Today I’m delighted to feature crime author Caz Finlay. Caz is currently writing the sixth instalment in her Liverpool based, gritty, gangland Bad Blood series. She is also the co-founder of Perfect Crime crime writing festival.
Caz Finlay lives in Liverpool with her husband, two children, and a grumpy dog named Bert. She has two BA Hons in Criminal Justice and Community Justice. A Probation Officer for sixteen years, Caz has always been fascinated by the psychology of human behaviour and the reasons people do the things they do. However, it was the loss of her son in 2016 which prompted her to rediscover her love of writing and write her first novel, The Boss.
Over to Caz:
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Oh, this is such a hard question for me because I love music, and there are so many songs that mean a lot to me – songs that when I hear them give me goosebumps. But I’ll try to narrow it down to 5!
Always by Bon Jovi – I loved Bon Jovi as a teenager and this song is one of my favourites. As soon as I hear the opening music, it takes me back to being 15.
Anthem by N-Joi – as the title suggests, this song is an anthem – an anthem of my late teens. It’s not my favourite song from that time of my life, but it’s another one that takes me right back there. Those first few notes make the hairs on my arms stand on end.
Believe by Cher – this song was out when I met my husband and we danced to it on one of our first dates. We always joke that it’s our song – despite it being about a break up.
You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins. My nan loved this song, and I do too. I love the words. We played it at her funeral. But then it became even more poignant when my middle son died and we played it at his funeral too. There is a line in it, ‘For one so small, you seem so strong,’ that just gets me every single time. I don’t listen to it often now, as it makes me ugly cry (snot and everything). But I still love it and it will always have a very special place in my heart.
Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles – I love so many of The Beatles’ songs, but this one makes me think of my three beautiful boys. I remember hearing it shortly after I found out I was pregnant. I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, after my son had died, and I remember feeling very clearly that he would always be with me and was looking out for us all.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
My dog – do I need to say more? He’s one of the family – fluffy, grumpy and completely adorable.
My laptop. It’s never far from me. I write almost every day and I’m lucky that I get to do something that I love so much.
My phone. Have you ever left your house without your phone? When I do, it feels like I’m missing a limb! Especially during lockdown, it is a literal lifeline to the outside world. I also read on it, take photos/ videos, do all my social media. I don’t know what I’d do without it.
My car – my parents don’t drive so we never had a car when I was growing up, and I always envied my friends whose parents did. Just being able to get into it and drive anywhere I want whenever I want makes me feel so happy and grateful. Linking back to question 1, I love listening to music really loudly in it and singing at the top of my lungs. I have a 40 minute commute to my day job, and with a such a hectic life and schedule, I really value that time on my own. It’s a great stress reliever.
My egg swing – I bought a double egg swing last summer and I love it. It’s so comfortable and so relaxing sitting in the sunshine in the garden (until the kids start screaming and kicking footballs at my face, anyway). It’s also a great place to read.
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
It’s never as bad as you think it is.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, none of this will matter in five years.
You will achieve everything you set your mind to, so believe in yourself a little more.
Your mouth can get you into trouble but your ears never will.
Don’t listen to people who tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything you want to.
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
I also write steamy dark romance novels under the pen name of Sadie Kincaid.
I absolutely love the smell of coffee, but I can’t stand the taste. I make myself try it every now and again to see if my tastes have changed, but they never do.
I love writing poetry, although I don’t get much chance to any more.
The Sound of Music was one of my favourite films growing up, and for a while, I wanted to be a nun!
I’m a huge darts fan.
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
Write a Top 10 bestseller
Make enough money from writing to leave my day job and write full time.
Take my kids to Florida
Travel much more
Write all of the books that are in my head.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Caz. Your music choices were clearly very personal and poignant. I’d somehow missed that Phil Collins track when it was out – it’s a beautiful piece. I’m another in car karaoke singer, you can’t beat it! I’m liking the sound of an egg swing – I might have to investigate one of those. I love the wisdom of ‘your mouth can get you into trouble but your ears never will’ – something I could have heeded in the past. I also love the smell of coffee, but am not a real coffee drinker, I can only drink it very milky – an abomination to most coffee drinkers. I blame it on growing up with Camp Coffee. The Sound of Music always takes me back to my childhood, it was my mum’s favourite film, listening to ‘Edelweiss’ always makes me tear up. Here’s hoping you get to achieve your dreams and get all those books in your head down on paper! Looking forward to saying hello to you in person at Perfect Crime.
She’s running the family.
But now he’s back – only one can boss the streets of Liverpool.
HE’S OUT FOR BLOOD
After a stint inside, notorious gangster Nathan Conlon is back. He says he’s a changed man, but old habits die hard on Liverpool’s gritty streets. He’ll stop at nothing to reclaim his formidable criminal empire – and his long-suffering ex-wife, Grace.
SHE’S OUT FOR REVENGE
Grace once kissed the ground that Nathan walked on, but not anymore. She’s head of the firm now, commanding respect from the best of them, and she’ll do anything to protect her family – even if it means beating Nathan at the dirtiest of games . . .
WHO WILL COME OUT ON TOP?
Back in the Game
Grace Sumner turned her back on the Liverpool gangland scene, determined to raise her baby daughter Belle away from a life of crime and killings. She might have been the boss once, but now Grace just wants to live a normal life…
Until she learns that her eldest son Jake has got himself mixed up in some bad business. In over his head and out of control, Jake needs pulling back in line, before he gets himself killed. But with Grace gone, no one can tell Jake what to do. Which means only one thing for Grace…
The boss is back!
Head of the Firm
A family at war…
Happily married and with two small children, Grace has stepped away from the murky underworld that has shaped so much of her life. Now Grace is leaving the hard work to the boys – her son Jake Conlon and the notorious Carter twins, Paul and Connor.
But Grace can sense danger better than anyone and trouble is heading their way….
She’ll stop at nothing to protect those she loves, even if it means an all-out gang war on the streets of Liverpool. But is this one fight Grace can’t win?
Keep your friends close…
When Grace Carter’s boys are arrested for murder, she’s forced to call on her most trusted and loyal connections to keep the boys out of prison. She’ll even ask for help from those she would usually avoid like the plague…
But your enemies closer!
DI Leigh Moss has the power to save Grace’s boys, but she’s determined to bring Grace and the Carter clan down once and for all. Leigh might owe Grace her life, but her loyalty now lies with her job and protecting the streets of Liverpool. Until Leigh needs Grace’s help, too.
There is a battle coming to Liverpool and only the most loyal will survive.
Traitor in the House
Ebook edition published 31st July but available to pre-order now.
Writing as Sadie Kincaid
I was never supposed to fall in love with Gabriel Sullivan. He has always been off limits in more ways than one.
Yet, for all the reasons we should be apart, there’s one that keeps drawing me back to him.
And every stolen glance, every smile, every brush of his fingertips, only make me want him more.
I moved back home to start again, and escape the life that I could no longer bear to live. But my old life, and the man who made it hell, don’t want to let me go.
I should stay away from Samantha Donovan. She’s already been hurt too much, and she deserves a better man than me. The problem is, I’ve always been a man who takes what he wants, and I want her.
I’ve made it to the top of my game by being ruthless and calculated. A man with nothing to lose can act without consequence.
But how do I survive in the dark world I live in, when I might just get to have everything I’ve ever wanted?
Some mistakes can’t be forgiven.
Sometimes, angels fall from grace.
I thought I had it all. Everything I’d ever wanted was within my reach. How can one mistake change everything?
I’m a survivor. I’ve walked through hell and and come out of the other side with a core made of fire. But, Gabriel Sullivan has broken me. How can we ever get past what he’s done?
He used to be my Angel Gabriel, and now he’s fallen far from the pedestal I’ve always put him on.
I had it all. I held everything I’d ever wanted in the palm of my hands. But, one stupid mistake just might cost me it all.
I’m supposed to be her protector, and now I’ve hurt her more than I can bear.
I know she might never forgive me. But, Samantha Donovan belongs to me, and I will do everything in my power to keep her by my side. No matter what the cost.
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