Cover Reveal #booklovers #crimefiction

How could I possibly follow ‘that’ ending in THE BLOSSOM TWINS? Well, you are about to find out…

Today, I am super-excited to reveal the latest in the DI Natalie Ward series, THE SECRET ADMIRER which will be out April 2nd but can be pre-ordered by clicking HERE. 

The book will be available in paperback and audio on April 2nd 2020.

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SECRET ADMIRER frontTHE SECRET ADMIRER

‘I tried to talk to you today but you snubbed me and walked away. It wasn’t wise to give me the brush-off, Gemma. I can be a truly good friend but I also make the perfect enemy.’

Sasha’s eighteen-year-old daughter Gemma was all she had in the world. Sasha fell pregnant with Gemma when she was still at school, and the two are as close as sisters. So when Gemma’s burned and broken body is found, Sasha’s world ends. What kind of person would want her beautiful daughter dead?

Leading the case is Detective Natalie Ward, scarred by her own recent tragedy. When she finds a note in Gemma’s diary from ‘a secret admirer’, she moves quickly, determined to un-mask them. But interviews with Gemma’s devastated ex-boyfriend, and her charismatic teacher, who has been seen embracing his student far away from the classroom, don’t give Natalie the answers she’d hoped for…

And then the case takes a devastating, personal twist. CCTV footage reveals Natalie’s estranged husband David followed Gemma home every evening the week before she died.

Natalie is forced to put personal feelings aside and follow procedure, even though she can’t believe David could be guilty. But when Gemma’s housemate is found murdered, Natalie thinks the killer could still be at large. Is she right to trust her instincts about David and can she discover the truth before another precious life is taken?

Grippingly fast and nail-bitingly tense, The Secret Admirer will have you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

Readers are totally gripped by Carol Wyer:

Absolutely nail biting!… From the first page, I was hooked; I could not put this book down… Halfway through the book, once everything clicked, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor… I would start to read it on a day where you have no other commitments; you won’t want to put this one down!’ Clues and Reviews, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘OMG this book had me hooked from the first to very last page… It’s impossible to put down, I was falling asleep about 3 in the morning with my kindle still in my hands!’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Absolutely stunning!… wow it blew me away. Totally my favourite book so far of 2018… I loved everything about it… Amazing… 5 stars, although it is a shame I can’t give it more, it’s easily worth a 7.’ Bonnie’s Book Talk, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Oh my god what a brilliant book you have to read it… This book grabs you from the first page right till the last page with so many twists and turns you do not know what is coming next… If I could give it more than 5 stars I would.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Research Gone Mad #MondayMotivation #MondayMorning @bookouture

In August 1980 my life turned upside down. What was to be a simple hospital procedure saw me paralysed and facing a year of uncertainty, fear and major surgery.

I was a 20-year-old university student who suddenly was unsure of the future. My life, my boyfriend, and my studies were all up in the air. I’ll spare you the gory details and the struggles, and say I was lucky. Oh my goodness, I was very lucky and my life only temporarily derailed. It did however, give me the inspiration and reason to write this book.

Take A Chance on Me FB-Graphic4Take A Chance On Me is set in a hospital radio station where Charlie, whose daughter has tragically been killed in a car accident, is struggling to find reason to life. Aided by her best-friend, wheelchair-bound Mercedes, she faces a journey she could never have imagined, that will lead her to… well… you’d have to read the book to find out.

Today sees the anniversary of the book’s release and it is still to date, my favourite book. I wrote it to inspire people who face challenging times, to give them hope and to remind everyone not to give up even when life seems impossible. We must all seize opportunities, take chances and live life.

The book took over a year to complete, not because of the complexity of the story, but more due to the fact I actually did all the challenges that Charlie faces in the book: from eating a bush-tucker trial at the very restaurant she is taken to, doing a zip wire (like Charlie I have a morbid fear of heights) to diving with sharks.

Take A Chance on Me FB-Graphic5Like most writers, I take research very seriously, but never did I think I’d be taking a belly-dancing class, scoffing locusts, mealworms, ants and kangaroo, then zorbing down a hill in a huge inflatable ball, all on the same day – Suffice to say, I didn’t feel too great by the end of the day, but at least my book is based on genuine experience!

Take a Chance on Me has received a huge amount of praise and I love getting emails from readers who have written out a bucket list after finishing the book and are taking on personal challenges.

Life’s short. Seize the day! Carpe Diem. 

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME available from  Amazon UKAmazon US – GooglePlay

My New Publishing Deal

I’ve been sitting on this one for some time but I am so excited to finally be able to tell you that I have signed a three-book publishing deal with Thomas & Mercer, the mystery and thriller imprint of Amazon Publishing, whose incredible list of authors include Robert Dugoni and Patricia Cornwell.

Here is the official announcement in The Bookseller today. http://bit.ly/2OP0NXn

BOOKSELLER Announcement

As a regular follower of my blog and social media, you will know how much I value my readers, and I know lots of you love my other crime books. So I want to assure you that I have not finished with either DI Robyn Carter or DI Natalie Ward and indeed there will be more news about them soon, and I will also continue to write the stand-alone romantic comedies too.

I’ve been developing the new series for some time now and am very much looking forward to introducing you to DI Kate Young, a flawed character unlike my other detectives, who struggles with inner demons and her true sense of purpose.

AN EYE FOR AN EYE, is the first in a gripping new crime series, introducing DI Kate Young. Shaken by a recent personal tragedy, Young abruptly returns to the force when her superintendent’s close friend is found murdered at a gruesome crime scene. But as Young’s investigation progresses, she begins to unravel a thread of corruption leading to her own team. Throughout the series Young works to get to the source, but eventually learns that she might have to take matters into her own hands if she is to dispense justice for good. Perfect for fans of Line of Duty and Luther.

I’m really looking forward to working with editor Jack Butler and the whole team at Thomas & Mercer and can’t wait to unleash the new series onto you.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

My Agent Signing

It’s a bit late in the day, but I am delighted to tell you that I’ve signed with literary agent, Amy Tannenbaum, from Jane Rotrosen Agency

When I began my journey as an author, signing with such a well respected agent was no more than a pipe dream so to be able to say I am represented by a New York agency whose clients also include Robert Dugoni, Tess Gerritsen, Iris Johansen and Robert Brynzda, is a huge deal for me.

I have been incredibly fortunate and wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for the support I’ve had to get me to this point: bloggers, friends, and my editor, Lydia Vassar-Smith who has not only guided me, brought my writing on in leaps and bounds, but has also been a friend over the three years I’ve been with my publishers Bookouture, 

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2018 Bookouture party together with best-selling fellow Bookouture author Patricia Gibney

I am thrilled to be working with Amy and to tell you we have already signed for another police procedural with Bookouture. Here’s the announcement that also appeared in the Bookseller regarding that exciting news:

announcement of signing

Writing is a vocation. When I first began back in 2009, I told my  husband I wanted to write a best-seller. His response was, ‘If you want this, your going to have to work at it.’ and I have. Every single day (including birthdays and Christmas) since 2009, with very few interruptions. My routine demands I rarely sleep and that I spend hours at the laptop.  The result has been rewarding – twenty-one books to date, since that conversation with my husband, and not one, but many best-sellers and awards and foreign rights deals.

I’m very excited about 2019-2020, and now that I’m working with Amy, there will be lots of exciting news ahead. Watch this space for further announcements and please sign up to my mailing list HERE for my latest news.

Do you Dare? #internet #socialmedia

Asked recently at an author event where my inspiration for my crime novels comes from, I said simply, ‘life’. THE DARE, published on April 28th, is the third book in the Natalie Ward series and is to date my favourite but also the one that scared me the most.

Readers will know that I research each book extensively and THE DARE was no exception. Delving into the world of internet safety, I stumbled across instances where social media resulted in death – namely during games of dare.

Now, as a youngster I played Dare – a game in which your friends would encourage you too do crazy things like kiss the boy you fancied in your class, or spin around and around until you fainted – however,  some of the challenges young people have been taking up on social media go way beyond those seemingly innocent dares of yesteryear.

As we know, many teenagers are blinkered when it comes to safety first and due to a mixture of hormones and rebellious streaks combined with egging on by friends some take the online crazes to another level. I’m not talking the Bucket Challenge here – I’m talking duct tape, Tide Pod,  Fire Challenge, Kylie Jenner, and Cinnamon Challenge. Look them up to see what I mean but the one that stunned me was a craze that was huge in France where children would deliberately go missing for 48 hours.

Such madness could result in all manner of disasters and of course the idea became the catalyst for my book.

Although the book was written and submitted last year, I noticed that in February this year, the police in the UK issued warnings after the craze resurfaced and this challenge hit newspaper headlines again.

When I write my novels, I start with something dreadful or horrific that could easily happen to one of us or our children. It makes my writing more credible and I hope highlights some of the issues facing our society.

Where do I get my inspiration? I don’t have to look far for it. It’s under our noses!

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PURCHASE YOUR COPY FROM AMAZON 

The-Dare-KindleTHE DARE

Jane’s daughter is a good girl. But what is she hiding?

When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm. With her blonde ponytail and red school jumper, someone must have spotted Savannah.

Detective Natalie Ward is determined to help the distraught mother – her own daughter is the same age as Savannah. But before Natalie and her team can get started, their worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland.

Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as Natalie closes the net around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing. Harriet might look grown up and sophisticated but she is only fourteen…

As Natalie delves into the lives of both girls, she soon discovers a sinister video on both their phones, daring the girls to disappear from their families for 48 hours. She’s sure this is the key to the case, but before she can act, Harriet’s body is found discarded on a roadside.

Natalie’s superiors don’t have to put any extra pressure on Natalie. Devastated, she and her team work without sleep, watching that video over and over. But just as she thinks they’re getting close, the person Natalie loves more than anything goes missing.

Natalie is no stranger to loss. She is terrified and the clock is ticking. Can she push through her fear to catch this depraved killer, before her loved one becomes the next victim?

This gripping rollercoaster of a read will have you up in the small hours turning the pages. Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Caine and Robert Dugoni will love The Dare.

#Boom #SuddenlySingle

Suddenly Single final“The most uplifting book of 2019 that you will read!”

Today, I am incredibly proud to reveal the cover of my forthcoming comedy SUDDENLY SINGLE about Chloe Piper, author of a raunchy best-seller, Spank Me Harder, Vicar, who flees her soul-destroying marriage, cheating ex and village gossips for a life of solitude in the newly built Sunny Meadow Farm with her hapless dog, Ronnie.

But Chloe is soon pushed out of her comfort zone. Because with a lively development building crew – headed up by charming Alex – and a larger-than-life neighbour determined to make Chloe’s love life her pet project, Chloe finds herself in a whole new world of chaos…

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Oh my! How I loved researching and writing this book. I hope you find it as hilarious to read as I did to write and come way feeling truly uplifted.

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“This enthralling romantic comedy of self-discovery and new beginnings is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.”

SUDDENLY SINGLE out APRIL 8th but available to pre order now by clicking any of the links below:

Amazon UK – Amazon USKobo –  Apple iBooksGoogle Play

Day in the Life of a Writer and Her Grumpy and more #writers-life #new-release

biggie smallsLast week, I was interviewed by chellesandbbooks and I thought I’d share the interview with you. If you ever wondered where my inspiration comes from, or which character I’d really like to bitch slap, read on….

Please tell us a little about What Happens in France and where your ideas for the book came from?
It’s a feel-good story about Bryony Masters, a somewhat quiet and reclusive teacher, whose sister, Hannah, ran away from home when she was 16. Bryony blames herself for the incident and has over the years, tried to find Hannah, but to no avail.

When her father has a sudden stroke, she is propelled into taking more drastic action and egged on by her best friend, Melinda, applies for a televised gameshow in the desperate hope she can use it as a platform to find her sister.

The show is filmed in France and she finds herself teamed up with the gorgeous but unattainable Lewis, and a bunch of hilarious competitors, including a limelight-stealing pug – Biggie Smalls. With Lewis’s help she has to fight off the competition and take part in a series of wacky and fun challenges, not to win the prize but to get the winners’ ten minutes of air time at the end of the show each day, which she uses to find Hannah.

As for the book’s inspiration, well, it was a mishmash of things. My mother suffered very badly from St Vitus Dance as a child and relayed the horrors of her own childhood which gave me the kernel of the idea for the Hannah and Bryony plot. That led me onto how Bryony would manage to find her sister and in turn, took me down the gameshow route. Given our obsession with shows like Love Island and the like, it seemed an ideal solution, so I applied for a variety of gameshows to see what I could find out. I ended up on quite a few (all in the name of research) but they helped fuel my ideas for the ridiculous challenges and games Bryony and Lewis have to tackle.

Finally, I am an absolute Francophile and have lived and worked in France. Nowadays, I visit the country several times a year, renting small gites, so it seemed the perfect place to set the book. A few years ago, my husband, AKA Mr Grumpy, and I travelled around Brittany and the Loire-Atlantique and stayed in chateaux along the way. It was such fun we went back a few more times and saw as much of the regions as we could.

Do you have a favourite character or scene from What Happens in France?

Read more and my life with Grumpy by clicking this link HERE which will open another window and take you to the interview.