It’s publication day! And my books have made it across the Atlantic: the paperback of Chantress, and the brand new hardcover of Chantress Alchemy. It’s wonderful to hold them in my hands.

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Every once in a while, some writers get a “gift book” — one that comes together quickly and with much less angst that usual, one where the story seems to know from the get-go what it wants to be. That was my experience with Chantress Alchemy.

That didn’t mean I hardly had to lift a finger, or that I never made mistakes. I put in long hours, and there were weeks where I lived more in the story than I did in the real world. But mostly this book was a joy to write.

Maybe that’s because it was about alchemy, which is something that’s fascinated me for ages. It’s also about the transformative power of friendship and love, and about the way our weaknesses can sometimes make us stronger — all things I deeply believe in.

But then again, I always write about things I care deeply about. (I’d never find the strength to keep at the writing, otherwise!) So in the end I have no real explanation for my gift book. Which I think is the nature of the beast. All you can do is be grateful when it happens.

At the moment, I’m wrestling with book three, which alas, is not a gift book. Although there’s a lot I love about it, it’s been hard work, and I’m having to finish it on a very tight deadline. So that makes me all the more grateful that the stars aligned for Chantress Alchemy.

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If you’d like to know more about Chantress Alchemy, I’m doing a tour this week with some wonderful bloggers, thanks to the amazing team at Rockstar Book Tours. Today I’m visiting Word Spelunking where I share secrets and photos of the great houses in England that inspired the setting for Chantress Alchemy.

The full tour schedule is here. And the tour includes a giveaway of copies of the book, which anyone in the world can enter!

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ETA: I forgot to add that the first few chapters are now online! You can find them here.

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