Friday, December 08, 2017

Foreign Edition - Norwegian cover!

I just wanted to shared the wonderful cover I have for the Norwegian edition of Where Dragonflies Hover. In Norway the book is titled, The Old House in Yorkshire, which I just love!

Norwegian

This is the English cover.

Where Dragonflies Hover
#WWI #splitera
Amazon:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Bumper Saga Novel Give-Away Competition!

How would you like to receive this bumper list of SIGNED books from your favourite saga authors just in time for Christmas?


THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE WINNER!

For your chance of winning, go to http://historicalsaganovels.blogspot.co.uk/ complete the title of this popular Charles Dickens novel: 'A Christmas _ _ _ _’ Then post your answer in the comments, along with your name, and share.

                              The competition ends midday on 8th DECEMBER

Follow your favourite saga authors on Twitter with the hashtags #SagaSaturday & #LoveSagas

Authors taking part:

AnneMarie Brear
Isabelle’s Choice
Ebook, Paperback

Will the choices she’s made ruin her?






AnneMarie Brear
To Gain What’s Lost
Ebook, Paperback

She thinks her life has changed for the better, her dark secrets hidden, but little does she know…






Felicity Dwyer
When Blossoms Fall
Paperback, Ebook
For Matti life has not been easy, brought up through the hardship of war and the heartbreak of the loss it brings was difficult enough without her own physical challenges. Matti steadfastly refuses to accept less from life and with the strength and protection of her friends she faces head on the bitter past and secrets that threaten her happiness. Gladys has a physically abusive father that destroys her trust in any man and decides that marriage is definitely not for her. Ada is a feisty young lady who achieves her dream of being a fire-fighter but at what cost.

Elaine Everest
The Woolworths Girls
Paperback, Ebook, Audio
Pan Macmillan
Amazon link
It's 1938 and as the threat of war hangs over the country, Sarah Caselton is preparing for her new job at Woolworths. Before long, she forms a tight bond with two of her colleagues: the glamorous Maisie and shy Freda. The trio couldn't be more different, but they immediately form a close-knit friendship. Sarah soon falls into the rhythm of her new position, enjoying the social events hosted by Woolies and her blossoming romance with young assistant manager, Alan. But with the threat of war clouding the horizon, the young men and women of Woolworths realise that there are bigger battles ahead. It's a dangerous time for the nation, and an even more perilous time to fall in love . . .

Elaine Everest
Christmas at Woolworths
Paperback, Ebook, Audio
Pan Macmillan
Amazon link
Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?
As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .
With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

Fiona Ford
The Spark Girl
Ebook, Paperback, Hardback
Orion
A knock on the door early one morning shouldn't be cause for concern but it is 1941, Britain is at war, and Kitty Williams's fiancé is far from home fighting Hitler with the Navy.
As her heart is shattered hearing the news she had been dreading, Kitty becomes more determined than ever to do her bit for the war effort.
Signing up to the Women's Army is just the sort of challenge Kitty needs but when bombs start to fall on her home town of Coventry, and allies turn against her, Kitty must find the strength she never knew she had to save her family, fix her broken heart and help her country to victory.

Jean Fullerton
Pocketful of Dreams 



Paperback, Ebook

Corvus 



Amazon link
It's 1939, and the Brogan family of London's East End are ready to
show Hitler what for. But things don't seem so rosy when rationing,
evacuation and air-raids start to put this larger-than-life family to the
test.
When a mysterious young man arrives at the Brogans' local parish church, he
provides just the dazzling distraction they need - and for eldest daughter
Mattie, the promise of more than she'd ever wished for. But as the pair fall
deeper in love, they are drawn into secret dangers, rife on the very London
streets they call home.
As the young couple race to protect the East End as they know it, can their
dreams survive the darkening backdrop of war-time...?

Annie Groves
Winter on the Mersey
Paperback, Ebook
Harper Collins
The phoney war is over and Hitler’s bombs are raining down on the city of Liverpool.Rita Kennedy is forced to face some unpalatable truths about her husband, Charlie. But she must still play the part of dutiful wife, while her childhood sweetheart, Jack Callaghan, has shown her nothing but kindness. Can they keep a check on their emotions or will their friendship develop into something more?
For Kitty Callaghan, burying herself in her work distracts from the constant worry about her brothers. Tommy is back from his evacuee posting after falling ill, but now he faces danger in another guise. And what about Danny, always ducking and diving and up to no good? And then there’s Frank Feeny, the man she adores. Will they ever be together?
  
Rosie Hendry
East End Angels
Hardback, Paperback, Ebook
Little, Brown Sphere
 Strong-willed Winnie loves working at Station Seventy-Five but when tragedy hits she finds herself wondering if she's cut out for this life after all.
Former housemaid Bella has been building a new life for herself but when the air raids begin, it seems she may have to start over once again.
East-Ender Frankie's sense of loyalty keeps her tied to home and with her head and heart pulling in different directions, will she find the strength to come through for her friends when they need her the most?
Brought together at LAAS Station Seventy-Five in London's East End during 1940, these different women soon realise that they'll need each other if they're to get through the days ahead. But can the ties of friendship, love and family all remain unbroken?

Emma Hornby
A Shilling for a Wife
Paperback
Transworld, Penguin Random House
A dismal cottage in the heart of Bolton, Lancashire, has been Sally’s prison since Joseph Goden 'bought' her from the workhouse as his wife. A drunkard and bully, Joseph rules her with a rod of iron, using fists and threats to keep her in check.
When Sally gives birth, however, she knows she must do anything to save her child from her husband's clutches. She manages to escape, and taking her baby, flees for the belching chimneys of Manchester, in search of her only relative.
But with the threat of discovery by Joseph, who will stop at nothing to find her, Sally must fight with every ounce of strength she has to protect herself and her son, and finally be with the man who truly loves her. For a fresh start does not come without a price . . .

Emma Hornby
Manchester Moll
Paperback
Transworld, Penguin Random House
Amazon link
Eighteen-year-old Moll Chambers works her fingers to the bone doing all she can to support her family. With an ailing father and a wayward mother, Moll is the only one who can look after her siblings, Bo and Sissy. Manchester is an increasingly dangerous place to live, overrun with a ferocious rivalry between gangs of so-called ‘scuttlers’. And they have her brother in their sights. Soon even Moll can’t protect Bo from the lure of the criminal underworld. Then the scuttlers looked her way.
When she falls for the leader of a rival gang, Moll’s choices place her and Bo firmly on opposite sides of the city’s turf war. With her loyalties now torn in two, and tragedy lurking round every corner, will Moll be able to rise above the conflict and protect those she loves the most?

Carol Rivers
Lizzie of Langley Street
Paperback, hardback, Ebook, Audio
Simon & Schuster

Eastender 15-year-old Lizzie Allen is facing desperate times after World War 1, fighting the poverty and crime that threatens to ruin her family.'




Kate Thompson
Secrets of the Singer Girls
Paperback, Ebook, Hardback, Audio
Pan Macmillan
1942. Sixteen-year-old Poppy Percival turns up at the gates of Trout's clothing factory in Bethnal Green with no idea what her new life might have in store. There to start work as a seamstress and struggling to get to grips with the noise, dirt and devastation of East London, Poppy can't help but miss the quiet countryside of home. But Poppy harbours a dark secret - one that wrenched her away from all she knew and from which she is still suffering . . .
And Poppy's not the only one with a secret. Each of her new friends at the factory is hiding something painful. Vera Shadwell, the forelady, has had a hard life with scars both visible and concealed; her sister Daisy has romantic notions that could get her in trouble; and Sal Fowler, a hardworking mother who worries about her two evacuated boys for good reason. Bound by ties of friendship, loyalty and family, the devastating events of the war will throw each of their lives into turmoil but also bring these women closer to each other than they could ever have imagined.

Mary Wood
Brighter Days Ahead
Paperback
Pan Macmillan
Molly lives with her repugnant father, who has betrayed her many times. From a young age, living on the streets of London’s East End, she has seen the harsh realities of life . . . When she’s kidnapped by a gang and forced into their underworld, her future seems bleak.
Flo spent her early years in an orphanage, and is about to turn her hand to teacher training. When a kindly teacher at her school approaches her about a job at Bletchley Park, it could be everything she never knew she wanted.
Will the girls' friendship be enough to weather the hard times ahead?


#SagaSaturday GOOD LUCK AND DONT FORGET TO FOLLOW US ON TWITTER #LoveSagas 

xx

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Anzac Biscuits

In my Australian novel, Southern Sons, the characters eat 'oat biscuits' which were also sent to the troops fighting in World War I.

Some history of the biscuit which came to be known as the 'ANZAC Biscuits'.

An Anzac biscuit is a sweet biscuit, popular in Australia and New Zealand, made using rolled oats, flour, sugar, butter (or margarine), golden syrupbaking soda, boiling water, and (optionally) desiccated coconut.[1] Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I.


For the full recipe and method.

Southern Sons
1914, Australia. As war is declared, the idyllic world of Blue Water Station is torn apart when Oliver, the eldest grandson and heir, shares his desire to enlist in the army. His enthusiasm ignites his brother, cousins and friends to do the same, but upsets his sister, Tilly. 
After a tragic family incident, Tilly is left to run the cattle station and take care of the older folk. A chance meeting with a sophisticated Lieutenant opens up a friendship through letters, but it’s a rogue stockman who attracts her attention with dire consequences. With the men at war, and her heart pulled in two directions, Tilly must grow up quickly and face the consequences of her rash decisions. Will She find her own happiness?
Surviving a baptism of battle fire in Gallipoli, Turkey, Oliver and the men are sent to France and feel the brutal force of the Western Front. The only glimmer of light for Oliver is his relationship with Jessica, an army nurse. But as the terrors of war impact him, he feels the heavy guilt of encouraging the others to follow him into combat. Will he, and they, ever make it home to Blue Water. 
Can the grandchildren of Kitty McKenzie survive the horrors of war?

Will they survive the war?


Saturday, November 11, 2017

New cover for Eden's Conflict

Eden's Conflict - My Victorian saga has had a revamp.  I felt the old cover wasn't getting the right response from readers. So I worked with Josephine, a graphics designer (JB Graphics) who is wonderful in my opinion, and after telling her about the story and what I envisioned, she came up with the cover you see below.
I love it. Those who have read the story will see how much the cover represents the story as well.


Eden's Conflict
Blurb:
1901 - A new century brings change to the carefully ordered world Eden Harris maintains, change that threatens all she holds dear. Despite years of devoted service to the Bradburys, the leading family of the community, Eden hides a secret that would affect them all. When an enemy returns, her world is shattered and her secret exposed. Torn and provoked, she strains to protect her family until a devastating accident leaves her alone and frightened. As the threat against her grows, Eden takes her precious daughters and flees from the only place she's called home, to live amongst masses in York. 
Her attempt to start anew is not so simple as the past haunts her, and the one man she thought lost to her so many years before, returns to claim what has always been his. Eden must gather her strength and look into her heart to accept what the future offers. 
Can she find the happiness she longs for?

Eden's Conflict is available now.
Purchase 
Amazon: myBook.to/EdensConflict

Friday, November 10, 2017

Remembrance Day


Tomorrow is November 11th - Remembrance Day.
It is one of those days that I am passionate about. The end of WWI should be remembered and honoured by all. 
After all the research I have done for my books set in WWI, I am utterly in awe of what that generation went through to keep us safe and to retain our freedom. 



The poem below makes me cry every time. 
Lest We Forget.
In Flanders Field by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Australian historical novels don't sell...?

Three of my novels are in the top 10 of Australian category. Kitty McKenzie's Land, Nicola's Virtue & Southern Sons.

I'm so pleased that they are doing well because I feel that a lot of the time the reading public ignore the region of Australia and southern countries and islands, when in truth they are wonderful places to learn about and enjoy. I suppose everyone has their favourite areas where authors set stories, as they do by having favourite genres and historical eras. However, there is room for more, less known countries to be featured and explored, and I really encourage readers to try something new and different.

Throughout the many years I've been writing, I've been told constantly that Australian set historical novels don't sell outside of Australia. Well, I beg to differ. Agents who have said in the past to me to not bother writing Australian historical novels may not have been willing to take a chance, and I think that is a mistake.
I'm excited by the fact that people may be branching out and trying books set in other areas outside of the main countries that are so popular. If you are one of those readers, thank you!

Amazon UK. Australian & Oceania category. 13th October 2017. 9:48 am.
Proof that sometimes readers buck the trend.
 
 


Monday, October 09, 2017

Book Fair at Morley

Last Saturday I attended the Morley Lit Festival, which held a book fair in the Town Hall. Unfortunately the turn out wasn't great, perhaps due to the awful cold wet and windy day. But that didn't stop all visitors.






A selection of my books.
 

I met some lovely readers and signed some books. The highlight was meeting Deborah, an avid reader and supporter of authors, who runs a couple of Facebook pages promoting historical fiction authors like myself. I was so pleased to see her and have a chat in person - and of course we had a photo taken!



Deborah and myself

Friday, October 06, 2017

Novel setting, a peek inside...

My latest release, Southern Sons, is set in Australia and France during the Great War.
It's about the grandchildren of Kitty McKenzie, who live on a large cattle property (or cattle station) called Blue Water.
I set Blue Water in the country area of Northern New South Wales, near the town of Grafton which sits on the mighty Clarence River. A smaller river runs off the Clarence, called Orara. Blue water sits on the edge of the Orara River.
In a chapter in Southern Sons, Tilly learns to drive her father's motor car and she drives it miles from Blue Water to Grafton to do some shopping. She has to cross the Clarence River on a steam ferry, and I have found a picture of the actual ferry.



The picture below is something similar to the motor car, Tilly would have learned to drive while the men were at war.
 
Tilly also went on a cattle muster, to bring in the cattle that grazed the hundreds of acres of Blue Water...
 
 
and at night they would camp by the fire.
 

Read Tilly's story in Southern Sons.


 
Blurb: 1914, Australia. As war is declared, the idyllic world of Blue Water Station is torn apart when Oliver, the eldest grandson and heir, shares his desire to enlist in the army. His enthusiasm ignites his brother, cousins and friends to do the same, but upsets his sister, Tilly. After a tragic family incident, Tilly is left to run the cattle station and take care of the older folk. A chance meeting with a sophisticated Lieutenant opens up a friendship through letters, but it’s a rogue stockman who attracts her attention with dire consequences. With the men at war, and her heart pulled in two directions, Tilly must grow up quickly and face the consequences of her rash decisions. Will She find her own happiness?Surviving a baptism of battle fire in Gallipoli, Turkey, Oliver and the men are sent to France and feel the brutal force of the Western Front. The only glimmer of light for Oliver is his relationship with Jessica, an army nurse. But as the terrors of war impact him, he feels the heavy guilt of encouraging the others to follow him into combat. Will he, and they, ever make it home to Blue Water.

Can the grandchildren of Kitty McKenzie survive the horrors of war?

 
Out in ebook and paperback.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, September 29, 2017

Southern Sons - WWI historical fiction

So, for those of you who have read and enjoyed Kitty McKenzie, and the sequel Kitty McKenzie's Land, you'll be pleased to know that I've written a third book to do with the family. Southern Sons is about Kitty's grandchildren. (If you've not read the first two Kitty books, don't worry, Southern Sons is a stand alone book as well.)
I absolutely loved writing this book. it was one of those books that just flew out onto the page without much hardship. The research I did was enjoyable because the era of WWI is fascinating to me. I have many books about the Great War, and spent hours watching documentaries. Also online are some wonderful forums and websites about WWI, the battles, the conditions and the soldiers' stories.

I felt the need to write about the young Australian men who went to war so naïve and fresh-faced, and who, by the end of 4 years of fighting, were renowned as a magnificent army of brave and gutsy men full of the new-born Australian spirit that still lives on today.
I used Kitty's grandsons for that honour, and her tenacious spirit flows in their veins.
To add to the drama of  the grandsons going to war, I needed a granddaughter to be at home on Blue Water Station to 'keep the home fires burning' so to speak. Matilda (Tilly) is definitely Kitty McKenzie's granddaughter, with the same braveness and can-do attitude.

I love this family like my own, I hope you do too.




Blurb: 1914, Australia. As war is declared, the idyllic world of Blue Water Station is torn apart when Oliver, the eldest grandson and heir, shares his desire to enlist in the army. His enthusiasm ignites his brother, cousins and friends to do the same, but upsets his sister, Tilly.
After a tragic family incident, Tilly is left to run the cattle station and take care of the older folk. A chance meeting with a sophisticated Lieutenant opens up a friendship through letters, but it’s a rogue stockman who attracts her attention with dire consequences. With the men at war, and her heart pulled in two directions, Tilly must grow up quickly and face the consequences of her rash decisions. Will She find her own happiness?Surviving a baptism of battle fire in Gallipoli, Turkey, Oliver and the men are sent to France and feel the brutal force of the Western Front. The only glimmer of light for Oliver is his relationship with Jessica, an army nurse. But as the terrors of war impact him, he feels the heavy guilt of encouraging the others to follow him into combat. Will he, and they, ever make it home to Blue Water.

Can the grandchildren of Kitty McKenzie survive the horrors of war?



Out in ebook and paperback.
Amazon myBook.to/SouthernSons


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Edwardian Fashion

I really enjoy looking at historical fashion, especially from the Victorian and Edwardian eras which are the periods I set a lot of my novels.
Below are some pictures of Edwardian gowns that I can easily imagine my characters wearing. I like the simple, clean lines of the Edwardian fashion and the soft subtle colours and textiles. They capture the essence of style and femininity.