Pride and Pyramids -Mr Darcy in Egypt

Just thought I’d add a link about this book. I co wrote it with my good friend and expert Austenologist Amanda Grange a couple of years ago and she was good enough to send me this blog post: It was fun to write although I had to rely on Mandy for Austen knowledge and Regency culture. I still have a photocopy of the cheque I was sent – in dollars!


The new release date for SOPHRONIA AND THE VAMPIRE is 25 March, which is great news. I have just spent about two hours sorting out promo facts etc. Also forgot to mention that last weekend I was in Fishguard for the annual writers workshops (many thanks to my friend Susanna Bavin – go to her blogsite for great reviews etc at

I had a really great time – it’s always good to talk to other writers and also many thanks to Catherine King our tutor who gave us lots of useful writing tools. 2015-02-15 12.05.21 2015-02-15 12.05.55

Cheers chaps!






Waiting to be published…

Just a quick note to say that I have finished the edits to ‘Sophronia and the Vampire’ for The Wild Rose Press – – and am hoping to be able to announce the publishing date very soon. I have also contracted the sequel ‘Maids, Mothers and Crones’ with The Wild Rose Press and will begin the editing process for that later this month. I am also hoping to show off the new cover in the next few weeks as well. Any day now….

New review for ‘Sophronia and the Vampire’ -when is a romance book not a romance book?

Go over to for a new review of ‘Sophronia and the Vampire’,  and many thanks to Teresa D for such a positive review. I was particularly tickled by her comment about Hagen: “In the beginning I have to admit that I didn’t like (Hagen) much; but like a fungus the old vampire kind of grows on you.

She also mentions that she didn’t think she’d like the book much but was pleasantly surprised as it was a breath of fresh air. This is a comment that I’ve received over quite a few reviews, which is gratifying but also a bit mystifying, as it does leave me wondering exactly what people are expecting. I think it may have something to do with the fact that the novel is not overtly romantic. My writing colleagues, Lizzie, Sue and I were discussing this the other day as we tried to tease out exactly what makes a book a romance and how much romantic element should one expect in a novel. I’m not sure we came to any definitive conclusion, but essentially if the two leads are attracted to one another and the conclusion of the novel has them drawn closer together and Happy For Now, if not Happy Ever After, then I think the novel can be classed as romantic. So by that yardstick ‘Sophronia’ qualifies, but I’d be interested to know what others think.


Recent writing events

Two photos that I have been meaning to put onto website. The first is courtesy of my good friend Carol Fenlon, taken at the Authors North Conference on October 11th in Manchester. Pictured are Pete, Lizzie, myself Rhona and Carol, after a very enjoyable and educational day learning about how important social media is to us budding authors. The second is thanks to Susannah Bavin @SusannahBavin, of myself, Lizzie @LizzieGates and Sue at the first meeting of the Wirral/North Wales RNA Chapter meeting. Sometimes I even have time for writing.

Authors North Oct 2014 RNA Chapter

Favourite Films

Favourite films

Inspired by my friend Sue I thought about making up a list of my favourite ten movies. However, since there are far too many for a mere ten and I have the memory of a sieve anyway, I decided to list the top five I’ve enjoyed this year at the cinema/watched on TV.

1. Lucy

This was the last movie we went to see that I really enjoyed. Some critics have apparently panned it, but I thought it was fantastic. Lucy was such a loser in the first few frames you didn’t really like her, but the story employed a breakneck speed and in no time at all I was cheering her on. I thought the ending was brilliant.

2. Edge of Tomorrow

I like Tom Cruise in most things (watched Rock of Ages again a few nights ago and still laugh out loud/go iiick at the tongue in the ear scene! Then saw Tropic Thunder and can’t quite believe it’s him), but I really enjoyed this film – probably because I wasn’t really expecting to. It was funny and touching in equal amounts. Emily Blunt’s character was fine too. She was believable as a soldier rather than just a boy’s queen bitch fantasy.

3. Captain America – the Winter Soldier

I really enjoyed this movie, which surprised me. I only went to keep my younger son company and I found the first Captain America film quite dull. The character seemed to have more depth this time round and the action was relentless. Never a dull moment!

4. Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’ve included these two (slight cheat as there’s two) because I saw them at the cinema even though they were screenings of live action stage productions performed at the Globe Theatre in London. They were both fantastic and reminded me of how brilliant Shakespeare is when done properly. Being a film buff I tend to think only films can do the job of bringing a play to life but these two productions were fantastic.

5. Last of the Mohicans

Saw this again a few weeks ago and still feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise when Daniel Day-Lewis does that “Stay Alive!” speech. The rest of the film isn’t bad either.


New Contract

I have just sent off my signed contract to THE WILD ROSE PRESS for SOPHRONIA AND THE VAMPIRE. This is great news and I am really looking forward to working with the ladies at TWRP and finding a new audience for this series.

Here’s one I made earlier…

This is a piece from a blog I did about a year ago:

I began writing SOPHRONIA AND THE VAMPIRE around the time of my 50th birthday when I realized it was time to come to terms with the fact that I could no longer identify with lissom young twenty-somethings. Evil stepmothers and witches of traditional fairy stories have always been older women and , granted they were usually malicious, cackling old biddies, but at least they looked like they were having fun and they had power which wasn’t something many women had in the old days. So while I was writing I decided to do my bit to reclaim the word ‘crone’ and revel in it.
The most contemporary example of the crone that kept springing up in my mind as I was writing was Endora from the TV series ‘Bewitched.’ As a little girl I used to watch it religiously, every week hoping that Samantha would do something exciting like ride on her broomstick, attend coven meetings with other witches and create fantastic spells that would amaze the mere mortals she lived amongst. And week after depressing week she never did anything but stay at home, wear a frilly little pinny and make dinner for her husband, Darren; and whenever she did anything remotely magical, she was always apologising because Darren didn’t like her behaving like a witch. By contrast, Endora, the crone, always had a fantastic time, weaving mischievous spells, treating Darren with the contempt I always felt instinctively he deserved and generally behaving disgracefully. I actually found this confusing as a child, because Endora wasn’t like any of the old ladies I knew; she always looked glamorous with her gloriously exaggerated eyelashes and wonderfully sexy clothes. It’s only now having entered that strange world of the over fifties myself that I realise there’s a lot to said for growing old disgracefully. So, to all you ladies out there of a certain age, I say it’s time to embrace your inner crone. We may not be as limber and toned as we once were, but as Evelyn points out in ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-stop Cafe,’ we’re older and we have more insurance.