I never thought I'd get under the same cover as Tracy Chevalier and Kate Mosse, let alone Val McDermid and Ian Rankin, but I have sneaked in somehow... Out this week, The Coffee Shop Book Club is a fantastic collection of short stories, each the perfect length to read with a cup of coffee or tea. "Irresistible stories of love and fidelity, mystery and unexpected lives from some of the bestselling authors writing today", runs the blurb, and I do feel quite pink with pride to have made the cut.
The roll-call of writers really is quite something, including some of my personal favourites like Elizabeth Buchan and the hilarious Kathy Lette, Jojo Moyes, Victoria Hislop and Adele Parks. The collection is edited by Fanny Blake, once Dirk Bogarde's publishing editor and now a novelist - and story contributor - in her own right.
My story is The Scent of Night, originally written, as most if not all these were, for Woman & Home magazine's summer reading section. It was a tie-in with The Lantern, and those who read and enjoyed my novel might be amused to spot the links. A couple, happily married for many years, rent a Provencal farmhouse for a month in the summer. But annoying guests intrude on paradise...
There really is something for everyone here, mostly in light-hearted vein but there's much wit and wisdom too. Reading the proofs, I particularly enjoyed the effervescent poignancy of Veronica Henry's A Friend with Benefits, gritty thriller writer Val McDermid's The Ministry of Whisky and Katherine Webb's Downton-esque The Midsummer Sky.
The Coffee Shop Book Club is published by Orion on September 12, and £1 from the sale of every book will be donated to the Breast Cancer Care charity. There's more detailed information over on the Lovereading site.