A Lover of Books

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

‘A Place for Us – Part One’ by Harriet Evans

A Place for Us - One

Today saw the publication by Headline Review of the first of four instalments of this book.  It is available in ebook with the next part due out on the 28th August 2014.  The complete novel will be published in January 2015.  I was kindly sent a copy to review.

The story starts off with an element of intrigue.  It is August 2012 and Martha Winter’s eightieth birthday is fast approaching.  She had made a huge decision, one which is set to change things for good.  It’s time to tell all.  But how will Martha go about doing this?

The first part of ‘A Place for Us’ gives the reader a good introduction to the Winter family with each chapter being narrated by an individual character.  I felt that this worked well as it told me a lot about their lives.  I also like the way the story has been set in different locations.

A complex family with secrets from the past, I reckon Part Two is when things will really start to hot up.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I give the first part of ‘A Place for Us’ 4 out of 5.


‘The Summer Guest’ by Emma Hannigan

The Summer Guest

‘The Summer Guest’ is being published in paperback by Headline on the 31st July 2014.  This is Emma Hannigan’s seventh novel and until now I had never read any of her books.

The story is set in Caracove Bay, Dublin.  In the first chapter the reader is introduced to the main characters, Lexie and her husband Sam.  Married for fifteen years they have spent ages lovingly restoring their home, No. 3 Cashel Square.  Lexie and Sam decided from the start that they didn’t want children, but her mum seems to think that they should now have a baby.  What with her art gallery which has really grown plus her rather headstrong niece, Lexie is more than busy.

Lexie arrives home one day to an unexpected letter.  A lady called Kathleen Williams has written explaining that she was born in and lived at that very same house over sixty years ago.  She would love to be able to revisit her roots by seeing her old home once more.  Lexie who has a good feeling about Kathleen invites her around to visit.  The two women get on instantly and soon become friends.

I started reading ‘The Summer Guest’ last weekend and I absolutely loved it.  With its pretty cover, it didn’t take me long to get into the story at all.  I really liked Emma Hannigan’s writing style throughout and I didn’t want this story to finish.

My favourite character was Kathleen.  I thought she was smashing.  Kathleen was so brave to have travelled all the way from America to Dublin on her own, especially after losing her husband.  Her words ‘live for the moment and relish the time you have together’ struck a chord with me.  I also really liked Lexie and Sam.  Soon after they had met they both realised that they had found their soul-mate.  That’s something I can totally relate to.

‘The Summer Guest’ is a beautiful, tender and emotional story.

I give this book 5 out of 5.


Emma, long may you continue to write wonderful books.

Book Launch – ‘From Paris with Love’ by Samantha Tonge


Samantha Tonge’s brand new book ‘From Paris With Love’ is being published today by Carina.



Every girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…

Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!

A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page… And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time! In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime… Except Edward!

But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot French rockstar Blade – there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…



Author Bio

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, came out in November 2013.



Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

Doubting Abbey Blog: http://doubtingabbey.blogspot.co.uk/

‘From Paris with Love’ is available to buy on Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paris-Love-Samantha-Tonge-ebook/dp/B00KYU49XK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1404140133&sr=1-1&keywords=from+paris+with+love

Book Launch – ‘Round and Round’ by Terry Tyler


Today sees the publication of ‘Round and Round’ by Terry Tyler, a romantic/paranormal story.  Her ninth published work, this is a 36K word novella, i.e., between a third and half as long as a full length novel.


Four Valentine cards – from four different men!

Sophie Heron’s fortieth birthday is looming, and she is fed up with her job, her relationship, her whole life – not to mention her boyfriend’s new ‘hobby’, in which she definitely doesn’t want to get involved…

Back in 1998 she had the choice of four men, and now she can’t help wondering how her life might have turned out if she’d chosen differently.

The person to whom Sophie had always been closest was her beloved Auntie Flick, her second mother, friend and advisor.  Before her death in 2001, Flick said, “when I’m up there having a cuppa with St Peter, I’ll have a word with him about making me your guardian angel, shall I?”

As Sophie’s fortieth birthday draws near, she visits her aunt’s special place: a tree by a river, hidden from the world.  Here she calls on Auntie Flick to show her the way forward – and help her look back into the past so she can see what might have been….


‘Round and Round’ is available on Amazon:-



‘Hearts of Green’ by John Marsh

Hearts of Green

I was kindly sent a copy of ‘Hearts of Green’ by Percy Publishing to read and review.  John Marsh served 22 years in the Royal Corps of Signals and wrote this book when he left the Army.

Chris Carter has seen the posters and watched the TV ads.  It all sounds so good, so very tempting.  If he joins the British Army he’ll be able to live his life to the full and he’ll be the best.  Chris signs up and goes happily on his way leaving behind the traumas of a broken home.  He can’t wait to meet his new family.

After nearly a year’s worth of training Chris discovers much to his shock and dismay that army life is nothing like he expected it to be.  He is given a posting with 4ADSR in Germany.  A new life?  More like hell!

A compact book, I was able to fit it easily into my handbag.  Although ‘Hearts of Green’ didn’t take me overly long to read, I also had other books on the go and so took my time with it.  It was easy to go back to.

I found the sex and porn in ‘Hearts of Green’ to be a bit too graphic at times, but realise that it is a male orientated story.

I felt really sorry for Chris.  He was treated in an absolutely appalling manner.  That said, I couldn’t help feeling that at times he didn’t exactly do himself any favours but still he didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was.

‘Hearts of Green’ is fast paced, gripping and exciting.

I give this book 4 out of 5.


‘Hearts of Green’ is up for The People’s Book Prize.  You can vote for it here:-


Interview with Linda Bolton


Linda Bolton writes contemporary romance.  She has just recently published her second book and I was interested in learning more about it.


What genre of book do you write?

Contemporary Romance mostly. I am dabbling in memoirs, a true life murder story, and some erotica.

Can you tell me a bit about your second book which was released on the 25th June.

In my first book, TAKE 2, you meet a character called Tristen Bane. My second book, Incantation, is Tristen’s story. He’s a magician in Las Vegas and he meets Christina, a reporter, that steals his heart. She’s worried her attraction to him is only a hypnotic spell and she fights him every step of the way.


How long did it take you to write?

It took about 11 months to complete. I don’t write full time so sometimes its hard to pin down a moment to write.

Where did you get your ideas from?

All around me. Since my stories are contemporary, everyone becomes an idea. Movie stars, entertainers, artists, my friends and co-workers…..everyone has a story.

Did you have to do much research?

Tristen Bane is framed for a famous magician so I spent hours watching dvd’s of him performing, learning his personality. I, also, research the locations quite a bit. Usually, I’ve been to a few locations in my books but I don’t want the reader to be able to tell which ones are all research and which I have actually been to. The research, to me, is the best part!

Can we expect more books from you?

Oh, yes. You meet an artist in Incantation, Ethan Hawk – he’s my third book. My goal is to have it out before Christmas or right after. I’m also working on a true life murder story. I hope to have that out in a year.

Describe a day in your life.

Well, I work 8-5 at an office, doing customer service. When I’m off, I try to work out, maybe write a bit and I might catch a movie.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love Marvel movies, any kind of movies actually, I love to read all kinds of books, I love to cook and I spend a lot of time with my granddaughter.



‘Incantation’ is available to buy on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Incantation-Linda-Bolton-ebook/dp/B00L8A3DF0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403566223&sr=8-1&keywords=incantation+by+linda+bolton

Linda Bolton’s blog – www.lindabolton.blogspot.com

Facebook Pages – http://www.facebook.com/lindaboltonauthor and http://www.facebook.com/linda.bowersbolton

Twiiter – www.twitter.com/!#/lindalou42

Interview with G. Mitchell Baker


G. Mitchell Baker lives in the Deep South, but also enjoys living out west, from the southwest United States to western Canada. Having practiced law for more than twenty years, Baker enjoys researching and writing projects that draw him into the many genres, to include contemporary fiction, science fiction, and paranormal works.

Mitch was keen to take part in an interview for my blog.


Mitch, what types of books do you tend to write? 

Traditionally published in genre of Science Fiction (ANNT: Axiom, 2011); Paranormal/Greek Mythological (Lethal Believers: The Innocents, 2012)(Lethal Believers: DVM, 2013); Contemporary Adult Fiction (The Involvement of Emerson, 2013); and, Contemporary Young Adult Fiction (Kerby ‘Webb’ Webster & Kinny the Rodeo Hound, 2012) and (Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies, 2014), I tend to write in these genres.




Tell me a bit about your latest novel.

Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’ was released from Master Koda Select Publishing on July 1, 2014. This release in Kindle and paperback is about skunks, tornadoes, soccer, Frisbees, and baseball. All the town’s championship teams have to figure out, is how to compete hard for a meaningful home field advantage. What more could young readers aged 10-14 ask for…? Check it out Jhttp://t.co/1Yh4AIKbZM

My last novel released in 2013 was ‘Lethal Believers: DVM’, published by Master Koda Select Publishing. This novel has attracted Five-Star reviews to include ‘Lethal Believers … a real brain teasing thriller to give Stephen King a run!’ http://tinyurl.com/cseokmn




Where do you get your ideas from?

I appreciate this question. The process of ideas or inspiration is something I enjoy working with on many levels. Often interviewed and having contributed articles to an e-magazine called ‘Inspiration Unlimited’ (Bangalore, India), I pursue this question when asked many different kinds of questions and when considering assignments. In my latest book, ‘Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’, I made an effort to describe some of the back-story leading to the ideas or inspiration for this story, and so the reader may gather some insight prior to reading through the first page. The ‘Acknowledgement’ published in the formatter reads as follows:



I played a lot of baseball when I was a kid. My appreciation begins with the Baseball Moms (and Dads) who attended the many games on the way to our teams competing in national tournaments.

I played on championship teams that produced National Hockey League stars (Lindy Ruff, David Babich), one Olympian (Terrence Danyluck) and we played against the likes of Wayne Babich (NHL hockey), and Tim Chen (World Champion Baseball). Tim actually played/pitched against me along the way and helped me become a decent hitter. In my estimation, there were at least three other ball players who could have played Major League Baseball. It remains my honor to have competed with such talented athletes. They continue to inspire through their proven competitive drive and sportsmanship.

It was on a sunny Saturday in San Diego that Tim (pitcher for the Taiwan National Baseball Team and design engineer for the World Champion Nissan GTP racing team), Jeff (front Office of the San Diego Padres), and I broke away to play some pick-up baseball…

Oh, and there was Kinny (1996-2012) as well. My Border Collie played hard, chased and shagged baseballs usually hit out into the middle of nowhere. She played with all her heart and for as much, my remembrance is fond.

Tim, Jeff, and I expected to play some pick-up and went to our usual park soon to look on as a little league baseball team squared off with a girls’ soccer team. They haggled over whose field it was to practice on that morning. The title ‘Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’ immediately came to mind, and the story was soon written as a feature length screenplay.

Years later, I must thank Jane Carroll, Author ‘On Becoming Bertha’ (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2014) for helping me adapt this young adult story from screenplay to middle-grade novel. I have to admit, Jane helped me deal with a lot of called strikes and yellow cards an author writing about baseball, and soccer and tornadoes in the same book can experience along the way. There is also Kim Mutch-Emerson, Author ‘Digitus 232’ (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2013) to thank. There are no others, who I have learned more from when it comes to writing young adult fiction.

A major purpose, when writing this story was to encourage kids to continue to play, and be decent to others, despite all the distractions that can happen along the way. Through this fun loving tale about kids and towns overcoming tragedy, I hope kids learn there is more to ‘winning’ than simply posting ‘W’s’ in the ‘Win Column’. I am thankful for all who have put up with me through the years, and hope this story brings fond memories back to those who have already made theirs, and, for those who are about to make their own. May you always be, ‘Where you are supposed to be’, and ‘Doing what you are supposed to be doing.’



May 26, 2014


I provide this example of where some of the ‘ideas’ for ‘Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’ came from, to extend to those interested some insight into my process for considering, writing and ultimately working to publish stories/novels that may be original and interesting. Moreover, as you may see … If there is some value, some good lessoning to pass along, I seem inspired by that opportunity as well.


Where do you write?

I used to write in dedicated space (i.e., writer’s cave), but more and more I like writing in open, diverse settings that have the potential to inspire. By inspiration, I mean an environment that has people with character and attribute coming and going. It can also be the setting itself that naturally inspires. A fresh environment works for me when writing original material, however, the ‘Cave’ is always open when a less stimulating environment is required for editing…


What are you working on at the moment?

Now I am working on the third novel in the Paranormal/Greek Mythological ‘Lethal Believers’ series entitled ‘Cave Ravens’. In this story Danta, Lamia and the Chorus of Peregrine investigate and confront an unexpected version of Mantid Tranquil in unexpected places.

Master Koda Select Publishing acquired the publishing rights to the ‘Kerby’ Young Adult series of novels (Aged 12-16). They will re-issue the ‘Rodeo Hound’ novel when I feel it is ready. I am thinking it will be ‘ready’ when the second novel, ‘Tevus Cup’ novel will be released either late 2014 or early 2015.

The ‘Kerby’ series begins with a dumb-luck, hard-nosed loner cowman who takes up his orphaned, ultra urban grandson. Together get through trials and tribulation enough to keep one another going and a growing in all the right directions. Eventually, the grandson starts meeting friends and competing in the kind of extreme sports Kerby could never have imagined.


Describe a day in your life.

This question reminds me of a Cheech & Chong comedy routine from years ago … I got up. I went to school. I went to class. I sat down. (Ahem, it gets wild from there on …)

For me, I have to wake up prepared to be flexible. I can be writing, promoting, working with editors, art teams … working on contracts … The travel at times. This notion of getting a book published, marketed and selling can be a complicated, unpredictable endeavor at times. Then there is the life that goes on around this rather egocentric endeavor of being an author/novelist. Thank goodness for the opportunity to get out to a jazz club once in a while … maybe a folk festival or two … and I love urban hiking and street festivals when in season. I guess I can be a regular guest on any edition of ‘Where’s Waldo…’ when I get going. Sometimes it is very nice to extract myself from the computer, so these are some of the things I would consider doing in the course of my day.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time is rare if I factor out writing and promoting my work. When I do get away from the computer, I enjoy cycling (Fat Tire). I love the exercise … to explore urban settings and getting into the backcountry once in a while … The other day I was (what I call) ‘Toodling’. Others may call it puttering or something like that … Riding nice and easy … Cruising … I enjoyed it a lot … Cycling is always something I’ve enjoyed and to finds ways to ride given the feeling for the day can be very nice.


You have to live on a desert island for a week and you are only allowed to take three items with you. What would they be?

I think I answered this question once with, “I sez to myself self-I-sez … I’ll take with me a good dose of ‘Me, Myself, and I…’

As I think on this question for this interview, I would add … “And then I would begin to look for whatever else would be kind enough to float on by…” *wink wink*

Sounds like island living to me … At least for a week or so…



Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/SoccerTommiesBaseballMommies

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/GMitchellBakerAuthor

Twitter – @G_MitchellBaker

Website – http://www.gmitchellbakerauthor.com/index.html

Author (Having fun on Pinterest) – http://www.pinterest.com/1gmbdelta505/


Amazon Links for books in print/live …

Lethal Believers: The Innocents (Kindle) – http://www.amazon.com/Lethal-Believers-The-Innocents-ebook/dp/B00BXRUU4K/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363972312&sr=1-1&keywords=%27G.+Mitchell+Baker%27

Lethal Believers: DVM (Kindle) –  http://www.amazon.com/Lethal-Believers-G-M-Baker-ebook/dp/B00DTJ9NT8/ref=pd_sim_b_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=1M30PZPBWCMTCGNJ9CDK

The Involvement of Emerson (Paperback Out of Print) (Kindle Available) – http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Emerson%20INvolvement

Interview with Maggie James


829 resized

Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol, a city featured in her first three novels.  She writes psychological suspense novels.  Maggie kindly took the time to answer my questions.


Tell me a bit about your latest book.

I’m writing my fourth novel at present, which examines Stockholm Syndrome. For those who don’t know, victims become emotionally dependent on their abusers in this fascinating psychological condition. Stockholm Syndrome is best known for occurring in hostage situations, but it can also explain domestic abuse and other such circumstances. The novel is provisionally entitled ‘Training Room’ and focuses on an abduction of a young woman. My antagonist, Dominic Perdue, is not someone to mess with, although he’s far less of a tortured soul than Adam Campbell from my novel ‘Guilty Innocence’.


Where do you get your ideas from?

They can come from anywhere. Conversations I’ve had, news items, or even courses I’ve done – the basic premise for ‘Sister Psychopath’ arose from a writing workshop I took. Anything that gets me thinking about the psychology behind people’s actions will grab my attention. Although I don’t write crime fiction as such, crime tends to feature in my books because it often engenders strong emotions. Once I get an idea, I file it away on a list, ready for future use. Forthcoming themes? I’ve long had it in mind to write a novel centred on near-death experiences, given my own interest in the subject.

Do you have to do a lot of research?

For some areas, yes, for others, no. For example, so far all my novels are set in Bristol, my home city. That makes life easier because I know the area so well; I don’t have to do lots of research, leaving me free to concentrate on the plot and characters. For other research topics – yes. With ‘Guilty Innocence’, I spent ages investigating self-harm; for ‘Sister, Psychopath’ it was traumatic injury. ‘His Kidnapper’s Shoes’ meant I delved into eye colour and genetics.

How do you feel after each book has been published?

I experience an immense rush of satisfaction once it’s done, but getting there is hard! I tend to agonise over whether the book is ready, does it need another round of editing – procrastination, big time! Once the hard part is over, though, and I swing into marketing mode, I get a tremendous buzz.

When is your next book due out?

I’ll finish the first draft by mid-June, with publication scheduled for later on this year, probably August or September. For me, the editing part is always the longest, although I love it. However much fun I’m having, it still takes ages to get from the first draft to the final product, though. I won’t publish a book until I’m sure I’ve polished it as much as I can. I’ll also write my fifth novel, or the bulk of it, before the end of 2015. For that one, I’m doing something a little wacky, by offering readers the chance to become one of my characters. Details are on my website!

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to write their first book?

It’s rather like the well-worn analogy of eating an elephant – one bite at a time. To those who’ve not yet done it, the idea of writing a novel can seem overwhelming. A hundred thousand words, or even more? No way! It’s less hard than you imagine, though. Remember the elephant. Keep writing, day after day, and before long, you’ll have the first draft done. Fifteen hundred or so words a day is very achievable, meaning you’ll be finished in a little over two months for an average length offering. Also, plan your novel; make notes for the structure, plot, characters, everything. You’ll find it keeps the dreaded writer’s block at bay like nothing else! Finally, believe in yourself. You’ll always get doubters, negative Nellies who’ll tell you you’re chasing rainbows by wanting to write a book. Ignore them and do it anyway. Who are they to crush your dreams?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a confirmed travel-holic and although I’ve not been abroad for a while, I’m hatching plans as to how and when that will change. For me, nothing, apart from writing, holds the same appeal as travel. These two loves are my main passions in life, closely followed by animals and anything culinary. I’m one of those people who go all gooey over anything with four legs, and as for food, I can’t walk past a restaurant without checking the menu. Healthy living has been a priority for the last two decades; I do several yoga classes a week along with a couple of gym sessions. What else? Well, like most writers, I read voraciously, and my love of all things fictional extends to regular cinema visits. I also love driving, and have a couple of long road trips planned.

Which types of books do you like to read?

Most things really; it might be easier to list what I don’t read! I’m not into romances or chick lit, but apart from that, any other genre is fair game. Lately, I’ve been reading way too much crime fiction – the psychological component fascinates me – so I’m doing my best to rectify my addiction to Lee Child novels. To my shame, there’s a plethora of wonderful classics, both old and modern, which I’ve yet to enjoy, which is odd because at one time I read a lot of classic novels. I also devour a fair bit of non-fiction. I’ve found an interest in all matters spiritual has come to the fore recently – a surprise to my former atheistic self – so I’ve been checking out books in that area, with frequent side trips into philosophy.



Website and blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com

Facebook: http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Maggie-James-Fiction/191644207648375

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maggie-james/64/381/727

Google+ : https://plus.google.com/101511690389687930651

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/maggiejamesfict/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggie-James/e/B00BS9LVMI

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/mjamesfiction

‘The Tea Chest’ by Josephine Moon

The Tea Chest

‘The Tea Chest’ is Josephine Moon’s debut novel.  It was published by Allen & Unwin on the 3rd July 2014.  I was lucky enough to be sent a copy to review.  This was a fantastic opportunity for me as I love discovering new authors.

Kate Fullerton is a talented tea designer known for her creativity.  Now the co-owner of The Tea Chest, she finds herself flying all the way from Brisbane to London to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down.  Kate knows she could be risking her young family’s future.

Leila Morton has just lost her job and doesn’t know what to do, whilst Elizabeth Clancy gets a very nasty shock.  Both women need a fresh start.

When the three women’s paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate’s vision for the London branch of The Tea Chest.  However, it’s as if each time success is within their grasp something or other happens and increasing tensions damage their trust in each other.

With the looming possibility that The Tea Chest could fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what is important to each of them.  Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves?

The cover of ‘The Tea Chest’ really caught my eye with its beautiful design.  It makes you want to delve into the book straightaway.  I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.  The descriptions of the shop were wonderful and the various tea blends were just amazing, almost orgasmic.  I also enjoyed reading about each character and learning about their lives.  Kate and Elizabeth were my favourites.

If I hadn’t of known that this was a debut novel I would never have guessed it.  Josephine Moon writes so confidently.  There are flashbacks throughout the story which I thought worked well.

A magical read, I live in hope of coming across a place just like The Tea Chest.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

Interview with Deborah Bogen


Deborah Bogen is a poet and a novelist. Her poetry books, Landscape with Silos; Let Me Open You a Swan; and Living by the Children’s Cemetery are all prize winners. Her new book THE WITCH OF LEPER COVE is YA novel set in 13th Century England.

Bogen grew up in Montana and North Dakota. At 15 she moved to San Francisco where she was exposed to a lively art scene that was engaged with both the personal and the political.

Deborah Bogen expressed an interest in being interviewed for my blog.


Can you tell me a bit about your latest book please?

The Witch of Leper Cove, a tale of 13th century England



When their parents disappear, sixteen-year-old Lily and her younger twin brothers are farmed out to three different households in the small English village of Aldinoch. Grappling with grief, loneliness and even guilt they finally come to terms with their new lives and each one is sure that nothing worse can happen to them.

Lily is apprenticed to Alice, the village healer who cares for both Aldinoch’s sick and the lepers who live downstream. Her hard-won knowledge of herbs and poultices has saved many lives.

But it’s early in the 13th century. Fearing heretics, Pope Honorius has just launched the Inquisition, sending the Dominicans out into Christendom to root out heretics. Even the good and useful are not safe. When Alice is accused of witchcraft and imprisoned in an ancient dungeon, Lily and her brothers are forced into action.


Where do you get your ideas from?

I have always loved reading about the Middle Ages, the time when much of western culture had its start. Whether you look at medicine or architecture or government, you will find the roots of much we take for granted today.  This particular book was prompted by two students who asked me to write an adventure tale that would also teach them with this period of history. I hope that’s what Witch does.

My other books have been poetry volumes and those are prompted by my own life, and your life, and the greater world.


How long does it take you to write a book?

The time varies. Poetry books take years.  This novel took about 8 months to write and re-write – but I had also been researching the time period for decades.


How long have you been writing for?

I started writing late – at age 47. Now I’m 64! So the past 15 years have been dedicated to writing.  But I have been a reader since I was 5 and that teaches you a lot. If you have been reading all your life you have seen a lot of examples of good writing, and less-good writing.  The experience enriches your own writing practice.


What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I’m writing the sequel to The Witch of Leper Cove. My characters aged two years in that book so in the new book they are fully functional adults (in the middle ages teenagers did not really exist as an idea. You were a child till you were an adult – which happened between 15 and 18.) One of the main characters, Edric, was training to be a priest in Witch but now he has changed his mind as has taken to find out what he wants to do.


Describe a day in your life?

Days are varied when you do not have a full-time day job.  I have periods when I write for long hours each day, but many times I am thinking of new ideas for the book or reading other books I love or doing research.  Some days I do work to promote Witch – and that is real work and like most writers I do not love it.  But I also work out, play music and see my family.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

We have a pretty fine family band in which I sing and play ukulele. I love jazz and most Thursdays my husband and I can be found at CJ’s – a jazz club in Pittsburgh with truly amazing musicians. I do mosaic work, read, garden, bake, and do all the chores you do.


If you were only allowed to keep three books which would they be?

Let’s see….since I began as a poet I own hundreds of books of poems. I would not want to be without at least one Robert Bly book, one W.S. Merwin, and I’d have to have Anne Carson’ s The Economy of Loss, and then Kurt Vonnegut is a must have so already I am over your limit.



The Witch of Leper Cove

Deborah’s Amazon Author Page

Deborah’s website 


All proceeds from Deborah’s books fund medical research for Crohn’s Disease and Lupus.


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