Zenka By Alison Brodie.
Devious, ruthless, and loyal.
Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.
When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.
Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.
Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!
Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.
As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:
How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?
And is Zenka really who she says she is?
This is the first paragraph of the first chapter of Alison Brodie’s new novel Zenka..
‘My dearest Alina,
Olga Savchukis is lying bitch. She say I vill be taken care of. I vill get good job in London. Good job?! She sells me to Romanians. I kick man in balls. I bite. But I cannot get out. Even vindows locked. I know if I am injected I can never escape, NEVER.’
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Q & A with the author…
Hi Alison thank you for being my honoured guest on Postcard Reviews today..
Tell me about yourself.
I am Scottish and live near Biarritz in France. I am a dog lover and an animal rights activist. I destroy hunters’ hide-outs up in the mountains to prevent them shooting migrating birds. I can’t believe they are legally entitled to do it.
Zenka sounds very dark. Tell me what was the inspiration for it?
Initially she was a minor character but she kept coming into my head wanting a bigger part. The novel was originally called Flesh and Blood but, again, she wanted her name on the cover. I also wanted the cover to be sepia tinted with Zenka walking away down a London alley on a foggy night. But no! She wanted orange and black! She wanted her face to be seen. She is strong-willed and bossy and has the typical Slav personality: melancholic one moment, deliriously happy the next.
Which character developed the quickest?
They all came at the same time, fully rounded.
Did the plot turn out as you thought or did it change during the writing process?
It changed during the writing process. And, again, just after I had uploaded the book to Kindle! That’s the great thing about publishing a digital book, you can improve it all the time, even after publication.
It seems to be the ‘norm’ now to have strong feisty females instead of gentle feminine ladies, was Zenka difficult to create?
No, not really. Although the more I worked on the novel, the more I got to know her. But even so, I feel I still don’t know her fully.
Do you ‘people’ watch for ideas for your characters?
I love to people-watch. I think a lot of what I see goes into my subconscious. Jack, the crime boss, is based on my father-in-law, also called Jack. He was a Cockney and as a boy knew someone who knew the Kray Twins. He would tell me all about the seedy underbelly of north London life. Fascinating! Hearing all those stories and knowing the area well really helped me shape ZENKA.
What do you do to relax?
I love swimming, especially in the sea. I love to read and walk my dog, Bayley. Bayley is a rescue dogs. All my dogs have been rescue dogs. My motto is: never buy from a breeder when there are loveable lonely mutts desperate for a home.
Tell me a secret about yourself that no one would know.
I had a friend, Giles, who was training to be a barrister but who was also a brilliant singer and guitar-player. I talked him into us busking outside the Swiss Centre, London. He didn’t want to do it but I nagged. Anyway, we did it every week. I wore fishnet tights and banged a tambourine but every time I sang, Giles would tell me to stop. (I am tone-deaf). One evening we were arrested and the next day had to appear in Bow Street Court. It was only then I discovered he would not be able to practice law – not with a criminal record. I have felt guilty ever since.
What’s next for Alison?
I have a book of short stories I would like to publish, each story is set in the future. Also a paranormal romance. I write in different genres: crime/suspense, romantic comedy, dramatic romance, paranormal, and futuristic. I like to think of my books as a box of chocolates; sometimes you get a sweet milk chocolate with a gooey centre, sometimes you get bitter chocolate with a tangy flavour.
I can never choose what I write. The characters come into my head (I don’t know where from!) with their story and I go with the flow. I just have to herd them in the right direction, which was bloody difficult with Zenka!
Thank you Alison, I have enjoyed talking to you, Good luck with Zenka I know it will be a great success. x