Nov 11, 2009


A revision of this query has been posted. Click here to read it.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to submit for your consideration COOMBE’S WOOD, a horror novel of 67,000 words.

Izzy Santana and her 13-year-old son Connor move into a Reading Council-provided flat in the sleepy village of Cedham. Locals darkly warn her to stay away from nearby Coombe’s Wood, hinting first at elves(!), then at multiple murders… which may or may not have taken place in the woods hundreds of years ago. It’s all ludicrously superstitious, and Izzy is so delighted to have found a haven for her son – after escaping her sadistic ex-partner George – that she takes little notice.

She meets a neighbour who seems kindly, if a trifle fey, and who takes a great interest in her son. Connor seems instantly comfortable with him. She begins to feel as if she is also falling under his spell. But Connor is bullied at school, and one night she finds herself tracking those bullies in the wood, where she believes they are waiting for him. She doesn’t find them, but something closes in on her – something that sounds like a savage animal. As she runs she realises she may have been set up – or Connor was – to be caught by whatever the animal was. She strengthens the barricades in her flat, no longer puts all the local tales about ‘danger in them woods’ down to superstition, and even begins to wonder about the way she was selected by the Reading Council officer to live in the village in the first place. It couldn’t be something to do with her odd, long-vanished husband, Connor’s father, who came from this area… could it?

Then a slit rabbit turns up on her doorstep, along with a distinctive cigarette butt, and she knows George has found her. Desperately compassionate, her neighbour calls the police, who turn up next day, harumph the ceiling, and take the attitude: You’ve not been attacked, then, Miss? You haven’t actually seen him? Why, if your ex-lover has tracked you down, do you suppose he would he dump a rabbit at your door…? Her own question, more urgent, is: if George can get in the front door of the building, can he get into her flat?

What Izzy needs to do is protect Connor. She has already started to uncover the ancient secrets of the village, and now she works out the perfect way to get rid of George… for good.

Coombe’s Wood was runner-up in’s 2008 Book of the Year Award and a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. An early novel of mine, The Crocodile, was short listed in the Undiscovered Authors 2006 competition. I also have short stories in various anthologies including the UKAuthors Anthologies, La Fenetre, Spinetinglers 2009 Anthology, and e-zine Literary Magic. I have several other complete novels that are still in their first draft, and consider myself an author of the thriller and gothic horror genres.

I was born in Portsmouth in 1971, and grew up in England, Scotland, Portugal and America. After winning a scholarship to The American College in London I graduated with a BA in Interior Design, although I now work as an architectural technician.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kind regards,


Melanie Hines doesn't expect drastic changes in her life after just one private prayer. But suddenly, sleeping with her boss, Luke, doesn't seem right anymore. She breaks up with him and accepts a six-month project in Seoul, Korea. Once in Seoul, however, Melanie discovers Luke left out one tiny detail: the male-dominated business culture frowns upon a young female system project leader.

Brandon Stiegal, an international business consultant, is not amused at his client company's choice for the new system project leader. But Melanie's Iowa sweetness and admirable determination to stay and conquer her challenges hooks his heart to cheer her along and mentor her in any way he could. Only, the blond bombshell is too smart for her own good, doesn't always do as he advises, and gets tangled up in an international espionage case. Brandon risks his reputation and his life to save hers, and he would do it all over again if only he could win her whole heart.

The more she sees Brandon's faith, it creates longing in Melanie's soul. But living out her faith isn't easy when she's arguing with an unreasonable IT manager, or hanging out at an exclusive night club with her new wealthy friend, or running for her life from the Korean secret service, or falling head over heels in love with Brandon. Through it all, God's quiet whispers pursue her until the desire of her heart stands against the longing of her soul. She must choose one and sacrifice the other.

HEART IN SEOUL, a Christian contemporary romance, is complete at 82,000 words. I am a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and have been active in its critique groups since 2008.

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work.