Publication day

Publication Day: A Diamond in the Snow

diamond-in-the-snowToday is the official publication day of my 82nd book for Mills & Boon, A Diamond in the Snow.

I loved writing this book. I wanted to do a country house book, and I so happened to visit a couple of country houses that were trimmed up for Christmas.

Hmm, I thought. I can do a house with a leaky roof that needs a fundraiser, and we can have a Christmas Fayre. A mashup between Downton Abbey and the Winter Wonderland in London.

Except then Blickling Hall was open during the winter and you could chat to the conservators. We talked about dry rot and death watch beetle (I was very tempted by that) and moths and the problem of sunlight. And we were in the Peter the Great Room (which had silk wall hangings) and it hit me. Regency Ballroom. Regency Christmas. The problem of managing humidity because damp can cause a lot of damage…

imageNow, my editor knows I love the whole thing about food in history; if I wasn’t a writer, I’d be a food historian or be teaching a course about food in literature. She knew she was going to have to rein me back a bit. But I had SUCH FUN planning a Regency ball. With the dancing (the waltz in Regency times was not the same as it is now), with the food (because the two rooms I always want to see in any country house or museum are the library and the kitchen – I already have facsimiles of early recipe books so I had a lot of fun on the research side) and with the costumes. And the furnishings. And a dog sneaked in. Humphrey the Labrador is actually a very different dog in disguise (see right for a sneak preview of the real thing doing his Undercover Secret Agent thing – if this was video rathe than still, and there was a canine translator, you’d hear ‘Psst, the password is porridge’).

I’ll leave this post with a card from my publisher: Happy Book Birthday!






Publication day

Happy 80th M&B pub day to me!


Thrilled to be celebrating publication day for Reunited at the the Altar, my EIGHTIETH book with Mills & Boon! It seems like yesterday when I got The Call, and the past almost 17 years have gone by in the blink of an eye.

This one’s set locally, on the North Norfolk coast – so obviously as Archie was part of my research team we had to visit the beach and try doggy ice cream (!!). I also dedicated the book to him. And here he is at Wells-Next-the-Sea – which appears in a mashup with some of my other favourite places as ‘Great Crowmell’.


If you like beaches, reunion romances, ancient churches, ice cream or pretty seaside towns, this one’s for you.

And because I wanted to do something a little bit different for the publicity, I’m taking the book on tour. Not on other people’s blogs, but in my home city and showcasing little bits that appear in the book. It’s going to be on Instagram (and therefore on Facebook), so do watch out for it. I might do a final roundup on here, too, just for fun. Enjoy!