When oil trader, Ella Crossley, is summoned to Monaco by her wealthy American boss to help comfort his wife when their child is kidnapped, she little realises that she is going to get involved in a major government scandal. Not only does Ella suddenly find herself in some considerable danger, but in order to get to the truth and expose the perpetrators she also has to put her prejudices to one side and join forces with the irritatingly cool environmentalist, Nick Jardine, uncle of the kidnapped child.

 ‘A contemporary, pacy, exciting, romantic suspense novel, don’t miss this, it’s fun and very readable, a clever slant on contemporary issues.’ 

Readers’ comments:

I like crime fiction but there’s often too much blood and guts. Slick Deals was perfect for me, great characters, a clever, interesting plot, plenty of twists and turns, credible, not salacious, violence and a really tense, romantic denouement.’

Slick Deals is like a mixture of Dick Francis, Kate Atkinson and Ben Elton – full of pace, character and concern for our future.’

Ella Crossley is a brilliant heroine. I’ve never read a novel about an oil trader before. And unlike so many crime fiction characters she seemed so real – clever, impatient, opinionated and funny. It was an inspired choice to team her up with the gorgeous Nick Jardine, I’m looking forward to their next adventure.’ 

I read Slick Deals in pretty much one sitting. It was completely addictive! Oh, and West Wales sounds great. I can’t wait to visit.’


Helen's Comments

I had been wanting to set a novel in West Wales where I now live and various government scandals and the threat of oil drilling just off the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast gave me the perfect opportunity. I have always liked stories about ordinary people getting caught up in big dangerous issues and being forced to act in ways they never expected.

Involving the cool, sleek, city girl Ella Crossley in her oil tycoon boss’s family crisis and making her join forces with the scruffy, laid back, American environmentalist Nick Jardine was a chance to add some humour and emotional interest to what I hope is a tense, pacy adventure.

For Ella Crossley, I was able to draw on my own experience of being an oil trader for Shell International some years ago. I now consider myself to be an environmentalist and Marc and I run our small farm as an organic conservation project. But here in West Wales there are plenty of people living much more ‘alternative’ lives than ours and I particularly enjoyed writing the scene where Ella finds herself having ‘dinner’ in a teepee with some somewhat unhygienic eco warriors, friends of Nick Jardine.

I should perhaps add that the issues in the novel are real. There is a danger that, in their desperation for revenue, the British government will authorise oil exploration off the beautiful Welsh coast and, as always when there are potential profits involved, any environmental considerations, after being given five minutes’ lip service, are likely to go straight out of the window.

Slick Deals is published as an ebook by TSAP.


Kelly has won a scholarship to work with an acclaimed artist in the German city of Heidelberg. She has arranged to stay with a distant aunt while she studies. So far so good. But what she hasn’t accounted for is the angry, brooding presence of eminent nuclear physicist Max Dreiecke von Hartwald, who is not only her aunt’s step-nephew, but also owns the magnificent house where her aunt lives. Nor has she realised that her aunt is dying and that Max suspects that Kelly has materialised out of the woodwork at this precise moment in order to benefit from her substantial will.

‘If you want a romantic escape with a touch of humour – try the Art of Loving!’

Readers’ comments:

I never thought of Germany as a particularly sexy location, but Heidelberg is as romantic a place as you can find and Max Dreiecke von Hardtwald is certainly all you’d want in a man. It’s fun, readable and you won’t want it to end.’

Oh yes! Can we have more of these please!!!’

I expected to cry but I didn’t expect to laugh. The Art of Loving is romance through and through!’

Helen's Comments

I wrote The Art of Loving many years ago and it was on the strength of it being shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers Award that I was picked up by an agent and a publisher and started my writing career.

The contrast of the scatty, artistic Kelly and the sardonic arrogance of Max created great opportunities for both tension and humour. Being a bit of an artist myself I could put myself in Kelly’s shoes as she struggles with the dilemma of needing to instil the required emotion into her art while trying to keep it at bay at home. I read The Art of Loving again recently and my husband was highly amused that it made me both laugh and cry… I hope it will do the same for you!

The Art of Loving is published as an ebook by TSAP.