Ooh, I really must get my act together and update my blog more regularly! It's just not good enough! I don't know what I've been doing all this time.
I won't bore you with too much about me, as, if you fancied a little look, you can pop over to my website HERE where I talk endlessly about my writerly goings on.
I will mention, quickly, that my second psychological thriller TELL THE TRUTH is now out there, and can be downloaded for just 99p HERE. And HER LAST LIE is still raising lots of money for Cancer Research UK!
But now I thought I'd share eight books I've loved in 2018 - there have been lots more, so it was hard picking just a handful, but I've given it a go. And as a fan of psychological thrillers, you'll see a bit of a theme going on.
This is me, dipping my toe in as a book blogger, and at the moment I don't claim to be a great reviewer, so I've only posted covers and titles, and saying I loved them. I'm hoping to get a bit braver in the new year, and put on a few book reviews - so watch this space!
If you decide to give any of the books a whirl, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
I hope you all have a brilliant Christmas & a very happy and healthy 2019. X
He will find you by Diane Jeffrey.
Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan
The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan
The Party by Lisa Hall
Watching You by Lisa Jewell
The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke
The Date by Louise Jensen
Friday, 26 October 2018
How important are settings in novels? Well of course, very important. Albeit a fictional place, or a real place, the reader needs to believe they have visited the area you've described.
I found this really useful blog post about how to get your settings just right: HERE
And this helpful post about choosing between fictional and non-fictional settings: HERE
In HER LAST LIE all my settings are real places (albeit with a tiny bit of poetic licence) When Isla travels to Sweden, and her life unravels, I hope the reader believes they were there with her.
Isla meets long-term boyfriend Jack outside Strand/Aldwych disused underground, and I was lucky enough to take a tour of the inside. It was a fascinating place to visit, and made me realise that my settings in HER LAST LIE are either places I’ve visited and loved, or places that I’ve heard of, that fascinate me. I even included my home town, and found losing myself in words about a place I was so familiar with, very enjoyable. More about HER LAST LIE'S settings can be found HERE
I think the most important thing is to imagine you are actually in the places you are writing about. Maybe print off photos of the place and pin them up around you, or close your eyes and visualise yourself there. If you've never been, read up as much as you can about the area, watch videos on You Tube, and look at images on the internet.
My second novel TELL THE TRUTH is out in December 2018, and one of the settings is County Sligo in Ireland. I chose there for two reasons. One is because my Grandfather was Irish, and was born in Cliffony, County Sligo, and two, because when I visited the area, it fascinated me so much. However, the area within County Sligo I've written about is fictional.
The second area I’ve focused on in TELL THE TRUTH is Finchley, London, because each time I travel into London, I see the Emirates Stadium, and Finchley opening up behind it, and it intrigued me somehow. I’ve also included a rather spooky spa, although my novel is a psychological thriller, rather than a ghostly tale! J
If you would like to download HER LAST LIE, you can do so HERE. You may already know I’m donating all Ebook royalties to Cancer Research UK, and that I've already raised almost £7000.
TELL THE TRUTH is out December 2018, and can be pre-ordered HERE at just 99p. With a paperback following in February 2019.
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
It’s been almost ten months since I lost my younger sister to Cancer. To say it’s been a difficult time would be an understatement.
Some days it feels so fresh, and it’s true what they say, that a sudden wave of grief hits when you think you are beginning to cope. It’s that moment when you think of something you would like to tell her, or when you think of her cheeky laugh. When you imagine her sitting on the floor, as she always liked to do – never one for the sofa. Of that moment when you imagine her answering the front door with a joke and a hug. So, in my experience, you never get over losing someone you love – you just adjust your life around the pain, and slowly begin to let the memories in, and smile at them, rather than cry. It is still early days for me – I’m sure it will get easier with time.
I still cling to the white feathers, and believe they are messages from her, telling me she’s OK – perhaps I believe because I need to. There were two on the rose we planted in her memory, the other day. And a few weeks ago, there was one on a bench we put in her garden in her memory. They keep me going, even if perhaps I sound a little crazy.
One thing that helps me get through is my writing. At first I struggled – and wrote very little, but now it’s my go-to, along with chocolate, and really helps. I think it’s the way it takes your brain somewhere else – away from the grief.
‘Her Last Lie’ has so far raised £2500 for Cancer Research UK, and I want to thank everyone so much who has bought a copy of the book, reviewed it, or helped me in any other way with my fundraising. I hope what I’m doing may help others in the future, and maybe one day nobody with have to go through what my sister went through. Thank you! x
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
It’s been an amazing 3 months, since my debut novel ‘Her Last Lie’ was first published on January 9th 2018.
There have been some exciting ups as I watched my novel become a best seller in its category, and saw it climb its way into the top 100 Kindle chart in the US and Australia. I was amazed too to see it reach #116 in the UK Kindle chart. I never thought I would have a book published, let alone reach such amazing chart positions. At one point I was nestled between Jo Nesbo and Tess Gerritsen - how cool is that?
I was thrilled and truly grateful to Karen Byrom for mentioning 'Her Last Lie' in My Weekly. I was chuffed too to appear in the local paper, and to chat on BBC Three Counties Radio.
And I’ve also met some lovely people on Twitter. If I’m honest (and this is between you and me) I've never been very good at the whole social media malarkey - it's completely out of my comfort zone of hot water bottles and fluffy slippers, so I never expected to enjoy my time on there as much as I do. In fact, I've even set up a Facebook page, an Instagram page and a website. GO ME! Details below if you want to have a wee look.
Another upside of being published was receiving my very first month’s royalties for my ebooks. I’ve whizzed the money straight over to my Just Giving Page HERE which I set up when my sister became ill, and I will continue to put my royalties there each month. It will be such a thrill to see the amount grow. Thanks SO much to everyone who has downloaded a copy - you are all brilliant. And if you enjoyed it, and would like to pop on a review that would be absolutely FANTASTIC! You can do so HERE. In fact, you can have my last Rolo if you do. 😃If you didn’t enjoy it, let's pretend I never said anything.
Actually, that brings me onto the hardest thing I’ve found with being published – it’s the negative reviews. I hadn’t realised how much they would hurt! I tend to keep reading the wonderful 4s and 5s to remind myself I must keep writing, as it’s so easy to let the 1s and 2s get under my skin. But I am getting better at just accepting them as the months go on - and try to avoid reading them if I can. Sadly, they go with the territory – not many writers get away with none at all – and everyone has a right to an opinion – and sometimes (although not always!) they can say something that might help my writing in the future.
Anyway, I'm clearly not letting them get me down too much, as I’ve just typed The End on an early draft of novel 2 – so it won’t be long before I whiz it off to my editor with everything crossed that she likes it.
And that's about it for the first 3 months! Thank you everyone for all your support. 😘