End of Year Catch Up

I just thought I’d take the chance to close the year with a catch up of what’s been happening recently and a glimpse of what’s to come in 2020.

I’ve had a busy few weeks, including several trips to London. One for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party and Industry Awards, another for my publisher’s Christmas party at The Ivy and one earlier this week to meet with my agent and discuss plans for next year.  So, much as I enjoy going to capital, I think I’m now all Londoned out!

It was publication day for The Birthday Girl in Germany (Penguin Verlag) at the beginning of the month. They’ve gone for the same cover but just given the colours a bit of a tweak.

Don’t forget you can sign up to my newsletter here  From this you’ll get a chance to find out what’s happening in my writing world, sneak previews, early news, exclusive content, the chance to win prizes, book recommendations and more. In the new year I’ll hopefully be able to share with you some book news of my next book and what I plan to do in the coming year.

I’ve read some fabulous books this year, some of which I’ve given a shout out to in my newsletter. To be honest, I’m a slow reader so I’ve only actually read 3 or 4 books either paperback or ebook and the rest have been audio books. I can get through one of them in a matter of days as I listen to them when I’m doing other things, like driving, preparing dinner, dog walking or before I go to sleep. In fact, I love audio so much, I’ve got through over 40 books that way since the beginning of the year.

Looking ahead into 2020, if you’re in the Portsmouth area on Friday 5th March and fancy joining me and several other authors for a chat about romance and whether it’s all ‘fluff and kittens’ (hint: two mystery and suspense writers are on the panel, so probably not), we’d love to see you there. Here’s the link Portsmouth Book Fest

I’ve just finished decorating my tree at home and although I’ll be working right up to Christmas, I wanted to take the opportunity to round off the year with a MASSIVE thank you to all my readers who have been as supportive as ever with the publications of Schoolgirl Missing and The Dead Wife this year – I really appreciate all your tweets, shares, comments, reviews and messages, it’s what keeps me writing.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas/peaceful break and very best wishes for 2020!




I’m delighted that today is the day my new book THE DEAD WIFE hits the digital market! (Paperback 5th September.)

I loved writing this book and was genuinely sorry to say goodbye to the characters. I keep trying to come up with an excuse to write another book featuring them, but so far no luck there. You’ll find the official blurb on Amazon, etc but here is my slightly longer version.

The Dead Wife is set in the Lake District at a high-end holiday resort, in the grounds of Conmere House and surrounded by woodland and beautiful scenery. The resort is owned by Pru Sinclair, the formidable businesswoman and mother to three sons, Dominic, Harry and Owen and although on the surface they appear to have it all, simmering away are tensions, sibling rivalry and secrets.

Within the grounds is Conmere Lake, the place of a tragic drowning two years earlier of Harry Sinclair’s wife, Elizabeth. However, Elizabeth’s mother cannot accept it was an accident and when she discovers travel reporter, Steph Durham, is covering the reopening of the resort, she persuades her to find out what really happened when her daughter went into the water.

As Steph begins to investigate, herself drawn towards Harry Sinclair but is he as innocent as it seems, are any of the Sinclair family telling the truth? And ultimately finds she is more closely involved in the death of Elizabeth Sinclair than she ever imagined.

TDW US Cover





If you’re in America, you get a different look to the cover – here’s the  Amazon link for you.



I really hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it and if you do, perhaps you’d consider leaving a very short review on Amazon.

Thank you for all your support, it’s greatly appreciated.




The Right Book Cover for The Right Market

I don’t think I’m alone when, as an author, I find it very exciting when it comes to covers for my books. Sometimes I have a good idea how I would like the cover to look and other times, it’s just a vague mix of ideas instigated by different scenes in the book, usually the major scenes where something important happens. Very rarely does my imagination come anywhere near the end result my publisher presents to me. I have to say it’s at this point I realise why I’m a writer rather than a graphic designer. They have a knack of capturing the essence of the story with one image.

Up until this point, all my books have had the same cover for the English language editions, whether it’s UK, Canada, USA etc and often the foreign editions take on the same cover too or a slight variation. I always find this a fascinating insight into what works for the different countries. However, with The Dead Wife, I was first presented with the cover of a woman’s shoe in a puddle and it sat nicely alongside my previous book cover of a trainer.

I was very happy and fully on-board with this cover. However, when my publishers took it to their US colleagues, they weren’t so sure it worked for their market. I don’t know the ins and outs of the conversations, but it was agreed some alternatives would be put together. My editor sent me the two covers they were going to present to the US office and asked me for my feedback.

I must admit I was taken with both of them and it was really hard to say which one I preferred. My knee-jerk reaction was the ‘hand in the water’ cover but then when I sat down and took a more considered view on the merits of each, I kept changing my mind. Eventually, I emailed my editor back and said my gut feeling was the ‘hand in the water’ cover and she agreed with me. In fact, she went on to say, they were so taken with the new images, they were thinking of changing the UK cover too.

To cut a long story short, the red shoe was discarded and the new UK cover – the ‘hand in the water’ – replaced it. I assumed this would be the same for the US office too, so was surprised to see they had gone for the ‘face’ cover. It’s obviously a design they think works best for their market and I’m not the expert here so I really have no objections at all.

Of course, this late change in the day meant a mad scramble over the weekend to redesign the promo images I’d prepared, change scheduled blog posts, contact bloggers who were hosting me over the next couple of weeks and let the blog tour organiser know so she could in turn let her contacts know.

So, although it’s caused some extra work – apologies to those who’ve been affected – I’m really happy with the changes and having the two different covers, I feel I’m getting the best of both worlds.

The Dead Wife publishes on 12th July in the UK but unfortunately, readers in the US will have to wait until a bit later in the year.

Micro-Movie for THE DEAD WIFE

Not long now until THE DEAD WIFE is published – Yay and Yikes!

It’s always a bit nerve wracking but I’m very much looking forward to sharing the story of the Sinclair family and what really happened to Elizabeth Sinclair on the family holiday resort two years ago. Here’s a short book trailer to whet your appetite …

Every Marriage Has Its Secrets – THE HALF TRUTH out today

My third Harper Impulse novel, The Half Truth, is released today in digital format, with the paperback on 4 June.  It’s a mystery with romance and, like my previous two novels, is set mainly on the south coast of the UK, although the story does venture to London a few times.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Half truth

Every marriage has its secrets…

Tina Bolotnikov, widowed after her husband, Sasha, is killed in a car accident, relocates back to her hometown on the south coast of the UK, to bring up her young son. Her life back in London with her adored husband is now nothing but a memory; a history to pass onto her son.

DS John Nightingale saw his partner killed in the line of duty and has made it his personal and professional quest to bring to justice the Russian gang responsible. Five years on and the killer is still free but as reports come in of Sasha Bolotnikov’s brother returning to the UK, John is tasked with tracking him down and following him to the seaside town of Littlehampton.

Tina finds herself an unwitting connection to a world she knew nothing about. She thought she knew her husband. She thought their past was the truth. But now as the investigation draws her closer to DS Nightingale, professional lines are blurred and crossed, and only he holds the key to her future.

Amazon UK







Audio Voice Work

Today, I’m delighted to welcome onto the blog, my lovely sister-in-law, Angela Rowland who did the voice over for my book trailer The Half Truth.  She did an amazing job for me, the link for which is below, and I wanted to ask her more about her work.


Angie, how did you get into your line of work, acting and voice overs? Where did it all begin?

I got into professional acting, having never been to drama school or anything like it, by being spotted on the amateur stage in my 20’s . I was advised to get into voice over work, which in turn provided me with the professional contracts I needed, in order to secure my Equity membership.  I then went on to get into roleplay and other acting jobs.  From that I was then recommended to the Film Studies Department at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and now work regularly with the film students on various projects.I am currently acting in 2 short films, both of which are major graduation projects.  I feel very fortunate.

What did you do before your acting and voice over work?

I was a legal secretary for many years and worked my way up to a high level in that job but I always said I did not want to be chained to a desk until I retired!  So to find myself working as an actress and voice artist for the last few years and for that to build so that I can say I have a career as an actress is so rewarding and I am certainly doing what I love the most as a job!

And what have you got planned in the future?

My ambition now would be to get onto Spotlight with a good show reel, so that I might be able to get an agent to try out for television and theatre work. If I could make this happen  in 2015, that would be so good but in the meantime I am more than happy as things are.

Thank you so much for doing the voice over on the book trailer for me – I’m delighted with it. 

Very best of luck with your show reel and Spotlight.


Contact details :

Email : angela_rowland1@sky.com

Facebook Angela Rowland

Cover Reveal : The Half Truth

I’m delighted to reveal the cover for my third Harper Impulse novel, The Half Truth.

There’s also a book trailer which is narrated by my uber talented sister-in-law, Angela Rowland, who I’ll be interviewing her next month about her voice over and acting work.

The Half Truth is out on 19 March, paperback 4 June. It’s available to pre-order from Amazon now.

The Half truth




Closing_inEveryone knows that when you’ve written something, try as you might, you can’t always spot your own mistakes, typos, sentence construction issues or general grammar problems. When I finished my first draft of Closing In, I needed someone with a keen eye to look over it for me before I sent it to my editor at Harper Impulse. I knew just the person to ask – my friend and fellow Romaniac girl, Jan Brigden.

Jan really does have an eye for detail. She meticulously went through my manuscript and found all the little, and not so little, errors I had made. She was able to give me solid feedback and advice on how to improve my manuscript, not just technically but she also spotted a few plot holes and continuity issues. I was so grateful, her proofreading really gave my manuscript a boost, making it so much more professional and polished.

Jan has also proofread other manuscripts and I know everyone has been delighted with her work. I would whole-heartedly recommend Jan to anyone who is looking for a proofreader. Over at The Romaniac blog, Jan has now put together a page, please pop over to have a look in more detail at her proofreading service and testimonials from previous clients. Click HERE.

Jan Proofreading ecard



The Paperback Has Landed

It’s real!

Just when I thought the paperback version of Closing In was a bit of a daydream, it landed on my doormat this week. Hopefully, the glitch with Amazon will be fixed soon, my publishers are ‘on the case’, so for those who have been asking about the paperback, you should soon be able to order it.

paperback 2

Meanwhile, back in the ebook world, I’m delighted that the digital version is doing well and thank everyone for their support.

Amazon link

Have a lovely weekend!



RNA Conference : A quick round up plus photos

As always, the annual Romantic Novelists’ Association conference is always a blast. This year was no exception. Held at the Harper Adams University in Telford, the talks were great, very inspiring and the company fantastic.

For me, it started the Thursday night after an epic drive to meet my Romaniac girls at Debbie Fuller-White’s house which is approximately 40 minutes from the campus.  I eventually arrived at Debbie’s around 11.30pm and the girls, who had held off eating until I got there, had quelled their hunger pains with wine – say no more!

Dinner at Dbes


Debs' garden

The following morning, we started the day with a lovely walk near to where Debbie lives. I was instantly taken with the beautiful scenery and have made a note to come back with my walking boots to explore this part of the country more.

Friday morning walk in the Church Stretton area

Conference started on Friday afternoon and continued through the weekend. The talks I attended were very interesting. I would like to have gone to many more but, sadly, with 3 or 4 going on at the same time, you have to pick and choose. The talk given by Waterstones and WH Smith Travel was very insightful. It was interesting to hear about their approaches, vision and restrictions. Talli Roland and Nick Spalding gave another great talk on being both a traditionally signed author and a self-published one. While Phillipa Ashley and Nell Dixon gave some excellent advice on writing series novels.

Talks from WH Smith Travel, Waterstones, Phillipa Ashley & Nell Dixon, Talli Roland and Nick Spalding

The gala dinner was fabulous. Catering for 250 RNA members, is not easy task, but they managed it with ease. The food, all sourced locally, was delicious.


I am reliably informed there were 235 women attending and 5 men.

I have to mention that Romaniac and friend, Vanessa Savage, came second in the Elizabeth Goudge opening chapter competition with her modern take on a fairy story – Vanessa used Sleeping Beauty as her inspiration for a YA version entitled ‘Hush’. I have actually read it and, although I am biased, it is a great opening chapter; dark and intriguing.

Vanessa with her goody bag for 2nd place in the opening chapter competition

A big thank you to the RNA and everyone involved in making it such a success.

RNA ladies
Sue Moorcroft, Katie Fforde, Christina Courtenay, Jan Jones – wonderful RNA ladies

I’ve shared some photos here and put more on my Facebook page.

various photos


So now back to finishing the first draft of my current WIP.