On Friday 23rd at 8pm I’ll be reading from The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall and doing a Q&A online with Octocon. The details are all here. Hope to see you all there.
The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall is out in the wild today and I am so delighted to see it finally published. This is very much the little book that could, one of those ones that at one point seemed destined to live in a drawer and never see the light of day. Originally conceived of as a YA book, it arrived at the wrong time for that particular market and it was only later, when discussing books wiht my wonderful agent and editor that I realised it would work so much better as an adult book. It required a total re-write of course, but we were locked down like the rest of the world. What else was I going to do?
Inspired by books of my childhood like Tom’s Midnight Garden and the Children of Green Knowe, with hints of Alan Garner, Susan Cooper and Diana Wynne Jones, this new adult version of Foxfield created two romances — Ellie and David in 1939, childhood sweethearts separated by war, unable to know if they would have a future at all, and in 2019 Megan and Nora, who seemed destined to be together. Not my first f/f couple but the most determined to be together.
It also meant I got to use my gorgeously creepy corn dollies as inspiration. Rural fantasy and horror drawing on folklore and ancient beliefs has always fascinated me. I wound it with a lifelong obsession with Arthurian legends because, why not? So Foxfield is a sum of many passions. I really hope you enjoy it.
In my usual, over excited way – It’s cover reaveal day!
I have to write a little note about this one because it is very much a book of the heart, and proof positive that writers should never give up on a book. This is the little book that could. I originally wrote a version of this as a YA, but now it’s all grown up. We couldn’t find a home for it when I first wrote it, but with a rewrite and some Bookouture magic, it has taken on a whole new life.
Coming on 26th March, The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall by Jessica Thorne and available for Pre-Order now…
September, 1939. The moon shines silver on the looming yew trees. Thinking of her fiancé, fighting for his life and country in the war, breaks Eleanor’s heart, but also gives her courage. She takes a deep breath, picks up her camera, and follows the dancing lights into the maze.
Present day. With her little brother Missing in Action, gardener Megan Taylor runs from her grief to take a job at Foxfield Hall – a centuries-old place full of myths and folklore – restoring the wild maze in the overgrown gardens. Throwing herself into shaping the tangled ivy, Megan soon becomes drawn into the mystery of Lady Eleanor Fairfax, the Hall’s most famous resident… the villagers say she disappeared without trace at the Harvest Festival in 1939, leaving behind a grieving father and a heartbroken fiancé.
Leafing through delicate old newspaper cuttings and gazing at an ornately framed portrait of the missing woman, Megan is full of questions. Although no body was ever found, could Eleanor have been murdered? Did she run away, unwilling to marry the man who loved her? Or, with her father working at the War Office, did Eleanor stumble upon a secret she shouldn’t have?
Then, one night under a full moon, a mesmerising light inexplicably draws her to the entrance of the maze. Megan is filled with a strange certainty that, if she follows it into the shadows, it will lead to the truth about Eleanor… but could Megan herself be the next occupant of Foxfield Hall to be lost forever?
A spellbinding, magical and addictive tale about the mysterious and ancient legends at the heart of the English countryside, and how to find those who are lost. Perfect for fans of Outlander, Susanna Kearsley and The Binding.
Exciting news as I have signed a new contract with Bookouture for a further two books. Both of these will be standalones and I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you.
The first book is out in March next year, with the second to follow in September.
They are both a little different and both stories that I have wanted to write for ages. Real books of the heart. Also the first, which I refer to as Foxfield, is a cautionary tale on never giving up on a book you love. I wrote a version of it a few years ago but the market was not there for it at the time. It was a young adult book, on the younger end of the age range. When I spoke to my lovely editor Ellen about it she saw the possibilities and the rewrite is underway as we speak, no longer young adult and with a darker, more adult tone.
It always pays to remember in publishing it only takes one yes, and some books take just that little bit longer, and perhaps a few adjustments, to find its place.
I’m so happy to be able to say that Foxfield is going to finally make its way out into the world in a new and even more exciting form.
I’m delighted to announce that I’ve signed a new deal with Bookouture to write more Jessica Thorne books.
The first novel, Mageborn, will publish in February 2020, followed by the second book in the series in May 2020.
Mageborn follows the story of Grace, an orphan who has been trained as an elite soldier to track down Mageborns – those who are born with forbidden magic – and destroy them if they don’t surrender their power to the Crown. But then Grace herself begins to show the first signs of magic. Only the mysterious Lord of Thorns, the castle recluse, can help her now…. if he doesn’t destroy her first.
But don’t worry, Anthaeus and The Queen’s Wing aren’t forgotten. I hope to be getting back to them as soon as I can as well. But ohhhhh I couldn’t pass up the chance to write epic fantasy romance…
In the meantime, as I’m on holidays, and to give you a taste of what’s in store, I spent today in a very Mageborn setting – the beautiful and inspirational medieval town of Locronan in Brittany.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
I hope everyone is having a brilliant day.
For some reason (*cough* Jessica Thorne *cough cough*) I had to put my republishing adventures aside for a little while there, but it’s that time again and I’ve been working away at the series A Tale of the Holtlands. This comprises the two novella’s The Wolf’s Sister and The Wolf’s Mate, which were previously published by Samhain Publishing, and The Wolf’s Destiny the novel length conclusion to the story. I’ve been repackaging and updating these and I’m delighted to reveal the cover for The Wolf’s Sister today.
The Wolf’s Sister ebook is up for pre-order (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com) and will be available on the 29th March along with a paperback version, with the other two following in the next couple of months.
The past catches up with everyone, and their past could tear them apart.
All Jeren thought of was escape from the ruler of River Holt, and his nefarious plans for her. Lost in the snowfields of the north, she is rescued by Shan, a warrior from an enemy race, and one thing is clear, she can never let him know who she is. What she doesn’t anticipate from this supposed savage
is his gentleness. She never expected love.
Shan is still grieving his murdered sister, and has no time for a girl used to courtly luxuries who hasn’t a hope of surviving in his harsh world. But slowly and surely, he begins to see the steel beneath her skin, and the beauty in her soul. Shan didn’t mean to fall in love with anyone, let alone a Holter. Jeren changes everything.
But the past has a way of catching up with everyone, and their past could tear them apart.
I’m absolutely delighted that The Stone’s Heart, the sequel to The Queen’s Wing by my alter-ego Jessica Thorne is out today. We’re back to Anthaeus, and this time the story is told not just by Bel, but also by Petra, her ever-faithful General of the Queen’s Guard.
But Petra has problems of her own. Not only is her ex, Bel’s brother Zander, on Anathaeus for the wedding, but also a delegation from the Empress, heading by the handsome, charming and enigmatic Lord Teel.
Something evil is gathering power in the kingdom. It knows the secrets in your heart, and nobody is safe…
Happy New Year to all. And here’s to a great reading and writing year, which begins for me very soon with the publication of The Stone’s Heart, by my alter-ego Jessica Thorne on the 19th February.
The Stone’s Heart is the sequel to The Queen’s Wing. As it follows on directly from the first book, some of the story is in Bel’s point of view and the rest is in that of her bodyguard and friend, Petra Kel’s. Petra was one of those characters that was just meant to be a bit part in the background. But Petra being Petra, refused to stay there. And why would she? She’s awesome.
Yes, I had a minor character who wouldn’t shut up and wanted to be heard. Shocking! (/sarcasm)
For those of you on Netgalley, The Stone’s Heart should be appearing there in just over a week. It’s also available for pre-order on Kindle.
Come back to Anthaeus for another adventure, reunite with old friends and meet some new ones and find out what Petra’s been hiding all this time. And what Zander got up to on Cuore (or some of it anyway).
Any thoughts on who else should feature in future books, I’d love to hear them.