Hello! I am thrilled to announce that my latest novel, THE ISLAND VILLA, is available now to pre-order.
Thank you to everyone who sent me such gorgeous feedback with the cover reveal last week! If you haven’t seen it yet – here it is!
The story centres around the beautiful, Spanish island of Formentera, and a secret that goes back to the years of the Inquisition, it is based on a blend of myth and fact.
A story of two sisters, living in a time of fear and betrayal, and rumours of a stranger on the island. If you loved The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah or The Island by Victoria Hislop, you’ll devour this dramatic tale set in a beautiful Spanish villa where the walls whisper with secrets.
When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish island of Formentera.
As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba had been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.
Can the heartbreaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?
Hello my lovelies! Sorry I have been so quiet lately, but I have been hard at work on the next book/s. Or, um, at least, I should be writing …. I have been a bit distracted because as of a week ago we are moving house!
My husband has been offered a job in a different part of the country so we are frantically looking for a house to rent somewhere in Sussex/ Kent. You know, if life hadn’t been busy enough, right?! But while it’s super sad to leave the friends we have made over the last year and a bit, I’m trying hard to focus on it being an adventure too. Sussex and Kent is pretty spectacular but in high demand so finding a house is a bit tricky … wish us luck!
Here are some rather fabulous pics of the county we’re moving to … of course we may not end up in one of these pretty villages which seems to require the deposit of a pair of lungs and a kidney, so I’m probably going to end up somewhere a little less picturesque … but a girl can dream, right?
Aside from moving though, I really wanted to check in with you guys most of all because of the incredible messages I’ve been receiving lately – from emails to Twitter DMs and messages on Goodreads (how incredible all these ways we have of getting in touch nowadays, right?) you all have been so kind!
Thank you SO much for this guys, it means the world. I’ve had a few readers tell me that they have read all four of my books over the past few weeks, and I cannot tell you how honoured I feel, it’s surreal. As a reader I used to do this myself but never imagined people would do it with my books so I can’t tell you how incredible it is to hear that some of you have done that! Thank you and for those who read them one at a time I love you just as much, grin.
The two books I’m working on for this year are coming along slowly but surely. The first one will be out in June, and is set on a small Spanish island and involves a secret that goes back to the years of the Inquisition … and the other, which will be out in October if all goes well, is set in Paris in a bookshop in the 60s. Writing two at once was never the plan (I bumbled deadlines) but I can honestly say that when I’m not panicking I’m having a really good time, grin.
How’s your January going? Is it just me or did it feel like this month had about 98 days in it and all of them with dust in the coffers since Christmas?
I’m thrilled (and a little nervous, eep) to share this YouTube interview I did with the absolutely lovely Michelle Dunton for her fab channel Writing Fun. I’ve never been on YouTube before and generally stay veryfar away from cameras but I felt it was important to conquer those fears and also just let go of being anyone but myself – it’s something I truly believe in and am embracing the older I get. It was also a central message in my latest novel, Christmas at Hope Cottage. So here I am with my girly South African voice (I’ll be about a hundred and still sound twelve … smiling way too much as usual, grin.)
In this interview we speak about the magic of being who you are flaws and all, my latest novel, baking, my crazy yet wonderful relatives and much more. I really hope you enjoy it! If you do please give the video a like as it will mean a lot to Michelle and I! x
Just wanted to say a HUGE, fudge-filled, massive thank you to you guys for downloading Christmas at Hope Cottage! I’m thrilled to announce that it’s now in the top 100 on Amazon UK, and is currently no 14 on Kobo UK, and no 2 in the contemporary romance category there as well, woo hoo!
Of course, trust me, it’s not about hitting the lists that matters most to me – it’s the fact that with all the books out there you guys have chosen to read mine, and your support means that I get to keep it up, which means the world! So thank you!!
Here’s a snapshot for prosperity, grin. On Amazon in particular this little bit of magic moves fast so it will most likely drop out of the top 100 which is why I am a screen saving diva lol 🙂
Also, just to let you know Christmas at Hope Cottage is on special at a very low price, so if you haven’t go your copy yet it’s only 99p!
In all the excitement of having my book come out this Wednesday, I didn’t get a chance to share it with you all here, but I’m delighted to announce that CHRISTMAS AT HOPE COTTAGE is out now!
Thank you SO SO much to everyone on Twitter and Facebook who have been sharing it far and wide, and a humungous, Fudge-filled thank you to everyone who received a an ARC and who has taken the time to leave an review. As it stands the book has been out for two days and there’s twenty reviews – twenty! I’m truly touched and overwhelmed.
I’m absolutely delighted to tell you that my new novel, Christmas at Hope Cottage, is out now! This book was a real labour of love, and I faced so many challenges writing it, but I’m thrilled to share it with you.
If you’d like to get the book, it’s available to download now!
“In the little village of Whistling, with its butterscotch cottages and rolling green hills, snow is beginning to fall. Christmas is coming, and Emma Halloway is on her way home.
When twenty-eight-year-old food writer Emma Halloway gets dumped then knocked off her bike, she’s broken in more ways than one, and returns to her family’s cosy cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Emma hasn’t been back in some time, running from her crazy relatives and her childhood sweetheart, Jack Allen.
Emma’s grandmother is determined to bake her back to health and happiness, as the Halloways have done for generations. Surrounded by old friends and warm cinnamon buns, Emma starts to believe in her family’s special talents for healing again. But then in walks Jack with his sparkling hazel eyes, stirring up the family feud between them.
As the twinkly lights are strung between the streetlamps, Emma remembers just why she fell for Jack in the first place… and why a Halloway should never date an Allen.
The infuriating new lodger, Sandro, doesn’t believe anyone should have to choose between love and family. With a little bit of Christmas magic, can Emma and Jack find a way to be together, or will Emma find herself heartbroken once more?
I hope you enjoy reading Christmas at Hope Cottage curled up on these cold autumn evenings!
So as my new book is out in three days time. (Three days?!) I thought I’d do something fun and offer you a sneak peak inside, a little cinematic tour of what it would look like if it were a film … I hope you enjoy my little sketch trailer! x
In the small village of Whistling in rural Yorkshire, with its rolling green hills, purple moors and butterscotch cottages, some things never change. October marks the start of the frost, it always snows at Christmas and whenever anyone’s in trouble they visit Hope Cottage, where remedies come on plates…
It is here that the Halloways have lived for over two-hundred years, making recipes that many believe have the power to change lives.
“It is said that when a Halloway woman kneads dough, long-held quarrels iron themselves out, and when she sieves flour, things fall smoothly back into place…”
Yet not everyone comes knocking on their particular door, with it’s knocker shaped like a curmudgeon of a cat, as not everyone is convinced that the Halloways are who they say they are…
“The Leas’ think the Halloways are witches, the Allens’ that they are expensive frauds, no one remembers long ago that they all used to be friends …”
It is this that has led to one of the oldest feuds between the three largest families in the town since anyone could remember.
A feud that got in the way between a young girl and a young boy … a boy that happened to be an Allen, a girl that happened to be a Halloway …
And made her run away … away from the family business of meddling in people’s lives via food, and away from the boy she’d given her heart away to at the age of six, most of all.
Now twenty-eight, a successful food historian and writer, Emma Halloway thinks she’d got it all figured out.
Except life has other plans … as this Christmas Emma Halloway, is coming home…
Where her grandmother and her crazy aunts believe that they can fix anything with food, even a broken heart.
Except, not everything is as it was … for one thing there’s a new lodger at Hope Cottage, who is always in the way and he seems to have some new ideas himself … ideas about what makes a happy life, and why family matters most.
And as the snow begins to fall, and the Christmas lights are strung up and history seems to repeat itself, Emma Halloway will have to decide between love or family, or if one ever needs to choose at all?
This Christmas promises to be one she’ll never forget …
I originally wrote this for Novelicious, it’s my favourite section on the blog, and sadly I’m not sure if it’s going anymore, sniff. So, I thought I’d share it with you all anyway, as I always love seeing an author’s writing space!
The first writing room I ever fell in love with was Jo March’s from Little Women. I loved her special attic, where she kept her ink-stained manuscripts, along with the costumes from the plays she wrote, and that as a young girl she wrote while wearing her special ‘writerly uniform.’ I have a uniform now too; only mine are pajamas.
I’ve been lucky enough to have two writing rooms in my life. My last one was back in South Africa, it was big and wide, and had wall to ceiling shelves but I rarely got to use it.
My second, writing room, is at my new home in the English countryside in Suffolk, and is perhaps the more special, though perhaps not as grand as my first. It’s little more than a snug, but I love it perhaps even more, because here I have realised a long held dream here of being a full-time writer.
It has a dormer window, and while I write I see the tops of the sky and the occasional seagull flying past, as we are quite close to sea. The room is filled with all the things I love from bunting to books, my collection of elephant figurines, and the pottery frog I made when I was eight. I used the countryside as my inspiration and have used apple crates as bookshelves, which create a rustic look that I love.
There are two desks in the room. One is my antique writing desk – which my husband bought me for my birthday a few years ago, it in part inspired the story behind the postcard in my novel A Cornish Christmas, but I write on the other, bigger desk. It’s really a small dining table, which I painted a soft grey, during my French country phase. It’s big enough to keep all my research, including the dozens of notebooks in which I scribble things down for the books I’m writing. It also holds things that inspire me, like the old grey typewriter my father-in-law bought me from a car show a few years ago.
When the house is quiet and my husband is out, my room is an oasis of calm and on good days I can sit here and write for hours, but as he works from home most days it can be a challenge, as he comes in regularly to use the printer, have a moan about his day, or suggest a spot of housework and I suggest throttling him instead. Most days I welcome the company – if not the moaning, other days I want to pay the postie to take him away.
My other visitor is far more quiet, though no less demanding, my lazy bulldog, Fudge, makes the trek up most afternoons, which sounds as if the house is falling apart as she lands with a heavy thud on each step. It is the funniest, happiest sound, and it always makes me laugh. It takes around a full three minutes for her to get to the top and always makes me feel rather special that she went to all the effort. Usually she goes straight to her upstairs bed (she has two, yes she is spoiled), but mostly she likes to lie on the blanket on my legs, pawing at my shins to pat her head, while I try to type.
The other part of my writing room is really just a few feet away and is the bedroom. It’s where I head when things get tough and I’m feeling a bit stuck or feeble, there’s something about lying in bed and editing or working out a scene that really helps, perhaps as it feels less like ‘work.’ The danger though is not getting out of the bloody bed, so I make sure I make it as soon as I get up, then it’s out the door to the snug for me.