Hi book friends, if you are looking for a fab YA thriller romance then THE REBIRTH OF HENRY WHITTLE on KINDLE is 99p for a limited time. An amazing dark romance with chills and thrills? YOU need this is your life. And you’d be making an indie author very happy 😃


Hey there, please excuse me while I bunch my unruly hair up in a band and take some deep breaths. I’m huffing, my heart is racing and I’m sweaty.  No.  This is not some erotica site you’ve stumbled across.  I’ve walked the length of my house, back and forward, trying to increase my heart rate by exercising for 20 minutes. No Jo Wicks for me, I have a degenerative disc disease that, in a nutshell, accelerates wear and tear of my cervical spine.  A fourth op maybe on the horizon.  My December MRI presented a bulging disc making an indentation on the cord. My April appointment with neurosurgeon bombed because of Corona.  I need to stay safe but not become a couch potato so when my husband walks the dogs, I pop my earpods in, select my SEPTEMBER (new book) Spotify playlist and off I go, into my imagination, to where I walk along the beach, bare-footed, feeling the cold, wet sand between my toes.

Whilst breathing in the salty air, I listen to song of the week

I’ve not watched much TV; I’m working on my third and fourth novels, SEPTEMBER and POROUS but I’m loving NORMAL PEOPLE.  Having read the book, I was a little doubtful about it successfully converting to screen.  I need not have worried; I am totally enthralled by the show and the characters. I feel their twisty guts and raw emotions, as opportunities pass them by to flourish in their relationship.  No two people in book history were as destined as these two for a happy ending.   Whilst reading NP I had no visual of Marianne or Connell.  I was in their heads.  No doubt physical attributes and fashions were embedded, but I was caught up in their internal battles and the stops and starts of their relationship. I think the themes of vulnerability, anxiety, low self-worth are spot on in this tv drama; such an astute depiction of how we can be our own worst enemy.   Watching the series has added value to how I view the book, I’m just more in love with Sally Rooney than ever.

You may have noticed I’ve been selling my books on eBay.   My bookcases were packed full, I had book towers in all rooms, but no laptop since I published Henry Whittle in December.  Sadly my dinosaur died.  I had been saving my royalties, but they were too measly, but they did cover the cost of a cheap printer.  No laptop meant no book writing so I’ve branched out as an eBay book seller.  I feel hugely attached to my books which probably sounds weird.   I might pick one up, feel the cover, gently fan the pages, smell it, and it might remind me of when I read it: what I was doing, who I was with and I’d give it a gentle hug.

I’m enjoying my eBay adventure though.  Particularly the feedback from buyers.  One lovely buyer read Random Attachment and a day later her review was up.  In some ways laptopI’m having more success on this platform.  Probably because Amazon are not showing me any love!  But I’m told fifty reviews is key, so I’m virtually begging readers to rate my books.  Until I hit the big five 0 I will sell Random Attachment and The Rebirth of Henry Whittle on eBay in a book bundle.  But the good news is I have a new laptop, which I’m using now, whilst crying with happiness.  The laptop has been a long time coming but I got there and now I’m hoping my novels will take-off.

My book of the week is THE CHESTNUT MAN.  I love a bit of scandi-noir.  Probably because the landscape lends itself to chilling: the vastness, the isolation, the darkness, ooh, it’s got me scared all over again.  This is a book I would happily reread, even though I know who The Chestnut Man is and his motivation.  The writer has crafted a dark, unnerving boogieman and that’s hard to do when audiences have read thousands of similar books.  I was scared and creeped out.  More so than when I read The Whisper Man.  It was gory but not overkill and I liked the dynamic between the detectives.  Each character had a role to play and had the potential to be our sicko psycho.  I flew through this book, hungry for the next word, and the next, so it’s an easy five stars from me.

three girlsAs you may know I am missing my daughters’ big time.  My youngest, Kitty, 20, is in lockdown at her boyfriend’s family home.  I’m happy for her because she would have gone crazy missing Zac and she’d be under house arrest here because I’m in isolation. But a tiny bit of me is jealous.  Yes, when I see how well she’s fitted into her other family, my green eyes turn neon.  I love that she’s in a happy place, but that place is over the hills and far away.  I’ve said happy twice, what does that tell us?  You tell me!  Now we’ve established I’m a needy, stalker mum we’ll call time.  Stay safe my bookish friends. xxxx


Missing You

I’ve not blogged in over a year so please forgive me if this is not a smooth ride.  And forgive me if it’s morose.  And if there are any spelling mistakes.

So here we are living a strange life in a strange world.  Covid19 is not something I imagined experiencing in my lifetime.  As someone with an underlying health condition potentially I’m at risk.  I feel scared of the struggle to breathe more than dying.  In the mornings I feel strong enough to beat anything, as the day moves on less so, by evening I happily collapse in front of the telly…Just as my sons, arise from the crypt, recharged.

I’ll hear thudding beats from their speaker, feet stomping on the floorboards, drawers banging shut, caveman like bellows of “G!” one minute, giggling like hyenas the next.

They stride around in shorts, interrupt my programme to flex muscles in front of the mirror.  Out comes the George Forman, gone goes food hygiene.


“What G!”

“Food G.”

“Coming G.”

It’s Bananas in Pyjamas, but they’re 18 and 24.

Although I’m done-in by their evening ambush, I’m so grateful for this constant.  To see life prevails.  We’ve been together, in lock-down, for five weeks now and we’ve had mini melts, but are surprisingly up-beat.  I think we’re glad to be alive and well.  Waking-up each morning, we no longer take for granted.  Our home, food, utilities have become luxuries.  Never has the phrase ‘there’s always someone worse off’ rung truer.

I miss my girls enormously.  We FaceTime but I want them on the sofa, us squashing together in front of Netflix, with a box of chocolates on our laps.  I want to rub their feet and stroke their hair and simply be with them, doing nothing in particular, because just being together is enough.

I find myself standing in front on a family photo, my four children, hung on the hallway wall.  They were between 2 and 11, and they were all mine.  No work, no boyfriends or girlfriends just us.

The older generation tell you to enjoy your children – that the years flash by, but you don’t believe them, in fact you believe it’s a malicious taunt, because you are so busy cooking, washing, tidying that most days with young children are easily forty-eight hours long.

Of course, you want them to have friends, lovers, jobs, holidays – independent lives. You want them to leave home and build a nest of their own.  It’s just, sometimes I’m coming downstairs, and I glimpse that family photo and fleetingly I’m in that moment, and when that moments fades, I feel a little sad, a little empty, a little lost.

Parenting is hard.  You can read Mother and Baby till the cows come home but every mother is different, as is every child.  You embark on this journey together: you and this tiny person…and you work really hard at not screwing up, which you repeatedly do, but you’re in it together, a team.

So, it’s hard when they move out.  There’s advantages: like your eardrums have time to heal and you don’t need 6 mugs to make a coffee, it’s peaceful, my husband and I have more time together.  But for the rest of my life I’m incomplete, not unhappy, not wanting the alternative, just I’ve spent twenty plus years with a human who came from my body.  We’ve spent every day and night together, and now we don’t.  It’s not something I’ve dwelled on…until this Corona Virus, because now…we really are apart.  No kiss, hug, squeeze, pat, poke, high five, foot rub, hair detangle, leg wax, toenail painting.

And no matter how much we comfort each other with how marvellous FaceTime is, we know it’s not enough.  That somehow, we must get through this horror and find ways to safely be with our loved ones.

Grace and Caitlan I miss you.




We were liars

IMG_0364Titles and straplines are funny things.  “Which are lies? Which is truth? You decide.”  This is a novel of repressed memories, of withheld facts but lies? I’m not even sure why the close-knit group were named ‘the liars’ by their family. I get that whenever tragedy strikes there is gossip and twisting of facts.  That those involved have their own perspective of events.  But if you’d asked me what the title hinted at, it would be children weaving a web of lies.  A novel challenging the reader to differentiate between lies and truth.

Saying that my strapline A Boy, A Girl, A killer is embarrassingly basic.  Regarding titles, I named RANDOM ATTACHMENT in a minute.  I don’t deliberate, if my first idea fits the brief then onward I go – writing is what I love…or my imagination is limited! The strapline was harder than writing the book; I failed the challenge miserably but I think it’s pretty clear what the story is about.

IMG_0357 I enjoyed WE WERE LIARS. I read it over a few days. The story is beautifully and brilliantly told. I didn’t see the twist coming which is a credit to the author’s skill.  I was intrigued by what was being kept from Cady but I didn’t feel desperate to find out.  But that can be a good thing because you were with the characters whist they idled their holidays away.

I need to connect to characters. I liked Cady but I wasn’t gutted for her.  Yes she had headaches that immobilised her, yes pain was severely affecting her life but I knew by the end of the book her issues would be resolved.

Her love for Gat felt more like a crush – it didn’t burn within her.  It was more a response to a close friendship and an awareness of physical changes as they blossomed. I didn’t feel he was the love of her life. Had I, the conclusion would have hit me harder.

The fairytale concept I liked but they were too long and one too many.

I wasn’t totally convinced by Cady as a character.  THE REBIRTH OF HENRY WHITTLE (TRHW) has multiple pov’s.  RANDOM ATTACHMENT is a third person narrator; sometimes the young adult voice is lost within an adult narrator and I felt this true of WE WERE LIARS.  The writing is quality but there was no differentiation between the eleven year old cady and the fifteen year old.  I think that is common of YA books and it’s not always down to the writer.  My former agent loved the premise of TRHW and Phoenix’s voice. Yet throughout the editing process, bit by bit, she toned it down to the point it was lost.

Here’s what HotKeyBooks had to say about TRHW This has a pretty dark premise at its core, I actually really liked the story. It was weird and twisty…but Phoenix’s voice ended up feeling a bit self-conscious.”

And so began the withdrawal of my agent who’d steered the book in the direction of ‘making Phoenix’s voice more palatable’ because it was in part angry and frustrated. It was at this point I decided to self publish.  I couldn’t go through another year of editing to find out it’s not what publishers want.  My years are too precious and I love my writing too much to lose control again.

WE WERE LIARS was hugely successful and I see why.  I’m glad I read it. I enjoyed it. I didn’t love it but I would highly recommend it. I’m not going to hold the publisher HotKeyBooks against e.lockhart.  Instead I’m giving WE WERE LIARS an 8.5 out of 10.  My 10/10 would be a book I miss once it’s finished, a book I wish I hadn’t read so I could read it again, a book like Laura McHugh’s THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD or Sarah Pinborough’s THE DEATH HOUSE and undoubtedly 13 REASONS WHY which I read in a night I was so engrossed and in despair for Hannah. These are books that have huge crossover appeal, anyone over 14 could love them.

Opinions are subjective; I would never severely criticise a writer because what I dislike another reader could love, so I simply don’t review.  I have read many more books both YA and ADULT that didn’t meet my blogging standards. So to all those authors on my pages I salute you for the fantastic books you’ve written. WE WERE LIARS would make a great Christmas pressie for the 11-15 age group. Thank you e.lockhart for a wonderful read.