Exciting News and Events! April Outings

Exciting News and Events! April Outings.

I was over at The Romaniacs site yesterday, blogging about the past five years and everything I’d have love to have shown my mum, lost to us in 2012. The post can be read here. I mention it as I know she’d have loved the fact that, one, a long-held dream of mine has been realised, and two, that as an author I’ve been invited to Watford, the town in which I grew up. More of that news later.

My exciting news is that my third novel, What Doesn’t Kill You, is now in WHSmith Travel shops – train station, airports and service station branches! This is a dream come true. I am a book, music and stationery addict who has spent many happy hours browsing and buying in and from Smiths.

Following on from yesterday’s blog, the moment my good friend and author, Sue Fortin, posted a photo of WDKY at Victoria Station Smith’s, I really did think, ‘I wonder what Mum would have said to this …’

If you find the book in Smiths Travel, and you have time to take a ‘shelfie’, I’d love to see it 🙂 I haven’t managed to get to a Travel branch yet.

WHSmiths Travel Shelfie

Dates for your diary:

April 8th, I’ll be with my publisher, Choc Lit, and a selection box of ChocLiteers, at Exeter Library. See here for the details. There’s something for readers and writers and it promises to be a cracking afternoon. If you can’t make it to Exeter, I’m also attending the Southampton day in May.

I’m delighted to have been invited to Watford’s Lit Fest, speaking at an evening with Watford Writers, on April 10th. Then on April 11th, I’ll be signing copies of WDKY at Waterstones Watford between 11:00 and 13:00.

It would be fabulous to see you at these events.

I spent many happy years in Watford and surrounding areas. I attended three places of education – Kingsway Junior, Francis Combe Secondary School and Cassio College. My very first job, a Saturday job, was with British Home Stores in the high street. As a Watford FC fan, I loved it at the end of the day when the fans were returning home after the match. They were easy to spot as they passed through the shop, wearing their gold, red and black scarves and tops. I could tell by the fans’ mood if we’d won or lost.

I also worked at Watford General Hospital, The Review Newspaper, Royal Insurance and The Prudential, before moving to Dorset to be closer to my parents, who’d moved from Watford some years before.
Here’s a short video I made for Watford’s Big Word Fest.

That’s all for now. I’m off to get the tour t-shirt made up.

Take care,

Laura x

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU – The Paperback Tour January 2017

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU – The Paperback Tour January 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed the festive season and have had an excellent start to 2017.

My week has been busy preparing for the release of the paperback of my third novel, What Doesn’t Kill You, due 9th January.


The novel has been available for a year in digital form, but there’s nothing quite like holding the paperback in your hands. I’m lucky enough to have a few author copies at home. Next week I’ll be guesting on blogs as my book goes on a virtual tour. Please do join me and find out some of the background to What Doesn’t Kill You.

I haven’t gone as far as to print tour tee-shirts, but here’s the programme.


Hoping 2017 is a magnificent year for you.

Take care,

Laura x

Exciting News!

Exciting News!

My third novel, currently in digital form, is to be published in paperback next year!


I’ve blogged over at The Romaniacs, as it’s my week chatting on the Life Cycle Of A Writer series.

Please do hop over for a read.

I’m busy writing guest posts for the upcoming virtual book tour, while fighting a chest infection, but nothing can stop the excitement of waiting to handle that paperback.

Watch out on my Facebook page and Twitter feed for dates of the tour and for Christmassy treats from my publisher, Choc Lit.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas.

Take care,

Laura xx

Last Dance in Havana – Rosanna Ley

Last Dance in Havana – Rosanna Ley

Laura & Rosanna
Laura & Rosanna


On Saturday 1st October 2016, I had the immense pleasure of chatting with bestselling author, Rosanna Ley. Originally, I was planning on attending the event as a member of the audience, but when I popped into my local library to add my name to the list of those going, I was asked by our lovely librarian if I would like to pose Rosanna a few questions on the day. I’m rarely short of questions and having read and thoroughly enjoyed Rosanna’s latest novel, Last Dance in Havana, I was delighted to have this opportunity to chat and learn more about Rosanna’s writing processes, including research, and how she captures the sights, sounds and feel of the settings used in the novel.

I have not visited Cuba in real life, but nearly two weeks on from reading the novel, I can still picture the scenes set by Rosanna – I was transported there. I could feel the sultry heat, hear the music, and experience the everyday lives of the town’s residents. Members of the audience who have been to Havana agreed that Rosanna has portrayed the town, the people and the atmosphere perfectly.

The conversation went on to explore the importance of research, particularly when referencing historical events, the inspiration behind Rosanna’s novels, and the themes within Last Dance in Havana.

With a reading from Rosanna and an introduction to the next book due 2017, which sounds wonderful, the afternoon drew to a close.

My job was made easy. Rosanna is a joy to interview and the fab audience was fully involved and asking their own questions.

If you get the chance to attend one of Rosanna’s events, I urge you to do so. The same goes for reading Rosanna’s books. I was so engaged with Last Dance in Havana, I read it in double-quick time, shutting myself away in our conservatory, telling my family it was work.

I love my work.

Take care,

Laura x

rosanna-ley-ldihLast Dance in Havana.

Cuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he’s the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro’s army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?

England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother’s untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulderto cry on – Grace’s career is in flux, she isn’t sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she’s begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can’t make Grace’s problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family’s happiness?

From bestselling author Rosanna Ley comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendship set between England and Cuba.

All That Is Left Of Us – Catherine Miller

Congratulations, Catherine, on the release of

All That Is Left of Us.

I’m celebrating with my good friend and fellow Romaniac, Catherine Miller today, as her new novel,

All That Is Left of Us,

is released.

The book is on tour and receiving cracking reviews. To see more, check out Catherine’s Facebook page.


Wishing you a wonderful publication day, Catherine.

Laura xx

As Weekends Go – Jan Brigden

Jan Brigden AWG PB Publication



What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend? When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her. She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more … But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning isn’t it? 2014/15 Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.


Write An Amazon Review Month. Guest Blog from Terry Tyler.

August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month!

By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and Alison Williams.

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!).  You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am”, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

They help book buyers make decisions.  Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different.

If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.

The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.

It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!


Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:

If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.

A review can be as short as one word.  The shortest one I have is just two 🙂

You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.

No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you!  I will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success 🙂


From Laura:

If you’ve enjoyed a book, a review is an excellent way to let the writer know they’ve connected with you, too.

Here’s my latest review for Jane Lovering’s I Don’t Want To Talk About It. I’m a big fan of Jane’s writing and it’s a pleasure to leave a 5* review.

Jane Lovering I Don't Want To Talk About It (2)

Another wonderful novel from the talented Jane Lovering. Winter Gregory is a complex and interesting character – a writer who leaves city life to seek refuge from her ex-boyfriend and editor, Dan, who has an issue with the way Winter keeps in daily contact with her twin, Daisy.
Basing herself in a small Yorkshire village, Winter befriends young horse-loving Scarlet, who, having lost her mother now lives with her uncle, Alex, a man attracted to Winter.
When Dan catches up with Winter to check on the progress of her new book, the life Winter thinks she’s left behind also catches up with her.
A brilliantly flawed heroine, two gorgeous but troubled heroes, and an eight-year-old girl who loves her hobbyhorse with a passion, makes I Don’t Want To Talk About it a great read. Highly recommended.


Laura x

In Recovery

In Recovery

Lancaster Uni Campus
Lancaster Uni Campus

I have almost recovered from the whirl that was the 2016 RNA conference. Held in Lancaster, a seven hundred miles round trip, I left Dorset at 02:45 on the Saturday morning, 9th July, and arrived at the university at 08:30, just in time to help with The Romaniacs Sparkle Spotlight interviews, all of which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaqfWTBjiNvdZ67625p2kwA

Pens, Pals & Pompoms
Pens, Pals & Pompoms panel
Pens, Pals & Pompoms Crowd
Pens, Pals & Pompoms pals

The following day I was a member on The Romaniacs panel – Pens, Pals and Pompoms – which was a high energy discussion on the highs and lows of writing, with a few cheerleading moments thrown in to celebrate the successes of everyone in the room.

Over the two days I attended workshops and panels all of which were informative, interesting, enlightening and fun. The journey home was shared with my good friend and fellow Romaniac, Catherine Miller, whose company always makes long journeys appear brief.

An excellent weekend of socialising, laughter, information, friendships, pens, pals and pompoms.

Catherine & Lucie
Catherine Miller & Lucie Wheeler

Now it’s head down and on with book four.

Take care.

Laura x