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Wednesday 30 November 2022

PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS - an interview with Val Penny

Today my blog guest is my friend and fellow-author Val Penny, who is here to chat about life, books, and anything else that springs to mind. The new edition of Val's novel Hunter's Revenge is released today.

Welcome back to Broad Thoughts, Val. 

Thank you for inviting me to your blog today, Sue. It is always lovely to have a chance to chat with you.


For the benefit of those who are new to your books, please can you tell us a little about yourself?


I have been writing and telling stories all my life. When I was a child, I used to make up stories for my little sister after our Mum put the light out and told us to go to sleep. 

Much later in life, I took early retirement when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and there were times when I suffered severe side effects from my treatment. I could not go out, spend time with friends or indulge in many of my favourite hobbies, but watching daytime television got very old very fast, so I turned to reading, but even that lost its lustre after a while. My husband jokingly suggested that I write a book – and here we are!

Your books have a wonderfully diverse cast of characters.  What gave you the inspiration for them?


Some of my characters are based on people I have come across in real life, but most of them are figments of my rather over-active imagination. I created each of them considering what I wanted them to portray and the gaps in stories that I wanted them to fill. Not every character appears in each book; however, many of them are recurring characters.


Do you have a favourite character?


Many of my readers are in love with Hunter or his DC Tim Myerscough, but my favourite character is Jamie Thomson. He is the most unsuccessful villain but has a good heart. Even when he attempts a housebreaking or a theft, it is with providing for his family in mind.


How important is setting in your novels?


The DI Hunter Wilson Thrillers are set in Edinburgh. This was a fundamental decision because so many people have visited it and it is a beautiful place. It is also small by city standards which makes it easy for my characters to navigate and plausible that they will know each other. Edinburgh is almost as important a character as Hunter Wilson.


To what extent are your plots influenced by the setting?


Edinburgh is a vibrant multicultural city so my plots could as easily be set in any similar city in the world, but I know Edinburgh well, and know how its people think and react. To that extent the setting does influence the stories.


What are you working on at the moment?


My new publishers, SpellBound Books, are publishing new editions of my back catalogue, which is an exciting diversion for me. This gives me lots of time to work on the next book in the DI Hunter Wilson Thrillers, Hunter’s Force, which will be published early in 2023, and the next book in the series of Jane Renwick Thrillers, A Fighting Chance.



Finally:  Is there a question that you wish I’d asked…?

You write a blog and keep a social media presence, as well as writing books. From an author’s perspective, how does this benefit both you and your readers?


… and how would you answer it?


I like to keep in touch with my readers and to hear from them through my website  (, my blog, and on social media. It is always lovely to keep in touch.


Val Penny has a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Edinburgh and her MSc from Napier University.  She has had many jobs, including hairdresser, waitress, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer, but has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store.  Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories, non-fiction and novels.

Val is an American author living in SW Scotland.  She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud, and lives with her husband and their cat.


Hunter by name – Hunter by nature.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is a loyal friend and a fair leader.  He is called to the scene of a murder in Edinburgh where the corpse has been fatally shot.  He is dismayed to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold.  Hunter must investigate Reinhold's murky past in Germany to identify George's killer.

At the same time, Hunter is tasked with looking into a previously-undetected criminal gang supplying drugs from Peru.  There seems to be no connection between the murder and the drug supply, until Hunter unexpectedly secures help from inmates of the local jail.

Hunter's investigations are hampered by distracted members of his team and unobservant witnesses.

Reinbold was not the quiet old man Hunter believed him to be, and his killer bore their grudge for a lifetime.

To order your copy of Hunter's Revenge, click here.


Friday 25 November 2022


In the run-up to Christmas, we’re often far too busy to sit down and read a full-length novel (tempting though it might be). But a collection of festive short stories, one or two of which can be read as time permits, is ideal for a few minutes of self-indulgent relaxation amidst the chaos.

Each of the eighteen stories in this anthology has Christmas or New Year at its heart, but all are touchingly different in content - and all are uplifting and thought-provoking at the same time. The anthology can be enjoyed by anyone, of any age, who needs a feel-good Christmas treat. Highly recommended.


As warming as a mince pie and a glass of sherry, these eighteen festive-themed shorts are just waiting to be unwrapped. 

- A lonely dog shelter volunteer battles to find new homes for her long-time canine residents while realising her own future is just as uncertain. As the new year approaches, can a fellow animal lover give her the fresh start she so wants for her dogs?

- A widowed grandmother prepares to reunite with her forbidden first love, only to discover the grand country pile from where he’s sent her a Christmas card isn’t quite what it seems.

- A single woman finally meets a man to couple up with over the festive season, but will the eccentric mistress of her late father destroy her plans?

- An ambitious 20-something attends a lavish Christmas party with only one aim – to bag a rich husband. But her plans are derailed when a troubling connection with the aristocrat she’s set her sights on is revealed.

Geraldine Ryan is a prolific short-story writer whose work has appeared in Woman’s Weekly and Take a Break’s Fiction Feast magazines. This yuletide collection follows hot on the heels of her first published anthology Riding Pillion with George Clooney. While Christmas comes but once a year, these moving and humorous tales will stay with you for a lifetime.

Purchase Links: 

UK -

US -


Geraldine Ryan is a proud Northerner who has spent most of her life in Cambridge – the one with the punts. She holds a degree in Scandinavian Studies, but these days only puts it to use when identifying which language is being spoken among the characters of whatever Scandi drama is currently showing on TV. For many years, she worked as a teacher of English and of English as a second or foreign language, in combination with rearing her four children, all of whom are now grown-up, responsible citizens. Her first published story appeared in My Weekly in 1993. Since then, her stories have appeared in Take a Break, Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly, as well as in women’s magazines abroad. She has also written two young adult novels – Model Behaviour (published by Scholastic) and The Lies and Loves of Finn (Channel 4 Books.) She plans for Riding Pillion with George Clooney to be the first of several short story anthologies. 

Keep up to date with Geraldine’s news, be the first to hear about her new releases and read exclusive content by signing up to her monthly newsletter Turning the Page. By adding your details, you’ll also receive a free short story. Use this link to subscribe:   

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Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour.  Do check out the other posts - details are on the banner above.