New Book Coming July 2015!

You may remember an old post back in May when I reported that I had completed the first draft of my third book. I procrastinated for a while, spent time editing, dithered about, changing some more things and finally sent it to the Commissioning Editor at Legend Press for consideration.

Today, I’m delighted to announce that she liked it (phew!) and the book, which is called Before It’s Too Late, will be published on 1.7.15.

Before It’s Too Late introduces Detective Inspector Will Jackman and is set in the beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon. Here is the blurb:


‘I concentrated hard, desperately listening for something familiar, the sound of life. I heard nothing. Just my own breaths and the wind, whistling through branches above… The thought made me shiver. I am buried alive.’

Following an argument with her British boyfriend, Chinese student Min Li is abducted whilst walking the dark streets of picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon alone.

Trapped in a dark pit, Min is at the mercy of her captor. Detective Inspector Will Jackman is tasked with solving the case and in his search for answers discovers that the truth is buried deeper than he ever expected.

But, as another student vanishes and Min grows ever weaker, time is running out. Can Jackman track down the kidnapper, before it’s too late?


Although this book marks a new direction for me, I want to reassure fans of Helen Lavery out there that she will be back too. I’ve just started penning a new Helen novel and, although it is in the very early stages, I’m already feeling a buzz of excitement to be working with her again. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy spending time with Will Jackman as much I as I did.

I also have another piece of news. In the course of submitting this novel I signed with the Kate Nash Literary Agency! I would like to extend huge gratitude to Kate for taking me on and brokering this deal.

I can hardly believe that I’m going to be starting all over again with another new title. It really feels like a dream come true and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

This post is dedicated to all those lovely readers out there who have given my first two novels a try. It is without doubt that I wouldn’t have been offered another contract if they hadn’t done so well, so a huge thanks to each and every one of you. I really appreciate your support and couldn’t be more thrilled right now!



A Book Club and a Butterfly Festival

It’s been a busy week. Last Tuesday, I was invited to attend the book club supper of the nearby Broughton Book Club to discuss their read of An Unfamiliar Murder. I’ve said this many a time, but one of the nicest things about writing novels is the wonderful people you meet and this evening was no exception. I was treated to home-cooked food in the manner of Moussaka and Lasagne, accompanied by fresh salad and a selection of very yummy puddings.

It really was a lovely relaxed evening talking books and writing. I was honoured to be invited back to their next meeting at a nearby pub (it seems their meetings always involve food – the perfect accompaniment to books in my opinion!) in October to talk about their next selection, The Truth Will Out. Already, I am looking forward to another evening of the same.

On Saturday I travelled up to Harrogate for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival with my dear friend and partner-in-crime writing, Glyn Timmins. It’s a four day event, running from Thursday to Sunday, however personal and family commitments meant I could only manage the Saturday. One of my Twitter friends likened attending this festival to a butterfly: everybody flitting about, trying to see and do as much as possible and I certainly felt the pressure of squeezing lots into my one day. Continue reading

Author Interview: Emma Jones

I’ve been delighted to meet a number of very talented Northamptonshire writers recently and today I would like to share an interview with local author and very dear friend, Emma Jones.


Hi Emma. Thanks for joining us. Without giving too much away, tell us about your latest book?

I’ve just completed the first draft of the sequel to The Awakening. I’ve been through it and removed obvious errors and sent it to 4 beta readers to get their opinions. It picks up where the first book ends. It is slighter darker as I’ve introduced another character.  I hope people will love the end which I actually wrote early on in the writing process as it came to me in a flash of inspiration and I loved it. Continue reading

My Third Year in Publishing

This July marks three years since my first official book deal. It’s put me in rather a philosophical mood. So much has happened in the past three years and, as I begin to plan my fourth novel, I can’t help wondering what the next three will bring.

Coincidentally, I have just started reading a very good friend’s debut called Black Wood, which will be published early 2015. I love to hear good news and when my dear friend, Susi Holliday, announced last week that she has received a publishing deal, I couldn’t have been more delighted for her. Susi writes under ‘S J I Holliday’ and is best known for her dark short stories but I have to say, if the first few chapters are anything to go by, everyone is in for a treat with her wonderful first novel and I wish her much success.

It seems the world of traditional publishing is filled with decisions and announcements. We beaver away on our manuscripts for months, sometimes years on end; send them to trusted beta readers for feedback, rework and submit, then wait the arduous weeks and months it takes for a decision. Will it hit the mark? We are in a subjective business and can never be sure. Finally we get that all important decision and an announcement can be made. If it’s positive, the race is on to turn the pile of paper into a book. If it’s negative, we have to pick ourselves up, rework and try again. Continue reading

Two Sides to Every Story By Angela Hartley

I’m always fascinated to hear about the inspiration authors draw on for their characters. Today I’m joined by fellow writer, Angela Hartley, as she discusses her influences for her antagonist in her debut novel, Copper Descent.



The granddaddy of all antagonists is introduced in my novel, Copper Descent, the first volume of The Sentient Chronicles. Sinclair Devereux isn’t really a new character, but a fictional spin-off of an existing figure. Throughout time, he’s been known by many names, but all invoke terror. He’s evil incarnate, and necessary for our world to remain in balance. Continue reading