Barbara Copperthwaite


‘Impossible to put down’ #Bookreview THE DRY @janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK

‘Transports the reader so that I wasn’t simply reading these things, I was right there’



I just can’t understand how someone like him could do something like that.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime.


The huge, relentless sky; the sun beating down; the vast open space; the claustrophobia of a small community that suddenly realizes one of their own has committed the most terrible of murders – The Dry, by Jane Harper, transports the reader so that I wasn’t simply reading these things, I was right there. Even in the cold of the British winter, I could feel the stifling heat of the Australian summer.

I’m late to the party with this book, and deliberately so. I went into it feeling neutral, rather than with high expectations from all the hype, and I’m so…TO READIN FULL, CLICK HERE


‘Clever, twisted, & different’ #Bookreview BRING ME BACK, @BAParisAuthor @HQstories @HarperCollinsUK

‘B.A. Paris has what it takes to have real longevity as a writer.’


The Disappearance:

Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion:
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear:
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried…


Clever, twisted and quite different from her previous novels, with Bring Me Back B.A. Paris goes darker. This is an author who goes from strength to strength, and by slightly moving away from the more straightforward domestic noir, she is cleverly repositioning herself, proving she is not a one-trick author. B.A. Paris has what it takes to have real longevity as a writer… TO CONTINUE READING, CLICK HERE

The best Best Books year ever! #writerslife #BestBooksof2017 #HerLastSecret

The other day, I posted a little review of the year. In it I included a thank you to those bloggers who had been kind enough to choose one of my books for their lists of the Best Books of 2017 ( Novel Deelights and Ali The Dragon Slayer for featuring THE DARKEST LIES, and Crime Book Junkie, The Book Review Café, Novel Deelights, Being Anne, My Chestnut Reading Tree and Compulsive Reader for choosing HER LAST SECRET). The amount of lists my books had appeared on absolutely blew me away – so imagine my surprise when I discovered even more had chosen to feature HER LAST SECRET.

Thank you so much Stardust Books, If Only I Could Read Faster, Rosepoint Publishing, Chelle’s Book Reviews, The Haphazardous Hippo, Chat About Books, and Rae Reads, you’ve no idea how happy you’ve made me!

2017 ended so brilliantly, and now 2018 has got off to a flying start thanks to this. I can’t wait to see what else the year has in store!

My 2017 highlights #HerLastSecret #TheDarkestLies

Having a look back over everything that has happened this year in order to compile this post has been a surreal experience, if I’m honest. It feels as if it happened to someone else, not me at all. 2017 has been the best year of my writing career so far, yet it’s also been dominated by illness and loss.

When THE DARKEST LIES published in May, it made me so proud. It became an Amazon bestseller in four countries – the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. When it charted on the USA Today bestseller list it was one of the most wonderful moments of my life!

At the same time, though, I became ill and it was only at the end of August that I was finally back to full strength. As a result, I wasn’t able to really enjoy the success I’d achieved. It also meant my writing has taken a massive hit, and I’m so lucky that my publisher, Bookouture, have been so understanding. My next book will be out in early summer 2018 – and it will be dedicated to Norman Price, my lovely uncle, who died at the end of August. We all miss him so much.

October brought the release of my second book of the year, Her Last Secret, which hit Number 1 on the Kobo chart! It was another proud moment.

Now, bloggers have compiled their Best Books of 2017, and I’m absolutely blown away by how many have chosen to include my books.

Thank you so much to Novel Deelights and Ali The Dragon Slayer for featuring THE DARKEST LIES.

Huge thanks to Crime Book Junkie, The Book Review Café, Novel Deelights, Being Anne, My Chestnut Reading Tree and Compulsive Reader for choosing HER LAST SECRET.

So, with 2017 heading to its close, it’s time to look to the future. Here’s to a wonderful 2018 for us all. Happy New Year, everyone xx


#BookReview : Flowers for the Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait

‘A devilishly delicious read’ What a wonderful review of Flowers For The Dead.

Me and My Books


“Flowers for the Dead” by Barbara Copperthwaite, was published September 2015.  It is available in paperback or eBook.  Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US



After a devastating car crash wipes out her family, Laura struggles to get her life together. Grieving, she becomes forgetful. She doesn’t remember how money got into her purse, or buying that pint of milk…

Adam is the perfect boyfriend. He cooks meals. He does the housework. He looks after Laura’s every need. He knows everything about her.

But Laura has never met Adam. And she knows nothing about him.

What turned him into a monster who stalks his victims? How did he become warped from a sensitive boy who adored the fairy tales his gran read to him? And what is he trying to say with the bouquets he sends?

View original post 624 more words

‘Wonderful story-telling’ #Bookreview MOTHER @SELynesAuthor @Bookouture


‘Wonderful story-telling builds slowly to a crescendo’


Christopher would never hurt anyone. Not intentionally. Even after everything that’s happened I still believe that…

Christopher Harris is a lonely boy. A boy who has never fitted in to his family. Who has always felt something was missing from his life.

Until one day, when he discovers a suitcase in his family’s attic. Inside the suitcase is a letter. Inside the letter is a secret about his mother that changes everything.

What price would you pay for the perfect family?

Christopher finally has a chance at happiness. A happiness that he will do anything to protect…


With an opening scene that is full of action, fear, and tension, Mother then moves to a slower pace, transforming into a character-driven psychological thriller. And what characters! Each one is a clear individual, with their own fascinating little tics and tells. The author saves the best for the main character, though – Christopher is out of step with the world, and will stay with me for a long time. Is he misunderstood or creepy? Misfit or… TO READ IN FULL, CLICK HERE

Did YOU win my competition? Find out! #HerLastSecret #FlowersForTheDead #TheDarkestLies

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my competition across social media. The response was INCREDIBLE, and it was brilliant seeing so many people having fun – well, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, anyway 🙂
So, today is the day to announce who has got lucky! *drumroll*
The winners are…
SIGNED COPY of Her Last Secret and some chocolate to indulge in while reading:
The Writing Garnet (WordPress blog entry)
SIGNED COPY of The Darkest Lies and some chocolate to indulge in while reading:
Kerry Lee (Facebook entry)
Donna Moran (Facebook entry)
Nessa Stimson (Facebook entry)
SIGNED COPY of Flowers For The Dead and some chocolate to indulge in while reading:
Yvonnembee (WordPress blog entry)
AUDIO BOOK of Her Last Secret and some chocolate to indulge in while listening:
Shelley Pope (Facebook entry)
Pam Stillwell Gardner (Facebook entry)
Rosie Knight (Facebook entry)
Congratulations to all you lucky winners! Please contact me so that I can organise getting the prize to you 🙂
Thank you again to everyone for taking part x
[All entrants were included in a draw, and the winners chosen at random. In the event of a winner not coming forward for their prize by Monday 11 December, another winner will be chosen at random to take their place.]

An incredible hook #Bookreview THE SECRET MOTHER @ShaliniBoland @Bookouture


‘An incredible hook, it’s a real ‘what the heck?’ moment.’


‘Are you my mummy?’

Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises?


The opening scene of this book has an incredible hook, it’s a real ‘what the heck?’ moment. It’s skillfully written, and from that moment on I… TO READ IN FULL, CLICK HERE

DAY 12 GIVEAWAY: Editing your thoughts #amwriting #writerslife

It’s the final post in the giveaway, so today I’ll let you in on one of the biggest secrets in the writing business. It’s something authors don’t often talk about…

The amount of times we go over a manuscript.

For me, the first draft is written in a heady mix of euphoria at this amazing idea I’ve had, and fear that I’ve actually forgotten how to write a novel and will never make it to the end. After months of torture, plotting problems, and literally dreaming about the story, it’s done. Hurray! Time to celebrate with an eggnog and a couple of mince pies, before quickly going over the book and neatening it up. Right?


Wrong. The editing process is a long and winding road to reaching the final destination of a perfectly polished novel. Albert Einstein (or Benjamin Franklin, there seems to be a debate over this) once said that the definition of madness was to keep on doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome. In some ways, that’s what we authors do over and over and over.

First, I write the draft, a rough and ready affair, but at least the plot is down, I know it mostly works, and there’s now an ending (always handy). Once done, I go straight back up to the top of the manuscript, looking solely at the character threads on their own, to make sure their strands of the story make sense and are strong enough. I add in more sights, sounds, smells, and atmosphere. I check scenes are fully fleshed out, and that others are pared down. Characters are still revealing little secrets and traits about themselves, all of which are added. This is the magical moment when the novel moves from something flat to something rounded and real, which leaps from the page. This is when it comes to life.


Once done, I go straight back to the top and weave the strands together again, making sure it comes together as a whole. I find it really helpful at this stage to colour-code character sections. That way I can scroll through the entire document really quickly, looking purely at the colours and seeing if they are evenly distributed. Is there too much concentration of one character, for example, or has it been too long since one made an appearance. It sounds a bit bizarre, but I swear it helps, because it’s a way of ‘stepping back’ from the detail and being able to see at a glance the bigger picture of the book as a whole.

Once done, I go straight back to the top and add in chapters. I know, I know; this is weird. Most authors have the chapters from the beginning. Not me. When I’m writing the story I want to give it a chance to breath and flow, and don’t want to get bogged down. Picking out the chapters makes me really look hard at the pacing of the story as a whole. Is it moving fast enough? If I’m having trouble finding an interesting bit to place a break then it means the whole section may need reworking. After I’ve picked out the chapters, I rewrite the ending of each one slightly to tease the reader so that they keep on turning those pages rather than putting the books down.


Once done, I go straight to the top and go through every sentence, making sure I haven’t over-used a word or phrase throughout the book. I try to make the sentences tight but flowing. Some are there for action, short and punchy; some long and lyrical to add atmosphere. I am polishing my words, checking for mistakes, and getting everything just right so that the finished product is as close to perfect as it can be. The ex-journalist in me is obsessive about making sure timelines work, so this is also the stage I check and double-check that. Some authors use spreadsheets for this, but I’m an old-fashioned gal who simply writes everything down in a notebook, with dates at the top of the pages, and the storyline bullet-pointed in chronological order.

Once done, I go straight to the top and do a spell check of the document.

Once done, I go..oh, no, hang on, it’s finished! Thank goodness for that! Well, until I get structural changes from my editor, that is.


Having finished structural edits, the manuscript gets sent to my editor again. And returned to me in the form of line edits. After that are the copy edits, the proofreaders checks, and finals…

It may be maddeningly repetitious, but going over and over and over (and over) the novel is necessary. Each pass improves it. Think of a sculptor faced with a lump of wood. First, they might use a chisel to hew the rough shape, then a finer tool to pick out details, and then a coarse sandpaper to smooth the surface, before choosing a finer-grained sandpaper to go over it again, then an even finer sandpaper, until eventually the wood is glass-smooth to touch. That is what we are aiming for as writers – a novel so smooth that the reader has no idea of the effort that’s gone into it.


GIVEAWAY! How to enter

From 19 November until 30 November inclusive, my posts on this blog will contain a festive reference. Find it, and then either comment on the post or email Every person who answers correctly will be entered into a prize draw. The competition closes on Thursday 7 December. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on Friday 8 December.

So, can you find today’s Christmas reference in this post? Let me know!

What am I giving away?

ONE lucky winner will receive a SIGNED COPY of Her Last Secret and some chocolate to indulge in while reading.

THREE lucky winners will receive a SIGNED COPY of The Darkest Lies and some chocolate to indulge in while reading.

ONE lucky winner will receive a SIGNED COPY of Flowers For The Dead and some chocolate to indulge in while reading.

TWO lucky winners will receive an audio book of Her Last Secret and some chocolate to indulge in while listening.

ONE very lucky winner will have a CHARACTER NAMED AFTER THEM in my next book. *


As well as this competition, check out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and my website for more ways to enter over the next 12 days. You can enter as many times as you want!

* Please note that the character will have your name but will not be based in any way upon you or any person living or dead. They may be a good person or a bad person – they could even be a killer. So be prepared! The part they play may be large or small. Entry into the competition is taken as agreement to these conditions. Thank you.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑