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RIVERSIDE LANE | Author Q&A ft Ginger Black | @GoddessFish Presents Cozy Mystery

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Name Before the Masses Tour for RIVERSIDE LANE by Ginger Black, a cozy mystery available n...

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Name Before the Masses Tour for RIVERSIDE LANE by Ginger Black, a cozy mystery available now from Momentum Books.

Ginger Black will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found at the bottom of the post.

Riverside Lane

by Ginger Black


GENRE:   Cozy Mystery



After arranging a house swap with a debonair antiques dealer, a darkly handsome American named Luca Tempesta arrives in a quaint English village. Tempesta, who claims to run a detective agency in Los Angeles, is supposedly on holiday – but the inhabitants of the village are unconvinced.

Yet, as they attempt to solve the mystery of the stranger in their midst, it gradually transpires that there are more than enough secrets to go around in the village itself, harboured by the local MP and his uptight, ambitious wife; the has-been former game show host; the respectable couple with the jailbird son; the hometown journalist, striving for a scoop that will rescue her from debt; and so on. The place is revealed as a labyrinth of deception masquerading as a picture-postcard hamlet; tension begins to mount in between the dinner parties and evenings at the pub, and soon culminates in an unexpected death.

Behind perfect privets and brightly painted front doors, the lives of Riverside Lane’s residents slowly unravel. Tempesta, guarding his secrets with a vengeance, is suddenly threatened with exposure by the elderly religious zealot Ivy Midwinter, whose own past involved keeping professional confidences. When she challenges him in church, she learns that Tempesta will stop at nothing to protect his privacy ...

Set against the exquisite backdrop of a gastronomic village by the Thames, Riverside Lane is a tautly paced page-turner that also gently satirises middle- class English manners: the upstanding denizens of the village watch and whisper behind a mask of English hauteur, whilst their own fragile lives come undone.



How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

GAYNOR PENGELLY: After all the time, energy and commitment we have put into writing our book, we thought coming up with a title would be the easiest part. Not so! Julia and I spent ages brain-storming concepts and clever words that would somehow encapsulate 85,000 words.  In the end it was my mother, Jan Pengelly who came up with the title Riverside Lane, and although it was not the play on words we had been looking for, it was pithy, catchy and totally relevant.  My mother, also came up with our pen-name Ginger Black (I’m a strawberry blonde and Julia has dark hair!

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

JULIA THUM: Riverside Lane is a gentle and uplifting read with lots of colourful characters, whom we missed when we finished the novel.  We have had some lovely reviews and would welcome an opportunity to share a few here?

“The literary equivalent to a glass of Pimms” Good Reads(This sums up the story beautifully) 

“A lovely, witty slice of English village life a la MC Beaton” Sally Hamilton, Mail on Sunday 

“Agatha Christie on Steroids” Christine Shaw, The Baker’s Daughter 

“A vivid, beautifully written page turner.  Perfect holiday reading” Tessa Collinson, British Independent Films 

“The next Marigold Hotel” Wendy Leavesly, Actor 

“Jerome K Jerome meets Miss Reed in Midsommer.  This book deserves to be a massive hit!”  Amazon Review

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

GAYNOR PENGELLY: Try not to let rejections and bad reviews get you down.  You are just one of a tiny number of people who have actually completed a book,  if that’s not a good reason to hold your head up high, then what is?

What can we expect from you in the future? What are you working on now?

JULIA THUM:  We are working on the follow up to Riverside Lane series.  We don’t have a name yet but the plot is planned and the characters are all alive and whispering in our ears.  The story is set in Cookham, a little upstream from Bray.  Cookham is a Thameside village most famous for being the setting for The Wind in the Willows and home to the artist Stanley Spencer and the eponymous gallery showing his work. 

Where did your love of reading/storytelling/writing/etc. come from?

GAYNOR PENGELLY: Growing up in Yorkshire in the 1970’s, there wasn’t an awful lot to do, so I spent time reading, writing stories and losing myself in my imagination. It’s hard to envisage a world these days with no Internet, very few television programmes, and only a public phone box if your telephone broke down! Experts say boredom is good because it forces you to think creatively, and that’s certainly true of me.  I do worry about our children, the time they spend on computers, when they could be talking more and exploring new avenues. They say everyone is good at something, but unless we step out of our comfort zone and try new things, how will we ever know?

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

JULIA THUM:   The has-been game show host Frank Fielding, who leads a double life because he is such a warm but troubled soul..  It must be such a complicated and exhausting thing to do.  Liars rely on a good memory and in today’s world of apps such as, Find my Friend and such like, it must be almost impossible to deceive somebody who really wants to know where you are.  I would be dreadful at it, probably trip at the first hurdle and definitely fall at the second!

What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

GAYNOR PENGELLY: The Internet is a wonderful tool for writers, we can research relevant facts and figures at a flick of a switch.  My browser history would look extremely suspicious: murder, divorce, bankruptcy, piracy, sex, drugs and rockn’roll and that’s only from reading Mailonline!

Please share a little bit about your current release.

JULIA THUM:   Riverside Lane is a cozy mystery based on a house swap and set in the picturesque English village of Bray. Luca Tempesta, a mysterious American, arrives pretending to be on holiday but he has a secret and the villagers are determined to find out what it is. While busy bodying around Luca’s life, the characters reveal their own foibles and it becomes apparent that their visitor is not the only person with something to hide. The novel is a comedy of manners, gently satirizing the English and focussing on personal challenges rather than world events. We hope to evoke a lightness of heart with the beautiful setting along the river Thames and the quirky behaviour of a lot of villagers who pay too much attention to other people’s lives and not enough to their own.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

GAYNOR PENGELLY: If people enjoy Riverside Lane, please spread the word! Word of mouth is one of the best ways to boost sales, we would also really appreciate a good review on Amazon and please contact us and let us know your thoughts at



Ivy bolted the door behind the journalist. Returning to her desk, she locked the drawer and squeezed her eyes shut. “The blind will see, and those who see will become blind,” she intoned, blinking furiously to dispel the strange dots that had started presenting themselves in her vision. They were becoming more frequent; Ivy knew she should visit an ophthalmologist. She hoped it was not un-Christian, but the thought of being unable to read her beloved sheet music upset her more deeply than any of the memories from her past. The Victorian marble clock, which comforted her hourly with its sweet Handel music, proclaimed that there was just enough time to deliver the cheque to the bank and get back to the Village for Evensong.

Standing at the bus stop with the melodious clock chimes still echoing softly in her head, Ivy caught sight of Luca Tempesta walking through the churchyard. Handel, she thought, had been sent to law school by his father, just like this American. The former had abandoned his studies and blessed mankind with the “Hallelujah” chorus; the latter, according to Ivy’s preliminary investigations, had abandoned his to set up a private-detective firm; then, some years later, he had apparently disappeared from God’s Earth without a trace. Except he had not disappeared. He was here in the Village, living in Clive’s house, next door to Frank, smoking Russian cigarettes. And Ivy Midwinter planned to find out why.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ginger Black is a writing partnership between Gaynor Pengelly and Julia Thum.


Julia left Somerset for London at 16. She founded & ran her own consumer P R agency representing a range of international brands including Braun, Molton Brown, Clairol & Kleenex. After selling the business she trained as a psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders & hosted a phone-in show on Radio Luxembourg.

Julia writes bespoke literature & articles for private clients and visits secondary schools & prisons representing two national charities in providing emotional support to pupils & inmates. A keen kayaker and a passionate cook, she lives in Bray-on-Thames with her husband Nicolas and their four children.


Gaynor has worked as a national newspaper correspondent for more than twenty years, interviewing everyone from the great and the good to extraordinary people in ordinary lives. The rich variety of her subject matter and their circumstances has given her a rare insight into human nature and the challenges many people face.

Gaynor's great loves include sitting in pavement cafes watching the world go by, National Trust and English Heritage and hiking across the windswept Yorkshire moors. She lives in Bray-on-Thames with her husband Jonathan and their son, Freddie James.



Ginger Black will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


May 18: Fabulous and Brunette

May 25: Christine Young
June 1: Queen of All She Reads
June 8: Danita Minnis
June 15: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
June 22: Books, Dreams,Life
June 22: Booklove  
June 29: The Avid Reader
June 29: Straight From the Library
July 13: A Fold in the Spine
July 13:

July 20: EskieMama and Dragon Lady Reads
July 27: Long and Short Reviews
August 3: Sharing Links and Wisdom
August 10: Jane Reads 
August 17:

August 24: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
August 31: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
September 7: It's Raining Books


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. thank you Lisa, we hope you win! Best wishes Gaynor

  2. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway and congrats on the tour.

    1. Thanks Robert, we welcome your feedback! best wishes Gaynor

  3. Great interview, I enjoyed reading the tidbits :)

    1. Thank you for your kind message, we really appreciate it! Best wishes Gaynor

  4. Thank you Readeropolis for featuring Riverside Lane by Ginger Black on your fantastic website, we really do appreciate it. Best wishes Gaynor

  5. I enjoyed the interview, thank you.

  6. Thanks for the chance to win. Enjoyed this post!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Jodi - I hope you enjoy the book x

  8. How does your writing partnership work? Do they help write, edit, give you ideas?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi - sorry for the slow reply! I only just saw this. We plan the plot together then divide up the scenes, emailing them to each other until we've got it right. And yes - it is like having an editor just down the road as we fiercely edit and polish each other's work 😃

  9. What's your favorite book? show? movie?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. My favourite book? That is so difficult. I think I would have to say Middlemarch... or Anna Karenina ... oh, I forgot The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. And The Innocence of the Hedgehog. Bel Canto? Sorry Cindy I cannot choose! Happy to be friends on Good Reads so you can see my list. Find me under Julia Thum or we have an author page too. (Excuse deleted comments above - I tried to reply on my iPhone but autocorrect made my responses into nonsense!)

    4. I have too many to choose as well, love Bel Canto and been meaning to read Middlemarch, it's got so many pages it's been intimidating me.

  10. What's your writing process like? How do you come up with your ideas/characters?

  11. Hmm - we have more ideas and characters than we have space to put them in. I carry a little book everywhere and every thought or observation I note down. Sometimes they can stay there for years without being used. And sometimes they're useful in an entirely different context that that which you expected. I have just finished a children's book and, surprisingly perhaps, have used all sorts of snippets I thought would work for a Ginger Black novel but somehow just didn't sit right.

  12. Is there an author you really admire for their writing style, characters, plot, etc?

  13. Oh yes - too many to mention though In the cozy mystery genre we are particularly partial to the wonderful Alexander McCall Smith who I notice has a new book out this week. Can't wait to read that one.

  14. What is your ultimate top career goal when it comes to your writing?

  15. To finish the next book and get it published!


Get carried away with love!