gaga Over Books
“Rich in intrigue, and twists and turns, Haven is a dark, dark PNR/urban fantasy novel of the first class. The world building is superb, so too, the action scenes—the frustration, despair and violence, scarily bold and graphic on the page.
Ember (heroine) steals the show. Here’s one woman who stands tall and brave in her own quiet way. Sure, she’ll appear to concede (when it suits her), but her intelligence always keeps her steps ahead of those who would do her, or those she cares about, harm. With Ember it’s not her physical actions you have to watch, it’s her mind! Nate (hero) is a perfect foil for her, bringing to the fore as he does, her vulnerability. Nate’s not quite an anti-hero, but he’s pretty damn close… No comment on the plot because of spoilers, but in a word, DEVIOUS.
So aside from the writing, the plot, the characters, what else raises Haven very much above the average? Well the politics, the social injustice, the raw indignation at how corruption triumphs—fact of life. But amid all that bleak there exists integrity and loyalty and love, keeping hope strong.” ~ Incy Black
“I loved it. I savoured every single word. Ms Pryor delivers an urban fantasy masterclass
What stood out for me was the romance, it’s heart breakingly romantic. I’m a sucker for romance, I’ll admit I probably watch Strictly Come Dancing hoping for romance. Haven reminded me of a brilliant Viennese Waltz – beautifully romantic with constant twists and turns that left me dizzy and breathless. My heart ached and ached.
I adored Nate’s sensitivity and all male softness. He reminded me of peanut butter ice cream – cool, unexpected and with real depths of flavour… As for Ember I loved that she was determined, smart and strong without being tough or spiky. How refreshing is that? I just hope we haven’t seen the last of these two.
This is urban fantasy infused with tendrils of romance. If either genre appeal to you then this is your perfect read.” ~ Big Little Sister Blog
“She’s done it again. It never fails to amaze me the incredible skill that Lindsay J. Pryor has for creating a world… Settings and plot lines and districts and locales, full-bodied characters with enough history to fill a library. The dedication she’s made to her stories; her characters, and the world in which they are embroiled, is incredible… there are plenty of sharp twists and turns and shock revelations to leave you guessing right up until the last minute, to keep you turning the page and in danger of a serious lack of sleep.
True to form, Ms Pryor has… delivered us some wonderful characters with issues akin to real life – and they’re not your average human-nature problems. These character flaws go deep – she’s not afraid to pack the layers. Because this novel is not just about romance. Or the paranormal. It’s about power, about real-life struggles. About danger. Death. Destruction. And all the crap the universe could possibly throw at you in one lifetime. It’s clever. It’s dark. It’s intense. 5 stars.” ~ Fiona Chapman
I’m so appreciative of the response to HAVEN so far, as is Piatkus. ☺️
And speaking of Piatkus, I would like to say a huge thank you to my fantastic publisher for the stunning publication day flowers I received. I’m not sure if the splash of orange was an intentional link to HAVEN‘s cover but it certainly worked a treat for me. ❤️
Just to warn you, I might be a little quiet here for a while now as I immerse myself in Blood Broken again. Normal service will resume soon, I promise. Hopefully I’ll be back with some updates too. I know lots of my readers are desperate to get a publication date confirmed. I’ll let you know the second it’s agreed. I can’t wait until it’s up for pre-order either! And back to it… xxx