New Novel on the Way (Slowly but Surely!)

I’m chuffed to announce that I’ve just signed the contract for what will be my eighth novel with Bold Strokes Books. Hee!

The story is called Breathe and it’s a thriller/mystery/romance featuring Jemima Pardon, a paramedic with a stupid name, terrible luck, and chronic asthma, and her shenanigans with Rosie Jones, a slightly bonkers police officer. It’s set in and around Manchester, and, all being well, it’ll be published in September 2019.

All I have to do now is finish writing it…

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‘Alias’ Audiobook Giveaway

If you love reading with your ears, or you’ve never tried it and you fancy giving it a go, I have three freebie codes for the audio version of Alias to give away. I’m sure I’ve mentioned (perhaps one or two times) how much I adore Nicola Victoria Vincent’s narration and she’s really outdone herself with this one. I think I love listening to it more than I love reading it, and I wrote the bloody thing.

To enter, just leave a comment on here or head to the original Facebook post and “like” or comment there. Closing date is Wednesday 18th, 12 pm GMT and I’ll announce the winners when I get home from work that night.

Note: you will need an Audible account to claim the code, but that doesn’t oblige you to sign your life away to them or anything.

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Happy Valley Pride Lesbian Authors Event

Last year’s Lesbian Fiction event held as part of the Happy Valley Pride Festival in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, was a lovely intimate evening of readings, audience enthusiasm, cakes and a bit of booze. I had so much fun, I’m heading there again on Tuesday 7th August to join Deborah Delano, Lise Gold, Lola Keeley, Jody Klaire, and Jen Silver. Jody’s promised Welsh cakes, I might make some tiffin, and we’ll all be reading from our latest novels and answering whatever questions the audience want to lob at us.

The event will be held at Squeeze, Crown Street, Hebden Bridge and tickets – which include a free drink – are £5 (and quite limited.) Head here to bag your spot 🙂


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Alias Audio Book Now Available!

For everyone who likes reading books with their ears, the audio version of Alias is out right now with the quite wonderful Nicola Victoria Vincent as narrator  Keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway, I’ll do one as soon as I get my complimentary codes.

Here’s the link, and this is the link.

Alias is the featured book on author May Dawney’s blog this week. There’s a short Q&A and three little Easter egg fun facts if you fancy having a toot.

And finally, if you wanted to chat about the book but you’re worried about spoilers, there’s a Facebook group where you can pick stuff apart, pick my brains, and show off your own bara brith baking efforts. Or you can just lurk, which is fine too 🙂

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Alias Released Everywhere Today!

For those of you who’ve been waiting patiently for the wide release of Alias – today is the day! It’s now available to buy as a Kindle/e-book and paperback from pretty much anywhere that sells ’em, and the audio book should be released very shortly, hopefully before the end of the month.

As ever, reviews, ratings, and kind words are very welcome. Positive word of mouth is worth its weight in gold and nothing makes authors happier 🙂

Here’s the handy links for amazon US and amazon UK.


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Playing with Point of View – Alias

I’ve been chatting with a few readers about writing Alias from a first person point of view, and happened to mention a recent writing exercise from the Bold Strokes author retreat where we played around with switching the POVs in a particular scene. The workshop gave me my one and only chance to write from Pryce’s POV and I said I’d share it on here for people to have a toot at.

It was written on quite a tight deadline, and I’d probably have included more detail had this been in the actual book, but I think it makes for an interesting read regardless.

There are MASSIVE spoilers from the end of the book for anyone who hasn’t read it, so proceed under the cut with caution…

Continue reading

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Mountains, Manchester, Lakes, and Lighthouses – Setting the ‘Alias’ scene

A few years ago, a scavenger hunt sent me and my missus to the top of Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest peak. The summit itself wasn’t much to write home about, but we were surrounded by spectacular mountains with countless paths snaking amongst them, and we swore we’d come back one day to leave the crowds behind and properly explore.

Tryfan from the summit of Glyder Fawr

Flash forward a couple of years, and, not counting one rained-off attempt, we still hadn’t managed our return-to-Wales hiking trip. I’d finished the Dark Peak series and was mulling over an idea for a standalone novel. That standalone became Alias, a thriller with a deceptively simple premise: a crashed car, a dead woman, a seriously injured woman with no memory, and a detective (Bronwen Pryce) who’s trying to pull all the clues together. It’s a classic Who dunnit? Why dunnit? How dunnit? All I had to do was decide upon a Where dunnit? and I was ready to roll. I knew I wanted to move beyond my usual stomping ground of the Peak District for this one, so I opened a map of Snowdonia and began to cross-reference with online images and a guide book…

Tryfan with the two lakes, Llyn Ogwen and Llyn Idwal, at its base, and the A5 road running to the left of the shot.

Ultimately I chose two central locations for the novel – the area around the Glyders mountain range in Snowdonia, where the car crashes, and the city of Manchester, where the bulk of the mystery unravels. Despite working in and around Manchester for years and considering it the closest thing to my home city, I’ve never actually set a book there, so it was lovely to write about streets that I know like the back of my hand, to namedrop institutions like Affleck’s Palace and the Northern Quarter, and to set a scene along Canal Street in the heart of the Gay Village. When one of my leading ladies laughs and says “I fucking love Manchester,” she’s speaking for the both of us.

Pryce’s gorgeous cottage.

Selecting the novel’s locations was far easier than untangling its damn plot, and the beauty of knowing where the book was set made our eventual day trip to the mountains a no-brainer. By then I had a tick-list of places I wanted to visit and we spent a gloriously sunny day hiking in the Glyders Range, just off the A5 road, with great views of Tryfan, and a swim in Llyn Idwal on the way down. We never did get to eat a laverbread cake, but we’ve pencilled that in for a future visit, or perhaps we’ll stay at Pryce’s cottage, shamelessly pinched from an online rental agency because I work far better when I have a picture of something in my head.

Proof that we really did go swimming!

We’re still in Wales at the end of the book, across the Menai Strait on Anglesey’s Llanddwyn Island. My wife and I went there looking for red squirrels and found perfect blue seas, golden sands, a ruined monastery, and views across to the mountains. We’ll go back one day, maybe for a dip in one of the coves or a picnic by the lighthouse. Life imitates art, art imitates life. It all comes full circle in the end.

Secluded cove on Llanddwyn Island

The lighthouse on Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey

Alias will be released in paperback and e-book via the Bold Strokes website on June 1st, and is scheduled for wide release (i.e. kindle etc) on June 12th. Preorder here (US) and here (UK). The audio book (narrated by the wonderful Nicola Victoria Vincent) should be also out hot on the heels of the print release.

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