The Fatal Coin: A Dan Foster Mystery – coming soon!

“Dan dragged himself to the injured man, leaned over him, tried to see how much blood there was. A lot.

‘Wilkinson, stay awake. Stay with me.’

Dan struggled to loosen the rope at his wrists until the skin was raw and bleeding. He and the naval lieutenant shuffled back to back and tried to unpick each other’s knots. Then they tried sawing the ropes on the rim of one of the mail coach’s wheels. At the end of an hour they had made little progress.

Release came when a carrier wagon full of seamen on their way back to their ships plodded along the road. But by then, Wilkinson was dead.”

SilverWood Books have recently launched an e-book imprint, S Books which will publish short e-books commissioned from successful SilverWood authors, and I’m thrilled to announce that they will be bringing out a new Dan Foster Mystery – The Fatal Coin – in April!

Set in the Midlands, The Fatal Coin follows Dan on his relentless trail of a murderer following a mail coach robbery in which a young constable, Wilkinson, is shot dead. Along the way, Dan is looking for buried treasure, trying to discover the truth about a clergyman’s apparent suicide, and risking his life to bring a vicious gang of robbers and forgers to justice.

Look out for The Fatal Coin: A Dan Foster Mystery this April!


Jane Eyre: Rebel Woman

“From the opening page of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre you know you are in the company of a rebel female.”

I was invited onto Helen Hollick’s Discovering Diamonds website recently to write about one book that has been a major influence on me as a writer and reader. I chose Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and discussed my view of her as a rebel female with particular reference to her reading. The female reader has long been regarded as a subversive figure, and I’ve always loved Jane for her determination to read and think for herself. You can read Jane Eyre: Rebel Woman here.


CLIC – Get in Character Auction 2017 – Dan Foster Helps Out!

I’m delighted to be involved in CLIC Sargent’s yearly eBay Get in Character auction along with 100 other authors where you can bid to get your hands on signed books and beautiful original illustrations, be a character name in a forthcoming novel, or budding writers can have their work critiqued. I’m providing signed copies of Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery, and To The Fair Land. Bidding opens on 8pm 26 February. http://bit.ly/GetinCharacter


War and the Manly Science: Tuesday Talk Guest Blog

” ‘There’s good money in bare-knuckle fighting, honestly earned.’ Dan grinned. ‘More or less.’ ”  Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery.

In fact, as a serving Principal Officer of Bow Street (Bow Street Runner), Dan would have known perfectly well that boxing was illegal. On my guest article for Helen Hollick’s blog, Let us Talk of Many Things, I ponder the reasons why the illegal sport of bare knuckle fighting was tolerated by the authorities in the eighteenth century. You can read War and the Manly Science here.


Bloodie Bones is a Discovered Diamond Book of the Month!

“The story is a thrilling and engrossing page-turner that demands just one more chapter before lights out and sleep – then maybe just one more… perhaps just one more…”

I am excited to announce that Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery has been selected as the Discovered Diamonds Book of the Month, January 2017. All books selected as Book of the Month are automatically short-listed for the Discovered Diamonds Book of the Year Award, to be announced in December 2017.

Discovering Diamonds was inaugurated on 1 January 2017 by author Helen Hollick. Helen writes, “I am passionate about assisting good indie and self-published authors of historical fiction to get noticed”. With the help of a dedicated team of volunteers, Helen aims to showcase good quality historical fiction. Both indie and mainsteam published books will be considered for review. You can read the review of Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery here.

Helen Hollick is a best-selling historical fiction author. Her books include the Sea Witch Voyages series about the adventures of pirate Jesamiah Acorne and his lady-love, Tiola – a white witch; as well as the Saxon Series: Harold the King; A Hollow Crown; and 1066 Turned Upside Down, an anthology of alternative history stories about 1066. You can find out more about Helen’s work on her website.


Love Me, Love My Character

“I know there are those who think that boxing is low and vicious and it’s true there are plenty who call themselves pugilists who are nought but butchers.”

Dan Foster says a few words on Alison Morton’s blog (1 December 2016) and I discuss why I wrote Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery and the inspiration behind the book. Read Love Me, Love My Character here.


The Joy of Beta Reading

“We all know that it’s easier to spot other people’s mistakes than our own. True enough, but let’s face it, their mistakes are often our mistakes…”

I was delighted to be a guest on the ALLi blog in November 2016, musing about how beta reading other writers’ work can actually improve your own. Read The Joy of Beta Reading here.


Suffragettes and Insanity

“The suffragettes’ demand for justice was dismissed as a form of madness.”

On 2 November 2016 I was a guest on David Lawlor’s blog, History With a Twist, with a blog about how the government tried to use laws designed to cope with the mentally ill to deal with militant campaigners. You can read the blog here.


Talking Books with Suzie Grogan

Suzie Grogan has uploaded some of her Talking Books radio shows onto Soundcloud, including the interview I did on Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery. You can listen to the show here. Find out about Suzie and her books here, and Talking Books (10 Radio) here.


Bloodie Bones is joint winner of the HNS Indie Award 2016!

WinnerI’m absolutely thrilled to announce that Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery is joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.

The winners were announced at the Historical Novel Society Conference 2016 in Oxford on 3 September. The HNS Indie Review team reviews around 300 books a year, and from these any books selected as Editor’s Choice automatically go on to the long list for the Award. This year there was a long list of 38 novels, from which a short list of nine authors was selected. Three judges selected a list of four finalists, and two further judges selected the winning title from these. Usually there is a winner and a runner-up, but this year the judges decided to make a joint award.

The joint winners were Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery and Fossil Island by Barbara Sjoholm.

Bloodie Bones was also a semi finalist in the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.


My Brilliant (Radio) Career!

Friday 5 August 2016 was a very exciting day – my first time as a presenter on BCfm Radio’s Silver Sound show.

Penny was at the helm as usual, bringing her usual mix of music and conversation. I took over to interview our guest, Bristol actor Rachel Bryant. Rachel trained at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her roles have included Shirley Valentine in the West End, as well as working as Artistic Adviser at the Dylan Thomas Theatre in Swansea, tutoring at City of Bath College, and appearing in productions at the Rondo Theatre and Kingswood Theatre in Bath and the Alma Theatre, Bristol. Rachel also writes books for children and has two books coming out next year. She also told us about her plans for a one-woman show about Vera Brittain – a show I definitely will not want to miss!

The show is available to listen to for a few more days at http://bcfmradio.com/silversound

To find out when I’m next on Silver Sound see my Diary.

PS  My Brilliant Career is a novel by Australian author Miles Franklin, published in 1901, about a young woman’s struggle to become a writer. It’s a book I remember enjoying many years ago. It was also made into a film in 1979. I’m not sure it’s as well known these days as it deserves to be, or if it’s even still in print. It was followed up by the wonderfully-entitled My Career Goes Bung.