'A contemporary, pacy, exciting, romantic suspense novel , don't miss this, it's fun and very readable, a clever slant on contemporary issues.'
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 in trying to identify the perpetrators she will unwittingly unearth a major government scandal concerning oil exploration off the Welsh Coast. 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 a the irritatingly cool environmentalist, Nick Jardine, uncle of the kidnapped child.
A lot of my readers had told me that they found the French sections of ON A WING AND A PRAYER very tense and exciting. I had really enjoyed writing those scenes and so I decided to have a go at writing a contemporary romantic suspense novel.
For some time I have wanted to set a novel in West Wales where I now live and the recent government financial scandals and the threat of oil drilling 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. It is also fun to put a character right out of their comfort zone.
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.
'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 denoument.'
'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 foward 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.'
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Or to see Helen's video 'A Three Minute Warning' about the background to Slick Deals and her other books, click on the heart: