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Why I Nominated Read for Good to Benefit from a New Charity Anthology

This week, a post within a post, sharing my guest post about the children’s reading charity Read for Good, written as part of the marketing campaign for the new charity anthology, The Little Shop of Murders

Late last year, I was pleased to be invited, along with fourteen other cozy mystery authors, to contribute a story for the new charity anthology, The Little Shop of Murdersand I had great fun writing a new Sophie Sayers short story especially for this project.

When the book was launched in paperback and ebook on 1st April, it went straight into the bestsellers list on Amazon UK, and for some time enjoyed the top rank in the Fiction Anthologies category.

image of best seller flag for The Little Shop of Murders on Amazon

As part of the marketing campaign for the new book, I volunteered to write two guest posts as part of its “blog tour” – a virtual launch event in which the book is featured on a succession of different book blogs. I chose two subjects: the first was on why I nominated Read for Good as the UK charity to benefit from the project, and the other on why I chose to focus my story on the popular phenomenon of Little Free Libraries, in particular on those based in repurposed public telephone kiosks. 

The first of these has now been published on Dollycas’s blog, and the second is to follow shortly.

This week I’d like to share with you the first of these guest posts, my post about Read for Good, the charity for which I worked for three happy years, just before giving up “proper” jobs to focus on my writing.

Just click the link below to read my post. 

Special Guest – Debbie Young – Author of Nowhere to Hide in the The Little Shop of Murders Cozy Collection #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


On Monday, I returned the edited manuscript of the fourth Gemma Lamb cozy mystery to my publisher, Boldwood Books, who will be launching Artful Antics at St Bride’s on 29th July. Cover reveal to follow soon!

array of first three Gemma Lamb books
Gemma Lamb’s story so far… the first three in the series are now available in ebook, paperback, hardback, large print and audiobook!

In the meantime, I’m 15,000 words into the first draft of my next book, to be set in Cornwall – a standalone novel that will not be part of either the Gemma Lamb nor the Sophie Sayers series. The details are still under wraps at the moment, but I’ll share them when the project is nearing completion.

photo of view from cottage to the sea
Gwella, the cottage in Mousehoule that inspired my work-in-progress

On Tuesday 18th April, I’ll be starting to teach my third course for Jericho Writers – more news about that here –

Also on that day, one of my course alumni, S M Davies, will attend the Bookbrunch Selfies Awards ceremony in London, for which her debut self-published novel, The West Rises, has been shortlisted for this prestigious award, given for the best independently-published novels in the UK. (Two of my own novels have been shortlisted in previous years.) Read about the shortlist here.

Several other author friends, Jean Gill, Jane Davis and G D Harper, are also on the shortlist, so I have lots of people to root for! Although I now have three traditional publishing contracts, with Boldwood Books, Saga Egmont and D P Verlag, I continue to advocate for self-publishing as a valid and viable means for launching your books into the world.

advert graphic for Simply Self-publish course

On Wednesday 19th April, I’ll be visiting the London Book Fair so if you’re planning to be there, perhaps we can meet! Just let me know if you’re also visiting that day.

Debbie Young with Hugh Howey
With indie author superstar Hugh Howey at the London Book Fair 2014, just after he’d congratulated on my speech about the non-fiction book I’d co-written for the Alliance of Independent Authors

On Saturday, 22nd April, I’ll be chairing the next event in the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, a Festival of Words at our local parish church of St Mary’s, Hawkesbury, in the Cotswolds. Tickets are still available for the day-long series of talks and readings, although the lunch is already sold out, but picnics are welcome! To book your day ticket, visit Eventbrite here:

graphic for HULF Talk save the date notice

Once I’ve recovered from that little onslaught, I’ll start planning my next novel for Boldwood Books, Sophie Sayers’ ninth adventure, working title Driven to Murder, in which Sophie attempts to learn to drive, amid shady goings-on with the local bus service. This coincides with controversial changes to the real-life bus service in the Cotswold village where I’ve lived for over 30 years, so although, as ever, all my stories are completely fictitious, there’s no shortage of real-life inspiration around me!

image of covers of Sophie Sayers books 1-8
Sophie Sayers’ story so far…

official logo for Ring for the King campaignWriting aside, I’m looking forward to “ringing for the King” to mark the celebrations of the coronation of King Charles III – and I plan to write a mystery story set around a parish church bell tower before long!

photo of my great grandfather
My great-grandfather, who rang for a different King in 1911

Since posting last week on the topic of bell ringing (you can read that post here:, I’ve discovered that my great-grandfather rang for the King in 1911 – for the coronation of George V and Queen Mary! I’m thrilled to be continuing the family tradition. And now I must dash, because it’s bell ringing practice night!





English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

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