Breathe Available Everywhere Today!

After what seems like an absolute age, Breathe – my latest stomp around the north west of England with two lovely, misadventure-prone, lasses – is now available to buy absolutely EVERYWHERE (well, everywhere that sells books online and a few select bookshops, that is.) The book is out in paperback and e-book format, with an audio version set for release in the next few months (more information on that as soon as I have it.)

Bold Strokes website link.

Convenient Amazon links! Amazon US, Amazon UK.

I really hope you enjoy it 🙂



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Breathe Released By BSB Today!

It’s September 1st which means Breathe , my latest romantic/adventure/mystery/splash of hurt-comfort/medical thriller is now exclusively available to purchase via the Bold Strokes website. You can buy the book in paperback or e-book format by clicking on the above link. There’s also a three chapter excerpt and lots of nice reviews on the same page if you fancy having a bit of a pre-purchase mooch.

Grab a pair of wellies and a twix, and have fun!

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Breathe Translation Guide

It seems to have come as a surprise to a handful of early readers that Breathe, my sixth book to be written in Northern English, is in fact written in Northern English. In an effort to prevent excessive googling, I have put together a nifty (see below) glossary to assist in vocabulary expansion because everyone should be able to use the word “twerp” in a sentence. Pay close attention, now. There will be a test…


Am I ’eck as like! — No, I’m definitely not.


To bawl.

Bag of shite — Something that is not very good.

Bagsy — Stake a claim on.

Barney (to have a) — Argument.

Bawl — Ugly cry.

Bennies — Benefits payments from the government.

Bloody Nora — Oh my goodness!

Delicious bacon butty

Bonkers — Not terribly sane.

Bollock-all — Very little or none.

Bollocked/Bollocking — Told off/a telling off.

Buggeration — Dagnammit.

Butty — Sandwich.


Collywobbles — State of feeling uneasy or afraid.

Come a cropper — Come to harm/have an accident.


Dab hand – Expert.


Fib/Fibber — Lie/liar, but a gentle untruth, not a big fat dodgy one.


Gawp — Stare in an excessive manner.

Get on my wick — Irritate the tits off me.

Giving me the willies — Disconcerting me to a considerable degree.

Going like the clappers — Going rather fast.

Gormless — As thick as two short planks. Wait, that’s northern. “Dumber than a bag of hammers.” There you go.

Gob/Gobbing Off/Gobby/Gobful/Gobshite — Mouth/Being mouthy/One who is mouthy/a mouthful/a mouthy individual who’s talking crap.


Jiffy (in a) — No time at all.


Knackered — Very tired, e.g. worked a twelve-hour night shift and finished late tired.


Mam/Mum — Seriously? I really need to translate this? I’m not going to. Work it out.

Make a Cock Of — Muck/mess up.

The Manchester bee.

Manchester Bee — This little chap on the right. Symbol of Manchester. See also: 22/05/17.

Manky — Nasty/gruesome/gross. Can also mean rotten or unwashed.

Mard — Needing to man the fuck up.


Nifty —Rather impressive or smart/handy/agile.

Nowt — Nothing.

Nowty — Irritable.


Peg Out — Collapse due to exhaustion.

Nice glass of plonk.

Pinched — Stole (as in robbed, not one of those furry things you put around your neck.)

Plonk — Wine.

Put wood in t’hole! — I say, would you be so kind as to shut the door?


Rigmarole — Goings on/proceedings.


Scarpered — Ran away.

Shitload — Quite a lot.

Shagging around — Having a shitload of sex.

Sod Off — Go away.

A fringe that has most thoroughly been made a cock of.

Sozzled — What you get when you drink a lot of plonk.

Stuffed (as in “we’re stuffed there”) — Stymied. Can also mean excessively full after a meal.

Swanky — Posh.

Summat — Something.


Take the Piss — Make fun of.

Tickled Pink — Very amused or happy.

Tosser/Twat — A veritable arsehole.

Misc. Synonyms

Berk/Pillock/Git/Twerp/Bugger/Sod/Numpty — Mild derogatory term for idiot.

Copper/Plod/Bobby — Police Officer.

Prick/Dick/Knob — Terms used to indicate that a certain chap is in fact a complete penis.

Do feel free to print this guide out and keep it handy!

Breathe will be available 1st September (this very Sunday!) from the Bold Strokes website and 10th September from everywhere else.

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A Different Kind of Hero

I swore I’d never do it. Having been a paramedic for seventeen years, I swore I’d never write a book about one. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written books where paramedics have had recurring roles or cameo appearances, and that was fine, but a paramedic in a lead role was another matter entirely, and not one I wanted to get involved in.

Why? You might well ask.

I think there’s a two-part answer:

  1. I wouldn’t want people to assume said paramedic was some thinly disguised version of me. I have a couple of names, and Mary Sue is neither of them.
  2. Contrary to popular portrayal, paramedicking is not sexy. It is an incredibly rewarding career, but it is also antisocial, bad for your health, and utterly exhausting. The uniform comes in one size fits no one, most of our calls involve octogenarians or people who should know better, and a “good job” is a patient who’s independently mobile and doesn’t puke on you. And who would want to read a book about that?

Then Jemima Pardon came along. A joke name at first, which gradually developed into a story idea I couldn’t shake off. Jem was a paramedic, a perennially unlucky, chronically wheezy paramedic, who was the very antithesis of those striding, heroic, drop-dead gorgeous paramedics so beloved of writers who aren’t me.

That’s not to say Jem isn’t a hero. She is. She’s brave and good at her job. She cares for all the patients who don’t want to thump her, and she’s dedicated to her career. To quote the meme, Not All Heroes Wear Capes. Some of them wear bashed-up Magnum boots and a fleece that lets all the cold in, and carry a Ventolin inhaler.

So there you have it. Breathe is the first book of mine that’s truly set in my world. I’ve administered those drugs, dealt with some of those patients, and slogged my way through thousands of those twelve-hour shifts. I’ve got the insomnia, the short-term memory loss, and the irritable bowel. I hear the damn radios go off in my sleep and am forever conditioned to respond to the bleep of a data screen. That family in green, who swear too much and eat too much crap and long for an uninterrupted meal and an on-time finish, they’re my family. That family in blue, who actually do have a very nice uniform and come along to help us out, share our sweets, and take the piss with us, they’re my family as well.

Oh yes, very sexy!

When I first told people what Breathe was about, someone immediately commented, “Sexy paramedics!” I couldn’t fault his enthusiasm, but he really should have known better. I hope Breathe redresses the balance somewhat, plonking a dose of reality slap-bang in the middle of a genre more famed for its dashing and daring. It’s not that we don’t need heroes. We do, now more than ever. But everyone has their own definition of what a hero is, and Jem fits perfectly into mine.

Breathe will be released on 1st September via the Bold Strokes website and 10th September everywhere else.

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Giveaway Winners!

Many thanks to everyone who took the time to enter the Breathe giveaway. There were 200+ of you all told, and it’s a shame there can only be two winners. The names out of the hat were Katherine Bright and Angela Paul. Congrats to you both.

Breathe is due for release 1st September via the Bold Strokes website and 10th September everywhere else. I don’t have a date for the audio version but there will definitely be one and Nicola Victoria Vincent is set to narrate it 🙂

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Breathe Giveaway!

Oh! My paperbacks of Breathe just arrived and they’re so very pretty 😍Course, that means it’s competition time (hmm, that sounds more challenging than this will actually be.) I have two signed (or unsigned if you prefer) copies to give away. Just comment on this post before midday UK time on SATURDAY and I’ll add your name to the hat. Best of luck yer gits!

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Breathe – First Chapter preview

To celebrate Alias winning a 2019 Goldie Award for Best Thriller, I thought I’d share the first chapter of Breathe, my forthcoming romantic- suspense-action adventure-thriller (heh!) for anyone who wants a sneak peek.

The text is beneath the cut, and the novel is set for release September 1st, exclusively at the Bold Strokes website, and then wider release on the 10th. You can pre-order here at BSB.

~ ~ ~

Continue reading

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