Friday, August 19, 2016

HERE IT IS! The cover for Searching for a Silver Lining!

I have been impatiently waiting to share the cover of my new book, Searching for a Silver Lining, with you... And finally, I can reveal it!

Drumroll, please... Ta-daaah!

I adore it - and I hope you do, too. All the silver grey you see in the picture above will be gorgeous, sparkly silver foil - including the tiny stars. I can't wait to share my eighth novel with you! It will be published on 20th October 2016 and we're planning all kinds of exciting things around the time of the launch, so keep watching my website, twitter and Facebook for all the details.

You can pre-order Searching for a Silver Lining NOW in both paperback and ebook editions. Woo-hoo! xx

Friday, May 20, 2016

HERE IT IS! My Big Sparkly Book 8 News!

I have been waiting to share this with you for so long - and now the time has finally come!


My eighth novel will be called SEARCHING FOR A SILVER LINING and will be published by PanMacmillan on 20th October 2016! You can now preorder it here...

My eighth book baby! 

Here's the blurb:

Searching for a Silver Lining

It began with a promise…

Matilda Bell is left heartbroken when she falls out with her beloved grandfather just before he dies. Haunted by regret, she makes a promise that will soon change everything…

When spirited former singing star Reenie Silver enters her life, Mattie seizes the opportunity to make amends. Together, Mattie and Reenie embark on an incredible journey that will find lost friends, uncover secrets from the glamorous 1950s and put right a sixty-year wrong.

Touchingly funny, warm and life-affirming, this is a sparkling story of second chances. Searching for a Silver Lining will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.

So, there it is! I am beyond excited for you all to read this book - I have had the best time writing it and I know you're going to love vintage shop owner Mattie Bell and the wonderfully glamorous and outspoken Reenie Silver. The cover is being designed as we speak and I'll tell you lots more about the book in the coming weeks, so watch out for my vlogs coming soon.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts! xx

Friday, April 1, 2016

Writer Spotlight - Sarah Painter

On Coffee and Roses I like to bring you news of authors – both debut and established – who I think you’ll love. Today, I’m delighted to welcome the wonderful SARAH PAINTER into the Coffee and Roses Writer Spotlight…

Before writing books, Sarah Painter worked as a freelance magazine journalist, blogger and editor, combining this ‘career’ with amateur child-wrangling (AKA motherhood). Sarah’s debut, The Language of Spells, became a Kindle bestseller as did the follow-up, The Secrets of Ghosts. Today, she launches her new book, In The Light of What We See. Sarah also podcasts about writing (and interviews other authors and creative-types) at

Welcome to Coffee and Roses, Sarah! When did you first decide that you wanted to write?

For as long as I can remember. I wrote my first 'novel' aged eight and it featured a cat called Miracle. I can't recall much about the story (thankfully), but I do have very vivid memories of the pastel-coloured A4 paper on which I wrote it. Yes, my stationery obsession began young, too!

What interests you as a writer?

Oh, what a great question. I love the excuse to learn new things and to follow my curiosity, but what really interests me is a good story. I want to take readers to another world (even if that world is very like our own) and give them an escapist, almost-magical experience, in the way that so many books have done for me.

Do you have a typical writing day? If not, when is the best time to write for you?

I am a complete creature of habit and I like nothing better than keeping to my daily routine. I write in bed first thing (ideally, as soon as I wake up) then, once my kids have left for school, I relocate to my garden office and write until I've got my word count or it's nearly lunchtime. Then I go for a walk, have lunch, and spend the afternoon on marketing, my podcast, email, and obsessively checking my Amazon rankings.

What inspires you as a writer?

Good storytelling in whatever form (television and film as well as books) and interesting non-fiction. I suffer from many short-lived obsessions, which can be very handy for research, and I love reading memoirs.

What are the best things about being a writer?

Oh, pretty much everything. It is my absolute dream and I am thankful every single day. Some highlights include working in bed, reading as part of my job, and tax-deductible books! More seriously, the very best thing is having connections with readers. I have to pinch myself that people read my books, and every time I get a message from a reader it makes me happier than I could ever have thought possible.

And the worst?

Dealing with my own self-doubt on a daily basis, and worrying about letting readers down.

Tell me about your new novel, In The Light of What We See.

It's a dual narrative story set in a hospital in Brighton in both 1938 and the present day. The present day story follows Mina Morgan as she recovers from a bad car accident, slowly piecing together her shattered memories. The past strand features Grace Kemp, a young woman who has escaped her family and is training to be a nurse. Both women see things which others do not, so it's a mix of thriller, historical and mystery, with a touch of the supernatural. It's a story I wanted to write for a very long time, but I didn't feel that I was good enough to do it justice. Then I realised I was never going to feel good enough, so I ought to just get on with it.

You're the host and creator of the brilliant podcast, The Worried Writer. What inspired you to start it?

Thanks for your kind words, Miranda, and for being on the show! Although I always wanted to be an author, I spent many years too frightened to actually try. I was crippled by my own self-doubt and a terrible fear of failure, and I thought these things meant I couldn't be a writer. Over the years, I've developed strategies for getting the work done despite my worries, and I wanted to share my experience with others. I thought that if I could make one anxious writer feel less alone then it would be worth doing. The podcast has had an amazing response, though, with so many people getting in touch to say that they struggle with the same issues, and that it really helps to know that other writers – at all stages of their careers – feel the same way!

What are your top three tips for writers?

The usual suspects: Read lots, write lots, and don't give up. Oh, and 'apply chocolate as needed'.

Do you have a dream project you'd love to write?

I love listening to podcasts and the radio, so I'd love to try writing a radio play one day.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Just a big 'thank you' for having me on your site, and to all the readers, book bloggers and lovely authors in the writing community. Book people are the best!

Thanks so much to Sarah for such a wonderful interview! Her new book, In The Light of What We See is out today from Lake Union. You can hear her wonderful podcasts at, visit her website at, and follow her on Twitter @SarahRPainter.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Finding HOPE...

I've been trying to work out how to respond to recent events in the world and closer to home. I feel I should respond instead of simply being scared, which is how I felt last night. These are my thoughts...

I watched the news last night as MPs voted on Syrian air strikes and, like many people, I felt utterly devastated. Devastated that, once again, violence has been chosen to meet violence; fighting a war we haven't asked for for an unknown length of time with an unknown likelihood of victory. Whatever your views on the legality and rightful place of war against terrorism, it's difficult to watch events unfolding in the news with a great deal of optimism.

The overwhelming feeling I encountered following reactions I saw across social media was powerlessness. We have no power over organisations or individuals who walk into our workplaces, cities, neighbourhoods or social settings intent on taking lives. We have no power over our governments' responses - and certainly, it would seem, no power of influence over their actions. In a world so seemingly full of frightening things beyond our control, what can we do to make any kind of difference?

This is the conclusion I've come to: I am going to pursue HOPE, JOY and LOVE.

I can't change what happened in Paris, or Garissa, or anywhere else terrorists have targeted. But in my life, and in my actions that affect other people's lives, I can do something. I can pursue hope, joy and love. These are the things terrorists seek to target and destroy with fear. But the only way I can not allow them to win is to actively go after all the things they don't want me to have. So I intend to encourage and help people, celebrate life, choose positive words over negative, choose to be optimistic and most of all, do everything I can to not be scared of what might happen in this uncertain world.

It's a tiny personal stand from one life among a countless many. But I think it's the only way I'll feel I'm doing something to fight back in situations where I feel powerless. Peace lies in finding joy in terrifying times. I'd rather be doing something than just being scared. That's all.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lessons from Anna Browne: Write the book YOU want to write

I hesitated about whether to post this or not. But having spoken to so many writers during this year, both through WriteFoxy and via Twitter, I think this is something that could help fellow writers to follow their hearts...

I had the initial idea for A Parcel for Anna Browne about four years ago. Like many ideas it sat sparkling away on the sidelines of the books I was writing, trying to distract me when I had deadlines and waking me up in the middle of the night to whisper in my ear. I loved the idea. I even wrote the first chapter to see what it might look like. But I didn't propose it to my agent or publisher for one simple reason: I didn't think I could write it yet.

Writing is about taking risks when you're facing The Fear.

You would think, after writing six Sunday Times Bestselling novels that have sold almost 1 million copies worldwide (eek!) I would be completely confident in my writing. This couldn't be further from the truth! Every year I ask myself if I'm up to the challenge of writing another book and telling the story I'm dreaming of in the way I want to tell it.

What I found really comforting is that when I spoke to my writer friends it turns out that all of them regularly do battle with what has become commonly known as The Fear. Writers I admire, whose words flow onto the page beautifully, who tell stories that amaze, thrill and inspire me, have all at some time during the writing process of their incredible books doubted their ability to do their idea justice. What made the difference between those ideas remaining in the wings and being brought onto the page wasn't confidence, but courage.

So, after four years of hesitation, I decided to go for it.

Writing A Parcel for Anna Browne has been one of the scariest and most exciting experiences of my writing career - and I am so proud of the result. Writing the book has taught me to follow my gut instinct and tell the stories I'm dreaming of telling. Where I've felt my vocabulary is lacking, or encountered obstacles I'm not sure how to overcome, I've held on to the inescapable feeling that Anna's story is one I want to write.

So, this is what I've learned: if the idea has come to you, then you have everything you need to tell it. All you need is the courage to begin.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Oh wow - welcome to the world, Anna Browne!

So, I finally have a cover for my seventh book, A Parcel for Anna Browne. And I'm thrilled with it! Ahem... drumroll, please... TA-DAAAAAAH!
What I'm so happy about is that my book getting its cover is one step closer to it being shared with the world. And that makes me happy because this is a story I have wanted to tell for several years. Moving to my new publisher, Pan Macmillan felt like the right time to write Anna Browne's story - and I'm really proud of the book. I firmly believe it's my best yet and I can't wait to share it with everyone! Exciting times, lovelies! xx

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Writer Spotlight - Matt Dunn

On Coffee and Roses I like to bring you news of exciting authors who are either waiting to be published or published and worth checking out. This week, I have a real treat: welcoming one of my favourite authors, MATT DUNN, back for a chat.

Everyone should have a Matt Dunn shelf in their bookcase (or virtually on their e-reader). Quite simply, Matt is one of our funniest, most enjoyable romantic-comedy novelists, author of eight cracking novels including the much-loved A Day At The Office and his latest, What Might Have Been. So sit back, relax and enjoy this cracking interview with the man himself!

What interests you as a writer?

Relationships, primarily. And the words ‘what’ and ‘if’.

What inspired your latest book, What Might Have Been?

It’s a love triangle, and *shameful face* I was involved in one once. When I found out she had a(nother) boyfriend, even though I was crazy about her, I did what I thought was the decent thing and walked away. And a part of me (the novelist part of me, if my lovely wife is reading this) has always wondered (hypothetically, sweetheart, honest!) what might have been if I hadn’t.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Oh yes. At least, ever since I first laid eyes on Halle Berry.

Who would play Evan and Sarah in the film version of What Might Have Been?

Whoever the director wants to cast - I’ll be too busy choosing which Ferrari to buy myself with the option money. Seriously, I never picture actors/celebs when I write my characters – I try to make them normal, relatable people, and I know that my readers have their own (and sometimes, very different) ideas of who the main protagonists ‘are’ – as will the director - so I wouldn’t even want to suggest anyone. Though obviously if I’m on a percentage of box office receipts, I’d have to say Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Ferraris are expensive to run.

What do you love about writing romantic comedy?

The romance, and, er, the comedy. There’s something about crafting a good one-liner, or creating a funny scene, or writing about the awkwardness of relationships and the incompatibility of the sexes that’s hard to beat. And true love NEVER goes smoothly, of course, so there’s a lot of material out there.

Have you ever encountered prejudice being a male writer in what is often (wrongly) assumed to be a “female genre”?

Not at all, and in fact, I’ve been told by a few of my female readers that they like the male point-of-view I bring to the genre. In a crowded industry where it’s hard to stand out whatever you’re writing, I think it’s actually an advantage to be in the minority. Besides, there are a lot of male writers (Mike Gayle, David Nicholls, Jon Rance, Neal Doran, Nick Spalding, Graeme Simsion etc.) writing romantic comedy nowadays, so we’re not such a minority anymore!

Which part of the writing and publishing process do you like best?

When the royalties come in! Apart from that, I actually quite like the editing. For me, that’s where a book really comes together – especially when you can rework a scene and make it funnier, or give it some extra poignancy. Though there’s a downside to that too – there’s an old maxim that says something like ‘you never actually finish writing a book, you just decide to stop working on it’ – and usually that’s not our decision, but down to publishing deadlines (or to put it another way, our editors shouting ‘where’s the book?’ at us). If we didn’t have them, I’d still probably be tinkering with my first novel, not writing my ninth!

And which is the worst?

Sitting alone in front of your laptop, trembling softly, staring desperately at the ominously terrifying desolation of the blank page in front of you, while trying to ignore the deadline looming ominously into view...

If the X-Factor voiceover guy was to announce you, what would he say?

I don’t watch the X-Factor, but my twitter bio (I’m @mattdunnwrites) says something along the lines of ‘award-losing rom-com novelist’. That’ll probably still be the case when they’re writing my obituary, so I’ll go with that.

What are you working on now - and what would your dream writing project be?

I’m working on two things at the moment: One (which is my dream writing project) is the screenplay for my second novel, The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook, which I’m collaborating on with a real director (i.e. he’s already made several proper films which have been shown in cinemas and everything, and with the likes of Keira Nightly (sorry – Freudian slip – I meant Knightley) in them). I’m also writing my ninth novel - it’s called Home, and it’s about someone returning home to the jaded seaside town he spent the first eighteen years of his life desperate to escape from.

Thanks so much to Matt for popping back to Coffee and Roses! For a limited time, Matt's brilliant book, A Day At The Office, is only £1 on Kindle. You can read his guest post for Coffee and Roses about the book HERE.
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