Independent Jenny

Well, all of a sudden it’s only 30 days until the launch of my next novel: Independent Jenny.

I’m rather excited to share the front cover and blurb with you… let me know what you think in the comments below, or via Twitter or Facebook

Independent Jenny“I slept with someone else.”
Those five words changed everything.

After her husband Ross drops a bombshell, Jenny’s emotions go hay-wire. Things are made even more complex when his brother Aiden makes a confession of his own…

A holiday escape with her friend Hayley seems the perfect way to figure out what – and who – she wants. But Hayley has a hidden motive that results in Jenny spending time with her ex-boyfriend Will, who is now married.

Should Jenny forgive Ross? Can she ignore her feelings for romantic Aiden? And why can’t she get Will out of her head?

One thing is for sure: Jenny doesn’t want to be alone. Surely any man is better than no man, right?

Independent Jenny, a new chick-lit novel, will be released as an e-book and paperback on 16 September 2014.

Latest book news

Just a very quick blog update from me today…

So: Independent Jenny will be released on 16 September – just 36 days away!

And… I’m now writing my fourth book and enjoying the story – I look forward to seeing how it ends!


Lastly… thank you to all who’ve tweeted me, added me on Facebook, and written reviews – your support is appreciated and it really does help so keep it up :)


Why you should watch Zach Braff’s new movie

So, as many of my Facebook and Twitter friends will know already: I contributed financially to the making of Zach Braff’s new movie: Wish I Was Here.

Sarah Louise Smith & Zach BraffWhy?

Well, that’s a very valid question. Unfortunately, I do not know Zach Braff personally (although I did meet him once – evidence of the 30 seconds I spent with him are captured in this photo) and I do not have a pot of money to through at random Kickstarter projects.

The reason is this: Zach Braff inspires me. Sure, I had a bit of a celeb crush on him when he was in Scrubs, but I also think Ryan Reynolds is cute and I wouldn’t contribute towards his movie (unless he came to my house and asked me very very nicely, perhaps) … but it’s not about Zach’s cuteness anymore. It’s about Garden State – Zach’s first movie, which I loved … and it’s about All New People – the play Zach wrote and starred in, in London a few years back. I loved this play so much I saw it twice.

So what did I love?

It was real. And honest. And most of all: it made me want to go out and live my life. It inspired me to stop stressing all the little things and live for today. After seeing that, I worked harder than ever to make my dream of becoming a published author come true (and I made it happen!)

I’m a sucker for anything inspirational. Show me an inspirational movie or play me a song with lyrics about being a hero, or living life to the full, and I’ll have a grin on my face the rest of the day.

And I’m not the only one who feels this way about ZB – so when Zach asked his fans to help him raise £2m to make Wish I Was Here, I wasn’t surprised when he actually raised over £3m.

Throughout the movie-making process, Zach has provided us ‘backers’ who helped raise this cash with constant news about what he’s up to, including videos and stories and photos and so on…. it really has felt like I’ve been a part of the journey to make this movie happen.

Then, I saw the trailer and got even more excited.

So, now I have to wait to see the actual movie. I’ll be going to a private backer’s screening in London in September (so excited). But, it’s already out in the US so if you’re there – go see it and let me know what you think! And if you’re in the UK/other countries – keep an eye out for it this autumn.

It’ll inspire you – I know that and I haven’t even seen it yet! Find out more here >

In other news – Independent Jenny is released 16 September! More news about this coming soon…


Guest post from author Miriam Drori: Arranged Marriage

Today fellow Crooked Cat author Miriam Drori is a guest on my blog. Her new novel Neither Here Nor There is out now.

Arranged Marriage

Miriam DroriIn modern western society, we tend to have a very romantic view of love and marriage. You meet a partner, you fall in love, you decide that this person is the only one in the world for you, you get married and you live happily ever after.

How often does that happen in real life? Not very often, it seems, if we look at the divorce statistics. I found some other interesting statistics:

55% of marriages worldwide are arranged.
90% of marriages in India are arranged.

So what’s so bad about arranged marriage? Why do we turn up our western noses at the very idea of such a practice? Do young people really know who will be suitable for them better than their parents or the matchmaker?

Before I go on, I should mention two disclaimers. Firstly, I’m not talking about forced marriage. Forced marriage, in my view, is wrong and should be condemned. Secondly, my husband and I met by chance and have been happily married for 36 years.

Amongst the haredi community (they’re the Jews whose menfolk wear black hats and black suits with tassels hanging down while the women always have their arms and legs covered) marriages are arranged, usually by a matchmaker. Couples are introduced, meet two or three times and then have to make a decision. How can they decide so quickly? I don’t know. But it seems this procedure generally works well.

In the musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on Sholem Aleichem’s story Tevye the Milkman, Tevya and Golda meet for the first time on their wedding day and gradually fall in love. In the song Do you love me? Tevye asks Golda if she loves him. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but then she realises that over the years she has come to love him. Far-fetched? I don’t think so.

Neither Here Nor ThereIn my novel Neither Here Nor There, heroine Esty has been brought up in just such a community and is expected to marry one of the men introduced to her by a matchmaker. Esty has other plans.


Miriam Drori was born and brought up in London, and now lives in Jerusalem where she single-handedly demonstrates female superiority against three males, now that her daughter has left home.

Following careers as a computer programmer and a technical writer, Miriam has been writing creatively for the past ten years and has had short stories published online and in anthologies. Neither Here Nor There is her first published novel.

Miriam began writing in order to raise awareness of social anxiety. Since then the scope of her writing has widened, but she hasn’t lost sight of her original goal.

Find out more

Visit Miriam’s website >

Neither Here Nor There is available from:

Crooked Cat Books >

Amazon UK > >

3 Tips to get Inspired

Writer’s block. Cold wet Monday mornings. Those days when you can’t get inspired to do what you need to do…

What do you do, to perk yourself up, to turn those uninspired moments into energetic, life-grabbing ones?

Here are some of the things that help me:

  1. Relive a happy memory: think of a time when you felt energised and inspired in the past. Re-live it, picture it, hear the sounds, smell the smells… remember that feeling of happiness, joy, excitement, inspiration…
  2. Watch a movie or read a book that inspires you. For me, that’d probably be a feel-good chick flick
  3. Listen to music. I don’t mean put on your favourite CD in the background. I mean LISTEN… and sing along, as loud as you can! I have a playlist on my iPhone called “Inspirational” and it’s full of songs that have uplifting lyrics that are simply good for the soul, and I put this on whenever I feel a bit glum; in the kitchen, in my car… or wherever I am. I add songs to it all the time… here are a few that I particularly enjoy:
  • Wonder by Naughty Boy feat. Emeli Sandé
  • Roar by Katy Perry
  • Happy by Pharrell Williams
  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
  • One Day Like This by Elbow
  • I am the one and only by Chesney Hawkes – what a 90’s classic! :)
  • Shine, Greatest Day, and Never Forget by Take That
  • Who We Are by Boyzone
  • … and many, many more…

I hope these simple ideas inspire you (let me know!). Have an amazing day, readers.

PS: More news on book 3 coming soon ;)