It’s my birthday month and you get the pressies

To celebrate yet another birthday (really? Another one?) I’m running a promotion for my novel ‘Throwing Light’ and the two short prequels ‘Shame on Who?’ and ‘Missing the obvious.’

Between the 4th and the 8th of May (the 5th and the 9th in NZ) the ebook of ‘Throwing Light’ is .99c (US) and the two short prequels are free. So there’s no excuse not to pop over to Amazon and download them all. You can read Amazon ebooks even if you don’t have a kindle by downloading the free Kindle App. Your books are available to you anywhere, anytime on your desktop or mobile devices.


In other news, I am just over 90,000 words into my third novel which is set predominantly in New Zealand in the 1850s. Writing a historical manuscript has required huge amounts of research. Fortunately, I’m a complete geek and love nothing more than burying my head in history books and then weaving what I discover into my writing.  The working title is ‘Shaking the Tree, Part One: A scandalous Affair.’ Yes, it does look like it’s going to be the first in a series. This prospect is both exciting and a little daunting.

Here is a snippet from the first draft. It may or may not end up in the finished book as it is or completely altered—you’ll just have to wait and see.


Ambleside, The Lake District, England

August 1852

Florence clambered to the apex of the rock jutting monolithic from the grass. She spread her arms and inhaled. Mrs Branson insisted on lacing her so tightly into her stays she suspected that her chaperone, who appeared on the outside to be a kindly matron, had a hidden cruel streak. The old woman constantly reminded her that she must appear and behave at all times as the lady her father expected her to be. This meant a demure manner and a waist no larger than eighteen inches.

But, with Mrs Branson and her strong fingers hundreds of miles away visiting her sister in Bournemouth, Florence had been dressed this morning by Mary the parlour maid.  As a result, she was able to breathe a lungful of fresh air, even after enjoying a sizable breakfast of bacon, eggs and devilled kidneys.

Florence rested her hands on her waist and surveyed the lake. The dimpled water glinted; squeezed between its banks into an irregular, serpentine form.

Father had been right, a few weeks away from the noise and bustle of London was a tonic from which they would all benefit.  He’d carried a dark cloud over him for weeks and, while Florence didn’t fully understand the cause, she knew that he needed relief from the stresses of his work in the city.

She lowered herself onto the lichen-coated rock.  The Lady of the Lake cut across the surface of the water far below, leaving a shimmering wake. A trip on the steamer would be this afternoon’s adventure.  She leant back, her arms braced against the rock, and regarded the puffy clouds suspended in the blue dome above her. She could become accustomed to such a place and while she knew that Father would never agree to permanently leave the city, even if the Yorkshire air had improved his temper, she could still dream of one day settling in a fine house in a village or small town surrounded by countryside.

“Good morning.” A heavily accented male voice cut through Florence’s daydream.

She gasped and leapt to her feet. Her skin prickled with mortification. To be discovered like this, unchaperoned and sitting on the ground like a common farm worker; Father and Mrs Branson would never forgive such an indiscretion. Her hands flew to the sides of her bonnet, ensuring that it was not askew.

The owner of the voice strode across the grass below her, a thick wooden cane with an ornate silver top in his hand.  He leapt onto the base of the rock with surprising grace, looked up at her and tipped his hat.

“Good morning, I say again.”

Florence, not wanting to appear rude, gave a small curtsey and lowered her eyes.“Good morning, sir.”


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