Monday 22 December 2014

Looking ahead to 2015...

Since I'm more for looking forward than glancing back I thought that as 2014 draws to a close I'd write about all the exciting things that are glittering on the horizon for 2015! 

Firstly, on 10th January the 3rd book in my Avalon series, Third to Die will be released! 

Justice must prevail… Whatever the cost.

Aiden Connelly has settled in to life in Avalon and is developing a reputation as an attorney who will fight for the truth … no matter what enemies he makes along the way.

But when he is asked to look into the tragic death of an old friend ten years before, Aiden is drawn back to his hometown of Greensburg, the town he eagerly fled as a teenager. As the ghosts from Aiden’s past resurface, and new dilemmas rise up to challenge him in Avalon, Aiden begins to wonder if everything he holds true has been built on lies...

The time surrounding a book release is always tense and filled with nervous energy. I'm always excited/terrified to see what people make of my new book and my Avalon series is really special to me as First to Fall was the first book I ever wrote. 

At the start of the New Year I'm going to be re-immersing myself in my fictional world of Avalon as I'll be writing the fourth book in the series, Fourth to Run

But I'll be pulling myself away from writing for the next exciting date for my diary; Tuesday 20th January when the cover for my Young Adult adventure, Dare to Dream, will be revealed. I'm arguably more than a little biased but the cover is truly stunning and I hope that everyone will love it as much as I do! 

Dare to Dream is another story I'm eager to share with people as it is based around my home county of Shropshire and nearby Hawkstone Park as well as some other famous British landmarks like Stonehenge. I'd tell you more but really you need to read the book to gain a more in depth understanding of the relevance of these locations ; ) 

Finally, at the end of January I'm going to London to discuss some projects which are currently shrouded in secrecy. 

So you can see why I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of the New Year! I've got lots of exciting things coming up! However, Christmas gives me a much needed opportunity to wind down and enjoy some quality time with family and friends. I hope you all get to do the same. 

I'll be signing off until the New Year to focus finishing the edits on Dare to Dream and start the drafting process for Fourth to Run. Hope you've been good enough to Santa to give you what you've been hoping for! 

Wishing you all a fantastic 2015!


Thursday 18 December 2014

A Hauntingly Beautiful Cover

So I've just seen the draft of the cover for my upcoming YA release, Dare to Dream and it is truly stunning. The cover is fierce, beautiful and haunting and perfectly compliments the story.

Seeing the cover has got me crazy excited as I've been working on Dare to Dream for a long time and it won't be long now until I get to share Maggie's epic story with everyone.

The cover will be revealed soon. In the meantime if you want to get a feeling for the book you should check out the song Flares from The Script's new album as in my opinion, it is the perfect song for the story and once you've read it you'll hopefully know why!

Covers are so important in today's increasingly competitive book market. I personally am a bit of a magpie and admit to being drawn to a sumptuous, intriguing cover. If the blurb is strong I'm then hooked! I will also buy books based on the strength of recommendations from book blogging friends but a great cover definitely helps.

Dare to Dream is being released through Reuts and like my other publishers, Carina, they have a history of creating wonderful book covers. And if you love the cover as much as I do you'll be able to hold it and swoon over it first hand as excitingly Dare to Dream will be available as both an e-book and a paperback.

2015 is already looking set to be one crazily busy, awesome year! But first I want to relax and enjoy Christmas and thanks to my recent viewing of The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies I'm now desperate to break out my LOTR box set and sit through all the magic of the first movies again as I utterly adore them!

I hope that whatever you're doing over the festive period you have a truly magical time!

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday 2 December 2014

My Avalon series continues...

Currently the second book in my Avalon series, Second to Cry, is on offer for £0.99 and excitingly the next installment in the series, Third to Die, will soon be released as the book is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will be out on 10th January next year!

So if you're getting a shiny new Kindle for Christmas you'll be able to load it up with the whole series so far!

And ahead of Third to Die's release I can share it's brand new cover below;

Some secrets are better left buried as once learned they can never be unknown

I love the bright pop of colour on the cover and of course Aiden, standing as always alone contemplating his next move...

I am beyond excited to share this book with everyone as I personally feel that it charts Aiden's greatest adventure in Avalon so far! So pre-order and have something to look forward to in the new year when Christmas lights have faded and everything seems so gloomy. I promise that the book will be the perfect post Christmas pick me-up!

So what does Third to Die have in store for Aiden? The title contains a clue...


Monday 1 December 2014

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So today is 1st December! Woo! My advent calendar has been opened and I'm already crossing my fingers in the hope of a white Christmas!

This is by far my favorite time of the year. I love seeing everywhere lit up with sparkling festive lights. As the days grow colder there is something lovely about being able to come home and sit by the fire in front of a gorgeously decorated tree!

Speaking of which, I will be putting my tree up this week and I can't wait. I just hope Rollo can resist the urge to chew all the decorations on the lower branches like he did last year! : /

I'll be dusting off my Michael Buble Christmas album and playing it non-stop on a loop until the big day itself! I've also got Christmas cakes that are suitably stewed in brandy that need icing. I find icing to be the trickiest part but I've roped in assistance this year in the form of my Mum, though that is kind of the blind leading the blind but hey ho!

Hope everyone is as excited for the festive season as I am!


Friday 21 November 2014


So today marks the end of my #NaNoWriMo campaign and I'm delighted to say that I won! I successfully wrote a whole novel (50,000 words) in 21 days. And I am beat!

As I shove my mouth full of my jelly baby reward and await the inevitable sugar crash I'm able to momentarily bask in completing my next novel. Normally it takes me 3 months to write a book so it's good to know that if I push myself that extra bit I can trim that time down to three weeks. But it is tough. I've been writing consecutively every day breaking targets of 4 and 5K. It has been extremely draining at times but I had my goal in mind, I knew where my story needed to go I just had to get it there.

I am now looking forward to a blissful weekend of doing not very much. Whilst #NaNovWriMo was fun I think  in future I'll stick to my 3 month turnaround times as there is far less pressure that way.

When people learn I'm a writer they often say how much they'd like to write a book of their own. My advice to those people is take advantage of #NaNovWriMo. Everyone involved in #NaNovWriMo is crazy supportive and it's that kind of encouragement which will really help you out on the days when you are struggling to write. And I can certify that it is more than humanly possible to write 50K in one month. I completed my own story whilst working full time as a freelance writer. Balance is important, so is planning. I personally find planning to be absolutely essential!

Good luck to everyone hitting the home straight with their own WIPs! I hope you all manage to cross through that finish line! I'm off to send my newly completed novel to my agent, fingers crossed she likes it!

I'm so relieved to just be finished that I'm even considering sharing my big box of jelly babies! Any takers?


Monday 10 November 2014

Hitting the Half Way Point

So we are ten days in to November and I've passed the 50% mark on my WIP. I'm currently at 28,031 words so am looking set to complete the novel before #NaNoWriMo concludes.

I've heard from other participants that this is often the point where they hit a wall. I can honestly say that mentally I'm pretty drained. I've been writing solidly every day but not just on my WIP but also my freelance work. I'd normally give myself a few day's off, at least over the weekend, but in order to complete the 50K within the month I really need to work everyday.

On a positive note, as tired as I may be I'm in no danger of hitting a wall. I've actually got the rest of my entire story planned out in finite detail so just need to press on and finish it now. But I am...tired. When you write you pour yourself out in to your words. You sit at your desk and just bleed and of course that level of engagement takes its toll. To those who know me I'm a bit of a zombie at the moment. When I do emerge from my Disney themed study, blinking and bleary eyed I tend to just want food (anything sugary) and some quality time with my favorite TV shows.

I am losing track of the days. I'm working late in to the night and falling asleep in the afternoons. Yet it will all be worth because my story will be complete. And then what will December have in store? Edits mainly for my upcoming releases. It really does never stop but I'm living my dream and wouldn't have it any other way!

How is everyone else's #NaNoWriMo shaping up? Hope you are all hanging in there! I tell myself to just keep writing, just keep writing, sung to the tune of Dory's 'just keep swimming' in Finding Nemo!


Tuesday 28 October 2014


I'd heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) before but have never actually participated. Usually my freelance commitments mean that cracking a whole novel out in one month isn't all that achievable.

The aim of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words of your WIP in just one month. Personally, I work quite well under pressure because I enjoy making myself suffer. Since I work from home it is important to always motivate myself and I guess I see NaNoWriMo as I way of doing that. So this year I'm tossing my hat in the ring (is that even the right saying??) and I'm giving it a go.

Everything is all planned out including my story and daily word counts to hit. I'm going to be working on a YA sci-fi adventure which I've had lurking around in the nether regions of my mind for almost three years now so its high time the story, The Other You, gets to see the light of day and have some life breathed in to it.

Will I make the 50,000 target by the end of November? It depends on a lot of things really, most of all myself. I'm going to be writing a story I'm crazy excited about which will help. I also plan on bribing myself to hit daily targets with my favorite sweet treats; jelly babies (Bassetts of course). The only bump in the road might come from my freelance commitments. I'm currently writing the second part of a 60K trilogy and a 25K sweet romance novella. Since I'm contractually obligated to complete those, they sadly might take priority over my own WIP if I start to struggle.

But I'm full of naive optimism having never done NaNoWriMo before that I will hit 50K, and failing that I'll have made a decent dent in a story I've been dying to write for years!

So wish me luck! After I've eaten my weight in sweets on Halloween I'll be settling down for the next four weeks to write as much as I possibly can!

If you want to follow my progress I'll be doing updates on Twitter; @tiny_dancer85 and also via my Facebook page;

If anyone else is signing up for NaNoWriMo give me a shout and we can motivate each other! But no, I'm not willing to share my jelly babies before you even ask...


Tuesday 7 October 2014

Dare to Dream

What would you do if you thought the world was going to end? Like, literally? Would you try and save it? But you're only 14, stuck in a British comprehensive school and living with five siblings who daily push you to the brink of despair. These are the issues facing Maggie Trafford in my upcoming book, Dare to Dream.

I've mentioned before that I've been signed up with indie publishers Reuts. I'm really excited to be working with them and I'm currently in the midst of edits with my lovely editor Eleanor. We are hopeful that Dare to Dream will be ready to be released in to the world early next year although we won't have an exact release date until all the edits are wrapped up. And then comes the exciting part of cover reveals and release day giveaways!

I'm thrilled to have a YA book coming out soon! It is definitely the genre I most love to read! Maggie's story is also pretty personal to me as the book is set all around my home county of Shropshire. I hope everyone is as excited to read her story as I am to share it. I think we've all been there at fourteen feeling like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Maggie truly believes that the world will soon end thanks to an onslaught of nightmares from which she can't escape. But the world can't really end, can it?

To find out, make sure you add Dare to Dream to your TBR list and keep an eye out for details around the release date!

Tuesday 30 September 2014

When September Ends

I actually cannot believe that today is the last day of September. It feels like this whole month has passed by in the blink of an eye! I've been so busy writing and editing I can't remember the last time I had a day off!

With October approaching it does remind me how much I enjoy seeing the seasons change. Already in the woodlands by my home I've seen the trees releasing their conkers and loosing their auburn leaves in the breeze. Autumn is full of such rich, rustic colours but Winter will always be my favourite time of year so I'm quite excited knowing that it isn't too far away!

As September ends, so does the deal on First to Fall, the first book in my Avalon series. It will only be available for £0.59/$0.99 for a few more hours so get it while you can! I've really enjoyed being a part of the #LFFF promotion with some other wonderful thriller writers. I've now got some great additions to my TBR list which I can't wait to get stuck in to!

As I mentioned, I've been furiously writing and editing to hopefully bring a few more new releases towards the end of the year and early 2015. I've almost finished the third book in my Avalon series, Third to Die. The end is so close I can almost touch it! It has been a very emotional book to write as Aiden does arguably face some of his toughest and most distressing challenges in this book. I can't wait to share it with everyone once it is completed! 

I'm also in the midst of editing my YA dystopian release, Dare to Dream, which is scheduled to be released with Reuts in January 2015. The book should be up on Goodreads soon where you can add it to your TBR list and keep an eye out for promotional competitions closer to the release date! I can't wait to see the cover for the book, all the Reuts covers are gorgeous so I've no doubt that Dare to Dream's will be too! 

And so we say goodbye to September and embrace Autumn in all its glory! I don't know about everyone else but I'm crazy excited for the months ahead!


Monday 15 September 2014


Today is another one of those days where loads of things seem to be happening. I find that the life of a writer tends to be like that, things in terms of intensity can go from zero to a hundred without any warning! Saying that, I knew today was going to be crazy but in the best possible way!

Firstly, the sequel to First to Fall, Second to Cry is released today! I'm so excited to share what happened next for Aiden in Avalon with everyone! If you've not read the first book in my Avalon series, it is currently on offer for £0.59/$0.99 which leads me to my next piece of exciting news...

Today a wonderful promotion I'm involved with has kicked off. Some amazingly awesome authors of thrillers and mysteries kindly asked me if I wanted to be involved with their September book sale and of course I said yes! All of the books involved are on offer for the next two weeks and if you visit the website for the event you can win a $10 gift card! Awesome, right?

So do check out Thrills and Suspense for 99 cents and if you Tweet about it, please use the #LFFF tag! It is a great way to be introduced to some new writers and get some wonderful books at a crazy low price!

On top of all that, I'm in the middle of edits for my upcoming YA release so things are super busy but I wouldn't have it any other way! I'm off to have a celebratory ginger biscuit in honor of Second to Cry's publication day! 

Until next time!


Thursday 11 September 2014

Thunder Stealing Roger

My blog post today was supposed to be all about my exciting news that I've signed up with the Kate Nash Literary Agency. I'm now represented by the very lovely Sarah Taylor and thrilled to be working with the agency.

However, over the last few days things have been a bit tense at home as my little guinea pig, Roger, had to have surgery to have one of his eyes removed. The eye became infected and quickly escalated to the point where antibiotics wouldn't help and he would need surgery. Surgery is always risky on such small animals but we felt that we had to do everything we could for Roger.

So yesterday he went under the knife and had his eye removed : ( I was terrified that we'd lose him but I'm pleased to report that he's now home and well and stuffing his face full of hay and cucumber! He's bounced back to his cheeky old self and I'm in awe of how brave and resilient such a little creature can be!

Rollo has been camped out by his hutch all afternoon as he's equally delighted to have the little guy back with us.

Life has been tough for Roger, he lost his life long companion, Don, at the start of the year but refuses to let anything get him down. So today, my agency news has been overshadowed by Roger's outstanding bravery! He's such an awesome guinea pig and I'm so happy he's back home! He now just needs a pirate name to match his new one eyed appearance...


Wednesday 27 August 2014

Second to Cry

This week is shaping up to be an exceptionally exciting one! Not only is First to Fall released tomorrow but the cover for its sequel, Second to Cry, has just been revealed;

Second to Cry returns to Avalon and follows on from where Aiden's story left off. 

Aiden Connelly is just settling in to life in Avalon following the shocking revelations of his first case. But it seems he can't escape the ghosts of his past. His new case involves the Sheriff's millionaire brother, Samuel Fern, and the paternity of one of his sons. 

When the truth threatens to tear about not just one family but two Aiden must ask himself how far he is willing to go to protect the people he loves.

The book is already available for pre-order through Amazon with an expected release date of 8th September. I'm currently working on the third book in the Avalon series, Third to Die, which will hopefully be released before the end of the year.

I truly love my Avalon series, particularly the central character of Aiden Connelly. He is a joy to write as he is so earnest with noble intentions but he is also a victim of his own good nature. I hope that everyone loves reading about his adventures in Avalon as much as I love writing them! 

Well, I've loitered enough online. Back to my study I go, I've got a book to write! 

Hope everyone is having a great week! Let me know what you think of the new cover! 


Friday 15 August 2014

Girl on Tour!

My blog tour will soon be kicking off and I'm so excited! A massive thank you to Leah @GirlsLovetoRead for creating such an awesome poster to promote the tour! I love connecting with bloggers and can't wait to meet new people throughout the tour! I'm also being featured on some additional blogs during release week thanks to the support of some of my blogger friends! 

I just hope that everyone enjoys the book! Releasing a book is always a tense time as you never know how your work will be received. All I can do is sit and nervously wait for the first reviews to start coming in! 

I'm crazy busy at the moment writing the third Avalon book in the series and also two additional books as part of my freelance commitments but I shall endeavor to take time off on release day to share the excitement of First to Fall entering the big wide virtual world! 

Thank you to everyone who continues to support me and my work it really does mean so much to me! Rollo and I are now off to finally watch Divergent (bought the DVD earlier this week) 

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday 13 August 2014

Why I Write

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
I recently happened upon the above quote by Maya Angelou and it made me reflect on why I became a writer. It was never really a conscious choice that I made I just had to write. My mind is constantly filled with dozens of ideas. I imagine them trapped in there like exquisite caged butterflies and one by one I take them out, write them down and let them fly off and exist in the great wide world. 

I keep a notebook of ideas and a list of stories I still need to write. To date I've written eleven novels with more than double that still to go. But every week or so I'm adding to my list of books to write as new ideas flutter in to my head. 

I love writing. It really is that simple. Locking myself away and pouring my imagination out on to the blank screen is extremely cathartic for me to the point where the most miserable times in my life have been the points where for whatever reason I wasn't writing. Now I'm lucky enough to write on a daily basis and I love it. I love giving life to my ideas, my characters. I just wish there were more hours in the day so that I could write all of the stories within me which are just bursting to get out! 

My hope is that one day that cage in my mind will empty and all my ideas will be free and alive but I have a sneaky suspicion that will never happen...

Monday 4 August 2014

Cover Reveal for First to Fall

Today I'm super excited to be able to share the gorgeous new cover for First to Fall! The CarinaUK design team have yet again out done themselves and created a cover which perfectly fits the tone of the book and I couldn't be happier with it!

First to Fall will be released through all e-book retailers on Thursday 28th August. Hope everyone loves the cover as much as I do!


Friday 25 July 2014

Progress Report

I've been pretty busy lately and therefore not able to blog as much as I'd like to. I reached a significant landmark today though; I finished my WIP. It is a YA story based in rural Wales set in the 1920s which contains fairy tale and coming of age themes.

It was a labor of love and a story I'd had in the back of my mind for quite a while screaming at me to write it so I'm glad it is now all down on paper!

However, I won't be resting on my laurels. I plan to relax over the weekend (and finally watch The Lego Movie) but on Monday I'm diving straight in to my next project, the third book in my Avalon series working title, Coming Home. The first book in the series, First to Fall is out in just over a month! Yes I'm crazy excited that my next release will be hitting e-readers on Tuesday 26th August.

I haven't been to Avalon for a while so I'm looking forward to reconnecting with old characters and progressing their stories.

I'm fortunate to be able to work full time from home. My freelance work enables me to have the time and financial freedom to focus on my own projects. I have an ever expanding list of stories that I just have to write! I'm not sure if I'll ever complete all of my generated ideas but it is certainly fun trying!

Hope everyone has been out enjoying the glorious weather! It is a rare treat for us Brits to have this amount of extended sunshine! I might be avoiding it for a while though as whilst out walking Rollo earlier I foolishly took a short cut through an overgrown area of the woods behind my house whilst wearing shorts and am now sporting some rather sore looking nettle stings! Oh well!


Wednesday 16 July 2014

I'm Going on Tour

So to tie in with the release of First to Fall on Tuesday 26th August I am going on a 10 stop book tour from 25th August - 7th September! There's going to be a giveaway of my previous book, Sunkissed and also interviews and guest posts!

It's all being organised by so if you're interested in taking part get in touch with them and they will hook you up! 

Any reviewers/bloggers interested reviewing the book prior to release aside from the blog tour are more than welcome to get in touch also. Next month I'll be able to share the cover for First to Fall and the book will also go live on Net Galley for ARC requests!

It is all very exciting!

This is my first professionally organised blog tour so I'm not sure what to expect but can't wait! I love interacting with new bloggers/reviewers so will hopefully meet lots of awesome people through the tour! 

If you're wondering if First to Fall is for you, check out the blurb below;

Aiden Connelly is a young, successful Chicago based lawyer who has grown tired of the rat race of city life so he decides to relocate his family to the small, Southern town of Avalon. Once there he settles into his new job and tackles his first case, that of fallen beauty queen, Brandy White who is accused of murdering her husband, local football hero, Brandon, in cold blood. As Aiden delves deeper into the case he soon realises that things are not as they seem and that Avalon is far from the idyllic town that it appears to be. It is up to him to unravel the mystery surrounding Brandon’s death before it is too late…

So for now I'm busy arranging everything prior to First to Fall's release! Just over a month to go! I can't wait to share it everyone!


Monday 7 July 2014

Returning to Avalon

So I've some exciting news to share!

The first book I ever wrote, Not All Stars Sparkle is having a swanky upgrade and being released through CarinaUK and the first big change is that it has a new title! The book will henceforth be known as...First to Fall!

I'm still getting used to the new title as I was a tad attached to NASS for sentimental reasons. But change is good and a new title will give the story a much needed new lease of life!

First to Fall will be released via all digital retailers on August 26th with the sequel, Cradle to Grave due for release in September.

So it is going to be a busy few months ahead! I'm excited for everyone to be able to discover Aiden and the town of Avalon through the first book, but also with the long awaited sequel people will also be able to find out what happened to him after that infamous murder trial!

Once covers are available I'll share them! CarinaUK always create the most amazing covers so I can't wait to see what they come up with for First to Fall and Cradle to Grave. 

I'd be interested to hear what people think of the new title!


Monday 30 June 2014

I Don't Watch TV All Day...

Lately some well meaning family members and friends have been inquiring about how I spend my days as a full time writer. I can always tell by the inflection in their voice that they have this image of me spending countless hours in front of the TV whilst they are out working hard for a living. It doesn't help that I'm alarmingly aware of all Grumpy Cat's movements thanks to Twitter and already caught up on #OITNB. But to answer questioning minds, here is a standard day in my life as a full time writer;

  • I get up. No, not at noon. At eight as that's when the shower is free. Then I eat breakfast and hang out with my dog, Rollo.
  • After breakfast my mornings are dedicated solely to my writing. I have two laptops. One isn't connected to the internet and it is on this one I spend my mornings working on my WIP and doing freelance work. I don't know why but I always prefer to write early in the day, it must be because my mind is fresher. 

  • I have daily targets that I have to hit. My current quota is set at 4k but that can go as high as 8 or as low as 2 depending on current work/editing commitments. I'm a stickler for a schedule and have all my projects planned out months in advance and rarely deviate from the plan.
  • When I'm done writing I walk Rollo. I live right by some woods so we are a bit spoiled for choice when it comes to walking routes. Being with Rollo helps me relax as usually at this point in the day my mind is still racing from all the plots I've got bouncing around in there.
  • Lunch. This is where I maybe start to procrastinate a bit. I use lunch as an excuse to catch up on my favorite TV shows. At the moment I'm watching Pretty Little Liars. 
  • Since all my writing has been done in the morning I dedicate my afternoons to responding to emails, I hate to keep people waiting if they've contacted me, and promoting my published books. Sometimes some more TV viewing might creep in there along with the consumption of far too many snacks. But I simply couldn't chain myself to my laptop and write content all day as I'd lose the quality. 

So there you go! I don't just sit and watch TV all day. I watch it sometimes during the day! I love what I do and know how incredibly lucky I am to be able to dedicate my life and my time to my writing, and also to Grumpy Cat! 


Saturday 21 June 2014

Prime Deception - Prologue

I thought that today I'd do something different on my blog and share the prologue for Prime Deception. Looking back on it, its amazing to think how far the book has come since all those months ago when I sat down at my laptop and began the story (over two years ago I think).

I always write in a linear sequence so this was the very first part of Prime Deception that came in to existence and it has hardly changed since I originally wrote it on its journey to publication. I like to think that it works nicely to set the scene for the rest of the book. I find writing Prologues and Epilogues to be my favorite parts of a book as they always round things off nicely, like imaginary bookends! 

Anyway, hope you enjoy the prologue, if it piques your interest the book is currently available through Amazon so do check it out!

Have a lovely weekend : ) 


Prime Deception


The Shadow Newspaper Offices, London

Dawn had not yet broken over the capital and yet the offices of The Shadow newspaper were already a hive of activity. Eager and ambitious journalists were bent over their computers, furiously typing away, some not having left from the previous night before.

The Shadow was England’s biggest selling tabloid newspaper, and as its name suggested, it was ever present among society, exposing every ounce of scandal and corruption as it occurred around the country.  The paper had grown in notoriety over the last decade, being linked to practically every sin committed by a member of the elite. If someone had behaved badly, The Shadow knew about it, casting the delinquent in darkness.

Part of the paper’s success was easily attributed to the doggish determination of the staff who listed eating and sleeping as a low priority compared with work. Journalism was a fiercely competitive field and they were each trying to make a name for themselves by catching that one big story which would set the country on fire.

John Quinn had that story. He almost trembled with excitement when he thought about it. He ran his hands through his thinning black hair as he sat slumped over his desk, going over for what felt like the hundredth time, the questions he needed to ask. He had been up all night since he had received the call. It was a young girl wanting to make money on a kiss and tell story, standard stuff really, except the man involved was no ordinary man. John had run in to her at a party a few months back, she had been really drunk, and talkative. He’d held back on revealing his occupation until she completely divulged her extra curricular activities to him. She had seemed genuinely horrified when he offered her his card, professing how she most certainly did not want to sell her story. But he knew she would, the money was too good to pass up; dignity always had a price.

So, as John had predicted, she had called. Now, all he had to do was capture her side of the story and run with it. It would be front page news and he would instantly have made a career for himself.  Having spent four years at university, three as an unpaid intern, five being the office gopher then three as a struggling journalist John felt he was long overdue some success in his field.  He needed to go home, shower, make himself presentable, but he was afraid to even leave his desk, afraid someone might snap the story up from right under his nose.

He remembered how desperate the girl had sounded when she called and almost felt guilty. He couldn't be sure, but he thought she had been crying. John had seen so many young women, naively lured in to bed by rich and powerful men selling their story out of spite or desperation. He failed to empathize with their plight, after all, they had willingly engaged in events. But this time something felt different. Perhaps it was because the man in question appeared whiter than white to the rest of the country and exposing this girl and their sordid affair would tarnish and possibly destroy his reputation.

John Quinn was rarely shocked, but her story had genuinely caught him off guard. He did wonder if perhaps it had just been drunken ramblings, but then she had called. Confirming everything she had said and insisting she wanted to take him up on the offer of writing a piece. He’d named a price to her which few people would be strong enough to turn down because he knew just how valuable a story of that caliber was.

Aware that time was pressing on, John took one last glance at his notes and put on his jacket, intending to quickly return to his flat, wash and change and then meet the girl. He had just pushed his arm down in to the second sleeve when the internal phone on his desk began to ring. Sighing, he leaned forward and picked up the receiver, tersely announcing himself to the caller.

‘John, its Maria,’ came a soft female voice. Maria worked in the news department, unlike John who was in features. She was one of the few people within the tangled structure of The Shadow who he trusted. They had slept together a few times, and continued to do so on the rare occasions that he wasn't too exhausted or was feeling particularly lonely. Maria was nothing special, you could easily pass her by on the street without feeling the need to take a second glance, but she was kind and trust worthy. Qualities which John figured he might one day be looking for in a woman and so he attempted to keep her relatively close.

‘I’m just on my way out.’
‘I know, to meet with that girl, right? What was her name, Lorna Thomas?’
‘Yeah, that’s right.’ John had forgotten that he’d told her who he was meeting a few nights previous, but he had not disclosed the context.
‘I’ve just had a police report come through about her.’
‘Apparently she committed suicide last night. Want me to email the report to you? I figured you’d probably want to run with the story yourself. Chief says no more than a hundred words on it.’
‘Right…okay, yeah.’

In a daze, John took off his coat and re-positioned himself in his chair. He suddenly felt a pang of remorse run through him that he had not been more responsive to the girl’s sadness over the phone. He had propositioned her to sell her story; he hoped he had not driven her to take her own life. John Quinn shook his head in disbelief. The story that would have made his career was now gone, never to be confirmed. He read the report with dull eyes as it arrived in his inbox.

Sadness slipped over him as he placed his fingertips to his keyboard and began to write a brief obituary for the girl he was supposed to be interviewing. His heart felt heavy with each letter he pressed. John finished the piece and got up and walked away from his desk, but not before calling Maria and asking her to come round to his flat that night. He didn't feel like being alone.

22 year old Lorna Thomas of Kent was found dead in her car in the early hours of this morning. Police have ruled that she committed suicide.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

No Rest for the Wicked...

So I've got quite a bit going on at the moment which is all very exciting.

Last weekend I enjoyed the first virtual Romance Festival which was a lot of fun and very informative. It reminded me of how invaluable tools like Twitter and Facebook are for a writer. Working at home can be extremely lonely at times when I've only my dog for company. I'm fortunate to have found many virtual author friends who can relate to the trials and tribulations of a life spent dedicated to your craft.

In terms of my writing I finished a manuscript and delved straight in to the next one! I love writing and have a long list of stories I want/need to write. I'm getting quite involved with my current story and may share the prologue on here at some point.

I found out that the first book I ever wrote, Not All Stars Sparkle, will be re-released through Carina around August. I'll share a specific date with you once I have it. As NASS was my first book it is really personal to me and I'm extremely proud of it and can't wait to share it with a wider audience. The sequel to the book will also be released through Carina later in the year.

I'm still working on a title for my project with Reuts which should be out towards the end of the year. We're almost settled on a title and are bouncing cover ideas around. The problem I have is that visual art isn't my forte so I'm not much use on the cover ideas front...

Currently I'm sat with Rollo who got covered in mud during his walk over, most of which is now on me as he's been in quite a cuddly mood lately...

I should also mention that Prime Deception is currently on offer (shameless plug). The price for it has been reduced pretty much everywhere and I've no idea how long that would last so I'd suggest getting your copy right away! But then I would say that, wouldn't I? ; )

It's just started to thunder here so I'm off to hide under a blanket somewhere!

Take care and have a great week!


Wednesday 28 May 2014

Virtual Romance Festival

Some of the biggest romance publishers are holding a Virtual Romance Festival next month and I'm lucky enough to be a part of it!

The festival will be held from Saturday 7th - Sunday 8th June and you can participate in all the fun from the comfort of your own home! You don't even need to get dressed! I plan on attending in my bright pink onesie!

Readers will get the chance to chat with their favorite authors, win books, see exclusive cover reveals and more!

It will be an exciting, innovative weekend for readers and writers alike which is why I'm so excited to be a part of it.  After all, I think everyone could benefit from a bit more romance in their lives!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to attend here, its FREE!

And hopefully I will virtually see you all there! #Romance14


Wednesday 21 May 2014

Big News!

For a while now I've been hinting about some big news and now I can finally spill and share it with you!

I'm thrilled to officially announce that I've joined the Reuts publishing family and will be releasing my currently untitled YA dystopian story with them later this year (aiming for autumn).

It is a contemporary fantasy adventure based around my home county of Shropshire so the story is very personal to me.

I'm currently working with the Reuts team to come up with a suitable title for the story, which is the first in a trilogy, and then over the summer I'll be getting stuck in with the editing process.

The book will be available in both e-book and paperback format which is awesome! I'll update with more information as and when I have it including press releases and cover reveals!

To read more about my initiation in to the Reuts fold check out their blog post here;

I'm so excited to work with them as they are such an innovative YA publisher and definitely the perfect home for my new story! I'm also now listed on the Reuts author page ;

Wish I could have shared this news with everyone sooner but my laptop died and had to be resurrected which took a few days to sort out! I find that once one thing breaks, everything does as now my iphone is acting up...

Anyway, hope everyone is having a great week and enjoying the sunshine whilst its here! (which probably won't be very long)


Thursday 15 May 2014

The End

I've spent the better part of the last two months writing my latest book which is a psychological thriller with a working title of Azriel's Princess. I anticipate it will be a long time until the book is released as I've got several other releases lined up throughout the year.

But I just can't stop writing. I absolutely love immersing myself in the worlds I create in my books. I also can't stop working until I've finished a story else I feel bad for leaving my characters in limbo, waiting for their resolution.

I'm already planning my next book which will be a YA story set in rural Wales during the 1920s. Whenever I write something that isn't contemporary or fantasy I have to conduct a lot of research prior to starting to write the book. Small details like what a character says or wears can have a big impact on creating the overall feel of a period set story.

So over the next few weeks I'll be visiting Wales, making an horrific amount of notes and preparing my next book. I'll also have some very exciting news to share with everyone soon regarding a YA release coming in Autumn this year (or rather Fall depending where you are).

This weekend I'm taking time away from my writing for a much needed break to clear my head, enjoy the sunshine and possibly even venture out to the cinema!

As much as I adore locking myself away and writing you do so at the expense of your connection with the real world. I've disappeared off everyone's radar for a bit so it will be nice to resurface, albeit briefly, before I'm lost in another book.

So whilst it is The End of one book, it is just the beginning for another!

Have a lovely weekend everyone


Monday 28 April 2014

I Don't Write Alone

Since everyone loved Rollo so much when this post was featured on I thought I'd share it on my blog too! 

I Dont Write Alone

I think that the most unique aspect of my writing habits is that I don’t write alone. Whenever I sit down to write I am joined by my two year old Cavalier, Rollo. Normally he sits either across my shoulders or on my lap. The latter can be quite tricky when I’m trying to balance my laptop on my knees to write. Sometimes he snores or barks in his sleep so loud that it can be hard to concentrate!

He’s my constant companion and when I need to clear my head or focus on some story ideas I take him for a walk in the woodlands near my home.

Writing can be such a solitary pursuit so it’s nice to have some company with me throughout the day when I’m working. And sometimes he attempts to contribute by tapping his paw upon the keyboard!

Below is a picture of Rollo watching me write

He's even sat on my shoulders right now while I update my blog!

Thanks Rollo, for always being there to lend a supportive paw! 

Have a lovely week everyone xoxo

Monday 7 April 2014

Release Day!

Prime Deception is released today! It is really exciting to think that my book is now out there in the wide world for people to read and hopefully enjoy.

The first few reviews to come in have all been positive which is reassuring.

I wish I could say that I've spent today doing really glamorous things to celebrate but in reality, today hasn't been all that different to other days.

I spent the morning working on my latest novel (a fantasy thriller) and also some freelance projects I'm currently involved in. Then I walked my dog through the woods where he got over excited meeting some canine friends and ended up covered in mud!

I watched Grey's Anatomy (big mistake). I've just started series 9 and for those of you who watch it will know, a very big character gets killed off in the first episode which 1. made me cry, like weep and 2. didn't put me in the best mood to stop procrastinating and finally check out my release day reviews.

But so far people seem to really like Prime Deception so I'm smiling if still slightly traumatized by the demise of McSteamy...

I had some lovely supportive tweets from people today which was really nice, so even though I've spent release day alone I felt like there were people on my side, celebrating with me! And now that the dust has settled I can indulge in a celebratory cupcake!

Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to take the time to review Prime Deception, and thank you to everyone who has bought it.

Have a great week!


Monday 31 March 2014

One Week...

One Week

Prime Deception will be released one week today. On Monday 7th April the book will go live and I'll be left nervously climbing the walls waiting for reviews to come in.

I always hope that people will enjoy my books, especially as a I loved writing them so much. I'm not doing anything special on my release day. I'll walk my dog, hang out with friends, nothing out of the ordinary. To me, the most amazing part of it all is just being able to share my stories with people. Everything else is just a bonus. 

I never stop writing. At the moment I'm working away on two freelance projects and also a new book of my own. My new book is a stand alone novel and once I've finished it I'll return to some of my series and work on a sequel or two. I like being able to mix things up and work on what I'm currently in the mood for, I think it helps to keep my writing fresh and stops things getting stale.

But Prime Deception is my current baby. It's about to be kicked out of the nest and in to the big wide world. It has a lot of similarities to my first novel, Not All Stars Sparkle, whilst being unique in its own right. It is definitely the most British book I've written so far which is a surprise as I'm proper British myself and quite open about my tea addiction! 

If people do go and buy Prime Deception, thank you so much, I hope you have a lot of fun reading it. I think CarinaUK did an amazing job with the cover and really managed to capture the essence of the novel. I'm really proud of the story, but its not just mine anymore, its almost out there for everyone to enjoy! 

Have a great week, see you on release day! 


Wednesday 19 February 2014

Date for the Diary...

So Prime Deception has a release date! Yay! It will be available from Friday 28th March. I'm really excited to get the book out in to the big wide world and see what people think of it.

Hopefully I'll be appearing on some blogs closer to the release date so keep an eye on my Twitter and Facebook for updates.

As excited as I am for Prime Deception to be released it is daunting too as there is always a small part of me that fears that people will hate it. Writing is so personal, and when you publish you put a little bit of yourself out in the ether for people to scrutinize...being judged is scary!!

But I'm crossing my fingers that everyone will love reading the story as much as I loved writing it. It's all about love and just how far we are willing to go for those that we care most about.

Besides my book release I am moving house in less than two weeks! Eeek! Worryingly I've not started packing yet which is unlike me as I'm usually militant with any sort of organisation. I think I just don't like the idea of sitting around surrounded by boxes...

Still, March is set to be a crazy, eventful month and I can't wait to enjoy it all!


Monday 10 February 2014

Not All Stars Sparkle Set to Shine Again

2014 has got off to quite a hectic start. I've been busy preparing my CarinaUK debut, Prime Deception, which is set to be released next month. I'm excited to share the publication date and cover with you closer to the time!

Carina have also requested to re-publish my debut novel, Not All Stars Sparkle, along with it's sequel, Cradle to Grave.

It is all really exciting but it means I've spent a lot of time locked away working on revisions and also planning out my big YA trilogy which I should be able to talk about more in the not too distant future.

I love writing and I'm so pleased to be able to share more of my work with people. It's just that everything seems to come at once as I'm also moving house next month so in the process of packing away pretty much everything! Anyone who knows me is aware that I find change and upheaval a right royal pain so I'll be much happier once I'm settled in my new home!

I've also lost a fair amount of my life to Being Human which I started watching the other week on a whim and am now absolutely hooked!

I'll hopefully have some release dates to update everyone with soon so until then it's back to boxing up my life in anticipation of the big move!

Until next time,