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Books by Allie

Front cover of the book About Self-publishing

About Self-publishing:

AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE FOR NEW AUTHORS

You have a story to tell. But how should you begin?
Or maybe you’ve written your book already; what should you do now?
What choices do you have for getting published?

They say everyone has at least one book in them, and thousands of people like you are exploring the possibility of getting their book written and published.

Sixteen years ago I was in the same boat. But in the process of successfully self-publishing fourteen novels I’ve honed a protocol that I want to share.

Front cover of the book The Cottage on Winter Moss

The Cottage on Winter Moss

Burned-out author Dee needs fresh inspiration. Impetuously, she abandons London and her good-for-nothing boyfriend to go wherever her literary quest takes her. Journey’s end is a remote village on the shores of a wild estuary, overshadowed by a ruined pele tower. She rents Winter Cottage and waits for a story to emerge.

The bleak beauty of the whispering dunes, the jacquard of colour and texture of the marsh and a romantic tree in a secluded glade—The Trysting Tree—all seduce Dee. Nevertheless, the secretive behaviour of a handsome neighbour, lights across the marsh, a spurious squire and a bizarre, moonlit encounter all suggest there is something odd afoot.

Front cover of the book The House in the Hollow

The House in the Hollow

TALBOT SERIES

The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses. Once established in le bon ton, Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a brood mare with a great deal of money. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he must go to Europe to fight the French.

Front cover of the book Lady in the Veil

The Lady in the Veil

TALBOT SERIES

What secrets hide beneath the veil? When her mother departs for a tour of the continent, Georgina is sent from the rural backwaters to stay with her cousin, George Talbot, in London. The 1835 season is at its height, but Georgina is determined to attend neither balls nor plays, and to eschew Society. She hides her face beneath an impenetrable veil. Her extraordinary appearance only sets off gossip and speculation as to her identity. Who is the mysterious lady beneath the veil?

Front cover of the book Tall Chimneys

Tall Chimneys

TALBOT SERIES

Suddenly-widowed Maisie sets out to clear her late husband’s collection; wonky furniture and balding rugs, bolts of material for upholstery projects he never got round to, gloomy pictures and outmoded electronics, other people’s trash brought home from car boot sales and rescued from the tip.

The hoard is endless, stacked into every room in the house, teetering in piles along the landing and forming a scree up the stairs. It is all part of Clifford’s waste-not way of thinking in which everything, no matter how broken or obscure, can be re-cycled or re-purposed into something useful or, if kept long enough, will one day be valuable.

Front cover of the book Mrs Bates of Highbury

Mrs Bates Of Highbury

THE HIGHBURY TRILOGY: BOOK 1

Thirty years before the beginning of 'Emma' Mrs Bates is entirely different from the elderly, silent figure familiar to fans of Jane Austen’s fourth novel. She is comparatively young and beautiful, widowed—but ready to love again. She is the lynch-pin of Highbury society until the appalling Mrs Winwood arrives, very determined to hold sway over that ordered little town.
Miss Bates is as talkative aged twenty nine as she is in her later iteration, with a ghoulish fancy, seeing disaster in every cloud. When young Mr Woodhouse arrives looking for a plot for his new house, the two strike up a relationship characterised by their shared hypochondria, personal chariness and horror of draughts.

Front cover of the book The Other Miss Bates

The Other Miss Bates

THE HIGHBURY TRILOGY: BOOK 2

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences make her new life all Jane had hoped for. 
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

Front cover of the book Dear Jane

Dear Jane

THE HIGHBURY TRILOGY: BOOK 3

The final instalment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane narrates the history of Jane Fairfax, recounting the events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma. 

Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. The velvet path of her early years is finite, however and tarnished by the knowledge that she must earn her own independence one day.

Front cover of the book The Hoarder's Widow

The Hoarder's Widow

THE WIDOWS SERIES: BOOK 1

Suddenly-widowed Maisie sets out to clear her late husband’s collection; wonky furniture and balding rugs, bolts of material for upholstery projects he never got round to, gloomy pictures and outmoded electronics, other people’s trash brought home from car boot sales and rescued from the tip.

The hoard is endless, stacked into every room in the house, teetering in piles along the landing and forming a scree up the stairs. It is all part of Clifford’s waste-not way of thinking in which everything, no matter how broken or obscure, can be re-cycled or re-purposed into something useful or, if kept long enough, will one day be valuable.

Front cover of the book The Widow's Mite

The Widow's Mite

THE WIDOWS SERIES: BOOK 2

Minnie Price lives alone in one room of an opulent house in an affluent suburb of town. In spite of the apparent comfort of her surroundings she has barely enough to keep body and soul together. Her unfeeling step-children do nothing to help and, in fact, make it their business to ensure her struggle is as difficult as possible. 


Then one day, a caller arrives with what seems to be a life-line; a fund of money left behind by Minnie’s late husband of which her step-children know nothing. It is hers—legitimately hers—if only she can jump through the complex logistical hoops to release it.

Front cover of the book The Widows Weeds

The Widow's Weeds

THE WIDOWS SERIES: BOOK 3

One evening, Viola goes missing.

Only Maisie cares. Recently, their shared love of gardening has almost blunted Viola’s barbs, and Maisie is much in need of a close friend. Her house is a building site, her daughter’s wedding is looming ... and then there is Oliver. What does he want from her?

As Maisie grapples with her present-day preoccupations, Viola’s tale unfolds: a dark landscape of tragedy and suffering. Their two stories collide in an explosive finale. Can the two women rescue each other?

Front cover of the book Relative Strangers

Relative Strangers

The McKay family gathers for a week-long holiday at a rambling old house to celebrate the fiftieth wedding anniversary of Robert and Mary. In recent years only funerals and sudden, severe illnesses have been able to draw them together and as they gather in the splendid rooms of Hunting Manor, their differences are soon uncomfortably apparent.

For all their history, their traditions, the connective strands of DNA, they are relative strangers. There are truths unspoken, but the question is: how much truth can a family really stand? The family holiday mushrooms, drawing in sundry relatives both estranged and deranged.

Front cover of the book Crossings

Crossings

Previously published as Lost Boys, this quartet of over-layering stories introduces four strangers. The only thing they have in common is their dull English town and the unusual heatwave that broils its lack-lustre streets and wilting parks. They and their separate stories are drawn violently together when a young boy pulls them into the maelstrom of his fate.

Each is at a crossroads. Matt must leap the gulf between adolescence and adulthood. Megan needs to find her way out of troubled waters. A family crisis propels Jade to set her foot on a tenuous path of faith. Mrs Fairlie knows the bridge she faces but refuses to cross without knowing the fate of her son.

Front cover of the book Tiger in a Cage

Tiger in a Cage

Who knows what secrets are trapped, like caged tigers, behind our neighbours' doors? 
When Molly and Stan move into a new housing development, Molly becomes a one-woman social committee, throwing herself into a frantic round of communal do-gooding and pot-luck suppers. She is blinded to what goes on behind those respectable facades by her desire to make the neighbourhood, and the neighbours, into all she has dreamed, all she needs them to be. 
Twenty years later, Molly looks back on the ruin of the Combe Close years, at the waste and destruction wrought by the escaping tigers: adultery, betrayal, tragedy, desertion, death. But now Molly has her own guilty secret, her own pet tiger, and it is all she can do to keep it in its cage.

Front cover of the book Game Show

Game Show

Imagine that for one night only you could do absolutely anything you wanted, and get away with it.

Welcome to Game Show.

It is 1992, and in a Bosnian town a small family cowers in their basement. The Serbian militia is coming—an assorted rabble of malcontents given authority by a uniform and inflamed by the idea that they’re owed something, big-time, and the Bosnians are going to pay. When they get to the town they will ransack the houses, round up the men and rape the women. Who’s to stop them? Who’s to accuse them? Who will be left, to tell the tale?

Meanwhile, in a nondescript northern UK town a group of contestants make their way to the TV studios to take part in a radical new Game Show. There’s money to be won, and fun to be had. They’ll be able to throw off their inhibitions and do what they want because they’ll all be in disguise and no-one will ever know.

Front cover of the book The Book

The Book

A collection of short stories, travel-writing, reviews, excerpts and articles. 


In 'The Book' a woman on a station platform has her life changed by the gift of a strangely powerful book. 'Baseball for Beginners' attempts to understand the subtleties of this nuanced game. In 'Many Rooms' three strangers who inhabit an inner city square find they have more in common than they think. 'Grave Secrets' explores the buried lives, hopes and dreams of the dead. In 'Open Day' the pinkest, fluffiest, most innocuous old lady at the old folks' home surprises everyone, including the Mayor. 'The Peach Side of Apricot' recalls a conversation overheard on a bus.

Front cover of the book The New Book

The New Book

A new collection of short stories, diary-entries, excerpts, articles and reviews.

In ‘Genesis’ a writer begins a new work from scratch. It is to be her signature work and the main character will go down as one of literature’s greatest. But the character has other ideas about the way the plot should go, and the writer has to decide whether to consign the whole manuscript to the bin or just let the story unfold. 
‘Being Mandy Broadhead’ is a memoire of the writer’s teenage years. The agony of being plain and not particularly popular crystallises into a fixation with the prettiest and most popular girl in her school. 
‘No-One Was Saved’ is the outworking of the lyrics of a popular song. Who was Eleanor Rigby and why did she collect rice from the church grounds? What was the face she kept in a jar, and who was it for? 
‘Moving’ includes excerpts from a diary written when the writer moved with her family from suburban Cheshire to rural Cumbria in 2000. 

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