Secret of the Song, available now
What lies behind the discord? The answer lies in Cathie Hartigan’s debut novel Secret of the Song.

When an old music manuscript is discovered at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum, trouble descends on the group asked to sing it. Can Lisa solve the mystery behind the song and its disturbing engraving on the cover? Will the song’s secret be revealed before further harm befalls them all?
This Time-slip mystery is set in contemporary Exeter and Renaissance Naples. The composer of the song is the mad and very bad Don Carlo Gesualdo whose story is seen through the eyes of young Silvia Albana, seamstress and close confidant of Gesualdo’s wife. When she begins an affair, Silvia knows that death is the only outcome. But who will die? And why is Silvia’s own lover not there to help her?

Cathie tells us that she first became interested in the story of Gesualdo when singing one of his songs – called madrigals if written in the C15th or C16th – with a small group similar to the novel’s Noteworthy.
‘We found it difficult and quite unsettling, and it was then that I wondered about the phrase, a haunting melody. Just exactly how haunting can a melody be? That’s what got me started. Gesualdo was a real person and the more research I did, the more I felt for the poor servant, Silvia hopelessly caught up in that dangerous and violent world. The decision to write the novel with alternating chapters of past and present provided me with just the sort of challenge I like.’

Amazon Reviews:

‘As a big fan of the work of Barbara Erskine, I was delighted to discover a new Time-slip author whose first novel is a delight.’

‘This is an accessible, compulsive read with great characters, a cracking ending and I'll even admit to shedding a couple of tears at the appropriate points!’

‘If you enjoy the work of Kate Mosse, you will love Secret of the Song.’

Secret of the Song is available on Kindle and in paperback.

From our Short Story shortlist to publication

We were pleased to get an email from Jim Kroepfl, who regular readers will recall was awarded both 2nd and 3rd place in our 2013/14 Short Story Competition. Jim submitted his 3rd-place story, The Front Line, to the Midway Journal literary contest.... and we're delighted to hear that the story has been placed.

As the Midway Journal wishes to publish The Front Line, we've temporarily removed the story from our website.

Our warmest congratulations to you, Jim!

The Business of Writing

This writing business means that there's often something new coming out and this week we have two new publications;

Elizabeth Ducie's The Business of Writing is now available in paperback as a single volume.

Originally published as three separate e-books, this useful book provides a simple road map for writers who want to set up and run their own small business.



Meanwhile Sophie Duffy, Cathie Hartigan and Margaret James are looking forward to Christmas with A Christmas Celebration, a compendium of stories, quizzes and puzzles.

Both are available in paperback and on Kindle.

More Competition Successes

Tracey Glasspool
Elizabeth Ducie

Exeter Writers members, Tracey Glasspool and Elizabeth Ducie are delighted to have both won prizes in the 2015 Writers Reign Short Story Competition.