The art of illustration

Sometimes you stumble over a link to something particularly beautiful.

This time it was via a Facebook link to a digital resource which has been made freely available – of 7,500 watercolour illustrations of varieties of fruits known about and grown somewhere in the world in 1886. The illustrations themselves are generally of a very high quality and some are stunning. Well worth a browse. But be careful, you may need to have an hour or two to spare…

It’s Wimbledon season here in the UK and therefore strawberry season – so here’s just one from the collection to whet your appetite

I am saving the link here as a ‘carrot’ to browse later once all the work I should be doing is done!!

Meet the Character Blog Hop no 4

Derek Birks aka Hereticus interviews Nicholaa de la Haye

She certainly was determined, but not unwomanly. And someone I didn’t really know much about before. As my husband would jokingly say ‘Ye ken the noo.’

Lovely review of By Sword and Storm

Thank you to Jessica at The Bookworm Chronicles

For a lovely review of By Sword and Storm

Two sentences really stood out and encouraged me – ‘Each time the narrative switched, I found myself emotionally torn, as I was rooting for them both.’ and ‘All in all I thought By Sword and Storm was another wonderful, historical rollercoaster ride, that had me gripped from start to finish.’

The splitting of the story over two countries and timelines was a bit of a gamble in case folk wouldn’t engage with that (and technically challenging to mesh them together and still remain true to the historical dates when specific events happened) so I was very pleased that it worked for her. Here’s hoping it works for others!

It was also the first time that I’ve seen what the title page of By Sword and Storm looks like on a kindle… The publisher has sent me files, but for some reason I haven’t managed to access them properly and haven’t got round to asking for them to be re-sent.

That was interesting because I use the same font for the chapter headings in the Katharina books – the second of which, Fortitude, is due out at the end of July and I was totally unaware until very recently that kindle readers don’t get the benefit of that wee refinement because the kindle programme has limited fonts at its disposal. – That makes me a little sad. For those who mightn’t know the font I’m referring to it is called Morpheus and is a rather lovely ‘church-style font, which suits the subject matter of Katharina ideally.

It was found by my cover designer – well done him! Here it is:


Katharina: Fortitude is currently with my editor and two days ago I got a lovely preliminary sentence from him – ‘I’m loving what I’ve read so far. The writing is so rich, so distinctive and so evocative. I’m looking forward to this journey.’ It is always a scary time when waiting for an initial reaction from a professional, who really knows their job, so this is extremely encouraging. I’m looking forward to the end of July now…

Tidelines Festival, Irvine

Hugely pleased to be appearing at the Tidelines Festival in Irvine along with some great authors – too many to mention them all – follow the link below to see the full programme line-up but just a few names to whet your appetite – Denise Nina, Anne Donovan, Mairi Kidd, Doug Johnstone and Catherine Czerkawska.

It’s going to be a great festival and I’m chuffed to bits to be invited to be a part of it.

Tidelines Book Festival 26 – 29 September 2019 @TidelinesFest #MakingWaves #TidelinesBookFest

Historical Fiction Meet My character Blog Post no 3.

This is likely the most high profile character being interviewed during this blog hop – one that everyone will already have heard of. Seems a bit arrogant to me, but then I suspected that all along. Here’s the link to Judith Arnopp’s blog for a really interesting interview with Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset.