Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Heat Trap by JL Merrow ~ Release Day Review, Guest Post and Giveaway.

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YES!!!! It’s finally here – WOOHOO! Heat Trap (The Plumber’s Mate #3) has been burning a hole in Mark’s eReader for sometime now and he can’t wait to tell everyone about it. So go check it out……

JL Merrow is also with us today at SInfully HQ writing about cellars. Why? then you had better check out the post and don’t forget the giveaway.

Guest Post

Down in t’ Cellar Ole

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and it’s great to be here as part of the Heat Trap blog tour. Today I’d like to talk to you about cellars.

We’re all down in t’ cellar ole (to be recited in a Yorkshire accent)

We’re all down in t’ cellar ole, where muck slarts on t’winders

We’ve used all our coal up so we’re now usin’ t’cinders

If old bailiff comes down, he’ll never findus

‘Cos we’re all down in t’ cellar ole, where muck slarts on t’winders

Cellars. Basements. One of them has a key role to play in Heat Trap, but that’s in a pub. In houses, we don’t have ’em, as a rule, in Britain—at least, not in homes built in the last hundred years or so. I’m not altogether sure why we don’t have them. In such a small country (less than 60% the size of California, which statistic makes me, personally, feel very, very small) you’d think it’d make sense to use all available dimensions when building homes.

wales-2-web

It’s one reason why the average UK home is a titchy 818 sq feet, whereas the average US householder has a whopping 2,164 sq feet to play with. (http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/how-big-is-a-house) Room to swing a cat? More like an entire pride of lions.

Whereas we Brits have to make do with homes like this one in Conwy.

Featuring a floor area of 10 foot by 5.9 foot, and a height of 10 feet 2 inches, this one-up-one-down house was actually inhabited until 1900 by a 6 foot 3 fisherman.

With, one presumes, constant backache, seeing as he couldn’t stand up straight in it. If he tried swinging anything at all, he’d probably do himself a mischief.

Of course, the other reason for the disparity? We’re British. We’d rather die from acute claustrophobia than actually complain about our living space. So we just put on our stiffest upper lips and make the best of things, as witness this alternative version of t’poem (please read in the style of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, or Her Majesty the Queen if you want to be a little less grand about it):

We’re all down in the basement, where the rain sploshes on the casements

We’ve used all our coal up so we’re now using coke

If the landlord comes down, he’ll never find us

Because we’re all down in the basement, where the rain sploshes on the casements

Then again, if you don’t have a cellar, at least there’s no risk of finding anything nasty down there... ;)

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Title: Heat Trap (The Plumber’s Mate #3)

Author: JL Merrow

Publisher: Samhain

Release: 17th March 2015

Genre: M/M (Murder / Mystery)

Rating:

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Synopsis

The wrong secret could flush their love down the drain.

The Plumber’s Mate, Book 3

It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit with a shocking revelation about his family. His lover, P.I. Phil Morrison, is pushing this as an ideal opportunity for Tom to try to develop his psychic talent for finding things. Tom would prefer to avoid the subject altogether, but just as he decides to bite the bullet, worse problems come crawling out of the woodwork.

Marianne, a young barmaid at the Devil’s Dyke pub, has an ex who won’t accept things are over between them. Grant Carey is ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets between him and Marianne, including an old friend of Tom and Phil. Their eagerness to step in and help only makes them targets of Grant’s wrath themselves.

With Tom’s uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the revelation of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, suddenly Tom’s not sure whom he can trust.

The body in the Dyke’s cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.

Warning: Contains British slang, a very un-British heat wave, and a plumber with a psychic gift who may not be as British as he thinks he is.

 

Mark’s Review

Talk about having skeletons in your closet well in Heat Trap they are most definitely in the cellar. In German there is the same idiom “Leichen im Kellar”  and also has the same figurative meaning which if translated word for word would read “Corpses in the cellar”. So there must be a common origin to this idiom somewhere in the mists of time. I thought of this after reading JL’s guest post as in Germany all houses have cellars, but not in the UK. The only ones you find in the UK are in big country estate houses or pubs. I must admit cellars are very useful things if only to hide the odd skeleton in English or corpse in German! I guess the end result is the same, the German version being fresher as far as bodies go – lol!

Tom has done it again and his spidey senses of finding lost things is back and this leads him to the next corpse. However, Phil is now a private detective that gets called on a case through a mutual friend Harry who is owner and Landlady of the pub The Devil’s Dyke. Harry has called Phil in to investigate her friends ex, Grant Carey, who is an objectionable character to say the least.

What I love about this series is the intricate plots. A well devised murder / mystery, but you also have Tom and Phil’s relationship and their personal circumstances running parallel beside all the investigative business. Tom still not knowing what to do now he knows from the previous book that his dad isn’t actually his biological dad. To approach or not to approach his mum about this issue. Gary’s and Darren’s impending wedding as with the his sister Cherry and her ecclesiastical fiancĂ© Gregory. Phil’s shrouded secret of why he left the police comes to light rising doubt in Tom whether he really knows Phil or not. An extremely multi-facetted book with all these things expertly woven into a smooth whole from the pen of JL Merrow – LOVED IT!!! So once again one extremely intriguing story from beginning to end.

Phil and Tom are now on my list of all time favourite couples in M/M romance. A normal couple in a relationship with all its trials and tribulations and in this book we definitely get the angst factor in their relationship. Just like in real life it isn’t always a box of chocolates and easy going. JL takes a risk in this book with their relationship and gives us the real life relationship crises! We get the arguments, bickering and miscommunication. Never sure of whether the relationship will continue or break up due to several misunderstandings and pig-headedness on both sides causing a lot of upset at times. But oh my how Tom and Phil both suffered when they were not talking to each other, my heart broke for the pair of them. As with any new relationship it has to weather the storm of compatibility on a personal level and just great sex alone is not going to cement a long lasting commitment.

So where do you go and what do you do when you have boyfriend problems in the UK? Yes, you go to the pub with your best friend for a pint! And with Tom there was definitely a lot of pub visits with his best mate Gary and a number of pints were drunk in the process, well at least from Tom, Gary prefers Martinis. Again the whole dynamics between friends, boyfriends, etc. was perfect! JL gets a perfect balance, with great dialogues and super characters. Loved every minute! And as the pub is central to British culture then it only made sense to throw in a little murder too. I just love the way that Tom and Phil get caught up in these things especially when Tom never really goes looking for trouble. Trouble just seems to follow him due to his senses and before you know it the first dead body appears which he finds in the cellar of The Devil’s Dyke. Who did it and why? Well, you’re going to have to read that for yourself.

What I found really amusing too was the fact that this book was a little light on the hot sex side. It is set during a heat wave and neither Phil nor Tom have the energy to be cuddling up to each other a lot with it being so hot. All they wish to do are to find ways of cooling down. I had to laugh because I think that is the case with a lot of us. Again making them all the more real to me as characters. Maybe the heat also had the added effect of tempers being frayed and short.

Well, I’m delighted to say that after several nail biting chapters not only is the murderer found and apprehended but Tom and Phil get their act sorted out and the HEA is all the more sweeter for it knowing that after they sorted everything out it cements their relationship making it more secure than it ever was before. They realise that they are both stronger together than apart. It was an absolutely perfect ending for a pair who had steered the stormy seas of their relationship crises. I could have hugged them both for Joy.

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The only small niggle that I had is the book begins with a prologue which personally didn’t work for me. This could have been included in the book at the right time and wasn’t necessary to put this scene at the beginning in the form of a prologue. I have no idea for the reason behind it but it just felt a little out of place for me.

However, once again the third book in the Plumber’s Mate series did not disappoint and just added yet another perfect sequel to what is now one of my all time favourite couples and murder / mystery series. I so hope there is a fourth book coming as this book ended for me on a beautiful high if not a bit of a cliff-hanger for me personally when Phil presents Tom with his birthday present. I NEED TO KNOW HOW THIS MEETING WENT – NOW! Do you think if I take JL Merrow down the pub for a drink she might tell me?

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Meet the Author

JL Merrow is a very English writer of (mainly) m/m fiction who finds writing the only way to stay sane, except of course when a plot is driving her crazy. Having grown up on an island, she can’t remember a time before she could swim and prefers to remain close to water at all times. Luckily, the weather in her native land being as it generally is, this is not difficult.

I’m that rare beast; an English person who refuses to drink tea. I’m a writer of (mainly) m/m or f/f romance, mostly contemporary or paranormal, but with a fickle muse that occasionally ambushes me in dark alleyways and drags me off, cackling, to write historical or science fiction.

Some might call all this pillar-to-posting tragic evidence of a short attention span; I couldn’t possibly….er, what were we talking about, again?

I enjoy reading, martial arts, and surprising people who judge a book by its cover.

She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Contact The Author

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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Series Reading Order and Purchase Links

1) Pressure Head

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Synopsis

Some secrets are better left hidden.

To most of the world, Tom Paretski is just a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a dodgy hip, souvenir of a schoolboy accident. The local police keep his number on file for a different reason—his sixth sense for finding hidden things.

When he’s called in to help locate the body of a missing woman up on Nomansland Common, he unexpectedly encounters someone who resurrects a host of complicated emotions. Phil Morrison, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case. And the former bully partly responsible for Tom’s injury.

The shocks keep coming. Phil is now openly gay, and shows unmistakable signs of interest. Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent?

As the pile of complicated evidence surrounding the woman’s murder grows higher, so does the heat between Tom and Phil. But opening himself to this degree exposes Tom’s heart in a way he’s not sure he’s ready for…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.

Warning: Contains a flirtatious plumber with hidden talents, a cashmere-clad private investigator with hidden depths, and an English village chock full of colourful characters with plenty to hide.

SAMHAIN | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO

2) Relief Valve

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Synopsis

If you dig up the past, be prepared to get dirty.

The Plumber’s Mate, Book 2

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing since plumber Tom Paretski and P.I. Phil Morrison became connected at the heart, if not always at Tom’s dodgy hip. Neither of their families has been shy about voicing their disapproval, which hasn’t helped Tom’s uneasy relationship with his prickly older sister, Cherry.

But when Cherry is poisoned at her own engagement party, the horror of her near death has Tom’s head spinning with possible culprits. Is it her fiancĂ© Gregory, a cathedral canon with an unfortunate manner and an alarming taste for taxidermy? Someone from her old writers’ circle, which she left after a row? Or could the attack be connected to her work as a barrister?

Phil is just as desperate to solve the case before someone ends up dead—and he fears it could be Tom. At least one of their suspects has a dark secret to hide, which makes Tom’s sixth sense for finding things like a target painted on his back...

Warning: Contains a strong, silent, macho PI; a cheeky, chirpy, cat-owning plumber; and a gag gift from beyond the grave that’ll put the cat firmly among the pigeons.

SAMHAIN | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO

3) Heat Trap

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Synopsis

The wrong secret could flush their love down the drain.

The Plumber’s Mate, Book 3

It’s been six months since plumber Tom Paretski was hit with a shocking revelation about his family. His lover, P.I. Phil Morrison, is pushing this as an ideal opportunity for Tom to try to develop his psychic talent for finding things. Tom would prefer to avoid the subject altogether, but just as he decides to bite the bullet, worse problems come crawling out of the woodwork.

Marianne, a young barmaid at the Devil’s Dyke pub, has an ex who won’t accept things are over between them. Grant Carey is ruthless in dealing with anyone who gets between him and Marianne, including an old friend of Tom and Phil. Their eagerness to step in and help only makes them targets of Grant’s wrath themselves.

With Tom’s uncertainty about Phil’s motives, Tom’s family doing their best to drive a wedge between them, and the revelation of an ugly incident in Phil’s past, suddenly Tom’s not sure whom he can trust.

The body in the Dyke’s cellar isn’t the only thing that stinks.

Warning: Contains British slang, a very un-British heat wave, and a plumber with a psychic gift who may not be as British as he thinks he is.

SAMHAIN | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO

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Giveaway

I’m offering a free ebook from my backlist (including Heat Trap) to a randomly chosen commenter on this post.

Giveaway question: Have you ever lived in a house with a cellar? Did you ever find something nasty down there? ;)

And there’s a grand prize of a signed paperback copy of book #2 in my Plumber’s Mate series, the EPIC award finalist Relief Valve, plus a pair of rainbow-coloured merino wool blend wrist-warmers, hand-knitted by the author, for one lucky commenter on the tour.

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I’m happy to ship internationally, and the more blog posts you comment on, the more chances you get!

Please remember to leave an email addy in your comment so I can get in touch with you if you win.

I’ll be making the draws around teatime on Wednesday 1st April, GMT (no joke!)

Good luck!  ~ JL Merrow

94 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read this. I love this series so much!!!!

    calila1988/@/yahoo/./com ( no slashes)

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    1. Forgot the answer to your questions LOL

      I've never lived in a house with a cellar/basement. I do have a tornado shelter now, but I think the worst thing in there is maybe leaves and the occasional spider.

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    2. *shudders* I am not a fan of spiders. And am very glad we don't, as a rule, get tornadoes in the UK!
      And thank you! :D

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  2. I've never lived in a house with a cellar, thanks God... I am terrified of dark underground places (even using the tube gets scary sometimes) so I do not think I would be able to go down there to find whatever...
    Congrats on the new release. I love this series. Tom Paretsky forever!
    susanaperez7140(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! :D
      *nods* That is an entirely logical fear. After all, what have films and TV been teaching us about dark, underground spaces all these years? That no good ever comes of going down there.

      Delete
  3. Hi there! I've never lived in a house with a cellar, but an old family friend's home had one. As a child, I loved sneaking into it, and frightening myself by imagining all kinds of ghoulish hidden things.

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    1. Hiya Zunni! :)
      Oh, yes - an old cellar is a gift for an imaginative child.
      Not so much for parents then dealing with nightmares, of course! ;)

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  4. On the Texas Gulf Coast, where I live, we're under sea level, so no one really has cellars (or as we say here, the less fancy "basements.") When I moved to the Midwest, many people had basements, so I saw one for the first time. Luckily it had been made into a rec room, so nothing scary there. ;)

    Waxapplelover (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Yes, it's interesting how calling it a "basement" carries different connotations, isn't it? A basement, to me, is just the lowest floor of a building. A cellar, on the other hand, has all kinds of dark possibilities.... I suspect it's because most of the cellars I've actually been in have been in ruined old abbeys and the like, where it's easy to imagine ghostly monks flitting around dusty bottles of wine and barrels of ale.

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  5. I, personally, no. My grandparents had one, but it was fairly well lit and neat so it wasn't spooky. It just smelled of decades of the wine making my grandfather did.

    acm05atjuno.com

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    1. I would say, how lovely - but my parents used to make wine when I was little and I seem to recall that while wine itself smells yummy (and obviously tastes divine *g*) the process of making it is not quite so pleasant, aroma-wise! ;)

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  6. The nastiest thing in my basement is cave crickets. They're big and ugly and leap at you. Apparently they're harmless and eat other bugs, but they are scary as hell.

    debdeege (at) optonline (dot) net

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    1. O_o I had to google cave crickets, and yikes! They look a lot too much like big spiders for my comfort. Big spiders that jump out at you... *shudders*

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    2. At least when I hear a scream after someone goes to the basement I generally know what it is. :)

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  7. I love this series so much :).

    As for cellars, no. I live in an apartment, thank God. Cellars make me nervous. Probably because I love to read mysteries and so many dead bodies end up there. The darkness of it, the smells, thick air, mold, humidity... Or my imagination is a bit crazy ;).

    goge2007@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you! Yep, the monsters of the imagination are the worst. But nice evocation of a cellar atmosphere *looks over shoulder nervously...* ;)

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  8. we have always had cellars but never found anything interesting but an old calendar

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    1. Hah, that's probably the best way! ;)

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  9. My childhood home had a basement and an old coal bin which was even creeper. The worst things were the huge spiders that we'd find on occasion.
    jczlapin(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. *shudders* I am not a fan of spiders!

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    2. Me either. But I'd still have to go in there and get stuff for my parents on occasion. I hated doing that.

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  10. Thanks for the post and great review! I enjoy this series, so am happy about the 3rd book.

    My grandmother had a dirt cellar that was two stories tall (her house was built into the side of a hill). There was tons of stuff done there. Never found anything too creepy (many spiders, but those are not creepy to me). We did find lots of interesting stuff, like a stretcher from WWI.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

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    1. Thank you! :D
      Wow, that sounds exciting - must have been great fun to explore. :)

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  11. No I have never live in house that had cellar or a basement in it. I have never really find anything nasty. I have only live in house has one floor with attic I could hear noise like rats and bats in the attic. I hate rats or mice and snakes. Here is email address lstacy@roadrunner.com

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    1. Ooh, that takes me back. My parents' house had mice, and I used to lie in bed listening to them skittering around in the attic. My brother and I caught one in his bedroom one night - we trapped it in a rolled-up poster and took it downstairs to show Mum and Dad! :)

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  12. The house I currently live in (with my parents) has a half-finished basement. And by half-finished, I mean, one wall is just dirt. When we first moved in, my mom found a pair of dentures in the cellar. Turns out, they belonged to one of our neighbors grandparents! The things that you find....

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. *boggles* What on earth were they doing, leaving their teeth in your cellar? And how on earth did you identify them? *has visions of you taking them round the neighborhood to see who they'd fit, sort of like Cinderella... *

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    2. Ha! No, years later, at a dinner, the neighbor was telling the story of how grandpa so and so lost their false teeth, and there was this moment of oh... I think we found them. Of course by that time they were long gone, both the false teeth and the grandpa. :)

      Delete
  13. New series for me! Sounds great. And I moved into the basement room when I turned 16, I didn't want to share with my sister any longer.

    goaliemom0049(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks! And clearly cellars hold no fears for you. (Unless your sister was just that difficult to live with!) ;)

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  14. We have a house now that has a cellar. It's a little over 100 years old (I believe it was built in 1904 but could be off by some). It has quite a few nasties down there (granted, I refuse to step foot down there on the grounds that, well, just no!). It's a double house, or was at one time, so the basement is divided in two and each side has a toilet just sitting there right in the middle of it. A hooked up, all the plumbing connected, toilet. Now no one has ever touched them here and I think my husband finally took one out and capped it off because he had to for some other plumbing thingy but it's just gross down there! The people who used to own this place also used to can foods and there are jars of things down there along the wall in a "secret" room. It's this little room built in that you would never even see if it weren't for the itty bitty little latch thing that locks with an old skeleton key. It's all rather creepy, but sort of brilliant at the same time. I've peeked down the stairs at it all and maybe one day will get the courage to go down there, but for now I'm ok staying up on the main floor. My husbands from Scotland and I don't believe he's had a house with a cellar before this one so he finds it all fascinating but I think it's a bit creepy!

    I've rambled enough so I'll stop going on and on now but I hope a great day is had by all! Happy Spring (I heard it was coming, we'll just wait and see if that's true...).

    Shelly H
    booski24@hotmail.com

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    1. O_o You are living in a horror film! Whatever you do, DO *NOT* GO INTO THE CELLAR ALONE!
      *bites nails*
      And for the love of God, don't examine the contents of those jars too closely...

      Seriously, that sounds awesome! ;)
      Also very, very macabre. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. My parents'house had an underground cellar and as a child I found the most nasty thing ever down there and I lost my innocence forever: I saw the Christmas presents already wrapped and labelled weeks before the 25th of December :-(

    Thanks for these wonderfully generous giveaway chances!

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    1. Oups! I forgot my email ;-)
      foebz@hotmail.com

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    2. Ouch. I feel for child!you. :(

      And you're welcome!

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  16. I've never lived in a house with a cellar.....I've never even been in a house with a cellar....to be honest I've never even come across references to houses with cellars in Australia! (there must be some....but its not a selling point)

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    1. Maybe it's because there's so much space above ground in Australia? No need to expand downwards! :)

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  17. I grew in a house with basement. That was actually my room (shared with my parents) until my aunt moved out when she got married then I got her room. There was only small window so you always had to have a light on if you wanted to see. Favorite story was the earthquake I slept through as a toddler. We were literally below ground during a quake. :) ncjennifer(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Another natural phenomenon I'm glad we don't get a lot in the UK! I have absolutely no idea if you'd be safer in a basement in an earthquake, or more in danger.
      Probably best to sleep through it, in any case! ;)

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  18. I've always lived in a house with a basement! Nothing too scary....spiders mostly!

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    1. Nothing too scary, she says... *shudders, and hates spiders with a fiery passion* ;)

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  19. Most of the houses I've lived in had basements, even if only a crawl space large enough to stand up in. In my current house, I found all the scraps the builder could not be bothered to throw away - flooring, wood scraps, etc. Not too terrible.

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    1. LOL! When I took off the bath panels in my current house to replace them, I found all sorts of odds & ends chucked in there too. Builders, eh? ;)

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  20. My childhood home had a cellar that you could not access from inside the house. I hated going down there (still do). I never found anything worse than spiders but I was always convinced a serial killer inhabited the space. I love the Plumber's Mate series and can't wait to read Heat Trap. Thanks for the giveaway.
    tkronenw1@gmail.com

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    1. You're welcome, Tammy!
      But, um, full disclosure: Heat Trap will NOT make you feel better about cellars... ;)

      Delete
  21. I am so looking forward to this one!
    I have lived in many houses with many types of cellars. Finding yukky things in cellars is not difficult. I think the worst was a two foot plus snake skin... but not finding the snake it came from. At least there were no spiders or rodents in that house.
    Thank you for the giveaway,

    (mommidono@yahoo.com)

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    1. Yikes! I think I'd have been seeing snakes every way I turned for a while after that!
      And you're welcome! :D

      Delete
  22. I did live in a house with a cellar and I only went in there a couple of times because I'm terrified of spiders and there were always webs everywhere. Also, there was a raccoon living under my porch and probably in the cellar too and it scared the bejesus out of me so I could only imagine having to go down there. It would growl at me and once it drank my wine. (I left the wine outside when I ran away from the raccoon) :)
    jenndonald00@gmail.com

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    1. Drinking your wine? Okay, that is seriously not on! ;D
      Never having met a raccoon, I've always thought they were sort of cute - I'm guessing that's not the case in reality!

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  23. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! I grew up in a house with a cellar. The worst I ever found down there was large spiders and centipedes, both of which completely freak me out. I rent an apartment in a house with a cellar now, though the other tenant uses the cellar so I don't go down there much. It's kind of creepy there so I'd rather stay out! amaquilante(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. *nods* It's a leg thing, isn't it? Spiders and centipedes both have way too many of 'em!
      And thank you! :D

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  24. Looks really good. I haven't read the previous books so I'm adding it all to my wishlist. Thank you for the giveaway chance!

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Nope never lived in a cellar. The house I use to live in had a scary looking basement though.

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    2. Underground spaces definitely seem to have a head start in the scary department! ;)

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  25. I've never lived in a house that had a cellar, just a basement that constantly flooded and had a funky smell. Looking forward to this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Looking on the bright side, I guess the constant flooding would put off anything nasty from lurking down there!
      And you're welcome! :D

      Delete
  26. I have lived in a few houses with cellars/basement. Never found anything really gruesome down in the basement. Some mouse skeletons and bugs. Interestingly enough I now live in a basement. My brother in law has a log cabin and when we lost our house, they built my disabled husband and I a small apartment in their basement.
    Thanks for the giveaway

    nisee1966@gmail.com

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    1. Mouse skeletons, eh? Are you sure you didn't have the Death of Rats living in your basement? ;)

      And you're welcome! :D

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  27. Growing up in Houston, I never even saw a basement that wasn't on TV. But you've given my husband more fodder for his theory that I'm really a misplaced Brit, with that remark about being British and thus, unwilling to utter a complaint. More than one person in my life has commented on the fact that I'm stoic to the point of doing myself harm. Funny enough, I did get to visit Britain one year, and found myself unaccountably familiar with the streets of London. I've never felt so at ease or so much at home anywhere else I've ever been. Love the photo of the tiny house and the accompanying story. Thanks for the post and the giveaway, and best of luck with the new release!

    kshugrue@gmail.com

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    1. Yep, you were definitely a Brit in a past life! You will probably identify with all of these: https://twitter.com/SoVeryBritish

      And thank you! :D

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  28. I've never lived in a house with a proper cellar i.e. one which was entirely enclosed and underground. I have lived in a so-called "garden flat", a great euphemism for our odd half-buried basements which used to be the kitchen and other servants' quarters in the bad old days.

    I'm looking forward to reading Heat Trap -- I love these characters! As I don't read blurbs, I hope this isn't too scary! I tend to associate cellars with scariness.

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    1. Yes, those things are strange, aren't they? Like they couldn't quite decide whether to be underground or not. I suppose they let in a bit of natural light, and one didn't want the help burning too many candles... ;)
      And thank you! No, not too scary, I'm sure. Of course, I would say that, wouldn't I? ;)

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  29. I've lived in houses with crawl spaces and basements but never a cellar. Although some of my neighbor's basements growing up might as well have been cellars.Thankfully the only nasty things I've found were bugs.

    aahickmanathotmaildotcom

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    1. You would never, ever get me to go down in a crawl space. Dark, underground AND enclosed - no thanks! ;D

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  30. No cellar/basement here, and my US house only has 908 square feet. I've never even been in a house with a basement. I live in Texas and I think in my area, basements are extremely rare. I already have the whole backlist, I think, but I'd like to enter anyway, just in case. Thanks for the offer, I absolutely adore Tom and Phil. :-)
    aelnova@aol.com

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    1. Thanks Barbra - and wow, the whole backlist? Even I'm not sure how many books that is! ;D Thank you!

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  31. my grandmother's cellar had old ice boxes with some weird things in them.
    debby236@gmail dot com

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    1. Heh, now my imagination is working in overdrive - body parts? Remains of alien autopsies? ;D

      Delete
  32. No I've never lived in a house with a cellar.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

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    1. Seems like it's safest that way! :)

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  33. No, I have not lived in a house with a cellar.


    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Probably makes for sounder sleeping! :)

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  34. Nope! I live in florida, you can't put a cellar into this sandy land!
    oceanakers @ aol.com

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    1. Seems like a shame - Florida's hot, right? It seems like a cellar would be a nice, cool place to be. Or to be terrified out of one's wits, obviously! ;)

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  35. No cellar. I think I'd avoid buying a house with a cellar. My imagination would not let me sleep! Congrats on your release!

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    1. Heh, yes. Because if you bought a house with a cellar, you'd need to investigate very thoroughly in case the previous owners left any nasty surprises down there!
      And thank you! :D

      Delete
  36. Nope, no cellars here. I live in southern Louisiana so we don't have cellars or basements here due to the water table....they would fill with water like a swimming pool. However, my grandma lives in Nebraska and they have basements/cellars and I have always been created out by it.

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    1. You could get a boat and glide around the cellar like in Phantom of the Opera... ;)

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  37. No, I have never lived in a house with a cellar.
    sgibby1642@yahoo.com

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  38. Having lived all my life in California, basements or cellars are unheard of! I remember as a child I knew there was a structure with doors that lead to underneath the house. One day I got my cousins together to open those doors and look but it was just cement and dirt. It was just the entrance to the crawl space beneath the house!

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    1. Oops! Forgot.

      ree.dee.2014 @ gmail.com

      Thank you for the chance at the giveaway!

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    2. Heh, how disappointing! I'm sure more thoughtful parents would have laid on a fake corpse or two... ;)
      And you're welcome! :D

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  39. Growing up, my room was in the basement. I didn't think anything of it. We certainly never found a body down there. Some asbestos, but no dead people.

    allesonl at gmail dot com

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    1. O_o It's worrying what got used in buildings in the times of ignorance, isn't it? I don't think I'd like to be living in close proximity to either dead bodies *or* asbestos!

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  40. I have mostly lived in houses with cellars - but they've never been old enough to have anything creepy down there, only all that old crap you ought to throw out *sigh*

    And regarding spiders, I once woke in the middle of the night because a BIG one was crawling over my pillow and disturbing my hair! NEVER have I been more grateful to be nearsighted or have my boyfriend sleeping next to me (honey! GETTHATTHINGAWAYFROMMENOW!!!!!)
    Our bedroom was on the ground floor :/

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    1. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

      I will now never, ever sleep again... Thanks for sharing.

      I think.... ;D

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  41. I've only lived in one house that has had this type of space and if memory serves correctly I only ever went down there all the way once before becoming wheelchair bound even though I lived there until I was 18. I had to be between 7 and 9 at the time. It was creepy! It had those stairs with the open space behind them so I always thought I would be grabbed if I were to butt scoot down them and after watching the movie The People Under the Stairs you could forget about me going down there! Lol I still have an overactive imagination and that was almost 30 years ago. Anyway, yes, I did find something down there. It was when we first moved in and the house had been abandoned for years and there was a cat sized rat down there! I'm getting creeped out now just thinking of it.

    melishabonnette @ hotmail dot com

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    1. *shivers* I've always hated that type of stairs. And I haven't even seen that film...I probably shouldn't try it, should I? ;)
      And cat sized rats? You're not the only one getting creeped out here!

      Thanks for sharing. :)

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  42. I never lived in a place with a cellar, but my mom and I stayed with friends back East once and slept in their basement guest room. It was in the middle of a horrendous heat wave, and we saw insects that were much larger and uglier than the ones we'd known in California! Lesson: always stay in a hotel...

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

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    1. Ew. Not my idea of fun, I must admit! :)

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  43. I do have a story about cellars and I started writing it here, but I realised it would take several paragraphs to explain. So summing up, my parents helped a friend with running their guest house and the house was over 400 years old, with a priest hole and haunted. Their first night was disturbed by ticking clocks, a strange howling/banging noises, their second night just by the howling/banging noises as they had stopped all the clocks, the third night they investigated the strange noises which led them to a locked door and the cellar. The next day they asked the house keeper and she said the door was always locked, but she would find the key so they could check it out. Whilst she was looking for the key, they started talking to a guest who said that he was writing a book about ghosts in historical buildings and that it was said that around 1604 a man hid and died in the priest whole and haunted the house since. But when they said that they had heard strange noises coming from the cellar, the man said he had heard nothing the previous night. So with some interest, he went with them when the housekeeper opened the cellar door and down the stone damp steps they went, with mice scuttling away, and they viewed the hidden priests hole, but there was still no explanation for the haunting noise. Until the fourth night....

    Well I better stop there and say congratulations on your next installment to The Plumbers Mate and I eagerly await book 4 :) slholland22 {at} hotmail {dot} com

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    1. You are such a tease! ;D

      Thanks for the *very* intriguing story!

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