girl in the middle

the mattress (1)
A quirky short story about a woman who discovers that not all heroes wear capes… some of them don’t even have a pulse. But they do have a name. Gerald.

I wrote a short story! girl in the middle And you can download it, for free, on whatever device you use.

Nook  ~ Kobo ~ Kindle ~ Apple

Now, don’t labour under the misapprehension that I wrote this during lockdown. No siree. All I’ve done during lockdown is watch Poldark (because… I’m really interested in 18th century mining?!), curse my sinuses and basically fall apart, in an orderly fashion.

Writing during this time has been like everything else during this time – a mixture of extremes. Either I’m feeling really creative and motivated or I can’t even muster up the enthusiasm to switch on my laptop. I wrote this story last year with the full intention of submitting it for a short story award, but being the success-driven, laser-focused, ambitious writer that I am, I didn’t get around to it 🙂 But I’m so glad I didn’t, because finding it now feels like perfect timing. A gift from past-me to present-me. When I read it again, I found myself laughing out loud and enjoying the quirky characters I created. So I thought, what’s the best way to get this out into the world? Self-publish of course!

Also, it’s been a long time since I’ve released anything and the stuff I’m currently working on is more contemporary and more comedy. That’s the thing with novels – there is sooooooooooooooo much time in between, where your readers probably think you’re dead or off spending your royalties in Mauritius. When really, you’re writing TWO new novels, submitting, waiting, writing, reading, editing, deleting and repeating until another year has gone by and you’ve nothing to show for it. So releasing a little story is a great way to remind people that you’re alive and still writing stories.

And people do love a free book! It’s a great way to discover a new author. Betwixt – my first short story – which is consistently in the Amazon Top 5, is flying off the virtual shelves at the moment. So it’s a win-win, I get to share a bite-size piece of creativity and readers get a free story.

So please share, read, download, whatever it is you crazy kids do and help me to get this story out there. At a very short and sweet 15 pages, girl in the middle is fun, free and uplifting – and we could all do with a bit of that right now.


Fancy a quick read…

Betwixt short

To all of my readers, past and present, I hope you enjoy this atmospheric short story (with a nod to the Gothic genre), which is now available to download for free here:

Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iTunes     Smashwords  Amazon

Please leave a review and let me know what you think!  And for just 99p, you can get a copy of my debut novel, The Cross Of Santiago.  If you like history, adventure, romance and strong characters, you’re sure to love it.

The Cross of Santiago-Amazon - Copy

Betwixt – Chapter 3

Betwixt short Betwixt – chapter 3

Here is another excerpt from my new short story, available to read for free on Wattpad.  Enjoy!

“Hello? Can you hear me?” Catherine shrieked, as she rushed to her knees and put her arms around the man. He was wearing a very large, thick woollen over coat. No wonder she didn’t see him, she thought.

“Please, are you alright?” It was a stupid question, considering she had just hit him with her car, but the mind is wired towards optimism, even in the direst of circumstances. As though possessed by a person far more clear thinking and efficient than herself, she ran back to the car and flicked on her hazard lights. She grabbed a blanket from the back seat; she must have seen someone doing it on TV. She ran back and spread the blanket around him, already feeling better for being useful.

To her infinite relief, she could feel his body moving as he started to come round.

Read the full chapter 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 🙂

Exclusive: A New Short Story on Wattpad

So I’ve been secretly working on a special little project – a short story to be released on Wattpad.  Watt now?  That’s what I said.  And then I immediately felt ancient!  This is how all the kids are doing it now – reading and writing as part of an online community.   Or ‘sharing stories on a social platform that connects people through words’, as they put it. Sounds interesting right?  And with 40 million Wattpadders signing on to read free stories, who can argue with that?  Once I discovered this innovative way of reaching new readers, it really got my creative juices flowing – the result of which is Betwixt, a gothic romance short story, that I hope you will all enjoy reading.

When Catherine revisits Hollowbrook cottage on a stormy October night, she crosses paths with a mysterious stranger who is not all that he seems. On a night when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest, all that is real and unreal meet in a nowhere place, at a nowhere time.

Betwixt short

The essence of Wattpad as a social platform is that writers can gain instant feedback on their work, so please feel free to comment, share and vote.  I’ll be sharing one chapter every week for the next six weeks, so to whet your appetite, here is an excerpt from the first chapter.  Happy reading 🙂

Chapter One

“We don’t get many visitors up here this time of year,” the old woman sniffed, pulling a hand-knitted cardigan tightly around herself. She looked like the kind of person who had never felt warmth in her life. Her brusque manner made it clear from the outset that she did not appreciate having to deal with guests this late in the season, or at this time of night. The old farmhouse stood at the end of a long and winding driveway, half concealed by immense pine trees and the darkening clouds that rushed across the mountains. It was late October and the rugged landscape had wrapped itself in a wild and inhospitable cloak of withering trees and faded grasses; not at all how she remembered it.

Read all of Chapter One here.