To Have and to Hold Book Launch!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Generally I hope this isn’t true because, firstly, I am a writer so words are very much my business, and secondly, as regular readers of this blog will have spotted, I’m not great with pictures. I haven’t quite adjusted to the 21st century – my phone does take photos, but I’ve not yet worked them out how to get them off my phone, and I haven’t remembered to take my camera to a social occasion since about 2008. Plus I’d need to reload the software that lets me transfer photos from camera to computer onto my new laptop, and that just seems frankly unmanageable. So, as I say, in general I really hope words are worth more than images.

Today, though, I am having a volte face. Yesterday was the publication of my second novel, To Have and to Hold, and last night I held a launch party for it, at the local cafe where much of it was written. I could try to write a lengthy blog post about how lovely it was, how kind and supportive my friends and neighbours were, what a great atmosphere it was. However, so far today I have had to take the cat to the vets, make fairy cakes for the school summer fete tomorrow, sort out books and bric a brac to donate for the fete, go shopping as we’d run entirely our of milk (Anna’s breakfast was a banana and a chocolate muffin), and I still have to sort out children’s books Anna does and doesn’t like for the Family Literacy class at school this afternoon, write the blog, eat my lunch and get to school for said Literacy class all in the next hour! So I’m hoping that these lovely photos (taken by people other than me!) will convey something of last night’s atmosphere.

to have and to hold book launch 2
Come and join in!
book launch 3
Lovely flowers from my lovely editor, Francesca
to have and to hold book launch 4
Child’s blackboard purloined for self-advertisement
to have and to hold book launch 6
The awkward bit where I have to speak instead of write.
to have and to hold book launch 5
to have and to hold Book launch 1
More gorgeous flowers – these from my agent.
Ready to be bought!
Ready to be bought!
to have and to hold book launch 9
It’s not accidental that the fizz matches the book cover!
to have and to hold book launch 8
Beautiful congratulations flowers from my parents
to have and to hold book launch 10
It’s happening here!



  1. Hope the launch was well attended Helen. I am looking forward to reading your new book. Congratulations! xx


  2. Hi Helen,
    I’m in the middle of reading your book to have and to hold and I’m really enjoying it. I found your last book from a library here in Helsinki and loved that too.i feel your books capture the London atmosphere very well.
    I have been reading your blog texts, many congratulations on your pregnancy! So precious. I too have a 5 year old girl and a 6 week old baby and can tell you the age difference is perfect. I bet your little girl can’t wait to look after the new arrival.
    Ok, back to reading to have and to hold before my baby wakes up!
    Best wishes,
    Ps. Read in one of your blog texts that you thought kids should starts school later. Couldn’t agree more! Kids need to be kids as long as possible. Luckily here in Finland the compulsory educations doesn’t start until the age if 7.


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