Thursday, 30 April 2015

Learn to Love Again - Ellen Faith

About the book...
Living in a small seaside village can have its perks, but after the death of her husband, Lillie Gilbert finds the people she grew up with turning against her faster than the tide rolls out.

As she grieves for the life they planned, the life they’ll never live, she leans on her best friend for support and tries to come to terms with the fact that one day, she may have to open up her heart to a new life and new love. 

After losing her childhood sweetheart, can Lillie really learn to love again? 

About the author...
Ellen lives in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, England where she spends most of her time baking, eating, baking, and eating. Occasionally she does leave the house to go to the cinema or do some food shopping though. 

After spending years with an overactive imagination, she decided to put all the magic in her head to some good use and put finger to laptop where The Story of Us was born and became her debut novel. She loves to travel, her favourite destinations so far have all been in America, hence the love of all things, and all people, American. The food rocks pretty hard too, she ate until her jeans begged her to stop whilst she was there. 

True fact. Aside from daydreaming and eating, Ellen is a sucker for a lolcat, penguins and monkeys - she has never claimed to be normal. 


My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this novella in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.

Ellen is a wonderful writer that has created characters that could very well be my friends or members of my family, their characters resonate with me, they are so very true to life, they are multi faceted, facing situations that each and every one of us can relate to and they come across as really genuine people.

Learn to Love Again was an emotional, heart wrenching read from the very start. The story begins on the day of Nick's funeral.  He was Lillie's husband and childhood sweetheart and she doesn't know how to function without him, her family can't seem to get through the veneer she's built around herself.  In fact if it weren't for Sam their lifelong friend, home from the States for the funeral I'm sure she would have died of a broken heart.

Lillie's story was both heart breaking and yet at the same time uplifting for me.  Death is such a difficult subject, to read about especially when the person who has died was so young - with all their life ahead of them.  Lillie, naturally, had lost the will to live and could barely function - I could almost lift her pain and despair off the page and it would have been so easy for Ellen to have us the readers wallowing in the self pity and recriminations along with her if it weren't for Sam.  He seemed to know and understand Lillie more than her family, she feeling like she didn't have to put on an act for him, she could just be herself.  Like Lillie I took strength from his words and actions each and every page. He was, kind and caring - having all the time in the world and patience stronger than any saint I know.  He behaved in a light hearted way and was kindness on legs, not forgetting that Nick was his best friend too - he put his grieving on hold to be there for Lillie.

I literally loved every page of this book, particularly with Ellen providing the gradual back history of all the characters, of Lillie and Sam but in particular Nick.  The different stages of grieving was described so well by Ellen, I as a reader felt I was on an emotional roller coaster with Lille, her anguish and despair was so very real it was palpable, peaking and troughing with lighter moments of sensitively delivered humour.  The highs gradually outweighing the lows until Lillie was able to overcome her despair, hurt, anger and guilt of still being alive when Nick was dead. Also, coping when facing the fact her friend and support was headed back to America where he lives, proving that we can overcome things even at the darkest parts of our lives - finding the defence and survival mechanisms for us individually - we all grieve and cope in different ways. Ellen portrayal of both Lillie and Sam was amazing, portrayals so lifelike I forgot I was reading fiction, particularly when it got to the 'Nick' parts - he was dead in spirit but his character leapt from the page.

I particularly loved the ending of this book, such a stark contrast to the beginning - through the telling of the story Ellen pushes home the message of living for today, following our dreams and when the chips are down relying on your friends and family for support.  I was left with a warm glow, whilst quietly cheering and clapping - I genuinely cared for the characters as I would any close friends.

I highly recommend Learn to Love Again, a book about hope, acceptance, love and happiness. Ellen Faith is definitely an author that will stay on my reading pile.

Friday, 24 April 2015

The Hunt - Tim J Lebbon

I am hugely excited to share with you the cover for The Hunt by Tim J Lebbon - a thriller that is guaranteed to get your heart pounding and will be published by Lightbrigade in July this year.

About the book...
She will hunt down the men who took her family. 

She will have blood. Rose is the one that got away. She was the prey in a human trophy hunt organised by an elite and secret organisation for bored super-rich clients seeking a unique thrill. She paid a terrible price - when she escaped The Trail murdered her family. Every moment since she has been planning her revenge. Watching, waiting ...And now her day has come.

Chris returns from his morning run to find his wife and children missing and a stranger in his kitchen. He's told to run. If he's caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die. Rose is the only one who can help him, but Rose only has her sights on one conclusion. For her, Chris is bait. But The Trail have not forgotten the woman who tried to outwit them. The Trail want Rose. The hunters want Chris's corpse. Rose wants revenge, and Christ just wants his family back.

The hunt is on...

About the author...
TIM J LEBBON is a New York Times-bestselling writer with over thirty novels published to date, as well as dozens of novellas and hundreds of short stories.  Recent releases include The Silence, Coldbrook, Into the Void: Dawn of the Jedi (Star Wars), Reaper's Legacy, and Alien: Out of the Shadows.  He has won four British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, and a Scribe Award, and been shortlisted for World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson awards.  A movie of his story Pay the Ghost, starring Nicolas Cage, will be released soon, and other projects in development include My Haunted House, Playtime, and Exorcising Angels.

He has had around 20 novellas published and hundreds of short stories, steadily building a dedicated following among the horror & dark fiction community.  A movie of his short story PAY THE GHOST was filmed last year in Toronto, starring Nicolas Cage and Sarah Wayne Callies, directed by Uli Edel. He is also working on two TV series ideas, as well as a new original screenplay.  

Thursday, 23 April 2015

7 Years Bad Sex - Nicky Wells

I feel privileged and honoured to be part of the cover reveal for Nicky Wells upcoming book 7 Years Bad Sex - a book I can't wait to share my thoughts with you during the launch Blog Tour in May - Watch this space - it rocks!!

About the book...
One wedding. One curse?  Disaster ever after…

A seven-years-bad-sex curse? Surely not! Yet something went wrong when rock singer Casey and drummer Alex got married on that beautiful yacht anchored off St Tropez in the south of France. Something went badly wrong. For even on their wedding night, the young couple discovers a complete and somewhat surprising inability to make love. Muddling through their honeymoon with a string of thin excuses for their predicament, the lovers defer finding a solution (and panicking) until the return to their home in London. After all, they married for life and to make rock music, not for the love of sex. Right?

But when they resume life as normal in London, all hell breaks loose. Increasingly frantic in their quest for release, the unhappy newlyweds embark on a string of hilarious and occasionally harmful antics that drives them, their band, and an assortment of random strangers to the brink of despair. But it ain’t over ‘til it’s over or, in this case… it ain’t over ‘til the newlyweds sing.


There was a stunned silence in the room while Alex and Casey tried to assimilate the importance of this statement. She remembered all too well her conversation with Alex on the yacht after they had trawled through the wedding video. He had pointed out to her even then that she hadn’t looked at him. 
Casey shivered. She caught Alex’s eye and saw nothing but utter confusion. Liza was still standing up, one fist raised in an air punch. Sasha had taken one of Casey’s hands into her own.
Eventually Alex spoke. ‘Maybe we didn’t look at each other. So what?’
Liza and Sasha shared another look. ‘The seven-years-bad-sex curse!’ they shouted as one.
Alex burst out laughing. ‘The seven-years-bad-sex curse?’ he repeated. ‘You’re taking the mickey, right?’
Myles was chuckling so hard, he toppled over sideways on the sofa and had to hold his stomach. ‘That’s why we had to rush over here? To tell them about a seven-years-bad-sex curse?’
‘Laugh all you want,’ Liza said calmly. ‘But you’re watching it in action.’
Casey swallowed hard. She didn’t believe in curses. They were nothing but delusory superstitions from the middle ages. But still, both Sasha and Liza looked utterly serious.
‘So—so what does that curse entail?’ Casey asked, her voice almost a whisper.
Sasha produced her smartphone and called up a website. ‘It says here,’ she said, ‘there’s a superstition in many parts of southern Europe about how not looking at each other when clinking glasses during a toast brings couples seven years bad sex.’ She angled her phone so that everyone could see the screen.
‘And you were in France when you committed this ritualistic mishap,’ Liza offered helpfully. ‘So that definitely applies.’

About the author...
Romance that Rocks Your World!

Ultimate rock chick author Nicky Wells writes romance with rock stars—because there’s no better romantic hero than a golden-voiced bad boy with a secret soft heart and a magical stage presence!

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous romance with rock stars—imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity, you’ll connect with Nicky’s heroes and their leading ladies.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and ad-hoc radio show presenter. Rock on!

Did you know? There’s a single out now by Nicky’s fictional rock band Tuscq come to life! “Love Me Better” is available for download from Amazon, iTunes and many other places. 

Goodreads Giveaway...
Nicky will be giving away two (2) signed paperback copies of 7 Years Bad Sex over on Goodreads in advance of the official launch day of 7 Years Bad Sex on 14 May. Don’t miss your chance to enter!
Giveaway is open to readers in the US, UK, and Canada, and runs from 23 April 2015 to 10 May 2015—hurry, hurry!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Letters to My Husband - Stephanie Butland

About the book...
Dear Mike, I can’t believe that it’s true. You wouldn’t do this to me. You promised.

Elizabeth knows that her husband is kind and good and that he loves her unconditionally. She knows she hasn’t been herself lately but that, even so, they are happy.

But Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down when Mike dies in a tragic drowning accident. Suddenly everything Elizabeth knows about her husband is thrown into doubt. Why would he sacrifice his own life, knowing he’d never see his wife again? And what exactly was he doing at the lake that night?

Elizabeth knows that writing to Mike won’t bring him back, but she needs to talk to him now more than ever . . .

How much can you ever know about the people you love?

Originally published in hardback as Surrounded by Water.

About the author...

Stephanie Butland’s first two books were about her dance with cancer. She then turned to fiction, and Letters to My Husband is the first of two novels set in a small English town.

Stephanie lives with her family near the sea in the North east of England. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden, and when she’s not writing, she trains people to think more creatively. For fun, she reads, knits, sews, bakes, and spins.

My thoughts...
Almost a year to the day, I first posted this review for Stephanie’s debut novel Surrounded by Water. The book was the subject of much discussion on Twitter and I thought it would be right up my street - I knew I just had to read it and was sent a copy in exchange for an honest review by Stephanie's publisher at Transworld. My gut instincts weren't wrong - it was outstanding.   All that I could say was WOW! How can she top this?  

I started seeing mentions of Letters to my Husband on twitter and immediately wanted to get my hands on it - if it was anything like Surrounded by Water it was going to be amazing.  I have to say my heart plummeted a little when I found out it wasn't a new book but just a new name for the paperback launch.  However, a second reading left me in the same place as the first, thoughtful, retrospective and stuck for words - if anything it was even better and I think the title and image are even more suited to the book than the first. 

The story begins with the sudden death of Michael, Elizabeths husband who drowns whilst out walking the dog late one evening.

It's fair to say Elizabeth literally falls apart and is supported by her sister, mother in law and Michael's two best friends.  Michael was her soul mate and they had a perfect life, it is only as the story unfolds do we find out it had tiny, little fractures - not visible until you look closely.

Stephanie's descriptions of each of the characters was beautiful and clear.  I could visualise  every person and each seemed just perfect - I could have been reading about an incident in my village and about people I knew.

I loved the way that as the story moved forward the author also took us back allowing a glimpse into Michael and Elizabeth's relationship from their first meeting, including   highlighting past events that shaped the couple into the people they had become. I was also deeply moved by the letters that Elizabeth wrote to Michael after his death - what ended up a very important part of her grieving process.

Grief is an emotion that affects everybody differently and Stephanie took me on a journey with Elizabeth that was quite exhausting - she was literally poleaxed when Michael died, barely able or willing to function.  She really was at rock bottom, shock and denial playing a big part - for every step forward another revelation would appear and Elizabeth would once again plunge into a despairing, depressed world and Stephanie cleverly took me with her.

I must have felt every emotion possible reading this book, from helplessness and sadness to happiness and elation. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and how we react depends upon the people and characters we are to begin with.  Both Elizabeth and Michaels mother were suffering grief for the death of the same person but reacted in totally different ways - that doesn't mean either was suffering less.  I kept having to close the book and take stock as I was so immersed in the story I felt physically drained at times - feeling the sadness as vividly and deeply as if Elizabeth was my friend or sister.

Just like real life things are not always what we see on the surface so just when I thought I had it all worked out Stephanie added another twist and had me guessing again.  I have to say it got to the point where I thought 'how much more can one person take?' Enough, please!! It was quite harrowing and heart breaking to read. This story is full of secrets that required lies to hold it all together and little bits are gradually revealed throughout the book. 

It does beg the question though - do we ever really know the people we are close to? How many times have we lied by omission and not communicated how we really feel? I for one shall take stock and thank my lucky stars for the loving relationships felt by my family and hope that they are as real and true as I believe they are.

I highly recommend this novel and truly loved every page - an emotional journey that left me sitting, silently, contemplating every aspect of the story long after it had ended.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Gingerbread Cafe Trilogy - Rebecca Raisin

Don’t miss the exciting new collection the Gingerbread Café Trilogy 
by Rebecca Raisin

About the books...

Book One - Christmas At The Gingerbread Cafe

The icing on her Christmas cake! 
Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café in Ashford, Connecticut was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.

But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Café is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones – really do come true!

Book Two - Chocolate Dreams At The Gingerbread Cafe

Chocolate…the most irresistible temptation?The Gingerbread Café is all a buzz! This Easter, Lily and the rest of the town of Ashford, Connecticut are planning a truly decadent Chocolate Festival. Cooking up a storm, CeeCee and Lily are not just baking a batch of their sinfully delicious chocolate-dipped gingerbread men, but an excess of chocolate truffles, squidgy, cinnamony hot cross buns and melt in your mouth chocolate eggs. The Gingerbread Café staff have definitely enjoyed the tasting process!

Add in Damon’s cute-as-a-button seven year old daughter, Charlie, up for a visit and Lily’s perfect Easter may just be around the corner. Until her ex-husband Joel turns up demanding twenty thousand dollars… Suddenly the future of the Gingerbread Café is not so clear…and Lily finds herself eating far more of The Gingerbread Café’s treats than her skinny jeans allow…

Can Lily concoct a brilliant plan to save her beloved café, convince Damon she has no feelings for Joel and still throw a Chocolate Festival the town will be talking about for years? There’s only one way to find out...

Welcome back to the warmth, cupcakes and hot chocolate of The Gingerbread Café – your home away from home

Book Three - Christmas Wedding At The Gingerbread Cafe

You are invited to the wedding of the year!
Snow is falling thick and fast outside the Gingerbread Café and inside, its owner Lily is planning the wedding of the year. Her wedding! She never dreamt it would happen, but this Christmas, she’ll be marrying the man of her dreams - in a Christmas-card-perfect ceremony!

The gingerbread is baking, the dress is fitted and the mistletoe’s in place – for once, everything’s going to plan. That is until her mother-in-law arrives... Suddenly, Lily’s famous cool is being tested like never before and her dream wedding is crumbling before her eyes.

In the blink of a fairylight, the Gingerbread Café has been thrown into chaos! Lily thought she had this wedding wrapped up, but with so much to do before she says ‘I do’, can Lily get to the church on time – and make this Christmas sparkle after all?

About The Author...

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She's been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

I Let You Go - Clare Mackintosh

About the book...
A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating...

About the author...
Clare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer and columnist. She has written for The Guardian, Sainsbury's Magazine, The Green Parent, and many other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing Magazine.

Clare spent twelve years in the police force, working on CID, in custody and as a public order commander, and has drawn on her experiences for her début psychological thriller I Let You Go. She is currently writing her second novel, out next year.

My thoughts...
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.

Wow, this is a psychological thriller that will suck you in and spit you out before you know it - hugely haunting, a story that runs so deep it's harrowing and beautiful at the same time if that can be possible? 

Within the first twenty pages I was hooked. It is impossible to believe that this is a debut psychological thriller for Clare.  Her criminal knowledge (from the right side of the law, I might add) is obvious from the start. Her attention to detail is clear, concise and to the point - there are no unnecessary words or characters in this book!

This was one of the best psychological crime novels I have ever read. Jenna the lead character is running away , attempting to bury herself in a quiet welsh village, far from her
real life - hoping to regroup and rid herself of the nightmare that ended her life as she knew it on a rainy, winter afternoon. 

I spent most of this novel holding my breath, there was always something there, something I couldn't put my finger on, something just out of reach.  I Let You Go is at times a harrowing, yet a compelling read.  A story that had me the reader, reading faster and faster, wanting to unravel the mysteries, then BAM!! Wishing with every breath in my body that I could un-read them.  What a twist!!  I'd got this book nicely sewn up, I knew exactly what had happened and why then Clare dropped a grenade and everything was shattered.  

Clare's descriptive skills are second to none - describing people and events in such a way I thought they were real. Such as I was involved in the story.  I could feel Jenna's pain as easily as if it was my own, the frustrations of the CID team assigned to the police case.  The frustrations of Mags, Ray, the DI in charge of the police case's wife, previously a police officer herself until giving up work to become a parent - her frustrations and angst clear for everyone to see - always nodding in the right place but the sub-text telling a different story.

This is a book that shows you can't run, you can't hide from your past, it will always catch up with you and somehow, someway, you must find strength to face what is thrown at you.  But most of all things aren't always what they seem, sometimes people hide beneath a mask, but there's always a reason and those the wrong side of the law have to live looking over their shoulder.

When I finished this book it was like I'd been through an emotional wringer, so rarely does a book leave me deeply moved - picking up my next read has been difficult.  I highly recommend you read this book, but factor in time for thought, I promise you, you will agonise and analyse a big chunk of both the storyline and the characters within I Let You Go.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Day We Disappeared - Lucy Robinson

About the book...
Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.

Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind.

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good . . .

A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist . . . 

About the author...
The Day We Disappeared is Lucy Robinson's fourth novel, following hot on the heels of the widely acclaimed The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me - a Book of 2014 for several online and print media publications. 

Lucy worked in theatre and then television documentaries before starting a blog for Marie Claire about her laughably unsuccessful foray into the world of online dating. She did not meet a man during this time but she did become a novelist: every cloud has a silver lining. She now lives in Bristol with her partner, The Man, whom she met when she took off to Buenos Aires to become a bohemian writer in 2010. She still works in television when time permits and does a lot of walking and strange healthy cooking, which you can laugh at via her social media channels:

TWITTER: @lucy_robinson
INSTAGRAM: @robinsonwriter 

My thoughts...
I was given a paperback copy of The Day We Disappeared by Francesca at Penguin in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.

Firstly, with a cover as vibrant and bold as this who wouldn't pick this book off the shelf? I can assure you that once you do, you'll read the synopsis and be itching to read the book and once you begin you won't put it down until you're finished. 

This book read like a beautiful piece of music, the tempo gradually increasing as I turned the  pages, until the story was laid bare and I was left with my heart pounding thinking WOW - I didn't see that coming at all.  A true demonstration that things aren't always what they seem.

The Day We Disappeared offers the usual things you'd expect to find in any piece of contemporary, womens fiction - likeable characters, humour and romance with a healthy dose of intrigue.  But.... Unlike other similar novels there is a darker side too.  This really is a page turner, Lucy had me hook, line and sinker as I delved deeper into the story.

Both main characters Kate and Annie, were extremely likeable.  On the surface they were different, yet somehow they were similar.  Both were obviously hiding/running from something, one appearing weaker and more trusting, grateful for every bit of kindness.  The other more resilient, appearing a stronger person, yet both seemed to be waiting for the walls to come tumbling down around them.

This book is both captivating and compelling, the characters really got under my skin.  So many times I've read articles in newspapers and couldn't believe what I was reading about people I thought I knew.  This book is no different, opinions were made, then changed, then shattered over and over again as the parallel stories unravelled.  We all choose how much of our life and character to outwardly show and we use the rest as an armour to live behind so very true of many of the characters, not just Annie and Kate that we are introduced to in this book.

This is a book that will stay with you long after you finish it - it'll make you look at your friends, at your work colleagues and strangers in the street - questioning yourself and wondering, are they all who they seem? I highly recommend this book.  It has for me the best of both worlds - humour and romance mixed with a psychological thriller. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Girl Who Wouldn't Die - Marnie Riches

About the book...

When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer. But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear.

And the killer has a very special part for George to play…

A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night!

About the author...
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester, aptly within sight of the dreaming spires of Strangeways prison. Able to speak five different languages, she gained a Master’s degree in Modern & Medieval Dutch and German from Cambridge University. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. In her spare time, she likes to run, mainly to offset the wine and fine food she consumes with great enthusiasm. Having authored the first six books of HarperCollins Children’s Time-Hunters series, she now writes crime thrillers for adults and contemporary women’s fiction. The first book in her gripping George McKenzie Series, “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die” releases in digital format on 2 April 2015. 

Guest post...

Genre switching by Marnie Riches 
Always a fan of fart jokes and high adventure, when I decided I was finally going to make writing my One True Career, it seemed sensible for me to dip my puerile pen into the washable ink of children’s fiction. After all, I owned two children and wanted to entertain them with something Mummy had written. 
Over years, I honed my craft – children’s writing is a highly skilled pursuit, where a writer must follow strict rules like showing and not telling, ensuring the dialogue is snappy and keeping the pace fast. Children know padding when they see it. Training myself to write incisively stood me in excellent stead for writing for adults. Because with a foul mouth and a dirty mind like mine, it was never going to be long before the lure of writing for adults came knocking...
I’ve written adult fiction and children’s fiction pretty much concurrently since the beginning – short adult stories at first, which I entered into competitions. Then, while a middle grade detective novel was on submission via my first agent, I started to write a contemporary women’s novel, based on my experiences as a professional fundraiser in London. It was funny, sexy and full of swearing. I needed to let off adult literary steam and found, with focus, I could simply switch voice. Unexpectedly though, I did bring my children’s writing techniques to bear on even the most lurid stories. I kept chapters episodic and punchy. I used minimum exposition. I worked hard on characters and dialogue. It worked. 
By the time I gained the commission to author the first six books in HarperCollins Children’s Time-Hunters series for the 7+ age group, I had already started The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die. Initially, I had planned it as a New Adult thriller, set at university and based on some of my own youthful experiences. Two years, three agents and many drafts later, it has become the first instalment in a very adult crime series... 
HarperCollins showed immediate interest in the manuscript, but there was a long wait while the details of the deal were agreed. During that time, I began a YA high concept thriller, but suffered from writer’s block 30,000 words in! I hadn’t believed writer’s block existed before then. Changing tack and starting a new women’s novel helped. I had the women’s novel completed in four months. I loved every minute of writing it, and only a week after I started work on book 2 of the George McKenzie series – The Girl Who Broke the Rules – I penned the women’s contemporary love story, The Love Potion, which was published in Avon’s e-anthology Love...Maybe

My point is that chopping and changing around is healthy. All practice is good practice and whether you’re writing a middle grade adventure story or a crime thriller or humorous fiction, telling a story is telling story. Providing you tell it well, someone will always want to read it!