The Storm Girl

The Storm Girl is my latest novel, due for publication as an ebook in May 2022 and as a paperback in July 2022. It’s set in the area where I live. After moving here, I realised it was a hotbed of smuggling back in the 18th century, and I knew I just had to write a novel around that subject! It was a fun book to research and write.

Here’s the blurb:

A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.

1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…
Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of a disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?

Available for preorder now from all the usual online retailers.

A blog tour hosted by the marvellous Rachel Gilbey will run from 11th-20th May to coincide with publication. I’ll link to all reviews below.

Here’s the blog tour schedule. Thanks to all bloggers taking part!


First review is a corker from Cindy, who says: “The Storm Girl is exquisitely crafted and you will be racing through the pages to see what each character and timeline offers. This is a powerful story that sparkles with creative maturity, depth and unexpected outcomes.” – thank you so much!

On publication day, Cindy also posted an interview with me about this book. You can read it here. Thank you so much for hosting me, Cindy!

First review on the blog tour is from Elaine B, and once again she’s written it in verse. I love this review so much! Just a snippet below – check out the link for the full verse.

A fascinating read that will slowly unfold
As threads from the present and past are told.

Ceri’s review said the book was “an enchanting and beautiful novel that balances the dual narrative perfectly” – thank you!

Gina at Insatiable Readers says: “Take a look back from a new beginning, and discover the magic within the storm.” – thank you!

“The present and the past are interwoven beautifully with each aspect of the past revealed at just the right time the story unfolds in the present.” says Stina the bookaholic, though she did admit she doesn’t particularly like stories about smugglers! We all like different books, which is a good thing, as it means there is space for more of us writers. 

At Bookish Jottings the book is described as “the latest atmospheric, immersive and enthralling tale of skullduggery, betrayal and secrets” – thank you!

“A captivating story” says Tiziana – thank you!

“A thrilling tale of smuggling in bygone days” – says All Things Bookie – thank you!

The historical storyline captivated MJ Porter – thank you!

“A lovely read, which held my interest right from the beginning” says Sharon at Stardust Book Reviews. Thank you!

“The plot has a bit of everything: history, romance, murder” says Karen at GoBuyTheBook – thank you!

Jennifer Wilson ended her review with “Another cracking story from Kathleen McGurl!” – thank you!

“The dual timelines are intriguing and as I don’t live far way from where it’s set I found it enlightening and interesting that smuggling was such a huge part of the area where I live.” says Elena at Jera’s Jamboree – thank you, we must be near neighbours!

“What I especially loved about this book was that the author captures the language and tone of each period with great accuracy.” says the reviewer over on Biblioteca – thanks!

Sharon described it as “an expertly woven dual timeline that is so cleverly linked” – thanks so much!

Mei at Reviews in Heels said: “Both time periods have a super strong sense of place and such a different vibe, but I loved seeing how the two different stories tied together. ” – thank you so much!

Fellow author Cathie Dunn began her review with the words: “One thing I have to mention first: The Storm Girl is addictive! I read it on two evenings in a row!” – glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the review!

Jane Hunt said she loved “the clever plotting that links the two time periods, the believable characters and the mystery to be solved” – thank you!

On Instagram Kelly @enjoyingbooksagain wrote a brief review – thank you!

On BroadbeansBooks Melissa said: “The Storm Girl is a beautifully written story” – thank you!