Thursday, 11 December 2014

In the Spirit of Christmas

So, because I'm feeling particularly Christmassy this afternoon, and because Christmas is all about giving I wanted to share my Christmas spirit by giving away a little stash of books ready for the holidays.

Now because it's Christmas even if you've got one or all of these books if you win you can nominate someone else for me to send them to as a Christmas gift!

All you need to do to enter is check out the rafflecopter giveaway below, and pick one (or all) of the ways to enter!

Merry Christmas.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Zoe Sugg, Penguin, and why I'm an Indie Author

Let me start by saying that I know that I am behind the times and this story broke a few days ago, let me also say that until today I had no idea who Zoella, or Zoe Sugg was, nor had I heard of her debut book Girl Online.

More importantly, I have nothing against Zoe Sugg, or her book.

That said, this story caught my attention today. For anyone who doesn’t know (as I didn’t until I started researching this blog post) Zoe Sugg is a YouTube celebrity with millions of followers, who was offered a book deal by Penguin books, and whose debut novel outsold the debut offerings of JK Rowling and Dan Brown in their first week of sales.

Now let’s ignore the fact that neither Dan Brown, nor JK Rowling had millions of followers before the publication of their books, and that their debut books sold purely on the basis of their writing talents, because that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about the ‘revelations’ that Zoe Sugg didn’t write her book completely on her own. In fact it now seems that she had the help of ghost writers and editors.

Here’s the thing. I have no problem with Zoe Sugg. She made a smart business decision that is no doubt going to make her a tidy sum of money. She’d have been silly to turn it down.

I have no idea how much or how little she wrote of the book. But there was one quote from her that spoke volumes. To me at least. When talking about the involvement from the editorial team, she said:

“Everyone needs help when they try something new.”

She’s right. They do. But I think where it rubs me up the wrong way is this. Most writers don’t publish their first book. Most writers bury their first book somewhere and hope it never sees the light of day. Because we know that we have to develop our craft. We have to hone our writing skills. We write and we write, and we edit like crazy and we become better writers. Most of us don’t get that first book deal handed to us on a silver platter. And out there is the ghost writer, who did hone her craft, who developed her skill and became a great writer, and who isn’t getting the credit because she’s not a big enough name. And that makes me sad.

Sugg has said that the characters and idea are all her own. But there is so much more that goes into writing a book. Weeks, months, even years of working on plots, sub-plots, dialogue, character growth, the prose itself. These are the hard bits. These are the bits that take skill.

Trust me, Zoe Sugg, coming up with the idea is the easy part.

But no, my problem is not with Zoe Sugg, the problem I have is with the publishers. In fact, with the traditional publishing industry in general.

This whole story is just another sign of how the traditional publishing industry is failing. Failing itself, failing truly talented authors out there, and more importantly, failing readers themselves.
It seems that there is an ever increasing slew of celebrities publishing books – almost all of them ghost written. These books sell in huge numbers because of the ‘brand’ behind them. Great for the publishers. Not so great for the rest of us.

I understand completely that publishing is a business. And the goal of any business is to make money. Otherwise what’s the point. But increasingly, it seems, the publishing industry is throwing away any kind of integrity, or standards, in the search of big sales.

There is a quote from Penguin that I find particularly interesting:

“As publishers our role is, and always has been, to find the very best talent and help them tell their story and connect them with readers.”

Right. But the problem is, they didn’t go out looking for incredibly talented young writers to hone and encourage their talent. They went looking for a big name that would sell books. They didn’t care about the content, they cared only about the name on the front cover. Their role as publishers should be to find the very best writers. Not just any celebrity who can sell a few copies, even if the work isn’t their own.

Which tells us what?

That traditional publishing isn’t interested in finding new voices to tell you unique and interesting stories, or about finding beautifully written works of art. They’re interested in sales. Full stop. End of story. And I have to admit, in the laziest way possible. Who needs marketing when you have a book that’s guaranteed to sell?

And people wonder why more and more writers such as myself aren’t even trying to go the traditional publishing route. We’re not interested because we know they’re not interested.

What message does this send to the struggling writer out there? Want to write a bestseller? Don’t write an amazing, original, well written book, just have a lot of followers on Twitter or Youtube, and then let someone else write the book for you.

Every time a story like this comes out I lose just that little bit more respect for the traditional publishing industry, and I ask myself, is it any wonder that more and more writers are turning to the Indie, or self-published route?

I think not.

(This blog post is also on Rock the Book blog)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Dear Dad - Part 2

Dear Dad,

9 months.

That's how long it's been since you left us.

9 months.

It doesn't seem possible.

The time has gone so quickly that some days it feels like only yesterday. And yet, other days, it feels like a lifetime.

It feels so strange to think that 9 months of my life have gone past without you knowing about them.

Or maybe you do. Some days I honestly don't know what I believe. Are you up there somewhere? Watching over us? I think you are. I want to believe you are.

In that case, you already know I'm getting married. I just don't know what you think about it. Are you happy for me? Do you wish as much as I do that you'd got to meet him - just once? You'd love him. I know you would. But I'd give anything to hear you say it.

I'd also give anything to have you walk me down the aisle. Ian will do a wonderful job, I know he will, but it won't be the same. We're all going to miss you so much.

But it's getting easier, Dad. To think of you and smile, instead of crying. It's getting easier to look at a picture of you without getting too sad.

But some days, like today, when I think of how long you've been gone, I miss you more than ever.

There is nothing in this world I wouldn't give to talk to you one last time. To hug you one last time.

I love you, Dad. I wish I'd told you that more.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Evolution Release Day!

Evolution, the second book in the E series, is now available! Get Evolution and E for only 99¢ each during release week, November 12th-19th, 2014.

  cover of Evolution by Kate Wrath
Outpost Three is still standing… barely. But the deadliest threat it has ever faced is on its way-- a violent force that will annihilate every man, woman, and child.

With the Sentries under his control and Grey’s army defeated, Matt is more powerful than ever. Eden is little more than his prisoner, but that line is blurring as her affection for him grows. Now, as the Outpost faces total destruction, Matt must sacrifice the possibility of attaining Eden’s love in the vague hope that her past might hold the key to saving them all.

Eden’s journey will begin to unravel the mysteries of her previous life, reveal dangerous new questions, and change not only the future of Outpost Three, but shape the course of history.

This eagerly anticipated sequel to Kate Wrath’s E begins an epic quest into the dark, dystopian landscape of Eden’s world. Add to GoodreadsBuy E $0.99Buy Evolution $0.99
Get both books in the E series, E and Evolution, for 99¢ each on Kindle for a limited time only: November 12th- 19th, 2014.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connect with Kate:
Kate Wrath's WebsiteTwitterGoodreadsFacebook

Join Kate for the Evolution Release Day Facebook Party:

You're invited! Come hang out November 12th from 8-12 pm Eastern and celebrate the release of Evolution. Woohoo!

An excerpt from Evolution:

We run down the narrow alley and take the first turn, then another. We keep running, moving. I don't even notice my surroundings until, at last, we slow to a stop. The smell hits me first—the stench of piss, of something rotten, all condensed into a small space. Breathing hard, we stand in the street and look around us. We're in a main thoroughfare now, judging from the traffic, but it’s still narrow. I feel squashed, smothered. On all sides, a crowd throngs around us. Most of them are dressed in rags. Hollow faces huddle three or four bodies deep against both edges of the road, dirty, hopeless, and lost. Many of them are children.

I'm scanning their faces frantically before I even realize what I'm doing. "Oscar," I hear myself whisper. It hits me, and I break off before I can call out his name. Before I can start running again, sifting through the masses of them.

Apollon's hand clamps onto mine, but he says nothing. He and Jonas are focused on Jacob, who is shaking violently. Tears are pouring from widened eyes down his face. I want to help him, but all I can do is stand here trying not to break down, myself.

"We need to find somewhere to regroup," Jonas says quietly. "Get out of this mess."
I cast around for somewhere to go, but as far as I can see, it's piles upon piles. People, and people, and buildings looming over them. There's no breathing room. No space. I have to force my breath to steadiness. It's too much.
There is a commotion on the street ahead, maybe a block away. The ragged masses push away from the center, squashing and trampling each other in the process. We're caught in a wave of motion and carried backward, but still we try to look. Where the commotion started, there's a group of figures, similarly dressed in black with blue bandanas. They're moving down the street toward us.

The wave of people suddenly backlashes from the other direction, and we're pushed the opposite way from before. We manage to finally see why. On our opposite side, there's another group of people. These are dressed primarily in white. One of them, clearly a leader, wears a purple doo rag and carries what might be the biggest gun I've ever seen. He raises it toward us.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Why do I do it?

A week ago today I published my third book.

You'd think it would get easier with every book, less doubt, more confidence.

I'll tell you this - I was as terrified about a terrible response to the third book as I was about the first. Possibly more.

In fact, I spent the three or four days before Blood Calling came out, asking my Other Half if I was doing the right thing. After all, I kept telling him, it's not like other books are flying off the shelves. Why do I keep putting myself through it all, for so little reward?

Well, two things happened over the course of the following week that answered my question for me.

The first was a couple of brilliant reviews of my first book, The Last Knight. Reviews from readers who had really connected with the book, and loved it.

The second was that I got stuck into writing something that will probably never see the light of day - but I loved writing it none the less.

The point is, these two things reminded me of why I write. And it's not for sales.

The two reviews were from free copies I had provided. I didn't make a dime. But it doesn't matter because I always wrote not for the money, but because I love telling a story that can entertain people. Even if the only person it entertains is me.

I knew when I got into indie publishing that it wasn't about the money. I was never going to make a fortune. It was about getting my books out there, finding people to read my stories (other than just my mother and my Other Half). It was about touching one or two, or if possible, a thousand readers.

But it was never about the money.

Sometimes with the promoting and advertising, and desperately trying to get heard, I think I forget about that. The obsessive (sometimes) checking of the sales graph, the constant research into how I can get my book to a wider audience. That becomes the only focus.

It's good sometimes to remember that I write because I love to write. And those sales? They're just a bonus.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cover Reveal

Cover of Kate Wrath's Evolution

Outpost Three is still standing… barely. But the deadliest threat it has ever faced is on its way– a violent force that will annihilate every man, woman, and child. With the Sentries under his control and Grey’s army defeated, Matt is more powerful than ever. Eden is little more than his prisoner, but that line is blurring as her affection for him grows. Now, as the Outpost faces total destruction, Matt must sacrifice the possibility of attaining Eden’s love in the vague hope that her past might hold the key to saving them all. Eden’s journey will begin to unravel the mysteries of her previous life, reveal dangerous new questions, and change not only the future of Outpost Three, but shape the course of history. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Kate Wrath’s E begins an epic quest into the dark, dystopian landscape of Eden’s world. Click to preorder.Connect with Kate: Kate Wrath's WebsiteGoodreads TwitterFacebook PinterestRock the Book

Monday, 13 October 2014

Breaking News...Sort of...

So, I am very pleased to announce that Blood Calling is going to be hitting the virtual shelves very soon.

You see, I thought about it, and decided that what better time to release a book about vampires than Halloween!

So Blood Calling will be available to purchase on the 31st October 2015!

To help celebrate Chasing Freedom will be on sale at .99c or 99p from the 30th October! So you will be able to buy both books for less than $2.00/£2.00!

For those who are still waiting for the sequel to The Last Knight - it is coming, I promise. Hopefully by the end of the year!

Unfortunately, this year has been a challenging, and busy one, and my writing has suffered for it. Slowly climbing back on top of the ever growing mound of 'things-to-do' however.

Also, look out on Wednesday for the cover reveal of the sequel to one of my favourite books of the year!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Escaping - Just for a little while

So this year so far has been a tough one. There can be no denying that. I still have my moments when I think I'm going to wake up and find out it's all been some really horrible dream.

When I think that yesterday was 7 months since Dad left us so suddenly, it shakes me to the core. How can life have just kept going on as usual for so long when he's not here any longer? But I have to confess that the good moments are slowly starting to outweigh the bad. And the bad moments are often touched by a kind of happiness.

This last week I've been escaping from everything. Myself and the other half took a camping trip up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (which is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places I've been). We found ourselves in a beautiful campground, miles from anything, with no internet and no phones. It was a kind of heaven.

But when he disappeared off to get firewood from a little store down the road I had one of the bad moments. Camping was and still is something I associate with Dad. He loved to camp. He was a Scout leader for many years and there were a number of Scout camps he took us kids along on.
So sitting there in that stunning campground, with only really the sounds of the wind in the trees and the river running along the back of our site, I couldn't help but think of Dad. I couldn't help but think that I was in a place he would have loved, doing something he would have loved, and I wouldn't get to tell him about it. I wouldn't get to send him pictures of the tent, and tell him how it ended up being way bigger than we expected and how we managed to put it up backwards. I could picture his reaction, he would have laughed and told me some funny story about some scout camp I could barely remember, or given me some tips for 'next time'.
But even though I was sad, and I cried a little, sitting there on my own under the trees, listening to the river, I was also smiling. Smiling as I thought about Dad, and his stories and how happy he would have been that I was out there camping at all.
It's getting easier to remember the good things, easier to deal with the sad parts. I know that it's never going to be easy, but it's getting better.
But this escape was more than just about Dad, and dealing with everything that goes with it. It was also a nice reminder that I can go without internet and phones if I need to. Something I have to admit I was starting to doubt. Neither of our phones work in the U.S.A, and internet was out of the question, so it was just us, no distractions. And it was heavenly.
Now, don't go thinking that I'm about to dump all my modern technology. I can do without it, and enjoyed being without it, for a while, but it also reminded me how much I rely on it. My family is scattered across the globe, as are my friends, and as much as that is by choice, it also means that the internet is the only thing that connects us. Even if it is just a 'like' on a picture on Facebook, it helps me feel as though my sister, my mother and my brother (along with all the rest) are still a little involved in my life, and me in theirs.
So have no fear, Facebook, I am not abandoning you just yet.
But escaping from technology, from people, from life itself, just for a little while, is probably the best thing I've done all year.
I highly recommend it.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A little something special

So, today is six months since my Dad passed away. It seems almost impossible that it's been that long.
I wanted to write a post today in his memory, but  I was struggling to know what to write. To be honest, I feel like I've already said what I can say.
Then I was thinking about one of the last conversations I had with my Dad face to face - and it was about The Last Knight. It hadn't been long published and I had been quietly shocked that Dad actually really liked it. Not just 'my daughter wrote it so I have to like it' but honestly, really liked it. According to Mum he read it cover to cover three times or more between it's release and when he passed away.
But I digress. In this conversation I asked him who his favourite character was (expecting him to say Lance, or Cara, or Wyn) and he surprised me by saying Percy. Who I have to admit is probably my favourite character too.
So just for you Dad, a little Percy scene that I wrote a while back and I never planned on seeing the light of day. It's just a bit of silly fun, but I hope everyone has as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
The foil crinkled in his hands as he turned it around. The bright colours on the front made it hard to imagine this was some kind of food. He turned it again and shook it. The contents rattled.
Percy glanced up at Merlin. “Are you sure this is food?”
“Yes, Percival,” Merlin sighed. “It’s food. They just – do things a little differently here.”
The bag popped slightly as he opened it and the smell of some kind of fried goodness rose up out of it. He breathed in. He glanced into the bag and found a pile of thin, crisp bits of what looked like fried potato. But why were they cut so thin? He sighed in disappointment. He wanted meat, and lots of it, slow roasted over an open fire pit, dripping in grease. He wanted vegetables, also swimming in grease, but big chunks of them that he could stab with his knife. Not these strange, thin little bits of nothing.
And he was hungry, damn it. Of course, according to Gwain and Lancelot, he was always hungry. It wasn’t true. He wasn’t hungry when he was sleeping, or fighting. Just – the rest of the time.
The bag was almost too small for his big hand as he reached in for one of the ‘crisps’. It did smell good, he couldn’t deny that.
Lancelot was laughing from across the table. “Just eat it already. It’s not going to change no matter how long you stare at it.”
Percy glowered at him. It was all right for Lancelot. He seemed to have fitted into this new world quite easily, but the whole place still felt strange to Percy. The clothes were stiff and uncomfortable. He missed his armour. He felt naked without his armour. And there was stone everywhere, the forests he loved were gone, swallowed up by cities that seemed impossibly big. As for the people, he found them hard to believe. Why, just a few moments ago he’d seen a man come into the room in front of a woman, and not hold the door open for her. Unfathomable. He’d considered challenging the man for the affront, but he didn’t think Gwain or Lancelot would approve. Besides, the man had looked so small and weak it wouldn’t have been a very fair fight.
He sighed and looked back down at the thin piece of potato in his hand. He wasn’t sure he liked this new world one little bit.
With a final sigh of resignation he shoved the ‘crisp’ into his mouth and crunched down. His eyes widened in surprise as flavour flooded across his tongue, salty and fatty. Damn, that was good!
He demolished the rest of the packet in a matter of seconds and reached for another, then a third.
He only stopped when he heard Lancelot and Gwain laughing at him. He shot them a dirty look. Let them laugh.
Maybe this new world wouldn’t be so bad after all…

Saturday, 2 August 2014

24 Years Later

The 2nd of August. What a strange day. My father ‘celebrated’ the 2nd of August every year for the last 24. This will be the first year he doesn’t. As he’s no longer here to commemorate it, I suppose it’s down to me.
It always struck me as an odd day to celebrate when I was a child. Why on earth would my father want to celebrate the day? But now I’m older I think I understand. Dad wasn’t celebrating the day, he was celebrating the days, weeks and years that came after it. He was celebrating the fact that he lived through it.
For those in the know, who understand the significance of the date, you can skip this bit. But for those who don’t, allow me to explain.
In July of 1990 the Middle East was in a little bit of turmoil. Saddam Hussein had massed his troops along the Kuwaiti border, threating invasion. It was supposedly about territory, but really, it was about oil. The rest of the world didn’t pay too much attention. It’s sabre rattling, they said. He’ll never actually invade, they said. They were wrong of course.
Also in July 1990, I was on holiday in Cyprus.  We went away most summers. Kuwait could be unbearably hot those last few months of summer, and it is absolutely no fun being a kid and being stuck in the AC. And so my parents would take myself, Ian and Jo away on holiday. Cyprus wasn’t exactly cool, but it was a hell of a lot cooler than Kuwait. Dad could never stay the whole time though. He had a job to get back to. So towards the end of the holiday he would pack up his bag and say goodbye for the next few weeks. We didn’t think too much of it. After all, we’d be back in Kuwait soon enough, and we still had Mum.
Then came the 2nd of August. It was the same as any other summer day. We played in the pool. We ate copious amounts of ice cream. My older brother and sister teased me. I told Mum on them and got them into trouble. Nothing unusual. But of course, we didn’t have a TV in the holiday home, we never listened to the radio. How could we know anything was wrong?
But in another part of the world, everything was wrong. Dad had woken to a confusing, half asleep phone call from his boss.
“Don’t come to work. Stay inside.”
My father was never a morning person, so I can well imagine him struggling to make sense of it. But of course, he asked the most important question.
And the answer. I have so many regrets since my father passed away, but one of the worst is that I never asked him more about these moments of his life. Like what really passed through his mind the moment he got the reply. Whether he was scared? Whether he thought about us? Or Mum?
The reply? “The Iraqi’s have invaded. They’ve already taken the city.”
Dad was officially in a country at war. And his family were a few thousand miles away, with no idea.
Eventually he got a phone call through. He finally reached Mum at the poolside bar where we used to spend our days. I’ll never forget. How can you? I was seven years old, I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I only knew that something was horribly, horribly wrong.
I could tell you the rest of the story, but this blog post would be the size of a novel. I will write it down one day, I’ve always said I would.
But I can give you the basics. I saw my father at the end of July. The next time I saw him was at the school gates, surrounded by sobbing parents and the media, over 4 months later. With the wildest, shaggiest beard and hair.
He’d been in hiding, living in fear of being caught by the Iraqi soldiers, for most of that, but he had eventually been found and arrested at gunpoint and shipped off to Bagdad to be a part of the human shield. But in between he had helped organise convoys out of the country to get women and children to safety. He had opened his home to other men in hiding like himself, where they hid in the AC ducts every time the soldiers came calling. He had opened his home to others too. He wrote a small ‘newspaper’ that was passed around hand to hand by those in hiding and the resistance.
He was, quite simply, what every girl believes her father to be. A hero. Not the crazy, action hero type. But simply a quiet, brave man, who did what he felt needed to be done.
So this year I’m going to celebrate the 2nd of August too. Because he survived it. Because he was a brave and wonderful man. Because I got 24 more years with him, when there was a time we didn’t know if we’d ever see him again.
If only I had a Keo.
Miss you every day, Dad. Xxx

(A/N – The memories of a 7 year old child are not the most accurate…and you must allow for a little poetic licence)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


I’ve decided that I should add a new title to my list of jobs.
It seems that no matter how many balls I have in the air, I always want to add a few more. And once they’re up in the air it’s almost impossible to set them down again.
The reason this has become an issue? Because I realised this morning that I currently have about 7 balls in the air.
Five of them are novels. One is the day job, and the other is my online presence/blogs etc. And none of them can afford to be dropped.
Oh I know what you’re probably thinking. I don’t need to work on five projects at the same time. The problem is that once I start it’s hard to stop – and I almost never have any control over when and how ideas come to me.
Let me give you a run down:
The Forever Queen – The sequel to The Last Knight that I feel like I’ve been working on forever that just seems to be taking longer than I’d like to get done. Clearly cannot drop this one as it’s the next book I really MUST get out.
Being Alpha – Book two of the West Haven series. Again, sequels are killer because (hopefully) you’ve got people waiting for them, and you don’t want to disappoint.
Blood Calling – West Haven Novella. This one is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s not essential that I write this book – it won’t change the rest of the series, but I love writing Maladict’s POV, and I love losing myself in 1800’s London where most of the book is set. I can’t put it down because it’s too much fun!
Untitled – Sci-fi, post-apocalyptic stand-alone novel. An idea that jumped into my head and wouldn’t let go. I’m not working on this full time – but I keep getting little ideas for it that I have to get down before I lose them.
The Perfect Knight – Pendragon series novella – Lance’s POV – basically, like Maladict’s book, this is one that is a guilty pleasure. I’m loving writing Lance’s back story and his first months in modern day before he meets Cara. It’s fun. And…it’s Lance…
So those are the books I’m working on – but add to that the day job (not too many hours, but still) and my online promotion and marketing and you’ve got a lot of balls and not enough hands or eyes to keep track of them all!
I am starting to understand why a lot of writers have Assistants. So if anyone out there fancies being a writer’s PA let me know. I can’t pay you – except perhaps in virtual cookies and early drafts of my books…
But for now I best get back to juggling.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

This poor blog has been a little neglected recently I’m afraid. Just one of those things where life gets in the way. But I figure I can probably kill two birds with one stone – I can get a new post up on this blog, and fill you all in on the desperately exciting drama that is my life…or not!

The first, and probably foremost reason for the neglect of this blog is Rock the Book. What is Rock the Book? I hear you ask.

You see not too long ago I started chatting with these two lovely, delightful Indie authors online. They were much like me. Working hard to make themselves known in the Indie world. Struggling to balance writing with promotion and all that goes with it. We began to conceive of ways to spread the word more about Indie authors like ourselves. To show the world that there are great and brilliant Indie books out there. Rock the Book was born! Rock the Book is a blog dedicated to helping out other indie authors and spreading the word about great books we find (and our own of course! We’re not completely altruistic!).

It’s a brilliant blog that we are all really proud of, and we’re pleased that other people have started to join the team.

On the downside, it takes up a lot of time.

The second reason for the neglect of the blog is that last week myself and my other half moved house. We had a lovely little cottage on the tiny island we call home, but if I’m honest it was getting a little old and tired. It needed a lot of work doing to it, and as tenants we weren’t really going to put the time in. Plus on the downside despite being on a little Caribbean island it had no outside space. No porch or deck. We heard on the grapevine about a property that might be up for rent and went to take a look. And fell in love. This picture might help explain why…
My new 'office'!

It’s lovely inside too – but the porch is what makes it. Unfortunately moving always takes more time than you expect (though I think we are down to the last box to unpack now) and we encountered a few problems like no internet or phone line (no facebook for a week??? What??!!). Again, small island living meant it took a little while to get that sorted, but we’re now just about there!

All of that did mean however that I had almost no spare time for my blog, the few snatches of internet time I got were used up checking emails…and Facebook I’ll admit. I also had no time to write. I was too busy and surrounded by boxes – not exactly conducive to creativity.

But we’re all settled in now – so life can begin to get back to normal.

Having had a ‘week off’ I am now plunging back into the writing at full tilt, and have now added a fourth book to the list of projects I’m currently working on. But I am now just a few thousand words away from finishing my West Haven Series novella, a few thousand words away from finishing the Pendragon Series Book 2, and well started on Being Alpha the next book in the series after Chasing Freedom.  The fourth book I’m playing with is a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic end of the world type of thing. Fun!

So there is an update on my life. Less excitement and more work than I’d like, but life is good.

Don’t forget to check out Rock the Book – we feature some great books on there and you might find something new to read!  

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

50% discount for visitors to the blog!

For no particular reason - just because I've just had my birthday and I'm in a good mood - I am offering a discount for Chasing Freedom on Smashwords for visitors to my blog!
To get your copy with the 50% discount all you need to do is use the following coupon code when you purchase the book.

Smashwords allows you to download in lots of different formats - so go grab your discounted copy today!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

You Gotta Know When To Fold Them

How do you know? How do you know which gambles to take? Or when to walk away?

I feel a little like I’m playing the biggest game of poker of my life. I feel like I’ve got this great hand, and if the last card goes my way I could win big. I could win everything I’ve ever wanted. But if that card doesn’t come up, then I’ve lost everything.

And I’m down to my last chip. Do I fold? And keep hold of something? Or do I call, do I play and gamble that somehow that card will come up right?

I don’t see myself as that much of a gambler, a risk it all and take my chances kind of girl. But when I look back on my life I think I probably underestimate myself. I’ve taken some chances. I’ve taken some huge gambles.

Not all of them paid off, but some of them won me the whole pot.

But now I’m sitting here, with the biggest deal of my life, waiting for that last card to turn and knowing that it will make or break me. I’m clutching my cards close to my chest, and praying, just praying that I know what I’m doing.

It feels like publishing The Last Knight all over again.

But I’m going to do it. I’m going to throw in my last chip and gamble it all.

Because life is too short to fold when you’ve got something good – even if it isn’t quite what you thought you wanted. And if that last card doesn’t come up?

Well, it’s been on hell of a game!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Chasing Freedom Book Launch Giveaway!

So to celebrate the launch of Chasing Freedom I'm pleased to share this rather nice little giveaway. A collection of four ebooks from three great female indie authors (if I do say so myself ;) )

The giveaway will be running for a week - so lots of time to enter, and don't forget to share with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Happy Father's Day!

So today is a day of excitement and sadness.

I am obviously incredibly excited to be able to finally say that Chasing Freedom is now on sale. This book that's been ten years in the making has hit the shelves.

Sad because it's Father's Day. Because I will not get to tell my father today how much I love him. Though I hope he knows.

And so Chasing Freedom has become my last Father's Day gift to him, dedicated in his memory. Dad loved to read, everything and anything, so hopefully he would have liked this. He also started writing a book once. I think he only got about a chapter down, but I read it, and it was brilliant. It will always make me sad that he never finished it. Maybe one day I'll find a way to incorporate that chapter of his into something of mine. That way he'll be published too!

So I want to share with you all the dedication at the beginning of Chasing Freedom:

This one’s for you, Dad.

I wish you’d had the chance to read it.

With any luck they have Kindles in Heaven
And I will add to it - 'Happy Father's Day, Dad. This one really is for you.'

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Final Countdown...

So this is it. Two days to go until Chasing Freedom goes up for sale. I thought somehow that the second book would be easier. That it would be less stressful.

I was wrong. I don't think it's going to matter how many times I do this. I think I will always be sick with nerves the days leading up to publication. It's strange - once it's out there I am less worried. I guess because once it reaches that point there's nothing more I can do.

Before I give this final teaser, I wanted to say something.

So you see, when I first picked the date of release for this book it was kind of random. The middle of the month seemed like a good option, and it was two weeks short of a year since I first published The Last Knight.

But the date has come to mean so much more.

Anyone who has read this blog knows that I lost my father this year. It was a horrible, sad, painful time, but deciding to publish this book gave me something to focus on - something to look forward to. So it was inevitable that I would dedicate this book to my Dad, a man who loved to read, and for some reason (despite it being primarily aimed at YA and girls to boot) loved The Last Knight, and read it 3 times over the course of the last year. It makes me incredibly sad that he won't get the chance to read this book. It's silly really because I kept thinking I would email him all my manuscripts and get his feedback, but I kept putting it off. Until suddenly it was too late.

So it was a little bit of a surprise when I realised that the date I had randomly picked was not only Father's Day, but also the day after the four month mark of his passing. It just seems incredibly fitting. He was never a fan of Father's Day - just like Valentines Day he didn't believe there needed to be a special day to show someone you love them - but I am pleased to give him this final Father's Day gift.

This one's for you, Dad!

A scream shattered his thoughts. The plate Victoria had just picked up slipped out of her fingers, falling back into the water and soaking them both with a wave of water.
A second scream reached them as they turned to look at each other. There was a split second hesitation before they both ran for the door. Chase moved faster and he reached the door into the entrance hall first, throwing it open. He slammed to a stop so suddenly that Victoria thudded into the back of him and he had to catch the door frame to stop them both falling.
A girl lay in the middle of the entrance hall, her face frozen in pain as she screamed again. Her clothes were drenched in blood and Maladict crouched over her, his own hands covered in it.
For a tiny instant Chase suspected the worst, that after years Maladict had fallen off the wagon, but he knew that a vampire would never waste that much blood.
He glanced at Maladict’s face and saw the tendons standing out in his neck as he clenched his teeth, his nose flaring.
“Get Peter,” Chase said to Victoria, even as he raced the length of the room. He shoved Maladict backwards. “Get out of here, go change, get the blood off your hands.”
Maladict’s eyes had changed colour, the pale blue was ringed with red and as Chase looked up at him he could see the hunger burning in the depths of them. Nostrils flaring again, Maladict suddenly blinked and looked at Chase as though seeing him for the first time.
“I’m all right. Now you’re here.”
Chase frowned, but he didn’t have time to try and understand why.
“What happened?” Peter came barrelling down the stairs with Victoria in tow. “What’s going on? Who is she?”
The same questions were running through Chase’s mind and they both looked towards Maladict for an answer.
“She’s a Shifter,” he said through still gritted teeth. “Her father contacted me a few days ago. Told me she’d left home and he thought she might be in trouble –“
Even as Maladict spoke Peter checked the girl over, but the expression on his face was bleak.
“I tracked her down in Oxford, but the Department were after her as well. She was panicked and frightened. They cornered her and I tried to step in. She didn’t know me. She tried to run. They chased her. There was a road. She didn’t even stop to look. The truck hit her head on…”
Peter swore under his breath. “You should have taken her to a hospital, Maladict. She’s lost too much blood. I don’t know if I can save her.”
“I couldn’t. She kept losing control of her Shifting. Her body kept trying to change shape.”
Chase looked down at the girl sprawled on the cold stone floor. She was just a kid, ten or eleven at the most. Her dark hair was matted with blood and her skin looked too pale. Yet even with her eyes rolled back in her head something about her reminded him of Victoria.
He felt a rush of violent hatred towards the Department. What kind of people would drive a girl like this into terrified flight and then leave her there to die? He’d given up asking about the Department because no one seemed to want to talk about it, and the threat they posed seemed distant, like it couldn’t reach them there at West Haven, but suddenly it felt very real again. Save for a few lucky chances it could have been him lying, bleeding on the floor, or Kat, or Victoria.
The girl took a shuddering, laboured breath and Chase felt his stomach clench. She was going to die. He couldn’t say why he felt so certain, but he knew it was true.
His eyes met Maladict’s and the vampire gave a tiny nod. He got to his feet, swiping his bloody hands down the front of his jeans, and left the room on silent feet.
Chase turned back towards Peter and the girl, but Peter started slowing in his ministrations.
“Help me get her to the medical room, Chase.” The older man’s voice sounded defeated. “Let’s at least make her comfortable.”
“I’ll come with you.”
Chase glanced round at Victoria’s voice; he’d almost forgotten she was there. “Is that a good idea?”
“She shouldn’t have to die alone.”


Chase stood with his back against the wall, his fists balled so tightly he could feel his nails cutting into his palms.
He’d carried the girl up from the hall, horrified by how tiny she felt in his arms, and laid her on the bed. He’d stepped back quickly, but couldn’t seem to find the strength to leave the room, even though he couldn’t stand to stay.
After a few moments Peter stepped back.
“I’ve dosed her up with morphine, but I don’t think she’ll survive the night. I simply don’t have the equipment to save her.”
“Could we get her to a hospital?” Chase asked quickly.
“No. We don’t have the means to take her, and the trip would likely kill her.”
“We could call an ambulance,” Chase insisted. He couldn’t believe they were just going to let her die.
Victoria shook her head. “No, we can’t. The Department track all emergency calls, and we can’t have an ambulance turn up here, it would raise too many questions.”
“So we’re just going to let her die?”
“She’s going to die anyway,” Peter said softly. “Even if we did get her to a hospital I don’t think she’d survive.” He patted Chase’s shoulder. “I’ll leave her with you, Victoria. Call for me if she needs anything.”
The door swung closed behind the older man and Chase lifted his eyes to Victoria.
She gave him a weary smile as she tugged a sheet over the girl’s shoulders and started to comb out her hair. He watched for a moment as Victoria began carefully cleaning the blood from the unconscious girl’s face and hands.
“This isn’t the first time, is it?”
Victoria shook her head slowly. “No. I wish it was, but it isn’t. It’s a part of our way of life, unfortunately.”
Chase shuddered. “So are you going to stay with her all night?”
“That’s the plan. But you should go if you want. You don’t have to stay.”
It was a long time before Chase replied. Part of him desperately wanted to leave. He wanted to escape the stench of death filling the room, but he couldn’t leave Victoria to sit alone with a dying girl.
“I’ll stay.”


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