The Reviews

Four years ago I wrote my first novel constructed from an idea my daughter and I fell upon after watching Vampire Diaries.  Damon…gorgeous, dangerous, charismatic.  Do you trust him, don’t you? Isn’t that the question a million romances are based on.  Damon, Heathcliff, don’t we all crave a bad boy? Don’t we want to be kept on the edge?

But we don’t want a Hollywood beauty, a moody Elena, a spoilt Catherine. No Phoenix Whittle has to be relatable but still a character teens aspire to but for the right reasons.  Her tenacity, her inner strength, her optimism.  This has to be tested.  The life of a teen is never easy: self-doubt, peer pressure, bullying, that feeling you’re trapped in a life you hate.

Then we need a premise.  How does our bad boy meet our struggling young adult.  She’s on the verge of adulthood/in care/about to be homeless.  He’s an ex special forces  contract killer.  He has a grudge; a fellow marine who left him for dead. He exacts revenge and assumes his enemy’s identity – Henry Whittle.

The real Henry Whittle, prior to being shot at point-blank, reached out to Phoenix, offering her a home. They’ve never met…but they’re about to.

When The Rebirth of Henry Whittle was finished I queried agents, I found representation, a year of editing and my novel was sent to publishers.  It was passed over.  But this is what they said:

I’ve had a chance to read some of The Rebirth of Henry Whittle and, sadly, while it’s compelling, it is dark and that’s not what we’re looking for at Bloomsbury.”

Henry Whittle – it was certainly an interesting and unusual read! As we suspected, it is on the older end…Orchard Books”

I really enjoyed The Rebirth of Henry Whittle, the settings are gripping and it has a really nice cast of characters…Orion”

Henry Whittle, I think is one of the most distinct novels I have read in some time and really enjoyed the noir Mean Girls element to it.  For me it was a little too adult focused…Electric Monkey”

My thoughts on Henry Whittle.  Although this obviously has a pretty dark premise at its core, I actually really liked this story.  It was a bit weird and twisty, but I rather like weird and twisty…Hot Key Books.”

But The Rebirth of Henry Whittle was not taken up and I lost heart in writing and took a break.  I came back stronger with RANDOM ATTACHMENT and now a darker, more sensual REBIRTH OF HENRY WHITTLE.


What would you do for love? How dark can you get?

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The Rebirth of Henry Whittle


I’m disappointed.  No pursuit, no pleading. Whittle is so off his face he doesn’t believe it’s me.  He’s different; his looks diminished, his face gaunt and unshaven, his muscle wasted.

I attach the silencer; purely precautionary; the house is remote. I put the muzzle against his forehead. I can see the bullet; burning through his skin, piercing muscle, drilling its way through cranial bone – it’s then the real damage occurs – the speed of it tearing tissue and membrane. I smile; it’s hard not to.  I pull the trigger.

I return the gun to its leather pouch. I feel nothing. Killing point blank is no harder than from a distance; it neither thrills me nor guilts me. I am under no illusion about what I do, who I am.  I laugh – who I am.  I shake my head at the irony.

I assess myself in Whittle’s mirror.   My face is blank; revealing nothing.  I’m calm; my heart rate is close to forty beats a minute.

“I’m Henry…Hi, I’m Henry…Henry Whittle.”

My tone is neutral – no edge but no warmth. I try it with a smile.

“Henry Whittle, nice to meet you.”