Haven Bridge and Miss Moonshine – The perfect ingredients for a heartwarming anthology!

Back in 2014, I contributed a story to Winter Tales, an anthology published by a group of romance writers. It was great fun, so I was interested to hear from Helen Pollard, who needs no introduction to regular blog readers, that she was part of another group collaborating to produce an anthology with the intriguing title Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings. Here she is to tell us about it:

 

I am fortunate to be part of a friendly group of romance writers who meet for lunch a few times a year in Hebden Bridge, a pretty mill town in Yorkshire.

View over Hebden Bridge – photo courtesy of Helena Fairfax

Why do we meet in Hebden Bridge? As we are scattered across Yorkshire and Lancashire, it’s somewhere we can all get to. Geography aside, it’s also a lovely place to visit, have coffee and look around the eclectic selection of shops. On a fine day, I’m often tempted to arrive early, and then I laugh as I bump into the others who are doing the same before our allotted meeting time.

Hebden Bridge – photo courtesy of Helena Fairfax

When, last summer, Helena Fairfax suggested working on an anthology together and we began to discuss common themes to tie our nine stories together, it seemed natural to choose the setting of Hebden Bridge, the place that had brought us together. As time went by and we began to write our stories, we felt it would be more convenient for our setting to be a fictional place based on Hebden Bridge, allowing us the leeway to make the setting fit our individual stories – and so it became Haven Bridge.

Besides the setting, we felt we needed a further common theme. Gradually, the figure of Miss Moonshine took shape – an eccentric old lady who has had a shop in the town for what seems like forever, selling all manner of things old and new, and always having the right item or the perfect words of wisdom for the characters in the stories. To help us envisage the shop for our stories, we decided the building that currently houses The Heart Gallery was perfect and dated far enough back to be included in the historical stories in the anthology.

The Heart Gallery, Hebden Bridge (http://heartgallery.co.uk/)

As our project progressed, I enjoyed my infrequent trips to Hebden Bridge even more – I took more notice of my surroundings so I could give a better feel for the setting in my story, and I found out more about the town and the surrounding area, and its history. Many of the stories in the anthology mention the canal, and I can’t deny it’s pleasant strolling along the towpath!

Canal at Hebden Bridge – photo courtesy of Helena Fairfax

I particularly enjoyed visiting the nearby village of Heptonstall recently. Although it doesn’t feature in my story, it’s somewhere I might not have thought to visit otherwise. And it does feature in Helena’s!

Heptonstall – photo courtesy of Helena Fairfax

We call ourselves Authors on the Edge. You can read into that what you will (!) but it refers to the fact that Hebden Bridge is on the edge of Yorkshire, near the border with Lancashire. Here we are after our recent lunch together …

Authors on the Edge

Back row, left to right:  Helen Pollard, Marie Laval, Mary Jayne Baker, Jacqui Cooper, Angela Wren.

Front row, left to right:  Sophie Claire, Kate Field, Helena Fairfax, Melinda Hammond.

We are all immensely proud of Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings, and it makes it extra special that our stories are set in the place where we’ve spent so many happy hours chatting and laughing and discussing ‘writerly’ things!

Thank you Helen! Here’s the lovely cover of Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings – I can’t wait to get stuck in!

Sometimes what you need is right there waiting for you…

Miss Moonshine’s Wonderful Emporium has stood in the pretty Yorkshire town of Haven Bridge for as long as anyone can remember. With her ever-changing stock, Miss Moonshine has a rare gift for providing exactly what her customers need: a fire opal necklace that provides a glimpse of a different life; a novel whose phantom doodler casts a spell over the reader; a music box whose song links love affairs across the generations. One thing is for certain: after visiting Miss Moonshine’s quirky shop, life is never the same again…

Nine romantic novelists from Yorkshire and Lancashire, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have joined together to create this collection of uplifting stories guaranteed to warm your heart. This intriguing mix of historical and contemporary romances will make you laugh, cry, and believe in the happy-ever-after.

Miss Moonshine is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US, or your local Amazon store.
You can find out more about the project on Helen’s pages on Twitter and Facebook.

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Fun with screenshots, and some news

Sometimes you come across a real gem of an image. I usually do an Amazon-check of my books at the weekend (unless they’re on promotion, when I *may* be tempted to check more often… 🙂 ) So last week, I opened Amazon UK, typed in Baby Dear (my shortest and easiest to type title) – and found the image below – please note it’s ‘…the most relevant results’:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder if they showed Baby Dear to people looking for very hungry caterpillars? It reminded me of a similar screenshot last Christmas. The connection was more obvious this time, but just in case anyone’s wondering, mine is definitely not a children’s book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something else that’s fun to collect is category bestseller flags. They don’t come round  often, but A Lake in Switzerland picked up one last week:

 

My ‘Switzerland’ novellas are doing better than I’d anticipated, which is nice. It’s not so easy finding readers when you do such a 180° genre-about-turn.
A Spa in Switzerland had a number one too, but I missed the flag screenshot. Here it is in the listing, though:

 

 

For the past several months, I’ve been cracking on with the next in the series, Trouble in Switzerland. It’s being edited at the moment and should be ready later this summer.
Although the novellas are a series, each story is complete in itself and they can easily be read as standalones.

 

 

Another thing I  enjoy is when Amazon recommends me my own books. I think this happens because their software (or whatever it is) notices that although I check these books regularly, I never buy one.

 

My headline news this week, though, is that Chosen Child is going to be translated into German and Italian – happy dance! This won’t happen overnight, but hopefully, sometime next year, I’ll have two more foreign editions to add to my collection of one…

Auf Wiedersehen and arrivederci!

 

 

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A Fractured Winter… with Alison Baillie

It’s lovely having guests on my blog, and even better when I know them in person as well as on social media. Alison Baillie lives a short train journey away from me, so she’s a ‘close’ friend in more ways than one, and here she is to tell us about her new book.

Thank you, Linda, for this chance to come onto your lovely blog and talk about the scenes in my second book, A Fractured Winter, newly published by Williams and Whiting. The book is mainly set in Switzerland, with sections in Yorkshire and Scotland. Although it is definitely not autobiographical, it is based on places and experiences from my life and I’ve looked out a few photos to illustrate some scenes in it.

The book is the story of one winter when the life of Olivia, a young Scottish mother living in Switzerland, changes forever. She lives in a small mountain village, Wildenwil, with her Swiss husband and her three school-age children. The village is imaginary, but is typical of small Swiss villages I’ve known.

The opening of the book takes place on a bright November day, when Olivia and her family seem to be living an idyllic life in their renovated farmhouse just outside the village. Her younger children go to school there and I’ve included a picture of the primary school nearest to where I live, which is how I imagine the Wildenwil village school.

 

Wildenwil is situated in the mountains above the lakeside town of Zug, a town in central Switzerland famous for its beautiful old town and low taxes. To show some of the lovely buildings there, I’ve added a photo of me and another Swiss writer friend, Louise Mangos (author of Strangers on a Bridge), when we met up in Zug.

 

 

The scenery around Wildenwil is also imaginary, but in my head it’s similar to the beautiful mountains of the Bernese Oberland. I’ve spent many holidays there, often in a wonderful old hotel which dates from the 18th century and has been preserved in its original state. Although the architecture is different, the atmosphere and amazing history of the building inspired the Grand Wildenbach Hotel in the book.

As the winter snow arrives, Olivia’s happiness is threatened by a series of events. Her daughter’s best friend goes missing, Olivia comes into contact with sinister strangers and the past, which she thought she’d managed to escape, begins to catch up with her. Against a backdrop of beautiful snow-covered scenery, Olivia is caught up in a dangerous mystery as she searches for the missing girl and her own identity. To give an idea of this snowy scene I’ve included a picture of Stoos, a ski resort mentioned in the book.

I’ve also added a picture of Olivia’s dog, Bella, just because she’s adorable!

She certainly is – thank you, Alison!

You can view A Fractured Winter in your local Amazon Store by clicking the title there, and Alison’s first book Sewing the Shadows Together, a psychological suspense novel set in Edinburgh, the Outer Hebrides and South Africa, by doing the same.

Alison Baillie was brought up in the Yorkshire Dales by Scottish parents. She studied English at the University of St Andrews, before teaching English in Edinburgh secondary schools and EFL in Finland and Switzerland, where she now lives. She spends her time reading, writing, travelling, playing with her grandchildren and attending crime writing festivals.

You can contact Alison through her website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

To finish off, here’s the last of Alison’s photo – the Bernese Oberland. Olivia and her family would see scenery like this every day!

 

 

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Ready for a day with a good book?

Now that the weather has turned into something we can enjoy, sitting out on the balcony with a cold drink and a great book, how about stocking up your kindle with a few summer(ish) reads? I joined in a version of this game a couple of weeks ago on Twitter, and here it is as a blog post. I’ve read, enjoyed, and reviewed all of these with 4* or 5* on Amazon.

S – Sister Psychopath by Maggie James
U – UK2 by Terry Tyler
M – Murder in Slow Motion by Rebecca Muddiman
M – Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase by Louise Walters
E – Embryo by J. A. Schneider
R – Ruth’s First Christmas by Elly Griffiths

 

R – Robbing the Dead by Tana Collins
E – Escape to Sunrise Cottage by Zara Thorne
A – A Highland Practice by Jo Bartlett
D – Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell
S – Snow Light by Danielle Zinn

 

We could do something similar with the writers, too. I’ve read most but not all of these books – the others are waiting on my kindle!

G – Georgia Rose, Parallel Lies
R – Rose Edmunds, Restitution
E – Emma Rowley, Where the Missing Go
A – Alison Baillie, A Fractured Winter
T – Tara Moore, Fade to Dead

 

F – Fiona Mitchell, The Maid’s Room
I – Ian Patrick, Rubicon
C – Clare Mackintosh, I See You
T – Tana French – The Trespasser
I – Iona Morrison, The Harvest Club
O – Owen Mullen, Games People Play
N – Nicola Cassidy, December Girl

We’ll have more book talk next week, when Alison Baillie will be here to tell us about her fabulous new book, A Fractured Winter – it’s set mostly in Switzerland, and she’s promised to bring some amazing photos!

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The Half-Bunny Pub…

It happened years ago, somewhere in England. I was visiting friends, we’d been out for the day, and were driving home again when someone suggested stopping for a drink. A hotel sign in the middle of the countryside presented itself, and in we went.

There was no one at all in the bar, and everything seemed more than a little dilapidated. Dusty. Shabby. A musty smell and holes in the carpet, etc. But we were here now, and it wasn’t as if we were going to order a meal… Footsteps on the stairs told us we’d been noticed. A woman appeared, took our order – three G&Ts and an orange juice – and vanished round the back.

Then we heard her voice yelling. ‘John! There’s half a bunny on the floor here – can you get it?’

We looked at each other.  Get the half-bunny? What were they going to do with it?? It was hard not to think of rabbit pie…

The woman reappeared with our drinks, we drank, and left. And we never went back to the half-bunny pub again. But now, whenever I have to describe a run-down room in my books, that bar’s what I think about.

All this came to mind last week, when I was looking out some jokes in English for a young friend. Here they are:

Restaurant Jokes

Customer:  ‘Waiter, what’s this fly doing in my soup?’
Waiter:  ‘Looks like the breast-stroke, sir.’

Customer:  ‘I say, waiter, this water is cloudy!’
Waiter:  ‘The water’s okay, sir, it’s just the glass that’s dirty.’

Customer:  ‘Waiter, there’s no chicken in this chicken pie!’
Waiter:  ‘So? You don’t get dog in a dog biscuit either.’

Customer:  ‘Waiter, waiter, the service here is terrible!’
Waiter:  ‘If you think the service is terrible, wait till you see the food!’

Customer:  ‘Waiter, could you bring me burned chips, cold beans, and sausages coated in cold fat?’
Waiter:     ‘I’m sorry, sir, we couldn’t possibly do that!’
Customer:  ‘Why not? You did yesterday!’

Customer:  ‘Waiter, what’s this fly doing in my ice cream?’
Waiter:   ‘I think it’s learning to ski, sir.’

Customer:  ‘I’ll have a hamburger, please, waiter.’
Waiter:   ‘With pleasure.’
Customer:  ‘No, with pickled onions and a side salad.’

Customer:  ‘Waiter, waiter, how long have you worked here?’
Waiter:  ‘Only two weeks, sir.’
Customer:  ‘Oh, then it can’t be you who took my order.’

Customer:  ‘Waiter, waiter, how long will my sausages be?’
Waiter:   ‘About four inches, sir.’

Customer:  ‘Waiter, will my hamburger be long?’
Waiter:   ‘No, sir, it’ll be round like everyone else’s.’

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Places in – pictures? Or words??

When I was seven or eight, our next-door neighbour – an elderly lady – had an ash tree in her garden, right on the border with ours. Her garden was half-wild, and to my great joy there was no fence between the two properties. Under – and halfway up – that tree became my special place, my refuge when I wanted some peace and quiet to think or read or recover from some of the small injustices of childhood. A healing, magical place.

Thinking back over the several decades (ahem…) of my life, there are only a handful of similarly special places. Unlike the tree, some are still there, and it’s so good to know that I can go back and feel the magic.

Chronologically, my next special place is here. On the Isle of Arran, overlooking the beautiful Holy Isle, absolutely at its best on a wild and windy day.

Friends had a holiday cottage here, and I spent all my teenage summers with this view. The cottage (originally a cowshed, and back in the day we had no inside loo, no electricity and only cold water) has now morphed into a lovely house with all mod cons. The view, however, is unchanged.

In my twenties, I found another place with power. In Switzerland now, I visited the Rhine Falls for the first time and was smitten. The force of that water thundering down – amazing.

You don’t get the same feeling of peace, watching these falls, especially as you’re surrounded by other tourists, but the intensity and the beauty make up for it.

Quieter yet even mightier is the Tamina Gorge, also in Switzerland. Here, it’s possible to find the odd moment to feel alone in the vastness of nature, and catch the peace that’s been here for so long.

It’s one of those places I visit every few years. You can walk up the pathway, getting deeper and deeper between the rocky sides, and then at the top you find yourself at the entrance to the thermal spring within the mountain. Breathtaking. And being Switzerland, there are plenty of handy benches to sit on en route, to drink it all in!

My newest special place is just metres from my flat, and in a way it’s the best of all. The woods. How often have I mulled over a book plot problem – or just life – while wandering around under ever-changing trees. The force is there whatever the season and whatever the weather.

This photo was taken at the beginning of April last year, so it looks very similar today. Just a hint of green on those branches – what a difference a few weeks will make.

That feeling we get, out there in the centre of places like these – that’s the feeling you want your readers to have, when you write about a ‘special place’ within your plot. Can words ever be the same as photos? I don’t think so – an image can give you an immediate and vivid picture in your mind. On the other hand, it’s someone else’s picture, not your own. A few well-chosen words allow your brain to create an even better picture – who knows? And I have a feeling that words can make you laugh and cry more easily… I think they are more powerful.
All opinions welcome!

 

 

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Hunter’s Chase, Val Penny, and Edinburgh…

Like most people who grew up in Glasgow, I always look on Edinburgh as my second favourite Scottish city. It’s picturesque, historical, quirky… and it’s the setting for Val Penny’s novel Hunter’s Chase. Val’s an American writer who lives in SW Scotland, and here she is to tell us about her book.

Thank you for inviting me to your blog today, Linda. I am very excited because my debut crime novel, Hunter’s Chase is published by Crooked Cats Books.

The story is set in Edinburgh, a beautiful city of around half a million people. The city is situated on the south banks of the Firth of Forth and is the capital of Scotland. I think setting is very important to a novel and did consider creating an imaginary town for my main protagonist, Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson. However, I know the city of Edinburgh well as I lived there for many years and it has everything a writer could need. It is a diverse city with all different kinds of buildings and people. It is small enough that characters can move around it quickly and large enough for it to be credible that anything I want to happen there, could happen.

Edinburgh is also a beautiful city with a castle, a palace and a cathedral, wealthy homes, horrible slums, fine restaurants, fast food outlets and idiosyncratic pubs. It is home to an Olympic size pool, the National Rugby Team and two famous football teams. It is also home to The Edinburgh International Festivals, what more could I or my characters want?

Hunter Wilson is divorced. He lives in a flat in Leith, an area to the north of the City and drinks in his local pub, the Persevere Bar.

The delegated parliament of Scotland is where Hunter’s nemesis, Sir Peter Myerscough, serves as Justice Secretary. The Scottish Parliament has wide powers over how the people of Scotland are governed and meets in the Scottish Parliament Building, in the Holyrood district of the city.

Sir Peter Myerscough lives to the south in the Morningside district of Edinburgh. From his large house he has fine views across the Pentland Hills. The Pentland hills are situated just outside of Edinburgh. The reservoirs are picturesque and each hill is slightly different. If you are fit enough, you can go on top of all of the hills in one day.

Another main character, Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, is Sir Peter Myerscough’s son. He lives across the city from Hunter, in the south-west of the city. He moves into a flat Gillespie Crescent between Tollcross and Bruntsfield. His local pub in the Golf Tavern, off the Bruntsfield Links.

Edinburgh is such a diverse and cultural city, home to The Edinburgh International Festivals that represent all aspects of art, three universities and several colleges and the Scottish national rugby ground at Murrayfield. It is the perfect place to situate Hunter’s Chase and the cases DI Hunter Wilson has to solve.

Thank you, Val! I can’t wait for my next real-life visit to our lovely capital city, but meantime I have Hunter’s Chase ready to start on my kindle!

Here’s the Hunter’s Chase blurb:

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

 DI Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city and he needs to find the source but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course.
Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable.
Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller. 

Click HERE to see Hunter’s Chase in your local Amazon Store.

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.  She is now writing Hunter’s Revenge, the sequel to Hunter’s Chase.

Visit Val’s website, and follow her on Facebook, her Hunter’s Chase group, and Twitter.

 

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Memories…

We’ve been looking at a lot of old photos recently, sorting out my father’s collection after his death in January. The photo of Dad that terribly hot summer in Switzerland – the one and only time I remember him wearing shorts. The photo he took of the family here – five of us, and we’re all glaring in different directions and no one is looking at the camera… And quite a few of the older kind where you wonder, who/what/when/where was this? But there’s nobody left to ask.

 

Then there are the really old ones, and I so appreciate having these. My grandparents as children, taken over a century ago. This one’s my maternal grandmother, aged about four, maybe? She was the only grandparent I knew; the others all died before I was born. Granny didn’t belong to a well-off family, but they were into photos in a big way, and I’m so glad now. This one was taken in Edinburgh, where she lived as a child.

 

 

Here she is as a young woman, and the photo of my grandfather must have been taken around the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their first child, little David, died of spina bifida aged just four months. I remember her talking about him, wondering how different all our lives might have been, if he’d lived. So many families would go through similar tragedies in those days.

 

 

 

 

We only have one photo of my paternal grandparents together, and there are questions attached to this that neither my father nor his brother knew the answers to. The photo was taken on their wedding day, in Bombay, India. Why were they there? It could hardly have been a holiday. Maybe my grandmother’s family lived there for a while, for whatever reason? We may never know…

 

 

What stories old photos conceal – and how I wish they could talk!

Story news of a different sort – check the home page here for details of two of my crime fiction books on offer at the moment.

My feel-good novellas are both well and truly out now. Highlight was a (brief but giddy) number one spot in the Switzerland holiday category.

 

 

 

I’ve been guesting with the novellas on other people’s blogs over the past two weeks, huge thanks to all. You can catch up with these posts here:
Helen Pollard’s Blog
elementaryvwatson
Simona’s Corner of Dreams
Fabrian Books
Simona’s Q&A
Emma the Little Bookworm
Jane Isaac

Click the titles to see A Lake in Switzerland and A Spa in Switzerland in your local Amazon store!

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From first idea to published book: Bea Davenport and The Misper

Bea Davenport was the first writer I met in real life. Our debut novels were published in 2013, and we did several bookshop and library events together, and then repeated the process with our second novels in 2014. Since then, although our book journeys have diverged, we’ve remained firm friends, and I’m delighted to have her on the blog today to talk about her fifth novel, The Misper. Over to Bea.

The Misper’s Journey
I thought it may be interesting to chat today about the long journey a novel can take, from initial idea to publication.
I teach creative writing and so I know that sometimes new writers expect their words to come out on the page fully formed and practically perfect – and also that they can sometimes be reluctant to let go of initial plans and ideas, even when they don’t quite work.
The main job of an author, I would suggest, is in rewriting when necessary – even though this can be very hard work.
Let me take you on The Misper’s journey to show you what I mean…

The original idea is a long, long way from what has eventually been published. It was first inspired by a very small and rather insignificant event in my childhood. When I was around eight years old, a friend and I planned a Halloween party and we wanted to make it a surprise for another girl who hadn’t lived in the street very long. It was intended as a sort of good deed. But we sent out a spooky invitation and the girl’s parents thought we were trying to frighten her – and we both got into a shedload of trouble. Most unfairly, I should add!
I started writing a story involving younger characters, in which a good intention went wrong. I knew that, for some reason, it was not quite working, but I didn’t know why. These things can be hard to spot in your own work, sometimes, but a fresh eye can often pinpoint the issue. I sent it to Trevor Byrne for a critique and he said that the story was heading in too dark a direction for the age of my characters (and my intended readers). He was right.

I started the whole thing again. I’d never written for this teenage readership before, so part of the work also involved reading teenage fiction. There are a whole host of other considerations too, including how dark the content can be, use of language, whether a happy ending is necessary (it isn’t).
Bits of it received some attention. Its first and last paragraphs won a ‘Beginnings and Endings’ competition judged by children’s writing expert Louise Jordan. The prize was to send the whole thing to an agent. Only… I hadn’t finished it, so I never took that up. There’s a lesson: don’t enter competitions when you don’t have a full manuscript.
An extract was also longlisted for a Mslexia Children’s Writing competition.
What these experiences did was convince me to keep going – that the novel had something worth persisting with.

I eventually finished the novel with the guidance of my agent. It was the first time I’d ever worked with an agent and it was interesting to see how much editorial input he was prepared to give. So it changed again, quite a bit, along the way – some plot issues and the names of characters, for instance.
And then it went out on submission. This is always a frustrating process: I kept getting wonderful feedback and within a squeak of an offer from some big and prestigious publishers, if it wasn’t for some little thing that didn’t quite fit (that I could and would have changed, if asked – grrr).

And then: hurrah. In summer 2016, it was signed to a publisher called Accent Press, which is quite well-known and respected among independent publishers.
One of the big things that changed at this point was the title. Its working title had always been Halloween, but I was never happy with it. It’s much easier to find a title when you have a finished novel, and The Misper felt like the right one.
We considered covers and I filled in all the obligatory marking and publicity information. And I waited for the next part of the process to begin: the publisher’s edit.
It never happened. One bleak Tuesday in November 2016, I got a call from my agent to say that Accent Press were pulling out. It was nothing to do with me or my book: it was a business decision in which they were cutting back on their teen and YA publications. They sent me a lovely letter reverting the rights back to me. I was gutted.

Months went by as we tried to find a new publisher – particularly after a part-promise from another company, who made us wait a long time for a decision. And then, in the end, after all those months, The Conrad Press agreed to publish the novel, thanks to my agent’s stubborn faith in the book. It’s never a fast process, though: an initial agreed publication date of 31st October 2017 was moved to December, to February and eventually to March 2018.

Finally, the novel is out there, and I think it looks good. But it’s been a rocky road. I’ve learned a lot along the way: don’t send out work until it’s ready, be very open to change – and practice patience! And I hope that sharing this experience will let other writers know that those frustrations happen to everyone. I once read that the successful authors are not always the most talented – they’re the ones who’re persistent. So that’s the other thing The Misper’s taught me: never give up.

I’m sure we all agree that’s an impressive story – thank you, Bea. I’ve ordered the paperback for that gorgeous cover, and I can’t wait to read it!
Here’s The Misper’s blurb:

‘I knew this girl, you see. A sort of a friend. No one thought she really mattered much, but that turned out to be a mistake. Because she blew a hole through my life – and the lives of everyone I knew.’
Anna’s found the perfect friend in Zoe: she’s cool, she’s smart, she’s goth, she’s gorgeous. If only geeky Kerry would stop hanging around and cramping their style. They’d like to get rid of her. But they should be careful what they wish for…

Click HERE to view The Misper on Amazon, and find out more about Bea on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

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A Lake in Switzerland – live!

Fancy a holiday in N.E. Switzerland? It’s a lovely area, and I should know – I’ve lived here for nearly thirty years. If anyone had told me when I arrived in this little town on the banks of Lake Constance that one day I’d set a story just along the road, I don’t know if I’d have believed them. But exactly that has happened, and A Lake in Switzerland is now available on Amazon – click HERE to view.

It’s a novella, and for the modest price of 99p/c you can travel with Stacy and Emily – you can visit the Rhine Falls, go by cable car to the summit of the Säntis, and take a boat trip down our lovely lake.

I’m not doing a blog tour as such, but several kind people have given me space on their blogs over the next few weeks. I’ll be sharing more about that soon. Meantime, join me in saying, ‘Prost!’ or ‘Santé!’ or even ‘Cheers!’ to my new little book. And huge, enormous thanks to all at Fabrian Books.
The sequel, A Spa in Switzerland, follows next Tuesday, and after that, we’ll see what happens with Stacy and Emily…

Lake Constance

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