Happy IWSG Day – #IWSG @TheIWSG

Insecure Writers Support Day!


Every 1st Wednesday of the month we all come together to support each other in our writing endeavors. You can join the blog hop by clicking Here

We all looked after by Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co hosts are are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

So here we are July, my book was released into the world in June and I think it’s been well received!!!???

Alot of feeling insecure! What they are saying about my book, as in how good and how twisty it is! Then there is the whole I had a lot of help with book 1, so now I have submitted book 2 are they going to look at it and go it’s shit… (Apparently book 2 has been listed which is good)

I just don’t understand how it can be that good!

So I am also writing book three, which I am over thinking, mostly how did the bad guy get the explosives into the venue they blew up. I am yet to think of a motive!!!! But seeing as I don’t plan I am currently running a police investigation with post-its.



Time for the question of the month:

There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I know there are so many other contributing factors, but it would be nice if the submission process could be sped up…

It would also be nice if there wasn’t one company that had such a huge control of the market.

Anyways, I’ve added my new book details in below just in case..

book cover

Blurb: Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.
It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …

Purchase below:

Kindle: https://smarturl.it/lxta8s

Kobo: https://bit.ly/36T7mO0
Ibooks: https://apple.co/2TVYvpj
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dj40WZ
Barnes Nobble: https://bit.ly/3gAeT8V

Meet the family – Sue McDonagh

Meet the family – Sue McDonagh

Meet the family – Sue McDonagh


Sue is a seasoned pro at Choclit and has three books to her name Summer at the Art Cafe, Meet me at the Art Cafe and her new book released today Escape to the Art Cafe! She also appeared on Sky Arts Portrait artist of the year in 2014!



Hi Sue and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I am so excited to get to sit down and chat with a chocLit seasoned pro and learn all about you and what you have in store for us.

What inspired you to write “Escape to the Art Cafe”

It was a ‘What if’ question. My previous heroine had begun her story as a quiet person who retreated from publicity after a shameful event in her past. As the storyline progresses, she grows in confidence.

I thought, what if I begin with a character who is already outspoken, who acts first and thinks later. Where would her character arc go? How would she grow, spiritually?

And so Flora was created – a young woman of impulse. Caution does not feature in her vocabulary. She is plucked from dangerous seas by a hunky hero who gives her a ticking off about her failure to consider the danger. He seems to be the only one who can pierce the armour she’s built around herself. But why does she have this armour in the first place? It turns out that our hunky hero has his own worries too…

For me, the characters are the most important part of the story. The plot evolves from throwing them together and exploring what happens afterwards. When they start writing their own lines I know I’ve started to get it right.



What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?

I read so much ChocLit in the past and loved it. The stories always felt thoroughly satisfactory and believable. When I began my first NanoWriMo, I remember dreaming about being amongst the authors in their website, and I had the ChocLit Submissions page boomarked on my phone, iPad and laptop for years.
When I submitted my first manuscript to the NWS, the appraisal said, ‘start sending it out’, so I did. The very first thing I sent it to was the ChocLit Search for a Star competition. I totally muffed the application, and they were so approachable and humorous in their reply and I remember thinking how nice they were.
I came in one point behind the winner for that competition. I cheekily wrote to them and asked how I could improve, and they asked if I was writing anything else. I was, but it was shapeless rubbish and I couldn’t send them that! They said, if my second novel was as well received as the first, they’d offer me a two book deal. That was all the incentive I needed to get my arse into gear and sort the second book out!

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Apart from wishing I’d started writing novels when I was much younger?
I really don’t know what advice I’d have given myself. I’ve always written to entertain, from letters to friends and family, through to newspaper articles and then blogposts. I hadn’t the first idea how to write a novel though, and I remember writing my first NaNoWriMo whilst reading How to Write a Novel via everything I could lay my hands on. As an artist, I’m used to destroying work in order to make better work, so the constant re-writing was only part of the process. I’m pretty dogged when I want to do something!

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

I’m a full time, self-employed artist, so that’s intertwined with my writing these days. I find it interesting how one feeds from the other. For example, Escape to the Art Café also found a plot twist in one of my own paintings. And I might write about somewhere and think, I’d really like to go and paint there. I did a solo show based on paintings inspired by Summer at the Art Café, last year. I went to Gower and painted on the coast. My travels there last year gave me a firmer footing for the sequel.

When I’m not painting or writing, I cycle my eBike, ride my motorbike, help with the running of national ladies motorbike club, Curvy Riders and I crochet. Mostly big, colourful blankets. I’ve made eight now, and given three of them as gifts. I’m in the middle of two different baby blankets at the moment. If I have an achilles heel, it’s wool. And stationery. But what writer doesn’t love stationery?

How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

I’m a pragmatist, and I’m 62. I know perfectly well that not everyone has to like me or my writing, and I was prepared for the rejections. On the whole, they were extremely encouraging, and I came very close to being accepted in several cases. I had pages of really useful advice from HQ Digital, which was spot on, and as a very new writer, I took it all on board, and even now I look back and check on the points they raised. There is always so much to learn, and I was so new! It was a workshop with Alison May, current Chair of the RNA, who helped me to change my thinking about the dreaded rejection. She told us to set a target for how many rejections you can achieve. Of course, this is a clever way of making you get those submissions out there. They’re not all going to fall on stony ground!

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

I’ve met with such enormous encouragement from fellow writers. I used to worry that ‘someone would steal my ideas,’ and now I realise that even if you gave a dozen writers the same ideas, the result would be a dozen completely different books.
I’m always encouraging to new writers – I always recommend the RNA to anyone writing any kind of romantic fiction, and I recommend that writers find a group or two to belong to. I belong to a very small group, we all write in a different genre, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have got over the writing humps I encounter without them. I also belong to a local Chapter of the RNA, who I love meeting with. So inspiring and encouraging, and we’ve been meeting regularly via the magic of Zoom!
I have advised anyone who is writing in any sort of romantic genre, of which there are many, to join the Romantic Novelists Association for the fantastic New Writer Scheme.

Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?

I don’t have a routine for writing. I have to have a skeleton planned before I start, but sometimes things don’t fall into place as easily as I first imagined and I have to re-think.
Once the idea for a novel starts to take hold, my own routine falls apart. I forget to lock the front door and have to go back and check. The house goes unvacuumed, the fridge is empty and we live on takeaway. I still shower though. I get a lot of inspiration in a shower. It must be the effect of the falling water or something. Tricky plot problems often unravel in the morning shower. I keep wondering about buying some of those crayons you buy for children in the bath so I can write on the walls.
Otherwise, I need a new notebook for each new novel, of course, clearly that’s essential…

Which authors inspired you to write?

Without hesitation I always mention Sue Moorcroft. I first discovered her via ChocLit, and devoured everything she wrote. She once ran a workshop in Dorset and I drove all the way from South Wales and back in the same day so that I could attend it. I wasn’t disappointed, and she’s a terrific tutor. I did a weekend writing course with her a few months later. If I could have afforded to go to her Retreats in Umbria, I would have!
Otherwise, I’m very eclectic about my reading. When I was young, I adored the James Herriot and Gerald Durrell novels for their curiosity about the people and animals they encountered and their ability to make me laugh out loud. That ability to make people laugh is a rare talent.
I never read in my own genre while I’m writing. I did at first, and then found that I morphed into whatever I was reading. I happened to be reading a Joanna Trollope and noticed that my sentences tripled in length, for starters. It’s an interesting way of discovering another author’s voice versus your own. I tend to read thrillers, contemporary literature, and I read the whole of Deborah Harkness’s Discovery of Witches without breathing. At least, that’s how it felt… I hate to be without a book. Thank goodness for the miracle of The Kindle!

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?


Ooh, this is a lovely question. I’ve had somebody in my head as the hero for each of my books. It’s rather naughtily like having an affair with somebody different every year, perfectly legitimately.
So for Summer at the Art Café, I pictured Gerard Butler as Ash. I still think he’d be the perfect casting, and I just love his sense of humour. As well as how he looks, obviously, ahem…
Meet Me at the Art Café was based on a photo of someone from Pinterest, which I use a lot. I think I was still in love with Ash when I wrote that. I would have a lot of fun casting Ed. I bet my readers have some ideas!

My most recent novel, Escape to the Art Café, was inspired by Chris Hemsworth, the actor who plays Thor in the Avengers films. I absolutely loved him in Thor: Ragnarok. I’m always attracted to a man who can make me laugh. The muscles are of course, a very welcome addition, but, y’know, I’m not superficial. I don’t objectify men. I appreciate them…
The girls are more difficult to cast – because I suppose they’re all me, in some small way. I borrow my own flaws and fears and pour them into my heroines – but then they grow into their own personalities and I think this is what makes them real.

My book 4 has a hero already, so the Lock Screen on my phone is showing him now. Purely for inspiration, you understand. At my age…

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’m currently planning a novel with an older heroine and younger hero. I still haven’t decided whether it will tie in to the Art Café series… I’ll have to wait and see what my characters decide! So far they’re keeping me awake and negotiating their terms. I love living in my imaginary world!.

Sue, we all dying to know about Portrait Artist of the year!!!!  Did you meet anyone famous? Have you ever entered again?

That was such fun to do, but really quite stressful. I advertised on Facebook locally for people to come and sit for me so that I could practise my portraiture. The event for Wales was held at City Hall, which is a beautiful old building.
The artists were asked to convene at about 7.30 am, and offered a banquet of breakfast pastries and fruit. All of us were so nervous that most of it was left untouched, which was a shame. The artists were from all over the UK, to my surprise. I’d assumed that it was for artists from Wales, but it turned out that you could pick the nearest or most convenient venue to you, so some had travelled from Cornwall and Ireland. It was a terrific insight into the making of a tv programme, and I used that for my first book, Summer at the Art Café. We were interviewed incessantly, although barely any of it made the programme.
Each artist was allocated a sitter, and their position before them. There was no jostling for position as there is in a figure drawing class. We went where we were told, our easels had our names on it, and we were allocated a runner each for anything that we needed so that we didn’t leave our position.
The very first thing they filmed was each of us artists walking around the vast circular gallery they’d built of our self-portraits, which we’d painted as the show applications, in sets of two and three at a time. I remember that we had to walk slowly before the other artists portraits and admire them. Some portraits were mural sized, some hyper-realism, astonishing virtuoso talents. By the time I got to mine, I’d decided that I was a complete imposter and would go and hide in the loos until it was over. I had to steel myself to take my place at the easel.
I’d bonded with a couple of the other artists by then – we still converse on FB, and one of them has turned out to be a mutual friend of an author pal! – and we huddled like baby mice in the coffee breaks to look at the range of work that was being produced. Such enormous talent in that one space. It was phenomenal.
Frank Skinner and Joan Bakewell were lovely, very chatty, although I inadvertently asked Joan Bakewell where the loos were, right at the beginning, without realising in that split second who she was. She didn’t miss a beat, just smiled and said that she didn’t know either. I expect they probably had private suites anyway…

Sky promo
Tai Shan Schierenberg, the painter amongst the judges, was fantastic. I’m a huge admirer of his work anyway, and it was worth all the stress just to meet him.
Gavin Henson, best known for his rugby, was our sitter. I think I was the only one in our section who recognised him. He was very patient, and quite sweet actually. I very much enjoyed painting that terrifically toned torso.
The day went on until about seven that evening. It was an extremely long day, and afterwards you see the programme and realise how much ended up on the cutting room floor.

My self-portrait was used in the pre-show promotion, to my astonishment. My face appeared a hundred times larger than real life, on a banner in Trafalgar Square!
I enjoyed my participation in the show, and the team actually rang me afterwards to see if I’d like to participate in the next one. I said no. I still wonder if I made the right decision, but at that time I’d begun to realise that it was about making a television show, not necessarily about finding the best artists. I’d given my all to that show, and I didn’t know what I could do differently for another one.
However, I’d chosen to work in acrylics for the show, and I saw that many of the artists were using oils, and had so much more ability to scrape away and begin again. The experience made me determined to improve my abilities and I now find myself using oils more often than anything else. Maybe I will give the show another try, one day. You’re never too old to learn!

Sue tells us all about herself below:

My career as a policewoman in the Essex Police was interrupted when I was twenty four by ovarian cancer. A year of surgery and chemotherapy meant a successful recovery, which led to a convalescent year in the Essex Police Press Office. This suited me as I’d always fancied being a journalist, and meant that I could play with joined up writing and stationary.

When I moved to Wales to marry a man widowed by cancer and became instant mum to his two little boys, I used my Press Office skills and wrote press releases and eventually, blog posts for the various clubs and organisations I was involved with.

Art evolved into a full time occupation and I made a living teaching and sketching portraits on the spot at agricultural and seaside shows, moving into more considered work as time went on and appearing on Sky TV in 2014 in the regional finals of the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year.

I now work almost exclusively to commission, but also give demonstrations and talks to art societies and other groups, which I enjoy.

In 1982, following chemotherapy, I cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End in ten days, fundraising over £8000 towards a cancer scanner for St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where I was treated.

After my first hip replacement sixteen years ago, I and three friends took part in the Four Inns Challenge and walked 45 miles across the Peak District in 16 hours, raising £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support.

When my second hip needed replacing, I thought about commemorating it with a further bonkers fundraising idea, but to everyone’s relief, found my excitement in writing.

Ten years ago I learned to ride a motorbike, and now help to run Curvy Riders, a national, women only, motorbike club.

I live in Wales, a mile from the sea. My Border terrier, Scribble, comes to work in my open-to-the-public studio/gallery with me, and thinks the customers only come in to see him. Sometimes, I think that too.

When I’m not painting, I’m writing or on my motorbike.

I belong to a local writing group and the Romantic Novelist’s Association.


@SueMcDonaghLit                Facebook-Xperia Sue McDonagh




Sue’s Blogspot



Heartbreak and cake at the Art Café …
It was meant to be the perfect romantic holiday. But then Flora Bexton’s boyfriend does the unthinkable, and she responds in the only logical way: she steals his motorbike and escapes for a
holiday by herself on the Welsh coast.
Far from the lonely trip she imagined, Flora soon finds comfort at the friendly local Art Café where the legendary hot chocolate and cake help to ease her troubled mind. And when Aussie-Welsh lifeguard Jake Foley steps in just when Flora needs help the most, she realises that her ‘holiday’ feels more like home with every passing day …




Pre Order Here


ChocLit-logo-Web Find out about Sue’s other books on the ChocLit website.

Meet The Family – Gina Hollands

Meet The Family – Gina Hollands


This is a new feature on my blog, where I will be talking to the authors in the Choc-lit and Ruby-lit family.

Like myself Gina is a relative new member of the Chco-lit family and with her debut book due out this week I couldn’t wait to sit down and have a chat with her about all things ficionary.



Hi Gina and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I was so excited to get to sit down and chat to another debut like myself and learn all about you and what you have in store for us.

What inspired you to write “Little Villages of Second Chances?”

Many, many things. I set the book in Yorkshire, where I grew up. Although Wetherstone-on-Ouse is a fictional village, I based it on places I’ve been. One of my favourite scenes in the book is set in the city of York, which is beautiful, and it was a pleasure to write about Clifford’s Tower and The Shambles – places I’ve been many times.

The main character, Sarah, is named after my real-life best friend, and although it’s not her, the fictional Sarah shares many characteristics with the real-life version. Shay is my idea of a man you’d like to get to know – gorgeous, intelligent and brave but with a very gentle side. He’s had his fair share of difficulties but he’s still got a big heart, even if it needs repairing.

I decided to make Shay an ex-firefighter after conversations with my lovely friend, Martin, who is in the fire service. He helped me out with lots of information, some of which is in the book. Shay is suffering from PTSD, which is a big issue with many people in the emergency services, and while that’s not the focus of the story, it was important for me to highlight it.

Ultimately, I was inspired to write a feel-good story because to me reading can be wonderful escapism. And we all need a bit of that once in a while.


What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?

I’d been on the ChocLit Tasting Panel for a while (the group of readers who help choose which books get published) and I realised Little Village of Second Chances, the novel I was working on at the time, fitted with what readers seemed to enjoy. I’d also read a few books by ChocLit authors, such as Jane Lovering and Kathryn Freeman, which I’d really liked, and I thought if I joined the ChocLit family, then I’d be in excellent company.

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Trust in your instincts. Inherently you know when something in your writing doesn’t work, but it’s tempting to ignore it, especially if to address it means a big re-write. Ignoring any potential problems will only bite you on the bum later and inevitably mean bigger fixes in the long-run, so if something’s niggling you, it’s worth sorting out straightaway.


If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

My real-life job’s in marketing, and I spend every spare hour I can writing, which can be challenging with a family. However, if I were doing something else with my spare time it would be studying for an MA, as that’s something I’ve always wanted to do. At the moment it’s a trade-off between the two and writing won. Who knows though, maybe in the future I’ll find the time to do both.

How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

Having worked in PR for many years, I was fairly used to rejection and already had a pretty thick skin. I also knew the feeling of acceptance and success and how wonderful that was, even though the road to it wasn’t always smooth. So, by the time I started writing I wasn’t of the mindset that I’d simply write a book, send it off and, hey-presto, a book deal would arrive in my lap. I fully expected that it might take a few years and several shelved manuscripts before I received that magical ‘yes’.

I am someone who hates giving  up, so while every ‘no’ might give my confidence a bit of a shudder, I refused to let it knock me completely, and I carried on reading, learning, writing and entering competitions as I continued to submit.

My first published work was a short story in an anthology published by the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA), which I achieved through placing quite high in a competition they ran. I’m sure that helped when I wrote off to publishers. In the end, it took five years to get a book deal. My first book, The Virgin’s Gamble, was released in 2018 and it felt brilliant.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

girl-160172_640I’d say to be under no illusion –  it can be exceptionally hard work. But if you’re prepared to put the work in, then you can make it happen. The media loves a good story and you’ll often read about overnight successes, but the truth is, they are very few and far between. Most authors have spent years and undertaken eye-watering amounts of work before they got their name on a spine.

If you do decide to go for it, then expect rejections and vow to keep on regardless. Learn your craft – go on courses, speak to other authors, read articles online, join a writers’ group. Writing is like any other skill – it requires study and practice before you get good at it.

And the most important advice ever – read, read, read.

Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?

I always type, and never write long-hand as I don’t see the point in having to type it all up afterwards. There was one exception – when I was stuck in Vienna airport for seven hours. I bought a pen and a notebook and used the time to write. I’m time-poor, but the advantage of that is that I can’t afford to procrastinate. If I have a spare couple of hours, I hit the keyboard.

There’s nothing like getting into the swing of writing. It’s the strangest experience ever – you go into a weird zone where three hours passes in what feels like twenty minutes. I believe it’s known as ‘flow’ and it really is weird yet wonderful.

Which authors inspired you to write?

No doubt it was Milly Johnson. I’ve read every one of her books and love her. Her novels are so touching and yet so funny. I met her once at an event and thought I really must go and talk to her. I was so happy to meet her that I almost cried – she must have thought I was a complete lunatic. She was lovely though, so hopefully not!

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?


Haha, if only! It would have to be Jason Momoa for the hero, Shay, as he fits the bill perfectly. He’d have to be able to do a good Irish accent though. When I first think out my characters, I make a Pinterest board, and Jason Momoa was the inspiration for Shay – physically, at least. I’m not sure how much he knows about farming organic flowers, but maybe I’d be surprised!



For the heroine, Sarah, it would be the American actress Zooey Deschanel as she looks just like I imagined Sarah to look (although a bit on the skinny side as Sarah loves a hearty meal). Like Jason, Zooey would have to work on her accent. Sarah’s a Yorkshire girl, so that would be interesting.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Little Village of Second Chances is my first book in a three-book deal with ChocLit. I’m now planning book number two – a romcom based in my hometown of Worthing, West Sussex. I love comedy in writing, and while my previous books have had comedic elements, they haven’t been out and out romcoms, so this is an exciting step for me.

More About Gina

“Originally from Yorkshire, Gina now lives by the sea in West Sussex with her husband and son. When she’s not working in her job in marketing and PR, or writing her latest book, Gina can be found dancing everything from lindy hop to salsa, shopping (she loves clothes far too much for her own good), eating out (she hates cooking far too much for her own good), or relaxing, which generally involves reading a book someone else has written or indulging in her new hobby of learning to play the piano. She has a sneaky suspicion she may be a musical genius in the making, but isn’t about to give up the day job just yet”


@GinaHolls                     Facebook-Xperia Gina Hollands




Gina Hollands



Surely everyone deserves a second chance?

Ex-fireman and edible flower farmer Shay McGillen has plenty of reasons not to give Sarah Pickering even one chance when she turns up in his small Yorkshire village. After all, she is only there to try and convince him and his fellow villagers to sell up so her company can build a bypass. If Sarah thinks she can make Shay give up his farmhouse and his business, she has another thing coming!

But when an unexpected blizzard leaves Sarah stranded in Shay’s home, he soon realises that they are far more alike than he could have ever imagined – and perhaps both of them deserve a second chance …


Pre Order Here

T Minus Six Days – Perfect Lie @RubyLit @ClaireEESheldon #EXCLUSIVE

Something special for you all today to celebrate it being six days till the release of my novel Perfect Lie.

As some of you will know my book is written from different point of views so EXCLUSIVELY I am going to share with you Chloe Seaward’s POV

“She never imagined it would end this way. Travelling to the unknown, bundled into the back of a van.

Her hands were bound behind her back, the more she struggled to free them, the more the rope cut off her circulation. It chafed against her skin, causing blisters to form.

She was close to dehydration, licking her lips in search of moisture. Her mouth felt as if it was full of cotton wool stopping her from shouting for help. No one would hear her over the rumble of the engine and loud voices and laughter coming from the front of the van.

The strong smell of tobacco and weed stung her nose as she tried to get a sense of where they might be taking her. She’d lost track of how long she’d been lying there, drifting in and out of consciousness from the beating she had received, the blood long dried on her face.

She tried to kick out, shuffling towards the door in hope of making an escape but the pain from where she had been held down, beaten and raped both by the various men and a series of objects, was too much. She knew better than  to just give up. She tried to remember her training; there were protocols for everything. But no one was coming to rescue her. She had screwed up big time.

Suddenly feeling cold and alone, she thought of Adam. Had she told him how much she loved him when she saw him last? Did she need to make her peace with God? Should she have paid more attention at Sunday school? Surely this wasn’t the end?

The van came to a sudden halt and the laughter and talking stopped. The doors opened and the sound of the crunchy gravel replaced the drone of the engine. Her ears were filled with the sound of their footsteps in time to her racing heartbeat. 

The door would open at any moment and she’d be in for the fight of her life. Was she ready? She would fight through the pain because, if she didn’t, what was left would be much worse.

The doors opened and the back of the van filled with bright sunlight as someone grabbed her legs and dragged her out of the van. As her body scraped along the floor of the vehicle she attempted to block out all the pain as she summoned all her strength, tensing her body. If she didn’t fight back, this would be the end …”

Find out what happened to Chloe by reading Perfect Lie which will be available to buy on the 16th June 2020.

book cover


What is ‘perfect’ trying to hide?
Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.
It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …

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See what the early reviews are saying about Perfect Lie 1454549184-1454549184_goodreads_misc


Book Review: If I Ever Doubted You @choclit @JanBrigden

If I Ever Doubted You


She might have scored a celebrity footballer, but the game isn’t over yet …

Rebecca Dunning should be blissfully happy – after a whirlwind weekend, she and top footballer Alex Heath are still going strong. But as the murkier side of the celebrity lifestyle reveals itself, so does the creeping doubt.

Rebecca finds herself isolated in the fake, flashy world of toxic WAG cliques and ruthless reporters, and when a mysterious online admirer follows Alex’s every move, she struggles to cope. Can she keep playing the media game for the man she loves, or will she have to admit defeat?

I can’t sing praises loud enough for Jan Brigden and both her books “As Weekends Go” and “If I Ever Doubted You” being a crime fiction junkie the only other “romance” “Women’s ficition” novel I had read was my mentor Rachel Burton’s second book “The Things We Need to Say.” Though Jan and I share publisher I felt drawn to Jan’s books and I am not disappointed!

The story centre’s around Alex Heath (famous footballer) and Rebecca who by the end of “As Weekends Go” is in a relationship with Alex. Rebecca isn’t sure whether she is going to be able to handle the WAG lifestyle and the story pretty much centres on everything that happens and more. Alex comes across as such a nice “famous” person and god do I wish that this type of footballer exists but this is fiction….

Some of my favourites also return Abi, Rebecca’s best friend who I wish could have featured more but with them both living opposite ends of the country it wouldn’t have worked. Kenny Mills is back or Millsy as he is known in the book and he has a new girlfriend who is amazing and gets on well with Rebecca and Alex which is an added bonus. But it she really all that she seems? Oh and Rebecca’s ex husband Greg.

The story contains on the pitch football action and off the pitch real life and I think that is what kept me glued to the second novel. A bit like when I used to watch Dream Team on Sky (Random bit of knowledge which stared Carla from Coronation Street) never got into footballers wives.

I can not sing praises loud enough for Jan and though this book ended nicely (I cried) I really hope that there is more to come from this series!

Grab your copy here, and from other digital ebook stores



Happy IWSG Day – #IWSG @TheIWSG

Insecure Writers Support Day!


Every 1st Wednesday of the month we all come together to support each other in our writing endeavors. You can join the blog hop by clicking Here

We all looked after by Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co hosts are are Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

So it happened my cover reveal for my debut novel Perfect Lie and to add to the craziness of it all it’s being released on the 16th! which is like less than two weeks away! So other than wanting to run round screaming PANIC, I am bit like wtf am I supposed to be doing…

Cover reveal day was insane as my publisher also had a online festival so I was trying to keep up with my part in that!

Interview with three Ruby Newbies

Reading from my novel Perfect Lie

Location, Location a blog post

book cover

Pre order links:

Kindle: https://smarturl.it/lxta8s

Kobo: https://bit.ly/36T7mO0
Ibooks: https://apple.co/2TVYvpj
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dj40WZ
Barnes Nobble: https://bit.ly/3gAeT8V

and if you go on the Kobo link you can even read the beginning!

It has been crazy as I now have an author bio… I already felt sic enough when I saw that you could read the beginning on Kobo, then someone told me they were reading a real live copy and I really wanted to be sic. I am like but i’m a 35 year old that is sitting here pretty much freaking out!

Nevermind the Goodreads profile

Also nevermind the fact i’m trying to get a blog tour of some kind sorted… easier said then done.

Then comes people asking for signed paperbacks! Which aren’t in existence yet! And the audio which is going to follow that I am hoping I can go and watch!!! This is all pretty much feel a bit to real! But then i’m also like apart of family and friends that say they have pre ordered who else is going to read it? Ruby Lit must thing it’s sellable???

I feel I should be less me, me, me I’m sorry… maybe I should try and answer this months question…

Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?


1) I was once knocked off my bike and received a massive knock round the head and a brain haemorrhage.

2) I was on the tv programme called room raiders which used to be on trouble tv…

I hope everyone is okay… I miss going to work, I miss my tuesdays and thursdays with no work, I miss commuting and the crazy lady who recites from her bible and won’t have a conversation about it.

Perfect Lie – Location, Location, Location

Perfect Lie

book cover



My book is mostly set in Long Eaton and Nottingham, so I wanted to share with you some pictures which I have taken and a video of the route to the murder scene.




So this Long Eaton Police station which is situated on Midland Street in Long Eaton.






So the next photo is taken from the opposite direction and shows the supermarket which our DI Jackson walks past on his way to the scene. The police station is on the right of this picture.




If we turn around again and keep walking you get to the supermarket carpark where Dr Walsh and Forensics set up.




Opposite there is where the cut through begins. This is incidentally where PC Nikki Hayward is stood talking to the dog walker when DI Jackson first arrives.



The Video below shows the route that DI Jackson took towards the murder scene.



The two pictures above are where the body was found.



This is what is the other side of the tunnel.






If you go along the path to the front of the forth picture you get to the aid raid shelter








For those of you who don’t know Long Eaton I have added a map to show where all the action happens.





Due to having to work from home at the moment, I’ve had to steal a photo from google of Nottingham police station.

So that completes the whistle stop tour of our crime scene! Can’t wait for you to read it! XXXX

Cover Reveal – Perfect Lie @ClaireEESheldon @RubyFiction #ChocRubyFestival


This is probably the most excited I have been since…

Perfect Lie will be out on the 16th June 2020 on Ebook


What is ‘perfect’ trying to hide?

Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.
It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …

book cover

What do you think? I love the Lillie’s and the bold colours..

So it is available to pre order from Amazon today




Let me know what you think

logo_thumb800 @ClaireEESheldon   Facebook-Xperia Claire Sheldon Author



Book Review: The Kompromat Kill @FailsafeQuery @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Book Review: The Kompromat Kill @FailsafeQuery @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

The Kompromat Kill


When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive.

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…

Tense, absorbing, and insightful, The Kompromat Kill is a gripping thriller leaving you breathless at the pace of intrigue, cleverly unravelled in a dramatic finale.

Grab your copy from


UK            USA



My Thoughts

I think I have found myself a new hero! While Jake Flannigan ( David videcette’s series) seems to be taking a well earned rest Sean Richardson is barging him out of them way.

Another fantastic read from Michael Jenkins as Sean battles to save the day, but this time it isn’t all as straight forward as it may seem. We may think we know Sean’s checkered past but Michael is here to fill in the details and it’s not all roses and sparkles.

I did wonder during reading this book what his relationship was with Melissa, though she is named checked several times in this book, it left me wondering if she was just an after thought?

One thing Sean and Jake do have in common is the need for sex, drugs and rock and roll to get away from what is going on in front of them!

This book has some amusing moments my favourite is between Sean and Swartz when Sean asks who is it and he replies “there is only one bloke who ever breaks you out of jail”

As I was coming to the end of this book I started to wonder where the author is going next with this. Sean has a son now which will no doubt confuse things but are we about to learn more about Jack’s other operatives.

My review of The Fail Safe can be found HERE

Michael tells us more about himself below:

The Failsafe Query - Author Pic


I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.

Facebook-Xperia The Failsafe Query  logo_thumb800 Failsafe Query





Previously I interviewed Michael for my blog, the post can be found HERE


adverts kompromat 9



Happy IWSG Day – #IWSG @TheIWSG

Insecure Writers Support Day!


Every 1st Wednesday of the month we all come together to support each other in our writing endeavors. You can join the blog hop by clicking Here

We all looked after by Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co hosts are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!

So life is pretty much the same as last month… though I do have a relase date for my book! June 24th or somewhere around there!

The cover art is being made and I have discovered asking other authors to do quotes for me isn’t as easy as I thought!

No movement on book three.. and book two is awaiting to be submitted.

Life is still wfh, loom banding, educating to little people and trying to keep a grip on reality!

So this months question…

Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

MUSIC mainly Jimmy Eat World, chocolate also helps.. renewing bonds at work also strangely inspires me, but things are a little different at the moment so not so much inspired.

Just think this time next month i’ll have a cover, and order details and OMG we’ve nearly made it and got a book published xxx

Hope everyone else is doing okay xxx

Stay safe…