Saturday, July 13, 2024

Summer catch up!

Summer seems to be flying by at a rate of knots! I was ill for two weeks with a severe respiraory infection which knocked me off my stride. Now I'm busy catching myself back up as I write the next Miss Underhay - working title - Murder in Central Park, and the second in my new series. The secret detective agency book 2 - snappy title huh? The new series will start next year so I'm editing, writing, polishing and all kinds of crazy right now! I'm also going to Theakston Crime Festival this year in Harrogate, Yorkshire. I'm going on Thursday and returning Sunday. I'm meeting my youngest daughter and her partner there for dinner on Friday too! Attending something this big is a challenge for me. I'm fine if I'm going with a purpose to something - like being on a panel or moderating but when it's a new experience just going as an attendee it brings a lot of challenges for me. The first is physical, I can't stand for any period and my walking and balance isn't great so queueing and not knowing if there will be seats is scary. I also struggle to hear properly in crowds. The second is because of my dyscalculia the website to navigate what is on where and when is tricky. It's like being given a complicated jigsaw without the picture on the lid. Everything seems to be in different places and clashes with gaps and I can't find information. I'm so grateful to those author friends who have offered me help and patiently explained things to me. I'm sure once I get there it will be clearer and Mr Nell is coming with me so at least I have help to save me from getting lost and having a nervous breakdown. My nail artist, Keelie, has painted brilliant crime themed nails for me so hopefully that might break the ice when I'm talking to people. Several of my fabulous readers have also said they are hoping to meet me there as are lovely Saskia and Francesca from my agency. So if you see me wombling about looking lost or confused please come and say hello! I'd love to meet you.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Returning guest! Verity Bright

A warm welcome back to one of our favourite guests - Verity Bright who has a new title, Murder in Mayfair, out today!
Tea and cake at The Ritz, a stolen pearl necklace and a missing dead body… Lady Swift is back on the case! Lady Eleanor Swift has been eagerly awaiting her trip in a hot air balloon to take in London’s amazing sights. But what she witnesses instead is a murder! From way up high she sees man in a dark coat shoot another man dead, but by the time she arrives back on the ground, Eleanor can find no trace of the body. Just the broken piece of a pearl necklace clasp, trodden into the dirt. Back at The Ritz hotel, over afternoon tea, Eleanor’s old friend Lady Philomena Chadwick confides in her about a scandalous theft. Lady Chadwick is certain someone on her staff has stolen her priceless pink pearl necklace. Eleanor is immediately suspicious when the description matches the jewellery she spotted at the crime scene. Much to her butler Clifford’s amusement, Eleanor goes undercover as a governess in the Chadwick’s sparkling Mayfair mansion. As she sets about questioning the disgruntled staff, she uncovers a treasure trove of gossip. But how do a secret love affair, a flirty footman with a fondness for spying, and a housemaid hiding a nightly visitor connect to the murder? And when Eleanor’s beau, Detective Hugh Seldon, is brought in to investigate a string of further robberies in Park Lane, Eleanor is certain that Chadwick House is hiding the unlikeliest gang of jewel thieves below stairs… This sounds like great fun! You can get your copy HERE

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Guest Author - Helen Hollick

For my first guest this month I'm delighted to introduce you to my lovely friend, Helen Hollick. She has a wonderful series of books -The Jan Christopher Mysteries, which you all might like to try! Here's Helen to tell you more!
A Memory of Murder – a new cosy murder mystery to solve – along with library assistant Jan Christopher, her fiancĂ©, Detective Sergeant Laurie Walker and her uncle, Detective Chief Inspector Toby Christopher. Set in the 1970s this easy-read cosy mystery series is based around the years when Helen was a north-east London library assistant, using many of her remembered anecdotes, some hilarious – like the boy who wanted a book on Copper Knickers. (You’ll have to read the first book, A Mirror Murder to find our more!) The mysteries alternate between Jan’s home town, and where Laurie’s parents live – North Devon, (where Helen now lives.) In this fifth episode, there’s a missing girl, annoying decorators, circus performers, and a wanna-be rock star to deal with. But who remembers the brutal, cold case murder of a policeman?
Easter 1973. The North London library where Jan Christopher works is in upheaval because the decorators are in to spruce the place up, but there is more for her policeman uncle, DCI Toby Christopher and her fiancĂ©, DS Laurie Walker, to worry about than a few inconvenient pots of paint. An eleven-year-old girl has not returned home after school, and strange ‘gifts’ are being surreptitiously left for the detective chief inspector’s family to find. Could these items have anything to do with the unsolved murder, fifteen years ago, of Jan’s policeman father? Buy Link: Amazon universal: HERE (e-book available for pre-order: published on 18th May - paperback release to follow) Or order from any bookstore (cheaper on Amazon) Reader’s comments: "Can I say this is the best one (of the series) yet? YES! For the depth of the writing, the maturity of the main character, and the complexity of the premise. It's cosy...with a few chills for good measure!" Elizabeth St John, author "I sank into this gentle cosy mystery story with the same enthusiasm and relish as I approach a hot bubble bath, (in fact this would be a great book to relax in the bath with!), and really enjoyed getting to know the central character..." Debbie Young bestselling cosy mystery author "Jan is a charming heroine. You feel you get to know her and her love of books and her interest in the people in the library where she works. She's also funny, and her Aunt Madge bursts with character - the sort of aunt I would love to have had. I remember the 70s very well and Ms Hollick certainly gives a good flavour of the period." Denise Barnes (bestselling romance author Molly Green) “A delightful read about an unexpected murder in North East London. Told from the viewpoint of a young library assistant, the author draws on her own experience to weave an intriguing tale” Richard Ashen (South Chingford Community Library) "Every sentence pulls you back into the early 1970s... The Darling Buds of May, but Devon not Kent. The countryside itself is a character and Hollick imbues it with plenty of emotion" Alison Morton, author “An enjoyable novella with a twist in who done it. I spent the entire read trying to decide what was a clue and what wasn’t ... Kept me thinking the entire time. I call that a success.” Reader's Review ABOUT HELEN First accepted for traditional publication in 1993, Helen became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she writes a nautical adventure/supernatural series, The Sea Witch Voyages. She has also branched out into the quick read novella, 'Cosy Mystery' genre with her Jan Christopher Mysteries, set in the 1970s. Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She is currently writing about the ghosts of North Devon for Amberley Press, and another, Jamaica Gold for her Sea Witch Voyages. She lives with her family in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in North Devon with their dogs and cats, while on the farm there are showjumper horses, fat Exmoor ponies, an elderly Welsh pony, geese, ducks and hens. And several resident ghosts. Find Helen here: Website: HERE Facebook: HERE Blog: promoting good authors & good reads HERE

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Release day!!!

Murder on the French Riviera is out in the big, wide world! I hope you all enjoy it. You can grab a copy HERE

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Watch this space!

It's been a busy few weeks! The next Miss Underhay book is now with my editor and is being titled Murder in the Countryside! Edits have been done on the first of the Secret Detective Agency books and I'm thrilled to say that I've agreed to do a few more signings and lit fest appearances so keep your eyes peeled for announcements on those closer to the time. Murder on the French Riviera is out in 10 days time! eek! The day before my middle daughter's wedding, so if I seem very scattered around then you'll know why.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Almost May!!!

Wow! This month has shot past! My editor loves book 1 of the Secret Detective Agency and I'm getting stuck in to writing the second book. The series will launch early next year and I am so excited for you to meet Jane, Arthur, Benson and Marmaduke the cat. For my Miss Underhay fans, have no fears, there are lots more Matt and Kitty stories in the pipeline. Murder on the French Riviera is live on Netgalley for advance readers and getting great reviews! Phew! I'm almost done on the first draft of Murder in the apple orchard which is possibly the title we're getting for the next book in the series. May will be a busy month for me as Murder on the French Riviera releases the day before my middle daughter's wedding! May is also mine and Mr Nell's 39th wedding anniversary (On Star wars day lol) and my youngest daughters birthday. So if I seem a bit frazzled around then you'll know why!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Going out out!

Yesterday I had a lovely time meeting writerly people. First in Exeter with a fab lunch talking to friends old and new about everything writing and publishing. Then on the evening out to Totnes to meet more locally based writing friends old and new! Now though it's back to work as these books won't write themselves! The first in my new series, The Secret Detective Agency which will be out next year is sitting with my agent and my editor so I'm diving into writing book 2. The next Miss Underhy book, Murder on the French Riviera is out May 28th - the day before my middle daughters wedding! And I'm halfway through writing the next Miss Underhay, Murder at the apple orchard. So I'm a busy bee. Remember you can preorder Murder on the French Riviera now and you can always catch up with me on Twitter, Instagram and my Facebook author page.