I have three full length novels in various stages of development. All are historical fiction with a strong romance element.
Forsaking All Other
It is 1585 and England is under threat from foreign enemies and home-grown traitors. England’s problems barely register for young widow Bess Stoughton. A waiting woman to the well connected Lady Allingbourne, Bess is content with her life and in no rush to remarry until she discovers that her father is determined to marry her to a repugnant elderly neighbour. In face of normally obedient Bess’s resistance, her father reluctantly agrees to allow her a year to find herself a husband more to her liking. Although, like most sensible women of her time, Bess does not consider romantic love essential to a happy marriage, her search for a husband is not progressing well. With England at war in the Netherlands and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for Bess.
‘Without wealth and position, Bess had nothing but herself to offer in the marriage market; she doubted that was enough. What arts did a woman need to make a man want her so much that he would be willing to marry her in face of opposition?’
Forsaking All Others is completed and I plan to self-publish it early in 2018.
It came second in the Valerie Parv Award 2014 of the Romance Writers of Australia.
The Bridled Tongue
Life has taught Alys Bradley not to expect what others take for granted: love, family, status. When she returns to her parents’ house after twelve years absence, her father, a wealthy Norwich mercer, decides that it is high time she married. Under pressure from her family, Alys is forced to choose between her father’s former apprentice, Robert Blunt, and Thomas Granville, a privateer fifteen years her senior. Both men seem more interested in the benefits that will come from marriage to Alys than the woman herself.
With England facing the threat of immanent Spanish invasion, Alys makes her choice and is forced to confront both her own and her husband’s past.
The Bridled Tongue is in the revision stage and I hope to publish it in 2018/19.
Hobart 1878 – a vibrant town drawing people from every corner of the earth where, with confidence and a flair for storytelling , a person can be whoever they want. Almost.
Harry Woods arrives in Hobart from Western Australia to join his aging father who he hasn’t seen in over thirty years. The old man’s health is failing so Harry takes over his role as mountain guide, taking hikers from the Springs to the pinnacle of Mt Wellington. He falls in with the Thompsons, a boisterous not quite respectable family, and begins a slow courting of one of the daughters, Ellen, a vivacious young woman, half his age with a six month old baby.
Ellen is drawn to Harry who is courteous in a way few men have been before; his enthusiasm for life makes his age irrelevant. Despite her fierce attachment to her family, Ellen dreams of marriage and respectability.
Although Hobart is a place where a person’s history isn’t closely questioned, it has a way of making its presence felt.
Unspoken Promises is still in draft form and is based on a period in the lives of my great-great grandparents.