Book Review – This is Happiness by Niall Williams

This is Happiness begins with the sky clearing and the rain stopping just after 3 o’clock on the Wednesday afternoon of Holy Week in 1958 while the people of Faha in county Clare are at Church. This is a rare occurrence in Faha as rain 'was a condition of living'. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe, known as … Continue reading Book Review – This is Happiness by Niall Williams

Drake – Tudor Corsair by Tony Riches

Today, I'm delighted to be sharing an excerpt from Tony Riches' new book Drake - Tudor Corsair as part of his blog tour with the Coffee Pot Book Club. This is the first book in his new Elizabethan Series. Excerpt Gorhambury Manor, home of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Sir Nicholas Bacon, May 1577 … Continue reading Drake – Tudor Corsair by Tony Riches

In my beginning is my end? – Opening and closing lines

A little while ago I saw a quote from the American novelist Gloria Naylor - 'One should be able to return to the first sentence of a novel and find the resonances of the entire work.' Other than in consciously literary works, I wondered how often this happened so I took a few favourite books … Continue reading In my beginning is my end? – Opening and closing lines

Meandering through Cyberspace in February 2020

The internet has dramatically enlarged our access to a wealth of information. Most days I spend some time online looking for items related to those things the interest me most - reading, writing and history. Without fail, every time, I find something new and interesting. So, here, I'd like to share a few of the … Continue reading Meandering through Cyberspace in February 2020

The Bridled Tongue – My new novel

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Last Saturday I released my second novel, The Bridled Tongue. This is a story that, once again, takes place in the 1580s with fictional characters set against what I hope is a reasonably accurate historical background. While the developing relationship of the two main characters, … Continue reading The Bridled Tongue – My new novel

Book Review – Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory

It is 1920 and the Great War ended two years ago. Seventeen-year-old Lily Pears had done her best to ignore it. She is a chorus girl with a beautiful voice, who performs under the stage name Lily Valance. Her widowed mother has poured all her dreams into her daughter. Helen Pears runs a shop on … Continue reading Book Review – Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory

Book Review – Murder at Westminster Abbey by Amanda Carmack

Londoners are crowding into the streets, celebrating, watching the river procession as Elizabeth Tudor makes her way by barge to the Tower of London in preparation for her coronation. Meanwhile, in the backstreets of Southwark, a kindhearted prostitute with pale skin and red hair is brutally murdered. Nineteen-year-old Kate Haywood is the daughter of a … Continue reading Book Review – Murder at Westminster Abbey by Amanda Carmack