Fire and Ice Book Tours: “Guilt” by Joan Ellis Book Tour

By Ruth on February 18, 2015 in blog tour, book, giveaway, guest post, promo


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/16/15 – 3/16/15

Genres: Psychological Thriller, Crime

Tour Promo Price: 99p (UK) 1.49 (US Dollars) 1.99 (Canadian Dollars)

Free with Kindle Unlimited!





‘You died in April 1965, a month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.’


Seven year old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose. The guilt informs the rest of her life. When it threatens to destroy not only her but her relationship with her baby, she must revisit her past to discover the truth. The outcome is as wonderful as it is horrific.


Don’t, Mark,’ I said as you grabbed Mum’s bottle of ‘sweets’, but you weren’t used to doing as you were told. She let you do whatever you wanted. Besides, you were too busy to listen to me. When you couldn’t unscrew the lid, you wrapped a tea-towel round it just like you had seen her do countless times before. I’ll never forget the look of triumph on your face when you finally got the top off.

Mum will be angry,’ I warned.

Don’t tell. Cross your heart and hope to die,’ you said. You were concentrating hard on removing the cotton wool stopper and tipping the pills into your hand. Too many for you to hold, you dropped some and watched as they skittered across the floor.


Ssch! That’s a bad word, Mark.’

Daddy says it,’ you replied, showing me your treasure. The sweets looked lemony, like they might taste of sherbet. Where was the harm? After all, Mum took them all the time and she was fine, sort of. Perhaps she said they’d make you ill because she wanted to keep them all for herself. I reached out to take one, my fingertips just brushing the smooth surface.

Dare you, Susan.’

No,’ I told you, standing back, knowing how cross Mum would be when she found out. ‘I’m not playing.’

I’d like to tell you what happened next but I can’t, Mark. Whatever it was, is hidden, masked by too many memories. It’s the reason I’m talking to you; I need you to help me discover what went on.

As I waited for Dad to come home, the only sound was the ticking of the clock, its black hands unstoppable, moving unstintingly around its hard, miserable face. I will never forget the exact moment he got home. The little hand was on the eight and the big hand just past the nine when I heard his key in the lock. Then I saw his face, which was one enormous gaping mouth when he spotted you on the floor and me curled up next to you, like a dog.

Mark’s asleep and he won’t wake up.’

What happened?’ he yelled from the hole in his face.

I wanted to tell him, I really did but the words were stuck. I pointed to Mum’s ‘sweets’ scattered across the scratched Linoleum like yellow polka dots. Fists clenched into weapons, eyes wild, Dad stood in the doorway, staring down at you. I had seen him angry many times but never like this. He ran over to you, looked like he was going to kneel down but then walked away. He paced the room, his eyes on you the whole time. I started crying, begging him to do something to wake you up.

Shut-up!’ he cried dashing into the hall. I thought he was phoning for help but I didn’t hear him speak to anyone. After what felt like forever, he came back and flung himself down beside you, forcing his fingers into your mouth. When he brought them out they were covered in slime. He wiped the stuff on his trousers, then pinched your tiny nose between his thumb and forefinger and put his mouth over yours, like he was about to give you a kiss. You still didn’t wake up and I watched in horror as he placed his massive hands on you, completely covering your chest, pushing down gently at first but when you didn’t open your eyes, pumping harder and harder, faster and faster.

Don’t!’ I screamed running over to try to pull him off you. ‘You’ll hurt him.’

He swatted me away and put his ear to your chest. Nothing. Silence. More silence than I had ever heard.

Buy Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon UK


About the Author:
Advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.
A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.
As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his creative talents on a wider stage.
Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!
Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to the Isle of Wight where she lives on cream teas with her beloved husband, daughter and two cats.

Connect With The Author:

I became a killer to write a thriller

(Guest post by the author)

I thought like a killer, spoke like a killer, acted like a killer. I never killed anyone but, thanks to a murderer I met on a train, I knew what to do. He told me in gory detail exactly how he had slit a man’s throat. Horrified and terrified, I had little choice but to listen, not daring to move seats in case the same fate befell me.

After 90 minutes, he had got inside my head. Obviously, I didn’t agree with what he’d done but he gave me a rare insight into the workings of a criminal mind.

Like a Method actor, I slipped into his shoes and went home to write my first psychological thriller, The Killing of Mummy’s Boy.

In order to know how the killer would behave, I had to get under his skin. I had to put my own morals to one side and become him. One moment, I would be spouting foul-mouthed dialogue, the next, I would be eyeing up my next victim.
It was like being possessed, evil and exhausting.

But I was hooked, happy to let a complete stranger inhabit my body. When I came to write my next book, it had to be another thriller.

Writing Guilt, I was Susan, a young woman on the edge after having witnessed the death of my younger brother when I was just seven-years-old.

The book took nine months to complete. Nine months of feeling I was to blame. Nine months of wrestling with a guilty conscience. Nine months of uncovering what had really happened.

By the end, I was shattered. Susan, on the other hand, felt a measure of hope, having discovered the truth.

Believe it or not, letting the characters lead the way, is brilliant fun. Only a killer can decide how they will commit the crime.

That way, the blood is always on their hands. Not mine.

Win one of five copies of The Killing of Mummy’s Boy (pdf) or a $12 Amazon gift card! Six winners. Open WW. Enter 2/16/15 – 3/16/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

1 Comment

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Please know that comment moderation is in effect on this site. Comments may not appear immediately. Also, please note that any negative attacks on people, networks, or other comments that are deemed "inappropriate" or "overtly negative" may be removed and/or edited by the administrator.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge