The Secret Lake (8-11yrs)

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This is the first book I wrote and is really close to my heart – I’m thrilled that it has now sold well over 100,000 copies and since 2018 has been hitting children’s best seller charts on Amazon in the UK, USA and, most recently, Canada. 😊

The Secret Lake is a time travel mystery adventure in which Stella (11) and Tom (8), when trying to find their elderly neighbour’s missing dog, discover a tunnel and lake that take them to their home and the children living there 100 years in the past.

Here they take part in a daring rescue plan to help a young boy, Jack, who’s in trouble – and uncover some startling connections between the past and present…

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Inspiration for The Secret Lake

The Secret Lake was inspired when some friends moved into an apartment in London’s Notting Hill. It backed on to the most fantastic communal garden that the children could get lost in safely – they had mini woods to play in and rhododendron bushes to hide inside.

When I saw the children playing there, it reminded me of my own childhood in rural Hertfordshire when our parents would let us go off and play in the woods for hours at a time! I also couldn’t help wondering what it would be like if the children in the present-day gardens could meet the children who had lived there 100 years earlier.

The lake in the story was inspired by a beautiful pond up in Isabella Plantation, a magical enclosed woodland area in Richmond Park, to the south west of London and close to where I live. The book’s front cover is based on how Still Pond looks each May, when all of the Azaleas are out. We loved taking our boys to Isabella when they were little as it provided the perfect setting for them to explore and run free, just as I had done as a child.

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Isabella Plantation in bloom – May 2018. I took the new front cover for a tour 🙂

If you’ve not been there, it’s really worth the trip – and it’s free to get in! Search online to see more magical images of Isabella Plantation.

Six reasons why you should read or listen to The Secret Lake!

  • Many lovely reviews from children on the reviews page of thesecretlake.com (this is an old website set up before my main author website, but I always reply!)
  • Hundreds of reviews on Amazon UK (mostly 5-Star) – described as ‘A modern Tom’s Midnight Garden’
  • Hundreds more reviews on Amazon.com (mostly 5-Star) and more on Goodreads & Waterstones
  • 5 Stars from the influential Parents in Touch website run by ex Head teachers
  • Considered for adaption by CBBC after recommendation by their Head of Independent Commissioning
  • Russian and Albanian rights sold in 2019, Turkish rights sold in 2020: The Secret Lake is going global 🙂

How to buy The Secret Lake

Buy in print from Amazon and most other major online bookstores worldwide, or in ebook format in the Kindle store. The Secret Lake is also stocked by selected branches of Waterstones in southwest London and in local independent bookshops such as The Notting Hill Bookshop W11, The Barnes Bookshop SW13 and The Sheen Bookshop SW14 .

You can also order it from any UK, US or Australian bookshop – simply ask!

The Secret Lake AudioBook – now out!

I am thrilled to announce that, after many hours in the recording studio (yes, I am narrating!), The Secret Lake audiobook is now available (29 June 2019). Follow the links below to listen to a free sample or to buy.

While the reading age for the book is 8-11, the audiobook can be enjoyed by ages 6 and above. Grown-ups who enjoyed Enid Blyton or Nancy Drew mysteries will also enjoy it – perfect entertainment for car, train or aeroplane journeys. 😊

The Secret Lake audiobook cover

Listen on Audible

Download a free poster of The Secret Lake

Click on the images below to save and print a poster of The Secret Lake in A4 or A3 🙂 – Old or new cover.

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The Secret Lake - poster to save and print

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