#CrimeClub copy

Join me today at noon on Twitter for Carina UK’s next Crime Club instalment. Ask me whatever you like about writing in general or about the DCI Claire Winters series. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #crimeclub

It’s publication day!

The Principle of Evil is out today!

The Principle of Evil - 2016

Blurb –

A body has been found in a frozen lake, bringing a gruesome act of evil into the light.

One look at the victim is enough for DCI Claire Winters to recognise the work of a warped mind. And when another woman is reported missing, Claire’s worst fears are confirmed: this is a killer who plans to strike again.

As the body count rises, the pressure is on for Claire to find the perpetrator and bring them to justice. But first, she must learn to understand the twisted mind behind the crimes. And that will take her to a darker place than she ever thought possible.


The book has come a long way since I self-published it in 2013, and the changes made are for the better, I think. There are some new scenes, further character development and an unresolved issue with one character (that I had originally intended to reveal in book 3), has made it into the last edit of ‘Principle’.

I’ve also added a mini cliff-hanger at the end, that will be taken into the next book, so anyone who has read the older version of the novel might want to have a read of the newer version.

I’ll have another update on the series soon, but until then, ‘The Principle of Evil’, can be bought from all good e-retailers (Amazon UK, Amazon USA, for example).

No Kindle, or Kobo etc? Don’t forget, you can download the free apps to any tablet, iPhone, or Android device.

I’m celebrating pub-day with…more writing! 😀

A trip to HarperCollins HQ


A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to go and see my publisher in their new office, The News building, at London Bridge (opposite the Shard).

I got to meet the Carina UK team, and see some of the wider Harlequin/HarperColins departments (MIRA, for example) as they work on various new releases. I also got to take away an advance copy of B A Paris’s début ‘Behind Closed Doors’.  If you haven’t heard of it yet, where have you been? It’s currently #1 in the Amazon UK top 100 Kindle chart. It’s next on my (huge) TBR pile.

Wall made from books!

Wall made from books!


The main reason for my visit, however, was to meet my editor properly and have a chat about the DCI Winters series, and my writing career.

We chatted over tea, looking out over the fantastic views of London. It was also exciting and lovely to hear that there were a few DCI Winters fans across the company.

I came away from the meeting feeling like my books were in very capable hands, with the team right behind me and the series.

I do have some news, that I will be sharing soon, but until then I’m preparing for the release of book 2, ‘The Principle of Evil’, which is available for pre-order (out 25th Feb).

Exciting (and nervous!) times ahead! 🙂


Carina Crime Week

carina crime week

To coincide with the release of ‘For All Our Sins’, I’ve contributed to my publisher’s series of crime related blogs this week.

You can read about what inspired me to create DCI Claire Winters and the murky world in which she inhabits here.


‘For All Our Sins’ – Cover Reveal!

For All Our Sins

It’s here!

I’m pleased to reveal, in all its glory, the new cover for ‘For All Our Sins’, the first book in the DCI Claire Winters series.

Personally, I love it.

The designers at Carina/Harlequin have done a fantastic job and a lot of thought has gone into the look and feel, conveying the dark themes that run through the book. The roses are a nice touch as well. If you read the book you will find out why 😉

I’ll be interested to see what you all think, so do let me know your thoughts.

Publication date is 24th September, and the book will be available across all e-retailers/devices.


Here come the revisions


. . . the second lot of revisions that is.

Yes, the next deadline is looming for me to complete the next lot of revisions for ‘For All Our Sins’, and whilst I admit there is an amount of pressure, in a way I’m actually enjoying it!

Yes, you read that right – ENJOYING it. I know all this extra hard work will pay off. It will make the novel even stronger than it now stands and the deadline that comes with this is completely worth it.

When you go it alone and self-publish, you only have yourself to answer to. If life gets in the way and you are pulled away from your writing, it’s OK. The only deadlines you have (if any) are the ones you impose on yourself.

Now that I’m back in a position where someone else has given me a deadline, things do not always run so smoothly. It’s the summer holidays and that means there are far more distractions than there normally would be. My five year old is at home and can’t simply be dumped in front of the TV so I can write, my husband is at home this week, and I have a holiday coming up. All of these things can make you just want to pull your hair out when you think about that deadline coming up and trying to juggle everything at once.

In truth, I’ve had a few moments where I’ve had that sick feeling that I might not be able to deliver. That’s life though. It doesn’t stop just because you have deadlines to meet, so just ‘get on with it’.

So that’s what I’m doing and I’ve found once I’m into the revisions, I’m enjoying them.

It’s amazing what a second fresh pair of eyes can do for your manuscript. As an author you need to be open to other people’s suggestions. Even the best sellers have their work edited and revised many times before it goes to print and having someone who is not so close to your novel give their expertise is fantastic. It can breathe new life into your story and help smooth out anything that wasn’t working and tie up any loose ends you might not have spotted.

My editor has come up with some great suggestions to improve ‘For All Our Sins’, and I’ve even had a few ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments. Having someone invest so much time in your novel also gives you a boost of confidence. There is a team behind your book who want to see it do well. In this super competitive market, you need that support and enthusiasm.

Even if you self-publish, I’d recommend hiring a professional to help mould your novel into the best possible shape it can be before it goes on sale. Don’t be to precious about your manuscript. None of us write the perfect novel. We are always learning and honing our skills as authors.

Despite it being a rocky road sometimes, I think this has to be one of the best jobs in the world. 😀

Finally some news…New publishing contract!


Things have been pretty quiet from me on here (and social media in general), but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy behind the scenes.

I’m pleased to announce that the DCI Claire Winters series has been picked up by digital first publisher Carina UK, an imprint of Harlequin – a division of HarperCollins!

Many of you who have followed me from the beginning of this journey know that both novels in the series were self-published in 2013. I have had complete control over the whole process for all this time, so there was a bit of nerves when I clicked the ‘unpublish’ section over on Amazon’s KDP site, BUT the response from the team at Carina UK has been fantastic. They have been so enthusiastic about the series, championing DCI Claire Winters and that’s given me a lot of confidence to sign with them. I feel like my ‘baby’ is in good hands.

This new venture means the books will be available across devices and sites, reaching a far wider audience than before.  There will be new front covers, and a few differences in the text itself.

I’ve spent the last few weeks working on strengthening the first book, ‘For All Our Sins’, after my editor’s suggestions. I’m waiting for her to report back, but I’m hoping (praying, biting nails!) that she approves. I’m certainly happy with it, and I think some changes bring more depth to the central characters and their motivations.

There is a chance the novels will be available as paperbacks if eBook sales prove strong.

A BIG thank you to everyone who bought the novels since 2013, and left reviews. I’m told the reviews should all transfer over to the new listed versions on publication day – fingers crossed!

What next?

Well, I’m currently working on a new standalone novel, ‘The Shattered Ground’, which I hope to really get stuck into now I’ve signed with Carina UK, but a third book in the DCI Claire Winters series is in the pipeline.

That’s all for now. I hope to have more to share soon!

Remember – ‘The Principle of Evil’ is FREE from today

on kindleMy second DCI Winters novel, ‘The Principle of Evil’, is FREE for 5 days, starting TODAY!

Although it is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone, with no spoilers relating to book one.

The novel has had some great reviews, and it’s the work I am most proud of. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers, then give it a try.

I’d be grateful if people can spread the word! 🙂

Links – Amazon UK

Amazon US