Posted in Reader Offers, Writing

Introducing My Latest Book – and a New Mini-series

cover of The Natter of Knitters
The first in a fun new series of quick reads

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my latest book, The Natter of Knitters, a light-hearted story about a village knitting campaign that goes somewhat awry, with entertaining results.

Here’s how some early reviewers have described it so far:

“Top writing!” “Warm and witty”. “Heartwarming.” “Totally enjoyable and unputdownable.” “Can’t wait for more.”

New Series

The Natter of Knitters is the first in a new spin-off series from my Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries called Tales from Wendlebury Barrow. It features Sophie Sayers and many of the key players from my village mystery series, plus the usual intrigue, village gossip and humour, but without the murders! Each story will also introduce a new character from the village. This time, it’s Ariel Fey, an enigmatic loner new to the village who hopes to turn self-sufficient.

Each of the Tales will be a quick read, about a quarter as long as one of my novels. Technically speaking, that makes it a novelette or a short novella.

Why the Short Format?

cover of The Pride of Peacocks

The idea for this new series came to me last summer when I was writing The Pride of Peacocks, the short novella available exclusively to those who join my Readers’ Club mailing list. (Join here if you haven’t already done so and would like to claim your free ebook!) I really enjoyed writing it, and readers have also been enthusiastic.

More Fun Topics to Follow

The shorter format will allow me to cover many more topics in a shorter time-frame than if I saved every idea for a novel of its own. And I have plenty of ideas, inspired by things I see in real life all around me every day, here in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, where I’ve lived in a close-knit village for nearly thirty years.

Other topics that I’m storing up in my ideas book include:

  • wild birds and birds’ nests
  • a crash-landing of a hot-air balloon
  • a mysterious field full of poppies
  • a jigsaw puzzle race

One unifying factor will be that the title of each will be a collective noun, whether one that’s long-established, such as The Pride of Peacocks, or a whimsical one invented by me, as in The Natter of Knitters! (I am having fun!)

I will of course be continuing to write full-length novels as well. The sixth Sophie Sayers Village Mystery, Murder Your Darlings, is due out at the end of February, and I’m half-way through writing the second St Bride’s story, Secrets at St Bride’s, with a view to publishing in the early summer.

Ebook and Paperback

The Natter of Knitters – the baby of my book family

The Natter of Knitters is now available in ebook and paperback. Yes, paperback too! Although it’s much shorter than a novel, I know that a lot of my readers prefer paperbacks to ebooks, and I didn’t want to let them down.

So, inspired by the little books you often see by the till in high street bookshops, such as the Penguin 80 series, I decided to issue the Tales of Wendlebury Barrow in a similar format. The size of a picture postcard (6″ x 4″), they are adorably cute, and perfect for slipping into your pocket or handbag to read on the move. They also make great gift ideas, fitting neatly inside a birthday card.

How to Order Your Copy

  • Paperback: click here to order online. From March, you should also be able to order it via your local bookshop – just quote ISBN 9781911223511 to help them find it on their database.
    (If you have trouble sourcing a paperback, just send me a message and I’ll despatch one to you myself and take your payment online.)
  • Ebook: click here to place your order in your preferred ebook format, wherever you are in the world.

Now to Whet Your Appetite with the First Couple of Pages…

1 Flash Bang

A bomb in Wendlebury Barrow?

Clive Wren, the local paper’s photographer, could hardly believe his good fortune. For once he was in the right place at the right time to scoop a news story worthy of the front page. It made a welcome change from his usual tedious assignments, snapping endless staged presentations of giant cheques or forced line-ups of local sports teams, new school classes or old biddies celebrating significant birthdays and anniversaries. This was the closest he’d ever get to his dream of reporting from a war zone, and he was going to make the most of it.

Along with the rest of the crowd assembled around the village green, Clive had jumped at the sound of the explosion. Without missing a beat, he pressed and held down the shutter button to capture a series of photos a split second apart. Thus he recorded the passage of time as charcoal-black smoke emerged from the device hidden in an innocuous clump of grass in front of the old oak tree. Dark tendrils curled up among the branches and reached out to wrap tentacles around onlookers. And on the precise spot where the device had exploded, to everyone’s surprise, there emerged like a genie from a lamp—

But there was no time to gawp. Clive had better call it a wrap and scoot back to the office before any locals shared the photos they’d snapped on their phones, which, via social media, might reach his picture editor before he did. If he was quick, he’d just have time before his next shoot at Slate Green. He could gather the facts later.

AND FINALLY… Enter my Readers’ Club Prize Draw to Win Sophie’s Luxury Scarf

On 14th February, I’ll be holding a prize draw in which one lucky member of my Readers’ Club will win the scarf knitted by Sophie in The Natter of Knitters, in four beautiful floral blues, in a luxury mix of merino, cashmere and silk. If you’re not yet a member of my Readers’ Club, click here to sign up now, and I’ll add your name to the draw.

Join my Readers’ Club by 14th February for your chance to win the scarf that Sophie knits in The Natter of Knitters

 

Posted in Reader Offers, Writing

Join my Readers’ Club to Enter an Exclusive Prize Draw for Sophie Sayers’ Luxury Handknitted Scarf

In my first post of 2020, I’m pleased to invite you to enter an exclusive prize draw to win an item that features in my new novella!

photo of knitting wool and needles
Sophie chooses “a pleasing combination of forget-me-not, bluebell, cornflower and hyacinth, and stuck the needles through, skewering all four balls of yarn like a fluffy kebab”.

Happy New Year to you! To brighten up what can be a gloomy time of year in the English countryside where I live, I’ve decided to hold a prize draw to mark the launch of my imminent novella. The Natter of Knitters will be the first in my new Tales from Wendlebury Barrow series, featuring Sophie Sayers and friends, plus plenty of new and interesting characters. 

The Natter of Knitters is about a village yarnbombing event that goes wrong. The plan is to wrap a tree on the village green in handknitted scarves to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless, before the scarves are sent to an appropriate charity for distribution.

As always, Sophie finds herself volunteering to take part, despite not knowing how to knit. – but as as Carol blithely tells her, “Everyone can knit once they know how.”

From the basket in Carol’s shop, Sophie chooses wool in four floral shades of blue: forget-me-not, bluebell, cornflower and hyacinth.

Forget-me-nots are a recurring motif in the Sophie Sayers series. In her fourth adventure, Murder by the Book, her bookseller boyfriend Hector, secretly a romantic novelist, presents her on Valentine’s Day with a book called The Girl with Forget-me-Not Eyes – the colour of Sophie’s eyes, of course!

And the prize is…

The scarf Sophie knits in the story, handcrafted in a luxury mix of fine merino, silk and cashmere – see the “before” picture of the raw materials at the top of this post.

cover of The Pride of Peacocks
Download this free ebook when you join my Readers’ Club mailing list

If you’d like a chance to win the finished scarf, all you have to do is join my mailing list.  When you subscribe, you’ll also have the option to download a free ebook of another Sophie Sayers novella, The Pride of Peacocks. Current members of my list will also be included in the draw.

The draw will take place on 14th February 2020. Romantic? Moi?

The Natter of Knitters will be published on or before 14th February. (I’ll confirm the precise date shortly.)


A Valentine’s Day Mystery

cover of Murder by the Book
Sophie’s plans for Valentine’s Day are scuppered by a body down a well

In the meantime, if you fancy a topical read between now and then, the fourth Sophie Sayers Village Mystery, Murder by the Book,, runs from the beginning of January to Valentine’s Day, and is available as an ebook from Amazon and all other major ebook stores, and as a paperback either from Amazon or to order from your local neighbourhood bookshop (just quote ISBN 978-1911223269 and they’ll be able to order it in for you).

 

JOIN MY MAILING LIST HERE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN SOPHIE’S BEAUTIFUL SCARF