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Virtual Book Club: Clare Flynn introduces The Colour of Glass

A captivating novel of love and art before WW1

Today I’m delighted to welcome award-winning author Clare Flynn to Virtual Book Club, my author interview series in which authors have the opportunity to pitch their book to your book club. Clare Flynn is the author of fifteen historical novels and a collection of short stories. Her website promises historical fiction with modern themes and,…
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Virtual Book Club: Christine Webber introduces Watching from the Wings

Today I’m delighted to welcome Christine Webber back to Virtual Book Club, my author interview series in which authors have the opportunity to pitch their book to your book club. Christine was a guest on my blog in July 2021, when she was talking about her novel, So Many Ways of Loving, which was subsequently…
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A post for International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. In between paragraphs, I’ve added quotes from inspirational women, both past and present, but let’s start with this one. “Extremists have shown what frightens them most. A girl with a book.” Malala Yousafzai Last week, wearing my professional hat, I attended an event about the representation of women in the…
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Celebrating Ten Years as an Indie Author

Adventures in Self-publishing

Christmas Day 2022 will be a special anniversary for me, marking ten years since I took back control of my writing career and became an indie author. Why did it take me so long? Good question. But bear with me. My first novel was published in 2009 when self-publishing was still in its infancy. Correction…
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Why Mountains Play a Role in Small Eden

The Wild Woman of Carshalton

It may be Robert Cooke’s story I tell in Small Eden, but his mother Hettie undergoes a transformation of her own. Hettie’s parents were mountaineers, who named her after the ridge route in the Scottish highlands where they first met. After her father meets his end traversing that very same route, this proves too much…
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The Plutonium Jubilee – a shameful anniversary

70 years after Britain's atomic test programme began, the British Nuclear Test Vets are still waiting for justice

This month, it is seventy (70) years since Britain launched its atomic test programme in the Pacific, and yet Britain remains the only nuclear power to have withheld recognition from its nuclear test veterans. The British Nuclear Test Veterans have met opposition at every step of the way. It’s a subject I’ve blogged about before….
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Virtual Book Club: Paul Marriner introduces Miracle Number Four

Today I’m delighted to welcome Paul Marriner to my Virtual Book Club, my author interview series in which authors have the opportunity to pitch their book to your book club. Paul grew up in a west London suburb (not unlike the suburbs in which his latest book – Miracle Number Four – is based) and…
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Know your place, boy!

Why social climbers were treated with suspicion in Victorian England

One of the defining features of the Victorian era – the era in which my novel, Small Eden, is set – was its rigid class system. The system and its success depended upon each and every person knowing their place. And if they didn’t know it, they’d soon be reminded of it. The Top Rung…
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The First Lady Star of the Music Halls

A blog about Annie Adams

I was asked recently if I think that writing is an act of preservation. I have to say I do. I’m related on my father’s side of the family to the music hall star, Annie Adams. I haven’t been able to licence a photograph for publication, but the V&A has an image of Annie in…
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A question of manners (part 1)

A post about Victorian etiquette

Etiquette (/ˈɛtikɛt, -kɪt/) noun. The customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group. What is Robert Cooke to do? A new century will soon be upon him and none of the women in his circle are behaving as he expects. Have they all forgotten the rules? Rule #1: Without…
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