Best reads of 2012

  JANUARY   The Scorpio Races by fandom favourite Maggie Stiefvater is a good, chunky read by YA genre standards (almost 500 pages in paperback). Set on a windswept, Gaelic island where bloodthirsty horse-creatures come out from the sea and must be tamed and raced, it was also a great read for the dark, windy […]


Hidden historical heroines (#19: Amy Robsart)

  Amy Robsart (7 June 1532 – 8 September 1560) was a Tudor noblewoman, the first wife of Lord Robert Dudley, the controversial favourite of Elizabeth I. Were it not for Amy’s sudden and suspicious death in 1560, it is assumed by some that Elizabeth would have, in time, made her “sweet Robin” her consort.   Amy was born into a […]

Hidden historical heroines (#18: Edith Cavell)

  Edith Louisa Cavell (4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915) was a British nurse and a celebrated patriot, court-martialled and sentenced to death by the Germans during World War I.   Edith was born in Swardeston, a village near Norwich, where her father was the local vicar. Upon reaching adulthood, she moved to Brussels, […]

Hidden historical heroines (#17: Grace Darling)

  Grace Horsley Darling (24 November 1815 – 20 October 1842) was a lighthouse keeper’s daughter in Victorian England, unremarkable, excepting the fact that in 1838 she and her father took a rowboat out on stormy seas to rescue nine people from the wreck of the SS Forfarshire.   Grace was born in 1815 in […]

‘Deadlands’ wins second prize at the SFWG Speculative Fiction Contest

  This morning I woke up to the news that Deadlands – one of the short stories included in my collection ‘The Last Train Home & Other Stories’ placed second in the 2012 Short Fiction Writers’ Guild contest for short, speculative fiction. I’m absolutely chuffed. Check out the contest results and the very worthy winners of […]

Hidden historical heroines (#16: Judith of Flanders)

  Judith of Flanders (c. 843 – 870) was a great-granddaughter of Charlemagne, the eldest daughter of the Frankish King and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the Bald of the House of the Carolingians. She was twice-over Queen of Wessex, the dominant and largest Anglo-Saxon kingdom.   In 855 King Æthelwulf of Wessex, an extremely pious […]

The Hammersmith Ghost

  As the year 1803 came to a close, a number of people came forward to claim that they had seen – and in some instances, been attacked – by a ghost in the area around Hammersmith churchyard, in West London. Some claimed it was the unhappy spirit of a local man who had committed […]

Budget Christmas Reads

    “The Christmas Bake-off” by Abby Clements – currently £FREE!   “Winter Warmers” by Carole Matthews – currently £FREE!   “A Merry Little Christmas” by Julia Williams – currently £0.99   “Bah! Humbug!” by Heather Horrocks – currently £FREE!   “Six Geese A-Laying” by Sophie Kinsella – currently £FREE!   “Twelve Days of Christmas” […]

Hidden historical heroines (#15: Elizabeth Siddal)

  Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal (25 July 1829 – 11 February 1862) was a celebrated artists’ model – as well as being a poet and artist in her own right – who was used extensively by the Pre-Raphaelites.   Named for her mother, “Lizzie” Siddal was born in the summer of 1829, in the family home […]