I'm currently being featured on Australian Women's Writer's Challenge blog, which is a wonderful blog showcasing great women writers. I'm answering questions about one of my Australian historical books, Nicola's Virtue.
It is a strange new world being a new author. I appeared on
my local radio station last week (didn’t like hearing my own voice on the
airwaves) and have been guesting on lots of blogs. I’m not used to talking
about myself so much, as I’m really quite shy. It was also a surprise to open
my local newspaper this week and find a photograph and article about me on page
12 (at least it wasn’t page 3).
This was compounded by my first real fan moment – I went into
a favourite café and the assistant said right away that she’d seen me in the
local paper. Her two colleagues rushed over and said they had both downloaded
my book too. Cue blushing as the café went very quiet while the other tables
listened to what they were saying. Goodness knows how celebrities cope with all
What is my novel about? Well it all hinges around a question
- Who is Harry Dixon?
When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel
she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she
can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before
wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.
For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect
her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting
than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have
no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …
But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried
about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just
outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just
waiting to strike.
Excerpt from the beginning of The
Girl on the Beach
How did she know him?
The headmaster, John Williams, began to
introduce the man. ‘Harry Dixon meet Ellie Golden, the inspiration behind our
art competition. Harry will be taking over from me as headmaster in September
and has agreed to help you decide who wins today.’
Rapidly searching her memory, Ellie shook
Harry Dixon’s hand. He had the physique of a rugby
player, his dark hair cut short and straight. She didn’t recognise the name,
but the huge brown eyes and the cleft in his chin, almost hidden in short
stubble, were somehow so familiar. She felt strangely uneasy.
He smiled, displaying even, white
teeth. Did she imagine he was holding back, not smiling wholeheartedly? Did he
recognise her too?
‘Have we met before?’ she asked,
aware that her throat was suddenly dry.
‘I don’t think so. I would have
The words brought heat to her
face. His voice was warm and deep, clear in tone, but with a slight burr of an
accent. She turned to examine the display to hide her blush. The exhibits were
arranged on tall baize-covered panels at the back of the cavernous school hall.
Each picture had a number with the Art Exposium competition logo, a stylised
“A” and “E” with a swirl of paint joining the letters.
‘We’d better get on with the
judging, there’s a lot to look at,’ commented Ellie, trying to recover her
The scoring sheet she’d typed up
the previous evening seemed overcomplicated this morning, with its profusion of
tick boxes. In her confused state, the columns merged and blurred. She knew she
must sound prim and school-marmish, and look it too.
What had possessed her to wear
this suit? It was the one she’d once used for job interviews, grey and boring,
even teamed with the scarlet silk shirt and pearl necklace. A clear case of
dressing as she thought she should, rather than how she really wanted to. Focus,
Ellie. She fought to bring her mind back to the competition, away from
Harry Dixon and his identity. He was so good-looking and she still didn’t know
why she recognised him. Those eyes! Stop it, Ellie.
St Patrick's Day is mentioned in my novel, Long Distance Love because the main male character, Patrick, is of course, Irish!
Grab a copy and see why Fleur falls in love with him. But naturally, not all goes smoothly!
Can one delicious summer affair be enough to keep them together? Fleur Stanthorpe, an Australian, arrives in Whitby, England to live out a dream after surviving cancer. She's to open a bookshop cafe? and experience the English way of life for the summer before returning home and settling down. Only she hasn't counted on meeting gorgeous Irishman, Patrick Donnelly. Their attraction is instant, their goals a world apart. He is looking for a solid relationship for the first time since his divorce five years ago. She is having her last fling at freedom before returning home to family and responsibilities. Their problems are more than surviving a hot summer of romance, but wondering what will happen when the summer draws to an end and Fleur returns to the other side of the world. Purchase links for Kindle: Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I9JFSEM Amazon USA http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I9JFSEM Kobo Paperback: Amazon USA Amazon UK
Obviously, Amazon is the number on place to go to for readers to buy books, but Apple iBooks is also another retail outlet. Readers who have an iTunes account can download books as well as music and videos.
Not all my books are available on Apple iBooks, but some are.
Last week, one of my historical novels, Aurora's Pride was free on Amazon kindle, a promotional offer by my publisher.
The results were that Aurora's Pride made it to number 1 in the free saga category!
Thank you to every one who downloaded a copy.
I hope you enjoy the story.
Thank you so much AnneMarie for letting me post an excerpt of my
new novel on your blog.
The Girl in the Photograph is the third book in the Rossetti Mysteries Series, and picks up the stories of the characters readers might have already met in Some Veil Did Fall and The Girl in the Painting. This book is Lissy’s story - but as it’s also a timeslip, we need to meet another set of characters; from 1905, no less. The extract below is when Julian, a photographer, first sees Lorelei Scarsdale swimming in the sea. The name “Lorelei” is synonymous with a mermaid, and from the very first moment Julian sees her, he understands why mermaids – or Sirens – have such a reputation for beauty and for making people fall dangerously in love with them.
The book traces Julian and Lorelei’s story alongside Lissy and Stefanos. Stefano is Lissy’s very own photographer – an Italian ex-boyfriend who she has never quite forgotten, and never quite forgiven either…
Thanks again for reading this. I do hope that you enjoy book as
much as I enjoyed writing it!
Julian MacDonald Cooper watched the woman with
the long, dark plait race lightly across the sand and strike out to sea. She
was indeed a pleasure to behold and his intuition told him that she would make
an excellent model and would be just as much of a pleasure to work with.
He wasn’t sure who she was. He had
just left the Dower House for a walk in the cove after a late lunch and he had
come across this vision as he rounded the path down onto the beach. He
understood it to be a private beach, so he wondered if she was a member of the
Scarsdale household or a friend of theirs they had graced with access to the
But he was determined to find out. He
strode onto the beach feeling the sand between his toes. He never bothered with
shoes or formality when he came down here. Formality was for working and
impressing clients. Bare feet and an open-necked shirt would do him very well
for the beach. He ran a hand through his longer-than-generally-acceptable dark
hair and smiled to himself as he remembered the idea he’d had earlier today
about finding a barber in Staithes.
That had never happened, had it?
Well, there was always tomorrow.
Julian had heard a lot about Staithes
and the artists’ colony that had sprung up about ten years ago. He feared their
days were numbered though; their 1905 exhibition had been subsumed into the
Yorkshire Union of Artists’ work, and he had heard other plans were afoot to
hold an exhibition in August – which would clash terribly with the Summer
Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. And the art aficionados would be
down in the capital along with the wealthy patrons, not up here in a little
fishing village on the north-east coast of England.
So that was why he had come down to
Yorkshire from Edinburgh. Firstly, to observe how things were now, and
secondly, to record Staithes and its colony for posterity in his favourite
medium – photography. He already had a dealer lined up in North Yorkshire to
buy and sell his photographs.
And that woman, who he now realised
was swimming over to some rocks with the clear intention of climbing onto them,
was just begging to be used as a model in some shape or form. But first, he
conceded, he would actually have to speak to her.
The Girl in the Photograph
the past was trying to teach you a lesson?
alone in the shadow of an abandoned manor house in Yorkshire would be madness
to some, but art enthusiast Lissy de Luca can’t wait. Lissy has her reasons for
seeking isolation, and she wants to study the Staithes Group – an artists’
commune active at the turn of the twentieth century.
fascinated by the imposing Sea Scarr Hall – but the deeper she delves, the
stranger things get. A lonely figure patrols the cove at night, whilst a hidden
painting leads to a chilling realisation. And then there’s the photograph of
the girl; so beautiful she could be a mermaid … and so familiar.
further immerses herself, she comes to an eerie conclusion: The occupants of
Sea Scarr Hall are long gone, but they have a message for her – and they’re
going to make sure she gets it.
Kirsty is from the North East of
England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition
in 2009 with the ghostly tale 'Enchantment'.
Her timeslip novel, 'Some Veil Did Fall', a paranormal romance set in Whitby,
was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit
timeslip, 'The Girl in the Painting' in February 2016 and ‘The Girl in the
Photograph’ in March 2017. The experience of signing 'Some Veil Did Fall' in a
quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently
undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!
Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a
Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes
prove rather interesting.
You can find out more about Kirsty and
her work at www.rosethornpress.co.uk, catch her on her Facebook Author Page or
follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry.
Today I signed a contract to publish my 15th novel, Whispers of Hope. This novel is a family saga set in Edwardian England. It is Charlotte and Harry's story.
I don't have a release date yet, that will come later, but I'm very happy to have Whispers in the publishing pipeline.
Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …
Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it.
Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.
Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …
The late sunshine enveloped the house in a golden glow. Again, it seemed to call to her, begging for attention. A path on the left of the drive looked inviting as it meandered through a small strand of poplars. Lexi grabbed her keys, locked the car and took off to explore again. She had nothing to rush home to now, and if she got caught for trespassing, then so be it.
The overgrown pathway brought her out on the far side of the grounds near the end of a small lake. She gazed over the water towards the back of the house and noticed a paved terrace area. From there the lawn then sloped down to the water. She’d not been around the back before and fell even more in love with the property. She could imagine the serenity of sipping a cool drink on a hot summer’s day and looking out over the lake.
Lexi stepped out along the bank. A lone duck swam by, its movement serene on the glassy, dark surface. This side of the lake was in shadow from large pine trees, and she stumbled on fallen pinecones hidden in the long grass. On the opposite side of the water were some small buildings, a garage, fruit trees in early blossom, and an overgrown vegetable patch, complete with a broken, rejected-looking scarecrow.
She wandered over to a narrow shed on her left and peered through its sole, dirty window. Unable to make out much in the dimness, she walked around to the front and was surprised when she was able to pull the bolt back on the door. Why didn’t people lock things? A covered rowboat took up most of the space inside. She smiled, seeing herself rowing it on the lake. Growing more excited, Lexi edged around it to peer at the workbenches and the odd assortment of tools and useless things one found in abandoned sheds. It was like treasure hunting in an antique shop. She used to love doing that with her grandfather.
She glanced about and spied a dusty painting leaning against the wall. The scene was of a child and a brown dog. Behind the canvas were more paintings, some framed, some not. Lexi flicked through them. The ones that caught her attention she took out and set aside.
She looked for somewhere to sit and study the paintings. A small tin trunk wedged under a workbench seemed the only offering. Thinking it empty, she went to tug it out, but it remained fast.
Using both hands, she heaved it out and was showered in a puff of dust. Squatting down, she inspected the latch that was held tight with a small lock. ‘Why are you locked?’ she murmured. The shed was open to anyone passing by, yet this ugly little chest had a lock on it. The trunk was nothing special, plain and in parts rusted. No ornament or writing hinted at its use.
Intrigued, she grabbed a hammer from the workbench, but then hesitated. She had no right to open someone else’s property. Lexi closed her eyes momentarily. What was she thinking of breaking into the trunk?What am I doing? Never had she broken the law and here she was guilty of trespassing and breaking and entering! She looked around the rowboat as though expecting someone to jump out and arrest her.
Something inside urged her on. She knew she couldn’t stop now. Sucking in a deep breath, she bent and hit the lock hard. The ringing sound was loud in the quiet serenity of the garden. The metal dented and with another few solid whacks the lock gave.
Shivers of excitement tingled along her skin. Gently, she eased up the lid.
A New Dawn is my short story about characters Briony and James and the start to their life together, which as you guessed it doesn't go smoothly as they are on board the Titanic. I have an idea to continue their story into a full length novel one day, I just need to find the time to write it along with all the other stories I want to write!
The story of the Titanic has always fascinated me since watching as a child the black and white Hollywood film of the sinking of it. I never thought I would actually write a story about it but, one day, after reading and researching about it, the idea came into my head about a young couple starting a new life. I thought what if... and suddenly A New Dawn was born.
Escaping a brutal father, Briony runs to James, the man she loves. With his family’s blessing, they marry and prepare for a new life in a new country – America. A wedding gift of two tickets to travel on an ocean liner is a wonderful surprise. Full of anticipation and hope, they set sail. Only, fate has sent them a challenge that tests, not just their strength and love, but their very survival.
blurb: 1899. A life altering event led Catrina Davies to hide from her family and society. Alone in The Highlands she exists in a lonely world cared for only by her saviour, a kind old gentleman. When she receives a surprise visitor, Travis Millard, the man she used to love, her head and heart are thrown into turmoil. Travis is determined to save her from this poor life and return her to her family where she belongs. No one is more surprised than he when she agrees to marry him. When Catrina arrives back at her family estate, Davmoor Court in Yorkshire, she is stunned to see the changes. While her father clings to life, Davmoor is nearly ruined by her brother's gambling obsession, and there is something strange about his new wife. As Catrina adjusts to her regained position in society and being with Travis, her marriage comes under attack from Travis's grandmother, who has her own secrets and reason for loathing the Davies family. When one of her brother's adversaries comes to stake his claim on the estate, the resulting chaos threatens not only Catrina's home, but the very lives of those she loves the most. Can she find the strength to fight once more for the right to be happy? Catrina's Return is available in paperback or ebook March 14th. Preorder now!