Five on Friday with Diane Saxon @Diane_Saxon

Today I’m delighted to feature author Diane Saxon. Diane started her writing career with romances but has more recently gone over to the dark side with a series of psychological crime thrillers. Her latest book My Little Brother, a standalone psychological domestic thriller, is due out next week (11th).

Diane with Skye, one of her beloved pets

Diane Saxon lives in the Shropshire countryside with her tall, dark, handsome husband. She has two gorgeous daughters, a Dalmatian, two cats, numerous rare breed chickens some of which produce blue eggs, and a black Labrador called Beau—a name borrowed by her hero in For Heaven’s Cakes.

After working for years in a demanding job, on-call and travelling great distances, Diane gave it all up when her husband said “follow that dream”.

With twelve romance books published for the US public, Diane took back her rights and self-published them.

Inspired by her long, lonely walks in atmospheric woodlands with Skye her Dalmatian, Diane has gone over to the dark side to write psychological crime thrillers. With an initial four-book deal through Boldwood Books, her DS Jenna Morgan series set in West Mercia area, has become an International No 1 Amazon bestseller.

My Little Brother, the first of a new three-book signing for standalone psychological domestic thrillers, is due for publication on 11th July 2022. It is currently up for pre-order on both Kindle and Audiobook.

My Sisters’ Secret is complete and already submitted to her editor. In the meantime, Diane is currently killing off more people with great enthusiasm.

Over to Diane:

Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

Born Free (Matt Munro) One of the most stirring songs. It still makes me cry the moment I hear it. Having lived in Africa as a little girl, my dad showed the film with this soundtrack (he was a cinema projectionist when he was in the RAF) It broke my heart and I remember running all the way from the front of the cinema to the back where my mum was sitting, tears streaming down my cheeks. I’ve always been a huge devotee of conservationism.

Good Morning (Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney) What can I say? I’m a morning person. I sing this song to Beau (my black Labrador) every morning as he greets me. I bounce around at 6:30am. I’m normally shattered by 10pm.

Beautiful Noise (Neil Diamond) because if you stop and listen, everything has meaning, each pin drop, each explosion. I want to hear it all.

Make Your Own Kind of Music (the Paloma Faith version) because I believe strongly that we all should sing our own kind of song. Even if no one else sings along. I’m a quirky person. I don’t always take the same road as others.

Should I Stay, Or Should I Go? (the Clash) Not going to lie here, but this is the song my sister declared she’d like played at her funeral with the curtains opening and closing in rhythm as her coffin is slowly taken into a burning inferno. Never been able to get that image out of my mind. She’s still alive, we’re all okay.

What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.

Dogs, Cats and Feathered Friends – As anyone who follows me on Facebook will know, my passion in life is my animals. I don’t tend to bombard people with ‘buy my book, buy my book’ posts, but I’ve found so many of my followers love to see what my furry friends get up to.

I can honestly say I would find it miserable without a dog in my life. I currently have two. Skye, my Dalmatian who was my inspiration for writing my DS Jenna Morgan series, and Beau, my gorgeous, soft and gentle black Labrador.

I also have two cats who feature from time to time, but you know what a cat is like, you get a camera out and off they skip. I have chickens too, and the whole family benefit from their beautiful free-range eggs. Both my daughters have a dog each and one of them also has two cats. They all come to stay at ‘Grandma’s’ house where they get spoilt rotten.

Books – what more is there to say on this matter? Before I was ever an author, I was a reader. I love my books. In my previous life, I had a full time job, two children, a husband, pets, you’d have thought I never had time to read. People often tell me they don’t have time. I used to find it. To the extent that I perfected the art of applying make-up, mascara and all, while reading. I only realise now what a benefit audiobooks would have been back then.

My car – I live in the middle of nowhere. Literally, there isn’t even a regular bus service. I think there’s a bus goes in one direction on a Monday and returns the other way on a Thursday. I love my car, I love driving and I love the independence it gives me. When my husband proposed to me (I was only 19 when we married) my two conditions were that 1) I always had my own car. 2) We always go on holiday somewhere.

Communication – More than anything since the advent of Covid. I discovered just how isolated we are here. A blessing in every way except we couldn’t have those over the wall chats, the distanced walks right at the beginning because we had no neighbours, or family close by and remember, we weren’t allowed to drive anywhere either unless it was essential. So, my daughters and I made dinner together via WhatsApp videocalls, we had kitchen parties, we sat out on our patios, we drank wine, and we sang along to music together, all through that wonderful facility we all too often criticise. I can’t believe that in a hop, skip and a jump I’ve gone from not even having a phone in the house when I was girl, to using public telephone boxes, not having a mobile until I was 28 and pregnant to this amazing technology of having my children in my own home offering comfort, laughs and love all through this medium.

Chanel No5 Soap – This is probably one of the most indulgent things ever. Since the age of 15 when my mum was gifted a bottle of Chanel No5 parfum and put it on her dressing table with the invitation for her three daughters to have a squirt whenever we liked as she wasn’t so keen, I have loved Chanel No5. For decades now it has been the only perfume I wear. My signature scent, if you like.

Many years ago, my sister bought me a bar of Chanel No5 soap. If I use it every day, it lasts for 6 months. I consider that value for money! During Covid, the soap disappeared from the shops, on-line and from Chanel themselves. No warning.

My eldest daughter works in Birmingham and when she was in Selfridges, just as lockdown was lifting, she asked one of the assistants about it. They found 2 bars of it in the stockroom – hurrah! A whole year’s worth!

I was down to the last tiny sliver and I had an email from Boots to tell me it was back in stock. I couldn’t believe my luck.

Sure, I can live without it, there are more important things in life. But it is my indulgence to choose.

Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?

I find this one a little difficult because I had the most amazingly supportive parents who said all of these things when I was young, but maybe I just wasn’t ready to listen.

Have confidence in your youth and beauty. Everyone is beautiful. Enjoy it.

You don’t need to diet.

In the words of the great Helen Mirren ‘if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words “fuck off” much more frequently.’ – I can honestly say I never used that word until I was in my fifties.

Do NOT invest your pension in a TV programme.

Regret nothing – except the pension thing…

Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you

I lived in Africa as a little girl.

I got stuck in the Everglades which is full of crocodiles on a hovercraft that had no radio and no way of getting help as the guy who took us out, was only supposed to be fixing it, not giving people rides.

I’m dreadful at taking exams.

My first manuscript took two weeks to write and was accepted by a US Publisher three weeks after I sent it in.

My grandmother was a fishwife.

Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.

I never stop wanting to ‘do’ things, but it’s a moveable feast. I may have changed my mind by the time this blog is up.

I’d love to travel more. Visit the Great Wall of China and The Taj Mahal.

One of my manuscripts was requested by a TV Agent. I would love to see my books on screen.

I’d like to earn enough money to set up my own charity for the homeless.

I’d like a donkey sanctuary – but don’t tell my husband.

I’d like to meet David Attenborough.

Many thanks for joining me today Diane, delighted to discover more about you. I love your sister’s choice of funeral music, it appeals to my black humour! I agree with you that a life without animals and books would be a sad one, and I’m a bit of a soap lover too – nothing wrong with a bit of luxury. I never indulged in the ‘F’ word either, over the past few years, that seems to have changed dramatically – maybe I’m making up for lost time! I hope you get the chance to travel more, it’s something I’ve missed and hope to rectify in the not too distant future. Fingers crossed for seeing your book on screen – it might be the start of a lovely income stream for that donkey sanctuary.

Diane’s Books

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

My Little Brother

Two siblings, both missing for 20 years turn up within one day of each other. One dead. One alive.

It was an ordinary school day, the day I lost my little brother.
One moment he was on the roundabout and then was gone. Gone. Missing.
They all blamed me. I was in charge. Even though I was only ten years old.
They sent me away. The hurt, the shame, the questions. The not knowing.
I tried to move on.

It’s been nineteen years in exile and now somebody wants me back.
Someone with a dark secret. They hold the keys, they know the truth.
So, I need to return to the Welsh village of my childhood to find out who, because I have a secret, too…

I did something bad.

DS Jenna Morgan Series

Find her Alive (Book 1)

Responding to reports of deadly screams in the Ironbridge Gorge, Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is first on the scene to investigate.

As the search intensifies, Jenna soon discovers her sister Fliss’s severely injured Dalmatian, Domino and the naked, tortured body of an unknown woman.

Where is Fliss? and can Jenna find her sister alive before it’s too late?

This book was previously published as The Keeper.

Some One’s There (Book 2)

Who’s watching who?

When a beautiful, red haired nurse’s body is found mutilated in her house in Lawley the morning after a date with Detective Constable Ryan Downey, all eyes turn to him.

With a very specific modus operandi, Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan and her team know exactly who the offender is, the trouble is he’s currently serving a life stretch in HMP Long Lartin.

It soon becomes evident to DS Morgan and her team that there may be a copycat killer is on the loose, one who may be taking his pleasure in stalking his victims first.

In a race against time, they need to track down the copycat and discover who is pulling whose strings?

This book was previously published as Copycat.

What She Saw (Book 3)

Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart.

Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.

The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.

Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?

As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again…

The Ex (Book 4)

As a heat wave grips the country, DS Jenna Morgan is called to a domestic incident at the home of a young family in Ironbridge.

Pregnant Imelda Cheetham-Epstein has been found unconscious by her husband, Zak with serious head injuries.

When Jenna arrives on the scene, she discovers something even more disturbing – the couple’s eleven-month-old son, Joshua, is missing and the race against time begins to find him.

Is this an accident or something more sinister?

Are the two incidents linked?

Or has something in the Cheetham-Epstein’s past caught up with them?

Atlantic Divide Series

Gun Shy (Book 1)

The subject of his grandmother’s enthusiasm to marry him off, Sheriff Jack T Swann is fighting dirty to save his skin and has sworn off women until further notice. So the very last thing he needs in his life is a beautiful damsel in distress. Despite initial appearances, Jack soon discovers Kate is anything but distressed. In fact, she’s more than capable of skewering him with her kitten heel.
Doctor Kate Marsden is handy with a scalpel, but she’s not quite sure how to deal with the local sheriff, who she inadvertently mistakes for a pervert while trying to report a crime.
Time and again their paths cross and attraction rages between them, but while Jack is adamant he’s not in the market for a serious relationship, Kate is definitely not interested in a one-night stand.

Loving Lydia (Book 2)

Hiding from the horrors of her past, the last thing quiet, shy Lydia thinks she needs is a persistent cowboy who not only wants to strip away her clothes but the layers of her secrets too. What Sam wants is more than just skin deep.
Little by little, as Lydia’s past starts to reveal itself, Sam sees a woman who has never been afraid, who was bold and adventurous, talented, and exciting. As Sam discovers the truths Lydia has buried in her heart, her nightmares of the past become stronger and her fear of the future threatens to jeopardize everything.

Bad Girl Bill (Book 3)

From the moment British Special Forces Operative Michael Marsden meets Deputy Sherriff Bill Swann, sparks fly and lust flows.
When a man meets a woman who rides a Harley Davidson and wears a gun strapped to her hip, he’s bound to be in for a few surprises. Because long-legged tomboy, Bill, is definitely not what she seems.
Having made it clear he’s looking for a no-strings-attached fling, Michael realizes he has to use all of his tactical knowledge to negotiate his way around Bill’s five older brothers to get her alone. Then he needs to get past her defenses. And his own heart.

Finding Zoe (Book 4)

Returning to England after eleven years, Cormack Blunt stumbles across the woman who he thought was lost to him forever. The woman he had never forgotten. And he realizes that the sweet young girl he once knew has managed to keep a secret from him.
Zoe Chance can’t believe that the young man she loved eleven years before, now a famous movie star and action hero, has turned up out of the blue and wants answers. Not only that, he wants her son too.
Forced to confront him, she realizes that it isn’t a fight to keep her son that causes the problem but the fight to keep her own heart.

Flynn’s Kiss (Book 5)

Flynn’s scars are not just skin deep. Will Liberty’s damaged soul overcome her fear of rejection in order to save him?
Severely scarred during a disastrous mission, ex Special Forces operative Flynn Swann is home after three years of avoidance. By his own admission, he’s no good with women and the last thing he expects or wants is the attention of a curvy little brunette, who’s just passing through.
With apparently no fear or revulsion of his scarred face, the boisterous woman bounds into his life and destroys all hope of a quiet visit. It is obvious to literally everyone that she wants him—all of him.
Worse still, despite her atrocious taste in fashion and Stetsons, she appears to have won the hearts of the entire town.
Scientist Liberty Sophia Glennon is on a mission to find a man before she has to return to the loneliness of the New Zealand outback where she has already spent eighteen lonely months doing research.
A ticking hormone bomb, Liberty feels time is running away with her. Outwardly she is a bouncing ball of over-confidence, but inside she is still a frightened little girl with horrific memories of her childhood and a desperate need to be liked.
Completely unfazed by his external scars, her seduction of Flynn is not so difficult, but follow-through proves painful as Liberty realises Flynn’s wounds run further than just skin deep.
With apparently nothing in common but their passionate attraction, how will these two damaged souls deal with each other’s fear of rejection?

Barbara’s Redemption (Book 6)

Black Hawk pilot Captain Barbara Lynn Perry is running scared. Witness to an event too horrible to think about and too dangerous to talk of, she finds herself alienated from a world she has always had faith in.
With her Special Forces brother missing, she has only one other person to turn to. When her friend Flynn Swann isn’t available, Barbara is left with no choice but to trust the man Flynn sends to save her.
Psychiatrist Dominic Salter’s information from her superior officer’s file is that Barbara has gone rogue. Despite the damning evidence, every instinct tells him he’s dealing with an honorable woman, one who single-handedly saved Flynn from torture and a sure death. Dominic’s challenge is to delve his way beneath her tough, defensive attitude and coax the truth from a woman who’s too frightened to reveal her dark secret.
In his brand new facility containing a state of the art Dreampsych Transcender he’s experimenting with, a machine far beyond a simulator, Dominic has to gain the trust and confidence of Barbara while he resists the hard pull of attraction to this kick-ass woman.
Betrayed by a member of his staff, events take a sinister turn, and the pressure is on in a fight against time for Dominic to persuade Barbara to put her trust in him and reveal the truth before matters are taken out of his hands.

Along Came Dani (Book 7)

Deserted by her boyfriend, labeled a tramp, and thrown out of her family home, a pregnant sixteen-year-old Dani Westin left behind a life she would rather forget.
In a small town where relationships are close and gossip rife, Dani tries to find a place for herself and her daughter, despite the early influences of her upbringing and the neglect of her mother.
With help from Aunt Jessie and Hairway to Heaven, Dani works hard, keeps quiet, and flies under the radar, ever conscious of the town’s disapproval. Until the day she soaks the local deputy sheriff to the skin, grabs herself a whole load of unwanted attention, and appreciates what a real man is made of.
After his first encounter with the defensive sixteen-year-old Dani, Deputy Sheriff Sean Swann has kept his distance from the luscious hair stylist. Not afraid of the trauma she might inflict on his person, he’s more concerned about the damage she may do to his heart.
For years he’s waited, but when he considers the time is right, Sean makes his move, undeterred by the disasters that come his way. Patient but determined, Sean realizes Dani needs to leave behind her past for them to have a future.


Banshee in the Library with a Dragon

Sweet, shy librarian Ginny has a problem. Whenever passion strikes, so do the weeping, wailing voices in her head. Being half banshee, she’s already run screaming from the underworld and her female relatives, believing love will find a way with patience and faith on planet Earth.
The trouble is, humans just aren’t man enough, and every time Ginny shows interest in a male, she makes him bleed. It’s going to take more than just a simple human being to get past Ginny’s defenses.
Matthew, “The Dane,” fullback for the New York Chameleons, knows the moment he meets the little fireball that she’s his mate. For two hundred years he and his dragon have waited for a female capable of setting their world on fire. Problem is, he doesn’t seem to be able to stop her from going up in flames long enough to prove he’s more than man enough for her screaming banshee.
Will Matt ever be able to convince Ginny she’s his mate? And will Ginny get Matt alone long enough to let him appreciate her pyrotechnics?

Short Circuit Time

In the year 2086, Zaphira is alone, the last survivor of biological warfare on Earth. Before he died, her scientist father promised other survivors would come. Nobody has. So when a horribly mangled android shows up claiming to be her father’s assistant, Aiden, who has been sent through time to rescue her, she’s both frightened and astounded.
The last time she’d seen Aiden, she’d been sixteen, head-over-heels in love with him and had literally thrown herself at him, leaving her devastated by his rejection and him running for the hills. The following day, she’d been told of his death.
Eight years later he’s miraculously back, this time asking for her help. Without it, he won’t survive. But can she really put a dead man back together with tweezers?
For Aiden, everything has changed. There are no other humans, no government, and time travel has left his new android body unexpectedly weak and suffering from inexplicable genetic changes in eye and hair color, brought about by his molecular shake-up. Unbelievably, the scientist who sent him is dead, and he must rely on the scientist’s daughter to help him. A woman who he’s not so sure has his best interests at heart.
The last time he’d seen her, Zaphira had been a sixteen year old with a dangerous crush on him and he’d been rocked by the turmoil of his own feelings. Now she’s twenty four and literally holds his survival in her hands. Too bad everything he does and says seems to annoy her.
Trusting her might be his undoing. But he is left with no choice.
For Zaphira, getting used to the transformation of old Aiden to android Aiden requires a large mental leap. But when android Aiden starts to rebuild his human form to a new and improved standard, things start to get tricky.
The Aiden she loved as a little girl was her father’s nerdy assistant. The new Aiden is hot. But are her feelings as strong eight years later or are they simply a cherished memory?

Flight of her Life

Traveling from New York City to Houston to meet her future in-laws and announce her engagement, accident prone Bailey finds herself in a situation beyond her control. All flights are cancelled the night before Christmas Eve, leaving Bailey stranded at the airport with a cowboy from her past.
Against all odds, Sebastian manages to rescue Bailey from one disaster after another, but is it too late to rescue her from her future? Faced with a heartrending dilemma, does Bailey turn her back on the man who offers her a life of security, or does she run off to Maui with a cowboy?

Under the Full Blooded Moon

Since he lost his father and his childhood at the age of ten to a witch’s curse, cynical journalist Stuart Caldwell has searched the world in his quest to find the key to his family’s centuries-old curse.
What he finds when he lands on the Scottish island of Breggar is far from what he expects. Instead of a battle to the death with the cruel enchantress he believes resides there, Stuart finds he’s the one in the firing line, and the target is his heart.

For Heaven’s Cakes

Twelve years of living in Ireland smoothed Beau’s rough edges, and hard work as a construction worker made him a wealthy man. The call of his pack is stronger than he can resist though, and he isn’t averse to returning to show his small home town in America what he’s made of himself. What he doesn’t anticipate is meeting the local pharmacist’s daughter – in his wolf form. By day, he renovates the pharmacy, and tries to cajole the lush assistant into having dinner with him. By night he watches Catherine bake her fantastic creations and blossom through her art. Sleeping on her bed each night in his wolf form isn’t exactly ideal, but how does he tell her the wolf she’s come to love, is the man she lusts over?

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  1. I love the thought of the chap taking you out on the Everglades when he was only supposed to be fixing the boat, great story potential.

    Liked by 1 person

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