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Book news and more, from Clare Mackintosh
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2015: what a year! 

This time last year I Let You Go had been out in ebook for just a few weeks, and I couldn't possibly have predicted what was in store for me. 2015 saw my debut novel win the Richard & Judy summer readers' vote, appear on ITV's Loose Women, and garner more than 2,000 five star reviews on Amazon. It featured in the Sunday Times top ten bestseller list for 12 weeks (back in this weekend!), and last week iBooks announced I Let You Go as its crime title of the year. I couldn't be happier, and I'm so grateful to everyone who has read I Let You Go, bought a copy, borrowed it from a library, or recommended it to a friend. You've made my year.

In this edition of my book club newsletter you'll find an exclusive short story, featuring DI Ray Stevens and DC Kate Evans; a deleted scene from I Let You Go; a list of recommended reading for all that free time you'll have this Christmas; and a few titles I think are going to be on the bestseller lists in 2016. I hope you enjoy it.

If you'd like to get in touch you can find me via the buttons below, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, via email, or on my Website. 

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FREE short story 

I'm often asked whether I plan to write more novels featuring DI Ray Stevens and DC Kate Evans. Although I'd never say never, it's not on my agenda for now, but I enjoyed revisiting them for this short story, written for Woman magazine. It's set at Christmas time, at the same time as the initial investigation into the fatal hit and run in I Let You Go. I hope you like it.

Making the cut

Every novel goes through a number of drafts, each one bringing the story closer to its published state. As I edited I Let You Go I added lots of scenes, but I deleted even more; some because they were no good, some because the story had changed and they no longer fitted, and others because they simply weren't needed. This deleted scene with Ray and his son was removed because - although it tied up a loose end - it distracted from the core story. It can be painful to watch thousands of words hitting the virtual trash can, but it's all part of the editing process! 

Christmas reading 

As promised, I've put together a reading list for those of you lucky enough to have some time off over Christmas. If you're working, you have my sympathies: my memories of attending domestics and consoling victims of Boxing Day burglaries are still very vivid.

In putting this list together I haven't chosen brand new books, or even my 'absolute favourites', but they are books I have very much enjoyed reading and think you might, too.

The Other Me, by Saskia Sarginson
This accomplished novel weaves together scenes from the Second World War with the modern-day life of a woman escaping her past.
Kindle | Paperback | Author's website 

House of Dreams, by Fanny Blake
Just in case you're craving sunshine. Three siblings return to Spain after their mother's death, each with secrets to keep and ghosts to confront.
Kindle | Paperback | Author's website

Room, by Emma Donoghue
A terrifyingly gripping thriller, told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy held prisoner with his mother in a locked room.
Kindle | Paperback | Author's website

Grace Williams Says it Loud, by Emma Henderson
A love story with a difference. Grace is 11 when her parents drive her to the Briar Mental Institute, and leave her there. Thought-provoking and beautifully written. 
Kindle | Paperback | Author's website

The Judas Scar, by Amanda Jennings
Harmony is struggling to come to terms with a miscarriage, whilst her husband Will has his own demons to lay to rest. The legacy of bullying is vividly portrayed in this moving and gripping novel.  
Kindle | Paperback | Author's website

Books to look out for

I'm very fortunate to receive advance copies of many books, and I love predicting what will hit the bestseller lists in 2016. The following books come out early next year, and I strongly recommend you add them to your wish list. I loved them. 

The Butcher's Hook, by Janet Ellis
February 2016
This dark tale tells of a young 18th century girl determined to take control of her own life; no matter who gets in her way. A beautifully crafted debut from a masterful storyteller.
Kindle | Hardback | Author's website

The Woman Who Ran, by Sam Baker
January 2016
War photographer Helen Graham is hiding out in a tiny Yorkshire village. Who is she running from, and why? Atmospheric and tightly plotted, you'll read it in a day.
Kindle | Paperback | Author's website

The Darkest Secret, by Alex Marwood
January 2016
If this isn't next year's big thriller I'll eat my hat. A gripping story with a killer ending from the author of The Wicked Girls and The Killer Next Door. 
Kindle | Paperback | Author's website

I See You 

At the end of November I finished the second draft of I See You, my new psychological thriller. I'll have another draft to complete in the New Year, then it's on to copy edits and proof-reading. More details are on my website, along with pre-order links

The ebook and trade paperback of I See You won't be out until August, but members of this book club will have a chance to read it before anyone else. I'll have a limited number of proof copies to give away to book club members in the spring - more details in future newsletters! 

Merry Christmas!

After all that I think it's time for a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine! I wish you very bookish holidays, and a happy New Year. Have a wonderful Christmas, however you celebrate it. 

x Clare

And the winner is...

In every newsletter I give away a signed and dedicated copy of I Let You Go to one book club member, picked at random. Today's winner is...

Denise Bonham

Congratulations! Please email me with your postal address, Denise. 

There'll be another chance to win in the next book club newsletter, out in March 2016.

Order I Let You Go


I Let You Go is available in most UK bookshops, and from all major online retailers. You'll find links to both digital and print versions on this page of my website. If you're in the US, you have to wait a little longer, I'm afraid; Berkley will publish I Let You Go in hardback, in May 2016.

Do you judge a book by its cover?


I often do, and the cover above is one of my favourites. It's the Norwegian version of I Let You Go, and it joins the list of 25 other countries translating Jenna's story.

I'm fascinated by the different design interpretations, and have laid them all out together on the overseas page of my website. Take a look and let me know which one is your favourite.

Events


2015 was a busy year for events, taking me to Wales, Scotland, Cheltenham and more than 25 other destinations across the UK. Next year I'll be in Essex, Norfolk, Paris and Oslo, with more sneaking into my diary every week. Keep an eye on my events page to see what's happening near you.

If you're interested in creative writing courses I'll be running workshops and courses in 2016 in London, Oxfordshire and at Chez Castillon, in the south of France. 

Full details of all my signings, workshops and talks are on the events page of my website. 

Book clubs


I'd like to say a huge thank you to all the book clubs who have chosen I Let You Go to read this year. I have loved hearing your thoughts, and have attended as many as I've been able to, via FaceTime, Skype, and even in person. Featured above are 'The Cheerful Chicks', who read I Let You Go at the end of the summer.

If you're reading I Let You Go for your book group, and would like some discussion points, there are some conversation starters on my website. I hope you find them useful. 

Introduce a friend

Do you have a friend who loves books as much as you do? If you think they'd like to be a member of this book club, please hit the forward button (below) and suggest they sign up via this link. Alternatively you can share this newsletter on Facebook or Twitter, via the buttons below.

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