Coming Soon!

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I’m delighted to be able to share with you the cover and blurb for my next book, entitled The Secret of the Château! It’s to be published as an ebook on 14th May and as a paperback on 23rd July. There’ll be a blog tour around the time it’s published – details to be announced later. I do love this cover!

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Everything is about to change…

1789. Pierre and Catherine Aubert, the Comte and Comtesse de Verais, have fled the palace of Versailles for their château, deep in the French Alps. But as revolution spreads through the country, even hidden away the Auberts will not be safe forever. Soon they must make a terrible decision in order to protect themselves, and their children, from harm.

Present day. When Lu’s mother dies leaving her heartbroken, the chance to move to a château in the south of France with her husband and best friends seems an opportunity for a new beginning. But Lu can’t resist digging into their new home’s history, and when she stumbles across the unexplained disappearance of Catherine Aubert, the château begins to reveal its secrets – and a mystery unsolved for centuries is uncovered…

Happy New Year!

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I hope all my blog readers had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the best for 2020 – in fact, all the best for the new decade. I bet some of you still feel it’s only about two or three years since the Millennium. Where do the years go?

But then I look back on this last decade and realise how far I’ve come. Ten years ago I was working in IT, writing short stories, with little thought or hope of becoming a novelist. Now I am a full time novelist with eight novels published, two at varying stages of the editing process, contracted for another one after that and with a lovely long list of ideas for future books. Life’s been good, lately. I wrote a short Twitter thread reviewing the decade – you can read it here.

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At this time of year I always like to look back on last year’s resolutions and then make more. If I write them here I can easily find them again, also making them public means I’m more likely to stick to them!

Last year I resolved to:

  • Get The Stationmaster’s Daughter ready for publication Done – published August
  • Write two further novels (with no day job I ought to be able to!) Done – at least the first drafts
  • Work on thinning down the amount of stuff in the house, so that in a year or so we can downsize Done a bit of this but my word, why have we hoarded so much in the attic?
  • Go travelling in our motorhome Gertie for a couple of months Done – 10 weeks in the spring/summer and another 6 in the winter
  • Make the most of my time, and basically enjoy life! Oh definitely done, and ongoing!

 

And as for 2020, here’s my new resolutions:

  • Complete the two novels written last year. Both are slated for publication in 2020.
  • Write first drafts of two more novels.
  • Continue thinning down possessions, with a view to selling this house in 2021
  • Continue enjoying life!

 

In other news, in 2020 my three older dual timeline novels (The Emerald Comb, The Pearl Locket, and The Daughters of Red Hill Hall) will all be published in paperback at last. I’m delighted about this! They are all available for preorder on Amazon and will be published in the spring – Daughters comes out in February.

It shouldn’t be too long before I’m posting here about my next novel, which is also due out in spring, but for the moment I need to keep its title, cover and blurb under wraps. Just one tiny hint – it is set in France. Looking forward to finding out what everyone thinks of this one!

 

 

News and updates

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Well I may not have put much on my blog lately but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy! As regular readers know I gave up the day job in February this year and life’s been very full since then with lots of travel, lots of writing and lots of fun.

Here’s the latest news.

Firstly, The Stationmaster’s Daughter has now been released as a paperback and is available to buy from all online retailers. It’s done very nicely as an ebook and has some lovely reviews – see the book’s own page on this blog. (And at the moment the ebook is selling for just 99p in the UK for a limited period!)

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Back in August, The Forgotten Secret was featured on a Bookbub deal in the US and imagine my excitement when it reached no 13 in the Amazon chart and was a US Today bestseller for that week!

 

 

Writing has been going well – I recently submitted another novel to my editor and am waiting to hear what she thinks of it and see how much work there is still to do on it. It’s scheduled for publication in spring 2020. I will, of course, announce further details as they are finalised, but there are a few clues about it on The WIP page on this blog. This is book 1 of a 3-book contract I signed in August.

Meanwhile while I wait to hear from my editor, I am pushing on fast with the novel after that (book 2 of the contract). This one’s very genealogy-based and is flying onto the page. Some novels seem easier to write than others and so far this one’s a joy.

I want to get it written quickly anyway, as I am very excited about my idea for book 3 of the contract, and have amassed a few research books to get me started on that one. Plus I already have some notes made for another book after that… I never seem to have a problem finding new ideas, long may that continue.

Publication day and other news

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Today is publication day for The Stationmaster’s Daughter, and I can’t wait to find out what people think of this one! It was inspired by my brother’s work volunteering on the Lynton to Barnstaple railway restoration project – he’s been involved with that for 30 years. I adore this cover – that girl is EXACTLY how I imagine my character Annie!

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In other news, The Forgotten Secret is currently on promotion in the US, selling at just 99c. Yesterday after a Bookbub promo, it climbed to number 13 in the overall chart which had me VERY excited, checking its rankings more times than I care to admit. If you’re wondering what Bookbub is, please click the link above and consider following your favourite authors. You’ll get emails when they release new books or when their books are on promotion, so you are the first to hear!

Here’s my book in the charts when it was at its highest point, ahead of a couple of rather well known books:13 in the US

And finally, I posted an important document back to my publisher the other day… one that contained a signature and a commitment to write another three books… So I had better get on and write them!

Blog tour – coming soon!

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I had such a great blog tour for The Forgotten Secret organised by Rachel’s Random Resources that I immediately booked another one for The Stationmaster’s Daughter. The tour starts on 20th August, and here’s the complete list of bloggers involved. I’ll post links to each blog review as they appear, on the book’s page on this blog.

So looking forward to publication of this book – just a week away now!

The Stationmasters Daughter Full Tour Banner

Mr Cavell’s Diamond in Portuguese!

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Today is publication day for the Portuguese translation of my first novel, Mr Cavell’s Diamond, by Brazilian publisher Leabhar Books. I’m really excited to see how this one does – the publisher tells me there’s a real demand for Regency novels in Brazil!

Here’s the cover they made for it. It’s not quite Worthing but I love the mysterious house by the sea.Cover

You can buy the novel here in Portuguese, or here in English!

The Stationmaster’s Daughter

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Delighted to announce that my new book, The Stationmaster’s Daughter, is now available for preorder! The cover and the blurb are below.  Preorder here from Amazon UK.

This one was inspired by my brother who works as a volunteer restoring the Lynton and Barnstaple railway in north Devon.

In other news – my last book, The Forgotten Secret, is currently on sale for just 99p till the end of the month!

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As the last train leaves, will life ever be the same?

Dorset 1935
Stationmaster Ted has never cared much for romance. Occupied with ensuring England’s most beautiful railway runs on time, love has always felt like a comparatively trivial matter. Yet when he meets Annie Galbraith on the 8.42 train to Lynford, he can’t help but instantly fall for her.

But soon the railway is forced to close and a terrible accident occurs within the station grounds, Ted finds his job and any hope of a relationship with Annie hanging in the balance…

Present day
Recovering from heartbreak after a disastrous marriage, Tilly decides to escape from the bustling capital and move to Dorset to stay with her dad, Ken.

When Ken convinces Tilly to help with the restoration of the old railway, she discovers a diary hidden in the old ticket office. Tilly is soon swept up in Ted’s story, and the fateful accident that changed his life forever.

But an encounter with an enigmatic stranger takes Tilly by surprise, and she can’t help but feel a connection with Ted’s story in the past.

 

Update

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The last time I had a long gap between blog entries was I think back in 2017, when I spend 6 months travelling in our motorhome…

…and the reason for THIS long gap is that I am once again on the move! Since giving up the day job back on Valentine’s Day I’ve been away from home far more than I’ve been there. Several short holidays (Ireland, Lake District, ski trip, visit to son in Liverpool) and now a two month trip in France in our beloved Gertie.

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But don’t worry – I am still writing while travelling. I have blogged about it over on the Novel Points of View blog – go there for more photos of me writing in the van. We are touring the south-east corner of France, the Alpes-Maritimes. Not entirely coincidentally, it’s where my current work-in-progress is set. So inspiring to be travelling in the area I’m writing about!

In other news, the paperback edition of The Forgotten Secret is now available to buy from online retailers. And a foreign edition of Mr Cavell’s Diamond is on its way – more on that later!

And the June edition of Writing Magazine features me talking about my first week as a full time author in Lynne Hackles’ column – in the shops now! I haven’t seen it myself as we’ve been away, but my lovely son (need to keep him sweet) bought me a copy and sent me a photo of it.

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The Forgotten Secret paperback

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A box of paperbacks of The Forgotten Secret arrived a couple of days ago! Always so exciting to see my book in paperback format for the first time.

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To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy, and will post anywhere in the world. To be in with a chance of winning, either leave a comment here or on my Facebook author page by 6pm Sunday evening UK time. I’ll draw the winner’s name from a hat.

You might also be interested in my latest post over on Novel Points of View blog, in which I talk about theme, and the fine line I needed to tread when writing The Forgotten Secret, as it explores the idea that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”.

Finally in what is to me fantastic news, my next book The Stationmaster’s Daughter has gone through to copyedits stage. I love knowing the hard work is over for a book, and only tweaks are now needed! This one’s due out in September and of course I’ll be sharing its blurb and cover etc when they’re ready, right here on my blog.

 

Publication Day!

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Back in May 2017 I was on a six-month motorhoming trip around Europe with my husband. We’d reached Sicily and were sitting in a campsite restaurant one evening, when we began talking through ideas for my next novel. I’d just finished a round of edits for The Drowned Village and was ready to start work on something else. I had this vague idea I wanted to do something around the Irish war of independence, and that my contemporary character would uncover a cache of old guns under a barn – that would be the trigger to set her off researching the past.

We sat in that restaurant and began thrashing out ideas. My husband’s Irish so of course he knew a lot more than me about this period in history. I jotted down a load of notes, kept mulling it over for the next week or two and ended up with a plan for the novel that eventually (after several title changes!) became The Forgotten Secret.

This one turned out to be the most difficult to date to write. Partly because I didn’t do enough research before starting to write. Partly because for some reason I wrote most of the contemporary storyline before the historical (usually I do them the other way round, so at least I know what happened in the past, and know what my contemporary character needs to discover). And partly because hitting the right note for the historical story was tricky. I wanted the novel to illustrate the premise that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. But I didn’t want it to be overly political or partisan.

I think I got the balance right. Early reviews are positive. I hope everyone enjoys this novel, and do let me know what you think of it!