Sunday, 9 August 2020


 Hello my loves and huge and heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part in THE SECRET SEASIDE ESCAPE bookmark giveaway. I was absolutely overwhelmed that so many of you entered and have been very moved this morning as I've read through your comments. There are a couple of things to have come out of this giveaway and I'm delighted by both. 

Firstly, so many of you love the idea of a #swaintette get together and I'm over the moon about that! I promise, that as soon as life gets somewhere near to normal again, and it is safe for us to do so, I'll start planning. I love the thought of us eating cake in a cafe or raising a glass in a pub and can't wait to meet you all and swap book recommendations! 

Secondly, the overwhelming sense of togetherness that reading feel good fiction brings shines through in the comments you have left . So many of you said you'd give the bookmark to your mum or daughter and I love the thought of you all sharing books and talking about them, just like I do with my wonderful Mum. I haven't been able to see her since March and I'm missing her so much. I'm also incredibly proud of her as she works 12 hour shifts in a dementia care home and has hardly stopped throughout this whole crisis. She's definitely in line for some TLC.

So, on to the winners. I'm even more grateful for the random number generator this time around as I never would have been able to pick winners! If I had the resources, you all would all be getting bookmarks.

Massive congratulations to - 


Lianne 2707 (Insta @little_miss07)

Dee O'Donnell

If the three of you could send me your full names and postal addresses using the messaging services of any the social media platforms, then I'll get your bookmarks in the post. I'll be making one trip to the post office this week so apologies if it takes a few days.

Thank you again to everyone for taking part. I hope you are all safe and well and coping with the upturn in temperature. Roll on October and the launch of THE WINTER GARDEN! I can't wait to show you Nightingale Square at Christmas!

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful week.

H x

Saturday, 1 August 2020

The Secret Seaside Escape BOOKMARK giveaway!

I know it's only five minutes since I had my last GIVEAWAY but you were all so enthusiastic about it, I've decided to have another one. With no chance of any of the events I'd planned running this summer, I thought I'd organise a SECRET SEASIDE ESCAPE BOOKMARK exclusive giveaway so you can enjoy the season appropriate merch while the sun shines!

I had been planning to hand these out at signings and get togethers - I'm hoping to start running an annual #swainette meet-up somewhere in the country - but only if anyone fancies it, of course. Let me know if you'd be interested otherwise I'm going to look a bit sad on my lonesome in a pretty pub with a handful of bookmarks and stickers somewhere, aren't I?

Anyway, back to the bookmark GIVEAWAY. I have 6 available and I'm going to be sending them out in pairs. You'll receive one for you for you to keep and another for your BFF.

To be in with a chance of receiving a pair, all you have to do is tell me in the comments box below, who you'd give your extra bookmark to and why. And don't forget to let me know where to find you, otherwise if your name comes out of the hat I can't track you down!

If you follow the blog and share the giveaway on any social media platform that would be much appreciated too, but not essential to enter.

Closing date is August 8th and winners will be picked at random and announced the next day so I've got time to send the prizes out before the Great British summer is over!

UK only - sorry.


And don't forget to let me know your thoughts on that annual #swainette meet-up idea.

Much love

H x

Friday, 24 July 2020

Living the #amwriting Life - July

Now then, before you start telling me that I'm wishing my life away and that there's another week of JULY left, I haven't taken leave of my senses. I always write this round-up during the last weekend of the month and this is it.

But that said, where has July gone? Not all that much has happened either in my life or my #amwriting life, but it has sped by! Thankfully I've found it mentally less stressful and the cooler weather has been much appreciated, but what about work?

In terms of the word count, July has been a productive month and work on BOOK 12 is coming along a treat. I'm beginning to really feel the story now and the characters are coming to life, which is always a welcome moment!

The Winter Garden has been put to bed too. The proof pages arrived as a pdf because no one is in the office so I printed them out at home and then marked them up the changes on my laptop. I tried making the final read through on the screen but it just didn't feel right.

As well as working and writing hard - which probably accounts for the month whizzing by - I also launched The Secret Seaside Escape summer giveaway. Fingers crossed the prizes have arrived with the lucky winners now.

I welcomed Annette Hannah to my blog, read some fabulous proofs - you can always see what I'm reading featured on the right hand side of this post and generally got on with life in #lockdown.

I know we're technically not in it anymore, but for the time being I'm sticking to wide open spaces and a few socially distanced meet ups with friends.

And then, last but by no means least, this happened...

Away from my screen, it was gorgeous Sara-Jade Virtue who spotted not one, but two orange BESTSELLER flags cheerfully displayed on Amazon! The Secret Seaside Escape bagged a few flags thanks to the 99p Kindle Daily Deal and The Winter Garden is holding its own courtesy of the fabulous preorders you guys are making, so thank you all so much! Not a bad end to July, right?

Goodness knows what August has in store, but as long as it isn't searing heat, I'll be one happy author! 

Sending you all so much love 

H x

Tuesday, 21 July 2020


Just a quick post to let you know that THE SECRET SEASIDE ESCAPE is just 99p to download on Amazon today! I've no idea how long for so make the most of it my loves and happy reading! See you in Wynmouth!

Sunday, 19 July 2020

The Secret Seaside Escape summer giveaway winners!

Oh my goodness! I can't believe so many of you entered THE SECRET SEASIDE ESCAPE summer giveaway!

Thank you all SO much. I absolutely loved reading through your favourite coastal destinations and I now have a serious case of wanderlust.

I've used an online random number generator to help me pick the winners and here they are -

Winners of the signed paperback, bookmark and coaster



Winners of the bookmarks





Massive congratulations my loves!

If you could please all email me at

with your preferred postal address, I'll get your prizes in the post!

Thanks again everyone and keep your eyes peeled later in the year when I'll be running a festive themed giveaway featuring 

With love

H x

Thursday, 16 July 2020

The stuff of dreams! The Cherry Tree Cafe 5 year milestone!

Today is a HUGE milestone in my career as a published author and as you have all been so kind on social media with your comments, pics and memories, I thought it would be nice to mark the occasion and record some of mine in a blog post.

Five years ago today, I achieved the biggest and brightest professional ambition I had ever had - to become a published author.  THE CHERRY TREE CAFE had been submitted to the Books and The City #OneDay in 2014 and almost a year to the day it was published in e-book format. The cover looked a little different then, but not all that different to the version we know and love today.

I still have a copy of this original cover pinned up on my kitchen pin board and I still get butterflies every time I look at it. Opening the email attachment when it arrived was a heart stopping moment as I came face to face with someone else's interpretation of what the book should look like in picture format. Pip Watkins, the super talented designer had completely captured the very essence of what I was hoping for and she has continued to do so with every book I've written since.

Obviously, I didn't have a paperback copy to swoon over on publication day, but I did have the bunting we had created at S and S Towers, along with the cover in the kitchen and the screenshot downloaded on my e-reader. I can't deny that I felt like the bees knees that day and it makes me feel quite heady to think back and recapture that excitement. I still feel it every publication day of course, but not in quite the same way and I will always be grateful to the fabulous bloggers who championed me from the very first page, along with my family, readers and RNA friends who turned out to celebrate with me.

A lot has happened in my life during the last five year and I'm now working on Book 12, but none of it would have been possible if I hadn't plucked up the courage to press send and submit that manuscript to Sara-Jade Virtue and the fabulous Books and The City Team. 

And that's the real purpose of this post - to tell YOU that if you have a dream, no matter how big and far away it feels right now, keep striving to reach it. Seek out those opportunities, work hard, never give up and you'll find a way of achieving it.

I did, and there's nothing special or out of the ordinary about me. Go for it, don't be embarrassed, don't let lack of confidence hold you back, just give it your all and you'll get there!

With love and so much thanks for all your support

H xxx

Monday, 13 July 2020

Welcoming Annette Hannah to the blog!

Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome my dear friend and debut author, Annette Hannah to the blog to tell us all about her path to publication journey. Annette and I have been friends for years now and I am thrilled that she is here today celebrating the launch of her career as a published author. Congratulations on the release of Wedding Bells at the Signal Box Cafe, Annette!

My Very Own Book Angels – support and Inspiration from the booky world.

First of all, I’d just like to say how thrilled I am to be on Heidi’s blog as it’s always so pretty just like her gorgeous books. I’m not sure if Heidi knows how much she’s inspired me over the years so this is the perfect chance for me to tell her.

I’ve always been an avid reader and five years ago I was lucky enough to be chosen as part of #TeamMilly, a brilliant new concept involving one of my favourite authors, the lovely Milly Johnson. I was then invited to exciting events such as afternoon tea at the Grosvenor House Hotel and a Spring blogger evening at Simon and Schuster, organised by the amazing Sara-Jade Virtue.

I didn’t know anyone at the blogger event but was welcomed with open arms by the Books and the City team. I was beyond excited to meet the wonderful Milly, along with a fabulous line up of authors including, Jane Costello, Andy Jones, Iona Grey and Heidi Swain. Heidi was launching her first ever book, The Cherry Tree Café after having submitted to the Simon and Schuster #OneDay #DigitalOriginals. Heidi was so wonderfully down to earth and so encouraging to me when I told her that I’d always dreamt of writing a book too. I’d tried many years before when my children were little but never got past the first few chapters.

I have told both Milly Johnson and Sara-Jade Virtue many times that they have both helped to change my life as I hadn’t long lost my mum and because of them I became a part of this wonderful booky world that I never knew existed. It was something for me. I chatted to lots of lovely bloggers that night and was totally fascinated. When I got home and told my daughter about my adventure, she helped me to set up Sincerely Book Angels blog.

Nervously I wrote a review of one of Jane Costello’s books that was in the enormous goody bag we received. I shared it and was delighted to receive a reply from Jane to say that if her book hadn’t already gone to print, she would have quoted me. I couldn’t believe it and I’ve never looked back! I’ve since been quoted in so many books and have also had a couple of characters named after me thanks to Isabelle Broom and Carol Wyer.

I also met a lovely blogger and author that night called Vicki Bowles and we became firm friends, she told me about the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers Scheme which only had a limited capacity and included a manuscript critique.

A few months later I decided to enter the Simon & Schuster One Day submission which needed three thousand words, I was terrified but pushed myself to get them down, it was a fabulous once a year opportunity for un-agented writers to get noticed. Once it got to the deadline, I sent it in and relaxed before a voice in my head shouted, ‘But what if they like it and want more?’ This caused me to panic write another sixty-three thousand words in a month. Luckily for me they didn’t ask for them but that didn’t matter because I’d already fulfilled my lifetime ambition to write a book and that was such a wonderful achievement.

The next year I joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and I’ve been a member ever since and am now their Press Officer.  I’ve written a book a year ever since then and Heidi has continued to encourage me. It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch her soar and become a Sunday Times Bestseller, I remember when we had a petition to get the Cherry Tree Café to come out in paperback.

In April 2020 I was signed by the fabulous Orion Dash and many of the wonderful bloggers and authors I’ve met have become such special friends and have been so supportive to me, so I’d like to say a huge thank you to each and every one. I can’t help thinking that my mum has led me to this wonderful world which is the perfect fit for me, and I know she is so proud of me.

All about the book

Here comes the bride...

Lucy Woods has always dreamed of running her very own wedding venue. After moving her eight-year-old son to the countryside she's surprised to find the perfect location and her best friend, Abbie, eager to help make that dream a reality! Too bad Abbie's older brother Dominic isn't keen on Lucy or their big idea! 

As a divorce lawyer Dominic doesn't believe in love at first sight or wedding vows, he's seen them broken more times than he can count. But when Lucy arrives back in town, his hardened heart begins to crack. 

Making her dream come true is a huge undertaking, but Lucy knows that The Signal Box Café is her chance to finally make something of her life. If only the irritating (and oh-so-gorgeous) Dom didn't make her imagine wearing a white dress and walking down the aisle... 

Can Lucy and Dominic find a way to each other this summer or will the wedding bells chime for another couple?

Buy the book

Publication day - July 6th 2020

All about Annette

Annette Hannah is a Liver Bird who relocated to leafy Hertfordshire in the 80’s and now lives near a river with her husband, two of their three grown up children and a crazy black cocker spaniel. She writes Romantic comedies in settings inspired by the beautiful countryside around her and always with a nod to her hometown. As an avid reader she became a book blogger and eventually realised her dream to become an author in 2020.

She loves long walks along the river, travelling to far flung places, the odd glass of Pinot Blush and spending time with her friends and family.

Find Annette on social media

twitter @annettehannah