New Novel News!

I’m delighted (and not a little bit giddy) to be able to spill the beans and announce that my fourth novel No Good Reason has just been signed up by Bold Strokes Books.

black hill for blog

Black Hill from Crowden, one of our favourite hikes and a major influence on the setting for this novel.

Set back in my familiar stomping ground of the Derbyshire Peak District, the novel is a police procedural thriller, with romance lurking in the background. Its central characters are life-long friends Detective Sanne Jensen (not blond, not leggy, and definitely not Scandinavian) and Doctor Meg Fielding (quite forgetful, skilled biscuit-dunker, distinct tendency to swear at patients) who both become involved in the investigation of an abduction.

I could tell you more – and undoubtedly will – but for now, No Good Reason has a tentative release date of Spring 2015 and a nod from BSB to develop it into a series. Hence the giddiness!

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Tumbledown in Pictures

smaller TDFrom the amount of shrieking being aimed in my general direction, I know that quite a few people have read Tumbledown by now. I wondered whether folk might be interested in some of the background research to the novel, so I put this handy pictorial guide together.

Also, if anyone wants to ask any questions about the book or leave feedback (good or bad) – pop your comments onto the end of this thread, and I will happily get back to you.

Bit of a warning: this post contains non-specific spoilers for the book, and gratuitous images of food porn.

~ ~ ~


I think my head just about exploded trying to make sense of this flow chart…

Tumbledown was a fabulous novel to write, but a bugger to try to get right. It took me about 12 months to finish it, and by the end of that year I had amassed a bizarre and eclectic Internet favourites folder that explained everything from What is Bail: Maine, to Preserving Impression Evidence on HowStuff Works (great site!), to what it’s like to spend time in a County Jail. (Orange is the New Black wasn’t even a twinkle in Netflix’s eye when I wrote this book!)

I learned the hard way not to write technical scenes whilst on a beach holiday with no Internet connection, because when you get home and check your facts out, it necessitates reworking the entire damn chapter. I also learned that the American justice system is nothing I ever want to become entangled in, that if I ever get a tattoo it certainly won’t be one of these, and that the state of Maine is somewhere that I would very much like to visit.

maine in autumnI’ve never been to Maine, and, although Avery and its sister towns are fictional, I relied on photographs such as this one to try to get descriptions of the landscape right.

And images like the one below gave me scenery tips for Caleb’s later road trip down the Eastern US coastline.

Portland Head Maine Fall 09 (5)

There’s nothing I enjoy more than researching regional food specialities. The unfortunate side effect of that is permanent hunger (and food envy!) whilst I’m trying to concentrate on the damn story.

Lobster roll!

Lobster roll, anyone?

jam roly polyWhile we’re on the subject of food, anyone who might be wondering what the hell Sarah’s talking about when she mentions making a “jam roly-poly” for the pot luck picnic – it’s a diet-busting pudding of sweetened suet pastry, wrapped around a load of jam, and then oven baked. Like most British puds, it’s best served warm with custard.

Recipe available here :-)

holyoke warehouseThe city of Holyoke (pronounced whole-yolk, fact fans!) was chosen after a hop through Google searching for derelict warehouse districts in Massachusetts. The area around its three main canals is apparently undergoing regeneration, but images of foreboding, abandoned buildings made it perfect for my purposes. Even more perfect was the fire department’s tactic of marking unsafe buildings with an X, which gave me an ideal way of allowing the police in the novel to zero in on the right location.

This is the copy of Pride and Prejudice that Alex buys Sarah for her birthday. It would have set her back $260, which seems a small price to pay, all things considered…

pride and prejudice tumbledown

And last but not least: the Dark Peak, Derbyshire, in all its glory, complete with “feisty” sheep. I like to think of Alex and Sarah sitting under their blanket together, drinking a brew, and looking out on this view :-)

peak with sheep

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An Interview Here…A Review There…

Just a quick heads up about a couple of bits and pieces (because my missus tells me off if I don’t mention these things!)

First things first, the lovely folk at Ylva are hosting a Spotlight Interview with me over at their blog. If you’ve got an insatiable urge to know what my chosen super power would be, or how I came to put pen to paper in the first place, then look no further.

katahdinmountainMeanwhile, LesFic review blog, The Lesbian Reading Room has been binging on Desolation Point and Tumbledown, and giving rather nice reviews to both:

A snippet of the Desolation Point review:

Amongst all the horrors, pain and fear, we also have a love story as good as any LesFic out there. Alex and Sarah are great characters and as the plot unfolds you cant help but root for them both to survive the ordeal and survive together as a couple, forged in adversity and drawing on each others strength to survive.

And a taster of the review for Tumbledown:

In the middle of all this tension and drama the characters manage to maintain their humanity and their sense of humor. Even at their darkest most painful moments Alex and Sarah are able to think of others, and release the tension with a gentle tease. Their love for one another is the strength that keeps them fighting to survive.

To read the full text of both write-ups, hit the links.

For anyone wondering about the picture, that’s the area around Mount Kahadin in Maine, sort of what I had in mind when I was writing the slightly more sedate chapters of Tumbledown

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Bold Strokes Blogging and Tumbledown Release News…

tumbledownforblogBloody hell, why does book stuff always go nuts when I’ve been on nights and my brain is scrambled?

First up, I know a few folks have been waiting for Tumbledown on Kindle. Well, wait no longer: it’s out today :-) Head here for the UK link, and over here for the US one.

Meanwhile, over on their Facebook page, Bold Strokes Books are holding their monthly freebie book giveaway to anyone who hits “like” or comments on any of this month’s new releases.

maineLast but not least, I’ve got a new blog up over at the BSB Author Blog, in which researching novels is discussed, and a few myths about bad medicine are exploded.

And thus concludes the “Cari’s Brain is Struggling to Remember any of This Stuff” Tumbledown round-up ;-)

Posted in Blog link, Free stuff!, Novels, Publication Dates, Tumbledown | Tagged | 2 Comments

Tumbledown Giveaway Winners, and Consolation Prize: Desolation Point Deleted Scenes

tumbledownforblogOkay, it’s past noon o’clock and I have two books to find new homes for!

I know I joked about drawing these winners from an egg cup, but by the cut-off this afternoon, 158 of you buggers had entered this giveaway. My egg cup seriously overfloweth!

It’s been an absolute pleasure chatting to folks on here, and on Facebook and your efforts with the swearing challenge have been nothing less than spectacular. Many thanks to all of you who took part, and I hope those who pick up copies of Tumbledown have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.

That being said, congratulations to: Laurie Bobbie and Sarah Shaw, whose names have just popped out of the random number generator bucket.

All being well (i.e. if I’ve managed to contact you!) your books should be posted tomorrow at the latest. Enjoy!

As a consolation prize to those who missed out, I’m tagging on another couple of scenes that didn’t make the final cut of Desolation Point. Much like this one, they were deleted from the latter section of the novel in order to tidy up the ending.

I’ve added a cut for the spoiler-phobic…

Continue reading

Posted in Deleted Scene, Desolation Point, Free stuff!, Novels, Tumbledown | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Tumbledown Giveaway!

Oooh, look what the postie delivered!

Tumbledown author copies

They’re so pretty and shiny, and I have two to give away – signed or unsigned, winners decide. To get your mitts on one of these lovelies, just say hello in the comments on this thread or, for the shy amongst you, head over here to my page on Facebook and hit “like.” Extra bonus points for those who use their comment to swear in fluent English.

Closing date for entries is Thursday 30th January, at noon GMT. After that, I’ll put all the names into an egg cup or a bucket (depends how many there are!) and draw the winners.

Good luck :-)

Posted in Free stuff!, Novels, Tumbledown | Tagged , | 86 Comments

5 Things Tumbledown Might Teach You…

As my author copies of Tumbledown are still winging their way across the pond, I can’t launch a give-away just yet. So, to pass the time and for sheer “What the hell?” hijinks, here are five things you should be able to do by the end of the novel. Plus, a gratuitous picture of a cake. And who doesn’t love cake?

1. Bake a Victoria Sandwich cake. 

cake-374782Ingredients: (taken from my mum’s tried and true recipe)

6oz margarine, 5 oz caster sugar, 3 eggs, 6oz self raising flour.

Add raspberry jam, whipping cream, and icing sugar for filling and topping.

Methodology: See book.

Note: Methodology used in book is definitely NOT my mum’s methodology.

2. Deliver a baby.

(Actual process is far messier than cartoon might imply.)

3. Navigate your way down a good chunk of America’s Eastern Seaboard.

Lobster rolls, anyone?

seaboard map

4. CPR.

Unbelievably, still not something routinely taught in UK schools. Refresh your skills here.


5. Survive a prison riot…

My lips are sealed on this one.


Now, who said LesFic wasn’t edukashional? ;-)

Posted in Novels, Tumbledown | Tagged | 3 Comments