5 Yoga Retreats to Die For

By British crime writer Daniel Pembrey

Yoga has brought many positive things into my life. I like to get involved in as many related events as I can, and one sunny morning recently, at an outdoor class in London, I had the pleasure of chatting to local yoga instructor Kelly Brooks.

I’d written a dark short story about a Mexican retreat gone bad, and I was ready for some illumination from Kelly about the good places to visit around the world. So here we go – a list of five overseas retreats, specially curated for Brit Crime. Please note, prices quoted in this post do not include travel to and from the retreat locations:

1. Morocco

Yoga mixes well with most things, but perhaps few more so than surfing – that other expression of active balance and oneness with the universe. So why not indulge both together in sunny, coastal Morocco?

From just £300 (incl. yoga) for a week’s stay: 

 2. French Alps

Yes yes skiing’s all about the après-, fondue and gluehwein. However, yoga and skiing also make a pretty tasty combination, and both can be enjoyed at La Rosière, in the French Alps.

For prices and possibilities visit:

3. Iceland (via Amsterdam!)

Who said yoga’s not for guys? Meet Yoga Boys, a brotherhood of yogis filmed here on location in Holland. But if you’re tempted to try a retreat with them, perhaps consider Iceland?

Prices begin at $3,195:

4. Tuscany
Here’s a treat-and-a-half: Kelly’s own eco-week, running annually in Tuscany. Can you get much more balanced and harmonised than this?

Starting at £400 for the week, the retreat details are found here:

5. Bali

For those really wanting to get away from it all, there’s always Bali, where the irrepressibly positive Emily-Clare Hill leads a retreat involving all manner of unusual, fun things. Healing Waters Temple excursion anyone?

Prices for a week there start at $1,895:

And …

Finally, the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula is where my own novella was set, offering a considerably darker take on the retreat experience than any of the above. But there must always be duality!

Lawyer John Farnsworth returns to the site of his wife’s disappearance the year before: a yoga retreat on the Yucatán Peninsula led by the sinister Yogi Raja. As his former wife’s story becomes clearer, John’s own life starts to unravel, with shocking consequences. Can we ever escape the pull of our pasts? A chilling, enigmatic read.

Consider downloading Vanishing Point to your Kindle in the UK here or the US here.

Safe traveling, reading and summering, everyone … and Namaste!

Three New Releases by British Crime Writers

Tastes Like Fear
Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl's disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she's about to face.

The Time to Kill by Mason Cross
The Time to Kill by Mason Cross

It's been five years since Carter Blake parted ways with top-secret government operation Winterlong. They brokered a deal at the time: he'd keep quiet about what they were doing, and in return he'd be left alone. But news that one of Blake's old allies, a man who agreed the same deal, is dead means only one thing - something has changed and Winterlong is coming for him.

How to Kill Friends and Implicate People by Jay Stringer
How to Kill Friends and Implicate People by Jay Stringer

Fergus Fletcher is a hit man. For five thousand pounds, he’ll kill anyone you want. For seven, he’ll frame someone else. Pretending to kill someone is a first, but Alex Pennan has stolen from the mob and needs to fake his own death. Can Alex stay dead while his widow dances on his grave? Can Joe save himself before his stomach ulcer explodes? Can Fergus and Sam make it to a second date before Joe hires him to kill her? Welcome to Glasgow. It’s a love story.

♠ Make sure you're signed up to our BritCrime Newsletter for a chance to win a complete set of Sarah Hilary's Marnie Rome books.

♠ Visit for free and discounted books by British crime writers.

British Crime Writer Dougie Brimson has a confession to make...

by Dougie Brimson

I have an admission to make: my name is Dougie Brimson and I am a professional author. I say that not as an introduction to some kind of warped writers anonymous group, but as a statement of fact.

I mention this because someone recently asked me what motivates me to write and having thought about it at length, the one thought that inevitably enters my head is ‘what a stupid question!’ Let’s get this clear once and for all; I write for two reasons: 1. I’m a lazy so-and-so who likes sitting down all day and 2. I need to make money to facilitate item 1.

That seems fair enough to me but for some strange reason it doesn’t seem to sit well with the literati. For them, the very idea of a writer admitting to being motivated by income rather than some holier-than-thou desire to ‘create’ is almost akin to admitting a being a Brexiter with a fondness for Margret Thatcher. Mind you, both of those are true of me too.

I have never really understood this thinking. After all, writing isn’t just hard work it takes an awful lot of time and effort so if you’re going to do it, surely the aim must be to get published? But you’ll only get published if there is potential to sell copies and if you sell copies, you make money. That’s why it’s called the publishing business.

Yet for some reason, if you approach the process by looking at the market and giving it what it actually wants as opposed to what some publisher thinks it should have, you are regarded almost as some kind of traitor to the art form. Believe me, I’ve met people who work in publishing who genuinely seem to consider being popular as something to be ashamed of.

Well you can forget that. I might never win the Booker prize or receive invites to the Hay festival but I know my market, I know what it wants and I’m happy to provide it with as much as I can and as often as I can. If the literary world doesn’t get that simple commercial reality then that’s too bad.

The reason why this is so relevant is because as some people are already aware, I’m currently working on my 16th book which is the sequel to my best-seller, Billy’s Log.

However, whilst the original was traditionally published, Billy’s Log 2 will be written solely as an eBook.

There are numerous reasons why I have gone this route ranging from being able to choose the subject matter through to being directly involved with the PR but one of the main ones has to do with money. You see what a lot of people don’t understand is that when a book sells in WH Smiths, it can be anywhere up to 18 months before the author receives his meagre percentage of the cover price. For an eBook however, it’s in the bank within 3 months and more importantly, even though eBooks are significantly cheaper than paperbacks, that royalty is higher. As a professional writer, that’s significant because at the end of the day, whilst I’ve sold plenty of books I’m not JK Rowling or Jeffrey Archer and I don’t get offered 6 figure advances. My income is generated solely by sales and I have to eat.

Don’t get me wrong, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate every single email, tweet, letter or comment I receive about my writing and when it comes to motivation, nothing works as much as praise. But I also appreciate the income that my work generates if for no other reason than it buys me time, and food. So anything I can do to increase that income has to be a good thing.

The irony is that for someone like me who continues to sell books, by stepping away from the traditional publishing route I’m actually taking work away from the very people who have for years been in control of my career. Whilst I get no pleasure from that, at the end of the day, going the eBook route might not win me any friends in publishing but no editor would work for nothing and I’ll be damned if I’m going to either.

Green Street
Dougie Brimson is the best-selling author of 15 books as well as the writer of three feature films including the Hollywood funded, Green Street.

His crime thriller, The Crew, was first realised in 2000 and has been at the top of the Amazon charts for four and a half years since its release in ebook format. The sequel, Top Dog, is also a best-seller and was adapted by Dougie for the big screen in 2014.

Further details on Dougie’s work can be found at
Dougie Brimson's books at Amazon
Follow him on twitter: @dougiebrimson

How to Sell Your Idea for a Novel – Crime Writing Workshop with Angela Clarke

Angela Clarke
Don't miss this workshop at Noirwich, 16th Sept.

What are the key elements tips and tricks to make sure your crime thriller grabs the attention of agents, editors and readers?

Develop your criminally good idea into a professional pitch with help from acclaimed author, and reader for The Literary Consultancy, Angela Clarke. 

Angela’s first novel in the Social Media Murder series, Follow Me, was named Amazon’s Rising Star Debut January 2016, and is long listed for the CWA’s Dagger in the Library 2016. Places restricted to 14 to ensure a tailored experience. Please bring note-taking materials.

Angela will also feature on a panel discussing Brit Noir at WCN Dragon Hall on Saturday 17 Sept.

Book tickets for the workshop
Find out more about the Brit Noir panel

 Follow Me by Angela ClarkeAngela Clarke is an author, playwright, columnist, screenwriter and broadcaster. Her debut crime thriller Follow Me was named Amazon’s Rising Star Debut of the Month January 2016, longlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Dagger in the Library 2016, and shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Page Turner Award 2016. The second instalment in the Social Media Murder Series Watch Me is out November 2016. Her journalist contributions include: The Guardian, Independent Magazine, The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, and Writing magazine. In 2015 Angela was awarded the Young Stationers' Prize for achievement and promise in writing and publishing.
♠ Website:
♠ Twitter: @TheAngelaClarke