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From Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Leaving Europe: we’ve done that before

In 225AD a tall fair-haired woman called Julia Aurelianus lives in a pretty townhouse in Aquae Sulis (modern Bath). Julia is an independent woman of means, a cultured high-status aristocrat and a healer who works at the clinic attached to the temple of Sulis Minerva. She is an educated, sophisticated […]


Who’s not afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Readers who’ve been following our adventures through our travel blog will know that husband Peter and I have recently returned from six weeks haring round Europe on our trusty motorbike. What with finishing off the account of that long trip through twelve countries, unpacking, washing, ruefully surveying our moribund garden, and […]


Just One Damned Bestseller After Another!

If, like me, you’re already a fan of the wonderful Bristolian novelist Jodi Taylor, you’ll get my reference to one of her St Mary’s Chronicles series. St Mary’s is a research institution where historians research historical events in contemporary time. Yes, they time-travel. Although as Jodi cheerfully admits, she has […]


Murder in Deepest Devon

I’ve come a long way from the Malverns to conduct a bloodbath. My home for this week is the The Court in the tiny village of Sheepwash, Devon. Lovely hosts Debbie and Wendy run Retreats for You in this beautiful sixteenth century townhouse, mainly for writers, but anyone in need […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

The other side of the hill

This blog is usually about my writing, or other authors I love. In case you’re steeling yourself for the crushing disappointment of not hearing about my latest publication, relax.  There will be links to my new anthology at the end. We writers tend to live in a fantasy world of […]

Blog, Book Reviews

Book review: rediscovering Alice

I first read Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as a teenager. At the time I found it a gripping story, combining adventure, romance, war and an unparalleled portrayal of life in the Australian outback. I have since re-read this slim masterpiece many times, most recently this week. The Rider and […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

Poor little lost souls

I’m really quite an organised person; or as my beloved suggests, I’ll do any form of prevarication to avoid actual writing. So I keep a detailed record – using fab writers’ tool Duotrope – of all my stories and their current whereabouts. Now please don’t be picturing the bereft little […]


Banish the New Year resolutions

The turkey’s all eaten, the Christmas decorations packed away in the loft, and 2016 securely seen out amidst much maudlin remembering of auld acquaintance. Goodbye 2016, hello 2017. It’s New Year, the annual opportunity to turn over a new leaf and generally plan to live a fitter, happier and more […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

Back on your heads

It’s officially autumn. Even our sunflowers have wrapped shawls round their heads against the October chills. I can personally vouch for the season’s change, having caught the Great-Grandmother of all colds nearly four weeks ago. It kept me in bed for a fortnight, and then ruined a week’s holiday in […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

Special moments in history

Readers of my travel blog ( will immediately appreciate the serendipity of the picture above. Tracy Chevalier, my hero and talented author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Last Runaway, and most recently The Edge of the Orchard, was a speaker at the Historical Novel Society’s 2016 conference in Oxford last weekend, […]