As I intimated earlier, this blog is now moribund. I have changed the name from ‘blog’ to ‘news’ to reflect the sporadic nature of my updates.
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So, onto my news update…
Beneath The Water is finally here! Huzzah!
Beneath The Water is set in both Arisaig on the west coast of Scotland in the present day and amidst the medical community of Edinburgh in 1847.
Stella Jackson is broken-hearted after her fiancé leaves and she runs away to Scotland. Initially she stays with her best friend, but ends up working for the mysterious Jamie Munro in the beautiful, but remote, Munro House. It’s a Gothic love story set in a stunning part of the world with a historical strand which explores the background to some of the medical breakthroughs we take for granted today such as obstetric anaesthesia.
‘I really enjoyed this story about secrets in the past and present… A very compelling read.’ – Portobello Book Blog
Meep! The Garden of Magic, a novella-length prequel to The Language of Spells, is out today! You can order it from Amazon and Kobo for just 99p.
(iBooks and Nook links are coming soon.) Here’s the blurb:
Iris Harper has lived in Pendleford for decades. The local witch is mistrusted by the townsfolk, but that doesn’t stop them from coming to her for potions, spells, and quick fixes. However, time has marched on, and Iris is aware that her days are beginning to fade. Her sumptuous garden is turning against her, the sweet scent of rot potent, and now a young girl has come begging for a solution at her door. The problem she brings causes Iris to remember a man from long ago – a man she loved, the man she could never trust…
I had lots of fun writing it and I really hope you like it. If you do decide to check it out (thank you!), I’d really appreciate a quick review – they are so important.
I’m back! I’m out of the writing cave just in time to introduce you to playwright and fellow Carina author, Amy Bird.
Yours Is Mine is Amy’s debut. It’s a psychological thriller and is out now.
Take it away, Amy…
Who would you magically exchange identities with?
In her best-selling debut, my lovely host Sarah has brought some magic into our lives.
In my debut, just released, I’m exploring what it would mean to exchange identities with someone. No magic, just the stark reality of North London.
But what if you could use a little bit of magic to exchange identities with anyone you wanted? Actually become them? I guess for a start, you’d have to know you were them – otherwise it wouldn’t be worth doing.
If I suddenly looked like Scarlett Johansson, or had Gwyneth Paltrow’s physique, I would want to know about that and internally gloat – particularly as a magic swap would be a much more fun way than gruelling daily workouts to achieve Gwyneth’s frame.
And sure, it would be great to inhabit J.K. Rowling’s life, without having to be the one for whom Harry Potter strolled into existence. But again, I’d want to know it was me, in there.
Because that’s the thing: it can be easy to think ‘Oh, I’d change places with someone more beautiful, fit or successful than myself in an instant.’ But where would ‘you’ go? What would become of all those projects and plans, all the friendships and unique inner monologue you’d built up over the years? Your life, your self?
In Yours is Mine, my protagonist Kate gladly accepts the opportunity to exchange identities with another woman, Anna, on the basis that they will masquerade as each other for three months. Kate, recently bereaved by the death of her father and lonely following the departure of her military husband, thinks this will be a chance to get her spark back.
She relishes living in Anna’s North London flat, enjoys impersonating Anna on her on-line dating sites, and has fun taking an acting class in Anna’s name. But throughout it all, the aim is to go back to her own life at the end of it. Imagine the shock when Anna has other plans.
So for me, although I’ll happily keep eating carbs on the basis that I might suddenly find enough magic to become Gwyneth (any excuse), I think I’ll politely decline the idea of a magical life exchange for now. Or even a non-magical one. For all we really mean when we say ‘I’d give anything to be ‘so and so’’ is that we would like to be a prettier, thinner, or more successful version of ourselves. We don’t want to lose the identity that we hold dear, or the projects that make us who we are.
To be fair to Kate in Yours is Mine, she knows that – she is just hoping that agreeing to impersonate Anna for a bit will mean that when she, Kate, steps back into her own life she will return a refreshed, happier version of herself. But in making the pact with Anna, she puts all that at risk.
If Kate had a wand, or the skill of ‘Finding’ that Sarah’s characters have, maybe she’d be alright. But she doesn’t. So all she can do is fight to get back what’s hers – and hope that’s enough.