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!

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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!

Publication looms and a lovely review

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Just a week – actually less! – till publication of The Forgotten Secret. It has been gathering some lovely early reviews on Netgalley and Goodreads, so I hope it’s going to do well and be enjoyed by many people. One thing early reviewers have said is that they learned some Irish history from it, and appreciated the brief historical notes at the start of the book. I had to do a lot of research for this one, to get the history right and yet not overwhelm the reader with it. So far it sounds like I found the right balance.

In other news, the Historical Novels Society have featured The Drowned Village in their latest batch of reviews. Really pleased with this one! I keep meaning to join the HNS. One day I will!

 

100th anniversary

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Today, 21st January 2019, is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Dáil – Ireland’s parliament. The Dáil was not recognised by Britain, and thus the Irish war of independence began.

The war ended in 1921 with a signing of a treaty that split six counties of Ulster away from the rest of Ireland – creating what we now know as Northern Ireland (although those in the republic tend to refer to it simply as ‘the north’).

Many in Ireland were not happy about that treaty, and civil war ensued (1922-3) between the pro and anti-treaty forces.

And of course some anti-treaty forces (the IRA) continued fighting over the decades until the Good Friday Agreement finally brought peace in 1998. (Peace that Brexit may endanger, but this isn’t supposed to be a political post so let’s not go there!)

My new book, currently available for preorder, is partly set during the war of 1919-21, telling the story of Ellen, young and in love with an idealistic Republican fighter. In the present day, Clare inherits a farmhouse in county Meath, and discovers long-forgotten secrets that allow her to unearth Ellen and Jimmy’s story…

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