Tag Archives: HarperCollins

My favourite books for 2018…

2018 is going to be a corker of a year for great stories. My next novel, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, publishes on 14th June, but for this post I’m wearing my reader hat. I’ve been really lucky to read some amazing books that will be published this year, so here are my Top 5 recommendations for 2018…

I’ve only included books I’ve actually read in this list, and will of course squeak about more as I read them, but these are my absolute favourites of what I’ve read so far:


Dark Pines

I loved every minute of this dark, twisty, Scandi-thriller. You’re right there in the bleak, claustrophobic town surrounded by dark forests, so much so that you can almost see clouds of your own breath in the wintry landscape as you read. Will’s writing is compelling and his lead character Tuva Moodyson is a star in waiting. Get in on this awesome series right at the beginning and prepare to be swept away! Published 4th January by Point Blank/Oneworld



Reading a Joanna Cannon book is like being welcomed into the most magical sweet shop and being invited to sample a treat from every jar. Her writing is delightful and evocative, with characters you can picture immediately. This book is warm, heartbreakingly honest but ultimately uplifting. 84-year-old Florence, whose story the book follows, will make you laugh, cry and want to hug her. There’s a mystery and a secret to uncover, too. Wonderful storytelling – a book to savour! Published 11th January by The Borough Press.


The Bonekeeper

As a big fan of Luca’s Murphy and Rossi series, I was chuffed to bits to be able to read his first standalone novel. And my life, what a book! Part horror, part crime-thriller, this story grabs you and won’t let go until the highly-charged, terrifying conclusion. Don’t read just before you go to sleep because this story will give you nightmares! I love Luca’s writing and this is his best book yet. Published 8th March by Simon & Schuster.


The Fear

This book had me gripped from beginning to end and is simply breathtaking. What I love about Cally’s writing is that she makes you side with characters you suspect you maybe shouldn’t be rooting for. I’ve read plenty of psychological thrillers over the last two years, but nothing as dark and multiple-twist-laden as this. It’s shocking, compelling and packed to the bindings with action. Masterful stuff! Published 22nd March by Avon/HarperCollins.


The Man I Think I Know

A sign of a really wonderful book for me is when I want to hug it at the end. With this book, I was pretty much hugging it from the start and rationing pages towards the end because I didn’t want it to finish. Mike’s writing is warm, honest, unflinching in its observation but most of all gloriously uplifting. The story of James and Danny’s friendship – and the redemptive power of trust and love – absolutely had me in its spell. It’s real, compelling, funny and completely stole my heart. This one is very special and my favourite book for 2018 so far. Published 19th April by Hodder & Stoughton.

Thanks so much to the wonderful authors and publishers (Point Blank/Oneworld; The Borough Press; Simon & Schuster; Avon/HarperCollins; and Hodder & Stoughton) for sending me advance copies of the above books.

Read my favourite books of 2017 HERE…

Which books are you looking forward to this year? Let me know by leaving a comment below, or tweet me @wurdsmyth. Thanks for reading! xx

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to YOU…

Apologies for the blatant Sinatra reference, but I was thinking of the opening lyric to this famous song today. 

What made the song play on repeat in my head today was a wonderful tweet I received. As you know, my seventh book, A Parcel for Anna Browne, launches on 24th September. The lovely lady who tweeted me said she had ordered the book and couldn’t wait to read it.

Fairy Tale of New YorkIt isn’t the first time I’ve received a tweet like this, but today it struck a chord. This year, it’s sixteen years since I first started to write what eventually became my first novel, Fairytale of New York. At the time I had no idea I was even writing a novel, let alone dare to dream that one day it might be published. It was just a story I started to write for fun – just for me – and I didn’t really expect anyone else to read it.

If someone had told me, in 1999, that people I haven’t even met would be ordering my books before they were published, I would never have believed them. 

Over the years, it’s gradually sunk in that I am a published author (although it still feels weird to see it written down like that!) and, since 2013, that I am a full-time published author. But with each new book I’m blessed to be able to release, I’m increasingly amazed when lovely readers tell me how excited they are to read my latest work.

I don’t ever want to take this for granted. Ever. Because I remember the years and years of dreaming about walking into a bookshop and seeing my books there. It’s a thrill I will never get used to.

In November last year, I was invited my my local Waterstones store in Merry Hill, Dudley, to sign copies of I’ll Take New York. When I went into the store, the display they had put together blew me away:


All my books, together, in one beautiful display.

I was a mess. I think I blubbed over everyone (apologies if you were there and faced the deluge!) What was so amazing was that my dream had come true, not just once, but six times over.

Here’s what I’m saying: this isn’t about me bragging about how many books I have in Waterstones – it’s about something I’d dreamed about, hoped for – but, if I’m honest never really thought would ever be possible – coming true. And, like Ol’ Blue Eyes himself sings, it can happen to you.

I know there will be writers reading this blog right now who feel they have been dreaming about being published for ever. Maybe you feel it’s never going to happen. I just want to encourage you to keep believing, keep dreaming – keep writing the stories that are burning in your heart. Don’t think it can’t happen. Because it happened to me – and there is nothing special about me. I just wrote the book I wanted to and I didn’t stop.

This year, I have seen three lovely friends who dreamed of being published finally being signed by publishers. There will be more, too, because as long as there are readers there will be stories that need to be told. Stories like yours.

It can happen to you. 

I think the only way to end this blog post is to let a certain silken-voiced crooner play us out. Take it away, Frankie…

Miranda Writes 30 – Do writers need agents?

All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, there’s another chance to #getinvolved with Book Seven and I talk about whether writers need agents…

Thank you so much for all your fab entries for last week’s #getinvolved challenge – I reveal the winner in this week’s vlog! I’m loving writing Book 7, even if it is currently in snatched hours between nappy changes and feeds… I’ve another chance for you to appear in the book this week, which I tell you all about in the vlog.

This week’ question is one I’m asked a great deal: do writers need agents? I’ve been on both sides of the fence – without an agent for my first two book deals and with an agent for my third – so hopefully I can shed some light on the pros and cons. The lovely lady who asked this week’s question is the wonderful Joanna Cannon, who is a phenomenal writer. Click here to visit her website and read some of her work.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer, ask me! Leave a comment below this post, email me at mirandawurdy@gmail.com or tweet me @wurdsmyth.

Enjoy! xx

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled:’The Invisible Chihuahua’

Miranda Writes 29 – Overcoming ‘The Fear’…

All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, I have another #getinvolved challenge for Book Seven and talk about facing The Fear as a writer…

I’m getting back to work after a few wonderful months of new-mum-hood and this week have been checking the page proofs for I’ll Take New York – which has been lovely and scary in equal measure. It made me think about The Fear – a phenomenon known only too well to writers. How do you keep writing when the doubts creep in? When the inspiration won’t come and you’re staring at a blank page? In this week’s vlog, I talk about how I tackle The Fear.

Talking of finding inspiration, have YOU booked your ticket for one of my WriteFoxy! Writers’ Inspiration Days in November and February yet? They’re going fast for both dates, so don’t miss your chance to be inspired, fired up and have your love of writing rekindled by an amazing line-up of speakers. All the details are HERE

So, here’s this week’s vlog – enjoy!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Si-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ing!’

Miranda Writes 28 – Meet Jake Steinmann

All this year I am vlogging about the writing and publishing of my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, I have another exclusive extract for you, plus your next chance to appear in Book 7!

Thank you all so much for your brilliant coffee shop suggestions for my first #getinvolved challenge. It was a tough decision, but I have a winner at last… and I’ll tell you who they are in the vlog!

I thought it was about time I introduced you to Jake Steinmann – Ed’s brother from Fairytale of New YorkI’ll Take New York is written from both his and Bea’s perspectives – I haven’t written anything from two points of view before but as soon as I began to write the book I felt that I wanted to take readers inside Jake’s head as well as Bea’s. Jake is travelling from his home in San Francisco back to his birth city of New York after his beautiful wife Jessica unexpectedly files for divorce. He is reeling from the revelation, having believed they had a perfect marriage, and chooses to return to New York to be close to his family and start his business again. It’s a painful decision, but to stay in San Francisco is unthinkable if he has to live there without Jess…

“He could stay in San Francisco, pretending that life was untouched by his wife’s decision to leave him. But he knew, deep down, that to stay in a city in which every street, sidewalk and brick seemed imprinted with her name would be the end of him. Better to nurse a broken heart on the other side of the country…”

The full extract is in the vlog – hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think…

M xx

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, “Ee by ‘eck, look at tha’ cap, lass…”


Miranda Writes 27 – YOU can appear in Book 7!

All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, as I start writing Book 7 again, I’m bringing back my #getinvolved challenges – giving you the chance to appear in the book…

Fancy influencing my next book? Well, this week I’m relaunching my #getinvolved campaign which could lead to your name and suggestion being included in Book 7! Those of you who have followed my vlogs for a while will know that I started this while writing Take A Look At Me Now – and I loved the suggestions that came out of the challenges, all of which shaped the story in ways I wasn’t expecting. In this week’s vlog, I’ll tell you the first challenge – but you only have until Friday 6th June to tweet, FB or email your suggestion to me. So get your thinking caps on and #getinvolved

Also this week, I answer your questions on which of my books is my favourite and what is the best way to get your book noticed and published.


p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘No Cheese, Gromit!’

Miranda Writes 26 – Plotting vs Pants-ing and New Mum Writing…

All this year, I am keeping a video diary about writing and publishing my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, I talk about plotting novels, dream film adaptations and my new life as a Writing Mum…

I’m so chuffed that many of you loved last week’s cheeky extract of I’ll Take New York – keep your eyes peeled for more sneak-peeks coming soon… In the meantime, I answer your questions on writing, including whether I can see my books as films, how much I plot my novels and how becoming a mum has changed my writing process. You might be surprised by my answer!

What would you like to know about writing, publishing, books or anything else? Leave me a comment below, tweet me your question on Twitter @wurdsmyth, post it on my Facebook page or email me at mirandawurdy@gmail.com.

Enjoy! xx

This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled: ‘Ooh, put that away!’

Miranda Writes 24 – Book deals, surprising characters and dream locations

All year I’m making vlogs to chart the life of my sixth novel, I’ll Take New York. This week, after my BIG NEWS has broken, I’ll tell you how I feel about the next three years and answer your great questions about books, writing and publishing.

How should you go about self-publishing and should you choose that option over a traditional route to publishing? Do my characters ever surprise me? And which locations would I like to write about? These fab questions are answered in the vlog. I hope you enjoy it!

Plus – watch out for MY NEW HAT! I thought it was about time I treated myself to a new hat as the last few vlogs have been in somewhat of a Hat Rut….

So what would you like to know about writing, books, publishing, hats or anything else? leave a comment under this post, or email me at: mirandawurdy@gmail.com or tweet me @wurdsmyth. I’d love to answer your questions!

Enjoy! xx

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Miranda Writes 20 – THE BIG TITLE REVEAL!

Drumroll please… I am SO excited to finally be able to share with you the title for Book 6 at last!

The book is actually all written and edited as I’m just over a week and a half away from welcoming Bump into the world and I can’t wait for you to read it. To celebrate the title reveal, I’ve made a little trailer vlog that gives you some sneaky details of what Book 6 is about. Hope you enjoy it – and let me know what you think! xx

Take A Look At Me Now – Five San Francisco Surprises

All this week, I’m posting tempting tidbits for my fifth novel, Take A Look At Me Now, which is published this Thursday (24th October). Today, find out five things about San Francisco that surprised me…

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1. How relentlessly positive everyone is… It takes a bit of getting used to, especially if you’re a typically cynical Brit. But I promise you, within a day you’ll be walking around with a great big loony grin on your face, just like Bob and I did. It’s amazing to be in a city where everyone believes anything is possible. It rubs off on you and you go home believing better things are on their way. That’s why San Francisco is the perfect place for Nell to rediscover her secret dream – and more determined to see it through when she returns to England.

2. How much music is a part of the city… It’s everywhere. In bars and restaurants, outside shops and on every street corner. Reggae, jazz, classical, rock, indie, blues – you name it, you’ll hear it. I loved that wherever Bob and I went we were surrounded by music.

3. How comparatively small the city is and easy to explore… Bob and I visited for six days and walked to most places from our hotel just up from Union Square. Minutes from there took us to Chinatown – which was like stepping into another world; take a right and you’re five minutes away from the Financial District with the famous TransAmerica Pyramid; five more minutes and we were at the Embarcadero, looking our across San Francisco Bay to the gorgeous Bay Bridge. When we weren’t walking, we were clinging to the side of wooden cable cars, riding the Muni trolley-buses and catching vintage trams on the F-Line along the shores of the San Francisco Bay.

4. How quickly you feel like a local… It takes a day or so to acclimatise, where everything from crossing the street to tipping in cafes and restaurants to the surprising automatic flushes of public toilets initially feels like you’ve landed on another planet. But then you suddenly realise you’ve been hopping on and off buses, buying things in shops and chatting with strangers as if you’ve lived in the city forever.

 5. How beautiful the Bay is… You know it’s going to be lovely. You’ve seen the pictures and heard people waxing lyrical about it. But when you’re there and you see it for real, it takes your breath away. At the end of every day we spent in San Francisco, somehow Bob and I always ended up gazing out across the Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge on the left, the dark shadow of Alcatraz Island in the middle and the Bay Bridge to the right. Magical!

Oh – and an extra bonus thing:

 6. That everywhere sells great coffee. Annie Legado (owner of Annie’s Dinner in Haight Ashbury – you’ll meet her in the book) would be proud:
‘Bottom line: there’s always coffee’

p.s You can pre-order Take A Look At Me Now at KoboKindleWaterstonesThe Book Depository and Amazon in both ebook and a truly stunning paperback (glitzy gold sparkles and a soft-touch cover!)