Kindle Daily Deal: Redemption Song

redemption song daily deal bigger buttonMy novel was selected for the Kindle Daily Deal and it is only 99p at this very moment. Tomorrow it will be back at full price. It’s been climbing the charts steadily all day and it has been amazing to see this. I’ll blog about the day in more detail soon, but for now I wanted to let you know that if you’ve not got a copy, now is the time! Accent Press, my lovely publisher, created splendid artwork for promo purposes and I put a few Canva images together myself. No prizes for guessing which are mine! Anyway, here’s a buy link:


Redemption Song Portybelle Little Bookness Lane.pdf Being Anne Reading



To like or not to like, that is the question


Me, the pleaser, smiling for the camera (of course)

Commonly, we like to like our fictional heroes and heroines, and within some genres it is considered literary suicide to have a lead that isn’t very nice. Before I completed Redemption Song, had I been asked, I would have said I prefer stories with a likable protagonist: I adore Lou in Me Before You, Annie and Kate in The Day We Disappeared.

However, once the first draft was down and I knuckled down to the real business of writing – rewriting – I realised that while I love Saffron, my lead, her behaviour isn’t always likable, especially at the novel’s opening. I pondered whether to increase her nice factor but in the end decided that readers must see her warts and all. She is a good person; she just doesn’t always present that way!

And I began to dig a little deeper into my own likes and dislikes. Were my favourite literary heroines all lovely? No, as it turned out … Katniss Everdeen, Lisbeth Salander, Emma Bovary, Emma Woodhouse, Becky Sharp, the list goes on. These are women I find fascinating, but always nice? Definitely not. The more I thought about it, the more I acknowledged my penchant for difficult characters, difficult female characters in particular. Why is this?

Novels with some of my favourite kick-ass heroines

Novels with some of my favourite kick-ass heroines

It stems, I believe, from a dream to be the rebel, the feisty girl who does as she pleases, who kicks ass, metaphorically if not literally. Like a great many women – more than men, I believe – from childhood I have been a ‘pleaser’. Pleasing others equals likability and acceptance, and if you need proof that girls seek approval more than boys, spend some time in a primary school classroom! As a girl, I would often set aside my desires and ambitions rather than risk upsetting others. As the years have passed, I have become better at not always being selfless, but I still find it extremely difficult to say no. This is why I enjoy those heroines who don’t give a damn what others think (some of the time), who are unafraid to pursue their desires, who behave badly sometimes, who forge a new path, who are unafraid of unpopularity. And the irony is that it is precisely these types of women who often become role models and national treasures. In real life I’m thinking of the likes of Caitlin Moran and Suzanne Moore.

An author I respect, Lionel Shriver, said some years ago: ‘Goodness is not only boring but downright annoying… When fiction works, readers can develop the same nuanced, conflicted relationships to characters that they have to their own friends and family.’

Hear, hear.

And now that Saffron from Redemption Song is out here in the world, I must turn my attention to Diana, the protagonist in my next novel, Skin Deep. A former model and an artist, she is beautiful, talented, messed-up, thoughtless, selfish and needy. Another challenge, in essence!

Have a lovely weekend, people,

Laura x

mothers dayredsong

From place to place

Today I’ve been guesting at Lynne Shelby‘s blog on her regular A Sense of Place slot. Of course, I talk about the setting in Redemption Song, my latest, but I also talk about the locations in my other novels and in the one that is still to come … scheduled for publication in March next year. Skin Deep probably has the most unusual location – a sink estate in Manchester that was demolished in the mid-90s, way before the story of Diana and Cal arrived in my head. Pop over and find out more … HERE.


A novel going for a song? 99p for Public Battles, Private Wars

publicb99p promoI’m not sure of the origins of the saying ‘going for a song’ but I like it. It’s something my grandma used to say and it has a cheerful, optimistic feel about it and why not? Throughout February my last novel, Public Battles, Private Wars, a story of friendship, love and overcoming adversity, is available for Kindle for just 99p.If you’re unfamiliar with my work and would like to give it a go, there’s little risk here.

And if you like it, you might like to follow the read with my latest, Redemption Song, hardly a rip-off at £2.99!


Last But Not Least: tour stop at Random Things Through my Letterbox

Blog tour listingsFINALIt’s the final day of the tour and I’m delighted to be over at Anne Cater’s wonderful Random Things Through my Letterbox. I have huge respect for Anne’s opinion about a book so was thrilled when she agreed to review Redemption Song and to host. Thank you, Anne. There’s also a #GIVEAWAY over there. What are you waiting for?!

Blog tour day 7: Location, location, location!

I’m on home turf for today’s guest blog – over at my publisher, Accent Press’s place, talking about the value of place, or setting if you prefer. Blog tour listingsFINAL

And here are a few shots of Llandudno, the inspiration behind my fictional town, Coed Mawr.

A dilapidated pier ballustrade

A dilapidated pier ballustrade

Beautiful Llandudno in north Wales

Beautiful Llandudno in north Wales

Blog Tour Day 4, with bestselling author Jenny Kane

Blog tour listingsFINALYup, it’s day 4 and I’m chatting with the super lovely Jenny Kane about some of my favourite characters. Jenny is one of those authors who is incredibly nice and so incredibly supportive of other authors, you want to give her a huge cuddle. Do pop in for a chat!