Thursday 31 August 2023

Cold Day Dawning - who is Antoni?

 Cold Day Dawning is out in the world and getting a great reaction – always a relief. I thought I’d share a little bit of my writing process and how I came to create one of the main characters Antoni Nowak.

Antoni was easy in a way as he had already appeared in a supporting role in the previous book Deep Waters. I make detailed notes and bios of all my characters, so I already knew his backstory. The challenge this time was to discover how his injuries in the last book had impacted upon him.

Antoni is a photographer who runs a gallery in the town centre with his brother Roger. He was left in a critical condition at the end of Deep Waters with serious injuries. When we meet him again, his physical wounds have healed but the mental scars have left a more lasting impact. He suffers from anxiety attacks, lack of appetite and has trouble sleeping, but he’s a survivor and is slowly rebuilding his life with support from his family and friends.

I found myself digging deep into my own past for this. I went through an event in 2012 that left me with PTSD for a several years afterwards. While my own experience was more psychological than physical, I was able to tap into that to address Antoni’s circumstances in this book.

I plan all of my stories and characters in project books. No modern software or folder structures for me – it’s all done on pen and paper. I use a lot of actors and models to give the physical features for the characters. Again, I’m very old school with this, printing and cutting out photos of people I like.

So Antoni already had a detailed bio and physical description from my Deep Waters story notes. For this book I had to update them with what he’d been through since and where he was right now.

When Antoni meets handsome Dalton Caine at a party, it seems like his life is about to take a turn for the better. But as they get to know each other and their relationship develops, Antoni and Dalton are plunged into a twisted mystery that put both their lives at risk.

I’m so proud of Cold Day Dawning and the character of Antoni. I enjoy romance and suspense in equal measures and feel I hit it just right in this book.


Monday 21 August 2023

Cold Day Dawning - Out Now

 Cold Day Dawning, the fourth book in my Jagged Shores series is out now. I love this book and am so happy it’s out in the world. The early reviews are all great and I’m sure readers are going to love it as much as the other novels in the series. The timing couldn’t be better because in the same week book 4 is published, I’m doing my final edit on book 5 before sending it off to my publisher. Like the books that have gone before, you can expect drama, danger, romance, suspense and hot sex. I love returning Nyemouth for each instalment: breathing in the sea air, walking along the cliff tops, enjoying all the great food in the bars and restaurants along the harbour. It will be a bittersweet moment when I leave the town and series behind, but I’m not quite there yet.

Cold Day Dawning is available in ebook and paperback and there are signed available in the online store.


It should be the perfect weekend away. Dalton Caine makes the long journey to Nyemouth to attend a party hosted by his sister. Catherine is estranged from most of the family, but Dalton feels the time has come to build bridges between them. Things don’t turn out how he wants when Catherine gives him a cold reception at the party, but the evening is not a complete waste of time when he meets local photographer Antoni.


Following a near fatal attack six months earlier, Antoni has struggled with his physical and mental recovery. Catherine’s party is the first time he had been out at night since and he’s ready for an early exit when he meets Dalton. The stranger is warm, friendly and incredibly handsome. When Antoni overcomes his reservations and accepts a drink at Dalton’s hotel, it could be the start of something new for both of them.


Despite the joy of fresh romance, things soon take a darker turn. The morning after the party, Catherine’s boyfriend reports her missing. Dalton isn’t initially concerned. Catherine has disappeared of her own will before and he’s more interested in getting to know Antoni, but the men soon find themselves at the centre of a twisted mystery, one that puts both of their lives in danger.


Cold Day Dawning is the fourth book in the Jagged Shores series and is set six months after book three Deep Waters. Although this can be read as a standalone romance, there are some characters who carry through and the books are best enjoyed in order.