Penwortham novelist Elisabeth Carpenter's delight at new three-book deal with publishers Orion

Libby Carpenter
Libby Carpenter
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One of Lancashire’s brightest novelists is jumping for joy after striking  a new book deal with one of the UK’s leading book publishers.

Penwortham author Elisabeth Carpenter took to social media last week to reveal that she has signed a three-book deal with London-based publishers Orion.

Elisabeth, or Libby as she is known, said: “I knew about this from the start of the year but I’ve been under contract with [publishers] Avon so had to stay quiet until now.”

The first of the books, Only a Mother, is being released on December 27 following previous novel 99 Red Balloons being an e-book best-seller.

The new novel looks at the impact that serious crime has on an accused person’s family, in particular with their mother.

It poses the scenario in which a mother has always believed her son innocent of murder - until he arrives home from prison and another girl goes missing - it asks, "what would you do if your child was accused of murder?", "how can a mother turn her back on her son?" and, "if she won't, then how far will she go to protect him?".

“It’s got a very Northern feel to it and bits from Northern towns all put together,” Libby explained.

Orion Fiction publisher Harriet Bourton said: “There are many psychological thrillers in the market at the moment that look at what impacts a crime has on the victim’s family.

“Only a Mother turns that perspective on its head and looks at the family of the accused; how their lives will have changed, how the community view them now, their own relationship with and love for the convicted.

Elisabeth handles this complex experience with page-turning dexterity and compassion.”