Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cover Reveal: New cover for Broken Hero, WWII novel.

I'm enjoying re-releasing my old back list into ebook formats on all Amazon sites.

The latest one I've put online is my World War II novel, Broken Hero.



Blurb:
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. Her life is no longer lavish with entertainment, beautiful clothes and surrounded by a loving family. Soldiers, physically and mentally wounded now fill her home. The smell of disinfectant replaces her mother's perfume and gone are the friends and acquaintances - instead nurses roam the hallways. 
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. He reveals that he's lost a wife and baby in childbirth and refuses to ever remarry. 
However, despite this, Audrey believes she can change his mind and make him aware he doesn't have to spend his life alone.The ice around Jake's heart begins to melt. 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? 


Available for Kindle and all other online forms of reading devices.
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Historical Research: Estate Garden and workers

To continue my research on manor houses and their estates, specifically showcasing Normanby Hall where I spent the day a couple of weeks ago. (See previous blog post)
The Walled Garden of Normanby Hall, supplied the fruit, vegetables and flowers for the hall. It was built in 1817, the high wall protected the plants and the glass houses were built along the south wall to take advantage of the sun.
 Details on the Gardeners and their accommodation




The Greenhouse



The family would visit the greenhouse after church on Sundays and the Head Gardener would have something special each week to show them.


Splayed fruit trees. Even pineapples were grown in the greenhouses.




The next post will be on the house itself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On the best seller's list!

Just had to share my news, Kitty McKenzie's Land, (it's a sequel to Kitty McKenzie) is #20 on the best seller's list on Amazon Australian historicals! Yay!


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.

Available on 
Amazon USA
http://tinyurl.com/pfz7673
Amazon UK
http://tinyurl.com/q9bvjnq 

This book is the sequel to Kitty McKenzie, the start of Kitty's journey when her world is turned upside down by the death of her parents, and she is left penniless and must take care of her siblings in a world totally unknown to them.
Find out more about Kitty on Amazon USA  or Amazon UK



Thank you to those readers who take the time to leave reviews. They are so important to authors! Thank you!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Historical research: Horses, carriages, stables and automobiles.

On a recent trip to Normanby Hall, a local historical manor house a few weeks ago, I spent a lovely few hours in the sun strolling around the estate and gaining knowledge that will come in handy for writing my historical novels.
I thought I would write a post on each part of the house and grounds, and I'm starting with the stable block.



Horse stalls, made of brass and timber, and note the floor for easy cleaning. The stable block was built in 1818, and was a walled square with open arches. It was a hive of activity and the meeting place for hunts and shooting parties.


The daily duties of a Groom or Coachman

Morning:
 Feed and Muck out the horse.
Breakfast at the Hall.
Rub down and groom the horses.
Clean and put away any tack (riding and carriage equipment used).
Prepare the coach for the family.
Feed the horses.
Lunch at the Hall.




Afternoon and Evening:
Get horses ready for any family members wishing to ride.
Sweep out the stableyard.
Clean and put away any tack used.
Exercise any of the horses that have not been ridden that day.
If carriage not needed again, carry on with any odd jobs around stable.
Feed horses.
Supper in the servant's hall.
Rub down and give the horses water and hay for the night.
Maintenance work on the carriage - cleaning, brass polishing, and touching up paint.
Soak wheels of carriage to prevent wood from shrinking and spokes becoming loose.




Carriage Lanterns



                                                                                                                                    Carriage interior, with glass windows.   
 Early forms of transport.


The estate had its own horse drawn fire engine, with working water pump. The unit was used for the local village as well. It was officially retired in 1953.

















The grooms and coachman lived in housing above the coach house but ate with the household in the Servant's Hall. The groom had to sometimes act as a footman if the family held a large dinner party.

Census records between 1841 - 1891 show that none of the grooms or coachmen were local Lincolnshire men. They came from neighbouring counties, and as far away as London. This shows that people were prepared to travel for work.



By the 1920s, only one side of the stable block was in use as a stable. With the introduction of the motor car in the early 1900s, the stable block was adapted to house up to six motor vehicles.

Normanby Hall.
North Lincolnshire

Next post will be on the estate's garden.