Return to the Secret Lake (8-12 yrs)

I am thrilled to say that Return to the Secret Lake is now out (it launched in March 2022) and is already doing itself proud over in the USA and in the UK!

It follows many requests from children and adults over the years for a sequel to The Secret Lake and hopefully will have been worth the wait! Certainly, feedback from my small team of advance readers exceeded my expectations and I’m thrilled finally to be able to share the twists and turns of this new tale with you!

In this page-turning sequel we see Lucy come forward in time in search of a cure for Emma who has fallen dangerously ill. Of course, things are never straightforward where time tunnels and magical moles are concerned — and so unfolds a thrilling tale of time travel, rekindled friendships and new threats that no one could have foreseen.

Click on the back page cover image half way down the page to read the full blurb. 😊

Coming in at just over 50,000 words the new book is approximately twice the length of the first. I began initial planning in August then drafted in September and October, with edits and updates made over the following six weeks. (In fact, I began the first edits in November during a writer’s retreat with friends in an Edwardian country house in rural Surrey, where we had a ghost in one of the rooms! I shall be writing separately about that — do ask me at school visits!)

It was such a pleasure to reconnect with the original characters (who had been waiting incredibly patiently!), and to meet with a few new ones in both the past and the present. I also thoroughly enjoyed researching the social fabric of Edwardian London, which provides the backdrop for much of the action in the story — and had particular fun bringing Lucy forward in time and seeing our modern world through her eyes.

Most of all I fell back in love with writing from the children’s perspective: Stella and Tom from the present, and Emma, Lucy and other key characters in past time. It is the children who drive the plot in this story as they face huge challenges and unforeseen threats. Tempting though it might have been to have adults help along the way, this book is once again about the power of the children’s loyalty and friendship across time — and the ends to which they are prepared to go to look out for each other. I do hope your children and pupils enjoy the ride!

I shall be updating this page in due course with links to my research into life in early 1900s London, and putting together resources for teachers. Please sign up to my newsletter if you’d like to be notified when those resources are available.

Visit to watch Méabh’s advance reader review

Click to watch BookMonster’s full review of Return to the Secret Lake on YouTube — this is a great channel for your children to subscribe to if they love middle-grade books btw:)

A sneak peek of Chapters 1-3

As you’ve come this far, I expect I’ve piqued your interest, and by way of thank you below is a sneak peek of the opening three chapters of Return to the Secret Lake.

Click to read as you would a magazine on your desktop — you can also use the icons under the image to expand the page to full screen, or download it in PDF form. Alternatively, tap the icons to read it on your phone or tablet in book format. Please feel free to share with friends!

(Please note that this extract is from the uncorrected proof copy so there may be the odd typo or spacing issue in there. Also please note that I use British English spelling throughout.)

If you buy and enjoy Return to the Secret Lake it would be wonderful if you could take a moment to help your child leave a review online if they enjoy it. And do tag me if you post about it on social media and I will share.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy the extract!

The Secret Lake 3

There will be a Book 3 at some stage, though I can’t yet promise when! If you or your child would like the chance to join my advance reader team for this, or you simply wish to be kept up to date with progress on it, please sign up to my occasional newsletter higher up the page. I don’t email often, never share email addresses, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Happy reading in the meantime 😊.

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