Wednesday, 1 April 2020

#BookReview — The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard #HistoricalFiction #Italy @AuthorSusanB @OcelotPress



The Ghostly Father
By Sue Barnard



Romeo and Juliet - was this what really happened?

When Juliet Roberts is asked to make sense of an ancient Italian manuscript, she little suspects that she will find herself propelled into the midst of one of the greatest love stories of all time. But this is only the beginning. As more hidden secrets come to light, Juliet discovers that the tragic tale of her famous namesake might have had a very different outcome...

A favourite classic story with a major new twist.




"For what I have done, and for what I am about to do, may Almighty God have mercy upon me. And I have much for which I need to seek forgiveness. During my lifetime I have concealed the truth, encouraged disobedience, plotted abduction, coveted another man's wife, and helped a convicted killer to escape justice. This, for a man of God, is quite an impressive catalogue of misdemeanours."

Hidden in a drawer was a book — a very old book whose pages had yellowed with the passage of time. When Juliet carefully opened the book, she saw, to her surprise, the neat handwriting of an Italian ancestor. 

Juliet's grandfather wanted only one thing for his 100th birthday. He wanted Juliet to translate the writing in the book into English so that he could understand the words and read what was written.

What Juliet discovered was a story about two Households both alike in dignity, an ancient grudge, a pair of star-crossed lovers and a Catholic friar whose secret was never meant to be told.

From an illicit love affair of the second son of a wealthy Venetian Count to the streets of fair Verona and a tragic love story that would transcend time, The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard is the retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but this time it is the Friar that is controlling the narrative.

This story is one of intense and all-consuming passion, but it is also a tale of violent hate that seemingly supersedes everything else. Blood is spilt in the streets of Verona, and a secret so terrible, so destructive that it could destroy lives as efficiently as any steel blade is about to be divulged. With a sweeping narrative that is as compelling as it was engrossing, Barnard has taken a very old story and breathed life back into it. The strong foreshadowing at the beginning of this book hints that this tale will be an inevitably tragic one. But with a novelists intuition for what is entertaining and a healthy dollop of what if? The Ghostly Father becomes a story in its own right.

The Ghostly Father is told almost exclusively from Fra' Lorenzo's point of view. In Shakespeare's play, Friar Laurence is a kindly cleric, who is desperate to restore peace upon the streets of Verona. It is his schemes and his meddling in political affairs however, that, although well intended, hurtle the young protagonists towards certain death. Barnard has taken a somewhat different approach to Fra' Lorenzo's portrayal. Barnard's Fra' Lorenzo is like still water — he runs deep. Barnard takes her readers on an intimate journey and answers some of the questions that Shakespeare's play posed, such as, how does a Catholic friar have an almost mystic knowledge of potions that will render a person seemingly dead? She also answers the question as to why he embroiled himself in Romeo's affairs in the first place. I thought Fra' Lorenzo's depiction was wonderful. He is a larger-than-life man who is dealt a rather dreadful hand in his early years, but who has the serenity to accept the things that are out of his control and be content with what he has. But this contentment is challenged when he reaches Verona, and he finds himself staring the past in the face.

Fra' Lorenzo's relationship with Prince Bartolomeo Della Scala of Verona is an interesting one — he wants to help the Prince, especially after Mercutio's death. But the Friar also has his reasons for behaving in the way he does and mostly they are to do with his past — he does not want what happened to him, to happen to Romeo. How I adored Fra' Lorenzo. He is compassionate, he is gentle, and he worries excessively about his young charges. It is impossible not to like him.

Romeo, in this book, comes across as rather juvenile, which is the way Shakespeare also portrayed him. Romeo is forever in and out of love, and even Fra' Lorenzo, who is very patient with Romeo, laments with a sign and asks "How many levels of heartache will this one bring?" Romeo is in love with the idea of love, and every time he seemingly falls in love, he is insufferable to be around. It isn't until he meets Giulietta that he realises what true love it and then a transformation occurs in his personality. He is still highly-strung and passionate in his feelings, but love tapers him somewhat to become slightly more mature in his approach to life. Barnard's portrayal of Romeo fascinated me. 

There are many supporting characters in this story, and if you are a lover of all things Shakespeare and in particular Romeo and Juliet, you will recognise most of them. My favourite character in Romeo and Juliet has always been Benvolio, and I was looking forward to seeing how Barnard would approach his characterisation. I thought Benvolio's portrayal was absolutely fabulous. Like Shakespeare, she has made him a rational young man — the voice of reason when anger and hate threaten to overboil. He is genuine in his grief when Mercutio is murdered, and yet he is still thinking of others and wanting to take care of them. Barnard has also given us a young man who shoulders the responsibility of the House of  Montecchi with maturity. When tragedy strikes so dreadfully, Benvolio is dependable, and yet he is also passionate, but not to the extremes as his cousin is. Benvolio's love is reserved, rational, but more importantly, reliable. Benvolio's depiction really enriched this story, and I thought his portrait was a dazzling one.

Barnard's attention to the historical detail must also be mentioned. Barnard has captured the very essence of what it must have been like to have been a friar in 14th century Verona. Barnard also writes with a great deal of authority on the subject of herbs and their uses.

If, like me, you are a lover of Shakespeare's plays, then The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard will undoubtedly appeal. It will also interest lovers of quality Historical Fiction. In all ways, The Ghostly Father is a profoundly successful story which will stay with you long after you turn that last page.

I Highly Recommended.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.


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A Ghostly Father



Sue Barnard

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester, UK. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.

Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.
Sue lives in Cheshire with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

Connect with Sue: Ocelot Press •  BlogTwitterAmazon Author Page.











Perverse – a collection of short prose and verse by Tim Walker is only 0.99 on #Kindle for a Limited Time @timwalker1666




Perverse – a collection of short prose and verse
By Tim Walker

PERVERSE is an eclectic collection of short, snatched memories and random ideas that tumbled out of a monthly spoken word event called The Innerverse.
‘Perversity’, is an obstinate urge or contrary behaviour; a wilful desire to not conform.
That made me think - life can sometimes be perverse – full of contradictions, disappointments, grief and sheer bloody-mindedness. But despite this, our sense of what is right and our collective willingness to submit to the rule of law, provides a counter balance that somehow gets us through.
I hope you enjoy this collection of verse and prose - a pastiche of my life, a nod to history and current affairs, a wistful look back, a hope for better days, and a celebration of life and all its riches.


Excerpt

SLOUGH, YEAR 100 AD

We cry and spit the bitter taste of defeat
Our men slaughtered and our women weep
Children only remain to harvest the crops
An ill wind blows along the track to our village
Swirling around the post where a dead owl wards off evil spirits
We are the Cantuvelauni people
Fishers of the river, hunters and foragers of the great forest
When the men from Rome first came, we ran and hid
We listened from the dark forest to the rhythmic tramp of boots
Clutching our charms to protect us from evil spirits and mumbling the words
The jangle of metal, the cries in a foreign tongue as they approached
Through our wooden gateway into our stockade ringed with sharpened stakes
That keep out the animals of the forest and deter other tribes
But not the men from Rome, wherever that may be - A new name for hell, perhaps.
They scattered the fowl and pigs and yapping dogs soon cowered and whimpered
Their Trinovante guide tells our headman they will pave our road to make it strong
What is a road? Our grey-haired leader asks.
The narrow tracks that connect our villages have been there since the dawn of time
Given to us by our mother, Brigantia, who whispers to us in the wind
But now our conquerors will make use of them to keep us at heel
They will put flattened rocks on a stony pathway to connect their forts.
They are here to stay.

They ask for our cooperation from behind a row of red shields,
The sunlight glistening off polished helmets and spear tips
Our new masters send men to show us how to grow their crops
barley, wheat and vegetables we have not seen before
They take our goats and fowl but give us only round silver discs
This is their money, our elders explain, to barter with at market
They take our young men and mother’s weep
Their tears stain the cracked but unyielding earth
Their cries the anguish of the conquered
powerless before the new gods of Rome.

Our druid tells us not to be afraid
But he runs to hide in the forest whenever they approach
Our young men come to visit and stand proud and tall
Dressed in the Roman fashion in toga and sandals of leather
We laugh and hug them and covet their shoes
The Romans have taught them their ways and they can read their symbols.
They show the boys how to catch fish in nets
Their laughter entwines with the splash and flash of silver as they take turns to cast it
Small stones dragging it to the depths where sits Father Tamesis, waiting
Our mighty river flows from before the dawn of men
That feeds and refreshes us and receives our offerings
It never lies nor betrays, but sometimes takes one of us
We are the new slaves of Rome but one day will be free
The rushing flow carries our hopes to the sea of life
They command us but they will never own our souls.


Only 0.99 on Kindle for a Limited Time.

Only 4.99 in Paperbook for a Limited Time.

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is an independent author living near Windsor in the UK. He grew up in Liverpool where he began his working life as a trainee reporter on a local newspaper, The Woolton Mercury. A media career ensued, including a stint overseas in Zambia.
His creative writing journey began in earnest in 2013, as a therapeutic activity whilst recovering from cancer treatment. He started an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, in 2015, following a visit to the near-by site of a former Roman town. The aim of the series is to connect the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend, presenting an imagined history of Britain in the early Dark Ages.
His latest book is Arthur, Dux Bellorum, a re-imagining of the story of King Arthur, published in March 2019. Book four in the A Light in the Dark Ages series, it won two book awards in April 2019 - One Stop Fiction Book of the Month and the Coffee Pot Book Club Book Award. The final book in the series, Arthur Rex Brittonum, is due out in June 2020.
The series starts with Abandoned (second edition 2018); followed by Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017); and book three, Uther's Destiny (2018). Series book covers are designed by Canadian graphic artist, Cathy Walker. Tim is self-published under his brand name, timwalkerwrites.
Tim has also written two books of short stories, Thames Valley Tales (2015), and Postcards from London (2017); a dystopian thriller, Devil Gate Dawn (2016); and two children's books, co-authored with his daughter, Cathy - The Adventures of Charly Holmes (2017) and Charly & The Superheroes (2018) with a third in the pipeline – Charly in Space.

Connect with Tim: WebsiteAmazon Author PageFacebookTwitter.




Check out Sam Thompson's fabulous book — A Walk to Revenge #Crime #Thriller #MustRead @manny745



A Walk to Revenge
By Sam Thompson


An explosive story of murder, corruption and manipulation.

A drizzly Manchester night, a hit and run and a chance meeting decades later lead ultimately to the exposure of a transatlantic crime family. Their story begins during the twenties New York prohibition era and follows its evolution into a modern-day underworld business. Jake Hughes and DI Jonty Ball threaten the empire and as a web of murder and deceit is exposed, the crime family bares its’ teeth, leading to an explosive finale where the winner takes all! Or do they?


Excerpt

The first hour of the flight passed quickly. Ray began to flick through the inflight magazine, obviously geared up for holidaymakers and flights to the various countries that the airline serviced. He read with interest the places in the South of France, an area that he and Francesca had discussed and planned to visit soon. I must make that happen for us, he thought.

Just then, he heard a deafening crash he instinctively looked out of the window. As if in slow motion, he watched as the wing fell away from the main body of the plane. At the same time, the plane began to roll on its side. The passengers in the cabin began screaming and panicking. The cabin staff were unable to move down the aisle as the plane had tilted on to its side. It was free falling and spinning in the air, like a coin spinning on its side on a smooth table top.

Then there was a second explosion as the second wing fell away, followed by a split-second respite as the drag of the wing caused the plane to spiral, and the spinning stopped. The plane fell, like a dart in the air – vertically! The gravitational force pushed Ray’s skin tight against his bones. It felt as though the bone and skin had melded and was turning inside out, his teeth clamping in his mouth so tight that he could feel his jaw beginning to crack. His eyes were popping out of their sockets.

Passengers, as well as cabin crew, were flying into him and over his head, the screaming dying down as people could no longer vocalise through their mouths as the gravity tugged at them. All went quiet. Ray could only discern the noise of the wind; he visualised tumbleweed rolling down a Western street, like a movie. He had only seconds left before he passed out. 

Roberto’s phone rang. He picked it up. Giovanni’s voice was on the other end.

“It’s done!” The phone went dead.


Pick up your copy of
A Walk to Revenge
Read for FREE with



Sam Thompson

I made the decision to retire in 2015 following a career in banking.
After living my life in the Greater Manchester area, I moved to South Cumbria in 2011 due to a position in my employment.
On retirement, I made the decision to stay in the Lake District area.
An ambition was always to write a novel, I finally found that retirement allowed me the time to do this.
My first novel, A Walk to Revenge is a crime story based around a crime family that evolves from America’s twenties prohibition era, to modern day UK.
I am writing a sequel which is nearing the end. Ihave titled the book Sartori. In addition I enjoy poetry and have written a book of poems.
I enjoy playing golf, and I follow football, I played when I was younger. I have taken up walking football twice a week, although that is on hold in the current environment.

Connect with Sam: Twitter.





Friday, 27 March 2020

#BookReview — Across the Great Divide: Book 1 The Clouds of War by Michael L. Ross #HistoricalFiction # AmericanCivilWar @MichaelLRoss7



Across the Great Divide:
Book 1 The Clouds of War
By Michael L. Ross


Lexington, Kentucky, 1859. After saving John Hunt Morgan from a puma attack, fifteen-year-old farm boy Will Crump joins Hunt’s militia, the Lexington Rifles. Morgan mentors Will and enrolls him in the local university, where he hopes to study law. As tensions rise between the North and South, Will is torn between his loyalty to Morgan and his love for his family. Will’s father, sisters, and sweetheart follow the Union, while Morgan and Will commit to the South. As part of Morgan’s band, Will participates in ambushes and unconventional warfare until his first real battle at Shiloh. He fights bravely, but increasingly questions what the war is accomplishing, and whether his devotion to honor has led him astray. And where is God in all this killing?

Will’s sister Albinia, friend of the Clay family, becomes increasingly aware of the plight of the slaves. When she finds Luther, a slave she knows, trying to escape, she must decide between her conscience, and her friends. She becomes involved in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves to freedom – but will it cost her love and her freedom?

Will’s other sister, Julia, is approaching spinster status and despairs of ever meeting a man who can give her more than life on a farm until she meets Hiram Johannsen, a son of immigrants who owns a steamship company. They marry and she makes a new life in the North. When Hiram answers the call to fight for the North, Julia runs the steamboat company in her husband’s absence and uses her boats to help Albinia ferry escaped slaves to freedom. Her business relations put her in the perfect position to spy for the North. When the Confederates capture her, will she survive?

Luther is one of the first slaves Albinia helps flee the South after his master cruelly abuses his mother and sister. He escapes with his family, and when war breaks out, he fights for the North as an auxiliary of the Third Ohio Cavalry, alongside Julia’s husband, Hiram, and against Morgan and Will. Luther has to confront the demons of his past, an abusive master, and a slave catcher that kills his little sister. Will the desire for revenge destroy him?

Throughout the war, Will is forced to examine and question everything he believes in—his faith in God, his love for his family, his loyalty to Morgan, and his worth as a human being.

Will and his family must somehow mend the torn fabric of relationships to find peace, and reach Across the Great Divide.



"Perhaps, one day, the color of a man's skin and the money in his pocket will not matter so much as the character in his heart. I pray that day comes quickly. In the meantime, sir, I have met many former slaves with better manners than yourself. Perhaps you could learn from them!"

Fifteen-year-old Will Crump had no idea of what the future would entail for him. After saving John Hunt Morgan from a puma attack, Will is given a chance to fulfil his dreams and become an educated man. There is one catch. If he accepts Morgan's proposition, he has to join the Lexington Rifles.

It is hard to close your eyes once they have been opened. Albinia Crump can no longer remain silent. Her views may be in the minority, but that did not mean that they were wrong, and she would not stand by and allow Luther to be tortured and executed because he dared to try and rescue his family from the brutalisation of their plantation owners. However, this is not something Albinia can fight alone. She needs help, and she needs it now.

Julia Crump is fast approaching spinsterhood, and it is time she settled down and found a husband. However, Julia wants more from life than that of a farmer's wife. Perhaps the handsome Hiram Johannsen will make all of her dreams come true?

From a young man's dream of a golden future to the horrors of Camp Douglas in Chicago, Across the Great Divide: Book 1 The Clouds of War by Michael L. Ross is the story of one family that is torn apart by war, pride, beliefs, and ambition.

Ross has composed a book that is astoundingly ambitious but, in all ways, absolutely triumphant. This story begins at the first muttering of unrest in a country that was not only politically divided but morally divided as well, and it ends with the Confederate surrender in 1865 and the subsequent release of the prisoners of war. In between the pages of this remarkable book is a story of one family who finds themselves on opposite sides during the war between the North and the South of America. It is a tear-jerking story of heroism and tragedy. It is a tale of survival, of fear, hate, and the insufferable torment of the soul that comes from opening fire on your fellow countryman. But this is also a book about forgiveness, mercy, and above everything else, love. Ross has penned an extraordinarily compelling and unforgettable account of one family as they navigated the American Civil War (1861 – 1865).

With astonishing attention to the historical detail, Ross, it seems, has a visceral understanding of the era this book is set in. He also has a novelist's skill to breathe life into people who have long since died. The hours of research that has gone into this book is self-evident — no one can write such crystalline prose without such dedicated devotion to the period. The battle scenes in this book are exceptionally well drawn and were brought vividly back to life — I could smell the blood, and feel the abject terror of the soldiers. I also must mention the depiction of Camp Douglas. — the horrors and the poverty the prisoners of war endured was portrayed with a great deal of skill and diligence to the historical facts. This book is, without a shadow of a doubt, a monumental work of scholarship. It is utterly splendid and a reward for any fan of quality Historical Fiction.

With an almost tangible realism, Ross has given us a protagonist that feels deeply, who is torn by his sense of honour, and who suffers terribly because of his choices. Ross introduces us to a young and to an extent idealistic William Dorsey Crump (1844–1940). Ross has stayed as close to the document history of Crump as he can, but he has also used a little creative licence to resurrect this fascinating character who served under Confederate General John H. Morgan (1825 – 1864). Will is immensely likeable, and like many soldiers on both sides, he doesn't really have much of an opinion on emancipation. He believes he is fighting for his home, and for Morgan. He follows Morgan into Hell on more than one occasion and continues to do so throughout the length of this novel. Will suffers greatly in this book, and he witnesses things, and he does things that haunt his days and torture his nights. Ross has not glossed over the horrors of war, for we see them through Will's eyes, and nor has he neglected the mental toll that such terrible circumstances can have on a person. I was fascinated by Will's journey. It is one of youthful enthusiasm which slowly becomes disenchantment when he loses friends to a brutal and seemingly pointless conflict. Ross has captured the very essence of what life must have been like for a Confederate soldier during this time. Kudos, Mr Ross. Kudos, indeed.

Albinia Crump is a reckless, rash young woman who cannot abide to witness the wickedness of slavery. Many may well justify their rights to own slaves with passages from the Bible, but Albinia knows in her heart that it is wrong and so she must risk everything and she must be prepared to lose everything if she is to stay true to herself. Ross' depiction of Albinia is utterly sublime. Not only has he given his readers a morally good character, but also one that is willing to make many sacrifices because she knows that what she sees is wrong and she cannot stand by and do nothing. Albinia faces many challenges and terrible hardships in this novel, and it would have been very easy for her to retreat into herself and give-up, but her tenacious determination to see this through to the end made her story not only compelling but utterly irresistible. 

Julia Crump's story is one that is almost eclipsed by her brother's war and her sister's work with The Underground Railroad, but it still emphasised the lack of empathy that people felt towards slaves and those who had escaped bondage when it came down to economics. There is a genuinely heartbreaking scene in this book where a slave is being beaten very cruelly, but everyone ignores her plight. When Julia questions her mother-in-law why someone is not stopping it, her mother-in-law simply answers that it is "…not our business." Julia may not be as skilled as her sister, but she does try to do her part in undermining the South — although with no formal training as a spy, Julia is a walking disaster, but again this strong sense of doing the right thing makes her a protagonist that a reader can really get behind.

I have to also quickly mention the portrayals of General John H. Morgan and General Basil W. Duke. I thought the depiction of both of these men was marvellous, and once again it showed how much research has gone into writing this book. One more character that deserves recognition as well is Luther. Luther is an escaped slave, and oh my goodness what a terrible journey he finds himself on. Luther's story is utterly heart-rendering, but it also demonstrates the difference one person can make. I thought Luther's depiction was majestic and very real in the telling.

I cannot praise this book enough. Across the Great Divide: Book 1 The Clouds of War by Michael L. Ross is fabulous from start to finish, and I cannot wait to get my hands on Book 2 of what promises to be an unforgettable series.

Fans of John Jakes', North and South trilogy, will find something endlessly fascinating about this novel.

I Highly Recommend. 

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.


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Across the Great Divide

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Michael L. Ross

Amazon bestseller Michael Ross is a lover of history and great stories. He’s a retired software engineer turned author, with three children, and five grandchildren, living in Newton, Kansas with his wife of 39 years. Michael graduated from Rice University and Portland State University. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas. He’s written short stories and technical articles in the past. “Across the Great Divide: Book 1 The Clouds of War” is his first novel

Connect with Michael: WebsiteTwitterGoodreads.






Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Check out Catherine Kullmann's fabulous #NewRelease — The Potential for Love #RegencyRomance @CKullmannAuthor




The Potential for Love
by Catherine Kullmann



“There is an essential something that calls us to another, something that we recognise or that resounds within us on the most intimate level.”

“Love, you mean?”

“Rather the possibility or potential for love.” Her father shook his head. “It’s impossible to describe, Arabella, and it may take us some time to recognise it, but we do know when it is not there.”

When Arabella Malvin sees the figure of an officer silhouetted against the sun, for one interminable moment, she thinks he is her brother, against all odds safely returned from Waterloo. But it is Major Thomas Ferraunt, the rector’s son, newly returned from occupied Paris who stands in front of her.

For over six years, Thomas’s thoughts have been of war. Now he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Miss Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow?

As Arabella embarks on her fourth season, she finds herself more in demand than ever before. But she is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants?

As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?


Excerpt

Arabella and Thomas have met in Rotten Row.

When they came abreast of the gentlemen, Thomas wheeled his horse to fall in beside her.

“Good morning, Thomas. He is a handsome fellow. What have you called him?”

“Samson.”

“Why?”

He shrugged helplessly. “I don’t know. He looks like a Samson, I suppose. Why do you smile?”

“I was wondering would you name your children the same way. I could see you cradling a new-born infant, muttering names to yourself—Gideon, no; Gerard, no; Jeremiah—not Jeremiah.”

“I have never thought of it,” he said with his lop-sided smile. “But I imagine the child’s mother would have something to say too, don’t you?”

“I’m sure she would,” she answered hastily, dazzled by a new image of herself propped up against her pillows, laughing and shaking her head at his suggestions. That was what she wanted in marriage, she realised suddenly, love and laughter and a bond that was much more than two signatures on the marriage register.


Pick up your copy of
The Potential for Love



Catherine Kullmann

Catherine Kullmann was born and educated in Dublin. Following a three-year courtship conducted mostly by letter, she moved to Germany where she lived for twenty-five years before returning to Ireland. She has worked in the Irish and New Zealand public services and in the private sector. Widowed, she has three adult sons and two grandchildren.

Catherine has always been interested in the extended Regency period, a time when the foundations of our modern world were laid. She loves writing and is particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on for the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them. Her books are set against a background of the offstage, Napoleonic wars and consider in particular the situation of women trapped in a patriarchal society. She is the author of The Murmur of Masks, Perception & Illusion, A Suggestion of Scandal, The Duke’s Regret, and The Potential for Love.

Catherine also blogs about historical facts and trivia related to this era. You can find out more about her books and read her blog (My Scrap Album).Or connect with Catherine on Facebook. page is