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Update: The rest of the Blackthorn series has been signed!

Blackthorn and Bookouture are Celebrating :)

Today, is the second anniversary of both the launch of my first Blackthorn novel, Blood Shadows, and also the launch of its fantastic publisher, Bookouture.

 Above: Happy 2nd Birthday, Blackthorn! What a 2 years it has been!!

Bookouture are currently celebrating with cake and bubbles, and rightly so! Since signing me, they have gone on to acquire many exceptional authors – both debut and established. Bookouture have had eight Amazon top 100 hits in the UK, three in the US, two in Canada and even one in France. They’ve sold hundreds of thousands of eBooks – and quite a few paperbacks, too! This week alone, they have three books in the Amazon UK top 100!

From being a one-man-band consisting of its Founder and Managing Director, Oliver Rhodes, Bookouture has expanded its publishing team too. Claire Bord, formerly of Avon (HarperCollins), became Bookouture’s Publishing Director with the aim of developing and expanding their publishing programme. As part of that, Keshini Naidoo (previously having worked with eBook bestsellers, also at Avon) joined the team as Senior Commissioning Editor with a focus on crime and thriller titles. To keep up with increased demand, the super-supportive Kim Nash joined as Bookouture’s Publicity Manager. Bookouture also linked up with the Lorella Belli Literary Agency who has since sold rights in France, Germany, Norway, Italy, Turkey, India and the Middle East, as well as doing deals for audio rights.

It’s amazing how far Bookouture have come, and I am immensely proud to have been there from the beginning. Bookouture has undoubtedly been the best thing to happen to Blackthorn. It might be a small, independent publisher, but darn they’re exceptional at what they do (proof above)! With ‘Big 5’ experience within a dedicated, hard-working, author-centric team of professionals, it’s no wonder that, along with the success of their books, Bookouture continues to be so highly praised by its authors.

As for me, it’s hard to believe that it was two years ago that I held a copy of my book for the first time; that I was a bag of nerves waiting to see what PNR reviewers, let alone readers, would make of my debut, Blood Shadows.

 Above: A sample of reviews from the launch of Blackthorn, Nov 2012

Thankfully, many bloggers and reviewers embraced Blackthorn – and so did many more readers. If you’re reading this now, you’re likely to be one of those very readers who, like Bookouture, decided to take a punt on a new PNR series. You’re probably part of the reason why, through your reviews, ratings or word-of-mouth recommendations, the rest of the series has been signed. Thank you. Because being signed by a terrific publisher may be one of the best things to happen to an author, but so are great supporters. I have the privilege of having some of the best. :-)

So before I leave you with the trailer that kicked the series off two years ago (which includes the original cover before the rebrand), I can’t do so without first wishing all my U.S. followers a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

The Rest of Blackthorn is Signed!

I’m uber-thrilled to be able to share that the rest of the Blackthorn series has officially been signed! I’m just as thrilled to be able to announce that Blackthorn will remain with its original publisher, Bookouture.

Having been inundated with queries as to how many more books there will be, I can now reveal that Blackthorn will consist of eight books in total – that means there are four more to come! 

Above: We’re halfway there… spot the “unintentional” giveaway clue on the spine of the books. 

It feels like a long time since I shared Bookouture’s interest in the rest of the series. Before signing a contract though, there’s a lot to take into account. Firstly, I needed to make a final decision as to how many books there would be (the final book could have been broken into two parts, but we opted for an epic finale). I also needed to think carefully about the timescales for when I could deliver those books. Most of you will know that, like most authors, writing isn’t my only job. So when Bookouture offered me a contract for the rest of the series, I had a huge decision to make. Six weeks ago, I resolved to step out of teaching for a while and focus fully on finishing writing Blackthorn. So, as of 2015, I will be a full-time author for the first time ever – and Blackthorn will be receiving my undivided attention all the way through to its conclusion.

Blackthorn has certainly come a long way since its inception back in 1996 when, having just moved to a big city hundreds of miles from all I knew, I got lost on my way home one night. I then spent fourteen years dipping in and out of developing the series amidst working on other writing projects and teaching full time. Back in 2010, I finally bit the bullet and entered the opening chapter of Blood Roses into the international online romance writing competition, ‘New Voices’. Although up against thousands of entries, a combination of editors’ decisions and reader votes saw Blood Roses through to the final. A year later, Blackthorn made it to the final again – this time with Blood Shadows.

For those who don’t know, it was Blackthorn’s success in that competition that brought me to the attention of Bookouture. I’d just started submissions when, out of the blue, they got in touch. A three-book deal soon followed. Just over a year later, back in January, they signed Blood Deep. Blackthorn has gone on to sell tens of thousands of copies, with new readers finding the books every day. It doesn’t mean I’ve ever taken the signing of the rest of the series for granted though. That’s why it still felt momentous signing the last of the books over.

So here they are in Blackthorn’s full line-up: all your heroes and heroines who now have their work cut out in bringing down the oppressive system that surrounds them. I can’t wait to share how they’re going to do it! :-)

And on that note, I’m also pleased to be able to reveal that Blood Dark will be released next Summer* (2015)! Yes, I know it probably feels likes ages away, but I’m afraid a lot of work goes into publishing a book even after I’ve submitted it. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to persuade Bookouture to give away an early book or two like we did with Blood Deep. ;-)

Of course, I’ll also be sharing a summary of ‘the story so far’ before Blood Dark’s release. I get the feeling it might prove useful by then!

Thanks, as always, for your continued support. xxx

*That’s UK Summertime.