Behind the Blue House Door

So excited to announce the release of my latest book:

The Blue House on the Corner

You don’t know what you’ve let yourself in for Abigail! You simply  haven’t got what it takes to turn this old house into a hotel.”

Had she?

What she hadn’t bargained on was finding vagrants sheltering from the cold in it. Moved by their plight she agrees to let them stay for Christmas if they clear out the rubbish. But as the weeks unfold her own tragic past and their own traumatic lives unravel to affect them all.

An amusing book where faith and romance are allowed to flourish despite the mystery and chaos surrounding the inhabitants of The Blue House on the Corner.



The Senator’s last Assignment

One son caught up in the political snake pit of Caesar’s Roman Empire; the other refusing to join the Roman Army and then the unexpected arrival of a girl with copper-coloured hair brings further conflict between the brothers as they discover what she is running from? Added to that, Senator Vivius  Marcianus discovers his wife is mixing with Christians.

This well-researched tense historical thriller weaves fact with fiction as the Senator tries to stop Christianity, chaos and corruption from spreading into his family.

Amazon link: //


A while ago I was asked to take my books along to a meeting and speak about my writing. The chairman who greeted me was friendly enough, if not a little dour and rather solemn when introducing me. I stood up to give my talk.

Honestly! I’ve spoken to some off-putting audiences in my time but the sea of glum faces that greeted me took the biscuit!  I hesitated.  My opening story was meant to be amusing but it was clear it would take a genius to get this lot to crack a smile.

A smile! Ah! Perhaps that’s the secret! I opened my mouth speak – except I didn’t. I gave a wide smile – then – still smiling – I told them what a pleasure it was to meet them all. (so OK I lied) But it did the trick. One by one the plaster faces cracked, the eyes crinkled, a light of interest came on and lips parted into – yes – a smile.

What a world of difference a smile makes – and it sells books!


I only went out for a bunch of bananas!

Pickering High Street was packed, and it wasn’t just with market traders or holiday-makers. Sight-seers were leaning out of hotel windows,  Union Jacks were fluttering; the bells in the old Anglican church were ringing out; traffic was forbidden – but then it always is on market day and there were more policemen controlling the crowds than at Wembley Stadium.

And then the cheers started; kids waved their flags; dogs wagged their tails; and everyone wore a broad grin as King Charles, waving and smiling, walked up our High Street. The atmosphere was absolutely wonderful.

It occurred to me as I walked home, that whether you’re a monarchist or not, there was some good material for a story in that experience, because any occasion that can bring smiles to faces must be a good thing, mustn’t it?

And to think – I only went out for a bunch of bananas!

Little Me!

This photo made me think!

It’s quite a thrill to visit the places you’ve written about. That’s what I did when I visited Italy. My trilogy took place in Rome 30-45  In all three books, ‘The Senator’s Assignment’ ;The Senator’s Darkest Days’ and ‘The Senator’s Sons,’ I did my research thoroughly then immersed myself in the cruel Caesars, and the corrupt political atmosphere of the time and how it affected my plot and my characters. I lost myself in descriptions of markets, houses and the dress of the day, and totally fell in love with my protagonist – but that’s another story – and got great reviews. But one thing I didn’t capture was the vastness of the Roman Empire. They were so keen to build bigger and better, to conquer the world and spread their influence and get rich, that perhaps they forgot the little man and woman in the street.

Perhaps it’s the little man and woman, who, in their quiet, unassuming service to others, who are the real builders of empires. It reminded me of a song I sang in Sunday School:

Jesus bids us shine with a pure clear light.  Like a little candle burning in the night.

In this world of darkness, we must shine.  ‘You in your small corner – and me in mine!

What an empire we could build. What do you think?


Nothing worth while ever comes easy!!

On the day my second book in ‘The Senator’ series was launched, all the book shops closed, speaking engagements were cancelled, and everyone went into lock-down for Covid.

And now, the last in ‘The Senator’ trilogy ‘The Senator’s Sons’ has been launched and what’s happened? I’ve caught Covid! Unbelievable!

I was so sure God was prompting me to write the last in this series, but getting this venture launched, has not been easy, but then they say nothing worth-while ever comes easy. Still early reviews are extremely encouraging – just what I need as I cough my way through Covid.


Pancake Day

It’s that time of year when I’m excitedly scanning the hedgerows and bushes for signs of bright new green buds; delighted when I see the first yellow daffodils emerge, and wondering when I can stop taking vitamin D and rely on the sun.

However, I was so engrossed in seeking out new buds, daffs and pondering on my vitamin D that I completely forgot about Pancake Day.  Shouldn’t we, as writers, be more aware of the historical meaning of these special days and include them in our work to inform, teach and make our writing more interesting?

Shrove Tuesday. According to Christian tradition, that’s when I should have been using up my leftover eggs, milk, fat and sugar before the start of Lent. That’s when I should have been focussed on eating simpler foods; giving up something I love, and spending time in self-examination and repentance instead of sticking my head in hedgerows, talking to daffs and counting my vitamin D pills.

Do you think God would mind if I had my pancakes after Easter?

The Senator’s Sons

Rome: 54 AD:

This third and last book in the series is another tense historical thriller, which weaves fact with fiction, and reflects on the daily power games in Rome when, after Claudius is poisoned, Nero claims the Empire of Rome, and Senator Vivius Marcianus realises this is not a good time to have a Jew or a Christian in his family.

I found it amazing how the research into all three books deepened my understanding of the difficulties facing Jews and Christians. It also brought colour, light and understanding into scriptural passages, and enabled me to see how the wider picture in Rome, had consequences in Jerusalem.

I thought it a strange way for my faith to grow and to deepen, but it has.

Each book stands alone.


It’s 2023. HAPPY NEW YEAR1

Can you name something good that happened to you in 2022?
Because remembering the good raises your spirits, lifts your stature, brings a smile to your face and gives you a positive outlook on life – after all, who wants to see a grumpy face?
Let me give you an example. I spent a good part of last year bemoaning the fact that I’m rubbish at technology. Marketing my books on social media was no fun; I was no good at it; I didn’t understand it. In fact, my computer was beginning to lack confidence in its own abilities at the degrading names I yelled at it. However, at the end of last year, I read:
Matthew 19:26: ‘With God all things are possible.’
I know this scripture well, but this time I found myself absorbing it instead of just letting it sail over my head.
So, after much prayer, I eliminated self-doubt at my lack of skills; I eliminated negative self-talk, and I began to think ‘positively’ regarding technology and trusted God for success. Added to that, as Proverbs tells us the tongue can bring life of death, I began to talk kindly to my computer, and as it was delighted at not being yelled at any more it responded by throwing up relevant web sites to help me on my way.
Now I’m still no genius, but this year, 2023, me and my computer are much happier, we have a better relationship, and I’m well on my way to succeeding where once I failed.

The Senator’s Sons – the last in the Senator series – published October 2022

Just an ordinary copper

Just an ordinary copper.
Whenever we lose someone we love, after the initial grief the memories come flooding in. The trouble is, not many of us have actually met the Queen. Perhaps some of us remember her car flashing by as we stood and waved a flag, but I bet you she was looking out of the opposite window at the time. That was my memory of her. But I have another, totally different memory.
My brother Bill, a young policeman at the time told me told me he had spent the entire day guarding the Queen.
‘I’ve heard of some excuses to get out of the washing up, but that’s the stupidest one yet!’ I complained and flung the tea towel at him.
My warning is – be careful who you call stupid, because the following day my brother’s photo appeared in the press – guarding Her Majesty the Queen.
It’s amazing how you can make a story out of the simplest memories, isn’t it?