Here I am over on Sharon Booth’s blog, answering all sorts of authorly questions. Thanks for hosting me, Sharon!


On the radio!



Way back in September, while I was away travelling in our motorhome, I recorded a radio interview with Talk Radio Europe, to promote The Girl from Ballymor. They’ve only just broadcast it, and for the next few days you can listen to it on the link below. Choose 15th November, time slot 19:00-20:00. My bit starts at 38 minutes, 40 seconds in.

It was an odd experience – I was in the motorhome somewhere in Portugal, with all the doors and windows closed despite the heat to keep background noise to a minimum, speaking on my mobile phone. A tractor kept driving back and forth through the campsite, but thankfully the interviewer, Hannah, confirmed she couldn’t hear it. I’d locked my husband outside – didn’t even want to LOOK at him while the interview was ongoing!

If I sound nervous it’s because I was, although Hannah put me at my ease and let me waffle on. I’d had some great advice from writer friends on Facebook about smiling as I spoke (comes through in your voice), trying to speak slower than normal, and standing up rather than sitting down. Actually I paced back and forth in the small space in the middle of the van!


A fellow writer made this lovely little promotional video for The Girl from Ballymor for me last week, but I have only just worked out how to embed it in a blog page. It’s truly lovely, haunting and atmospheric, and just right for the book. I love it!


Catching up


I arrived back home three days ago, after six months touring Europe in our motorhome. Yes, it was an amazing trip! We spent three months in Italy, a month in France, a month in Spain, and the rest of the time split between Croatia, Switzerland and Portugal with four days back in the UK in July to attend our son’s graduation.

Both our boys came out to visit us and spent a week each touring with us. We have been to some amazing places. Too much to try to cover here, but if you want to know more about the trip please take a look at our travel blog for all the details.


The Dolomites, one of my favourite parts of our trip

My plan was always to keep going with the writing while we travelled, and I did manage to do this though possibly not as much as I’d hoped. It took more time than I’d anticipated to keep the blog up to date and to plan ahead.

But here’s what I did manage to achieve writing-wise while on the road:

  • Two rounds of edits of my next novel. I had just finished a rough draft before we left which I printed out and took with me. Edited that, sent to my editor, re-edited it in line with her comments then sent on to my new editor (my previous one has moved on to a different imprint with HarperCollins and will be much missed)
  • Planned the novel after that, wrote a synopsis, wrote about 15,000 words.
  • Some promotion for my latest, The Girl from Ballymor, which came out in September.

Not bad for a mobile life! But now we are home I need to get going with all of it again. Promotion, editing and first-drafting – all need to be progressed. Oh, and I am back at the day job from tomorrow. There’s no rest… but no one feels sorry for me after my six-month holiday! Can’t think why!


Publication day!


At long last, publication day for The Girl from Ballymor has finally come around. It’s been a long wait this time, and I am longing to find out what people think of the book. Early reviews have bthe-girl-from-ballymor_highreseen good – the one I posted here last and then this lovely one by Pam Norfolk in the Lancashire Post. I have been quoting parts of that one to my husband continuously since reading it yesterday!

We are currently in our campervan on a cliff top on the Atlantic coast of Portugal. A pretty spectacular location ins which to celebrate publication! We have another 4 weeks travelling before we return home, and at last I will be able to hold a paperback copy of my book.

Meanwhile, on with the next book, or rather the book after next, which is also set in Ireland though in a different time period. I’m enjoying writing this new one very much.

First review!


So delighted to see this lovely first review for The Girl from Ballymor from Karen at GoBuyTheBook! There’s just over a week till publication, and it is always a nervy time wondering whether readers will like it. Karen’s enjoyed my previous books so I am delighted to find that she was not disappointed by this one either. To my mind, it’s my best yet. But different readers like different things – I have friends who prefer the emotion of The Pearl Locket over the twists and turns of The Daughters of Red Hill Hall, and other friends who have said the exact opposite.

The Girl from Ballymor is more on the emotional side, but I hope there are enough twists and turns to keep all readers happy!

7th September is release date. The book will be available in paperback as well as ebook, and should be stocked in Asda supermarkets as well as online.



Unfortunately I need to announce a delay in publication of my new book The Girl from Ballymor. The book is ready – the delay has come from Sales and Marketing. There are only so many ‘slots’ available at retailers for the paperback and they want to give this book the best possible chance.

So publication has been put back to 7th September. I’m obviously disappointed by this but also keen to see the book on sale in as many places as possible.

Sorry to make you all wait a little longer. I hope you find the book is worth the wait!

My two favourite words…


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I just wrote “The End” on a (very rough) draft of my next novel. It is SUCH a satisfying moment! All the more so this time, as I have been racing ahead to finish a draft before going travelling – we leave in just 6 days time.

Having finished it before we go means I can print it off and take the printout with me to edit. I prefer doing the first, major edit on paper, with a red pen. It’s easier to be ruthless when you can put a big red cross over an entire page and scribble something different in the margin or on the reverse.

Of course, once we are away travelling in our motorhome printing will be a bit tricky. I’ll be taking my laptop of course, and we have various arrangements to allow us to be online (see here if you are curious!) but printing would involve taking a memory stick to a print shop and explaining what I need in broken French or even more broken Italian. It’d probably cost a fortune too. So I was keen to get to the point where I could print it at home and take it with me.

In other news – The Pearl Locket is currently on sale in the UK at 99p, but only for a few more days.

And don’t forget my new book The Girl from Ballymor is available for preorder in both ebook and print format!

The Girl from Ballymor


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Well I don’t know about youthe-girl-from-ballymor_highres but I think this cover’s absolutely GORGEOUS!

I love her vibrant hair which is exactly right for my heroine, Kitty. And the background image is perfect for the setting of west Cork, Ireland.

This book feels like it’s been a long time coming. I actually finished the first draft and sent it to my editor way back in August last year. Since then there has been a number of rounds of edits, and I have just this minute finished going through the printed proofs.

This book, I am DELIGHTED to announce, will be available as a paperback as well as ebook. It’s been my dream for ages to hold one of my novels, printed, in my grubby little paws (or maybe I’ll even wash my hands before picking it up). And now that’s finally going to happen! Although, as this book won’t be released until 1st June we’ll actually be out of the country at that time (as you’ll know if you’ve looked at my other blog linked from the last post). I’ll have to wait until I’m back to finally get to hold it.

It is funny the reactions I’ve had when telling people it’ll be available as a paperback. Old friends and in-laws who just don’t ‘do’ Kindles are the most delighted for me, hugging me excitedly as finally they will get to read one of my books in a format they like. Other people, especially those who read a lot of ebooks, smile uncertainly, shrug, and ask me to explain why paperback is such a big deal.

I’m likely to make more money on the ebook sales than the paperback, but still, knowing that format will be available does feel like a really big deal. My publisher is a digital-first publisher, and only selected books go into paperback. The fact they’ve picked one of mine means they have faith in this book and think it’ll sell. That’s a real confidence booster. And it will, of course, be lovely to actually have a copy of the book on my book shelves at home. I’m also delighted that this format will mean the book can reach more readers.

I’ve added a page at the top of this blog for reviews and links relating to this book, as for the other ones. It’s available now for preorder.