What’s To Love About Romantic Suspense?

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Romantic Novelists’ Association which is being celebrated throughout 2020 with a number of fab events, details of which you can find on their website. As next month is supposed to be one of the most romantic months with Valentine’s Day and this year it’s also a Leap Year, I thought I’d mark the occasion with a series of blog posts featuring romantic suspense writers.

As many of you know, I enjoy writing both romance and suspense, with my favourite genre romantic suspense where I get to bring the two together. Some of my books are in this latter category, although not necessarily marketed as such. My last book, The Dead Wife, definitely features both traits. Romance can very often be translated to ‘relationships’ and even in some of the most hardened crime stories, there is some sort of relationship going on, either as part of the main plot or subplot. Some of the most popular tv shows centre around and at least use love, romance and relationships in their storylines – off the top of my head there’s Doctor Foster, Big Little Lies, Line of Duty, Keeping Faith, You.

It’s the same for books too …

Karen Rose, Nora Roberts, Evonne Wareham have all written suspense books, with varying degrees of grittiness, which also feature romance. If you haven’t tried romantic suspense before, then I’d very much recommend any of the following.

Any of the Karen Rose series

I’m currently reading the  Baltimore series. Not for the faint-hearted.


Nora Roberts, Shelter In Place

Evonne Wareham, Never Coming Home

Louise Rose Innes writes military romantic suspense, with both the male and female leading in the alpha stakes.

Barbara Freethy writes a lot of romantic suspense, with probably more or equal emphasis on the romance.

Hope you enjoy the up-coming guest posts who all write in this genre and that you discover a new author as well.



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 …