Today, I’m excited to share my review for Helen Golden’s new cozy mystery, A Dead Herring #blogtour

Here’s the blurb

BREAKING NEWS Urshall United FC Owner Dies at Drew Castle

 Details are sketchy at this stage, but it is believed businessman Ben Rhodes (38) was found dead in his bathroom at the king’s Scottish home by his twin brother Max, where the pair were guests at a shooting party hosted by Lord Frederick Astley (39), brother of Lady Beatrice (36). The cause of Mr Rhodes’ death is not known, but he started receiving death threats from football fans after his controversial takeover of the club and had recently employed his own personal security.

How unlucky can a girl get? Is fate playing a cruel trick on her for boorish Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam to be the only person who can get to the snowed-in castle to investigate Ben Rhodes’s death? And with no other external resources available to him, he now needs her, her smart dog, and her best friends’ help to catch the killer. Can they put their issues behind them and work together to find the murderer before the weather improves and the perpetrator is free to leave?

Another page-turning cozy British whodunnit with a hint of humour from author Helen Golden.

Purchase Link

My Review

If you don’t know that I adore this series, then you’ve been hiding under a rock:)

The Right Royal Cozy Investigations, of which the fabulously titled, A Dead Herring is the latest release, are a fantastic series of stories (with a thread running through them all that I will not be alone in being desperate to see the resolution for) which are just that bit elevated from other books of the genre.

The plotting is tight, the characters have great and very human interactions, the crimes are shocking, the investigations are robust, and the stories all have a great little twist where the reader has an ‘I know who did it moment,’ even if the characters haven’t quite reached it yet.

A Dead Herring is no different. Lady Bea and Perry, alongside Simon, find themselves being asked to help Pairs with this one, which makes a nice change, and the true moment of peril also has a great twist.

I find this series to be dependably great. That might not sound like praise, but it is. I know if I read one of these books, I’m going to be entertained and amused, and I’m always eager for the next book in the series. If you enjoy cosy crime, you must check out this series, and I recommend reading them in order.

Check out my reviews for the books in the series:

Spruced up for Murder

For Richer, For Deader

Not Mushroom for Death

An Early Death

Meet the author

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes

Connect with Helen




I’m delighted to feature Catherine Meyrick and her new book, Cold Blows the Wind on the blog today #blogtour

I’m delighted to sharan excerpt from Catherine Metric’s new book, Cold Blows the Wind.

The meal was served almost immediately, a hearty stew with bread and butter. The whole family sat close around the table on an assortment of stools, benches and chairs, Billy on Ellen’s knee. He fought to get the spoon from her as she tried to feed him. When she thought he had eaten enough, she surrendered the spoon. As much went into his hair and across his cheeks as into his mouth. He happily burbled away as he played with the spoon.

Harry was hoeing into the meal with as much relish as George and polished off the gravy with the bread. He swallowed the last of his bread and said, ‘That was delicious, Mrs Thompson, just like my grandmother used to make.’

Mary Ann stood and went to the stove, pouring water from the kettle into the teapot standing on the hob. Jane collected the empty plates and placed them beside the washing tub on the bench beneath the kitchen window.

Ellen lifted Billy off her lap and handed him to Alice. ‘There’s cake as well.’

‘Take a big slice, Harry,’ Dad said. ‘Ellen baked the cake specially for you.’

She brought the pound cake out of the pantry cupboard. It had turned out perfectly, a lovely golden brown on top, sprinkled with sugar.

‘Don’t be silly, Dad.’ Ellen concentrated on cutting the slices evenly, trying to ignore the heat rising up her neck. ‘I often make a cake on Sundays.’

Mary Ann, busy pouring the tea, snorted and tried to cover it with a cough.

Alice, holding Billy and attempting to wipe the remains of his meal from his hands and face, opened her mouth, ‘But …’ A jab in the ribs from Jane silenced her.

Mam sat back, warming her hands around her teacup. ‘So you’re staying with old Mrs Hennessy.’

‘Yes, on weekdays. I go up the mountain on Saturday afternoon, back by Sunday night.’

‘No time for play,’ Dad said.

‘No, unfortunately. I need to keep an eye on the old folk.’

‘I’ve seen you striding along towards the Huon Road on a Saturday.’ George stretched back in his chair. ‘Too fast for me to catch up. I’d started to wonder if you were avoiding me.’

Harry shook his head. ‘I need to be quick, don’t want to be climbing up the track in the dark.’

‘Summer is on its way, longer days.’ George put his empty teacup down. ‘Time for a beer, I think.’ He went to the sideboard and opened one of Harry’s bottles of beer. Glasses were passed to all but the younger girls, and, drinks in hand, the questioning began.

‘Where was your father from?’ Dad asked.


‘But where? It’s a big place.’

Harry shrugged. ‘Cheltenham I think it’s called, wherever that is.’

Dad nodded. ‘About eighty or so miles south of Stoke on Trent, where I was. Pretty place, from what I’ve heard.’

‘And, Mrs Thompson, are you from there too?’

Before Mam could answer, Dad said, ‘Beth here is English or Scottish depending on her fancy on the day.’

Mam rolled her eyes. ‘We moved around the border. My parents were Scottish, but I were sent here from Carlisle.’

His hazel eyes intent on Harry, Dad asked, ‘Now, young feller, what did you do in Perth?’

‘This and that. I’ll turn my hand to whatever makes a penny.’

Ellen frowned. Why was he being vague? Was he hiding something? Perhaps he had been in gaol. It might not be a problem, depending on his crime.

George clearly thought the same. ‘Ever been in gaol, Harry?’

Harry sat up in his chair, his mouth open, as if he was shocked by the suggestion. ‘No.’ He paused, frowning, perhaps trying to work out why he had been asked. ‘My grandfather had a farm. I worked on that for a few years,’ he finally said. ‘Then did a bit of wandering, joined a party exploring the interior, tried my hand at fishing.’

Ellen listened as he talked of the country he had travelled through—the scenery, the sheer rock walls, the great boulders in all manner of reds and browns, the floods, the wildflowers bursting into bloom as the waters receded. The way Harry described it all, it was as good as the stories Dad read out from the paper.

‘Later I worked on the East-West Telegraph line.’

Harry spoke of the heat and the sand, the scarcity of fresh water, the transport of logs by sea, hauling them ashore and through the coastal scrub to the route of the telegraph line, the raising of the poles and the stringing of the wires overhead, the cheering as the two lines, from Perth and from Adelaide, were finally joined at Eucla. Although, his descriptions were not as vivid as before, Ellen thought they seemed more real.

‘You didn’t think to come and visit your father when you were younger?’ Mam said.

‘It never crossed my mind. There was plenty to do in Western Australia.’

‘Your father said he was a shoemaker in England,’ Dad said.

‘Just like you.’ Ellen smiled at her father.

‘He didn’t do much of it in Western Australia. It was mostly fencing, shingle splitting, a bit of carpentry and hunting ducks and kangaroos.’

‘You must have been young when Mr Woods came here.’ Mam stared straight at him, a line between her brows.

Ellen wondered if she was concerned at the thought of a little boy left without his father or puzzling out his age.

Harry nodded. ‘I was.’ He added nothing more.

‘And your mother?’

‘Dead.’ His terse response brought an end to the interrogation.

Here’s the blurb

Hobart Town 1878 – a vibrant town drawing people from every corner of the earth where, with confidence and a flair for storytelling, a person can be whoever he or she wants. Almost.

Ellen Thompson is young, vivacious and unmarried, with a six-month-old baby. Despite her fierce attachment to her family, boisterous and unashamed of their convict origins, Ellen dreams of marriage and disappearing into the ranks of the respectable. Then she meets Harry Woods.

Harry, newly arrived in Hobart Town from Western Australia, has come to help his aging father, ‘the Old Man of the Mountain’ who for more than twenty years has guided climbers on Mount Wellington. Harry sees in Ellen a chance to remake his life.

But, in Hobart Town, the past is never far away, never truly forgotten. When the past collides with Ellen’s dreams, she is forced to confront everything in life a woman fears most.

Based on a period in the lives of the author’s great-great-grandparents, Sarah Ellen Thompson and Henry Watkins Woods, Cold Blows the Wind is not a romance but it is a story of love – a mother’s love for her children, a woman’s love for her family and, those most troublesome loves of all, for the men in her life. It is a story of the enduring strength of the human spirit.

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Meet the author

Catherine Meyrick is an Australian writer of romantic historical fiction. She lives in Melbourne but grew up in Ballarat, a large regional city steeped in history. Until recently she worked as a customer service librarian at her local library. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also an obsessive genealogist.

When she is not writing, reading and researching, Catherine enjoys gardening, the cinema and music of all sorts from early music and classical to folk and country & western. And, not least, taking photos of the family cat to post on Instagram.

Connect with Catherine



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Follow the Cold Blows the Wind blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

I’m delighted to welcome Vicky Adin and her new book, Lucy, to the blog, #dualtimeline #historicalfiction #LucyTheSuffragist #WomensRights #BookBlast #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub 

Here’s the blurb:

Emma’s curiosity is piqued by a gutsy young climate change campaigner with an antique trinket box full of women’s rights badges, but tracing their history pushes her to her limit. 

Struggling to recover from Covid-19, Emma is terrified of developing a chronic and incurable condition and becoming a burden. She tries to ignore her fears and keeps working. She has clients who rely on her. Paige is a spirited environmentalist whose wealthy father tries to curb her enthusiasm. But she is intent on making her mark on the world in spite of him. Emma is torn between untangling the mysteries of Paige’s legacy or saving herself when exhaustion threatens everything she cares about.  

In 1892, twenty-one-year-old Lucy, a dedicated suffragist is determined women shall win the right to vote this time. Since her mother died, she has grown up in the glow of her father’s benevolence. Winning the franchise has become her raison d’être, greater even than her love for Richard. She goes canvassing and is ambushed by a man who undermines her confidence. Conflicted between winning the vote or safeguarding those she loves, she redoubles her campaign efforts. But a moral dilemma puts her future in jeopardy. 

A compelling tale of Lucy the suffragist and the courageous women who fought for their right to vote (Book 3 in The Art of Secrets series, dual-timeline sagas about finding your roots).

Buy Links:

This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited. 

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Meet the author

Vicky Adin’s passion is writing inter-generational sagas inspired by early immigrant women’s stories in New Zealand, linked by journals, letters, photographs, and heirlooms.

As a genealogist and historian, Vicky has combined her skills to write heart-warming novels weaving family life and history together in a way that makes the past come alive.

Delve into the new dual-timeline seriesThe Art of Secrets, family sagas about finding your roots… or

Become engrossed in The New Zealand Immigrant Collection, suspenseful family saga fiction uncovering the mysteries, the lies and the challenges of the past.

Vicky Adin holds a MA(Hons) in English and Education. She is an avid reader of historical novels, family sagas and contemporary women’s stories and loves to travel. 

Connect with Vicky

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Follow the Lucy blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Today, I’m welcoming Lucretia Grindle to the blog with a fascinating post about the historical women in her new novel, The Devil’s Glove #blogtour

Guest Post by Lucretia Grindle on the Histroical Background to the Women in The Devil’s Glove

As I began to think about the Salem witchcraft trials, I was struck by what a distinctly female episode Salem was. Sure, you’ve got the Mathers, father and son, and the magistrates – all men. But this was a furor that was whipped up and powered by women, some of them very young women. And, while six men were executed (five hanged and one pressed to death) fourteen women were hanged. Because other women accused them. 

All of which led me to consider the roles women played in 17th century New England. As I began to contemplate The Devil’s Glove, I knew that my central character would be female, and so it seemed important to try to get past preconceptions and really understand the scope of possibility as well as the limitations on women’s lives in that time and place. What were they able to do, and not do? How did they fit, and not fit into the power structure of society? 

Salem certainly seemed a ‘fracture’; an incident when teen-aged girls, some of them orphaned, most of them servants and dependents – in other words those who would usually be the most un-empowered – wielded extraordinary power. A power they used to attack some of the most powerful female figures in the Massachusetts colony. Established and respected matrons like Rebecca Nurse. Women of wealth and social standing like Mary English. Women who would normally be politically untouchable, like the governor’s sister, Anne Phipps. What other ‘fractures’ might I find, if I went looking?

One of the greatest pleasures of writing history, and historical fiction in particular, is the way in which you begin thinking you know about something, only to discover facets of a world that are a complete surprise. So as I settled into archives and began to peel back layers, I was thrilled to find a complex and unexpected past peopled with an astonishing array of women. Resolve Hammond and her mother, Deliverance, are fictional characters. But the circumstances and possibilities of their lives are based on real women, some of whom appear in The Devil’s Glove, and many of whom will appear in the second and third books of the trilogy. These are a few of their stories.

Early in The Devil’s Glove we discover that Resolve and her mother spent the bloody years of King Philip’s war (1675-1678) sheltered among the tribe led by the female sachem, Ashawonks. This is based on a true episode. I placed the Hammonds with Ashawonks specifically, both because I wanted to bring her into the story and because she is Deliverance’s mentor, and her guide – the door through which Deliverance, and thus Resolve, enter the Native world. So, who was she? 

Female sachem, or saunkskwa of the Sakonnets, a tribe whose lands bordered the southern edge of the Plymouth settlement on Narragansett bay, Ashawonks was unique, not just because she was a women – there were several female sachems at the time – but because she became leader not via inheritance, but because of her formidable diplomatic skills. Her position would be challenged throughout her life, not only by the Anglo-Europeans who tried to push her off her lands, but also from within her own tribe. None of them succeeded. Instead, Ashawonks managed to walk a dangerous tightrope, keeping alliances – or at least relations – with Anglo-Europeans, while not openly alienating fellow sachems and tribes. She was especially close to the powerful militia commander, Benjamin Church, whom she often met and spoke with at length, using him as both a sounding board and conduit to The Powers that Were in Massachusetts. Thanks to skill, nerve, and an uncanny ability to read situations, Ashawonks  piloted her people, and those under her protection, through one of the most dangerous episodes in early American colonial history.

At about the same time Ashawonks was steering a course through a bloody war, another extraordinary woman gave birth to a daughter in Salem, Massachusetts. The daughter would become Mary English, who appears at the end of The Devil’s Glove and is a central to book II of the Salem trilogy. But it was her mother, Elinor Hollingworth, whose life suggested to me what the realistic possibilities might be for Deliverance Hammond. 

Elinor’s family arrived in Salem as part of The Great Migration, an influx of something in the area of 20,000 immigrants, primarily from the British Isles and mostly from England, who arrived in New England between approximately 1630 and 1640. At seventeen, Elinor married William Hollingworth, a sea captain and general all-round trader who wasn’t particularly good at either. His not very thrilling career came to an end when he went overboard and drowned, leaving Elinor with three small children and a mountain of debt. 

There were more eligible men than marriagable women drifting around New England at the time, and Elinor might well have re-married, as most widows did. But she wasn’t having any of it. Once was apparently enough. Instead, Elinor Hollingworth went to work. Petitioning the court to gain control of what was left of her husband’s business, she set about clearing his debts. 

In England at the time, women in naval cities like Bristol and Portsmouth were banding together to negotiate with the British Navy about pay and conditions while their husbands were at sea. Taking a leaf out of the same book, Elinor set herself up as a broker negotiating pay deals for working seamen in Salem, many of whom were illiterate, while taking a cut in return. She so successful that she rapidly became a sort of mini working seaman’s merchant bank.

 At the same time, Elinor saw an opportunity in the wives they left behind. Harnessing their domestic labor, inviting them to produce surplus butter, beer, biscuit, shirts, shoes and other supplies needed to outfit Salem’s growing merchant fleet, she became a ship’s chandler – the person captains went to for all the supplies they needed as soon as they knew they were going to sea. Within a few years, she not only paid off all of William’s accrued debt, but also acquired The Blue Parrot tavern, a seedy drinking den down on the waterfront that she made her headquarters.

Riding the tide of Salem’s exploding maritime trade, Elinor Hollingworth became so successful, and powerful, that when she was accused of witchcraft in 1672 by a neighbor she had annoyed, she merely shrugged it off, saying she was far too busy to be a witch. Twenty years later, her daughter tried essentially the same approach, with vastly different results. 

By then, Mary was married to Philip English, and they were the wealthiest tax payers in Salem, joint owners of a shipping empire that owned more than twenty vessels and included, among other things His and Hers warehouses. Mary received her warehouse from her mother as a wedding present. Elinor had not only made sure that her daughter was exceptionally well educated, she thought so much of her ability that she bypassed her son, and handed her entire business empire directly to her daughter. Philip English shared his mother in law’s esteem. Throughout their marriage, he and his wife owned their business jointly.

Along with the warehouses and the wharf and the ships, Mary and Philip English owned and inhabited a house in Salem so grand that it was known simply as The Great House. It had three stories, and housed not only their family, but also the shipping company’s counting house and a luxury goods shop which Mary oversaw and ran. And it was staffed by fifteen domestic servants, many of them indentured.

Indenture, the practice of contracting labor for a period of years in return for food and keep, and often passage to The New World was a relatively common practice, and part of the Englishes’ business. They arranged and brokered indenture contracts for a large number of, mostly young, people who came to New England from the island of Jersey. Many of them were single young women. One was called Judah White, and is Resolve’s best friend in The Devil’s Glove.

Indenture was not an easy life. You had little say over who you were indentured to, and there was no way out except to work out the years of the contract, or somehow find enough money to buy it out. But it was also a way for young men, and young women, from the lower classes to have a chance at starting a new life in The New World. For women in particular, this was otherwise close to impossible. Here was a way to take at least some of your destiny into your hands. Many made the leap, exhibiting an independence that defies common presumptions about women in the 17th century.

Ashawonks, Elinor, Mary and Judah are only some of the women I encountered while researching The Devil’s Glove. In each case, their circumstances and lives were unexpected. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as I did.

Here’s the blurb

Northern New England, summer, 1688.
Salem started here.

A suspicious death. A rumor of war. Whispers of witchcraft.

Perched on the brink of disaster, Resolve Hammond and her mother, Deliverance, struggle to survive in their isolated coastal village. They’re known as healers taught by the local tribes – and suspected of witchcraft by the local villagers.

Their precarious existence becomes even more chaotic when summoned to tend to a poisoned woman. As they uncover a web of dark secrets, rumors of war engulf the village, forcing the Hammonds to choose between loyalty to their native friends or the increasingly terrified settler community.

As Resolve is plagued by strange dreams, she questions everything she thought she knew – about her family, her closest friend, and even herself. If the truth comes to light, the repercussions will be felt far beyond the confines of this small settlement.

Based on meticulous research and inspired by the true story of the fear and suspicion that led to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, THE DEVIL’S GLOVE is a tale of betrayal, loyalty, and the power of secrets. Will Resolve be able to uncover the truth before the town tears itself apart, or will she become the next victim of the village’s dark and mysterious past?

Praise for The Devil’s Glove:

“From its opening lines this historical novel from Grindle (Villa Triste) grips with its rare blend of a powerfully evoked past, resonant characters, smart suspense, and prose touched with shivery poetry.” 

~ BookLife Reviews Editor’s Pick

Buy Links

This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

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Meet the author

Lucretia Grindle grew up and went to school and university in England and the United States. After a brief career in journalism, she worked for The United States Equestrian Team organizing ‘kids and ponies,’ and for the Canadian Equestrian Team. For ten years, she produced and owned Three Day Event horses that competed at The World Games, The European Games and the Atlanta Olympics. In 1997, she packed a five mule train across 250 miles of what is now Grasslands National Park on the Saskatchewan/Montana border tracing the history of her mother’s family who descend from both the Sitting Bull Sioux and the first officers of the Canadian Mounties.

Returning to graduate school as a ‘mature student’, Lucretia completed an MA in Biography and Non-Fiction at The University of East Anglia where her work, FIREFLIES, won the Lorna Sage Prize. Specializing in the 19th century Canadian West, the Plains Tribes, and American Indigenous and Women’s History, she is currently finishing her PhD dissertation at The University of Maine. 

Lucretia is the author of the psychological thrillers, THE NIGHTSPINNERS, shortlisted for the Steel Dagger Award, and THE FACES of ANGELS, one of BBC FrontRow’s six best books of the year, shortlisted for the Edgar Award. Her historical fiction includes, THE VILLA TRISTE, a novel of the Italian Partisans in World War II, a finalist for the Gold Dagger Award, and THE LOST DAUGHTER, a fictionalized account of the Aldo Moro kidnapping. She has been fortunate enough to be awarded fellowships at The Hedgebrook Foundation, The Hawthornden Foundation, The Hambidge Foundation, The American Academy in Paris, and to be the Writer in Residence at The Wallace Stegner Foundation. A television drama based on her research and journey across Grasslands is currently in development. THE DEVIL’S GLOVE and the concluding books of THE SALEM TRILOGY are drawn from her research at The University of Maine where Lucretia is grateful to have been a fellow at the Canadian American Foundation. 

She and her husband, David Lutyens, live in Shropshire.

Connect with the author


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Follow the blog tour for The Devil’s Glove with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Today, it’s my turn on the #blogtour for Jane Dunn’s new historical romance, An Unsuitable Heiress.

Here’s the blurb

‘Do you realise, Corinna, just how hard it is for a young woman of irregular birth, without family, fortune or friends in the world? Marriage is the only way to get any chance of a life.’

Following the death of her mother, Corinna Ormesby has lived a quiet life in the countryside with her cantankerous Cousin Agnes. Her father’s identity has been a tantalising mystery, but now at nineteen Corinna knows that finding him may be her only way to avoid marriage to the odious Mr Beech.

Deciding to head to London, Corinna dons a male disguise. Travelling alone as a young woman risks scandal and danger, but when, masquerading as a youth, she is befriended by three dashing blades, handsome and capable Alick Wolfe, dandy Ferdinand Shilton and the incorrigible Lord Purfoy, Corinna now has access to the male-only world of Regency England. And when she meets Alick’s turbulent brother Darius, a betrayal of trust leads to deadly combat which only one of the brothers may survive.

From gambling in gentleman’s clubs to meeting the courtesans of Covent Garden, Corinna’s country naivety soon falls away. But when she finds her father at last, learns the truth about her parentage and discovers her fortunes transformed, she must quickly decide how to reveal her true identity, while hoping that one young man in particular can see her for the beauty and Lady she really is.

Purchase Link

My Review

A Suitable Heiress continues Jane Dunn’s exploration of Regency-era England. Once more, we have a very different main character, young Corinna, who knows she’s a bastard, but is determined to find her father, and continue in her quest to become an artist. And how might she manage this? By masquerading as a man and running away to London.

What ensues is a delightful tale of the era, not without its peril for our heroine/hero as her disguise is discovered and her father found. But this is only half the story for Corinna must manage her friendships carefully and guard her reputation as well as her companions while seeking to fulfill her ambitions.

An Unsuitable Heiress is a delightful Regency tale sure to appeal to fans of the era.

Find my review for The Marriage Season here.

Meet the author

Jane Dunn is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She comes to Boldwood with her first fiction outing – a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which is to be published in January 2023. She lives in Berkshire with her husband, the linguist Nicholas Ostler.

Connect with Jane



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I’m delighted to welcome the Historical Writers Forum and their Alternate Endings – A Short Anthology of Historical What Ifs to the blog #HistoricalFiction #anthology #ShortStories #AlternateHistory #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Here’s the blurb

We all know the past is the past, but what if you could change history?

We asked eight historical authors to set aside the facts and rewrite the history they love. The results couldn’t be more tantalizing.

What if Julius Caesar never conquered Gaul?

What if Arthur Tudor lived and his little brother never became King Henry VIII?

What if Abigail Adams persuaded the Continental Congress in 1776 to give women the right to vote and to own property?

Dive in to our collection of eight short stories as we explore the alternate endings of events set in ancient Rome, Britain, the United States, and France.

An anthology of the Historical Writers Forum.

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Meet the authors

Samantha Wilcoxson

Samantha Wilcoxson is an author of emotive biographical fiction and strives to help readers connect with history’s unsung heroes. She also writes nonfiction for Pen & Sword History.

Samantha loves sharing trips to historic places with her family and spending time by the lake with a glass of wine. Her most recent work is Women of the American Revolution, which explores the lives of 18th century women, and she is currently working on a biography of James Alexander Hamilton.


Sharon Bennett Connolly

Historian Sharon Bennett Connolly is the best-selling author of five non-fiction history books, with a new release coming soon.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Sharon has studied history academically and just for fun – and has even worked as a tour guide at a castle. She writes the popular history blog, 

Sharon regularly gives talks on women’s history; she is a feature writer for All About History magazine and her TV work includes Australian Television’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’


Cathie Dunn

Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction, mystery, and romance. The focus of her historical fiction novels is on strong women through time.

She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites.

Cathie’s stories have garnered awards and praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.


Karen Heenan

As an only child, Karen Heenan learned early that boredom was the enemy. Shortly after she discovered perpetual motion, and has rarely been seen holding still since.

She lives in Lansdowne, PA, just outside Philadelphia, where she grows much of her own food and makes her own clothes. She is accompanied on her quest for self-sufficiency by a very patient husband and an ever-changing number of cats. 

One constant: she is always writing her next book.


Salina B Baker

Salina Baker is a multiple award winning author and avid student of Colonial America and the American Revolution. 

Her lifelong passion for history and all things supernatural led her to write historical fantasy. Reading, extensive traveling and graveyard prowling with her husband keep that passion alive. 

Salina lives in Austin, Texas.


Virginia Crow

Virginia Crow is an award-winning Scottish author who grew up in Orkney and now lives in Caithness.

Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together. Her academic passions are theology and history, her undergraduate degree in the former and her postgraduate degree in the latter, and aspects of these frequently appear within her writings.

When not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration, and music is often playing when she writes. Her life is governed by two spaniels, Orlando and Jess, and she enjoys exploring the Caithness countryside with these canine sidekicks.

She loves cheese, music, and films, but hates mushrooms.


Elizabeth K Corbett

Elizabeth K. Corbett is an author, book reviewer, and historian who has recently published a short story, “Marie Thérèse Remembers.” She is currently working on her debut novel, a gothic romance set in Jacksonian America.

When she is not writing, she teaches academic writing, something she is very passionate about. She believes in empowering students to express themselves and speak their truth through writing. Additionally, she is a women’s historian who studies the lives of women in eighteenth and nineteenth century North America. Mostly, she is fascinated by the lives of the lesser known women in history.

A resident of gorgeous coastal New Jersey, she takes inspiration from the local history to write her historical fiction. She is an avid reader who adores tea and coffee.


Stephanie Churchill

After serving time as a corporate paralegal in Washington, D.C., then staying home to raise her children, Stephanie Churchill stumbled upon writing, a career path she never saw coming.

As a result of writing a long-winded review of the book Lionheart, Stephanie became fast friends with its New York Times best-selling author, Sharon Kay Penman, who uttered the fateful words, “Have you ever thought about writing?” 

Stephanie’s books are filled with action and romance, loyalty and betrayal. Her writing takes on a cadence that is sometimes literary, sometimes genre fiction, relying on deeply-drawn and complex characters while exploring the subtleties of imperfect people living in a gritty, sometimes dark world.

She lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband, two children, and two dogs while trying to survive the murderous intentions of a Minnesota winter.


Michael Ross

Best selling author 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 forty years. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas.

Michael attended Rice University as an undergraduate, and Portland State University for his graduate degree. He has degrees in computer science, software engineering, and German. In his spare time, Michael loves to go fishing, riding horses, and play with his grandchildren, who are currently all under six years old. 


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Follow the Alternate Endings blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for The Lost Heir by Jane Cable #blogtour

Here’s the blurb

Cornwall, 2020

At the beginning of lockdown, teacher Carla Burgess needs to make some changes to her life. She no longer loves her job, and it’s certainly time to kick her on-off boyfriend into touch. But then, while walking on the cliffs she meets Mani Dolcoath, a gorgeous American with a dark aura.

Mani is researching his family history, and slowly their lives and their heritage begin to entwine. The discovery of a locked Georgian tea caddy in the barn on her parents’ farm intrigues Carla, but then she starts to see orbs, something that hasn’t happened since her grandmother died. They terrify her and she’ll do anything to outrun them, but will she lose Mani’s friendship in the process?

Cornwall, 1810

Harriet Lemon’s position as companion to Lady Frances Basset (Franny) perfectly conceals the fact they are lovers. But when Franny is raped and falls pregnant their lives are destined to change forever.

The one person who may be able to help them is Franny’s childhood friend, William Burgess, a notorious smuggler. But he has secrets of his own he needs to protect. Will his loyalties be divided, or will he come through?

Pre-order Link

Meet the author

Jane Cable writes romance with a twist and its roots firmly in the past, more often than not inspired by a tiny slice of history and a beautiful British setting.

After independently publishing her award-winning debut, The Cheesemaker’s House, Jane was signed by Sapere Books. Her first two novels for them are contemporary romances looking back to World War 2; Another You inspired by a tragic D-Day exercise at Studland Bay in Dorset and Endless Skies by the brave Polish bomber crews who flew from a Lincolnshire airbase.

Jane lives in Cornwall and her current series, Cornish Echoes, are dual timeline adventure romances set in the great houses of the Poldark era and today. She also writes as Eva Glyn.

Connect with Jane

Twitter: @JaneCable


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Today I’m delighted to feature Death in Sensible Circumstances by Riana Everly on the blog #blogtourMissMaryInvestigates #Austenesque #HistoricalMystery #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

I’m delighted to share an excerpt from Death in Sensible Circumstances below.


“You must understand our concern.” The red-coated colonel paced up and down Alexander Lyons’ small office. He paused when he reached the offered chair once more, but did not sit down. He glanced down at the stack of cards on the desk that read Alexander Lyons, Investigator, and gave a brief bob of his head, as if reassuring himself he was in the proper place. Then he resumed pacing.

Alexander considered the man who had come calling a few minutes before. He had not written ahead, but had knocked at the door and hoped that the investigator was available. “You come highly recommended by a fellow officer, name of Fitzwilliam,” the colonel had explained. “He said you had done great service to the family. I hope you can help us, too.” 

The colonel had then introduced himself as Nicholas Brandon of Delaford in Dorsetshire. He was requesting Alexander’s services, he said, not on his own behalf but on that of a certain gentleman whom he knew, but who was too uncertain of matters to make the call himself. He took the offered seat and explained the situation, then rose and began pacing as Alexander considered what he had heard.

“Let me repeat this.” Alexander spoke slowly as thoughts swirled in his head. He knew his broad Scots accent would not deter this stalwart colonel, but poorly chosen words and stumbling sentences might. “Your friend had a falling out with his mother three months ago and was disinherited in favour of his younger brother, Robert Ferrars. That brother had a will that he made last year, upon turning twenty-one.” Alexander looked up for confirmation. Seeing Brandon’s nod, he continued. “That document left everything to his brother Edward. This seems reasonable and quite unexceptionable. Very well. Now this is where matters get sticky.

“This same Robert Ferrars was killed three days ago. To all accounts, he was returning home very late through Hyde Park from a rather exclusive gaming establishment. That is of little import right now, although it may become vital later. What does matter at this moment is that he was beaten, robbed, and left dead at the scene. His estate ought, therefore, to have passed to his brother Edward with no concerns raised.

“But…” There was always a ‘but.’ “But on the day that the terms of the will were announced, a certain person, a lady, came forward claiming that she was, in fact, Robert Ferrars’ wife and that Ferrars’ considerable wealth ought rightly to be hers.”

Alexander rose and moved to a shelf of books that sat against the far wall. He selected a tome and brought it to his desk, where he proceeded to open it and turn the pages until he found the one he wanted. Without looking at the words before him, he continued. “But there is no evidence of a marriage, and even if there were, the rule from Lugg v Luggfrom 1696 is that it requires marriage and the birth of children to effect a revocation of a will.”

Here Brandon interrupted him. “On what grounds would the extant will be revoked? Does the state of marriage annul a previous legal document? Yes, I know from Fitzwilliam that you are a lawyer by training. This is one of the considerations that brought me here today.”

Alexander gave a nod and hoped he looked sufficiently scholarly. Not many men took him seriously, what with his strong brogue (that became stronger or weaker, depending on how annoying he found his company) and his mop of coppery-red hair. He knew he appeared and sounded like a kilt-wearing heathen from the braes, and this was an image he rather cultivated, no matter that it might cost him some business. Now, however, he preferred to project the image of a learned and capable man of letters.

“Just so. I read law at Glasgow, where I did my degree. I do not practise that profession, but I follow the latest judgments. My qualifications remain valid.”

Brandon looked satisfied. 

“Marriage,” Alexander returned to the colonel’s question, “is a fundamental change in circumstance. It is assumed that upon taking a wife and having children, a man necessarily wishes to provide for his family. Therefore, the court should take notice of what is—or ought to be—a clear and obvious intent.”

“But that requires marriage and children…”

“And as you have told me, Lucy Steele, or Lucy Ferrars, should her tale be true, claims to be enceinte.”

“Mmmm.” Brandon was a man not given to unnecessary speech.

“And the question arises as to whether an unborn child has the status of a living child. This has been much about the courts these last ten or fifteen years. In Doe v Lancashire, it was ruled that a posthumous child does indeed hold the same status as a living child, on the condition that the father knew of that expectation. It is understood that he would wish to provide for the child, hence the material change in circumstance. But if he did not know…”

“Then the previous will stands.”

“Just so. Just so.”


A Jane Austen-inspired mystery, set in the world of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, being the fourth novel in the Miss Mary Investigates series.

When Mary Bennet befriends Elinor Dashwood, she expects to become part of the young lady’s circle and be introduced to her friends and relations. She does not expect that one of this circle should die, far too young, and in most unfortunate circumstances. Worse, Elinor is secretly in love with one of the suspects, Edward Ferrars, and he is inconveniently engaged to somebody else. When an investigator is called in to assist, Mary is more surprised still.

Alexander Lyons expects to find death and deceit in his line of work, but he does not expect to come face to face with Mary, who hasn’t replied to his letters of late. What is she doing in London? And how is she involved with this sorry business of murder? Still, despite the tension between the two, they make a good team as they seek to unravel the mystery surrounding them. 

From the elegant drawing rooms of Mayfair to the reeking slums of St. Giles, the two must use every bit of wit and logic they possess to uncover a killer, all the while, trying to puzzle out the workings of their own hearts.

Join Mary Bennet, Lizzy’s often overlooked sister from Pride and Prejudice, and her intriguing and handsome friend Alexander Lyons, as they are pulled into the world of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in this, their latest adventure.

Buy Links:

This title is currently available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Buy Link

Amazon UK:  Amazon US:  Amazon CAAmazon AU: 

Meet Riana

Riana Everly is an award-winning author of romance, both contemporary and historical, and historical mysteries. 

Born in South Africa, she moved to Canada as a child, bringing with her two parents, two younger sisters, and too many books. Yes, they were mysteries. From those early days of The Secret Seven and The Famous Five, she graduated to Nancy Drew, and then to the Grande Dames of classical English whodunnits, including Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. Others followed, and many sleepless nights ensued.

When not matching wits with Miss Marple and Adam Dalgliesh, Riana keeps busy researching those little, but so-important, details for her next fabulous novel.

Trained as a classical musician, Riana has degrees in Music History and Medieval Studies, and enjoys photography, hiking, travelling, learning obscure languages, and experimenting with new recipes. If they include chocolate, all the better.

Connect with the author


Instagram: Book BubAmazon Author Page

Follow the Death in Sensible Circumstances blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Pagan Warrior is on blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club #blogtour – check out the posts for the final day and enter the competition to win the paperbacks

It’s the final day of the Pagan Warrior blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club, and to celebrate I am running a competition to win a signed set of the trilogy in paperback.

To enter, either sign up for my newsletter here (and receive a free short story set after the events of the trilogy), or if you’ve already signed up, drop me a quick email (, and let me know you want to enter the competition. I will post worldwide and the competition will run until May 19th 2023, at which point, I will contact the winner, and announce them (if they are happy for me to do so) on my social media channels. Good luck everyone.

Pagan Warrior is the story of the battle of Hædfeld, fought in the seventh century between the Northumbrians, and you got it, the Mercians – or rather, Cadwallon of Gwynedd but with Penda of Mercia as his firm ally. You can find more details here.

A quick shout out to thank all the blog hosts and Cathie at The Coffee Pot Book Club for organising.

For May 16th, check out a review for Pagan Warrior on

Linnea Tanner’s Official Blog

and a guest post about Mercia’s legacy over on

The Coffee Pot Book Club

For May 9th, check out

The Book Delight

An excerpt on

The Celtic Lady Reviews

For May 2nd, check out the review on

Stuart Rudge’s Official Blog

And a guest post on who King Edwin of Northumbria was over on

When Angels Fly

For April 25th, check out a post about Penda of Mercia.

The Magic of Word(l)ds

Read an excerpt featuring Eowa, Penda’s brother on

Judith Arnopp’s Official Blog

And, read an excerpt featuring Penda on

Carolyn Hughes Official Blog

For April 18th, I answered Paul Walker’s questions on his blog

Paul Walker’s Official Blog

There’s an except over on Wendy J Dunn’s Official Blog featuring King Edwin

Wendy J Dunn’s Official Blog

And a fabulous review on Ruins and Readings

Ruins and Readings

For April 11th, read a guest post about how we know, what we know, about the seventh century.

Deborah Swift’s Official Blog

And a fabulous author interview over on

The Writing Desk

For April 4th, read an excerpt on

Elizabeth St John’s Official Blog

And read about warfare in the Saxon period on

Brook Allan’s Official Blog

For March 28th, check out a fabulous review on

A guest post about Mercia in the later eighth century on the Historical Fiction Blog.

And, the post that perhaps gave me the most fear to begin will but which was fun when I remembered all the little details, five fun facts about writing the trilogy.

For March 21st check out a post about two of the royal residences of Bernicia at the time, Bamburgh and Ad Gefrin (Yeavering). (There are lots of photos, thank you to Helen Hollick for uploading them all).

Let Us Talk of Many Things

And a review from

Candlelight Reading

From March 14th, check out my author interview over on Archaeolibrarian.


I’m sharing an excerpt over on The Historical Fiction Company.

The Historical Fiction Company

I’ve written a piece about the historical background on Pam Lecky’s official blog.

Pam Lecky’s Official Blog

I’m delighted to share my review for The Body at Carnival Bridge by Michelle Salter #historicalmystery #cosycrime #highlyrecommended

Here’s the blurb

How deadly is the fight for equality?

It’s 1922, and after spending a year travelling through Europe, Iris Woodmore returns home to find a changed Walden. Wealthy businesswoman Constance Timpson has introduced equal pay in her factories and allows women to retain their jobs after they marry.

But these radical new working practices have made her deadly enemies.

A mysterious sniper fires a single shot at Constance – is it a warning, or did they shoot to kill? When one of her female employees is murdered, it’s clear the threat is all too real – and it’s not just Constance in danger.

As amateur sleuth Iris investigates, she realises the sniper isn’t the only hidden enemy preying on women.

 Purchase Link

My Review

The Body at Carnival Bridge is the third book in the Iris Woodmore series, and it is going from strength to strength.

Some time has passed since the tragic events of book 2, and Iris is perhaps a little out of sorts with herself, but no sooner has she made contact with her old friends than tragedy strikes, and Iris is compelled to investigate the death of a young girl.

What ensues is a well-reasoned and intriguing mystery, highlighting the social inequalities of women in the aftermath of World War I and also referencing the harsh realities of the lives of women unable to access birth control. The author really excels in placing the reader in the period without overloading the narrative., and always with an eye to moving the mystery onwards.

The Iris Woodmore mysteries are fast becoming some of my favourites. The mystery is always reliable, the author has an eye for detail, and Iris herself is a likeable character, as are those surrounding her.

A fabulous mystery well-grounded in the period’s events without overloading the reader.

Check out my review for Death at Crookham Hall and Murder at Waldenmere Lake.

Meet the author

Michelle Salter is a historical crime fiction writer based in northeast Hampshire. Many local locations appear in her mystery novels. She’s also a copywriter and has written features for national magazines. When she’s not writing, Michelle can be found knee-deep in mud at her local nature reserve. She enjoys working with a team of volunteers undertaking conservation activities.

Connect with Michelle  




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