May arrived with little change in the weather. In fact, by the time I’d had my birthday and we were on our way to Wells Next The Sea in Norfolk for a week’s holiday, although the sun had put in a regular appearance, it came with a sting in the tail – a sharp north easterly wind. Looking back to 2017 when we came to Wells and had our first holiday in Church View, I remember it being a week where we did have rain, but eventually those grey clouds cleared away and when the sun came out, boy was it warm! I guess we shouldn’t have been too surprised with what’s happened this year though. It’s been a strange time weather-wise, with what has felt like continuous rain since the beginning of the year.
This was our fourth trip to Wells, something that began after watching Kingdom back in 2007. Set in Norfolk, it it featured a family legal practice based in Wells, and starred Stephen Fry and Hermione Norris. You can still catch all three series on ITVX. Just as the crime drama Bergerac back in the 1980s was a great show for promoting Jersey (and yes, it was one of the factors which influenced us to take a holiday there), so Kingdom did the same for Wells. What started as a trip out of curiosity, has now become one of our established holiday destinations. It really is a wonderfully relaxing place to chill out for a week (or two).
Church View, the house we rented is well furnished, right next to the Bowling Green Inn (a busy pub where you need to reserve a table if you plan to eat there) and five minutes away from both the High Street and the nearest supermarket. It’s also a short distance from Butlands, the open expanse of green where The Crown and The Globe are situated – two of our favourite eating places.
So what else have I been up to? Well, I met up with fellow writer Lizzie Lamb in Bath half way through the month. On her way home from Cornwall, it was a lovely opportunity to catch up over lunch with lots of book talk.
To be honest, this month is another which has flown by. I’m only hoping with the arrival of June we just might get some warmer weather.
Until next month….
Yes, nine books this month! With The Secrets We Keep being published at the end of April, I had time of my hands and, well, May certainly had some great titles lined up. A special shout out for Katie Bishop’s The Girls of Summer, and M A Hunter’s Adrift. Both were exceptional reads. Next month is a little quieter, I promise.
Wow! A third of the way through 2023 already. I can’t believe how quickly this year is passing. April has been a disappointment as far as the weather is concerned. More overcast days and rain punctuated with the occasional sunny day. I’m hoping we come out of this seemingly never-ending bout of greyness and emerge into wall to wall sunshine for a while. What are the chances, do you think?
April, of course, was publication day for my third and final book in the Cornish Coastal series. I had an amazing response on social media. Once again, thank you to everyone who liked, retweeted or posted a comment. It was very much appreciated, and it’s great to know there is so much support out there.
READING AND REVIEWING
This month I read seven books. Yes, I do try to limit myself to a sensible number but having said that, if I’m lucky enough to find titles I like which are well spaced through the month, it doesn’t seem a problem to add a couple more in. I’m quite a quick reader and so far on my 2023 Goodreads Challenge have completed 26 books. Below are those for April and I found two in particular were exceptional reads – Go As A River by Shelley Read, and The Enemy of Love by Annabelle
So that’s it for now. See you all next month. Take care, and enjoy your weekend.
There was a moment in time when I thought I would never reach this point. That this book would never make it beyond the draft stage. There were times, in fact, when I wanted to throw the towel in and admit the whole thing wasn’t working. However, us writer’s are made of sterner stuff and despite a good portion of 2022 being taken up with hospital tests followed by many weeks waiting for the results, I soldiered on. It wasn’t always easy. There were stops and starts but eventually I could see the end of the tunnel. And now, here we are, the book is out tomorrow in both e-book and paperback.
This is the final book of my Cornish coastal trilogy. It was never planned that way. Originally Shadows on the Water was supposed to be a one off. But as I wrote, I could see the potential for two more novels. A Kingswater Summer was published in 2021 and I began working on book 3 in late ’21/early ’22. The idea was to have this, the final book ready by early summer for publication in August. That, of course didn’t happen. It’s a spring publication in 2023 instead.
I’m happy that I’m leaving my three girls in a good place – Ava with her vineyard heir Alex, Kiera with TV hero Jake and finally Hayley with photographer Nick. They’ve all had to work hard for their happiness – yes I’m a hard mistress and certainly put them through a lot of difficult situations before they finally found their happy ever afters.
So what’s next? Not sure at the moment. I began writing commercially in 2009. My first book was too big to publish as one story, so I expanded it and it became a series of books instead. I have withdrawn all four of them from Amazon and intend to update each one, including new cover designs. The other option is to move on with a new project. So far I’ve located my books in West Somerset, South Devon, and both north and south Cornwall. Growing up in the West Country, I have always based my writing there, but strangely never in Wiltshire, where I spent most of my childhood. So there is another county, which I might consider. Before I make my decision, however, I’m concentrating on this final Cornish story. If you plan to download and read, or purchase a paperback, then I hope you enjoy it. And if you have time, please leave a review – a few lines will do.
After her father’s tragic death, abandoning thoughts of university, Hayley supported her mother with the day to day running of the Estuary House Hotel in Kingswater. Now, she is ready to return to her studies, but before that there’s a summer to enjoy.
When the luxury yacht, Odyssey, drops anchor in the Kingswater estuary, with Adam Davenport and his friends on board, Hayley has no idea about the impact they will have on her life. Spending time with Adam, she realises that despite having money and privilege he is very unhappy. Instinctively wanting to help him, she finds herself up against two huge barriers: his sinister friend Damian and Adam’s own capricious nature.
Nick Pallister is a young photographer staying at Estuary House while working on an assignment for the Cornish Tourist Board. On occasions Hayley ferries him upriver to find locations for wildlife shots. Kind, funny and easy on the eye, she is unaware of the danger as she gradually begins to fall under his spell.
When Nick unexpectedly checks out, taking steps to make sure he cannot be traced, Hayley comes to the painful conclusion she has merely been a summer fling. Days later, Adam takes a taxi into Truro and disappears. Despite an extensive police search, he is never found.
Six years have passed, and Hayley is settled and happy with a small daughter, Amelie. Thoughts of that summer long gone. Nick Pallister’s unexpected arrival at the hotel both surprises and angers her. Determined to get some answers, she is unaware that he may have questions of his own; ones that could easily jeopardise the new life she has built for herself and her daughter.
Set on the south coast of Cornwall, The Secrets We Keep is a story of lost love, secrets and second chances.
Available in e-book at £1.99 (UK) and paperback on Amazon
Yes, I guess this is the most important news to come out of March. The third and final instalment of my Cornish Coastal Romance trilogy is finally ready to meet the outside world. Given the kind of health issues that have seen me yo-yoing in and out of hospital for clinic appointments during 2022, it became a bit of a battle to complete The Secrets We Keep. Yes, there were times when I felt like abandoning the whole project, but looking back at how far I had come, I knew I had to keep going, no matter how difficult that final stretch would prove. Thankfully I managed it and can happily confirm I have the all clear and am now looking forward to getting back to regular writing.
Not sure how everyone else feels, but for me the move into summertime with the clocks being put forward an hour is a time for celebration. We’re eventually pulling away from those dark evenings and hopefully can now look forward to brighter, lighter days. Not that the weather is currently playing ball. We’ve had a few really lovely spring days full of sunshine, but there are moments, like today, when winter’s keen to tell us it hasn’t yet left the building!
Next month is a double for me. Birthday and the first of our holidays. We’re returning to Wells Next the Sea on the Norfolk Coast. This will be our fourth trip to this lovely part of the UK. Friendly locals, big skies, sea air, long walks and fabulous food…what more could you want?
MY READ AND REVIEWS FOR MARCH 2023
This month has delivered a great selection of books. I have a quite broad taste when it comes to reading. Despite preferring psychological thrillers, I often opt for something completely different if I know it’s an author whose work I enjoy, or if the synopsis interests me. Four of this month’s choices proved exceptional –
The Last Party at Silverton Hall (a wonderful dual time line read) The Hidden Letters (Lorna Cook being a favourite author of mine, didn’t disappoint with this), The Loch (atmospheric and suspenseful) and The Night She Vanished by Wendy Dranfield, another author who I know always delivers an exceptional read.
So that’s it for now. Hopefully by the time I’m back with my April update, we’ll be in a better place with the weather, with many of us looking forward to our 2023 holidays.
Available in ebook, audiobook, paperback and on Kindle Unlimited.
My parents seem to be the perfect couple. But no one knows what I know…
Everyone in the small Midwestern town of Henderson looks up to my perfect parents. With dependable jobs as a midwife and the town sheriff, they help this close-knit community feel safe. But the locals didn’t grow up in my parents’ house. They don’t know what I know. And they wouldn’t believe me if I told them…
After my best friend vanished when we were just fifteen, I left town and never looked back. I couldn’t prove it, but I think my parents killed her.
Now, years later, my little sister has vanished. I have no choice but to go home and play happy families again. Because I have to find out what my parents have done to her. I have to try to save her.
But when bones are discovered on a local farm, and all the evidence leads back to our front door, I realize I was wrong about absolutely everything. And that coming back was the deadliest thing I could do…
An utterly gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat long into the night.
Wendy is the bestselling author of the Detective Madison Harper crime series.
She is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who writes a mixture of standalone thrillers, crime series and short stories. Some of her books have been shortlisted and longlisted for various writing competitions and awards, including the Mslexia novel competition and the International Thriller Writer Awards. Several have also hit the Amazon Top 100 chart.
You can find more information on her website: wendydranfield.co.uk
Facebook & Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author
When she was 15, Nicole Rivers best friend Lori disappeared. Blood on the grass in the local park where she was last seen indicated foul play, but her body was never found. Now, Nicole’s younger pregnant sister Amie has also disappeared. A phone call from her mother, asking her to return home, sees Nicole and her husband Lucas travelling back to Henderson, the town where she grew up to be reunited with her estranged parents. Unhappy that little appears to have been done by her father, the local sheriff, to locate her sister, Nicole decides to investigate.
The Night She Vanished is Wendy Dranfield’s second stand alone thriller and it’s another brilliant read. The story is full of twists, turns and surprises with cleverly written characters whose motives you’re never quite sure of. It’s a total page turner with a dramatic conclusion. I have to admit to burning the midnight oil to finish this one, I simply could not put it down. A well deserved five stars from me.
First post of 2023! January has simply whizzed by and now we’re saying goodbye to February. The first month of the year is my least favourite and usually the most quiet. So, I decided to move on and save my first update for February. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to have happened, here so I am, finishing off the post during the first few days of March!
What a lot of difference these weeks have made. The days are lighter and the dusk is nudging towards six pm. Whether you believe in Seasonal Affected Disorder or not, dark mornings and the early onset of dark evenings as the year ends definitely makes an impression on me. And not a good one. The run up to Christmas, with all its social activities acts as a distraction. There are things to look forward to. Purchases to make, get togethers to organise. And then, soon after the last strains of Auld Lang Syne have faded, there you are, face to face with January and a whole month which makes me feel I want to hibernate. No, of course that’s an exaggeration. It’s another year. New things to plan and look forward to. Nevertheless, I always find myself eager to get away from those thirty one days and move into February. And now, here we are, and I know I should not wish my life away, but I’m so glad January and February are behind me.
Fitness classes have resumed and I’m glad because I really felt the need to get back to proper exercise. Standing in the kitchen using two tins of beans for weights is no substitution. Joking aside, I do actually have some proper weights (in a girly pink circa late 1980s). I also have a step exerciser, and a selection of exercise bands, and I try to make time for home exercise. There is no substitution, however, for exercising as a group with a proper fitness trainer.
Holidays – I think everyone thought I was mad booking two holidays for 2023 in November. However, it’s clear from the situation with the current level of bookings on holiday websites that UK holidays a very much in demand. I’m spending my birthday in Norfolk at Wells Next The Sea. We first came here in 2007. Friends of ours retired to Dereham and love it so we always catch up with them whenever we stay here. I’ve always had this thing about boats and water and love Wells. It’s also a place for walkers and is a great opportunity to walk those extra pounds off (the pubs here are very good!)
In June we travel down to Devon. This time we’re in Kingsbridge; somewhere we haven’t stayed for quite a few years, usually opting for Dartmouth if we decide to stay in South Hams. And finally, in September we’re spending a week at Lake Garda. I really love the Italian Lakes and this time we’re going back to Desenzano, staying in the same hotel as we did in 2016. It will be my first trip overseas since Covid. The last time I holidayed out of the UK was in 2018 in Menorca. Memorable for all the wrong reasons, as I broke my ankle stepping awkwardly off the bottom step of the staircase in the villa where we were staying. As a result, I spent most of the summer in plaster, followed by a boot and physio. Not something I’m keen to repeat…
And finally –
READING AND REVIEWING
A busy two months so far – and some exceptionally good reads. For an excellent crime drama, I can recommend The Lonely Lake Killings by Wes Markham. Or if you are a lover of psychological thrillers then why not try The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath?
JANUARY and FEBRUARY
Have a good March everyone, by the time I’m here again, we’ll be looking forward to Easter and hopefully, the weather will be a tad warmer…
So here we are, facing the final few days of 2022. For me, it’s been not only one of the speediest but probably the most challenging. So what exactly has been happening?
The plan had been to publish my WIP in August, a month I usually work to for publication. Unfortunately, due to issues which will come to light later in this post, it’s now been rescheduled for the end of January 2023. I’m nearly there, but it has been a long journey, one which has had a knock on effect and caused the start of my 13th novel to be delayed. On a positive note, maybe the beginning of this new year is a good time to launch a new project, who knows? Anyway, in anticipation of the new title, here’s the banner advertising the now completed Cornish trilogy.
The good news is I’ve had my last post Cancer CT scan and once again, thankfully it was clear. All that is left now are two six monthly CEA blood tests and then that’s it. Having experienced the big C, caught at Stage One (for which I am eternally grateful) it has given me a nudge with regard to diet and fitness and I’m not only careful what I eat now, but exercise (mostly walking) regularly.
If I had thought that was it and I could get on with life, I was to be disappointed. In January, I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, something which affects around 1.4 million people. I was put on a small dose of beta blocker and a blood thinner. This worked for a while but gradually I began to feel light headed and breathless. I got to a stage where I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs at home without struggling for breath. Back to the doctors and a blood test showed I was severely anaemic and needed a transfusion. After that my iron levels went back to normal as did my breathing. However, the general consensus was that I must have an internal bleed. So began the investigation. To date, I have had a Radioscopy, Colonoscopy and a tablet pill. The latter is swallowed on an empty stomach and takes intermittent pictures of your upper digestive track. All very sci fi and when you think about it, truly amazing. This took place on 13th November and there is an 8 week wait for results – which means I should get them in about two weeks from now. I’ve also had an echocardiogram which takes an ultrasound of the heart. Am happy to say both Radioscopy and Colonoscopy were both clear and the echocardiogram showed no problems. So at the moment, everything hangs on the camera pill results. As for me, I’m feeling well, breathing is fine and energy levels good. I believe if anything was terribly wrong I would have been told by now.
We spent a week in May in Cumbria which due to my health problems wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. However, it’s such a beautiful part of the country and sitting in the car it was easy to forget my situation and simply enjoy the scenery.
June, post transfusion, I was back to normal for our trip to Suffolk. We had been here in 2019 and watching The Dig starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes made me realise I’d missed out on Sutton Hoo. Our trip took place on one of the warmest days of the holiday and we both enjoyed the day there, even if I chickened out of climbing the observation tower. I really don’t do heights! We also did a lot of walking, met up with old friends and enjoyed eating out at some great restaurants and pubs. All in all, a perfect week.
In September we returned to Fowey. After all these years I still find Cornwall a magical place. We stayed in our usual apartment in The Old Stationmaster’s House, within sight of the Boddinick Ferry. The weather was a little disappointing, probably because we’d not been able to book our usual first week of the month, which still manages to hold onto most of August’s heat. Instead, we arrived on the 17th to a chilly breeze and drizzle. There were some brighter days, of course, but a planned trip across on the ferry, followed by a walk along the coastal path to Polruan had to be postponed. I’m sure we’ll get to do that sometime in the future though, as we will definitely be back.
I set my Goodreads Challenge at 45 this year, and having just finished my final read for the year, ended at 71! Because hospital appointments meant I continually had to dip in and out of my writing, it was good to take a break and relax with a book. I’ve already set up for the first six months of 2023 with 17 books. However, I do realise it is important to put my own writing first and that’s something I definitely plan to do in the new year. The trouble is, there are so many good books out there!
Here are a few of my favourite titles for 2022.
And so that’s about it. Another year beckons. New places to go, people to meet, books to be written (and read). So it’s goodbye for now and wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. Tomorrow it’s my turn to cook for friends. The day will be busy with food prep and it will be all about making sure everyone enjoys their evening and raises a glass to the incoming new year.
A bit of a white rabbit moment ‘I’m late, I’m late for a very important date…’. This post should have been published a few days prior to the end of last month, but sadly got held up. However I’m here now with some big news.
Yes, at last my twelfth novel and third part of my Cornish trilogy has moved a step forward. I can now reveal the cover for The Secrets We Keep. Set, as the other two novels have been, in the fictitious estuary town of Kingswater on the south Cornish coast, it’s sad to be leaving. I’ve enjoyed my time there and will miss them all. But new situations and characters beckon and I’m eager for a fresh challenge.
A special thanks to Jane Dixon Smith, who has designed an amazing cover. There will be more news about the publication date and pre-publication purchase options soon. Watch this space!
Can it only be a month ago that we were celebrating Guy Fawkes on 5th November, and fireworks were bursting across the night sky? Now it’s all about Christmas markets, festive food lists and writing and posting cards.
November has been a quiet month. Mostly there’s been rain; lots of it, which thankfully didn’t affect us as we live on a steep road, so no flooding. Nevertheless, it left its indelible print as the leaves came down and settled in soggy piles on the lawn. Thankfully, in those last days of the month we were able to clear them away and get the garden ready for winter.
The Christmas Market opened in town in the last week of the month and as usual, is busy. It does bring in a lot of visitors as well as locals and is one of the big events of the year.
My writing journey is almost at an end. It’s one of those times which pulls in a mixture of sadness that I’m leaving my characters and relief that the project is complete. On this occasion, I am doubly sad as this is the third and final book in my Cornish series. I have enjoyed writing these three novels, which in the beginning was only planned as a single book. However, once Shadows On the Water had been published, it occurred to me that there were two more individuals who had their own stories to tell. As my central character Ava Warren’s two closest friends, I felt they deserved their own ‘fifteen minutes of fame’.
The first, featuring Ava’s childhood friend, Keira Merrick, was an easy journey. Progress was good and A Kingswater Summer published in August 2021. The third and final instalment of the series, which ran with a number of titles, but finally ended as The Secrets We Keep featured single mother Hayley Young, another of Ava’s friends. I wrote this during the winter months, hoping to finish it and publish in August 2022. Unfortunately, some unexpected health issues interrupted the writing, turning the whole thing into a stop-start, and completely disrupting my progress. I can’t remember a more frustrating time during the years I have been writing. But never one to give up, I knew I really needed to complete this series. Now I’m looking forward to getting down to novel number 13 after Christmas. This time, I’m coming home. I’ve set books in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and now it’s the turn of Wiltshire, the county where I was born and raised. Can’t wait to get started.
And lastly, my review reads for the month
So that’s it for November. Holidays are over for the year, there’s all the organising for Christmas to get on with. I have only had one read and review for December, which has been a blessing with so much else to do. I’ll catch up with you again as we look forward to 2023 and all that brings us. Take care and Merry Christmas to everyone!
Today, I’m pleased to welcome author Rachel Brimble onto my blog to talk about her writing journey – and what an incredible one it has been…
Almost Fifteen Years And I’m Still Going Strong…
When my first novel, a contemporary romantic suspense called Searching For Sophie was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2007, I had not thought much further than writing this first book. It had been my dream to become a published novelist since I read Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven series when I was about eight or nine, so I was ecstatic when my very first attempt at writing a novel was accepted by a publisher.
Within a month or two of the book’s release, I became aware that the writing bug (or curse!) had got me. I was desperate to get back to the keyboard and start writing my next book! Of course, I didn’t know anything about the publishing industry, how it worked or just how much more an author needs to do than actually write! The next book was published in 2008 (Reluctant Witness) and I knew then that writing was now a big part of me, and it wasn’t going away anytime soon.
Being the newbie I was, I did not promote these two books AT ALL, wrongly assuming that my publisher would take care of the marketing/selling side of things, leaving me free to get on and write the next book. Of course, that is not the case at all and so with book three (The Arrival of Lily Curtis) came the additional job of learning about promotion/social media/bloggers etc, but all too soon I was on my way and striving to become a bona fide author who actually sold a few books!
Which I can happily call myself today having had 28 novels published to date as well as magazine articles and founding my First Chapter Critique service for aspiring romance and women’s fiction authors (https://rachelbrimble.com/first-chapter-critique-service/ ). Which, I have to say, is one of my proudest achievements to date. Helping writers achieve a dream that I understand only too well is just an amazing blessing and hearing of their successes makes me so, so happy!
The publication of Victoria & Violet is a huge triumph for me as it is the realisation of a long-held ambition of writing a novel that included real people and events. Even though the idea for this book (and series) had been in my mind for a while, I was just too scared to start writing it. Why? I was unsure how much I could or was allowed to fictionalise and couldn’t help but worry than I would be criticized by the many readers who love the Victorian age and British royalty.
But it was hopeless to keep fighting this huge wish inside of me to write a book set in a young Queen Victoria’s court and I am so glad I took the leap! I adored writing this book and especially the scenes with Queen Victoria. She became a huge part of my life and consciousness for six months and this book will always be very special to me. The reviews so far have been fabulous so – fingers crossed – I’ve got the storytelling just right…happy reading!
VICTORIA AND VIOLET
It should be a dream come true to serve the Queen of England…
When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent.
Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.
Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen’s chief political adviser, Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through their service, their paths cross and their lives merge—as do their feelings.
Only Victoria’s court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals, and conspiracies…
So here we are, at the end of yet another month. As always time scoots by and now, after surviving flu and Covid shots (one in each arm, at the same time), it’s all been about Halloween and pumpkins. And beyond that November and, dare I say, the countdown to Christmas. This month I decided to chart my life in books – not as a writer, but as a reader. Of course, to include everything I have read would be impossible, and to do so would end up making it sound like an inventory in a library. But here are those which had the most impact, and maybe gradually nudged me towards becoming a writer.
LIFE AS A READER
Very often when choosing something to read by a writer new to me, I check out their bio. More often than not, they always say they have either read or written from an early age. Me too, I think. One of my childhood memories (when I was very young) was being taken to church on a Sunday and sitting between the adults with an Enid Blyton book – normally Noddy and Big Ears. So while the vicar stood in the pulpit imparting the weekly lesson to his flock, I was engrossed in the goings on in Toy Land.
Starting school, I began reading lessons with books involving brother and sister Janet and John, which I’m sure many will remember. And by the time I’d reached seven or eight, was pulled into the worlds of the Famous Five and Secret Seven – also written by Enid Blyton. One of my uncles, a teacher, regularly sent me books for birthdays and Christmases. I got though all the standards – Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, The Children of the New Forest, The Jungle Books and The Wind in the Willows to name a few. To receive a book token meant I could check out the children’s book section in W H Smith and purchase something new to read. I also joined the library in town and regularly took books out. Those early days were filled with the ability to escape to new and magic worlds.
My next real book memory came when I was in Year 11 (fourth year in pre-National Curriculum days ) at senior school. Competing with teen magazines and anything that had to do with the Beatles, copies of the Pan Book of Horror stories were very popular, and regularly swapped in class.
During my later teens it was all about music and socialising. It meant reading got put on the back burner for a while, although during my years at college I wrote regularly for the College Magazine. At the time, though, I never ever contemplated attempting to write a novel of my own.
Into my twenties, my reading taste became anything from horror and thrillers to historical fiction. I read Penmarric while on holiday in Cornwall one year, which for me, added to the magic of the story. My daily train journey to work in Bristol also gave me time for reading – and I made good use of it. I dipped into horror with Carrie and The Exorcist – and Peter Benchley’s Jaws (which everyone on the train seemed to have a copy of). Jeffery Archer, Rosemary Rogers and Jean Plaidy also featured in my TBR list of the time.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a wide variety of reads. I’ve never lost my love for historical fiction (Phillipa Gregory has taken Jean Plaidy’s place). Wilbur Smith was another favourite with his mix of South African history and saga. Currently I enjoy crime and psychological thrillers alongside contemporary fiction.
There are great romance writers out there too, so it’s a bit of a pick and mix for me, dipping in and out, from one genre to another as I find a book, read the blurb and decide on a download. As well as writing, I read and review and each year take up the Goodreads Challenge. This year, so far I have completed 61 reads.
The desire to become an author came in the noughties, when Sting’s Fields of Gold triggered thoughts of writing a romantic saga set in the West Country where I live – clearly his reference to fields of barley was an influencing factor. It was a huge challenge to undertake. I had worked on a couple storylines prior to this, after attending creative writing classes but nothing had come of either. This, however, felt more serious and I soon began working on a plot. I then began writing, not knowing whether the whole thing would fizzle out, or as I hoped, I would eventually get to the part where I could type THE END. Well, it was by no means an easy journey, but I did it, and my first book ‘When Tomorrow Comes’ charting the lives of four young women growing up in Somerset in the 1960s, was published in 2009. Four more in the series followed, then two set in Devon, three in Cornwall, with The Secrets We Keep, my final Cornish novel due to be published early in the New Year.
So what’s next? Honestly, I’m not sure at the moment. I do have the outline of a new story worked out, but need to give it some more thought. Until then, it’s all about seeing The Secrets We Keep through to publication. Next month I will be revealing the cover….yes, it’s definitely happening.