Reading my writes: on crime thrillers

Well, I made it through. One major operation and two infections later and I live to tell more tales.

Sounds more like the premise for a gore-fest, horror novel than something you would expect from a crime thriller writer; but hey, in this digital age of publishing, genres aren’t so restrictive anymore!

Hell, I can write what I like! More about that in future posts.

Anyway, here we are, just two weeks away from the release of our next book – ‘Snow White’.


It’s a really exciting (and nerve-racking) time for us.

We have now passed the 75,000 copies mark with ‘Sugar & Spice on Amazon alone – not bad for a debut novel that agents didn’t have the ‘dangly bits’ to touch!  😉

It continues to sell thousands a month and is sitting pretty comfortably in the Top 100 on Amazon UK.


It’s a well-known fact among authors (up there with having a great cover and blurb) that the more books you publish, the more you sell. Write, publish, then write another. We get it.

So that’s what we’re doing. Writing commercial crime thrillers with a USP that we hope, readers will love and tell their friends about. (see Kristen Lamb; I am still reading and following the WANA mantra!)

We hope to have the second book in The Rose Red Series (‘Rapunzel’) out in time for Christmas 2011 and that will take us to 4 books published in 12 months – something that a year ago, would have been nothing but a figment of my ever-overflowing imagination.

So yeah, scary and at the same time, ‘squee-ably exciting’!

I mean, we just said ‘no thanks, not at the moment’ to representation by the biggest Lit agency in New York and the chance to pitch our books to ‘The big six’ – we must be crazy, right?

No, but it helps. It helps when writing crime thrillers too.

It’s a tough genre to write in – crime thrillers. There are millions of great writers out there, many of whom I have read avidly over the years and still do; so when we chose this genre (or rather, it chose us) it wasn’t a decision made lightly.

We were (and still are in some respects) tiny, unknown fish in a literary ocean and the competition from the predators is fierce. James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Jo Nesbo, Konrath, Stephen Leather, Stieg Larsson; the list of sharks is endless and they have massive teeth! So deciding to go head-to-head with them was a biggie.

Would we sink? What was going to get us noticed in a sea of super-writers? How do we take on the big fish?

All questions that went through our heads when we first released Sugar & Spice, but you know what? We did it.

There isn’t some magic formula (so you can stop emailing and asking thanks) or ‘how to’ guide (although we may publish some tips that wannabe writers might find useful in the future) and success is never guaranteed. But if you have the balls, a bit of market savvy and a decent story, then who knows? You might just make it.

Snow White is a pretty unique concept and one that kinda crept up on us without us realising. That’s the fun bit about writing. In the words of Forrest Gump “You never know what you’re gonna git.”

 Both Mark and I are ‘pantsers’, we never plot or sketch out ideas. We start writing and see where the story takes us. Sure, this isn’t for everyone, but for me, it’s freedom.

Freedom to write what I want, how I want and about what I want.

We didn’t want to write a typical crime thriller. I have lost count of the reviews I have read where readers have accused writers of ‘following the rule book’ and producing the bog-standard thriller.

We also wanted to do something completely different to Sugar & Spice.

There may well be a sequel (and even a third) book in that series in the future, heaven knows, we have discussed it enough, but for now, we wanted to give our readers something totally different. Something that hasn’t been done before.

I think we did it with The Rose Red series. Honestly, I do.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill thriller. Yes, it is set in modern-day London, there is a bad guy (or two) and the protagonist fights constant battles and jumps through hoops to achieve her goals, but that’s where the similarities end.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, urban thriller, with characters you can relate to and some you wouldn’t want to, then this is for you.

Everyone remembers their fairy tales, right? Well Rose Red is re-writing happy endings.

As for nice fairy tales, well ours is just beginning.

I can’t wait to get Snow White out there and see what the readers think. I can’t wait to write the next one – I am in love with Red and the family already. We hope you will be too.

I like being a writer, in fact, I love it and who knows what we’ll come up with next?

The oceans are vast, there’s room for everyone; but it’s survival of the fittest – do or die – and we don’t intend to be sleeping with the fishes any time soon. 😉


Another #1

We made number one again, this time in Police Procedurals… 😉

5 star treatment for Sugar & Spice! Our latest reviews

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars disturbing.,19 April 2011
By Katherine Grant – This review is from: Sugar & Spice: The ground-breaking debut crime thriller (Kindle Edition)

it felt so wrong reading this in places, but so well writen just at that point of you saying enough it pulled you on.
at 64% in all turns, and the story runs on ahead full.
loved it.


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,19 April 2011
By Mr. Dean Knight –This review is from: Sugar & Spice: The ground-breaking debut crime thriller (Kindle Edition)

I saw this book whilst surfing through the Kindle store. I looked at the reviews and for the price thought why not. I am glad i did, as this book kept me hooked from the start to the finish and i am looking forward to the next book from Saffina Desforges. There seems to have been some research into the subject and it has taken me to a new area of books that i would not have read before, so thank you to the author for expanding my mind.
If you have a kindle then you need to read this book

5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it,19 April 2011
By Mrs. V. McWade – This review is from: Sugar & Spice: The ground-breaking debut crime thriller (Kindle Edition)

Couldn’t stop reading this. Suffice to say I immediately searched my kindle by more books by this author – only to be disappointed. Can’t wait for the next one………….

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read,18 April 2011
By Stuart Maskery – This review is from: Sugar & Spice: The ground-breaking debut crime thriller (Kindle Edition)

I just couldn’t put this book down and not many books these days engross me so well, great plot though uncomfortable reading at times, well researched and a book I would seriously recommend


5.0 out of 5 stars Sugar and Spice,17 April 2011

By Mr. J. W. Wiltshire – This review is from: Sugar & Spice: The ground-breaking debut crime thriller (Kindle Edition)

I did enjoy this book greatly and would recommend it to anyone. Yes it is graphic in places and the subject is disturbing and at times can be upsetting. However I thought it was so well written, it was very good. I must admit I do live near Margate where a lot of the action takes place. This made it all the more interesting. I loved this book.



Us on the net

Here is an article and a guest post from me on Crime Time and author, Jim Thompson‘s (featured on my sister blog) site.

Sugar & Spice hits number 4 in Amazon UK Bestsellers!

Wow! I just had to pick myself up off the floor then!

When I told Stephen Leather to watch out, I was joking! Then I see this…

I hope my co-author doesn’t fall off his deck-chair/sun-lounger when he hears the news! 😉

Get Sugar & Spice now!

A BEST SELLING (ahem) crime thriller for your Kindle, ipad, Mac, PC, Android… (shall I go on?)



  • Buy Sugar & Spice from Amazon

  • Buy the French edition of Sugar & Spice (Paraphilia)

  • Buy Snow White from Amazon

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  • Buy Rapunzel from Amazon

  • Buy London’s Burning from Amazon

  • Buy Ring A-Ring O’Roses from Amazon

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