Posted in Writing







Lexi Bailey doesn’t do love. Having seen the war zone that was her parents’ marriage, she has no interest in venturing into a relationship, and thinks romance is for fairy tales. As far as she’s concerned, there’s no such thing as happy ever after, and she’s not looking for a handsome prince.
For Will Boden-Kean, that’s probably a good thing. He hardly qualifies as a handsome prince, after all. He may be the son of a baronet, and live in a stately home, but he’s not known for his good looks. What he is known for, among the residents of Kearton Bay, is his kind heart, his determination to fund Kearton Hall — and his unrequited love for Lexi.
While Lexi gazes at the portrait of the Third Earl Kearton, and dreams of finding the treasure that is reputed to be hidden somewhere in the house, Will is working hard to ensure that his home survives. When he goes against Lexi’s wishes and employs the most unpopular man in the village, she begins to wonder if he’s under a spell. Will would never upset her. What could possibly have happened to him?
As plans take shape for a grand ball, Lexi’s life is in turmoil. With a secret from Will’s past revealed, a witch who is far too beautiful for Lexi’s peace of mind, and a new enchantress on the scene, things are changing rapidly at Kearton Hall. Add to that a big, bad wolf of a work colleague, a stepmother in denial, and a father who is most definitely up to no good, and it’s no wonder she decides to make a new start somewhere else.
Then she makes a discovery that changes everything — but time is running out for her. Is it too late to find her happy ending? Will Lexi make it to the ball? Will Buttons save the day? And where on earth did that handsome prince come from?


Sharon lives in East Yorkshire, and is the author of four novels, There Must Be an Angel, A Kiss from a Rose, This Other Eden and Once Upon a Long Ago. She has also written for The People’s Friend.

A member of the Romantic Novelists Association, she dreams of the day when she can give up the day job and write full time, earning enough to keep her long-suffering husband, five children, and seven grandchildren, in the manner in which they’d like to become accustomed.

She is one tenth of The Write Romantics, has a love/hate relationship with chocolate, is a devoted Whovian, and just a little obsessed with Sherlock, The Musketeers and Poldark. She freely admits that she would write more books if there weren’t so many gorgeous men on television. The situation has recently become critical since she was given a DVD of Outlander for Christmas.

Sharon’s Links


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Posted in Writing


thornemoore2Good morning Thorne and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Well, I was born in Luton (which I use, loosely, as a setting for some of my books) and apart from a three year stint at university in Aberystwyth in the 70s, I lived there for half my life. For the other half, I’ve lived in Pembrokeshire which is, by coincidence, where my mother’s family originally came from. I’ve worked in various libraries, done some civil serving and for most of the eighties I ran a restaurant with my sister, but for many years I’ve been self-employed, making miniature furniture for collectors, which gives me the opportunity to organise my own timetable and find time to write. These days, the miniatures are very much on the back-burner.

When did you first decide you wanted to write and how did you begin that journey?
I can’t remember when I first decided to write, but it was early on. I did have conflicting ambitions, at the age of six, to be either a tightrope walker or a missionary, but since then I’ve been fairly single-minded. I ignored my headmaster’s advice to study law, because that would have meant having a legal career, and I only wanted to be a writer so what was the point? I stuck to my guns. I did scrape through a history degree, but I spent most of my time at college writing fantasy, which several publishers almost, but didn’t quite, accept. I kept trying. It just took a few decades more than I was expecting.

51501esbx7lWho are your favourite authors and have any of them inspired your writing in any way?
Jane Austen – I admire her humour, precision and her uniqueness.
Ursula le Guin – the Earthsea books. I think I was very influenced as a teenager by her ability to immerse the reader so totally in atmosphere and location with stark economy.
John le Carré – for his psychological depth and darkness.

How much research goes into your books?
Some, of course, but I hope it doesn’t show. The danger, with research, is to get 41rfzhfwfl-_sx323_bo1204203200_thoroughly absorbed in minutiae and be tempted to pass it all on. Mostly, I play safe and write about what I know. For my third book, The Unravelling, I did virtually no research at all, other than checking dates, because I was relying on my memories of my own childhood and the place where I grew up. And of course I rely on what I can imagine, since I’ve never actually experienced any murders, first or second hand. I try to do enough research to ensure that I don’t get things wrong, and mess up the realism of a story because of it, but I hope to leave the readers thinking about my characters and their motivation, rather than extracts from Wikipedia.

If you weren’t writing crime novels, is there any other genre which interests you?
Science Fiction. I like the idea of dropping people outside their comfort zone, so that they are forced to confront things they don’t want to confront, including themselves. Sci-Fi, like crime, is perfect for that. I do write it, but I don’t anticipate ever getting it published.

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?
My next book is another psychological crime mystery, but with a slight (very slight) paranormal twist. It’s set in Pembrokeshire again, like my first book, A Time For Silence, but in a grandly dilapidated mansion, this time, rather than an abandoned cottage. I’m fascinated by the idea of the psychological problems someone would face if she genuinely believed she could sense the supernatural. I don’t think it would be something most people would take in their stride.
I’m hoping it will come out next year.

And lastly, if you could invite five celebrities to dinner, who would they be and why?
Celebrities! Do they have to be alive? I suppose so. Five corpses sitting around the table would be no fun at all. They wouldn’t even appreciate my cooking. Not sure I’d like to meet living celebrities though. Footballers and models and the like. Are there five really famous publishers? I could invite them to dinner, poison them and then offer them the antidote in return for a three-book deal and a seven figure advance. Otherwise, five comedians, perhaps. Then at least we could all have a good laugh.


FB Author page:
Amazon author page


The Unravelling: UK USA
The Unravelling: UK USA
A Time For Silence: UK USA

Posted in Writing

Book Promotion: This week Catherine Miller is on tour with her latest release All That is Left of Us…

I’m really pleased to be part of this blog tour even if I’m going to be far away from the UK when  this goes live. I’ll be posting my review on my return…




One of My Own…

Dawn loves being a mother. No matter how Archie came into her life, or the fact he’s a little different from other children, he is precious and loved. He is hers, after all. Especially because she’s never told anyone who the father of her son is.

So when Dawn’s twin brother David and his wife Rebekah are struggling to have their own child, Dawn agrees to become their surrogate, as it is the one thing she can do to help.
However, creating the perfect family doesn’t always go to plan and when Dawn realises just how much her nephew needs his mother, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to confront the past she has kept secret for so long.
From the author of Waiting for You comes a story of friendship, motherhood and hope.

Amazon Purchase Link:

About Catherine

dsc_5868-2When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with Carina UK. There is a possibility she has aged remarkably in that time. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016.

Catherine was a NHS physiotherapist, but for health reasons (Uveitis and Sarcoidosis) she retired early from this career. As she loved her physiotherapy job, she decided if she couldn’t do that she would pursue her writing dream. It took a few years and a couple of babies, but in 2015 she won the Katie Fforde bursary, was a finalist in the London Book Fair Write Stuff Competition and highly commended in Woman magazine’s writing competition. Soon afterwards she signed with Carina. Soon after that, she collapsed in a heap and was eventually revived by chocolate.


Extract from All That is Left of Us


Dear Archie,
On the day you were born, nothing prepared me for the life we would lead together. There was no sense of future in that moment. Only us. And every day since I have wondered if it is ever enough. If I can ever give you all the love required to pave the way.
Because right from the start I didn’t know what I was up to. And every day since I have questioned everything I’ve ever done.
I just need you to know that despite it all, you are loved. You have always been my first love and that is all that should ever matter.
But I am being a surrogate for all of us. For your auntie and uncle to have a family as complete as ours. I hope that one day you’ll understand why it was so important to do this. And none of it will change the fact that you are my number one.
Love, Mum x


To my unborn child,
There has not been a day when I haven’t thought about you, but so often you have been a concept. With each of the five miscarriages I had you were more and more unreachable. You had become an impossibility. And yet here you are in this most improbable way.
I may not be the one holding you, but I want to be more than you could ever imagine. To savour those moments that are ours. And as they get closer I am beginning to believe maybe this is the occasion where nothing goes wrong. The time that you become whole and I get to become your mother.
There is nothing I want more and yet there is nothing further out of reach.
I’m counting the days until we meet,
Rebekah, your mum-to-be xxxx

Posted in Writing



What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?

When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.

She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …

But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?

As Weekends Go-

As Weekends Go – Paperback –

Quote for the paperback from bestselling author Lisa Jewell: “I loved this gorgeous love story, written with a sure touch and a big heart.”


As Weekends Go…a taster

Rebecca scrolled through her emails, searching for anything she might need to address before leaving the house.

One stood out.

Abi’s message, which Rebecca presumed, at first, to be a wind-up.



 Subject:          Pack your bags, lady. We’re off!

Hi Bex,

I know I’m seeing you later, but I’ve only just heard about this and wanted to give you maximum time to digest it (she says, gnawing off her knuckles with glee).

As our men are deserting us this weekend, how do you fancy coming to York with me? Well, the outskirts, actually. We’d be staying at Hawksley Manor. Pure Escapism’ to quote their website guestbook. See photo attached.

My boss and his wife – love every hair on their charitable heads – have had to pull out at short notice and have offered me their SUPERIOR twin room. They get it cheap anyway as they’re pally with the general manager.

And before you ask – no, I’m not in cahoots with your mum. Or your sisters. This genuinely happened today. Although, like me, I suspect they’d love you to say yes.

I know it’s Wednesday already, but come on, Bex, you could do with being pampered senseless after the year or so you’ve had …

We leave Friday morning. Did I mention it was a long weekend?

No regrets or excuses, please.

Love ‘n’ hugs, Abi xxx

P.S. See you tonight. 6.30ish.



2016-07-05 21.26.27

Jan lives in South East London with her husband and motley crew of cuddly toys. Jan’s written for pleasure from a young age; short stories for classmates, odes for workmates, fun quizzes for family and friends, progressing to her first novel, the idea for which sprang from a script she composed as part of a creative writing course assignment via The Writers Bureau. Following much secret plotting, research and feigning of passion for the customer accounts she was supposed to be reconciling during the day job, the chance finally arose to put pen to paper.

Jan’s debut novel  As Weekends Go  subsequently won the 2014/2015 Choc Lit and Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star Competition , which led to a publishing contract with Choc Lit.

An avid reader and all round book devotee, Jan is also one eighth of online group blog The Romaniacs who last year proudly received the RNA Industry Media Award and even got a mention in The Bookseller.

Contact Jan via  Twitter   Facebook   Blog




Posted in Writing

Promotion for Olive Collins’ novel The Memory of Music – launch date Thursday 8th September, 2016


Memory of Music - Cover

One Irish family – One hundred turbulent years: 1916 – 2016


Betty O’Fogarty is proud and clever. Spurred on by her belief in her husband Seamus’s talent as a violin-maker and her desire to escape rural life, they elope to Dublin. She expects life there to fulfil all her dreams.
To her horror, she discovers that they can only afford to live in the notorious poverty-stricken tenements. Seamus becomes obsessed with republican politics, neglecting his lucrative craft. And, as Dublin is plunged into chaos and turmoil at Easter 1916, Betty gives birth to her first child to the sound of gunfire and shelling.
But Betty vows that she will survive war and want, and move her little family out of the tenements. Nothing will stand in her way.
One hundred years later, secrets churn their way to the surface and Betty’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren uncover both Betty’s ruthlessness and her unique brand of heroism.

Launch Dates and Venues for the Memory of Music 

8th September in Naas Kildare, Barker and Jones Bookshop, Kildare

10th September in The Source Arts Centre, Thurles, Tipperary

Book Purchase Links


Portrait1Rather than choosing the role of motherhood and marriage, my interests gravitated towards adventure and travel, my desire to experience life in all its varied colours was further ignited by my love of books. At a young age I realised that children would restrict my pursuits and independence. I travelled alone through parts of the middle-east (Jordan, Egypt, and Israel). When I found myself penniless in Tel Aviv I turned my hand to plastering on a construction site. In Ein Gedi by The Dead Sea in Israel I worked with Orthodox Jewish Women and later worked with the Palestine women in the kitchens of Tel Aviv. In Thailand I narrowly escaped the tsunami. I’ve drawn on my experiences to write about the varied women who feature in her novel which spans over 100 years, as seen through the eyes of five generations of Irish women. I was always interested in women’s issues and captivated by their resilience, their choices and the ideals of happiness they pursued. Like the characters in my novel, there is acceptance and retaliation in all spectra’s of society.

My Social Media Links:
Twitter – @olivecollins
Facebook –

Posted in Writing

Tuesday Talk welcomes Julia Ibbotson, Writer, Academic…a lady of many talents

author photo image 3Good morning Julia and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hello, Jo. Good to be here with you today. I’ve been writing forever but only started seriously publishing about five years ago. I started my career as a school teacher (English and Drama) and then became a senior university lecturer, which I still do two days a week as Director of Studies for PhD students. That enables me to write the other three days! My first book to be published was The Old Rectory: escape to a country kitchen in which I retell our adventure in renovating and restoring our Victorian rectory in the heart of the English countryside. I researched the previous residents over 150 years and the meals they would have cooked in my kitchen, so the book also has recipes from the historic periods the house has lived through: Victorian, Edwardian, the world wars, to the current day. I loved writing it and that started me on my journey as an author. I then published S.C.A.R.S, a children’s book, and then embarked on my Drumbeats trilogy which starts in 1965 Ghana and then travels to 1970s/80s England. The last of the trilogy brings the story of Jess up to date – or at least the millennium and will be out next year. It’s a bit delayed because I got engrossed in a different writing project, a historical romance time slip called A Shape on the Air.

When did you first decide you wanted to write and how did you begin that journey?

I always wanted to be an author even as a child. I wrote my first novel at the age of 10 – never published! I scribbled it in an old school exercise book and it was about my then passions: horses, farms and adventures in the countryside! As a university lecturer I did a lot of research projects and published papers in academic journals which was great because I then had to present them at international conferences in the UK, USA and Australia. But I wasn’t satisfied with the strictures of formulaic writing and wanted to return to creative work.

Who are your favourite authors and have any of them inspired your writing in any way?

I love Tracey Chevalier (just saw her at the HNA conference in Oxford) and have read all The Old Rectory cover image 2her books and I’m also a great fan of Kate Atkinson but Barbara Erskine and Pamela Hartshorne have inspired my new focus as a writer of historical time slip romance.

Having written adult fiction, children’s fiction and a non-fiction book, which did you enjoy the most? Are you planning to keep this broad remit for your work or do you intend to concentrate on one genre in particular for the future?

The non-fiction was a one-off as it was inspired by our home and my academic writing I think is consigned to the past (been there, done that!). The Drumbeats trilogy is also a one-off in that it was something I felt I had to write for personal reasons. My children’s novel S.C.A.R.S was the spring board for my current work for adults, as it was a time slip to a fantasy medieval world. It’s about a troubled boy who has to find himself. A friend read it and loved it, asking me to write something similar for adults. Hence, A Shape on the Air which is a time slip romance where the protagonist, Viv, slips through a portal in time and space to the real historical period of the dark ages into the body of Lady Vivianne. It’s SCARS front coverabout how these women 1500 years apart need to help each other to survive and rescue their dreams. My specialism is medieval language, literature and history, so I’m focusing on that genre now. I love writing for both adults and children so I’d like to continue to write both. Maybe I could start a trend for writing books that can be enjoyed by both ages!

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?

I’m doing the final edit of A Shape which I hope will be out next year and I’m in the midst of writing the last of the Drumbeats trilogy which is called Finding Jess. It involves Ghana again, but 40 years after the setting of Drumbeats. I need to get it to my publishers very soon, so I’d better crack on …! Bring on the coffee – and chocolate!

And lastly, if you had to spend a whole year on a desert island, what would your ‘must haves’ be and why?

My kindle. The only thing I need! Well, I suppose I should have sun lotion and my swim cos too. Realistically, I don’t think I could survive without my laptop, or at the very least paper and a pen. I think I might be quite happy if I could while away the time reading and writing!

Drumbeats_ Twitter banner copy

Drumbeats (the first of the trilogy) is on Amazon in ebook at £0.99 for the next 3 days! It’s at:


Julia Ibbotson is an author and academic, and lives in the middle of the English countryside in a renovated Victorian rectory with her husband, an orchard, a kitchen garden and far too many moles. Their four children are now grown up and they have four grandchildren. She was a school teacher for many years before becoming a senior university lecturer, researcher and writer. She loves travelling, choral singing, walking, sailing and swimming, as well as, of course, gardening and cooking for family and friends.



Author page on Amazon:

Author facebook:


Author website:

Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book

Goodreads author page:

Posted in Writing


The Wendy House


Pauline Barclay


Genre: Women’s Fiction / Family-Noir

Publication Date: Saturday 3rd September, 2016

When Nicola changes overnight from a bright, happy young child into a sullen, rebellious girl, ceasing to show interest in anything or anyone around her, her parents struggle to understand why. As she develops into a difficult, troubled, hostile teenager they put it down to hormones, believing it will pass. Yet Nicola goes from bad to worse and no matter how much her mother tries to reach out to her, it seems she is hell bent on self-destruction. When she leaves home at seventeen, rushing into the arms of a man ten years her senior and quickly becoming pregnant, her despairing mother almost gives up on her. A decade later, the events that stole Nicola’s childhood and changed the course of her life threaten finally to destroy her. She knows if she is to cling on to her sanity she must tell her mother the dreadful secret she has carried all these years, but her fear that she will be met with disbelief, hostility and branded an evil liar drives her to the edge.

A heart-rending story of betrayal, secrets and gripping fear.

The Wendy House is available in Kindle on all Amazon sites including

And will be available in paperback very soon.


A little about Pauline

Open Book MSB

I am from Yorkshire, but have lived in several different locations including, Suffolk, Surrey and Holland. Today, I live on one of the beautiful volcanic islands of the Canary Isles with my husband and our two gorgeous rescue doggies.

Years ago I gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University, today I spend my time writing fiction. I have six books published, plus a 20 minute short festive story.

My passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay in your hearts for a very long time.
Twitter: @paulinembarclay
Instagram: @paulinebarclay