Print Launch of Blood Ties

I am pleased to announce that Blood Ties, book two in my Manchester Trilogy, will be available in book shops from today, and will be stocked at Blackwell’s, The Works and others. This follows on from the print launch of book one, Born Bad, in April and there are plans to launch a print version of book three, Vendetta, later next year.

We celebrated the launch with a party, which started off at Blackwell’s book store in Manchester and continued on to the bar a few doors down. It was a fantastic night and was a pleasure to share it with some of my wonderful readers, fellow authors, publishers, and family and friends. Here are some photographs of the event:


The print launch of Blood Ties will be followed by Vendetta, book three in the trilogy, which will hit the book shops later next year.


Winner of the SLUR Big Prize Quiz

It seems ages since the SLUR launch party when we held several competitions to celebrate the launch of my debut novel. The last of our competitions was scheduled to finish on 31st October at 5pm to give readers plenty of time to find the answers to questions based on the content of SLUR.

I am now pleased to announce that we have found our winner (drumroll please)…

The winner is the lovely Georgia Rose. I am thrilled for Georgia and think that she is a well deserved winner. Georgia entered every one of our competitions and helped to support the launch party throughout by shouting about it on social media etc. Our prize bundle is now on its way to Georgia including a signed print copy of SLUR, a signed print copy of Great Places for Kids’ Parties (UK), a signed print copy of Kids’ Clubs and Organizations and a £50 John Lewis/Waitrose gift voucher. Here are the answers to the quiz questions:

  1. Lindsey Pilkington.
  2. The Flying Horse.Winner
  3. Saturdays.
  4. (See note below).
  5. DCI Marshall.
  6. Belmont Insurance Company.
  7. Greece.
  8. Ernie Cummings.
  9. Clare.
  10. Mike Marston.
  11. Bill Quinley.
  12. Betty Quinley.
  13. She works in a factory.
  14. Norma.
  15. 20.
  16. Debby.
  17. Jacqueline Bartlett.
  18. The words “Julie Quinley is a Murderer” are written on the back of the door.
  19. Leslie Stevens.
  20. Rita going into Vinny’s house.

With reference to question four, this actually relates to an earlier draft of SLUR. The quiz questions were prepared well in advance of the launch of SLUR and I inadvertently forgot to amend this question when I changed the final draft of SLUR. I apologise to any readers who spent time trying to find the answer to this question.



The SLUR Big Prize Quiz

Now we come to our last quiz of the day, the SLUR Big Prize Quiz.

The Prize

For this one we are offering our top prize of a £50 John Lewis gift voucher plus a signed print copy of SLUR together with signed print copies of my other two publications, Kids’ Clubs and Organizations: and Great Places for Kids’ Parties: You’ll still need a copy of Slur before you can enter the competition though as all the questions are based on the book.

N.B. We welcome overseas attendees and are willing to exchange the voucher for the equivalent in the country of choice if the prizes are won by somebody from overseas.

You can buy a Kindle version of Slur for only £1.99 at:, and if you manage to win the signed print copy as well, why not put it away as a keepsake? I’ve started to buy signed print copies of books by Indie authors because, you never know, they might become famous one day so it’s good to get your hands on a signed original.


If you want to buy the Kindle version to read on your computer, iPad or smartphone, you can download the free app here that enables you to do so.

Don’t forget to send all your answers by email to: as with our other quizzes. As mentioned above, all the questions are based on the book, but they’re all straightforward. To give everybody a fair chance (because print copies of the book take longer to obtain than Kindle copies) there is a closing date of 5pm on 31st October 2014 for this competition. That should give everyone time to read the book and find the answers.

Once we have reached the closing date, the winning entry will be drawn from the names of all the correct entries. We’ll also notify the prize winner by email and will put the answers to the quiz on the blog after the competition closing date.

The Questions

1.What is the name of the girl that Rita got into a fight with?

2. What is the name of Julie and Rita’s local pub?

3. What is the name of the nightclub that Julie and Rita frequent?

4. Which secondary school did Julie, Rita and Vinny attend?

5. Who is Inspector Bowden’s superior officer?

6. What is the name of the company where Julie works?

7. Where does Rita go for her holidays?

8. What is the Whippet’s real name?

9. What is Julie’s younger sister called?

10. Who, apart from Vinny, does Julie go on a date with?

11. What is Julie’s dad called?

12. What is Julie’s mum called?

13. What type of job does Rita have?

14. What is the name of Julie’s colleague who works on the switchboard with her?

15. How old is Julie?

16. What is the name of Rita’s friend who works with her?

17. What is the name of Amanda’s supervisor?

18. What does Julie find in a toilet cubicle at work?

19. What is Amanda’s boyfriend called?

20. What does Melanie Butterworth see that raises suspicions?


That’s it for today. Thanks for coming to my book launch party. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking part in our competitions and that you’ll enjoy reading SLUR. Good luck with your competition entries. We’ll publish the results of the Literary Quiz and the General Knowledge Quiz on the blog after next Tuesday’s closing date, and the results of the SLUR Big Prize Quiz after the closing date in six weeks’ time. Don’t forget to send your answers to this quiz by email to by the closing date of 5pm on Friday 31st October.

We’re off to have a well-earned glass of the fizzy stuff now before we get busy working our way through all those competition entries in the coming days and weeks.


General Knowledge Quiz

And now for our General Knowledge Quiz. Again, there will be 20 questions for this quiz but you will have until 5pm next Tuesday 23rd September to get the answers to us. Please send your answers by email to:

The winner will be drawn from all those with 20 correct answers or, if nobody gets all the answers right, the winner will be drawn from all those with the most correct answers. The winner will be contacted shortly after the closing date, as soon as we have had a chance to go through all the entries, and will also be announced on the blog. We will also publish the answers on the blog after the competition deadline.

The Prize

As this is a General Knowledge Quiz, our prize will be general in nature too, so we’re awarding a £25 John Lewis voucher to the winner. That means you’ll be able to treat yourself to whatever you fancy.

N.B. We welcome overseas attendees and are willing to exchange the voucher for the equivalent in the country of choice if the prizes are won by somebody from overseas.


Don’t forget that we’ve still got the SLUR Big Prize Quiz coming up later today. The winner of the SLUR Big Prize Quiz gets a £50 John Lewis voucher and a signed print copy of SLUR along with my other two publications. The questions for the SLUR Big Prize Quiz will be based on the book so unless you were lucky enough to win a copy in our Meet the Author Quiz, you might want to buy your copy now if you haven’t already done so. Here’s the link:

But now back to our General Knowledge Quiz.

The Questions

1. In personal finance, what do the letters IVA stand for?

2. On which British island is the town of St Helier?

3. In which country are the Black Mountains?

4. What is the name of the actress who plays Rachel Berry in “Glee”?

5. In a human embryo, what is the first part of the body to develop?

6. How many points is the letter “s” worth in scrabble?

7. What is the square root of 144?Question mark

8. Who was the first labour Prime Minister?

9. Who was Hitler’s Propaganda Minister?

10. Which Roman Emperor conquered Britain?

11. Which element has the chemical symbol Na?

12. Who is Miley Cyrus’s godmother?

13. In what way were the Manchester bands Joy Division and New Order related?

14. Who was the British Prime Minister at the end of the First World War?

15. For which film did Jennifer Lawrence win an Academy Award for best actress?

16. Which is the nerve that is damaged in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

17. What do the angles in a hexagon add up to?

18. Where would you wear espadrilles?

19. Which elephants have the biggest ears – African or Indian?

20. What is a lien?


Don’t forget to send your answers by email to by 5pm next Tuesday 23rd September at the latest.


Literary Quiz

We’re now moving onto our second competition of the day (or first for Saturday), which is our Literary Quiz. I’m very excited about this one as it gives me a chance to introduce some of my talented author friends who have kindly offered to contribute signed copies of their books as prizes.

We still have two more competitions to go, which are our General Knowledge Quiz later this afternoon, with a £25 gift voucher for the winner, and the SLUR Big Prize Quiz this evening. The winner of the SLUR Big Prize Quiz gets a £50 gift voucher and a signed print copy of SLUR plus my two parenting books. (Please note that some of these quizzes will be re-run on Saturday 20th September but times will differ. You can find full details of approximate times for both days at:

But first let me tell you more about our Literary Quiz. We’re giving away a great prize for this one so there’ll be 20 questions but you have until 5pm next Tuesday 23rd September to send your answers by email to: The winner will be drawn from all those with 20 correct answers or, if nobody gets all the answers right, the winner will be drawn from all those with the most correct answers. The winner will be contacted shortly afterwards, as soon as we have had a chance to go through all the entries, and will also be announced on the blog. We will also publish the answers on the blog after the competition closing date.

Literary Prize

The Prize

I have taken my book launch day as an opportunity to introduce you to the wealth of talent that the independent publishing world has to offer. The prize will be a bundle of five signed print copies of books by talented authors. I have specifically chosen these five authors because I have read books by each of them and I personally recommend them. That’s why I’ve called them my Fab Five. I appreciate that everybody has different tastes in reading matter so I’ve selected a variety of genres. Here they are:

My Fab FiveFab Five

Each of the following books are included in the prize for this competition. I have read every one of them and they’re all excellent. N.B. Please click on the author name to find out more about the author. By clicking on the book title you will be directed to the Amazon page for that book. If you’re not lucky enough to win the prize, why not take the chance to discover a new talent and buy one of these books from Amazon?




Joanne Phillips Can’t Live Without Romantic Comedy
Rose Edmunds Never Say Sorry Thriller
Guy Portman Necropolis Black Comedy
Clare Davidson Reaper’s Rhythm YA Urban Fantasy
Georgia Rose A Single Step Romantic Suspense

The Importance of Reviews

Independent publishing is currently undergoing a bit of a revolution. Because of the difficulties in getting published by mainstream publishers and the stringent rules they apply, increasing numbers of authors are publishing independently. This includes authors that previously had publishing deals, because they prefer to have control over when and how they publish, what design goes on the cover of their book, how they divide their time between writing and promotion etc.

However, the downside of independent publishing is that independent authors do not have the big advertising budgets of large publishing houses and we therefore rely on recommendations and word of mouth. Every time a positive review is published on Amazon or Goodreads it encourages potential readers to purchase our books. If you have read and enjoyed a book, please spare a couple of minutes to leave a review as the authors really appreciate your contribution.


Before I print the questions, let me remind you that we’ll be announcing the winner of our Meet the Author quiz shortly (Friday only). If you aren’t lucky enough to win a copy of SLUR, don’t forget that you can still buy one for as little as £1.99 for a Kindle version or £7.99 for a print version from Amazon at:

The Questions

1. In “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy, what was the name of the family horse that died?

2. In “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck”, what is the name of the boss’s son on the ranch?

3. In the play “An Inspector Calls” by J. B Priestley, who does Sheila get engaged to?

4. In “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, what district are Katniss and Peeta from?

5. In the Shakespeare play Hamlet, what is the name of Hamlet’s mother?

6. In “The Lord of the Flies”, by William Golding, what was the conch used for?

7. What is the name of the magician in J. B. Priestley’s “Lost Empires”?

8. What is the name of the royal poisoner in “I Claudius” by Robert Graves?

9. Name the two cities in “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens?

10. What condition does Terry Pratchett suffer from?

11. In the well-known satire “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, what was the novel said to parody?

12. The well-known writing duo Nicci French is the name of a man and wife team. What are their full names?

13. Val McDermid recently did a re-imagining of a Jane Austen classic as part of the Jane Austen project. What was the name of the book?

14. In “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, what is the name of Mr Rochester’s dog?

15. Where was Robert Harris’s book “Enigma” based?

16. In Robert Bolt’s novel “The Mission”, what did the slave trader do that caused him to become a priest?

17. Who won the 2013 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and what was the name of the book?

18. Who is the bestselling author of all time?

19. What is the name of the warship that saves the narrator’s brother in H G Wells’ “War of the Worlds”?

20. What classic of Latin literature did Julius Caesar write?


Don’t forget to send your answers by email to by 5pm on Tuesday 23rd September.


The Story of Slur

The party’s started so grab yourself a cuppa and crack open the biscuits – we’ll save the wine and nibbles till later. I thought I’d start by letting you know what we’ve got lined up before telling you a little bit about the book. In fact, SLUR will be telling its own tale, and I have to warn you that with all this attention it’s become the diva of the book world.


We’ll be running some fun quizzes throughout the day and are offering great prizes (more about that below). All quiz answers should be sent by email to We’ll also be publishing updates during the day so if you want to receive the updates by email, just follow this blog by clicking the box marked ‘follow’ to the right of the screen.

Where to Buy SLUR

SLUR is available from Amazon in both Kindle format priced at £1.99 and print format priced at £7.99 at: If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a free app that enables you to read the Kindle version on your computer, tablet or smart phone. You can find the app here.

Great Prizes

You will have a chance of winning a signed copy of SLUR as well as my other publications, Kids’ Clubs and Organizations: and Great Places for Kids’ Parties:, plus a £10 gift voucher, in our Meet the Author Quiz, which is coming up next. We’ll also be giving away a bundle of books by our Fab Five Indie authors in our Literary Quiz around lunchtime or shortly after.Prizes

If general knowledge is more your thing then you could have a chance of winning a £25 gift voucher by entering our General Knowledge Quiz later this afternoon/early evening. Lastly will be our SLUR Big Prize Quiz at the end of the day where we will be giving away a £50 gift voucher and a signed print copy of SLUR plus my two other publications. Questions will be based on SLUR, and the winner of this one will be announced in a few weeks’ time to give you a chance to find the answers. Please note that some of these quizzes will be re-run on Saturday 20th September but times will differ. You can find full details of approximate times for both days at:

N.B. We welcome overseas attendees. As all our prize vouchers are in GBP, we will give equivalent vouchers in a relevant currency if overseas entrants win our prizes.

The Story of SLUR

I first started writing my debut novel SLUR back in 1999 and finished the first draft around 2002. It took almost three years to write because I was studying for my writing diploma at the time as well as bringing up two toddlers. Sadly, it has since been on the backburner. In fact, my book has waited such a long time to be published that I thought it only fair for SLUR to tell its own tale. After all, it’s been around so long now that it’s as though it’s taken on a personality of its own. Over to you SLUR:

Thank God for that, I was beginning to think my time would never come. 15 years is one hell of a long time to wait for your moment of glory, you know!

Well lovely readers, it all started back in 1999. I can still recall the first stroke of the keyboard, her initial excitement, the way she couldn’t wait to start tapping away at the keys once the kids were in bed. I had high aspirations of course – first the bestseller lists, a film adaptation, then all the glitzy award ceremonies – you know how it goes. I figured I ain’t no flavour of the month celeb with a tale of instant stardom; I’ve got staying power!

So I was toted around the agents. I remember hearing their conversations like it was yesterday – ‘good writing style, nice opening – starts with a bang, great characterisation’. Then there were the naysayers – ‘the author’s unknown, we’re taking a risk, what niche would it fit into?’


I swear, if I could have sprouted a pair of hands out of all those sheaves of paper I would have done some serious damage.

Anyway, at the end of the day I guess it was just one rejection letter too many so my printed manuscript got filed and locked away. Even now I can hear the sound of the key as it rasped painfully around the lock mechanism like scissors slicing through my aching pages – OK, maybe a bit dramatic, but you get the idea. Book Cover

Then she moved onto other things – the magazine articles, the writing services business, the parenting books – phut! But I knew my time would come. As the saying goes, “I’m Beyonce, I ain’t no Kelly Rowland.” And I ain’t no poxy parenting book either – I’m the real deal!

So here I am with my beautiful new jacket complete with image of attractive heroine, admittedly looking a bit distressed – well she would, wouldn’t she? Her whole world’s fell apart, the poor cow! She’s still got to prove her innocence before she breaks down altogether. That’s if she’s got enough feistiness left after she’s been through hell!

Well, that’s enough of me, I must dash before she changes my title to ‘Diva’. I’m going to show off my gorgeous, sexy new jacket now. And when it gets opened I’ll be glad to finally put my goods on display and show the world just what I’ve got to offer. It’s show time! (Slinks away singing)

“Cos tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999, da da, da da da.”

Dancing Book


Who are my Fab Five Indie Authors?

My Fab Five Indie Authors will be playing a special role in my online book launch party for my debut novel SLUR:, which is a crime thriller set in 1980s Manchester. So, I would like to say a big thank you to each of the Fab Five for their contribution. You can find out more about my launch party by checking out the agenda. The book launch party will be taking place on this blog on 19th and 20th September.

Each of these talented authors has kindly agreed to donate a signed print copy of one of their books as a prize for our Literary Quiz. This means that the lucky winner will receive a bundle of all five books. The books cover a range of genres to cater to different tastes but the thing that they all have in common is that they are particularly well written and a good read. The books included in the prize are: Can’t Live Without, Necropolis, Never Say Sorry, A Single Step and Reaper’s Rhythm. To find out more about each book, please follow the links under the author details.

Given the wealth of talent in the independent author community, it was difficult to choose just five authors, and there were some others that I would like to have included. However, I have chosen these five because I have read and enjoyed books by all of them, and can recommend their work. I have also made a personal connection with each of the authors and found them friendly and supportive. I would therefore like to tell you a little more about these five exceptional people:

Joanne Phillips

BIN425-0064.jpgJoanne is a popular and prolific author of romantic comedies and cosy mysteries. Her debut novel Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 20 bestseller and her books regularly appear on Amazon category bestseller lists. To date she has published four novels, a short story collection and a novelette.

Apart from being a talented author and a lovely lady, Joanne is a great supporter of the Indie community and runs a very informative blog sharing advice about the book writing, publishing and marketing process, which you can find at: Readers can also find out all about Joanne’s books on her website:

Guy PortmanGuy Portman2

Guy has published two novels which differ in subject matter but both are peppered with Guy’s unique sardonic humour. He writes in a literary style that doesn’t conform to current writing trends. In fact, because Guy’s writing style is so individual I think that it can be considered timeless, and I can see his second novel in particular, Necropolis, becoming a cult classic. Although the graphic content may not suit everybody, this book will stay with you for a long time after you have read it.

Guy also publishes a regular literary blog, which is both witty and informative. It can be found at:

Rose Edmunds

Rose EdmundsIf you’re looking for a fast paced thriller with plenty of twists and turns, then Rose’s debut novel, Never Say Sorry, is a must. Rose is a skilled thriller writer who knows how to grab readers from page one and keep them turning the pages.

Never Say Sorry is set in the world of corporate finance and involves a conspiracy to suppress a natural cancer cure. It has received great reviews to date and the good news is that Rose has a second book due out soon called Concealment, which is a psychological thriller. You can find out more about Rose’s forthcoming thriller, Concealment, at:

Georgia RoseGeorgia Rose

Camera shy Georgia prefers to hide behind her blue rose symbol. Georgia is relatively new to the independent writing scene but has already made an impact since publishing her debut novel A Single Step at the end of 2013. This romantic suspense novel has received many excellent reviews and been featured on a number of popular blogs. A Single Step is the first in a trilogy, and the second novel, Before the Dawn, will be released on 26th September, so Georgia’s fans won’t have long to wait.

Georgia publishes a lively blog, which features author interviews, book reviews and recommendations, as well as giving an insight into her writing journey. You can find out more about Georgia and her work at:

Clare Davidson

Clare DavidsonClare writes fantasy novels for the young adult niche, but the characterisation is so strong in Clare’s novels that they appeal to more than just a young adult readership. I have read two of Clare’s novels, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I found myself empathising with the lead character who is a teenage girl. To date Clare has written a standalone novel, Trinity, and three novels in the Hidden series, of which Reaper’s Rhythm is the first. She is currently working on the fourth novel in the series.

Clare also runs a stimulating and thought provoking blog, which you can find at:


As well as our Literary Quiz, we’ll be running three other quizzes for our launch day celebrations so don’t forget to join us if you don’t want to miss out on the fun.