Her first novel, Dark Vision, was published by Del Rey UK in March 2014. A smart, sassy fantasy romp, it tells the tale of Lily McCain, ordinary Liverpool girl with just a few small hang-ups...like seeing visions of people's futures when she touches them. Reviews of Dark Vision included: 'A deftly told entertainment that shows there is certainly room in the world for a Liverpudlian Charlaine Harris' (The Guardian); 'a vibrant and sexy fusion of urban fantasy and Celtic mythology' (Starburst), and 'must read' (Daily Express Saturday magazine). The follow-up, Dark Touch, will be out in spring 2015.
Debbie also writes humorous contemporary romance, and her first title - Cold Feet At Christmas - is released by HarperImpulse on November 6th: a festive tale of snow-bound fun, and finding love in the most unlikely of situations!
And here is where to find out more about Debbie!
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I first got the idea for the book when I was walking my pooch in the middle of a snowstorm – it felt very eerie, very unreal. Like anything could happen! So I had these thoughts, about a woman running away from what should have been the happiest day of her life, and ending up stranded in a blizzard in the middle of nowhere – in her wedding dress! And when you’re thinking about that kind of setting and you live in the UK, Scotland seems the perfect choice – I’ve spent many a happy time there in exactly the same conditions (not in a wedding dress, I hasten to add!) – it feels kind of mystical, a real winter wonderland, which you need for a Christmas book. The story later moves to Chicago – I wanted to add a bit of glitz, and take my heroine, Leah, outside her comfort zone and see what happened. My best friend was living in Chicago at the time, so it was a city I had a feel for – and one where I could pick someone’s brains about it!
Q. If you had a choice where would you choose to live, and why?
Mainly I am quite happy living where I am, near the beach just outside Liverpool. We kind of have the best of both worlds – beautiful coastline, but also one of the world’s most cultural cities. But I also wouldn’t object to a nice cottage in the countryside, or an apartment in the East Village in New York, or a flat in Paris...I’m just waiting for my Lottery win!
Q. What comes first when you write a story?
Usually just an idea – that could be a scene, a character, a situation, an atmosphere, or even just a name! It always starts small, with something interesting my brain conjures up, then I build the rest of the story around it.
Q. Can you name five characteristics we’re likely to find in your heroes, and same for heroines?
Heroes: let’s not be coy, they need to be smoking hot – which can come in a variety of forms, but they do need to be physically attractive! Charisma – that undefinable something we’ve all found in people during our lives that makes you believe in them. Humour – even in the darkest of situations. Skill and experience – in both the bedroom and their profession. Secrets – something in their past that has made them more fascinating, possibly damaged, but always, always interesting.
Heroines: humour – I can’t write about women who don’t laugh! I always need my ladies to see the funny side of their disasters, or at least try to! Integrity – their own moral code, which they always try and stick to. Work ethic – I’d prefer for them to have their own goals, careers or ambitions than simply be buying into the Princess myth! Warmth – I prefer my heroines to be the kind of women you’d go to the pub with, not ice maidens! Sexiness – seems unfair to list ‘smoking hot’ for the men and not acknowledge it in a heroine – but sexiness is slightly different, I think, and allows for physical imperfections that are offset by character, charm and allure.
Q. What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Spent somewhere warm and beautiful with my family, watching the kids play (without a single argument, as this is a fantasy!) while I tuck into a huge pile of books.And my husband constantly goes to the bar to replenish my glass.
Q. Can you tell us anything about your next book?
I also write urban fantasy, and my first published novel was Dark Vision – about a normal Liverpool girl who falls into a world of Gods, Goddesses, vampires and witches. That came out with Del Rey (part of Random House) last March, and the sequel Dark Touch is out next March. I also have my next HarperImpulse lined up, which involves a farm, cute kids, a struggling momma bear and the author with a dark side who ends up staying in her holiday cottages...
Q. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your next choice of career?
I have always been a writer – first journalism, now this, and also copywriting. But I think perhaps I might have enjoyed law – I have a good eye for detail, a good memory, and also really, really enjoy a good argument!
Thank you Debbie! Now, on to the book....
Running out on your wedding shouldn’t be this much fun!
A remote Scottish castle on a snowy Christmas Eve. A handsome husband-to-be. A dress to die for. It should have been the happiest day of Leah Harvey’s life – but the fairytale wedding turns sour when she finds her fiancé halfway up the bridesmaid’s skirt just hours before the ceremony!
Fleeing the scene in a blizzard, Leah ends up stranded at the nearest cottage, where she collapses into the arms of its inhabitant – a man so handsome she thinks she must have died and gone to heaven!
And when Rob Cavelli suddenly finds himself with an armful of soaking wet, freezing cold, and absolutely gorgeous bride on the run, he’s more than happy to welcome her into his snowbound cottage this Christmas…
Jimmy Choo’s finest. Pleated white satin. Four inch heels. £500 a pop. For that, you’d expect them to be waterproof, thought Leah Harvey. Or at least to come with jet packs so she could fly out of this godforsaken frozen wasteland, and off to the nearest hotel.Ideally one with a spa, hot and cold running chocolate and Greek god waiters who hand-feed you peeled grapes.
Instead, she was here. In the snow. On Christmas Eve. In the middle of Scottish countryside so remote even the bloody sheep looked like they’d need a sat nav to find their way home.
The lights on the dashboard flickered on and off, casting a final ghostly neon glow before fading into nothingness. She turned the key in the lifeless ignition for the fifteenth time; held her frozen hands in front of the now defunct heating vents, and swore. Long, loud, and with such creative use of foul language that eventually she honked the horn to drown herself out. A self-imposed bleep machine to hide the fact she could make a flotilla of sailors blush.
She undid her seatbelt, noticed that the elegant satin of her ivory dress was now crushed and creased beyond redemption. Not that it mattered. It’s not like she’d be using that particular piece of haute couture again.
Climbing out of the cocoon of the car, her feet immediately sank ten inches into freezing cold snow. Her bare shoulders shook with cold, and her fingers and toes decided they weren’t even connected to her body as the chill factor took hold. More swearing. This time without the bleep machine. Nearby foxes were probably holding their paws over their cubs’ ears.
Great, she thought, turning round to kick the broken-down piece-of-crap car that belonged to her cheating bastard husband-to-be, scuffing the Jimmy Choos in the process. Just great. The perfect end to a perfect day. A gust of icy wind howled up the skirt of her dress, frost nipping at places it had no right to be. Not on the first date, at least. She should be wearing bearskin in weather like this, not a skimpy stretch of silk masquerading as underwear.
She had two choices, Leah decided, teeth chattering loud enough to turn her into a one-woman percussion section. Option One: stay in the car. Wait for help that might never come, as nobody had a clue where she was. Including her. Freeze overnight, and potentially get pecked to death by starving crows she’d be too weak to fight off. The only things left of her would be satin stilettos and her engagement ring.
Option Two: do a Captain Oates and head off across the field to the light she could just about see in the distance. A light must mean habitation, which must mean a human being. Possibly a psychopathic serial killer, or maybe a sex-starved sheep farmer planning Christmas dinner with his collection of blow-up dolls...which, she decided, hitching up the soggy hem of her gown, was still preferable to the crows-pecking-out-eyeballs scenario. She headed for the light.
As she trudged through the fields of snow, she conjured up a playlist of Christmas songs in her head to try and cheer herself up. Or at least help her resist the urge to simply lie down in the ice and sleep. Feed the World. Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire. Merry Christmas, Everyone...yeah, right, she thought, slinging her bag over her shoulder and continuing the slow, painful trek to her saviour.
A saviour who probably had one eye, a large collection of shotguns, and slept with his teeth in a jar.
And here's where to grab your very own copy of the book, happy reading!
Cold Feet at Christmas