You Bute(y) – An Island Break

The lockdown restrictions eased here in Scotland just in time for me to join with a small number of my family to celebrate (socially distanced of course) my mum’s 80th birthday, and to take a short break on the Isle of Bute. Like most people, I’ve barely been over the door in the last year …

The Book That Wouldn’t Finish – My Lockdown Writing Struggle

On Friday my 55th book for Mills & Boon was finally accepted. The Earl Who Sees Her Beauty is the first in a Victorian duet titled Revelations of the Carstairs Sisters, and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever endured such a torrid time writing a novel. Now that it’s signed off and …

Lockdown II – The Fightback Begins

Warning: this blog contains gratuitous scenes of overt navel-gazing. When the first lockdown was imposed almost a year ago now, most people approached it as a challenge to be overcome. In those early days of weekly communal clapping there was a sense of “we’re all in it together”. It was an opportunity, we decided, to …

What I’ve Been Reading – Research

For reasons that will now be obvious (and if not, you can find out why on my previous post), my historical research has been heavily focussed on all things Victorian. Now that I’m finished writing Her Heart for a Compass with the Duchess of York, I’m sticking with the Victorian era for my next duet …

What I’ve Been Reading – Fiction

Lockdown continues to affect my fiction reading choices. I find it very difficult to concentrate and so anything too epic, with too big a cast or requiring too much intellectual effort from me is almost certainly going to fail to engage. I think inevitably too, what I consider important (or not!) has changed radically and …

Her Heart for a Compass

Today, I have some really exciting news to share with you. I am absolutely delighted to announce that I have been collaborating on a novel with none other than Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Here is a clip from the official press release: Her Heart for a Compass is a fictional account of the life …

Lockdown Victorian Style

One of my favourite aspects of writing is the world-building component. I love to create a setting that feels completely real to me, one that I can inhabit, breathe, experience alongside my characters. Even when the world I’m writing about is wholly invented, there are always parts of the landscape that have their origins in …

The Ghost of Lockdown Present(s)

I don’t usually go in for extensive Christmas present buying (a combination of thinking it an exploitative commercial con and not having any money), but I do try and make something modest for my family and close friends each year. What my gran would call “a wee minding”. This year, knowing that I wasn’t going …

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