Coming 17 August 2023

“I simply slung my rucksack on my shoulder and climbed into the car – and into the life – of perfect strangers…”

Stay by Jane Bailey

"I simply slung my rucksack on my shoulder and climbed into the car - and into the life - of perfect strangers..."

It was meant to be Caitlin's perfect summer, but betrayed by her best friend and her boyfriend, she finds herself hitchhiking home alone, heartbroken, and penniless.

When a smiling family pulls up on the roadside to help her on her way, she's relieved - they seem so friendly, safe. And when they offer her a warm bed in their isolated house for the night, she's grateful not to have to travel back alone in the dark. In any case, she's in no rush to get home, where a grave secret is lying in wait to blow her family apart.

One night soon turns into two, and then three. The increasingly spellbinding couple wants her to stay, and why shouldn't she? Their children need a tutor, and the longer she can avoid home, the better. But then an older member of the household warns her to leave immediately. And when her phone suddenly goes missing, when she realises that this perfect family is a perfect lie, it might not be so easy for her to leave...

‘A beautifully-written thriller that will really get under your skin.’

Mark Edwards

‘From a quietly sinister start this story escalates rapidly; so tense, so creepy! The very definition of a page turner. I loved it.’

Jackie Kabler

‘Such a unique and suspenseful piece of drama, masterfully done.’

Mel Golding

‘A creeping sense of dread from the first page, intoxicating.’

Amanda Reynolds

‘Unbearably dark and chilling. I couldn’t put it down’

Shalini Boland

Sorry isn't good enough

“Sorry Isn’t Good Enough” Published March 2022

It is 1966, and things are changing in the close-knit Napier Road. Stephanie is 9 years old, and she has plans:

1. Get Jesus to heal her wonky foot
2. Escape her spiteful friend Dawn
3. Persuade her mum to love her

But everything changes when Stephanie strikes up a relationship with Mr Man, who always seems pleased to see her. When Dawn goes missing in the woods during the World Cup final, no one appears to know what happened to her – but more than one of them is lying.

May 1997. Stephanie has spent her life trying to bury the events of that terrible summer. But when a man starts following her on the train home from London, she realises the dark truth of what happened may have finally caught up with her…


Book reviews

“If Joanna Cannon and Ali Land had a book baby that was then adopted by Gillian Flynn and Sadie Jones, Sorry Isn’t Good Enough would be the result, and what a child it is. It’s both a mystery and a coming-of-age novel that has so much book club potential, and I can’t wait to work with Jane and publish this fantastic novel.”

Francesca Pathak, Orion Editor

“Gripping and surprising, and at turns chilling and heartbreaking. Stephanie’s story will stay with me for a long time.” Melanie Golding

Lark Song - June 2018

“Lark Song” Published June 2018

As a widowed mother of three, new love seems impossible for Freya—until she meets Duncan, and suddenly she feels alive again. But there are secrets afflicting Freya’s family, some more sinister than others, that could destroy their relationship before it has a chance to flourish.

While Freya’s older children are less than welcoming, six-year-old Sophie helps Duncan find his place in the family—but even Sophie harbours fears that threaten to overshadow any chance of a new start. The past is hard to leave behind when pictures of Freya’s idolised late husband hang in every room, and the more Duncan tries to find the source of Sophie’s anxiety, the more he is convinced that Reuben was not the perfect husband and father Freya remembers.

Tormented by concern and his own insecurity, Duncan begins an obsessive investigation into the dead man’s past. But when his good intentions lead him in too deep, he risks destroying everything he has built with Freya—and the whole family’s second chance at happiness.


Book reviews

“Gently told, warm and engaging, Lark Song charts the lives and private anxieties of an ordinary family as they try to overcome loss and accept they are allowed to be happy again.” —Rachel Joyce, bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

“A captivating story, full of love, buried secrets, and a shocking betrayal. Unputdownable!” —Sue Limb, writer and broadcaster

“Jane Bailey combines lightness of touch with a deep well of emotional intelligence. This story…is affecting, wise and lovely.” —Kate Riordan, author of The Heatwave

Lark Song is a beguiling, heart-tugging novel that comes complete with some of the most convincingly written child characters I’ve encountered in grown-up fiction.” —Caroline Sanderson, editor at The Bookseller

“Lark Song is a love story with a dark betrayal at its heart that is nevertheless funny, tender, thoughtful and romantic…with characters and a plot reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca in a very up-to-date setting. I loved this book.” Karen Byrom

What Was Rescued - August 2017

“What Was Rescued”

In the autumn of 1940, four children meet on a train. Behind them is London, under heavy aerial attack; ahead of them is a ship bound for the safety of Canada. Arthur has promised not to let his little brother, Philip, out of his sight. Pippa and Dora are on their own: polar opposites, yet bound together by the adventure of a lifetime.

But disaster strikes mid-Atlantic, and in the chaos one of the children makes a choice that will determine the course of all four lives.

As they grow into adulthood – forging their futures and falling in love – the survivors continue to reflect on the events of that night. It’s not just what was lost that darkens their lives: what was rescued casts a long shadow, too. One of them has a terrible secret, and thinks it went down with the ship. That secret could shatter what happiness they’ve managed to find.

That secret is about to surface.

Lark Song - June 2018

“Tommy Glover’s Sketch of Heaven” (Robinson 2005)


In 1944 eight-year-old Kitty is placed as an evacuee in a Gloucestershire village with a cold, unhappy couple, Joyce and Jack Shepherd, who find her Cockney chirpiness repugnant. Neither of them approves of Kitty’s friendship with Tommy Glover – an older boy from the boys’ home – and they even seem to nurse a mysterious hatred of him. Kitty’s relentless curiosity slowly transforms the strangely troubled marriage of Joyce and Jack. But when she exposes a terrible secret, the lives of nearly everyone in the village are changed forever.

Advanced Praise

“A vivid and involving story that reaches a truly page-turning climax. I liked both the rhythm and small details of village life…This is a lovely novel.” Barbara Trapido

“A gentle, poignant, achingly funny tale…Jane Bailey has a rare talent for moving one profoundly without ever overplaying her cards.” Serena Mackesy

“…absorbing, compelling and intensely moving…Studded with hilarious and unexpected turns of phrase.”Lesley Glaister

Lark Song - June 2018

“Mad Joy” (Robinson 2006)


In the beginning a small girl runs into a wood, and two years later walks out of it and into the nearest house. Gracie, the childless spinster who finds her curled up on her armchair, takes her on as her own, seeing her as a feral gift of fate. Known as Joy in the Cotswold village that adopts her, there is endless speculation about her wild past and comical ways. In this moving and passionate tale, Joy grows into a young woman at the advent of World War II, and when she becomes romantically involved with a fighter pilot the extraordinary mystery of her past slowly unravels.

Kindle Edition – available from Amazon – £2.74

Advanced Praise

“A vivid and involving story that reaches a truly page-turning climax. I liked both the rhythm and small details of village life…This is a lovely novel.” Barbara Trapido