Go on a Crime Spree and get short stories for free!

Taking a break before you dive in to your next book? Not sure what to read next? Maybe you haven’t read any (or many) short stories before, or maybe you think you don’t like them (?!) This is your cue to give them another chance, and perhaps to try out some authors you might not have read before . . . for free!

For a limited time only, you can download FREE short stories from 12 top UK crime & thriller writers, including: Mark Edwards, Harry Bingham, Katerina Diamond, C.L. Taylor, J.F. Penn, Angela Clarke, Lucy Dawson, Rebecca Bradley, Simon Toyne, Cal Moriarty, Marnie Riches (and ME!)

So why don’t you put the kettle on, make yourself comfortable, and get reading 🙂

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GET YOUR FREE eBOOKS HERE

Please note: If you’ve already signed up to my mailing list, you can get my short story collection featuring ‘As Black as Snow’, ‘The Outhouse’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ by clicking on the book cover below (otherwise you might be signed up twice . . .)

 

Willow Walk is here . . .

It’s a cheers from Leo, and a cheers from me!

Happy eBook release day to me! Willow Walk is out NOW (this is both very exciting and very terrifying!) To celebrate release day, I am doing a Q&A on twitter with another four BritCrime authors who have books out today: Mark Billingham, Cal Moriarty, Steven Dunne and Chris Ewan. You can tweet us your Qs using the hashtag #CrimeFive and we will answer them from 5pm. You can also find me over at Jane Isaac’s blog today, Rebecca Bradley’s tomorrow and Anne Cater’s on Saturday.

One of the biggest things I learned from the release of Black Wood is just how important reviews are. Reviews help get a book noticed, and I read somewhere recently that 50 reviews on Amazon really helps get the book into their algorithms, so it is shared more. Obviously I want everyone to find my book – so if you read it, please review on Amazon, Goodreads and any other places that do reviews – they really help! One of my fab blogger friends, Vicki, has been campaigning on twitter recently, encouraging people to write reviews and to cherish books – both sentiments I agree with entirety – you can read about it HERE

Anyway, enough about the book – it’s out there now… and I am dying to know what you all think of it! FYI – Black Wood reached #14 in the overall kindle chart, and #1 in psychological, Scottish and several other categories. I wonder how Willow Walk will do?!

P.S. I had a fantastic time at Newcastle Noir last weekend – there are a few photos HERE

If you want to get in touch – you can comment below, or find me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK

Next stop: Crimefest (Bristol)

Three weeks to go… That came around fast!

This is how Willow Walk was sent out to bloggers - can't wait to hear what they thought of it!

This is how Willow Walk was sent out to bloggers. I can’t wait to hear what they thought of it! (Although I am slightly terrified too…)

Lately it feels like I’ve barely had time to breathe, with so much going on – travelling, working, writing, prepping things for the release of Willow Walk. It was only when I saw that some other authors (*cough* Mark Billingham… and Steven Dunne) mentioning their 5th May release dates that I realised it is only THREE WEEKS until Willow Walk comes out in eBook.

Shiiiitttt – that came around fast!!

How do I feel?

Well, thankfully, being so busy with everything else has kept my mind of it – but when I sit down to stare out of the window and think… (I am currently writing BOOK 3 (aka The Damselfly), therefore there is always an excuse to do anything else but that. As much as I love writing, it never really gets any easier – the ideas come thick and fast, but sitting down to write can be a struggle. As any writer knows, the words in your head are perfect – why don’t they come out like that on the page?!) – I start to think about what it was like when Black Wood came out.

Gulp!

That sheer terror that everyone is going to hate it, that I’ll be battered by awful reviews… that I’ll want to crawl into a hole and hide. As it happened, not everyone hated Black Wood. In fact, a lot of people loved it – and those people are looking forward to the next one… and also, I hope, I might attract some new readers for this one too – although the books share the same setting and have some characters that overlap, they are very different and can be read as standalones. So – maybe you didn’t like Black Wood, maybe it wasn’t your thing. Doesn’t mean you won’t like the next one 🙂

It is VERY different. I know pride is a sin and all that, but I am very proud of it, and of the story – which didn’t have any origins in true-life at all – just some random ‘what if’s’ and ideas to mix things up a little bit in the broad genre that comes under the umbrella of ‘psychological’. Yes, there is a somewhat feisty female lead, yes there is a toxic relationship. But definitely not the type you might be expecting…

Oh, and my mum loved it. I don’t think I can get any higher praise Well, except for the cover quote – from one of my writing heroes, Sharon Bolton (cue massive fangirl moment) who describes it as ‘Creepy and Compelling’ and David Mark, who said it was ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung’ and all the lovely words inside (and on the back of) the cover from my early readers (authors and bloggers) who have been so supportive. I can’t thank them enough ❤

You can pre-order your ebook now, and you’ll get it on 5th May:

And remember, you can still sign-up for your free short story (and your sneak peek of Willow Walk before it comes out)

For those who still love a paperback – it will hit shops on 10th June – details of a special giveaway and plans for my launch(es) to follow soon 🙂

Oh, and I have read some brilliant books recently – I’ll share them with you very soon!

Willow Walk Available to Pre-Order

The countdown has begun!!

The eBook of WILLOW WALK comes out on 5th May, for a crazy introductory price of 98p.

That’s less than seven weeks away… SEVEN WEEKS! (But you’ll have to wait until 10th June for the paperback. Sorry!)

I can’t wait for you all to read it – and if you can’t wait, you can click HERE to get an exclusive preview of the first ten pages.

You’ll get a free short story too – it’s called Wrack Line, and it takes place between Black Wood and Willow Walk. My favourite crime blogger, Crimethrillergirl, said it had a nice twist (and she knows what she’s talking about…) so why don’t you put the kettle on, make yourself a drink and give it a read?

Maybe you can let me know what you think in the comments 🙂

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WILLOW WALK can be pre-ordered from all good bookshops (links below):

 

Playing with Word Clouds

It’s always nice to find a new tool to play with when the procrastination monkeys start swinging from the rafters. Not that I’ve been idle – I finished the first draft of book two recently (more about that soon!), so I’ve been taking some time out to read and to plot a short story, as well as some early planning for book three.

Anyway, I found this thing called Wordle. It creates word clouds that you can customise in all sorts of ways. Just paste in your text, and play away…

This is one I created for Black Wood (which, by the way, audio fans – is now available on audible, and I LOVE the narration!)

…and this is one for my second book. Comparing the two, the word ‘back’ seems quite important – which makes sense I think, as both novels deal with secrets and have characters who don’t want to look back – but unfortunately, they can’t avoid it. Also the words ‘one’ and ‘like’ feature heavily. I’ve no insights on that. However, I will have some news about book two soon, so stay tuned, Davie Gray fans!

P.S. I recently shared my five favourite fictional murder weapons for BritCrime – you can read it HERE

P.P.S. I also featured on Anne Cater’s blog as part of the Book Connectors/Trip Fiction ‘Around The World’ Blog Tour – you can read it HERE

P.P.P.S I have been recommending a book to everyone called Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker – I will be blogging about it in detail soon, but if you are struggling with the mid-draft slump, or thinking about #NaNoWriMo, you might want to take a look 🙂

P.P.P.P.S You can sign up for my newsletter HERE (you won’t get anything for a while as I am still setting it up, and you can unsubscribe any time – updates will be infrequent, but will include exclusive news and giveaways)

Midsummer Update

With Jeanette and Jane at Crime in the Court

The summer so far has been a bit of a whirlwind, what with moving house as well as trying to get on with writing book 2 (which after many frustrating false starts, is coming along nicely, at last!)

I kicked off my events schedule with an appearance at Newcastle Noir, followed by Crimefest (where I almost missed my first panel after accidentally ending up in Wales), then on to my first solo events at Hammersmith and Ealing Libraries. I was the Crime Readers Association (part of the Crime Writers’ Association) featured author of the month in May (you can find my posts here). I worked on two Flashflood Journals, and had a brand new flash fiction story included in the National Flash Fiction Day anthology, ‘Landmarks‘. I had a great time at Crime in the Court, then a crazy double header last Saturday with Beaconlit in the morning with Dave Sivers, Eve Ainsworth and Jules Wake, followed by a 3h drive across to Felixstowe to appear on a panel there with Jane Isaac, Jeanette Hewitt and Andrew Whittaker. I also ran the Felixstowe Book Festival adult short story competition, and recently attended launches for Anya Lipska’s ‘A Devil Under the Skin‘ and Sarah Ward’s debut ‘In Bitter Chill‘, and met up with loads of great crime writers, bloggers and readers.

Meanwhile, in the background, there has been much going on in the run up to the first BritCrime Festival, which is organised by author Helen Smith. I’m very pleased to be doing a panel there on Sunday with Colette McBeth, Jenny Blackhurst and Clare Mackintosh. Helen and several others have worked non-stop to get this festival up and running – it’s all online and there will be lots of author/reader interaction, not to mention giveaways and a virtual pub and cafe. I’ll actually be doing my panel from a hotel room, probably still in bed, as I will be New York…

…taking part in the Debut Authors’ Breakfast panel at Thrillerfest, the annual festival organised by ITW (International Thriller Writers), who are another volunteer led organisation for authors who have been very supportive of me via their Debut Authors’ Programme. This is particularly exciting as it’s my first US based festival and I imagine it’s going to be bigger than anything I’ve been to so far. I’ll report back, with photos, of course. I actually planned the NYC trip as a surprise for Mr H, and managed to do all the organising behind the scenes and keep it all a secret until… Friday, when he guessed where we were going… damn it! On the plus side, it means he can pack his own suitcase now 😉

In other news, Black Wood is doing really well, with 200+ 4 and 5 stars reviews on Amazon. Thank you so much to everyone who has read it and enjoyed it and kindly left a review. It will be popping up on the tube as part of Books on the Underground on 14-15th July, the audio book is due out in August, and I sold my first foreign rights, to the Czech Republic and it will be out there late next year, which is very exciting… and I’m delighted to be featured in this month’s Writing Magazine.

The rest of my summer will be taken up with finishing book 2 (news on that to follow soon) and of course, the annual trip to Harrogate to drink Pimms on the lawn at The Old Swan. Then there’s my event with Fergus McNeill at Marylebone Library, and the biggest launch of the year for James Law’s brilliant ‘Tenacity‘ at the submarine museum in Hampshire. It’s a hard life, being an author…

Hope you’re all having a great summer and reading lots of books in the sunshine!

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You can see a full list of events HERE.

BLACK WOOD can be purchased HERE (free shipping worldwide).