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Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

A question of manners (part 1)

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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The angel in the home

Not one of the women in Robert Cooke’s circle is behaving as he expects. His wife is speaking her mind, his mother is taking herself off to Scotland of all places, his daughters are being taught science at school (science, in the name of all that’s holy!). And he’s about to discover that the winning…
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A potted history of pleasure gardens

In my tenth novel, Small Eden, I tell the story of how Robert Cooke creates a pleasure garden in memory of his infant sons. What exactly is a pleasure garden? The short answer is that it’s an outdoor space dedicated to pleasure. Before the eighteenth century, London had few places that fitted this description. Perhaps…
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Pondering trees

In our back garden, almost on the boundary with our neighbour’s garden, stands a lone horse chestnut tree. It has been here longer than our house, and our house first appeared on an Ordnance Survey map in 1903. This is the time of year when the tree is just coming into leaf and, as they…
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Setting free the parakeets

No eden, small or large, would be complete without birds. Several species feature in Small Eden. First, we have the songbirds in the hedgerows and the pleasure gardens. There’s Hettie’s grey African parrot Fairfax (a personality in his own right). And then we have the green ring-necked parakeets Robert buys for his pleasure garden. I…
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Small Eden: exclusive preview

My tenth novel is a personal one. With Small Eden, I have written yet more characters into my local landscape – the land on which our cottage is built. When we moved into the cottage, the vendors told us that it had been the gatehouse for an estate, and this was certainly the received wisdom,…
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Virtual Book Club: Liza Perrat introduces The Lost Blackbird

It’s been a while (launching a new book and working for real money) but today I’m delighted to welcome Liza Perratt to Virtual Book Club, my author interview series which gives authors the opportunity to pitch their books to your book club, be it virtual or real. Liza grew up in Australia, working as a…
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Equality in the Eyes of the Law?

Rosemary J Kind and I have several things in common. We both write historical fiction. In our latest releases we tackle the complicated theme of justice. “Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is…
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Sex, class and murder: my new novel is available to pre-order now!

It’s been a long time coming, but my *ninth novel will be released in eBook format on 13 July. To be among the first to have it delivered to you, you can pre-order now at the special price of £1.99/$1.99. (The cost will be £4.99 on release). The universal link is https://books2read.com/u/brWppZ. When you use the link, just select…
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My April Reads

Two independently published novels and a substantial work of non-fiction. Here’s what I read last month… The Empty Vessel by Vaughan Mason What drew you to it? This book, written under a pseudonym, was a complete departure for crime writer JJ Marsh, whose Beatrice Stubbs series I have greatly enjoyed. Genre/Themes: Post-war era, Capital punishment,…
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