Can You Help Launch #DistressSignals?

So today I have two questions for you: do you like free stuff and can you help me launch Distress Signals? (Imagine me now making this face.)

I’m looking for bloggers based in Ireland and the UK who might want me to:

  1. Do a Q&A
  2. Write a guest post
  3. Something else they can think of it because those are basically my two ideas

that they can then post on their blog or website on any date during the month of May. (Distress Signals is out May 5.) Everyone who participates will get their name scribbled down on a Post-It and all those Post-Its will go into a hat or other bowl-shaped object so I can pick one out, and the person I pick out will get a Distress Signals Reading Kit, pictured below.


This will include lots of lovely treats for you to enjoy while you read Distress Signals:

  • A bag of Bewley’s ground coffee because OBVIOUSLY
  • A Do Not Disturb sign so you can read in peace
  • A box of M&S Sea Salt Caramels (which I have taste-tasted, selflessly – they’re delish)
  • A Really Tiny Reading Light that will clip onto your copy of Distress Signals – and match it
  • Candles that will match it too (ooh)
  • A copy of Distress Signals, signed by me if you like
  • Postcards for… Well, I don’t know what. But you’ll get them too. And they match as well!

(NB: the copy of Distress Signals in the picture above is a bound proof, but the winner will receive a finished copy. Winners will be picked and the prize will be sent out during the month of May. The flowers you can see are for decoration; they’re not part of the prize. )

Update: Thank you to everyone who has already responded – wow! I see hours spent emailing in my immediate future… *makes more coffee* Just to clarify one thing though: it’s my publisher who is dealing with review copies and they already have that all under control. But if you can host a guest post, or you’d like to send me some interview questions, or if you have a regular series on your site that I could participate in – during May – please fill in the form below!

Update #2: Please stop apologising because your blog/website doesn’t have a million followers. I don’t mind and it certainly doesn’t matter! I will be tweeting links to all these features and listing them here on my blog, so if you feel like you don’t get much traffic, then this might be an opportunity to send some your way.

Don’t have a blog or website but really want to be in with a chance of winning a goody-bag? Don’t live in Ireland or the UK but really want to be in with a chance of winning a goody-bag? Then stick around!

Your Bag of Blue Stuff Day will come. Soon.

If you can help, fill in the form below and then sit back and relax because you did a nice thing which basically means you can take the rest of the day off.

No, really. You can. I say so.

Thank you and good luck! Find out more about Distress Signals here.

Book One/Two Episode 4: 3 Months To Go (What?!)

Welcome to the fourth instalment of Book One/Two! (Do you need to catch up? Click here for all Book One/Two posts.) Yeah, so… It’s been a while. I know, I know. But it’s just a reflection of what’s been happening since the last instalment of this back in November: nothing much.

I have some exciting news… but I can’t tell you it yet. And I’ve been putting together some fun stuff to mark the launch of Distress Signals… but I don’t want to spoil the surprise. And I don’t really want to talk about Book 2 until the first draft is actually finished, which it still isn’t because of college, life, Making a Murderer, etc. so there isn’t much to say about that either.

So what has been going on that I can actually put in this blog post? Let’s see…



I got a bit of a shock a couple of weeks back when I started pencilling in a “Distress Signals countdown” in my new Happy Planner (my Erin Condren days are over – it’s all about the discs now) and realised that publication day is just – wait for it – eleven weeks away. It’s eleven weeks from this coming Thursday, to be exact. That might not sound that soon, but the week after that it’ll be just ten weeks away. TEN WEEKS. What?! Bearing in mind that when I got my book deal, the publication date was fourteen months away. I wasn’t even able to say ‘My book will be out in June.’ I had to say ‘next June. As in, next year.’ (As it was at the time. It’s May now.) Where has the time gone? How can it be so soon? If you do two diets at once, do you lose twice as much? Asking for a friend whose book launch is in eleven weeks.

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Last we heard proof copies had arrived at Corvus HQ and been sent out, specially wrapped, to a select few. Now, writers I respect and admire are reading the book, which is utterly terrifying – but exciting too. (And two of the lovely and talented First Ladies of Irish Crime, Liz Nugent and Sinead Crowley, have been kind enough to (a) read Distress Signals and (b) let me tell you what they thought of it. Modesty prevents me from pasting their blurbs in here, but you can find them on the book’s page if you’re interested.)


Proper, final copies are about to go into production, which means I had to decide on things like a dedication, and I had to write my Acknowledgements. Acknowledgements are a tricky business, because you don’t want to offend anyone but at the same time, I believe they should be short and sweet and reserved for people who actually helped you write the book (or, in the case of your first published novel, helped you get to this point). With fiction, especially first person narratives (DS is mainly that), there’s also the issue of breaking the spell. The longer the list of thank-yous, the louder the writer seems to be shouting, ‘Hey, I know you’re feeling sad/angry/shocked about those guys, but don’t worry – I just made it all up!’ But… you want to thank everyone who needs thanking. It’s tricky to get the balance right.


Last week, Distress Signals popped up in The Bookseller‘s May fiction preview – with a cover image! ALL THE THRILLS. Especially since my cover scheme so perfectly matches theirs. I was also pleased they mentioned the cruise ship element in their succinct synopsis. In the wake of the “grip-lit” debate, I wrote about genres for Can we make “cruise-lit” a thing? Pretty please?


Speaking of cruise ships, are you watching Trapped, the new Scandi noir that’s come to BBC4 on Saturday nights? (I love a bit of Scandi noir on the BBC on a Saturday night. It feels like getting back together with an old boyfriend who isn’t one of the ones that’s as good as dead to you now. I’ve missed it.) The oddities of maritime law – in certain circumstances, it essentially ensures that there’s no police at sea – plays a major role in Distress Signals, and it did too in the first episode of Trapped. Part of a dismembered body is found in the wake of a passenger ferry pulling into port in Iceland, but the Icelandic authorities have to apply for a court order before they can search the Danish ship.


In other news, I can’t stop buying blue things. My latest acquisition are these lovely “flowers” from They’re made from things like wood-chip, denim and paper, and are incredibly Instagrammable. (Totally a word, I’m sure.)

Did you read my recent update on Goodreads giveaways? The experiment continues – a second one is now in progress for users with addresses in Ireland and the UK. You can enter the giveaway here.

Distress Signals is now available to pre-order in paperback and Kindle edition on You can also pre-order the print edition from The Book Depository, which offers free shipping worldwide with no minimum order. If you are a book blogger and you’d like to request a review copy, please email




How’s the second book going, you ask?


It’s okay. It’s going okay. But it’s taking longer than I thought it would, and now I just want this first draft to be finished so I can move onto the fun bit: Post-It noting and rewriting. Because of college and the stacks of reading I have to do for it, my writing schedule currently involves a lot of early mornings. Life’s call-time of a weekday is currently between five and six am. One night last week I went to bed at half-past nine. Half-past nine, people. That’s, like, practically the afternoon. But I’m almost there. I just hope my coffee machine manages to stay the course because now would be the worst time for my Nespresso  to wear out its circuit board for a second time… (Touch wood. And by wood I mean the tin in which I keep my Arpeggio capsules.)



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