Barbara Copperthwaite



February 2017

“Palpable tension” #bookreview TRY NOT TO BREATHE, by Holly Seddon @hollyseddon @corvusbooks


“Palpable tension & touchingly heart-breaking moments”


Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands. 

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…


I started Try Not To Breathe, by Holly Seddon, as an audiobook, and got into it so much that I couldn’t wait for it to finish and had to buy the book on Kindle, so keen was I to whizz to the end. That says a lot about the storyline, doesn’t it!

Troubled characters all with very different problems and personalities mix together as past and present collide in this novel… TO READ IN FULL, CLICK HERE


WEEKLY ROUND UP: The beginning of the end



It’s been another busy week of flying fingers!

I put aside my current manuscript so that I could concentrate on the structural edits for the first book that will be published by the fabulous Bookouture. Luckily, there was nothing too scary involved, but it’s another step in the process of smoothing a novel and improving it so that it is in the best possible condition when it is sent out into the big wide world. Eek!

It felt a bit of a marathon, and involved pulling some long days (and nights!) but it all got done, and on Wednesday afternoon I sent it off to my agent and my editor with a deep sense of satisfaction of a job (hopefully) well done.

Then my editor let me know some very exciting news – she gave me the title of the novel! It’s a strange feeling not being in control of the title, as it’s been in my head as one thing for a very long time. But now, Bookouture have come up with a new title; one that is punchy and atmospheric. And I hope you will forgive me because…I can’t tell you what it is yet!


On Thursday morning, I dived straight back into my second Bookouture book. I’m due to deliver my draft on Friday, so it will be another long week ahead, but the end is in sight!

  • If you want to know more about Bookouture, the submissions process, or the world of publishing, then do check out this interview with my editor Keshini. She chats on Two Crime Writers and a Microphone, a weekly podcast.

PhotoFiction: Jane Cable’s #writing inspirations @JaneCable @EndeavourPress #authorinterview


Authors reveal the images that inspired 100,000 words

THIS WEEK: Jane Cable

Jane Cable is a writer of romantic novels with a twist of mystery. Her first, The Cheesemaker’s HouOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAse, was a finalist in the Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition and won the Words for the Wounded Independent Novel Award in 2015. She is a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Her passions includ
e bodyboarding and watching cricket, although clearly not at the same time.

Find out more at Jane’s website: or follow her on Twitter @JaneCable

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JANE SAYS: My latest novel, Another You, is set in Studland Bay in Dorset. It tells the story of Marie Johnson who is trapped by her job as a chef in the local pub and by her increasingly poisonous marriage to its landlord. Worn down by his string of affairs she has no self-confidence, no self-respect and the only thing that keeps her going is watching her son turn into a talented artist.

But the sixtieth anniversary of a D-Day exercise which ended in disaster triggers chance meetings which prove unlikely catalysts for change as Marie discovers that sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself.

Oddly enough Another You began with an old boat called Turbot which a friend and I spotted floating forlornly just off the shore on a visit to Studland. We swam around it and back on the beach started to make up stories about who it belonged to and why it looked so abandoned. TO READ THE INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE

“Subtle & emotional” #bookreview DARE TO REMEMBER, by Susanna Beard @Legend_Press @SusannaBeard25


“The perfect read to while away a wet, windy & thoroughly miserable day”


Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her best friend dead and her badly injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.

However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night?

As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along.

A clever, sophisticated, psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, S.J. Watson, B A Paris and Sophie Hannah


Dare to Remember is a slow-burner, with author Susannah Beard unspooling the story at just the right pace to keep interest and intrigue. I needed to discover the truth of what had happened that night, just as much as Lisa did… TO READ MORE, CLICK HERE

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“Twisted & knotted plot” My #bookreview of WATCH ME, by Angela Clarke @TheAngelaClarke #crimefiction


“The plot is more twisted & knotted than a ball of string after the cat’s been at it”



The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.



The Social Media Murders series is a bright, fresh idea that is totally modern – and really terrifying. It kick-started with Follow Me, and this second instalment, Watch Me, is even better.

This time the plot concentrates on ‘revenge porn’. Investigating are Freddie, a former journalist who is a whizz with social media, and Nas, an ambitious detective sergeant. Freddie is chaotic and emotional, ruled by her heart rather than her head. She is perfectly complemented by Nas, who is all about the head and following rules – no matter what the personal cost… TO READ IN FULL, CLICK HERE

WEEKLY ROUND UP: Breathing life into words #amwriting #crimefiction #WIPjoy


This is the magical moment when the novel moves from something flat to something rounded and real which leaps from the page.

What have I been up to this week? I’ll be honest: writing, writing, more writing.

At 5.30am I’ve been writing. At 10pm I’ve been writing. I’ve even woken up at 2am, and take a wild guess at what I did?

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that I liken writing to playing Frankenstein, where the work is a body. Right now, I have the skeleton and muscles in place. It looks strong and everything works.

But there is still something missing.

I’ve got to add the skin and hair. Those little touches that make the story a thing of beauty as well as something that simply works. So how do I do that? Well, it involves all those little details: sights, smells, textures, atmosphere, and the like. I am literally fleshing out my tale. 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.

PhotoFiction: Kirsty Ferry’s #writing inspirations @kirsty_ferry @ChocLituk #authorinterview #RomanceWeek


Authors reveal the images that inspired 100,000 words

THIS WEEK: Kirsty Ferry

kirsty-ferry-picKirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and writes for award-winning romance publishers Choc Lit. She has also published other novels with a North East flavour, and written a dark, Gothic fairy-tale under the name of Cathryn Ramsay. Kirsty has had short stories and articles published in magazines such as The Weekly News, Peoples Friend and It’s Fate. Her day-job is based in a converted Georgian terrace; a building with its own eclectic collection of ghosts. This often makes for an interesting working environment.


BLOOD TYPE: David Young @djy_writer @BonnierZaffre #amwriting #writingtips


CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every Thursday top-notch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.

“Cast against type – to try to avoid stereotypical characters.”

This week: DAVID YOUNG

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For most of my working life I was a journalist, starting as a reporter on weekly and daily local and regional newspapers and then for more than 25 years as a news editor for BBC World radio and TV. But by the end I was desperate to escape, and doing the City University London Crime Fiction MA led to Stasi Child, a three-book deal and – with the help of redundancy from the BBC – a full-time writing career. Stasi Child was reasonably successful commercially, and is also the current CWA Endeavour historical crime novel of the year, so it’s been an exciting time. My second novel Stasi Wolf – set a few months later comes out in today, 9 February 2017, and I’ve just signed a new three-book deal.

How do you go about plotting your book?

I am very much a plotter rather than seat-of-pants writer. I tend to start with an overall idea, then develop it into a flow diagram of possible plot development. From there, I’ll work up a plan for around… TO READ THE INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE

“Beautifully written” My #bookreview of THE MOUNTAIN IN MY SHOE, by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks


“A gentle tale of great subtlety”


A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself. On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all. Exquisitely written and deeply touching, The Mountain in My Shoe is both a gripping psychological thriller and a powerful and emotive examination of the meaning of family … and just how far we’re willing to go for the people we love


Beautifully written, uplifting, tense, and incredibly moving, The Mountain In My Shoe is a gentle tale of great subtlety.

Bernadette’s loneliness is palpable, and her husband casts a shadow over the entire book. But the star of the novel is Conor.

I defy anyone not to fall in love with Conor and want to adopt him themselves… TO READ THE REVIEW IN FULL, PLEASE CLICK HERE

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