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Tuesday 28 April 2015


Today I have the honour to be the blog guest of the lovely Jane Bwye.  It seems we have a little more in common than both being Crooked Cat authors!

Hop over and take a look.

Friday 10 April 2015


Today I'm the guest of my dear friend and fellow-author Vanessa Couchman.  I had the pleasure of working with Vanessa as editor of her wonderful debut novel The House at Zaronza.

If you've ever wondered what an editor actually does, hop over to Vanessa's blog and find out!

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Friday 3 April 2015

TREADING ON DREAMS - a guest post by Jeff Gardiner

And now - another very special guest: the wonderful and multi-talented Jeff Gardiner.

Jeff Gardiner is a UK writer who was born in Jos, Nigeria. His first novel, Myopia, explores bullying and prejudice among teenagers. Igboland is a novel of passion and conflict set in war-torn West Africa. Treading On Dreams is a tale of obsession and unrequited love. He has recently signed a three book deal with Accent Press for a trilogy of YA fantasy novels.

His acclaimed collection of short stories, A Glimpse of the Numinous, contains horror, romance and humour. Many of his short stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines.  Jeff also has a work of non-fiction to his name: The Law of Chaos: the Multiverse of Michael Moorcock.

 “Reading is a form of escapism, and in Gardiner’s fiction, we escape to places we’d never imagine journeying to.” (A.J. Kirby, ‘The New Short Review’)

For more information, please visit his website at and his blog:

TREADING ON DREAMS is a contemporary novel from Tirgearr Publishing exploring unrequited love and obsession.  It is currently at the special sale price of 99p/99c for the first two weeks of April only.

Donny is obsessed with his housemate, Selena – but his love is unrequited. He enthusiastically accepts her willing friendship, which only fuels his deepening fantasies.

Jaz is their crazy landlord who likes sleeping with women – lots of them. He takes pleasure in educating the once innocent Donny in the hedonistic pleasures of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It blows Donny’s mind.

Selena is engaged to Melvin – the perfect man – but is also keen to befriend the ever-demanding Donny ... until she falls pregnant and her wedding looms.

Donny expresses his true feelings at the wedding, causing mayhem and anger. But there remains a chink of hope: perhaps Selena’s marriage to Melvin is not quite as perfect as it seems.


Donny remembered how, when he was ten, his favourite granny gave him an old, valuable book, larger than most on his shelf. The green vellum cover and gold-plated script fascinated him. He delighted in the magical paintings of mythical beings and creatures in exotic landscapes—dragons in the orient, trolls in caves of ice and a hippogriff soaring over Atlantis. The colour plate of Selene the Moon Goddess, the most beautiful girl Donny ever saw, most acutely captured his attention. She evoked grace and sensuality beyond expression, sitting naked on the sands of a golden desert on the mystical moon.

Entranced, Donny fell in love with her perfection. He stared at the picture for hours; her face possessed a supernatural beauty and her nakedness aroused new sensations in him. For him, she was the perfect creation: his moon goddess. She seemed to beckon him to follow her while he sat hypnotised by this elemental creature. From then on, she dominated his dreams and waking hours. He hid the book beneath his bed as if it were a pornographic magazine.

Selene lived, caressing and embracing each part of his imagination.
Hunched into himself on the top stair, Donny strained to listen in breathless silence. Raised voices came from downstairs.

‘I won’t have my daughter acting like a cheap tart. You should have more respect for yourself.’ Steve Haynes sounded exasperated. ‘Where have you been, anyway? Your mum and I have gone mad worrying. We thought you’d been in an accident.’

‘Well I wasn’t—’

‘When you’re in my house—’

‘Yeah, I know…your house, your rules.’

‘I’m sick to death of your disobedience and rudeness—’

‘Do what I bloody like,’ Hazel mumbled.

‘Don’t you dare take that tone with me.’

‘Why not? Whatever I do’ll be wrong, anyway.’

‘Who the hell do you think you are?’

Hazel sighed but remained silent.

‘I’m talking to you, young lady.’ Donny recognised the familiar growing anger in his dad’s tone. ‘Why can’t you take a leaf out of Donny’s book?’

Upstairs Donny cringed and hugged himself tighter. No, don’t use me like this. He squirmed. Don’t use me to make Hazel feel bad. Don’t make her hate me, dad. The voices carried clearly through the closed door and up the stairs.

‘You’re a curse on this family, you know that?’

A tear dropped from his cheek onto his bare arm. He waited for his sister’s response.

‘I hate you. I bloody hate you.’

The sound of a slap preceded an eerie silence. Then the door sprang open and footsteps rang on the parquet flooring in the hall. Hazel stomped upstairs, stepping over him as he cowered backward. As she slammed her bedroom door behind her, Donny stayed where he was, even though he desperately wanted to help her. For the next few minutes, he screwed up his face and craned his neck to hear the reaction. His mother began sobbing.

‘What have we done to deserve this?’ Her broken voice only just reached his ears.

His father picked up the rustling newspaper. ‘I tell you she’s cursed.’

‘At least we’ve got Donny.’

Donny seethed. If Hazel was a curse then so was he. They came from the same cells and grew together in the same womb.

She didn’t answer when he knocked, so he pushed the door open and walked in. She sat at her mirror removing her thick gothic make-up with trembling hands. Black eyeliner matching her black-dyed hair ran in a smear across her cheeks. Donny kissed the top of her head. Taking some cotton wool from her open drawer, he dipped it in cold cream and carefully wiped his sister’s face clean.

‘Just remember, Hazey, I’ve got you and you’ve got me.

She smiled through bleary eyes. ‘Thank God I’ve got you.’

‘I hate them when they’re like this.’

‘Got a right bollocking, didn’t I?’ Hazel attempted a smile. The twins embraced.

Donny glimpsed his reflection in her mirror. Great hero he was—didn’t even stand up for his own sister. How pathetic.

‘Love you, you old tart.’

‘Love you, bumface.’

They laughed and hugged tightly.

Buy-Links for TREADING ON DREAMS (only 99p/99c for the first two weeks in April):

PUBLICATION DAY - a guest post by Laura Huntley

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming a very special guest: the fabulous  Laura Huntley, whose astounding debut novel, Black Eyed Boy, is released today by Crooked Cat Publishing.  I know it's astounding because I'm in the privileged position of having already read it - I had the pleasure of working with Laura throughout the editorial process.

Welcome, Laura - and many congratulations!

Thank you, Sue.  I can barely believe that this day has finally arrived. At last: publication day! My first novel, Black Eyed Boy, is out today and it has felt like a long wait to get here. That’s the trouble when you’ve been more excited than a small child on Christmas Eve who’s been living on a diet of energy drinks and bags of Skittles. Time tends to pass somewhat s-l-o-w-l-y.

What a journey. My feet haven’t touched the ground since Crooked Cat Publishing sent the contract my way. I have found every part of the process both fun and fascinating. It has been a quick learning curve. My favourite part was being consulted about the front cover. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate that Crooked Cat allow their authors so much freedom and control when it comes to such decisions.

As giddy as I surely am, I have also been a bag of nerves. That idea I had… The characters who have been living in my head, they suddenly exist within pages for others to read. It’s quite surreal in a way. I hope that readers enjoy the story. I hope that they root for Emily, my main character, as much as I do. I wonder if anyone will fall in love with Dylan? How will people react to Billy? Will people want more as they reach the end? I sincerely hope so, seeing as I have just finished writing the first draft of the sequel and I am now in the process of planning out the plot of the third and final instalment. It will be interesting (and scary!) to see what people think.

Mostly, though, I continue to feel delighted. I have longed for this day since I was a little girl. Dreams can come true, what a fabulous message to pass on to my three young children. Go for it. You never know what might happen. You might just get everything that you ever wanted.

Black Eyed Boy is available from Amazon.