It’s official … I’m published

So it’s been an exciting week. My debut novel Summer at the Castle Cafe was published last Friday and I ticked off one of those lifelong ambitions you never quite believe will happen. I spent the day eating and drinking and received some lovely flowers, champagne and presents from friends (one of whom made me this amazing flowery cupcake stand). And my family made me this fabulous book cover bunting.


It almost felt like a birthday. As I’ve got another book out later this year, I’m thinking I’ll end up celebrating three times (that’s more birthdays than the Queen).

One of the most amazing thing about having a book published is the support from friends, family and complete strangers. The reviews for my book have made me well up. Here are a few taken from Amazon – you’ll be able to read the full reviews here:

***** ‘Summer Escapism and a great antidote to the real world’

Ain’t that the truth – and that’s one of the reasons why I love reading and writing romance so much!

***** ‘Donna’s writing reminded me somewhat of Holly Martin, it was classy and just a joy to read.’

Holly Martin is a very lovely fellow Bookouture author and this was such a massive compliment.

***** What an absolute cracker of a debut novel this is! Right from the first page I knew this book was something special. Summer at the Castle Cafe should be on everyone’s summer holiday reading list, it’s just perfect to read by the beach.

Ahhhh I do hope it makes it on a few summer holidays

***** This year fall in love with the castle cafe and its characters. If I could give this more than 5/5 I totally would. Perfect reading for chicklit and romance fans. Loved it.


***** ‘In a nutshell, a heartbreaking yet heartwarming read, with brilliant characters and a gorgeous location

Oh these compliments will never get old …

***** Yes, yes yes, this is the book I’ve been waiting for all year! I absolutely loved it.

Yes, yes , yes, I loved this review sooo much

Okay, I’m getting boring now, but honestly I could go on all day. It’s a bit like when we had the kids, Erren and Charlie and couldn’t stop taking photos of them, or starring at them in the cot and boasting about how gorgeous they were …  in all honesty, it’s really hard to stop (but I will).

The other fantastic thing that happened is I ended up on the homepage of Kobo as a New and Hot in Fiction and I reached number 48 on the iTunes chart and got into the top 400 on Amazon. It’s early days yet, but the last week has been a whirlwind of excitement and I’m determined to enjoy the ride for as long as I can….


A week of sunshine and images

So this week has been one of the hottest weeks in April on record – the flowers are out, along with smiley faces and it’s looking like a weekend of barbecues and wine on the decking

I’ve been smiling a lot too… I’ve just delivered book two – Christmas at the Castle Café – to my lovely editor Natasha Harding and she’s already emailed to say she’s loving it (phew).

I had some photographs taken so I could create myself an Amazon author page and I’m pretty pleased with the result.


AND a friend created this incredible gif for Summer at the Castle Café – it’s fun and frivolous and makes me feel really summery.

My son Charlie may be following in my friend’s artistic footsteps because he bought this picture home from school on Tuesday which I stuck to our fridge. I love it, but it keeps scaring the pants off me every time I try to get some food (which is bad for my nerves but good for the diet!).


Have a happy and sunny weekend all.
Love Donna x

Fame at last?

Welcome to my website and to my first blog post. I’ve got some exciting news to share.

Not only is my first ever book coming out on 11th May, but I’m also a contender for the Romantic Novelist Associations prestigious Joan Hessayon Award. Not sure I can take much more excitement!

I was very lucky that our local paper picked up the story and wanted to interview me on Tuesday after I finished work to find out more. I was less lucky that my teenage daughter Erren had picked up the Nori virus and had been up all Monday night with me by her side. Cue strong coffee and lots of it.

Considering how tired I was I think the interview turned out rather well and I’m very excited to share it with you, not only that it got picked up by Mix 96 (you can read the article here). I’ll be donning my best sparkly shoes in May and heading to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to see who’s won so watch this space to learn more.

Donna x

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