Monday, December 03, 2018

Sandringham, pt1

Not Your Royal Christmas, my festive novella featuring characters from Not Your Cinderella and Not Your Prince Charming, will be out in ebook (paperback coming soon) 4th December.

Annemarie loves her husband. And her husband loves her. Those are two things she’s certain of. A third thing she’s certain of, is that he also loves someone else...

Seven years ago, Countess Annemarie married the man who would be king one day. Seven months ago, he died. But Christmas is Christmas, and she’s still a member of the Royal Family, so off she goes to Sandringham, where things are always the same. Apart from all those other Christmases, which haven’t been the same at all...

A story about how love and loyalty can sometimes be the same thing, and sometimes totally different. A story about loss and finding your place in the world. And also a story about a princess and a really hot nanny at Christmas.

 Before I wrote it, I took a trip to Sandringham, the Queen's favourite house, where the Royal Family always spend Christmas. Traditions are strongly adhered to, some of them going back to the childhood of the house's first owner, the man who would become King Edward VII. The house has not changed substantially for over a hundred years, since the Bachelor Wing replaced the bowling alley (you read that right) to the south side of the house in the 1890s.

Accordingly, here are some photos I took on my visit, with their relevance hopefully explained. Alas, you can't take pictures inside the house (although you can take a notebook--I checked!) but the guidebook has lots of photos and useful explanations and you can buy it online, and the stewards are very friendly and knowledgeable.

As you can see, the day was overcast at times, and it was nearly autumn (we had a very, very dry summer, hence the state of the grass in places). If you want to see the pictures more clearly, clicking on them will expand them.

First glimpse of Sandringham, as one enters from the famous Norwich Gates to the north of the house. The main road runs surprisingly close to the house; although it's so well shielded by trees, you wouldn't know it.

Statue of one of the Queen's favourite horses, Estimate, a champion many times over. It was sculpted by Tessa Campbell-Fraser and gifted to the Queen by the King of Bahrain in 2016.
Me in front of Estimate. Just two mares, hanging out.

The entrance and carriage circle (with the statue of the horse directly behind me). This is how a car would approach the front door.
To the left of the porte cochere as you look at it, is the Saloon, and then a private room which may be the Business Office (this may also be accessed from the staircase which I believe to be at that end of the corridor) .To the very left of the picture, behind the hedge, is the Ballroom Wing. The rooms on the right are not open to the public; but as George VI  is said to have died in the room overlooking the statue of Old Father Time purchased by his wife (the Queen Mother), I assume that to be the one upstairs on the very right (Father Time is in the formal gardens behind those hedges).
The porte cochere, which is a fancy way of saying 'porch'. The lantern hanging in the middle reminds me of a witch ball--which is used to protect a place!
It's worth noting at this point that there is a ramp covering the steps up into the house (only two or three steps) and after that, the floors are flat and fully accessible (there may be another ramp in the Gun Lobby, I think, but no steps). There's plenty of room to take a wheelchair in and around.

The front door opens directly into the Saloon, the principal living room and receiving area of the house. Pillars and screens can shield the entrance a little, but there's no hiding from the occupants if you enter that way, as all visitors will. The Saloon is decorated with C18th tapestries and has a minstrel's gallery (the stewards were unable to tell me if it was still used!), but there's also a TV hiding inside a cupboard and a jigsaw always on the go. Apparently, the Queen loves jigsaws.

From the Saloon, you cross the hallway to the Drawing Room or the Small Drawing Room (and they mean small; it's about the size of my front room and is very cosy, with a fireplace). The house is only two rooms deep.

The clock tower, overlooking the courtyard. To its right is a huge thermometer. To its left is the bow window of the Ballroom. The windows either side of the Clock Tower form the Ballroom Corridor and Gun Lobby, which lead from the original part of the house to the newer Ballroom Wing.
Behind the photo above is the Gun Lobby, which isn't a bunch of people campaigning for the right to bear arms but a section of entryway lined with shotguns and other military paraphernalia. There's a shell used in the siege of Mafeking which has now been made into a clock, for some reason.

From the Gun Lobby, you pass through the much calmer Ballroom Corridor, which is lined with family portraits, including those of Princes Albert Victor and George (the oldest two sons of Edward VI; George outlived his older brother and became George V), as they entered the Navy at the ages of 13 and 12, respectively.

The Ballroom Wing was added in 1883 when Alexandra, Princess of Wales got tired of rolling up the carpets in the Saloon when anyone wanted to dance. It has a minstrel's gallery and a curved, ornate plaster ceiling, and the walls are lined with military antiques brought back by Edward VII from a tour of India. Amongst these is a set of ceremonial elephant armour, made of silver chain mail. The Ballroom is sometimes used a cinema, and contains a leather chair embossed with Edward VII's monogram.

The house viewed from the south-west, over the lake.

The back of the house, facing west, with the Bachelor Wing on the right. The rooms open to the public are on the ground floor of the left-hand side of the building. It looks huge from here, but inside the rooms are well-proportioned and homely. Well, homely for a Queen.

A Minton porcelain charger, featuring a portrait of Alexandra, Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra; wife of Prince Albert Edward, who would become King Edward VII), in costume. I greatly admire her choice of cat.

The stables, which house a cafe and museum, mostly dedicated to the estate's vehicles. It's really interesting, but not totally relevant to my books.

The gardens, planted in an informal style and still bright with colour even on a dull day at the end of September.

A love seat overlooking the lake, hidden from the house by the rockery. Now why would that be of interest to a romantic novelist?

Queen Alexandra's nest, a folly overlooking the lake.
The folly is tiny, large enough for three or four people to stand in close proximity, which obviously makes it perfect for a couple looking for privacy. I am, obviously intending to make use of this in Not Your Knight in Shining Armour (out February).
The tiled interior of the folly. I believe that's a Dutch ship, but don't quote me. There are little benches, too.

A sundial on the end of the Bachelor Wing. The legend reads, "My time is in thy hand. Let others tell of storms and showers, I'll only count your sunny hours." As you can see from the lack of shadow, this is quite true.

A Juliet balcony on one of the rooms of the Bachelor Wing. These rooms are, I am told, often used to house family members over Christmas; and so I wrote a scene where Annemarie uses this balcony in Not Your Royal Christmas.
There's a room I found a very old photo of called the Turkish Room, which is tiled throughout and appears to be next to the Billiards Room. Also in the Bachelor Wing is a long, narrow library which, like the Turkish Room, has a curved ceiling. Part of the old bowling alley? Maybe!

The back of the Bachelor Wing, looking towards the main house.
Can you see the person walking on the very left of the photo? The greenery to her right covers part of the building which I believe to be the Billiards Room. It's not on the tour; it's right next to the Dining Room, however, and may be linked by a door or a small lobby. The Billiards Room replaced an earlier conservatory, which belonged to the house that stood here before the current one. It's possible there's also a staircase behind that door and the circular window.

An alcove outside the Billiards Room (you see, so many places for secret assignations!).

Your author on the Lawn. Proof I do my research!

The back of the house from the Lawn, the lake behind me.

The angled door on the right of this picture is directly underneath the turret with the green cupola in the middle of the house. To its left, the two windows belong to the Dining Room.
It's impossible to know for sure, but as the Dining Room is just visible through these windows, and there is a door right at the end of it, I assume that behind the angled door above is a lobby or other entrance to the Billiards Room, which sits between the main house and the Bachelor Wing.

The Dining Room is pale green, and features tapestries gifted to the Crown by the King of Spain. The table is highly polished, and as such a tablecloth is used during the day because the glare from the sun is too bright!

The place mats feature photos of the Queen's favourite horses. Apparently this was started as a joke by her trainer, and she was so delighted he kept up the tradition. Joke Christmas presents are a particular favourite of the Royals, presumably because there's not much you can get the family who have everything.

Not Your Royal Christmas features a unicorn shower cap and a cushion shaped like a poo emoji for this reason.

The Drawing Room larger bay window, where there is a grand piano. Behind the columns flanking the window is a small door to the terrace.

The Drawing Room's smaller bay window, where the Christmas tree is usually placed.
The windows above belong to the Drawing Room; the hexagonal one is right in the middle of the main house as you look at it from the back, with the larger square one to its right. Above the larger window is what appears to be a balcony, but I don't know if it's accessible from the inside.

The West Front of the house.

The West Door, with Art Nouveau fanlight.
The West Front bears the monogram of Edward VII and is dated 1908. I believe--but I'm not sure--this is the door used by the Family as they exit for church on Christmas Day, as it leads to the path going directly to the Church.
The West Front viewed from the formal gardens.

Selfie looking back over the Lawn to the house. Behind me you can see the path from the West Door down to the Church.
That's all for now, as the post is getting a bit unwieldy! Photos of the church will be in a second (shorter!) post, here.

Don't forget, you can order Not Your Royal Christmas here!

Sandringham, pt 2

The first post was getting a little long! Here are the rest of the photos and snippets I leanred about Sandringham; this time, mostly featuring the church.
The gate to the church (turnstile for visitors; beyond this is public access). It's about two or three minutes' walk from the house (maybe more in heels!).

The lych gate to the church, less than 100yds from the gate to the house.


The Church was described by Tommy Lascelles (private secretary to George V) as 'at the end of the garden' and it basically is. Whilst there's a fence and trees between the two, the Family only have to walk five minutes and go through a gate to get there.

Famously, the Royal Family always walk to Church on Christmas Day. It was only after he turned 90 that the Duke of Edinburgh was driven; and recently the Queen has joined him. Apart from that, I believe the only time it's acceptable not to walk is when you're expecting a baby, like, tomorrow.

The Church of St Mary Magdalene, dating from the C16th.
 The church looks small from the inside. That's because it is. 400-ish years old, it was renovated by Lady Harriet Cowper just before the Prince of Wales bought Sandringham House and is a little jewel of a place.

The silver pulpit. Yes, that's all silver.
The pulpit, altar and reredors are all plated with silver, as is the processional cross partly visible in the top right of this photo. Astonishingly, considering all that, on weekdays you can just wander in, any time you like, for free.

 Above the silver pulpit is a plaque commemorating George V. There are memorials to most of the monarchs who've resided in Sandringham (although none were buried here, but George VI's body was kept here before being transferred to Westminster) and a memorial to the King's Own Sandringham Company, who were all but wiped out in WWI.

The choir and altar, which is also covered in silver.

 The walls and ceiling here are particularly beautiful, with golden angels and painted beams. Zoom in on the photo for a better look.

The church from the south. There is a small graveyard, in which many of the graves are military and most not very recent.

The graces of two princes, just inside the lych gate, impossible to miss as you enter the churchyard.

The two little graves just inside the lych gate are particularly sad. The one on the right is terribly small, because its occupant is Prince Alexander John, youngest son of Edward VII, who lived for only a day in 1871. The one on the left, with the sandy-coloured cross, belongs to Prince John, son of one king and brother to two more. His father was George V, and his older brothers became Edward VIII (briefly) and George VI. John had severe epilepsy and lived for most of his life on the Sandringham estate. He died aged 13.

On a happier note, the church has also seen the baptism of several royal babies, most recently Princess Charlotte, and also Princess Eugenie whose engagement announcement inspired the idea of a sequel to Not Your Cinderella in the first place!

"Dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere else in the world." ~George V


I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of Sandringham, which gave me several really interesting details to use in Not Your Royal Christmas and Not Your Knight in Shining Armour, both of which contain more than one Christmas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Christmas novella and a new look!

Ahead of the release of NOT YOUR ROYAL CHRISTMAS, I’m unveiling a fresh new look for the whole series—including the final installment, NOT YOUR KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR, which will be out in the Spring.

NOT YOUR ROYAL CHRISTMAS will be released 4th December and is available to order now.

Annemarie loves her husband. And her husband loves her. Those are two things she’s certain of. A third thing she’s certain of, is that he also loves someone else... 

Seven years ago, Countess Annemarie married the man who would be king one day. Seven months ago, he died. But Christmas is Christmas, and she’s still a member of the Royal Family, so off she goes to Sandringham, where things are always the same. Apart from all those other Christmases, which haven’t been the same at all...

A story about how love and loyalty can sometimes be the same thing, and sometimes totally different. A story about loss and finding your place in the world. And also a story about a princess and a really hot nanny at Christmas.

NOT YOUR ROYAL CHRISTMAS is a between-the-numbers novella following NOT YOUR CINDERELLA and NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING


NOT YOUR KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR is available to pre-order now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Out TODAY: Little Haunting by the Sea

The Ghost Book is finally here!

He's a mess. She's a mess. That one's a ghost.

Everyone has that one friend who interferes in their life. Jen’s just happens to be a dead Victorian. And that’s only the start of the secrets she’s keeping.

Quinn doesn’t believe in ghosts, but there’s more than one way to be haunted by the dead. When his twin died, Quinn lost a piece of himself—literally.

Quinn just wants the truth about why his brother died. Jen will do anything to hide it. They both came to Wirpness-on-Sea to escape, but the past has a nasty habit of catching up with you.

In the small seaside town of Wirpness, the spirits are stirring...

Perfect for fans of Cormoran Strike, Being Human, and weird English seaside resorts, Little Haunting By The Sea is out in ebook and paperback today. Buy it now from Amazon.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

The Ghost Book is nearly here!

He's a mess. She's a mess. That one's a ghost.

Everyone is haunted by past mistakes, although not as literally as Jen. But who is the little Victorian ghost who follows her everywhere, and why didn't she save Jen from the worst thing that ever happened to her?

Quinn always thought being the identical twin of a famous heartthrob was bad, but after the bomb that took his brother and left him an amputee, he's revised his opinion. Now he'd settle for the truth about why his brother died, and Jen seems to be the person who knows.

In the small, strange town of Wirpness-on-Sea, the spirits are stirring, and old secrets are coming to light...

Perfect for fans of Cormoran Strike, Being Human, and weird English seaside resorts, Little Haunting By The Sea is out 31st October 2018.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Not Your Prince Charming available to pre-order!

The sequel to NOT YOUR CINDERELLA will be out in June!

  She’s not your usual princess. This isn’t your usual royal courtship. And he’s certainly not your Prince Charming...

Princess Eliza would much rather be doing the things normal girls do, like going to parties and meeting unsuitable men, but instead she's surrounded by bodyguards 24/7. Until she makes her escape...and disaster strikes!

There's no one more unsuitable than narcotics cop Xavier Rivera, but the Miami bad boy is the only person who can help the kidnapped princess. Lost in the Caribbean together, they're going to need each other to survive.

Being shipwrecked on a desert island might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to both of them. But will what happens on the island stay on the island?

A romantic comedy about royals, castaways, and the dubious merits of tweed, NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING is a sequel to NOT YOUR CINDERELLA.

Order NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING now: Amazon US/Amazon UK

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not Your Cinderella is on sale now!

   
Perfect for fans of The Crown and Royal Weddings!

He’s a prince. She’s a barmaid. It’s never going to work.

All Jamie wants to do is finish his PhD and live a life of quiet academic obscurity, but since he’s actually Prince Jamie of Wales, that’s not likely to happen. All his family wants is for him to find a suitable bride, but the local pub probably isn’t the place he should be looking.

Clodagh shouldn’t be falling for a prince. She’s worked too hard to improve her life and leave her shady past behind to get derailed by romance anyway, and all the press scrutiny that comes with royalty would be a nightmare with her background.

But the sparks won’t stop flying between them, and soon all Clodagh and Jamie can do is try to limit the fire.

A story about royalty, computer sciences, geeky t-shirts and cult musicals. And a pub.

Buy it now in ebook or paperback!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Except from NOT YOUR CINDERELLA

He’s a prince. She’s a barmaid. It’s never going to work. 

All Jamie wants to do is finish his PhD and live a life of quiet academic obscurity, but since he’s actually Prince Jamie of Wales, that’s not likely to happen. All his family wants is for him to find a suitable bride, but the local pub probably isn’t the place he should be looking.

Clodagh shouldn’t be falling for a prince. She’s worked too hard to improve her life and leave her shady past behind to get derailed by romance anyway, and all the press scrutiny that comes with royalty would be a nightmare with her background.

But the sparks won’t stop flying between them, and soon all Clodagh and Jamie can do is try to limit the fire.

A story about royalty, computer sciences, geeky t-shirts and cult musicals. And a pub.


Excerpt from NOT YOUR CINDERELLA, out now in paperback and 17th April in Ebook

Chapter One

Clickbait.com: Is Prince Jamie the world’s most eligible bachelor?

Yes, and here’s why:

1. His grandmother is the Queen of England, and his father, Prince Frederick, will be King some day.
2. Jamie is a man who knows how to serve his country: as a captain in the royal regiment of the Coldstream Guards he served two tours in Afghanistan.
3. The further away he gets from inheriting the throne, the more chilled out he is. Born fourth in line, after the birth of his niece and nephew he’s dropped to sixth, and does a lot of charity work.
4. He’s super smart: he graduated UCL with a First Class Honours degree in Computer Science ten years ago, and now he’s been accepted in the PhD program at the world-famous Cambridge University.
5. His hair. Come on, have you ever seen a man with hair that thick and wavy and totally run-your-hands-through-it-gorgeous? We want to know what products he uses!

Next article: 23 ways you’re eating avocado wrong!

“I dunno, you young people, always sexting and texting.”
  Clodagh looked up from her phone. One of the regulars stood at the bar, drink empty.
  “I wasn’t texting, and do you even know what sexting is?” She hurriedly shut down the animated gif of Prince Jamie’s hair blowing in the wind, and put her phone facedown behind the bar. “I was actually doing very important research. For… my… night school course.”
  His smile said he didn’t believe her for a second. “All right, love. Have it your way. Get yourself an education and a better job, don’t stay in this dive for the rest of your life. But while you are here,” he added, sliding his tankard onto the bar, and Clodagh rolled her eyes.
  “Another pint of Abbot?”
  “Please.”

Jamie’s sister was shouting silently at him. She was angry; he could tell by the pink spots on her cheeks. Victoria hated those pink spots. Hated her complexion being anything other than peaches and cream. She took a make-up artist quite literally everywhere with her. Jamie hadn’t seen his own sister bare-faced since she was about fourteen.
  “James William Frederick Henry,” he made that bit out by lip reading, “will you…”
  The rest was lost over the noise of his headphones, but Jamie could more or less figure out the gist.   Take off those bloody headphones before I…
  “…rip them off your bloody head!” she finished, as he paused his game and slipped the headphones down over his neck.
  “So sorry, Vicky. Didn’t hear you.”
  “Do not call me Vicky.” She smoothed down hair that didn’t need smoothing. “You used to prefer it.”
  “It’s common.” The greatest insult from Victoria. “Put down that…that bloody thing, will you?”
  Jamie looked at the controller in his hand. It was customised, given to him on a factory tour before they’d even gone on sale. “This bloody thing is a prototype and therefore wholly unique. I soldered a bit of circuitry on it, you know,” he added proudly.
  Victoria sighed as if he was the most tormenting creature in the universe. “Yes, we know. Most thrilling day of your life. It’s a bit of wire, Jamie. You’re sixth in line to the throne.”
  Yes, and I know which fascinates me more. Sighing, Jamie took his lovely noise-cancelling headphones off completely. Goodbye silence, my old friend.
  “Was there something you wanted, sister dearest, or do you just hate Lara Croft?”
  “You’re so lame. Vincent’s looking for you. Says it’s time to get ready.”
  Oh, bollocks. Jamie knew he ought to remember what he should be getting ready for, but he’d been so absorbed in the sidequest he’d been playing he’d forgotten the time. And now…oh yes. Bugger. Here was Vincent with the red tunic of the Coldstream, which paired with the blue riband of the Royal Victorian Order usually made him look like a macaw. Vincent’s assistant Graham was busy laying out the medals, badges and random bits of gold braiding so beloved of these occasions.
  “Her Highness requested it specially,” said Vincent before Jamie could speak.
  His gaze flew to his sister, who smoothed down her elegant and un-peacockish dress, which did not clash with her own blue riband, and said, “He means Isabella. She wants everyone in dress uniforms, especially the godparents,” she added pointedly, and Jamie tried to look like he totally remembered he was becoming a godparent for the fifteenth time today.
  “Nearly had to get Granny to invent something for Anthony until someone remembered he was in the TA for about five minutes.” She marched to the door. “Could be worse, remember Anthony wanted to be a Highlander,” was her parting shot.
  Great. Well, she was right, at least he wasn’t in tartan.
  “I’ll be infested with magpies,” he said, taking off his sweatshirt. His nice comfortable sweatshirt in its nice plain shade of blue with its nice picture of the Death Star on it.
  “No, sir, the falconers have been out,” said Vincent, who Jamie suspected as having had his sense of humour surgically removed some time ago.
  “Of course they have. All right.” Jamie stripped off his t-shirt and Vincent took it as if it was radioactive. Jamie gave him a bright grin, because annoying Vincent with his geek t-shirts was one of his favourite things. This one just said, ‘It’s not magic, it’s science!’ which was fairly tame compared with some of his collection.
  “Don’t lose that,” he warned as he kicked off his jeans. “Put it with the others.”
  “Sir, I have never lost your laundry,” Vincent said in wounded terms, handing Jamie his special seamless controlling underwear. No one wanted a visible reminder he was a human male under his impeccably tailored uniform trousers.
  Vincent and Graham gave every indication of not noticing their boss was naked, which always impressed the hell out of and annoyed Jamie in equal measure.
  “Yeah, but I can just imagine how many of them will end up in ‘storage’,” he said darkly.
  “If this is the case, sir, you can only blame your new bedder,” said Vincent with distaste, handing Jamie his undershirt.
  “She’s not going to be doing my laundry,” said Jamie. “I’ve got a washing machine.”
  Vincent and Graham stared at him, more shocked than they had been when they discovered the tattoo Jamie had got in Afghanistan.
  “Whatever for, sir?” said Vincent, recovering first.
  For mixing cocktails, what do you think? “Well, because washing by hand is a bit of a faff,” he said instead.
  The two men gaped at him. Jamie smiled at them and held out his arms. “Now remind me,” he said. “Trousers go on over my head, right?”

  “Arms up,” said Clodagh, patiently holding out the little jumper.
  “No!”
  “Hollee. Put your arms up.”
  “No!” Hollee thrust her arms out instead.
  “Christ’s sake, it’s like dressing an octopus.”
  Hollee slapped her hand over her mouth. “Umm! Naughty word!”
  Clodagh took the opportunity to ram the jumper down over her niece’s head and reach through the sleeve for her hand.
  “Mummy! Auntie Sharday said a naughty word!”
  “Shar, don’t fucking swear,” said her sister, and turned back to her phone.
  The coffee shop was overcrowded with buggies and playing a different music from the mall outside. The clash was not helping Clodagh’s temper.
  “I’ll think about it if you stop calling me Sharday.”
  “It’s the name Mum gave you.”
  Clodagh opened her mouth to repeat the argument she’d been having for years, then held her tongue. What the hell was the point? She gave Hollee a grimace of a smile and yanked on her hand. Hollee screamed as if Clodagh had dislocated her shoulder.
  “Should’ve put your arms up then, shouldn’t you,” she said.
  Hollee started shrieking and slamming her hands on the table. Clodagh felt the eyes of everyone else in the overheated coffee shop turn on them.
  “Jesus, Shar, I just asked you to put her jumper on,” said Kylie, grabbing her bawling daughter, who kicked and flailed and knocked over her white mocha latte. “Why is that so difficult?”
  Because your child is the spawn of Satan, thought Clodagh, but she’d come to blows with her sister often enough over her choice of babydaddy. “When’s Mum getting here?”
  “Dunno. She had to go pick up Tyler, but you know that’s just because Whitney don’t wanna talk to that bitch teacher about his ADHD.”
  “Tyler has ADHD?” asked Clodagh.
  “Yeah, well she says he has but you know he’s just been a little shit since Jayden left. Fuck’s sake, Hollee, I am trying to Instagram. Shar, can you get me another coffee? And some stuff to wipe this up with? Cheers babe.”
  Clodagh, glad of the excuse to escape the screaming toddler her sister was ignoring, got up to queue at the counter and promptly got stuck there for twenty minutes when her mother whirled in with an indiscriminate number of her progeny. As Clodagh tried to collate a sensible order, which was impossible since at least two of the children refused to drink anything but Red Bull which the cafe thankfully didn’t sell, her mother started up the litany of complaints that never ceased.
  “…so I just turned around and said, well, it’s not my fault you can’t give a proper diagnosis, so she turned around and said, I don’t give the diagnosis, you have to get the Head Psycho to do it—”
  “Ed Psych,” murmured Clodagh, who had dealt with a few in her time.
  “Yeah, like Nevaeh saw that time, so I said so when are you going to do that and she just gave me this, like, smug look and turned around and said she didn’t ‘believe there was a case for referral’, so I just turned around and said—”
  “Don’t you get dizzy?” Clodagh said.
  “What?”
  “All that turning around.”
  Her mother stared at her blankly, then launched into, “No, only when I’ve got one of my headaches. Did I tell you about my headaches, babes? Like, oh my God. This new doctor, right, he doesn’t even speak English, I don’t think he understands what a migraine is. Like yesterday he just turned around and said…”
  Clodagh nodded and smiled, and thought about the library book on Mary Seacole she had sitting in her shoulderbag, and ordered another white chocolate bloody latte.

Want to read more? You can order the book using the links below, or if you really can't wait, sign up to my newsletter for a longer excerpt!

NOT YOUR CINDERELLA can be ordered in paperback and in ebook from Amazon.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Coming soon: Not Your Cinderella, a royal wedding romance


You are invited to a royal wedding...


He’s a prince. She’s a barmaid. It’s never going to work.

All Jamie wants to do is finish his PhD and live a life of quiet academic obscurity, but since he’s actually Prince Jamie of Wales, that’s not likely to happen. All his family wants is for him to find a suitable bride, but the local pub probably isn’t the place he should be looking.

Clodagh shouldn’t be falling for a prince. She’s worked too hard to improve her life and leave her shady past behind to get derailed by romance anyway, and all the press scrutiny that comes with royalty would be a nightmare with her background.

But the sparks won’t stop flying between them, and soon all Clodagh and Jamie can do is try to limit the fire.

A story about royalty, computer sciences, geeky t-shirts and cult musicals. And a pub.

Not Your Cinderella will be available in April from Amazon.