Tuesday, 20 April 2021

So excited to be part of this new anthology!

I've got a mention in The Bookseller! So excited that my short story will feature in this forthcoming anthology from Everything With Words alongside some of my all-time writing heroes!

Indie Everything With Words expands into adult books

Indie children's publisher Everything With Words is expanding into adult books this year with three new titles.

The press, set up in 2013 by Mikka Haugaard to bring authors into schools, said it was encouraged to make the move after releasing its first novel for adults last year, Inside the Beautiful Inside by Emily Bullock, which won praise from the Sunday Times and Observer.

Among the new books is The Tiny Gestures of Small Flowers by Emily Critchley, released on 15th July, billed as a navigation of family, toxic relationships, coercive control and independence. “Gripping" magical realist story Circles a Clover by Michael Egan follows on 26th August.

On 2nd September, Everything With Words will publish Same Same but Different with an introduction by Amanda Craig, a story anthology themed around solitude including tales by A L Kennedy, Stephen Thompson, Alison Moore, Amanda Huggins and Helen Simpson.

Haugaard, founder and publisher, said: “I enjoy being involved in the wonderful and crazy world of children’s fiction— lots of talent there— but my passion is for adult literary fiction with all its variety, from the restrained to the passionately outspoken. I am particularly drawn to those who know how to blend the lyrical with the vernacular and take the reader by surprise.”

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Four to Read in 2021!


From the publisher’s blurb:

When Clementine and Edouard's last child leaves home, the cracks in their marriage become impossible to ignore. Her work as a perfumer is no longer providing solace and her sense of self is withering. Then, her former lover resurfaces, decades after the end of their bisexual affair, and her world tilts irreversibly. This is an intimate portrait of a woman navigating conflicting desires and a troubled past whilst dreaming of a fulfilling future.

My Review:

I raced through Scent in two afternoons – as well as being beautifully written, absorbing and assured,  it’s a real page turner. Set in a vividly depicted Paris, this is a steamy and sensual novel, a dark and evocative portrait of desire, love and loss, which explores what happens when the past catches up with Clementine in her already unsettled world.  

March 31st 2021 - Muswell Press


From the publisher’s blurb:

From the acclaimed author of the story collection Escape Routes comes a timely, bittersweet and beautifully observed coming of age story about a friendship that defines two lives, and about the value of loyalty in a divided world.

It’s a lonely life for Stan, at a new school that feels more ordeal than fresh start, and at home where he and his mother struggle to break the silence after his father’s death. When he encounters fearless, clever Charlie on the local common, all of that begins to change. Charlie’s curiosity is infectious, and it is Charlie who teaches Stan, for the first time, to stand on his own two feet. But will their unit of two be strong enough to endure in a world that offers these boys such different prospects?

The pair part ways, until their paths cross once again, as adults at a London party. Now Stan is revelling in all that the city has to offer, while Charlie seems to have hit a brick wall. He needs Stan’s help, and above all his friendship, but is Stan really there for the man who once showed him the meaning of loyalty?

My Review:

I really enjoyed Escape Routes and have been looking forward to Common Ground for some time. it certainly didn’t disappoint. An evocative and compelling coming-of-age novel, beautifully written, about the complexities of friendship and two teenagers’ struggle against injustice and discrimination. It explores the difficulties of being an outsider and the fight to be accepted, to form connections, without sacrificing who you are. Stan and Charlie are both wonderful characters, and Common Ground is as uplifting as it is poignant.

March 25th 2021 - Tinder Press


From the publisher’s blurb:

His name was Joseph, but for years they had called him Panenka, a name that was his sadness and his story. Panenka has spent 25 years living with the disastrous mistakes of his past, which have made him an exile in his home town and cost him his dearest relationships. Now aged 50, Panenka begins to rebuild an improvised family life with his estranged daughter and her seven year old son.

But at night, Panenka suffers crippling headaches that he calls his Iron Mask. Faced with losing everything, he meets Esther, a woman who has come to live in the town to escape her own disappointments. Together, they find resonance in each other’s experiences and learn new ways to let love into their broken lives.

My Review:

Ronan Hession is the master of ‘quiet’ books. He takes the mundane, the everyday, and reveals the beating heart of the human condition and makes it extraordinary. A novel where nothing huge happens in terms of plot, and yet everything happens. Panenka is a deeply moving book, achingly poignant, yet although it is dark it is filled with love and joy and hope and deep, deep humanity.

Panenka, for all his faults and flaws, is a truly relatable character and I came to really care about him. The rest of the characters are equally rounded – Esther in particular is wonderful. Every one of them has their own story and every one of them feels real. And the writing is sublime – pitch perfect in every way. I loved every minute of Panenka from start to finish.

May 2021 - Blue Moose Books




From the publisher's blurb:

This unsparing debut novel portrays the unromantic side of Cornwall few visitors see and which so many novelists choose to overlook. Charlie Carroll inhabits his damaged heroine completely' Patrick Gale

Away from the hotels and holiday lets, there is an unseen side of Cornwall, where the shifting uncertainties of the future breed resentment and mistrust.

My review:

The Lip is a well-paced debut novel with an intriguing storyline and a heartbreaking twist – and Charlie Carroll’s writing is totally sublime. It is not always an easy read, as it addresses loneliness and isolation, mental health issues and grief. However, there is also love, hope and friendship at its heart, as well as the power and beauty of nature. The depiction of the wild Cornish coast is wonderfully evocative, and Melody Janie’s voice is compelling and distinctive – she burrows under your skin.

March 2021 - John Murray Press



So excited to be part of this new anthology!

I've got a mention in The Bookseller! So excited that my short story will feature in this forthcoming anthology from Everything With Wor...