OLD FASHIONED VALUES

Conquest

​It is 1650 and Oliver Cromwell rules England as Lord Protector. King Charles I is executed and his royalist followers, Sir William Ferguson and his wife and daughter, Diana, have lived quietly in their isolated manor house for a year, when Jasper Philbert and his band of roundheads come calling.


Having murdered Sir William and his wife, Philbert forces Diana into marriage with him, whereby claiming her property as his own. After ten years of violence and sexual abuse at his hands, Charles Stuart returns to reclaim his throne and Jasper flees, being one of the traitors most wanted by the King for the murder of his father.


But after reuniting with her childhood sweetheart, Peter Spicer, Diana's glimpse of freedom vanishes when she learns that the new King believes her guilty of supporting and helping her husband. Now Peter must recapture the traitor in order to free the woman he loves from her stinking prison and convince the King that she is an innocent victim.

Robert Hayward is a humble blacksmith's son, elevated to an earldom for services rendered to King Henry VIII. Robert is made Lord Haverstock and is given a profitable estate to go with the title. He thinks that things could not get any better but then the King gives him a bride to go with his new found wealth and status.


Lady Marina Gorston is a wealthy widow with lands adjoining those of Lord Haverstock. She is well respected in the neighbourhood for her continued mourning for her late husband. Every day, without fail, she visits his grave in the Gorston churchyard.


Robert assumes that she will give up this public mourning once they are married, but she insists on keeping up her daily visits, even though it is endangering her marriage and her happiness.


But Marina has secrets which she is afraid will be even more dangerous should they ever be known.

Against the wishes of his wife, Isabella, Lord Philip Whyford decides to accompany King Richard the Lionheart on a crusade to the Holy Land. Isabella is devastated when, two years later, his cousin Roger returns alone with the news that Philip is dead.

As Philip had no sons, Roger is his heir and he wastes no time in claiming the title and estate but as the months of mourning pass, Isabella comes to realise that he also plans to lay claim to her and he tries to force her into becoming his wife. To help his cause, he reveals to Isabella that Philip had an Eastern mistress who bore him a son. Despite this news, she still loves Philip and rejects Roger's advances vigorously until he enlists the aid of Prince John to command her to accept him. That is when things get even worse and Isabella finds herself a fugitive with little option other than to leave England.

She must get away or be charged with treason and she must find out the truth about Philip's Eastern mistress and the son she bore him.

The Minstrel's Lady 2017 e festival of words nominee

THE LOVES OF THE LIONHEART

This is a fictionalised account of the lives of the two princesses in the life of King Richard the Lionheart. It is a factual account, as far as fact is known, and not having an account of their lives or characters, I have portrayed these ladies as I see them.

Most know that the King is remembered as a brilliant military leader but little is known about the forgotten princesses, one of whom became his Queen.

Princess Alys was betrothed to Richard when she was only eight years old and sent to England from France to be raised by his family. At that time, Richard was not the heir to the English throne, as his elder brother still lived. What happened with Alys is something we will never know for certain, From a distance of 800 years, we cannot know what her character was or why Richard took so long about proceeding with the marriage, his father had time to take a fancy to her.


Berengaria of Navarre was the princess who married Richard, some say who won his heart. Certainly chronicles of the time state knowledgeably that the pair met and fell in love when she was very young, but it was not a successful marriage.

She was crowned queen of England and Cyprus at her wedding, which took place in Cyprus on the way to Palestine to mount a crusade. But she never set foot in England, despite being its Queen.


This story is not about King Richard, it is about history's forgotten princesses, the women who were, or should have been, the Loves of the Lionheart.



When Rose wakes up in a strange tavern bedchamber with no memory of who she is or how she got there, all she knows is fear. But that fear is heightened when she hears a cheering crowd and looks from the window to see that the view is of the scaffold of the Tower.


The young man being led to his death there looks familiar to Rose, but she has no idea why. Rose has been involved in a terrible coach accident, out of which she is the only survivor, and she is afraid to reveal her loss of memory lest the ignorant should think her soul has been replaced by a demon.


When Lord Matthew Harcourt arrives in search of his missing bride, Lady Madeleine, he is convinced that Rose is that bride. It is a long time before they both realise that is not the case and by then, it is far too late.

Books

The Adulteress

THE ADULTERESS

THE MINSTREL'S LADY - E Festival of Words 2017 Best Romance 

After a year away from his Cornish home, Lord Richard Morton returns to find his beloved wife with child. He lashes out in a blind rage and leaves, taking his five year old daughter with him. It is seven years before he learns his mistake, when his brother confesses on his deathbed to having raped Richard's wife.


Now he must return to Cornwall, reunite his daughter, Madeleine, with her mother and beg her forgiveness. He does not expect to receive such forgiveness for tearing their lives apart and depriving his daughter of her mother, but there is nothing else to be done.


He would love to go back and try to repair the damage, but he fears the damage is too great and beyond repair. It will be the hardest battle he has ever had to fight.

​TO CATCH A DEMON

Mirielle

THE CRUSADER'S WIDOW

Victorian novel Romany Princess
The Gorston Widow
the Crusader's Widow
Old Fashioned Values

THE ROMANY PRINCESS

This was my first novel, loosely based on the tales of her childhood my mother told me when I was growing up. Parts of it are true, parts are not, but the background and characters are based on fact.


Stella McKenzie is summoned to meet her great Aunt Bess, her grandmother's sister, on the occasion of that lady's 100th birthday. She has been told many tales about Bess, most of them of how wicked she is and how she destroyed her sister's engagement by telling lies to her fiance. Stella believes she is going to receive the apology that her grandmother never lives to hear. 


Instead, she hears about another sister, one she had never heard of as a family member although she was notorious in her day. She hears secrets and she hears truth that is hard to accept. Bess has kept her secrets for almost 80 years; she has no intention of taking them with her to her grave.

Lord Ian Westerby has mourned his late wife, Eleanor, for ten years and swore he would never remarry. But when his younger brother and heir is killed fighting for King Richard III at the battle of Bosworth, Ian is forced to think about remarrying in order to produce a new heir. Either that, or let his entire fortune go to the Crown on his death and now that crown belongs to Henry Tudor.


Ian is not a popular choice for a husband because of his well known grief, but his chosen bride is also not a popular choice. Lady Francesca Allinton is a beautiful woman, but a riding accident has left her with a twisted and crippled leg and her many suitors have gradually lost interest.


All Ian wants is an heir; all Francesca wants is a home and children. Can these two put aside their own heartaches to build a future together, or will those heartaches forever come between them? And will Francesca ever learn the truth about Eleanor's death and why Ian is still so devoted to her memory?

It is 1139 and the Empress Maud has landed in England in a bid to reclaim her throne from her cousin, Stephen. Lord David Ravenscroft is a close advisor to King Stephen and while he is at court, planning a strategy to combat Maud's invasion, soldiers searching for the Empress include his house in their search.


What they discover is a naked man in the bed of David's beloved wife, Catherine. Heartbroken by her betrayal, he puts her under house arrest and leaves for his London residence.


Three years later, he receives a letter from her, begging him to come as she is dying and wants to tell him the truth about the man found in her bed and about the daughter David always believed was fathered by that man. David is reluctant to go, but he knows his conscience will never rest if he refuses her last request. What he learns changes his life and his feeling for Catherine, but is it too late?


This is a tale of one woman's sacrifice to protect the two men she loves.

On this page, you will find listed all my novels, some more romantic than others. I like to choose a period in English history and think what it would be like to live then. My romances don't follow the usual tropes, which seem to be set in stone, as life is not like that, but they do have a happy ending. Getting to that ending is where my characters tend to break the rules.


One rule of romance is 'no cheating' - well men cheat, so do women, but in the past a man could get away with it. People would shake their heads indulgently and say 'well, he's a man, what can one expect?' A woman, on the other hand, could be condemned for the rest of her life.


What I'm saying in my books is, don't look at the past through modern eyes. Women were the property of their menfolk and had few rights of their own. They couldn't afford to go off the rails.


These books are all standalone novels, with a brief description. I hope you enjoy them.

Mirielle mystery novel

A MAN IN MOURNING

THE GORSTON WIDOW

It was Mirielle's thirteenth birthday when she walked out of her parents' home to go to the fish and chip shop at the end of the road.........and never came back. Mirielle could never have guessed at the destruction that was caused by that one action.

While Her father lost everything in his efforts to find his missing child, while her mother suffered a complete mental breakdown, where was Mirielle? Who had taken her and why was there never any trace of her whereabouts?

This is a tale of how one impulsive act, done with the best of intentions, could echo through the years to cause destruction to many.

Surrogate Bride historical fantasy
To Catch a Demon

CONQUEST

A Paranormal Romance After years of abuse at the hands of her husband, Natasha finds herself running for her life after yet another spell in hospital. She is certain that this time he will kill her and when her flight takes her to some Romany caravans beside a deserted car park, she runs to them for help.

That is when she meets a young girl who heals her wounds with a touch and finds herself in another world. Her rescuers are the telepathic Lord Christos and his sweetheart, Kendall, who greatly resembles Natasha. Their immortal king has commanded that Kendall marry him and Christos has brought Natasha to his world in the hope that she will agree to take Kendall’s place. 

But marriage in this world is not the same at all; it is a magic and physical joining of minds and souls and one which can never be undone. Joining with a woman from Natasha’s world has an unexpected and devastating effect on the King. Soon Natasha finds herself not only joined for life to him, but a weapon to be used by his enemies.

THE WRONGED WIFE

When historian Cara Phillips meets Chase Hampton, she believes she has met her soulmate. He is handsome and wealthy, has inherited a castle and has the same interests as her.

They both value the ethics of the past and both enjoy medieval theme weekends and events together, the more authentic the better.

When he suggests a medieval wedding, she is thrilled. She has no family to speak of and is happy for him to send the invitations to the few friends she wishes to invite, and she is not surprised when they all decline. She knows that none of them really approve of Chase and his old fashioned ways, but she doesn't care about that. She loves him and that is all that matters.

Their medieval adventure begins when they board a galleon, a ship just like that of Francis Drake and after a sea journey of some two hours, they land on an island where everything is recreated just as it would have been in the sixteenth century and earlier. There are noblemen and women, all in beautiful clothes, there are peasants and peasants' huts, and the castle is real and ancient.

But it doesn't take long before Cara realises there is more to this island than a medieval theme park, that these people really do believe they are living in the sixteenth century.

Too late, she realises her mistake but how is she to escape? As her new husband keeps telling her, there is no way off the island.

THE SURROGATE BRIDE

Lady Rosalind Atherling is the ward of King Harold, who took over her guardianship when he became King. He broke her betrothal to a Norman relative of Duke William, Stephen, and promised her instead to his own kinsman, Arthur, a man thrice her age.


While Harold is away in the north, fighting the Norwegian King Harald, Lord Arthur comes calling, trying to claim his marital rights before the wedding. Rosalind flees and soon finds herself lost in the forest where she is captured by a scouting party of Norman soldiers. 


Their commander, Robert, soon wins her heart but their love seems doomed from the start. When William wins the throne, he promises Rosalind to her former betrothed and there seems even less hope of her ever being with her real love.


The King wants her for Stephen and what the King wants, he is going to get.