Two stories, two heartbreaks: one past, one present…
Leaving her native France and arriving in North Wales as a postgraduate student of History and Folklore, Mel is cautiously optimistic that she can escape from her troubled past and begin a new and happier life.
She settles into her student accommodation and begins work on her thesis, concentrating particularly on one fascinating manuscript: a compelling and tragic tale of a cursed medieval princess.
Then she meets Ray – charming, down-to-earth and devastatingly handsome. Within days, Mel’s entire world has transformed from lonely and frustrated to loving and fulfilled. Despite her failure with previous relationships, she allows herself to hope that this time, at last, she can make it work.
But Mel’s dreams of happiness are under constant threat. She is hiding a dark and terrible secret, which Ray – or indeed anybody else – must never ever discover…
“A book jam-packed with charm, wonder and magic.” (Heidi Catherine, award-winning author of The Soulweaver)
Think you know the world’s most famous love story? Think again. What if the story of Romeo & Juliet really happened – but not quite in the way we’ve all been told?
This part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, told from the point of view of the Friar, tells how an ancient Italian manuscript reveals secrets and lies which have remained hidden for hundreds of years, and casts new doubts on the official story of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers.
If you love the Romeo & Juliet story but hate the way it ended, this is the book for you.
‘An excellent novel that takes a well-loved tale and gives it new life with twists and turns that The Bard would be proud of.’ R. Clarke
‘If you adore the Romeo and Juliet of old, you will love the beautiful twist on what could have been.’ T. Hill
‘A brilliant ‘what-if’ retelling of a timeless classic, The Ghostly Father has a sweet flavour all of its own.’ Calico Jack
‘I really enjoyed this book. The central heroine has none of the qualities I have come to dislike. She was not 1) Too Stupid To Live, 2) depressed, 3) in a financial quagmire, or 4) too snoopy and wouldn’t listen to people telling her to back off for her own good. Instead I found a fun ensemble cast, a touch of romance, and an interesting and fun plot. It was the perfect way to spend a few hours.’ Anonymous Kindle customer
‘What a great story! It gripped me from the start… I read most of this book in one day as I found it compulsive reading. Sue has a very easy-to-read style; the story is friendly and uncomplicated. This would make a great holiday read as you relax on your sun-lounger, cruise deck, beach, or, like me, just in your room.’ Jeanette Taylor Ford, Author
Love conquers all. Or does it?
Rural France, 1880. Augustine is not conventionally pretty and fears that she may never marry. Joseph rents his land and dreams of owning a farm one day. But without a wife and children, he lacks the help he needs.
When Joseph saves Augustine from a drunkard at a dance, they are immediately attracted to each other. They meet again, and the attraction deepens, but they face opposition from Augustine’s strict parents, who want better prospects for their daughter than Joseph can offer.
And dramatic events threaten to drive them apart.
Will Augustine and Joseph overcome the barriers? And at what cost?
Set against the rolling landscape and hilltop villages of Southwest France, Augustine is a prequel to the Alouette trilogy. It can be read either as a standalone or before Book 1, Overture.
What if you had a unique talent, but everything conspired against your dreams?
France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents’ opposition, stand in her way. And, through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.
When the family circumstances change suddenly, Marie-Thérèse and her mother must move to Paris to work in her aunt’s restaurant. Her ambitions rekindle, but the road to success is paved with setbacks until a chance meeting gives her a precious opportunity.
She is close to achieving all her dreams, but the ghosts of the past come back to haunt her and threaten Marie-Thérèse’s life as well as her career.
Overture is the first in a trilogy set in France, starting in 1897 and finishing at the end of World War II.
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s engrossing, fascinating and beautifully written.” Books are Cool“The characters were very well developed and the book was a delight to read from cover to cover.” Donna’s Book Blog
“Vanessa Couchman has the ability to bring history to life and this book was no exception.” The French Village Diaries
“I was sorry when I reached the end of this beautifully-written and engaging story.” Liza Perrat, author of the Bone Angel Trilogy
A poignant story of lost love and betrayal, set amid the mountains of Corsica and the turmoil of World War I.
Corsica, 1899. Life is dull in the village of Zaronza, and twenty-year-old Maria craves excitement. A young school master arrives, and her wish is granted. But Maria’s strict parents would condemn their romance, and so the lovers must meet and write to each other in secret.
When Maria’s father announces his plans to marry her off to a man she despises, her dreams crumble.
After many setbacks, Maria’s search for purpose and fulfilment takes her far from Corsica’s shores to the streets of Paris and the field hospitals of the Western Front.
A century later, Rachel travels from England to Corsica to trace her ancestors. She unearths a series of passionate love letters and a long-forgotten memoir. Page by page, Maria’s story emerges: a tale of heartache and regret, but also of courage and resolve.
The House at Zaronza is Book 1 in the Tales of Corsica series: historical novels set in the same house on this captivating Mediterranean island.
‘Emotionally powerful.’ Historical Novels Review
‘An emotional, absorbing and powerful read.’ Discovering Diamonds
‘Beautifully written. Evocative of this small island. A lovely book.’ Trip Fiction
A sweeping tale of love, injustice and vengeance, set on the beguiling Mediterranean island of Corsica in the 18th century.
Valeria Peretti must marry a wealthy older man she doesn’t know, while the island struggles for freedom from its Genoese masters. A quiet, respectable life is apparently in store for Valeria, but a prophecy on the eve of her betrothal spells misfortune ahead.
After her husband dies and she is left alone in a hostile village, Valeria is condemned for a forbidden love affair, and then accused of a murder she didn’t commit. A secret enemy is plotting against her.
Friendless and isolated, can she escape from her enemies and seek a new life elsewhere?
This is the latest novel in the Tales of Corsica series, stories inspired by and set on the enchanting island of Corsica, from the author of The House at Zaronza.
“This is a good story, and…in the best historical novel tradition, a meaningful way of learning more about Corsica’s troubled history.” Discovering Diamonds
“The rugged, often starkly sublime colour of the island [is] beautifully portrayed. A well written and easy read.” Tripfiction
“The real trials of life in a different era are expertly woven around love and emotions that have changed little over the years.” The French Village Diaries
“I highly recommend this beautifully-written and engaging story for lovers of historical fiction.” BookMuse
For fans of all things French, a collection of twelve short stories inspired by and set in France.
The landscapes and light of France have enthused writers and artists for centuries. Its rich culture and history provide the backdrop for these stories.
Can Arlette resolve her predicament while her sweetheart fights in the trenches on the Western Front?
By escaping to the countryside, will a woman be allowed to leave behind her troubled past?
The celebrated painter Edgar Degas wants to paint an exotic circus performer, but will the portrait live up to her expectations?
Can the unsightly Pierre get the girl he fears will never want him?
These are just four of the dilemmas that must be resolved by the stories’ end. Most of the tales are set in the past and some contain a hint of the supernatural. All are infused with the essence of France.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this little book and I’m not ashamed to say that I binge-read it!” Angela Wren, author of the Jacques Forêt Mysteries
“Thoroughly enjoyable snippets of life in France.” The French Village Diaries
‘The characters are so well-drawn that the reader comes to know and care about them in a few short pages.’ BookMuse
A brutal Viking raid heralds the dawn of a new, powerful dynasty – the House of Normandy
Neustria, Kingdom of the West Franks
Fourteen-year-old Poppa’s life changes when Northmen land near Bayeux. Count Bérengar, her father, submits to them, and she is hand-fasted to Hrólfr, the Northmen’s heathen leader, as part of their agreement.
To her relief, Hrólfr leaves immediately in search of further conquest, only returning to claim her years later. In the face of retaliating Franks, they flee to East Anglia, where she gives birth to their son and daughter.
When Hrólfr and Poppa return to reclaim Bayeux, his new campaign strikes at the heart of Frankish power, and King Charles of the West Franks offers him a pact he cannot refuse. In exchange for vast tracts of land in Neustria, Hrólfr must convert to Christianity and accept marriage to Gisela, the king’s illegitimate daughter.
Poppa’s world shatters. She remains in Bayeux, with her daughter, Adela. When Gisela arrives one day, demanding she hand over Adela, to be raised in Rouen, Poppa’s patience is at an end. But Gisela makes for a dangerous enemy, and only one woman will survive their confrontation high up on the cliffs.
Who will succeed and become the Mother of the House of Normandy?
Readers of Viking and medieval fiction will enjoy ASCENT, a fictional account of the life of Poppa of Bayeux, ‘in more danico’ wife of Rollo the Viking.
“A tour de force!” ~ Kate Braithwaite, author of Charlatan
Seduced at Versailles. Broken by tragedy. Consumed by revenge.
Fleur de La Fontaine attends the court of King Louis XIV at Versailles for the first time. Dazzled by the opulence, she is soon besotted with handsome courtier, Philippe de Mortain. When she believes his words of love, she gives in to his seduction – with devastating consequences.
Nine months later, when the boy she has given birth to is whisked from her grasp, she flees the convent and finds shelter at the brothel of Madame Claudette.
Jacques de Montagnac, a spy working for the Lieutenant General, investigates a spate of abducted children from the poorer quartiers of Paris when his path crosses Fleur’s. He searches for her son, but the trail leads to a dead end – and a dreadful realisation.
Her son’s suspected fate too much to bear, Fleur decides to avenge him. With the help of her new acquaintance, the Duchess de Bouillon, Fleur visits the famous midwife, La Voisin, but it’s not the woman’s skills in childbirth that Fleur seeks.
La Voisin dabbles in poisons.
Will Fleur see her plan through? Or can she save herself from a tragic fate?
Delve into The Shadows of Versailles and enter the sinister world of potions and black masses during the Affairs of the Poisons, a real event that stunned the court of the Sun King!
A tale of danger, betrayal and love in medieval England & Normandy
On his return from battle at Lincoln, Geoffrey de Mortagne, undersheriff of Gloucester and spy for the Empress Matilda, assists a dying knight who had been ambushed. Promising to look after the welfare of the knight’s only daughter, Geoffrey stays at her manor, investigating the murder. Keen to join the Empress on her progress through England, he is torn between his oath and his duty.
Left to defend herself and her manor following her father’s murder, Alleyne de Bellac reluctantly accepts Geoffrey’s support. But as she doesn’t trust the taciturn stranger, she asks Will d’Arques, an old friend of her father’s, for help. But loyalties change, and she is no longer able to tell truth from lie. Her life in danger and her inheritance at stake, Alleyne must decide which man to trust.
Discover England and Normandy divided by a brutal civil war, where vows are broken as men switch allegiances between two sides.
Dark Deceit is the first in The Anarchy Trilogy. The second instalment will be released in 2020.
AD 2018Languedoc, south-west France
Madeleine Winters must live in her late mother’s old stone house in south-west France for one year before she can claim her inheritance – and sell it! Reluctantly leaving her life in England, she begins to renovate the house. But she’s not prepared for all the discoveries…
Is it her imagination when she hears a woman’s voice? Or when the ground shakes?
When ancient human bones belonging to a female are found beneath the kitchen floor, the mystery deepens. How did the woman end up buried, without a sarcophagus and all alone, in that particular spot in the Cabardès hills?
And why were her bones broken?
AD 777Septimania, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea
17-year-old Nanthild attends Charlemagne’s court with her father, where she is introduced to Bellon of Carcassonne. Unimpressed by the blustering young warrior, Nanthild is shocked when Charlemagne and her father arrange their wedding as a gesture of ensuring Bellon’s support in the king’s conquest of the volatile southern region of Septimania.
Despite his Visigoth origins, Bellon is installed as Count of Carcassonne, and he soon has to face challenges to Frankish rule that often keep him away from home – and his family.
Bellon’s absences make it easy for Nanthild to keep her calling as a healer and wise woman from him, and she continues to visit those in need of her help. But dangers lurk on her journey…
Cailean MacDubhgaill, a knight from a small western island fighting for the Scottish cause, joins the battle at Falkirk but is wounded when he takes a blow to the thigh by an axe. Sir Eoín de Moray, uncle to his late friend, the former guardian, Andrew, helps him escape the carnage and takes him into a nearby forest, but is killed whilst fighting off pursuers.
Once Cailean has recovered from his injuries with the help of the healer Eithne, he rushes to de Moray’s manor on the northern shores of Loch Ness to convey the news to de Moray’s daughter, Isobel, but he is too late. He finds the manor burnt down, its people displaced, and Isobel abducted. Determined to honour the knight who had saved his life, he tracks Isobel down.
Finding herself taken away from her home against her will, to be married off to an English lord in service to King Edward I, Isobel de Moray ponders her fate when a nighttime raid on the mercenary camp sees her freed – only to fall into the hands of a strong-minded knight. The stranger takes her to his keep on the remote island of Eorsa, to keep her safe.
But Isobel has other ideas…
Escape to the Highlands
Betrayed by her brother’s lies, Catriona MacKenzie is banished from her home to her godmother’s manor in the remote Scottish Highlands. While her family ponders her fate, Catriona’s insatiable curiosity leads her straight into trouble–and into the arms of a notorious Highlander.
Five years after an ill-fated Jacobite rebellion, Rory Cameron works as a smuggler to raise money for the cause–until Catriona uncovers a plot against him and exposes his activities. Now, Rory is faced with a decision that could either save their lives or destroy both of them. But he’s running out of time…
‘A compelling story teller.’ Romancing the Book
‘The author has a wonderful way of describing the highlands.’ Booked Up Reviews
‘She brings her characters to life with feeling and emotion.’ The Romance Studio
“The sense of place and time is very well done. I could really feel myself there at the end of a chilly winter.” Vanessa Couchman, author of the Tales of Corsica and the Alouette series.
Two lives. Two stories. One future.
AD 71 Northern Britannia
At the Islet of the Priestesses, acolyte Nara greets each new day eager to heal the people at Tarras Hillfort. Weapon training is a guilty pleasure, but she is devastated when she is unexpectedly denied the final rites of an initiated priestess. A shocking new future beckons for Princess Nara of the Selgovae…
In the aftermath of civil war across Brigantia, Lorcan of Garrigill’s promotion of King Venutius is fraught with danger. Potential invasion by Roman legions from the south makes an unstable situation even worse. When Lorcan meets the Druid Maran, the future foretold for him is as enthralling as it is horrifying…
Meet Nara and Lorcan before they meet each other in The Beltane Choice, Book 1 of the acclaimed Celtic Fervour Series.
“Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour series has something for every reader of historical novels.” Amelia Pasch, historical author.
Admirers of the tales of Rosemary Sutcliffe will enjoy the settings of Before Beltane. Readers can engross themselves in a less well-known historical era and will be introduced to the two main formative characters of the Celtic Fervour Series.
AD 71 Northern Roman Britain
Nara of the Selgovae’s future takes a new direction. The Rites of Beltane loom but being captured by Lorcan of Garrigill, an enemy Brigante, thwarts her plans. Time runs out for her secret quest.
When legions of the Roman Empire relentlessly march northwards, Lorcan uses Nara to bargain with the Selgovae, believing unity will mean strength. Callan of the Selgovae agrees but sets impossible stipulations. Battle at Whorl – Iron Age tribes against the Romans – is inevitable. Will Nara have her Beltane choice?
‘Entertaining and will hit all the right spots for devoted romance fans.’ Discovering Diamonds
‘This is a well told tale of love and adversity. Set in a time when tribal feuds were on-going and chieftains ruled through the power of the sword.’ J. Glen Bauer
‛…combines a very human and personal story with a very believable vision of Late Iron Age society in Northern Britain.’
AD 71 Northern Roman Britain
Ravaged at the Battle of Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. Brennus embraces a new identity as Bran, vowing to avert Roman domination of Brigantia. Though how, when he and Ineda – his healer’s granddaughter – are forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion? Trading with the usurpers provides opportunities for gathering information, but after they are attacked by a Roman patrol, Ineda cannot be found.
Distraught with her loss, can Bran find a new occupation?
‘A fantastic follow-up to the brilliant Beltane Choice. The author really gets inside the headsof the characters so you completely empathise with, and understand, their feelings and actions – even when you/they disagree with them. Highly recommend this series of novels.’ K. Peacock
‘…the author brings the culture and society of Celtic Britain vividly to life – and in this book there is also an intriguing contrast with the ordered, militaristic lifestyle of the occupying Romans.‘
‘…if the Celts are to achieve freedom from oppression, the rape of their lands, the slaughter of their people and hold fast to the dream of one day setting the might of the Roman Army to flight, they must stand and fight!’
AD 73 Northern Roman Britain
Brennus of Garrigill—Bran—monitors Roman activity across Brigantia. Stability prevails till AD 78 when Agricola, Governor of Britannia, orders complete conquest of all barbarians. Brennus heads north, seeking the Caledon who will lead the northern tribes against Rome.
Ineda treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius – supplies officer for Agricola’s Britannia campaigns. At Pinnata Castra, Ineda escapes and seeks fellow Brigantes congregating for battle in the north.
Confrontation begins against the Roman Empire at Beinn na Ciche in AD 84, but where are Brennus and Ineda?
‘…the entire series is set firmly among the very best of early Romano British novels.’ Helen Hollick DD reviews
Northern Roman Britain AD 84
Enya of Garrigill is in search of her brother and cousin, missing after a disastrous battle. She is faced with a heartrending choice between looking for her brother in Vacomagi territory, swarming with Roman auxiliaries, or seeking her cousin further south, where he is probably held captive by the Roman Commander Agricola’s soldiers. Meanwhile, Agricola is finding that his plans to invade the whole island are not going as he intended.
AD 85 Roman Empire
How can young Beathan of Garrigill – held hostage by General Agricola and dragged in chains to Rome – escape and wreak vengeance on his enemies?
Torrin is a strong-minded Brigante warrior-woman who forges her own future. She willingly takes care of him in a time of need, but her own plans are paramount.
Agricola’s career is in tatters. Attempts on his life are plentiful, having lost favour with Emperor Domitian. His gods have abandoned him, though assistance comes from a surprising source.
Will Beathan gain his freedom to return to his kin in Caledonia? Will Torrin be by his side? And how will Agricola survive without the emperor’s benevolence?
Beathan the Brigante is the fifth in the bestselling Celtic Fervour series.
Available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.
When the Rubidium Time-Leap flips Aran, Brian and Fianna back to AD 210 the reality of the game is incredible. They have a task list to fulfil, which includes solving a local mystery, but it’s petrifying when Ancient Roman Legions heap death and destruction on the Taexali Celts of Caledonia.
Giving help to Taexali and Romans alike becomes a lethal assignment—some Celtic chiefs are as foul as the Ancient Roman Emperor Severus and his beastly son Caracalla. Dicing with death becomes the norm for the time travellers.
Will they complete the mission and return home unscathed?
When Luke Salieri inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he’s never heard of – with quirky Dickensian conditions attached – it’s a mystery he wants resolved immediately. But there’s a catch: just how far will he have to go to persuade the right woman to help him?
Rhia Ashton wants the job of researching Greywood Hall and all of its fantastic contents, but can she live in close proximity with gorgeous Luke Salieri for a whole year? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.
Neither expect more than friendly relations!
A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg involves Keira Drummond in the search for a collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor – the set last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910. Who of Geertje’s descendants can Keira rely on, since distrust among them is rife? Who is the deadliest third-cousin, determined enough to hire thugs to tail Keira and Teun Zeger, a Californian she is very drawn to, as they pair up to unearth the jewellery? And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?
Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust and love.
‘…With beautiful description, it feels like you’re travelling the globe with handsome Nairn and feisty, capable Aela, and the sub plot of sabotage, will keep you reading till the end.’
‘Take Me Now is a fun contemporary romance set in Scotland, a swift-paced story with humorous moments that will leave the reader laughing and sighing.’
‘Take Me Now is an enjoyable read for those who like contemporary romances with swift pacing and entertaining storytelling.’
She is a wounded soul fleeing a terrible grief. He has been alone forever. They find solace in each other on a remote Scottish island, but can love survive the collision of such different worlds?
Escape to a place forged not by time, but by memories.
“A story as beautiful and haunting as its Scottish Highlands location.” Shani Struthers, author of the Psychic Surveys series.
“It didn’t take long for me to realise that Dougie was no ordinary man.” Nancy Jardine, author of the Celtic Fervour series.
Discovery is Only the Beginning: the strange object Cas Longmore discovers buried in the sand at beautiful Calgary Bay draws her into more than just an archaeological mystery. It opens the door to friendships and new hope.
The second in Yvonne Marjot’s acclaimed Calgary Chessman trilogy…
While visiting the beautiful Hebridean island of Lismore, Cas and Sam stumble upon a new chapter of the island’s past. Once again they are confronted by the ghosts of the distant past, and ancient tragedy combines with present danger as each is faced with a fresh challenge.
Available in Kindle from Amazon. A paperback edition will be available soon.
Jennifer C. Wilson
Callum and Lexie are perfect for each other – at least, that’s what everyone tells them. But they’re just good friends, aren’t they? And neither wants to ruin the solid friendship that’s treated them so well since university.
But when an old school friend of Callum’s asks Lexie for a date, and passions overflow on a work night out, could it be the trigger to show each of them what they have been missing out on all this time?
With twelve weeks until Christmas, that’s a lot of opportunity for romance – and for misunderstandings…
“The Twelve Dates Till Christmas is highly enjoyable, heart-warming story of a momentous turning point in the long-lasting relationship of Callum and Lexie.” (Nancy Jardine)
Is there a novel in you? Let me help you find out…
This book is based on my series of workshops held throughout 2019 and into 2020, helping writers work through each of the key stages of writing their story, including: – Idea generation; – Creating characters; – Describing your settings; – Showing vs telling; and – Keeping the words flowing when you find yourself stuck.
As well as the above, I have also added sections on hooking your readers in, leaving them wanting more, and useful resources as a writer. There is also a section dedicated to social media.
The workshops were fun, and helped writers of short stories and novels, and I hope these exercises can help you too!
Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray.
When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?
England 2011 – to 1485
The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different. Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?
Find out in this ‘giddily romantic’ romp, set just prior to the Battle of Bosworth.
‘Absolutely fabulous escapism for every girl who dreamed of meeting her prince.’ Michelle Ryles, book blogger.
‘A well-written touch of forbidden romance – and a great ending.’ Being Anne, book blogger