Halifax, 1876. On the death of her mother and sister, Isabelle Gibson is left to fend for herself and her brother in a privately-run workhouse. After the matron's son attacks her, Isabelle decides to escape him and a life of drudgery by agreeing to marry a moorland farmer she has never met. But this man, Farrell, is a drunkard and a bully in constant feud with his landlord, Ethan Harrington. When Farrell bungles a robbery and deserts her, Isabelle and Ethan are thrown together as she struggles to save the farm. Both are married and must hide their growing love. But despite the secrecy, Isabelle draws strength from Ethan as faces from the past return to haunt her and a tragedy is set to strike that will change all of their lives forever.
Orphan, Victoria Carlton is brought up by her uncle, a banker, to be a lady and make a good marriage. Yet, she is drawn to help the poor families in the slums, much to her family’s disgust. When her uncle dies suddenly, her cousins blame Victoria, and she is thrown out of the house with nothing.
Victoria flees to the poor side of York to start again in a world that is full of perils. To combat the heartache of being without her family, she befriends the destitute women and children in the slums, but such friendships come with the danger of disease, and increasing poverty, and the threat of a brutal man could cost her everything.
Can Victoria find the security she has lost? Will a certain doctor be the man she can give her heart to? Or will the ghosts of the past return to take away everything she has worked so hard for?Type your paragraph here.
1899. A life altering event led Catrina Davies to hide from her family and society. Alone in The Highlands she exists in a lonely world cared for only by her savior, a kind old gentleman. When she receives a surprise visitor, Travis Millard, the man she used to love, her head and heart are thrown into turmoil. Travis is determined to save her from this poor life and return her to her family where she belongs. No one is more surprised than he when she agrees to marry him. When Catrina arrives back at her family estate, Davmoor Court in Yorkshire, she is stunned to see the changes. While her father clings to life, Davmoor is nearly ruined by her brother's gambling obsession, and there is something strange about his new wife. As Catrina adjusts to her regained position in society and being with Travis, her marriage comes under attack from Travis's grandmother, who has her own secrets and reason for loathing the Davies family. When one of her brother's adversaries comes to stake his claim on the estate, the resulting chaos threatens not only Catrina's home, but the very lives of those she loves the most. Can she find the strength to fight once more for the right to be happy?
She thinks her life has changed for the better, her dark secrets hidden, but little does she know…
The daughter of a wealthy landowner in Yorkshire, England in 1864, Anna Thornton leads a privileged life. But she is not content. When the dashing, adventurer Matt Cowan sweeps her off her feet, she thinks she has finally met her soul mate. However, he’s not the man she thinks he is. After he sails for South America, leaving her behind in England, Anna discovers she’s pregnant. Heartbroken she flees her family home, determined to keep her child’s illegitimacy a secret.
Brenton O’Mara comes to Anna’s new home looking for work. But Anna's wary of men, of love, and treats him as nothing more than the penniless labourer she believes him to be. Then, just when Anna seems to feel she is getting on with her new life, and Brenton believes he is breaking down her barriers, the past rears up to confront them and their future hangs in the balance.
Surviving a shipwreck was the least of her problems.
Louisa Reynolds loses her brother when their ship goes down in a storm off the west coast of Australia. Stranded and alone on a deserted beach she is rescued by a young aboriginal girl, who keeps her alive, and teaches her the ways of the native people.
When eventually Louisa stumbles into the nearest town of Albany, she must gather her strength to start again. Befriended by two men, old gentleman George and the dashing Connor, she finds that life is worth living. The unexpected friendship with both Connor and George gives her new joy. She’s invited to stay at George’s sheep station. However, as a single woman in the company of men, she is soon the talk of gossips.Her feelings for Connor intensify, but when she learns more about him, she is shattered by a revelation and it is gentle George who she suddenly marries.
Only, settling into station life comes with its own problems when Louisa realises that George has money problems and is close to losing everything. Confronted by a devastating fire and a gang of bushrangers, Louisa feels as though her world is spinning out of control.
Can she save the sheep station, and how long can she deny the love she feels for Connor?
1866 - Kitty McKenzie's path has taken her from the slums of York to the inhospitable bush of colonial Australia. Yet, when she believes her dreams will never be attained, she is shown that sometimes life can be even better than what you wish for.
Kitty McKenzie is gifted land in the far north of New South Wales. Life at the northern property is full of hardships as she learns how to become a successful landowner.
However, Kitty’s strength of will and belief in herself gives her the courage most women of her time never realize they have. A decided thorn in her side is the arrogant and patronizing Miles Grayson, owner of the adjourning run. He wants her gone so he can have her land, but he wants her even more.
In 1867 Nicola Douglas attends a London lecture given by Miss Maria Rye, the founder of the Female Middle Class Emigration Society, which inspires her to change her life. With no family, but a good education, she boards a ship to Australia with high hopes of a fresh start in a new country as a governess. But Sydney is full of young women with similar hopes and equally poor prospects. When Nicola is at her lowest ebb, a benefactor appears, Mr Belfroy, whose past has made him sympathetic to women struggling to survive. She also meets Frances West, an activist from a privileged background, and her attractive but distant brother, Nathaniel. However hard she tries to resist, Nicola's attraction to Nathaniel West grows. Her achievements at the Governess Home are vital to her. Can she have both?
The Great War is over, and Millie is ready to leave her loving family home and be a wife to Jeremy who is everything she had hoped for.
Not long after their wedding, Millie discovers Jeremy is affected by shell shock and moving into his late father’s cold dark estate escalates the problem. Millie tries to help, but Jeremy grows more distant and befriends a homeless, wounded ex-soldier, Monty, who has secrets...
As Millie’s distrust of Monty grows, a rift is created between her and Jeremy and when he leaves to receive hospital treatment, she is left feeling abandoned. When her family is dealt a terrible loss, it is Millie who must be the strongest. However, just when she feels things couldn’t become worse, she suffers her own heartbreaking tragedy.
Grieving and alone, Millie wonders if her marriage can ever be mended, but she can’t give up without a fight.
Will a new home for her and Jeremy in a foreign country be the answer, or will the events of the past destroy everything she wished for?
1914, Australia. As war is declared, the idyllic world of Blue Water Station is torn apart when Oliver, the eldest grandson and heir, shares his desire to enlist in the army. His enthusiasm ignites his brother, cousins and friends to do the same, but upsets his sister, Tilly.
After a tragic family incident, Tilly is left to run the cattle station and take care of the older folk. A chance meeting with a sophisticated Lieutenant opens up a friendship through letters, but it’s a rogue stockman who attracts her attention with dire consequences. With the men at war, and her heart pulled in two directions, Tilly must grow up quickly and face the consequences of her rash decisions. Will She find her own happiness?
Surviving a baptism of battle fire in Gallipoli, Turkey, Oliver and the men are sent to France and feel the brutal force of the Western Front. The only glimmer of light for Oliver is his relationship with Jessica, an army nurse. But as the terrors of war impact him, he feels the heavy guilt of encouraging the others to follow him into combat. Will he, and they, ever make it home to Blue Water.
Can the grandchildren of Kitty McKenzie survive the horrors of war?
1901. A new century brings change to the carefully ordered world Eden Harris maintains, change that threatens all she holds dear. Despite years of devoted service to the Bradburys, the leading family of the community, Eden hides a secret that would affect them all. When an enemy returns, her world is shattered and her secret exposed. Torn and provoked, she strains to protect her family until a devastating accident leaves her alone and frightened. As the threat against her grows, Eden takes her precious daughters and flees from the only place she's called home, to live amongst masses in York. Her attempt to start anew is not so simple as the past haunts her, and the one man she thought lost to her so many years before, returns to claim what has always been his. Eden must gather her strength and look into her heart to accept what the future offers. Can she find the happiness she longs for?
1864 - Suddenly left as the head of the family, Kitty McKenzie must find her inner strength to keep her family together against the odds. Evicted from their resplendent home in the fashionable part of York after her parents’ deaths, Kitty must fight the legacy of bankruptcy and homelessness to secure a home for her and her siblings. Through sheer willpower and determination she grabs opportunities with both hands from working on a clothes and rag stall in the market to creating a teashop for the wealthy. Her road to happiness is fraught with obstacles of hardship and despair, but she refuses to let her dream of a better life for her family die. She soon learns that love and loyalty brings its own reward.
Grace Woodruff fights for her sisters' rights to happiness while sacrificing any chance for her own. The eldest of seven daughters, Grace is the core of strength around which the unhappy members of the Woodruff family revolve. As her disenchanted mother withdraws to her rooms, Grace must act as a buffer between her violent, ambitious father and the sisters who depend upon her. Rejected by her first love and facing a spinster's future, she struggles to hold the broken family together through her father's infidelity, one sister's alcoholism, and another's out-of-wedlock pregnancy by an unsuitable match. Caring for an illegitimate half-brother affords Grace an escape, though short-lived. Forced home by illness and burdened with dwindling finances, Grace faces fresh anguish --and murder-- when her first love returns to wreck havoc in her life. All is not lost, however. In the midst of tragedy, the fires of her heart are rekindled by another. Will the possibility of true love lead Grace to relinquish her responsibilities in the house of women and embrace her own right to happiness?
When her feisty grandmama informs Prue of her intentions to take her travelling, she is excited and ready to explore outside of England.
Restless, unsure of what she needs and wants, Prue arrives in India intent on adventure. However, Prue soon learns that some escapades come with a price. India is exotic and tantalising, yet also rife with unrest, and closer to home, family secrets unravel destroying lives.
Leaving India and heartbreak behind her, a wiser Prue travels to Italy. Experiencing that life is short, Prue is determined to make the most of her holiday and have some fun, only she wasn’t prepared to meet a man who would make her question herself.
Surviving the war was easier than enduring the quiet peace at home. In need of distraction, Brandon Forster and his friend, Vince, spend their time climbing mountains in Europe. The last thing Brandon expected was to meet an attractive English rose with the same edgy spirit as himself.
When Prue reveals her past mistakes to Brandon, he must decide if she is the woman for him, but a tragic accident makes them both confront deeper feelings.
Can they find in each other the missing element they need to make them whole or will previous anguish taint their future?
Beneath a Stormy Sky
Following on from Millie, the first book in The Marsh Sagas series, now comes a holiday novella, Christmas at the Chateau!
Join the family again as they spend Christmas with Millie and Jeremy at Chateau Dumont.
It’s a time of coming together, yet sisters Prue and Cece have very different ideas about how to celebrate the holiday and their clash of personalities also causes damage to their hearts.
All Millie wants is a happy home, yet her warring sisters try her patience and she’s stuck in the middle! Not only that, but her husband Jeremy is dealing with his own problems regarding his parentage, her mother is acting strangely, and her grandmother is as opinionated as always!
Will Christmas at the Chateau bring the family together or tear them apart?
This novella is an accompaniment and should be read after Millie.
My historical novels are available in paperback and ebook (also in large print and audio)
and set in eras ranging from Victorian, Edwardian, WWI, 1920s and WWII in England and Australia.
(please scroll down)
Charlotte Brookes flees her lecherous guardian, McBride, taking her younger sister with her. After a year on the road, they stumble into a Yorkshire village where the Wheelers, owners of the village shop, take them in. This new life is strange for Charlotte, but preferable to living with McBride or surviving on the roads.
Harry Belmont is an important man in the village, but he’s missing something in his life. His budding friendship with Charlotte gives him hope she will feel more for him one day, and he will marry the woman he yearns for.
When McBride discovers where Charlotte lives, his threats begin. Harry fights to keep Charlotte safe, but World War I erupts and Harry enlists.
Left to face a world of new responsibilities, and Harry’s difficult sister, Charlotte must run the gauntlet of family disputes, McBride's constant harassment, and the possibility of the man she loves being killed.
Can Charlotte find the happiness that always seems under threat, and will Harry return home to her?
Can she hold on to her dreams ...?
It’s 1850 and the Noble family have travelled to the other side of the world to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plan for an outback farm reality, although her ambition is frowned upon by a society that has very set ideas about a woman’s place …
Pippa learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush, sometimes with devastating consequences. And when unfortunate circumstance leads to Pippa tending the farm alone, it is the friendship of neighbouring estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.
Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land, even if it means losing everything else …
Aurora Pettigrew has it all, a loving family, a nice home, a comfortable life. She's waiting for the right man to offer marriage and the man for her is Reid Sinclair, heir to the Sinclair fortune and the love of her life. But, Reid's mother, Julia, is against the match and her ruthlessness unearths a secret that will tear Aurora's world apart.
Unwilling to bring shame on her family and needing answers to the allegations brought to light by Reid's mother, Aurora begins a long journey away from home. She leaves behind all that is familiar and safe to enter a world of mean streets and poor working class. Living in the tenements of York, surrounded by people of a class she'd never mixed with before, Aurora struggles to come to terms with the way her life has changed. Aurora knows she should be happy, but the memory of her love for Reid threatens her future. When tragedy strikes, can Aurora find the strength to accept her life and forget the past?
Audrey Pearson's life changed dramatically when WWII broke out and her large home, Twelve Pines on the East Yorkshire coast, became a convalescence home for wounded soldiers.
Captain Jake Harding, a doctor training in psychiatry arrives at Twelve Pines. Audrey immediately finds herself attracted to the Captain, but he is remote towards her. Puzzled by his cold behaviour, Audrey tries to learn more about the handsome Captain. For years he has rejected the possibility of finding love again because of the pain it caused him before, but the beautiful Audrey shows him her love and she needs someone to love her in return.
Could he honestly walk away from her, from the love that could be his?
Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …
Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it.
Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.
Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed ...