2018 – New Year, New Book

From manuscript to book in 3 short years!

It’s almost 2018 and you know what that means?  The Year of The Story Collector!!  No other books will be published this year, well, none that matter anyway 😉  And what’s more, I have my date (which oddly makes me feel like I’m getting married).  The Story Collector will be available to read on…

14th June 2018

And I honestly can’t wait to share this book with the world.  It’s been quite a while since my last novel – The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris – which I published in 2014.  I feel so fortunate, because that story has taken on a life of its own and is still being discovered by new readers on both sides of the Atlantic.

So I am a little nervous, as it’s been a while since I’ve released anything new.  But that just goes to show you how long it takes to get a book written and published.  The idea for the book came when I was researching something else entirely – as is often the case.  I began reading and researching The Story Collector in spring 2015 and wrote the first few chapters during the summer.    I took a step back and knew I wanted to take it in a different direction, so I began anew with Nanowrimo in November 2015.  You know you mean business when you take on Nano!  That left me with 60,000 words and a first draft I could work with.  I spent all of 2016 rewriting, editing, refining and sending it to some trusted eyes for second and third and fourth opinions.  I began submitting in November of that year and got the deal I hoped for with Urbane Publications in March 2017.

They actually contacted me on Saint Patrick’s Day, with that email every author waits and hopes for, ‘We want to publish your book’.  I will never forget how that felt.  Cue lots of hugging myself with delight, manic giggling and staring off into space with a bottle of wine in one hand and an empty glass in the other.  When I first began writing almost 15 years ago, this was the dream.  I’ve received my fair share of rejection letters and the silent rejections that never arrive.  My dreams have changed over the years and I’ve been so lucky to be a writer during this digital revolution that has given me lots of opportunities to get my writing out there.  So after self-publishing two novels myself, collaborating with Urbane on my third book is even sweeter.

So, what can I tell you about my new book?  Well, I don’t want to give anything away just yet, but anyone who reads my books will know that I deal in escapism and memorable characters.  I want to take you away to a place that will open your eyes, your heart and your mind.  And of course it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a connection to the past and something a little magical.

To everyone who has been so supportive of my writing, whether you’ve read my book, left a review, hosted me on your blog for interviews or guest posts, shared links, liked posts, followed my blog, read my articles, sent me a message saying you enjoyed my book, shared tips or advice, or just had the craic and hung out with me on Twitter (where I live!)

Thank you!

You’ve encouraged me, inspired me and I’m so glad to be a part of this great community.   That’s all for now, but don’t worry, I’ll be keeping you up to date with any developments.  All that remains for me to say is Happy New Year to you all and don’t forget to mark the 14th June on your calendar!


Where Was Your Book Born?


We’ve all heard how JK Rowling famously wrote Harry Potter in a local cafe.  In fact, the chair she sat on recently sold for €344,300.  That’s some indication as to the importance we give a writer’s creative perch.  Writers and readers alike are enchanted by the idea of where a book was conceived, convincing themselves that even the chair they sat on must be oozing with literary genius.  There’s something romantic about it, scribbling ideas in a local cafe.  Writing  at a desk wedged into the corner of your council flat while wearing old Primark pyjamas doesn’t really have the same ring to it, although one can only assume that Rowling must have written at home too.  But does it really matter where you write your masterpiece?

I think I’ve written in every room in my house, bar the toilet.  I would include a photo of my beloved attic (where I write in the summer and stare up at longingly during the winter as it transforms into a fridge) but I’m saving that for the OK! Magazine spread.  The dawn of Pinterest has introduced us to a plethora of ‘designs’ to ‘inspire’ us with ‘ideas’ to create our own ‘writing nook’.  In other words, Pinterest is the devil’s work which bombards us with over-styled images of unattainable shabby chic home offices we will never have.  No I don’t have a pure white room with an old-fashioned writing desk which I’ve upcycled with chalk paint and I’m not surrounded by flower-clad boxes with all my papers neatly filed away in alphabetical order.  I’m the kind of person who sees an empty space and immediately feels the need to fill it with bits n bobs (i.e. junk).  I would love the perfect writing nook, but in the meantime, I generally pick the warmest spot in the house and write there.  I’m basically a cat.  With thumbs.

So what about venturing outside?  Well, yes, writing en pleine air could be a nice change except…. again, I live in Ireland.  I did try to write at the beach a couple of times, but there’s a lot to be said for a comfortable chair and while a large flat stone jutting out to sea might look attractive, my bum says otherwise.  Then there’s the whole writing long hand thing.  It can make a nice alternative every once in a while, but I’m the kind of writer who needs the entire manuscript in front of me when I write.  So squinting at my laptop while my bum goes to sleep on a rock gets old very fast.

Cafes seem like the ideal place to get the creative juices going, but the only problem with that is that they are full of OTHER PEOPLE!  At the best of times, people in public places can be tiresome, but when  you’re trying to write a novel, they are downright intrusive!  I have no idea how writers can focus on their own thoughts while they are being drowned out by clattering delph, noisy conversations and earth-shatteringly loud baristas (do they have to smash that coffee filter like a judge’s gavel Every. Damn. Time.!!)  Seriously, doesn’t anyone drink tea anymore?  Sartre had it only partly right; hell isn’t just other people, it’s other people who drink coffee.

If I do decide to venture out, I usually go to a hotel.  These are much more sedate affairs and best of all, they usually have comfy armchairs so you can really settle in.  No-one really cares how long you stay or whether you order coffee (but if you do, they thankfully prepare it out of earshot).  My nearest hotel has a conservatory that is, for the most part, empty and pipes out a nice mix of chilled-out tunes in the background.  The best part is, you can’t come up with a million excuses to leave your desk when you’re writing outside of the home.  You can’t start attacking the hotel toilets with bleach and a brush, so you just have to stay put and keep typing – not least to make everyone else think you’re extremely busy and important and overflowing with intelligent ideas.

So are there any benefits to having a ‘special place’ to write?  After all, we’re not like visual artists who rely heavily on their surroundings for inspiration.  Writers inhabit the interior world, the imagination.  We create worlds.  We mine our memories and nose through nostalgia for material, then spin all of these threads together into a fine cloak to envelop ourselves and our readers.  In fact, I think the plainer your surroundings, the better.  I’m not talking a monastic cell here, but the truth is that even if you bag yourself one of those writing retreats in rural Italy replete with red tile roofs and cypress trees, you still have to retreat to the solitude of your own mind and write the book.

I think we all saw this coming ☺

Happy Easter Book Sale!

Easter sale

Fancy a good read while you’re stuffing your face with chocolate?  You’ve come to the right place!  Both of my books are on sale for Easter at the cracking price of €0.99/£0.99/$0.99/.  But what are they about?  Will I like them?  I hear you cry.  Hold on to your cream egg – here’s a little preview to help you decide.


The Mysterious Bakery On The Rue de Paris (6)



A charming bakery in a picturesque French town sounds like the idyllic place to escape her life, but Edith Lane soon discovers that some ghosts are harder to escape than others. A magical, heart-warming story that is sure to appeal to all of the senses, The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris is a mouth-watering journey of love, liberty and la vie en rose.


*****  A wonderful, captivating story    *****  Terrifically written and researched

*****  Heartwarming story     *****  Magical read!

The Cross of Santiago-Amazon


A second chance to meet your first love’

Adopted as a baby, Amanda Morrison knows nothing of her biological family.  But when she receives a mysterious heirloom from a long lost aunt, she unlocks the door to a distant past and a secret love. Can her past life really be haunting her present and what can she do to put things right?

The Cross Of Santiago is an intriguing novel that tells the tales of women in two different eras and how their lives seem to be entwined by fate.

***** Epic romance across the centuries    *****  Intriguing story    

*****  Interesting mix of genres    *****  Unusual but enjoyable!

Betwixt short

And don’t forget, you can always download my short story Betwixt anytime of the year for free!

‘Catherine returns to Hollowbrook Cottage on a cold November night, looking to escape her present life and lose herself in the past. However, her journey crosses the path of a mysterious stranger who will change her life forever.’






My Top Tips For Self-Publishing

If you are just starting out on the exciting and equally nerve-wracking road to self-publishing, then this post is for you!  Perhaps you have just completed National Novel Writing Month and have a 50,000 word manuscript loitering around your laptop, or maybe you have an old sheaf of typed pages neatly stacked away in a drawer somewhere.  Either way, the prospect of becoming an Indie Author can be a bit daunting, so I have come up with four simple tips that I wish someone had told me when I started out.

I wrote the following article for Woman’s Way magazine, featuring my top tips for anyone considering self-publishing their novel.  There are many steps along the way, but in my opinion, these are the most important ones to consider when getting started.  Best of luck!


The Mysterious Bakery On Rue de Paris (7) - Copy Amazon   Barnes & Noble

The Cross of Santiago-Amazon - Copy Amazon   Barnes &Noble

Author Photos – Get Ready For Your Close-Up

Source:  Photopin
Source: Photopin

Man, I hate getting photos taken.  I never seem to look like myself, or at least the self I see in the mirror.  But it’s not that important, because if photos are being taken, it usually means something fun is happening like holidays or a party, so who cares how you look, right?  Not so when it comes to the all-important author photo.  On the torture scale, it’s right up there with writing a blurb.  You’re trying to condense everything you ever wanted to say about yourself as an author into one awkward shot and the results inevitably fall short of the goal.

Luckily, when it comes to self-publishing and eBooks, there’s no real need for an author photo because there is no dust jacket.  So it begs the question, do readers really care what the author looks like?  Publishing companies and agents have always considered author photos an important marketing tool for selling books and we always hear how the readers aren’t just buying your book, they’re buying into you as a writer.  Personally, I would have to say that an author’s image is really unimportant to me as a reader.  I’m currently reading Wonder by RJ Palacio and I have no clue what she looks like.  I didn’t even know if the author was male or female when I bought the book.  So it really doesn’t make a difference to me if she is young or old, black or white, serious and intelligent or fun and intelligent.  I’m loving the book, so as far as I am concerned, her work is done!

I had this discussion with my sister and she said she actually found it off-putting to have an author’s photo on the back of a fiction book – that it somehow breaks the spell, or that magical contract between writer and reader that doesn’t concern itself with reality.  I have also found this to be true, depending on my perception of the author photo.  If I feel I can identify with the author and the photo fits the style of writing, I feel an even greater connection to the work.  But if the photo is ridiculously staged and contrived, it can be a bit of a turn off.

For example, when I bought Kate Morton’s ‘The House At Riverton’, I flicked to the back cover and saw a pleasant photograph of a woman sitting happily on the ground in a stable of some sort.  To me, the image said “This is me, no fuss, just down to earth.”  Literally!

Source: Amazon - Kate Morton's Author Page
Source: Amazon – Kate Morton’s Author Page

Maybe it’s the duck-egg blue paint peeling off the distressed wood, her casual outfit or her warm smile, but I instantly felt comfortable with this author.  There was no black and white artsy stuff, or that patronizing ‘high brow’ stance with the hand contemplatively touching the chin (you know the one).  It just feels natural.

However, when I began reading Jojo Moyes’ ‘Me Before You’ and saw the following image on the cover, my response was completely different.

Source:  Marie Claire UK
Source: Marie Claire UK

Confusion reigns on this one – I mean what is she doing in the middle of a field, propped up on an old land rover with a type-writer on her lap?  Barefoot??  It makes absolutely no sense.  Maybe for a magazine shoot (maybe!) but for a book, this seems ridiculous to me and over the top.  I can understand the desire to get the author’s personality across to the reader, but this just comes across as smug and it actually made me wish I hadn’t seen the photo before reading the book.  I see that Ms (Miss, Mrs?) Moyes has another photo on her Twitter page, which gives a remarkably similar feel to that of Missus Morton and I have to say, I much prefer it.  It’s warm, it’s easy and it’s almost as if we’ve caught her in the middle of an autumnal stroll in the countryside.  Simples.

jojo moyes

But then again, it’s easy to critique other authors’ photos, and my interpretation is of course completely subjective.  Someone else might be wholly enamoured by the vision of an author straddling a clapped-out jeep and find these ‘smiling in the barn’ photos twee.  It’s impossible to gauge how readers will react to the image, no matter how hard they try to be all things to all readers.  And let’s face it, these famous authors have had help – expensive help, like professional photographers and hair and make-up people.  So what chance do us self-published authors have?  Is it just a matter of taking a rather grainy selfie and sticking that up on our social media platform, or should we consider taking the whole author photograph thing more seriously?

If you’ve done any kind of marketing for your book, you will undoubtedly have been asked for your author photo, so it’s something we’ll all have to do at some point.  I decided to have my photo taken in my garden with very little preparation on my part or the photographer’s.  It went a bit like this:

Me:  “Oh listen, can you take my author photo?”

Friend:  “Sure.”

Me:  “Great, it won’t take a minute!”

Followed by an hour of terse remarks like, ‘What are you doing with your mouth?’  ‘You look like you need the loo!’  I thought I was smirking, as opposed to outright smiling, suggesting that I’m a content writer, but also deep and thoughtful.  In the end, we just started talking about why I write and what I enjoy about it and we finally got our shot.  It’s not exactly perfect, but I wanted an authentic image and I think we achieved that.

Author photo
“This writing lark is so easy, I have all the time in the world to just relax in my arbour and dream up new stories!”

I think the main thing is to avoid selfies or cutting and pasting yourself out of a wedding photo (especially if you were the bride!).  Whether readers care what we look like or not, I suppose it is like a business card in a way and so it deserves a little bit of consideration.

As self-publishers, we’re used to thinking independently and creating our own rules and Mel Sherratt is a prime example of this when it comes to her author photo. Traditionally, crime writers have to look mean and moody to suit their genre, but not Mel.  She just looks so damn happy to be a successful author with a large and loyal readership, who wouldn’t want to buy her book?!

Source:  Writing.ie
Source: Writing.ie

At the end of the day, I think it’s important to be yourself and satisfy your own needs, without trying to guess what people want.  (A good motto for life there, methinks.)

You can get my books here.

Betwixt – Chapter Two

Betwixt short

Hello everyone!  Just wanted to let you know that the second installment of Betwixt is now available to read on Wattpad.  Here’s a little teaser:

Chapter Two

Lost in her reverie, Catherine had also lost her bearings on the road and wasn’t sure if she had already passed the cottage.   There was a small space to pull the car in at a gate to a field on the left hand side, where she stopped to have a think. Everything looked the same in the darkness. Shapes and shadows loomed ahead, offering no clues as to what direction she should be heading. Instinctively, she thought about calling Nathan for help. That momentary lapse of reason was enough to send her to the depths of her grief.   She cradled her head in her arms, leaning against the steering wheel, but still no tears came. Just an ache in her chest and the sour taste of resentment in her mouth. ‘What am I doing here?’ she thought to herself, not for the first time since setting out on her journey. She thought it might help, being in a place where they had been so happy together.   Their home was still tainted by all of the painful memories she just couldn’t bear to deal with. Being there, in his absence, was almost suffocating her.

Just then, a car approached from the opposite direction, its headlights casting a temporary light on her surroundings.   She could see the bridge was still further ahead. Immeasurably grateful for the driver’s impeccable timing, she shifted her focus back to the present and started the engine once again. ‘You’re doing the right thing’, she told herself, in that positive self-talk the grief counsellor had advised, and she shifted gears. ‘A nice cup of tea and a warm fire and you’ll be fine,’ she continued, feeling a little better already.

You can read the rest of the chapter here.  Enjoy 🙂


A Four Hundred Year Old Armada Mystery Novel

 Local author’s début fiction novel ‘The Cross Of Santiago’ is an exciting mix of historical fiction, drama and contemporary romance, the first of its genre to be set in Galway.

Evie Gaughan has just launched her new novel, The Cross Of Santiago, which is a Time Slip novel set in Ireland.  When a long-lost aunt bequeaths a mysterious golden cross to Amanda Morrison, a strange series of events ensues. On a quest to find the truth about her family’s past, Amanda unlocks the secret to an ancient love story between an Irish girl and a Knight of the Spanish Armada. Destined to find their happy ending, one cross will bind two couples across four centuries.

Evie herself is a massive fan of the Time Slip genre.

“Once I discovered that there was an Armada ship wreck on the Galway coast, I knew I had to write this novel!  I am so inspired by my surroundings and I really enjoyed having my home-town as the backdrop to this story.  There is so much history here and I think readers will enjoy the parallel timelines in the story too, as it creates a nice balance.”

Full of intrigue, humour and the complexities of human relationships, The Cross Of Santiago is a compelling read for contemporary and historical fiction fans alike.

Working as a freelance writer in Galway City, Evie has had several short stories and feature articles published in Galway Now and Woman’s Way magazines.  She is also an artist, with paintings on exhibit in University College Hospital Galway and Meet You Here Gallery in Roscommon.  Evie is currently working on her second novel.

Available to buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple for €3.49.


The Morning After The Night Before

I just want to say a huge thank to everyone who helped to make my launch day such a success!  Thank you to everyone who paid me the biggest compliment by paying over their hard-earned cash to buy a copy of The Cross Of Santiago – I truly hope you enjoy the adventure!  Also to anyone who helped to spread the word, gave me a ‘like’ or participated in the Enchanted Book Tours give-away.  You all helped to make it such a special day and I really appreciate that.  

Keep an eye out for upcoming press releases, features and my next blog tour starting on October 1st.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear your feedback, so if you want to wax lyrical about your thoughts on The Cross Of Santiago, you can write a review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Speaking of which, I got a lovely review from Mira at the Forever Book Lover blog, which you can read here.

Thanks again to everyone for your support and helping to make The Cross Of Santiago the next big thing in fiction… FACT!

Buy My Book on Amazon and Smashwords