Wednesday, 24 February 2027

Hello and welcome to my blog, where you can find out about my books and keep up to date with all my news and latest releases.

My latest book, The Accidental Life Swap is available to pre-order now (published 1st Sept)
Below, you can find my blog posts, and you can also find my social media links on the right-hand side, or read my short stories using the tab above.

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Thank you for visiting,

Monday, 12 August 2019

A Books & Writing Catch Up

It's been a while since I last posted on the blog - I had a little break after finishing the edits on The Accidental Life Swap, and I'm also pushed for time with it being the school summer holidays - so I thought it was time to have a quick catch up!

Writing-wise, I'm now plotting Book 11. I love this stage of the writing process, although it can be a bit daunting as I'm always worried the idea in my head won't transfer well onto the page, especially if the idea has been brewing for a while. Once my ideas are down on paper (or screen) I need to put together a synopsis for my editor, which is my least favourite part of the writing process. It doesn't matter how times I write a synopsis, they never get any easier. I would much rather write a whole 80-90k novel than a page or two of a synopsis!

I'm also gearing myself up for the publication of The Accidental Life Swap, which is now less than three weeks away. I've planned some book extras, which I'll put up here on the blog once the book is out, and I'll also be sending out a newsletter on publication day. As well as the usual book news and recommendations, there'll be a publication day giveaway, plus you'll get the chance to have your name used as a character name in my next book. I did this with The Accidental Life Swap and I'd love to do it again. Only newsletter subscribers will get the chance to take part, so make sure you've signed up before 1st September! If you haven't subscribed yet and would like to, click here to fill in the quick and easy form.

Each of my newsletters comes with a book recommendation (or two, sometimes even three) but I thought I'd shout about a couple of fantastic reads I've read recently here too. If you have any book recommendations of your own, let us know in the comments below this post :)

A God In Ruins is my favourite read of the year so far. I'd read a proof copy of its companion book, Life After Life a few years ago and loved it so when I saw A God In Ruins on a book-sharing shelf, I knew I had to borrow it.

The book follows Teddy Todd and his family as war breaks out and he becomes a fighter pilot, moving through the decades to see how his life - and those around him - turns out over the twentieth century. It was such a heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) book that I didn't want it to end. And when it did, I didn't want to relinquish it. But I had only borrowed the book, so I dutifully returned it to its shelf - and then bought my own copy, along with Life After Life, which I should have bought myself a long time ago!

Last year, I read my first Kate Morton book, The House at Riverton, which was one of my favourite reads of 2018. I knew I had to catch up on her other books, so a couple of weeks ago I read The Forgotten Garden - and loved it just as much!

Like A God In Ruins, The Forgotten Garden sweeps across the decades to tell the story of a little girl who was found abandoned on an Australian dock after travelling across from England during the lead up to the First World War. I love Kate Morton's writing and the way it draws you into the mystery, and I'll definitely read more of her books in the future!

So, that's my books and writing catch up. Remember to share any recommendations in the comments below :)

Friday, 12 July 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Fourteen - The Book Has Left The Building

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

It's been about six weeks since I last updated about The Accidental Life Swap, but a lot has happened since then: I've completed each of the editing stages and have whisked the manuscript back to my editor, and I've had some very good news about the book. Not only will the book be available as a paperback in December (the ebook version will be out in September), it's also being made into an audio version too!

It's the first time one of my books will be available in an audio format, so I'm VERY excited about this. I would have shouted about it sooner but I've spent the past couple of weeks feeling sorry for myself on the sofa as I was plagued by chest and stomach bugs. It wasn't fun (and I had to miss the HarperCollins summer party *sad face*) but I'm feeling better now (even if the stubborn cough is refusing to budge completely) and I did discover that Glee has been added to Netflix during one of my self-pity parties on the sofa.

As well as completing the edits for the book, I've also written the acknowledgements, which includes a big thank you to everyone who helped name the animals. So if you provided one of the names used, you'll find yourself in there when the books is published!

You can pre-order the book in all three formats here

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Thirteen - Cover Reveal & Edits

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

My publishers revealed the cover of The Accidental Life Swap last week and I was so excited to be able to share it. I'd already had a sneaky peek and couldn't wait to shout about it because it's just so gorgeous.

What do you think? Isn't she a beauty? The ebook is out in September (with the paperback following in December) but you can pre-order right now. Click here for more info.

Having a cover reveal for a book you're still working on is a bit strange, but it's really fired me up to make this the best book I can, to do justice to the amazing cover. So the edits landing in my inbox a few days later came at the right time!

Getting the first round of edits in can be a bit daunting - overwhelming at times - but I'm learning to take a few deep breaths, to not panic and know that I'll get through them one step at a time. The first thing I do when I get my editor's notes is to read through them and then step away. I let her thoughts sink in so I can process them before I make my plan of action.

I take my editor's notes and put them into more manageable bullet points, adding ideas and thoughts of my own and answering any questions that may have come up. It all looks neat to start with, but by the end, these sheets of paper will be a mess as I mark off the points as they're addressed and scrawl new notes as I go along.

With my revision notes, I'm almost ready to dive back in, but I need a couple more things to hand; cup of tea (obviously) and my Kindle containing The Emotion Thesaurus, The Rural Setting Thesaurus, and The Urban Setting Thesaurus.

I've got the main story down, but with the help of the above writing tools, I can start to add more depth and make the book shine!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Writing To Music

I don't do silence while I'm writing. It's too weird. I like background noise (as long as that background noise isn't a couple of kids arguing about who's taking up more than their fair share of the sofa. Yes, I am talking about my kids) but it can't be a TV program as I'll end up tuning in and my writing will be forgotten. So, music, for me, is the perfect solution.

I like the music to set the scene, so if I'm writing something festive, a bit of Noddy Holder shouting at the top of his lungs that it's Christmas is spot on (plus, I'll use any excuse to listen to Crimbo music). But most of my books aren't set at Christmas so I need something to suit my non-festive rom coms. I'll usually head for 80s or 90s pop compilations but I've recently set up a romantic comedy playlist of my own, made up of the playlists of some of my favourite rom com films.

So far, the playlist consists of playlists from:

 13 Going 30
You've Got Mail
Picture Perfect
Groundhog Day
Notting Hill &
Bridget Jones' Diary

It's a work-in-progress, so I'll be adding more playlists (usually after I've watched them, because why not? Who doesn't love a good rom com?) but it's the perfect compilation to listen to while I'm writing. It's full of upbeat and quirky tunes as well as more melodic songs oozing romance and love.

You can listen to my playlist below via Spotify, or you can save it to your own account to listen to it whenever you're in a romantic comedy mood!

Monday, 15 April 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Twelve - Deadline Day

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

Today is deadline day.

And I've just sent the completed draft of The Accidental Life Swap to my editor! Excuse me while I:

  1. Punch the air in celebration
  2. Weep with relief and
  3. Collapse in a heap

Even though I've loved writing the book over the past few months and there's still a ton of work to, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I did it! I wrote another book, from beginning to end. And it doesn't matter that the finished book may look nothing like this draft, because I've passed a massive hurdle and no matter how much editing is required, I have something solid to work with.

Now I really am going to collapse in a heap. I'll be back with more updates when I have them, but for now I'm going to have a little rest and enjoy the last week of the Easter holidays :)

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

A Quick Catch Up

I haven't done one of these for a while - the last one was in July! Here goes...

I'm working on my tenth book at the moment, which will be out in ebook on 1st October and paperback in December. I'm on the final furlong of the first draft, so I should be reaching The End pretty soon.

I've been keeping a diary of the writing process of this book, which you can see here

I'm currently reading The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell. I fell in love with Lisa Jewell's rom coms back in the early 2000s (Thirty Nothing is one of my favourite books) but I also enjoy the darker stories too. There are a few I need to catch up on!

I've read some brilliant books recently. A few of my faves are

One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk
Our House by Louise Candlish
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinsborough &
Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

There's been some great stuff on the TV over the past few months. I was doing cartwheels (in my head - I haven't performed a cartwheel in quite some time) when Vera returned as it's one of my favourite TV shows. 

My very favourite returned yesterday - if you haven't watched Line of Duty yet, then you really must! I re-watched the past four series in preparation of series 5 and this time my daughter, Rianne watched them with me and she loves them too. My Mother's Day gift is series 5 on DVD, though I have to wait for it to be released (it has been pre-ordered!)

I love a good quiz/game show, so I've been a bit spoiled lately as Only Connect returned, Blockbusters has been revived and Jeopardy has been put on Netflix :)

Books, writing, holidays and my new crocheting hobby. Plus Luna, of course :)

So that's what I've been up to lately. Let us know what you've been getting up to, and/or pass on your own books and TV recommendations in the comments below!