Posted in Writing

Tell Me No Secrets is now out in paperback and today author Lynda Stacey is here to give us the low down on Ben Parker and what makes a good hero…


TMNS pic 4


Can a secret be worse than a lie?

Every time Kate Duggan looks in a mirror she is confronted by her guilt; a long, red scar reminding her that she was ‘the one to walk away’ from the car accident. Not everyone was so lucky …
On the surface her fiancé Rob is supportive – but the reality is different. He’s controlling, manipulative and, if the phone call Kate overhears is anything to go by, he has a secret. But just how dangerous is that secret?
When Kate begins work at a firm of private investigators, she meets Ben Parker. His strong and silent persona is intriguing but it’s also a cover – because something devastating happened to Ben, something he can’t get over.
As Kate and Ben begin their first assignment, they become close. But, what they don’t realise is how close to home the investigation will bring them, or who will be hurt in the process …

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Kate Duggan blames herself for an accident which killed her brother and crippled her twin sister Eve. She has a constant reminder of the crash – a scar on her face which she camouflages with makeup. Not only does she feel guilty for what happened, her own physical disfigurement has left her with low esteem. When she meets handsome personal trainer Rob, she believes she has found someone who looks beyond the scar and really loves her. Now engaged and living in a cottage her grandmother left her, things appear to have changed. Rob is no longer a warm loving man but bullying and secretive.
Originally training as a lawyer, Kate joined the Met as a police officer . Having left her uniform days behind she is about to begin working for private investigators Parker and Sons. On her first morning when introduced to the owner’s son Ben she feels a spark of attraction but reminds herself she is already committed to Rob. Ben is also attracted to Kate but is still mourning the death of his wife and unborn child. As the two of them begin working together on a drugs case, a close friendship forms.
Lynda Stacey provides all the right ingredients for a thoroughly enjoyable read. She skilfully brings her characters together , introducing us to a hero and heroine still holding onto their painful pasts, a thoroughly unpleasant boyfriend and the mother from hell to mention but a few There are enough plot twists and turns in the plot as it sweeps Ben and Kate in and out of dangerous situations, as you wonder whether they will eventually get together or not. An excellent follow up to her first novel House of Secrets.


Author Bio

L (1) copy 2Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

Twitter: @Lyndastacey



Tell Me No Secrets: The Hero – All About Ben Parker

With the paperback release of Tell Me No Secrets, I decided that it was at this time that I got to look back at how I created Ben, the hero of the book …

Who is Ben Parker?

Ben is obviously gorgeous but has a secret of his own. He’s caring, understanding and comes over as calm, with just a hint of vulnerability, all of which quickly shows through in his personality.

Ben is the son of William Parker, who owns the private investigator firm where Kate Duggan goes to work. Everyone keeps telling Ben to move on, to start his life again, but Ben still lives with the past, with the loss of his wife and unborn child and with the guilt that if only he’d been home, he might just have been able to save them both.

What makes a good hero?

And of course this is only my opinion.
A good hero is hard to find. I often read books where the hero isn’t that appealing (to me), they are often flat and without much of a personality, which is why I like to give my heroes a history. I feel that they need depth of character and a big personality. They don’t necessarily have to be overly gorgeous, but of course it helps. I feel that it’s more important for them to be kind, respectful, passionate and sensitive. I also feel that the hero needs to be interesting, and just a little flawed. He needs to feel emotion, even if sometimes that’s anger or hatred, especially towards someone who is trying to hurt the people he loves. All of this helps the reader identify with him, they take the journey with him as he overcomes those flaws, and what’s more they begin to root for him to achieve and succeed.

A piece of the novel from Ben Parker’s point of view…!

Ben cringed, caught her eye and mouthed ‘sorry’. He liked the way she came across, appearing to be timid, cautious, yet with the flick of a switch, she’d turn feisty, and easily capable of standing her ground.

She intrigued him. He realised why she thought the accident was personal, he could understand her not wanting to talk about it in public and why she had omitted it on the application form. After all, he knew that her sister had been paralysed, her brother killed and out of curiosity, he half hoped his father would push her for just a few more answers.
Ben once again caught her gaze. She looked defenceless and ready to run; her eyes held the light like mirrors and sparkled as though full of tears that didn’t or couldn’t fall. He smiled at her and her mouth curled up slightly at one side in a quirky, nervous half smile and then there was the scar, a scar that carved itself into her jawline. It was definitive, yet somehow added to her vulnerability, and for some reason, it made her even more beautiful.
He breathed in deeply and then closed his eyes. She wore a fragrance that reached its way across the office. It was fresh, musky and distinguished and he kept his eyes closed momentarily to enjoy the scent.

Rousing himself, he walked to the door and excused himself from the room. He then stood in the passageway with his back against the wall. His hands made fists and he felt angry with himself for looking at Kate that way. She was a work colleague after all, and he reprimanded himself for thinking otherwise. It had been the first time, since Julia had died, that he’d admired another woman. Or had thought of one in that way and, for a moment, he felt as though he’d betrayed her memory. Even though he knew he didn’t need it, he looked up to the sky for forgiveness, before taking a deep breath, opening the door and walking back into the office, where Kate and his father were talking.





Posted in Writing


Today I’m pleased to welcome Suzan Collins the creator of the Chatty Cat series.

Hi Suzan and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

I live by the sea and enjoy writing fiction as it allows me to make up stories – and eat cake! I also write non-fiction to inform others.

What led to you becoming an author?

I used to manage care homes and there was a gap in training materials so I wrote some open learning workbooks for the staff to complete. When I left management I was offered a four book contract by Jessica Kingsley Publishers and in 2018 a further two book contract…. And now have 16 titles published #nonfiction #fiction #adults #children

What inspired you to write The Chatty Cat series?

22nd Feb 2017_4Chatty is an actual cat. My cat. Chatty was rescued by the local RSPCA and named Twinkle. A few days of moving in she chatted so much I soon named her Chatty Cat. Social media is great for showing people things and of course within a day or two of Chatty moving in I posted a few photos of her. As the days went on people were asking about her and wanted to see more pics so I set up a FB page for her. I was then contacted by some who are not on FB saying they wanted to keep up to date with and a blog was built. Chatty narrates her own books and as they follow her life they also give valuable info to the children reading her books e.g. how to look after a cat, an introduction to bullying, dementia etc. Book five which is out soon follows Chatty and her furry friends and their adventures and the passing of one of their cat friends. There are some sad chapters in this one but it teaches children about death and that you can talk about it.

My books are written for children and adults read them too!

Four book covers

Chatty Cat: My Purr-fect New Home Book 1
Chatty Cat: Spring into Summer Book 2
Chatty Cat: My Purr-fect Friends Book 3
Chatty Cat: Activity Book Book 4
Chatty Cat: Autumn into Winter Book 5 (coming really soon)


Are you a meticulous planner or do you come up with an idea, begin writing and see where it takes you?

I’m an in-betweener. I have an idea and start writing it to see where it takes me and then devise a plan.

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

I’m always working on a few books at a time and usually fiction and nonfiction. Currently I’m revising ‘The Get Writing Buddy’, writing a novel and writing the first children’s book in Izzy Cat’s series (my second rescue cat). Chatty and Izzy are very different not only in size but also in character. Chatty is now confident and laid back whereas Izzy is cheeky and in to everything.

Great pic of Izzy walking up the garden_29th Oct 2016


In my children’s books I always have an auction for people to bid to have their pet or relative named in my cat series with monies from the auction going to Cats Protection Anglia Coastal (they rescued Izzy Cat). The auction closes on 14th Feb so if any readers wish to buy that special unique present for their loved one here’s the link

Me and Lucy's grandson


Head n shouldersInternationally selling author, Suzan Collins, enjoys writing fiction as it allows her to make up stories – and eat cake! She also writes non-fiction to inform others – and eats cake!

To see all books by Suzan Collins and find out more about her, please visit:
Facebook Author page:
Twitter: @suzancollins


Chatty Cat’s social media:
Twitter: @chattycatsuzi