Special Offer from my publishers: Lume Books

for a limited period, Courting the Countess is offered at 99p/$1.38

Lady Melissa Pateley is not having an easy time of it.

Her beloved husband Neville has died, and a fire at her London home has left her covered in scars.

If it wasn’t for a band of loyal servants, she’s not sure how she would survive.

Things take a turn for the worse when one day, Colonel Harry Gunn and his fellow soldier Zed break into her home, bundle her into a coach and kidnap her.

She is at a loss until she learns that Harry Gunn is the cousin of George Gunn, a man who has been stalking her for years, and that Harry’s Uncle John had warned him that as long as George is out there, Melissa is not safe.

Uncle John insists that Harry finds Melissa and keeps her safe.

But that very night George shows up at Harry’s home with Harry’s sister Lottie, who thinks Melissa and George would make a good match.

Perhaps Melissa would have been safer at home after all.

Yet even with her scars, she is certain that the handsome Colonel Gunn is attracted to her.

But of course, nothing is ever simple.

Startling revelations rip the family apart, causing everyone to question what they once held dear.

As Colonel Gunn goes in search of George and the truth, he has to wonder – had the keeping of secrets not marred more lives than the secrets would have destroyed?

Opening in the Border country, the story quickly moves to Edinburgh.

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Coping Mechanisms – 7 – A day in the countryside.

Many readers will recognise this house. It’s Abbotsford the home of Sir Walter Scott and thereafter several of his descendants. I visited it for the first time yesterday and what a good day out that is.

The lower floor of the house is devoted to the great writer and much of what is on display, from skulls to leather-bound books, was collected by him and used by him. For someone like me who is interested in country houses as the places where my characters lived, this one is a conundrum.

There’s no instantly visible staircase. Sir Walter used stairs directly accessing his study. The rest of the household (did that include the servants?) used a stone spiral stari in one corner.

The hall is hung with items Sir Walter collected.

This hardly does credit to the enormous collection of armour and armoury on display. Scott used the items as inspiration and for reference, I think. There were also interesting pieces of furniture such as his desk; and of crockery in the dining-room. Not to mention many family portraits.

The outside aspect of the house and grounds was fascinating and lends me confidence in the warren-like building I’ve currently created for my work-in-progress.

All-in-all (that includes a slice of Victoria sponge in the café) getting out and about again is good for one.

How are you coping?