Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Short Story - Fingers Crossed

I've a short story called Fingers Crossed out this week. It's published in The People's Friend Fiction Special No. 176 which is in the shops now.

It's about a woman who is superstitious, causing chaos for her. But it also brings a nice surprise into her life. It's a fun story that I enjoyed writing a great deal. I hope you enjoy reading it too.

Corrie weekly update - Gary Windass, soap's sexiest serial killer

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street has just gone live here.  

This week in Corrie, Gary Windass went rogue.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A list of my upcoming talks

There's a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks and months. I'm doing some talks - and even a guided walk showing the locations for my novels.

If you'd like to come along, I'd love to see you there.

All of the talks are listed on the events page of my website - and it's here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Corrie weekly update – Newbies at No. 3

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street has just gone live here. 

This week in Corrie, the Bailey family moved into the Street, bringing noise and energy with them all

Friday, June 14, 2019

Are sagas a feminist issue? Hell, yeah.

Today, Friday 14 June, I'm featured on the Romantic Novelists' Association blog asking Are Sagas a Feminist Issue?.  The answer of course, is yes. What book written around a strong, independent heroine couldn't be?

I also chat about the research for the story of The Tuppenny Child. The story takes place in the northeast pit village of Ryhope, where I grew up and I talk about setting the story there too.

You can read it all here, if you'd like to.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Alvaston! Oh, Alvaston!

Me with The People's Friend photobooth
I'm hugely proud to be a short story writer for The People's Friend magazine. It's the longest-running weekly women's magazine in the world and this year they are celebrating their 150th anniversary.

As well as short story writing for the magazine, I am in the unique and wonderful position of being the author of the first ever soap opera in the history of the magazine. The soap opera, Riverside, publishes weekly in the magazine and is a lot of fun to write.

Earlier this year I attended The People's Friend's 150th birthday party in the wonderful city of Dundee. You can read more on that here.

And this month I was invited as a guest author to Alvaston Hall in Cheshire to celebrate The People's Friend's 150th anniversary weekend.

This was a huge honour. I was there with best-selling writer Annie Murray and what a joy it was to meet and learn from her. Annie and I gave our talk on Saturday afternoon of the four day weekend.  Here we are...

Me in my frock with Annie Murray

Me meeting some of The People's Friend readers at my book signing after my talk
It was an incredible weekend. It helped build my confidence, sitting on stage with a microphone in my hand - that's a first for me! There were talks from The People's Friend editor Angela Gilchrist and from the sub-editor Margaret about the history of the magazine. Both talks were fascinating and from vibrant women too.

As well as talks to listen to there were craft sessions, meditation sessions, aqua aerobics, and a short story writing workshop too. The weekend was jam-packed with activities and you could choose to join in as much or as little as you liked.

The women I met on the weekend were amazing. I know, sorry, I keep saying "incredible, amazing, wonderful" but that's really what it was like. At dinner and breakfast we were given set tables to eat and meet at. This meant I was chatting to the same women every day, learning about them and from them. I met a paleontologist, a Jamaican lawyer, ex-teachers, and a woman recently retired from running her own Blackpool B&B.  Think readers of The People's Friend are little old ladies? Think again!

Alvaston Hall. My room was on the second floor above the front door.
Alvaston Hall was beautiful and my room was one of the most luxurious I've ever stayed in, being in the main hall and above the front door. I had a gorgeous view of the grounds and enough privacy to sit in my bath tub with the window wide open looking out over green fields. Too much information? I don't care - it was bliss! There was an indoors pool too and I went swimming each day.

It's the first time I've ever been away on holiday like this on my own. I don't think I'd have done it if it hadn't been with The People's Friend magazine. When I was first invited to join the weekend as a guest author, I admitted to the editor that I was excited, but terrified. 

"Don't worry," she said. "You'll be with friends."

And indeed I was. 

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Corrie weekly update – The Quad Squad

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street has just gone live here. 
This week in Corrie,  Gemma gets shock baby news, baby news, baby news, baby news.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Putting Sunderland on the map

I studied at the University of Sunderland as a mature student, taking a journalism degree course some years ago. And since I've left Uni, I find myself drawn back there more than ever now that I've become a writer. And yes, it still feels odd to say that about myself.

As an alumni member of the University, I'm allowed to use the library facilities and have been spending a great deal of time there researching and writing my historical novels set in Sunderland in 1919.

The Murray library at the University is the place where I also plan out my novels, spreading A4 sheets, folders and files all over a massive table, the likes of which I need and don't have at home.  And it's as a thank you to the University and the alumni association that I have written a few words about them in an interview with the University on the publication of the hardback of my second novel The Tuppenny Child.

Putting Sunderland on the map.


Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Competition time! Win THE TUPPENNY CHILD audiobook

My second novel THE TUPPENNY CHILD is now available in hardback, ebook and audiobook. The paperback will be out this autumn.

I'm running a competition to win a copy of the audiobook for the novel. It's read by talented northeast actress Janine Birkett.

To enter to win a copy of the audiobook visit 

Overseas fans can enter.

Deadline is Monday 17 June at 5pm, 2019 (UK time).

Good luck!


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