Wednesday 6 September 2023

 The Secret Sister is Published

My fourth novel was launched into the world last Thursday 31st August and I have been delighted with the early reviews and messages I've received already. I thoroughly enjoyed writing the stories of Sara and Claudia and the fact that readers are enjoying it too means a lot to me. As always, Mr Imposter Syndrome was ever present in the days building up to publication day as I worried about what readers would think!

As with each of my previous novels, I enjoyed giving prospective readers a flavour of the new book by posting 'count-down' excerpts and snippets accompanied with an appropriate photo. These appeared to have gone down well with readers and I like to think they piqued their interest to download the novel. For those of you who may have missed them, I've expanded on a few that attracted the most interest and given the links for the others: 

14 Days to Go 

Carlo Rosso lay back on his bunk, drew on his cigarette and blew out circles of smoke as he exhaled. The noise of fellow prisoners talking echoed in the air, which smelled of damp and mould… ‘So, this is where I’m going to spend the last years of the war.’ Miles away from his mother and from Sicily — the country he loved so much.'

13 Days to Go, 12 Days to Go, 1Days to Go, 1Days to Go, Days to Go

8 days to Go

'The wedding breakfast was held at the village hall in Dolwen. Nell and Peggy had decorated
the room with the bunting left over from the VE Day parties, and friends had pooled their food coupons together to supply the sandwiches and cakes. Sara smiled when she saw the large, elaborate wedding cake placed on a square table in the corner. No one would guess how small the fruit cake was hidden inside the cardboard cover she and Menna had decorated with plaster and painted to look like a professionally iced wedding cake.’

Days to Go,

6 Days to Go -
'Halfway along the street was a busy trattoria with delicious smells of freshly ground coffee wafting in Claudia’s direction. She smiled when she remembered her father turning his nose up at the Camp coffee her mam made him with hot milk. “Real coffee comes from roasted beans, not a bottle with a funny blue label, Sara,” he used to tease her. Spaghetti didn’t come in tins either, according to him.’

Days to Go

4 Days to Go 

‘Claudia took her time on the steep walk back up to the main town, stopping to browse the little shops selling handmade local crafts and jewellery, which lined the cobbled streets. On the steps of some of the shops were colourful ceramic pots containing scarlet geraniums, and the balconies above displayed more pots with showy plants.’

3 Days to Go

‘On the wall were what looked like children’s drawings of aeroplanes sketched in charcoal.
“Different kinds of fighter bombers, even a parachute. Imagine being a child and having to spend your days (in these caves).” Alessandro’s voice was sombre. ‘No fresh air, no playing on the beach, just squashed in here with hundreds of people you did not even know. Poor bambini.”’

Days to Go, Day to Go. 

On publication day itself, I celebrated with an Italian meal at a local trattoria with my husband for a celebratory lunch. The meal was superb - an Aperol Spritz aperitivo before Sicilian arancini to start, followed by ravioli, then Sicilian lemon tart. The digestivo had to be a limoncello as Claudia would have tasted for the first time in the novel.

A huge thank you to all who have downloaded and read The Secret Sister already. I'd love to hear what you think about it.

It was very exciting to receive the beautiful paperbacks that have arrived ready for the official launch next week.

You may order the ebook and the paperback HERE.

'This is a beautifully written story where we are taken from the POW camps in Wales to breathtaking Sicily. A family saga that deals with heartache, romance and mystery . A real page turner you won't be disappointed.'

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For more about me and all my books, please visit my AMAZON page.