Posted in Personal life, Reading, Writing

All for One and One for All

In October I was invited to take part in some medical tests by the research organisation Biobank, for which I’m a longstanding volunteer. I’ve taken part in various tests for them over the years, most of which have been short and uninvasive, but my latest call-up was for a whole afternoon of full-body and brain scans.

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Posted in Personal life, Writing

A Place for Everyone

What if the new government were to pledge to provide for every community in the land a sturdy and spacious building in which the public might seek comfort at times of crisis?

What if these buildings were on a grand scale, with ample seating for visitors and plenty of space to wander about in?

What if each one was uniquely beautiful, built from local materials to blend in with their setting, and decorated with paintings, carvings, and fresh flowers to please the eye and lift the spirits?

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Posted in Writing

The Mystery of the Disappearing Books

A news round-up featuring my book publishing schedule from now until Spring 2023

If you’re currently trying to order any of my novels, you may be wondering why they’re proving tricky to find – or at least, my original editions. That’s because they’re all in the process of being relaunched by publishing houses to whom I’ve licensed the rights – ie I’ve signed contracts with trade publishing houses.

Over the last few weeks I’ve therefore been in the curious position of having to UNpublish my novels, which feels odd after spending the last five years publishing them! This has been necessary to make way for the new trade-published editions.

I am in the very fortunate position of now having not one but three publishers about to launch their own editions of my books, superseding my original self-published editions.

I also have a contract to write two new books a year, one in each of my series, for Boldwood Books.  Boldwood will be publishing an all-new third in my boarding school series in November, and the all-new eighth in my Sophie Sayers series in the spring.

Over the next six months, they’ll all reappear in beautiful new editions as paperbacks, ebooks, and audiobooks, plus there’ll be a new German translation of the first three books in the Sophie Sayers series.

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a summary of what’s happening with the my two series. All of them will be available worldwide, online and to order from wherever you usually like to buy your books and audiobooks.

You may still find the old editions for sale secondhand – there are a lot of them out in the world, so it’s inevitable they’ll still pop up now and again. I’m especially pleased when I see them in charity shops, knowing that they’re having a new life raising money for good causes.

But by the end of March 2023, they should all be reissued in their new editions – along with a new novel in both the Sophie Sayers and Gemma Lamb (St Bride’s) series.

I will still continue to self-publish other books in my back catalogue, for example the Tales from Wendlebury Barrow novellas, The Clutch of Eggs and The Natter of Knitters, and to self-publish any new books that don’t fit the lists of my new publishers or find homes elsewhere.

GEMMA LAMB COZY MYSTERIES (The series set at St Bride’s School)

cover of Dastardly Deeds at St Bride'sThe multi-award-winning Boldwood Books is launching new editions of both books previously published in my school series, with new jazzier titles and bright new covers hand-drawn by the wonderful Rachel Lawston. They’ve rebranded them as the Gemma Lamb Cozy Mysteries to focus on the central character, English-teacher-turned-amateur-sleuth Gemma Lamb.

The publication schedule for the Gemma Lamb ebooks, paperbacks and audiobooks is as follows:

  • 15th September 2022 Dastardly Deeds at St Bride’s (formerly Secrets at St Bride’s) – *out now*
  • 11th October 2022 Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s (formerly Stranger at St Bride’s)
  • 14th November 2022 Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s (all new – not previously published)
  • July 2023 – Book 4 – no title yet!

SOPHIE SAYERS VILLAGE MYSTERIES – Ebooks and paperbacks

The new editions of the first two Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries will be published on 1st November with bright new cover designs, to be revealed shortly. Unlike the Gemma Lamb stories, they’ll all be keeping their original titles, except the second one, which Boldwood have renamed Murder at the Vicarage. The publication schedule for the new editions of the ebooks and paperbacks is as follows:

  • 24th November 2022 – Best Murder in Show & Murder at the Vicarage
  • 15th December 2022 – Murder in the Manger & Murder by the Book
  • January 2023 Springtime for Murder & Murder Your Darlings
  • February 2023 Murder Lost & Found
  • March 2023 A Fling with Murder (working title – not previously published)

To receive news via email about my books from Boldwood Books, sign up for their Debbie Young newsletter here.

SOPHIE SAYERS VILLAGE MYSTERIES – Audiobooks

The launch of the new series of audiobooks is already under way by audiobook specialist Saga Egmont. They have created their own cover designs, and the first two are below.

cover of Best Murder in Show autdiobooks

audiobook cover of Best Murder in Show

The launch programme for the audiobooks of the first seven Sophie Sayers novels is as follows:

18th August 2022 Best Murder in Show – *out now*
15th September 2022 Murder at the Vicarage – *out now*
27th October 2022 Murder in the Manger
2nd January 2023 Murder by the Book
9th February 2023 Springtime for Murder
9th March 2023 Murder Your Darlings
6th April 2023 Murder Lost and Found

SOPHIE SAYERS VILLAGE MYSTERIES – German translation

Meanwhile German publisher DP Verlag has undertaken to translate the Sophie Sayers novels and to publish them in ebook and audiobook format. As you can see from the cover image, the title is completely different, of course, and I don’t yet know what the German language titles will be for books two and three, but here is the production schedule:

cover of first German Sophie Sayers novel25th August 2022 – Sophie Sayers #1 ebook – *out now*
27th October 2022 – Sophie Sayers #2 ebook
15th December 2022 – Sophie Sayers #3 ebook
July 2023 – Sophie Sayers #1 audiobook
October 2023 – Sophie Sayers #2 audiobook
November 2023 – Sophie Sayers #3 audiobook

I’m hoping that if sales in Germany go well (which so far they seem to be doing for the 1st book, which has been hovering around the top 1000 mark in the whole of Amazon’s German ebook store), that DP Verlag will also want to translate the rest of the series.


By the way, if you have borrowed any of the previous editions of these books under your Kindle Unlimited subscription, rest assured you may continue to read them at no extra cost.

Also, if you ever have any problems getting hold of copies of any of my books in your preferred format, just drop me a line via the contact form here, and I’ll do my best to rustle one up for you.

Onward and Upward

As you can imagine, all of this activity, plus my new contractual obligation to write two new novels a year, is keeping me very busy, which is why I haven’t had a chance to publish a new blog post here since 1st September – but I’m hoping to share my latest columns for the Tetbury Advertiser and Hawkesbury Parish News here, as usual, before the month is out.

In the meantime, as well as pressing on with writing Sophie Sayers #8 (halfway through so far and I’m having great fun!), I will now be updating my website to reflect the new editions as they come out. Plus of course I’ll be doing the many other things that are part of my writing life – running author talks as part of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival series (the next HULF Talk on 29th October will be about The World at War – book your tickets here), teaching my Simply Self-publish course for Jericho Writers (next course runs October-December), keeping my Little Free Library stocked up, and, of course, reading voraciously!

Posted in Writing

New School Year, New Start for my School Mystery Series

As the new academic year starts in my local village school, I’m getting ready for a fresh start for my cosy mystery series set in an eccentric English boarding school for girls.

Until now there have been two books in this comedy cosy mystery series, which readers have described as a cross between St Trinian’s and Malory Towers for grown-ups! These first two books were originally published under the titles Secrets at St Bride’s and Stranger at St Bride’s.

NEW TERM, NEW TITLES & COVERS

This autumn, the multi-award-winning Boldwood Books will be reissuing them with bright new covers and snappier titles as Dastardly Deeds at St Bride’s (on 15th September)…

…and Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s (on 11th October).

Then on 14th November, an all-new third instalment of the adventures of Gemma Lamb and friends will be launched, called Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s. The cover for that one is still under wraps, but I’ll share it with you as soon as I can.

TOP MARKS FOR COVER DESIGNER

If the style of the cover looks familiar, it’s because it’s the hand-drawn artwork of the wonderful book designer Rachel Lawston, who last year created the cover of my standalone romantic comedy novella, Mrs Morris Changes Lanes.

cover of Mrs Morris Changes Lanes

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Rachel comes up with for Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s!

While I wait for that cover reveal, I’m already dreaming up ideas for the fourth book in the series, which I’ll be starting to write very soon.

NEW PUBLISHER IS TOP OF THE CLASS

All of this series will be published on multiple platforms and in multiple formats by the energetic, expert team at Boldwood Books, including ebook, paperback, hardback and audio – so however you prefer to read, there’ll be a format to suit your preference.

You’ll be able to buy them online and from bookshops, and if you ever have any problems tracking down the one you’re after, just let me know and I’ll help you out.

MEANWHILE BACK IN WENDLEBURY BARROW…

In the meantime, I’m 15k words into my next novel, which will be the eighth Sophie Sayers adventure, set in the Cotswold village of Wendlebury Barrow. Its working title is A Fling with Murder, although that may well change by the time I’ve finished with it. The Fling is an allusion to its Scottish setting – Sophie is whisking Hector out of his comfort zone in the Cotswolds to take him to meet her parents in Inverness, a city I love very much. This series is also about to get a relaunch and to become available in multiple formats. More news on that soon…

Now back to my writing desk, my notebook and fountain pen… there’s homework to be done before I can have my tea! 

Debbie at writing desk with pen in hand
(Yes, I do write my books by hand with a fountain pen!)

BUYING LINKS FOR THE GEMMA LAMB SERIES

Dastardly Deeds at St Bride’s

🇬🇧 Amazon UK 🇺🇸 Amazon US

Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s 

🇬🇧 Amazon UK  🇺🇸 Amazon US