Monday, December 31, 2018

To all the books I wrote this year... (2018 roundup)

In 2018, I wrote 214,592 words. :)

That's not a bad total word count for the year, but it's my lowest since 2012, and the six years since are in almost perfect negative correlation with the output of Beaten Track Publishing. That's an achievement, of course. I love my job. However, with that realisation comes the closest I'm getting to a New Year's resolution: in 2019, I'll spend less time on publishing and more on writing.

That brings my writing career total to 3,214,424 words (!), consisting of:

  • 25 novels
  • 12 novellas
  • 12 short stories
  • several works in progress

In case you missed any…with links…

Deb's books published in 2018


Edited to add: my favourites to write were The Great Village Bun Fight because it was so much fun to write a bit of nonsense humour (even though I didn't manage to ditch the politics entirely) and The Advent of Reason because it's the first time in three years or more where the story just flowed. I had a lot of fun writing that too!

Box Sets (Kindle/Kindle Unlimited):


If you read my stories...thank you very much. You are lovely.
If you don't...well, you're probably lovely too. ;)

To 2019! Onwards...
Deb x

Sunday, December 23, 2018

New Release: The Advent of Reason

20th December, 2018

A weekend in an ancient castle and a murder-mystery game that becomes all too real. It’s safe to say Josh’s plans for a romantic anniversary with George are not turning out the way he’d hoped.

In spite of his cynicism, and his promise not to embark on any more life-threatening pursuits for answers, when one of the guests turns up dead, Josh can’t help but put his talents to use to solve the murder.

The Advent of Reason is a (more or less) stand-alone 47,000-word novella-length character special in the Hiding Behind The Couch series.

Purchase Links
Beaten Track: Ebook • Paperback
Amazon: Ebook • Paperback
iBooksBarnes and NobleSmashwordsKoboGoogle Play

“Oh, God. That’s a long way down.” Josh backed away from the panoramic window fronting Gabby’s third-floor studio.

She laughed, but not at him, he didn’t think, and came to stand by his side. “You do realise you were this far up last night?”

“Ah, but I couldn’t see that, could I?”

“That makes a difference?”

“It did last night.” It wouldn’t now he knew. “So the solarium is in the east wing?”

“Correct. At the top of the other turret.”

“You have turrets?”

“We used to. The house was rebuilt in 1661 and again in 1863, after the east turret fell off.”

Josh gulped audibly.

“It’s all right,” Gabby comforted. “Architecturally, they’re towers now and go all the way to the ground.”

“Just as long as we don’t,” Josh muttered, although it wasn’t so bad if he stayed back from the windows, and the view was absolutely stunning. “Has this always been a studio?”

“Since the late 1700s, yes, but not in my lifetime—until now.”

“But—” Josh clamped his teeth together. He’d promised to behave himself this weekend.

“I’m an artist?” Gabby guessed. Josh nodded mutely. She sighed. “Let me finish up here, I’ll order some coffee and then we’ll talk.” She quickly typed into her phone and continued with what she’d been doing when he arrived: setting easels in a semicircle in front of the windows.

“Can I help?”

“Hmm…bring those over?” She pointed to a stack of Perspex paint palettes in the centre of the floor. Josh collected them and left one on each of the stools Gabby had placed in front of the easels.

“I’m sorry if I said the wrong thing,” Josh said, glancing up from what he was doing.

“You didn’t say anything.”

“I was going to.”

“Yes, and you’re right to question it, but there are things I’ve never told you about why my parents were so insistent I study law, or, should I say, were so against me becoming an artist.”

“Art therapy and creative art are entirely different animals,” Josh argued. Quite why he thought he needed to when he was talking to an art therapist…well, he didn’t need to.

“Indeed they are, and I do believe my father finally understands the distinction. But you know how it is. Superstition can override reason in the best of us.”

Josh didn’t agree; he wasn’t in the least superstitious, but he held his tongue, aware that such a statement was also a value judgement of Gabby’s admission, and he wanted neither to offend her nor jeopardise his chances of hearing what was sure to be a story full of the kind of intrigue he loved, as opposed to the awful pantomime this evening’s murder mystery would prove to be.

Monday, December 03, 2018

The Lost Mitten and the New Son-in-Law

So, I haven't blogged for a few weeks, and I'd like to blame my youngest daughter's wedding.

I'd like to, but I can't.

She and her new husband (who made me cry so many times on their happy day it's just untrue - I never used to be such a soft sh*te! And I mean happy tears) pretty much organised everything themselves. I say 'pretty much' because I know my eldest daughter as maid of honour worked her socks off putting the hen party together, and I'm guessing the best man did the same for the stag do.

Anyway, the short version: amazing day. The hotel was stunning. The food was awesome. The music was brilliant. Most importantly, the bride, groom and their entire wedding party were utterly gorgeous. I'm hoping she won't mind me sharing this photo as it's online already...

The littluns weren't that serious all day. :)

~ • ~ • ~

Also on the same day (and yes, I was told off for it), I released my first ever children's book - The Lost Mitten - under the pen name J.S. Morley. The reason I went with a pen name is that I've written some fairly adult stuff, and while I'm sure my adult readers will enjoy The Lost Mitten just as much as the children, that doesn't hold true in reverse.

My daughter (pictured) read the story to my eldest grandson (on the right):

Daughter: Who's on the cover?
Grandson: Me.

And, well, it's an awesome coincidence, but I think he's on to something!

The Lost Mitten is an illustrated classic-style children's story - suitable for children of all ages, and it's available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats.

~ • ~ • ~

I'm currently working on a novella/short novel I started writing for NaNoWriMo, which is a Christmas(sy) story featuring Josh and George from Hiding Behind The Couch. If I finish it in a timely fashion, I'll release it this Christmas. I think I've finally buffed the cover into shape too, so here it is:

I took part in a 'five things about your work-in-progress' tag thingy on Facebook and Twitter today, which might just have given me the basics for the blurb.

1. Josh and George at (almost) Christmastime
2. Thundersnow!
3. A castle
4. A cursed room
5. A murder mystery

I'll post about this again soon!

Thanks for reading,
Deb x

Saturday, November 17, 2018

My Dream Woman #Audiobook #PressRelease #UrbanFantasy #LGBTQ

My Dream Woman, written by C H Clepitt and Narrated by Natalie Husdan is available now as an audiobook.

When your dreams are real there’s nowhere to escape!

Andi is just holding it together. Working two jobs means she doesn’t need to rely on anyone, but doesn’t have much of a life. In her dreams, however, she is a hero: battling monsters and saving innocents. When her dream woman turns out to be very real, Andi’s life begins to spiral out of control.

Step into an exciting urban fantasy that will have you on the edge of your seat. Think The Book of Abisan, only sexier!

Author’s Note:
I loved writing My Dream Woman and was thrilled with the response it received from readers. Hearing it brought to life was absolutely amazing, and Natalie Husdan does a superb job - every single character sounds just as I imagined them. I could not be more pleased with the finished version.

Narrator’s Note:
My Dream Woman was so enjoyable to narrate because there were numerous different characters to voice and the writing switches continuously between the real world and the dream world of the main character Andi. The action scenes were fast-paced, exciting and frequently humorous, something I've not voiced before and I found the attraction and love story that grew between Andi and Dionne quite unique and moving. Anyone into romantic, action or fantasy fiction will enjoy My Dream Woman; it's a fluid read with a satisfying ending that leaves you wanting to read more in the series.

Find out more and Listen to a sample here:

My Review (eBook):
Brilliant. Gutted I only made it last three days. :( Delighted it's book one and book two came out this week [4th August, 2018]. :) The kind of story I wish I'd written. Perfect for TV (it would be an amazing series).

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - Murder at the Bingo Hall - Missing Mate

It's WIPpet Wednesday... :)

Brief Context
This is a first snippet from my NaNoWriMo WIP, Murder at the Bingo Hall, which is all Andrea's always. ;) This actually started out as her creation.

The story features Iris (George's mum) and her friend Pauline, who are both bingo regulars and also cleaners at the bingo hall. That's where this story begins.

WIPpet Maths for Wednesday 14th November, 2018
14 x 11 = 154 words

And the WIPpet Snippet:
There was nothing else for it; Iris finished the row of tables she was on, dumped the bag of rubbish and marched back upstairs to the foyer and pushed the toilet door open.

“Paul? You in there, love?”

No response was forthcoming, or none she heard. She cocked her head and listened.


Still not a peep. Iris released the door and set off for the main entrance, which was the only external exit Pauline could use without giving away that she was skiving.

“Oy, we’re a long way off done, you know,” Iris said as she stepped outside, catching her breath in the chilly air. The wind was bitter and blowing rain right in her face, making it hard to see, but not so hard she’d have missed Pauline had she been out there. Truth be told, no-one in their right mind would stay out there longer than need be. It was Baltic.

* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit:

Thanks for reading
Deb x

Monday, November 12, 2018

Review: Drumbeat by A.M. Leibowitz

I realised today that I still haven't reviewed Drumbeat, which is shocking. It's been out for... [goes to look...cough] a while. OK, September 1st, it was released, and it was a while before that when I read it, because I struck lucky and got to beta-read. I honestly don't know what the process is like for other beta-readers, but for me it's like getting books on super early pre-release AND getting the chance to talk about the characters and events with the author. A private fan convention, essentially. I love it!

Drumbeat is the third book in A.M. Leibowitz's Notes from Boston series, and I've got to say before I get into talking about the story itself, I love these covers so much. How much? I've got them up onscreen as I type. They're exactly right for the series and for each story.

The observant will notice the series title and the book titles are music-themed, and the characters are all somehow connected to the performing arts (as well as to each other). In Drumbeat, we meet (again) Jamie, who is...a drummer (badum-tish) and Cian who is a hot Irish-American bi guy. Um, I mean, he's a dancer. Yes, that's what I meant.

Now, my job and hobby are such that I've read a few romances over the years. Not hundreds, but enough to get the gist of a few common tropes, and you can forget about those straight off. No friends to lovers going on here (or not between Jamie and Cian, at least). No enemies to lovers either. More a fairly ambivalent tumble into something that is more meaningful because it's natural and necessary. The challenges Jamie and Cian face independently are not instantly fixed by them coming together. Instead, there is a commitment to each other that is more than 'we met, fell for each other, the end'. While romance is in the mix, there is friendship, understanding, compassion, learning to communicate, acceptance. They're not 'perfect' for each other, and there are many obstacles still to be surpassed when we leave their story behind, but there's a definite rightness to what they have.

And there's also Sage. Bloody Sage. I almost wish there was a reason why he's such a sh*t, because it might stop me wanting to smush his face in every time I think of him. (Or boil him in a pan? That could work...) I get the same feeling when I meet people like him in RL, which I guess says it all. A.M. Leibowitz has captured the essence of...Sageness brilliantly. Pity he's an asshole, though. Sage is a lovely name. Still, I suppose everyone deserves one redeeming feature.

Each NfB novel (so far) focuses on two (or more) key characters, but it's really an ensemble cast, and anyone who's read books one and two will recognise many familiar names - Trevor, Andre (sigh), Marlie, Mack, Nate, Izzy...amazing, diverse characters and relationships. It's refreshing to read books like these with actual LGBTQ+ characters. The settings will also be familiar - I have somewhere a sketch of the club that I made while reading. The place is so vivid in my mind, I'm there with the guys, in this instance mostly watching Cian and his dancers. Obviously. Obsessed? Nooo... [whistles nonchalantly]

I could go on all day, but I'll wind it up here by saying Drumbeat, like Anthem and Nightsong, is a stand-alone story, and the author has a knack for minimising spoilers, so you could just pick up Drumbeat and go back later for Anthem and Nightsong, because you surely will.

I've linked the books' titles to the publisher's pages, but here are some more links for where you can buy Drumbeat:

Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Kobo • iBooks

Monday, October 29, 2018

Sparkly Badgers Ghost Hunt #giveaway #books

Be brave and grab your torches - 
it's time for the Sparkly Badgers' Ghost Hunt!

Find all the ghosts, collect all the letters and submit the spooky phrase to enter the prize draw and win sweets and books.

Everyone who enters gets to choose a book prize but only one lucky hunter will go away with every eBook.

Good luck and happy ghost hunting!

For clues, visit the Facebook Event Page: