Book Review: ‘The Winter Guest’ by W.C. Ryan

I was engrossed by this historical novel set in Ireland in 1921 among The Troubles that exploded in 1919 in the Irish War of Independence after the First World War. The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan brings our investigator and first person narrator Tom Harkin to the atmospheric, crumbling and haunted ancestral mansion of theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Winter Guest’ by W.C. Ryan”

The Lure of a Country House Library

I was inspired by an Instagram post I read recently from a fellow-author. She said she was warming up with a cup of coffee at the Dorchester Curiosity Centre in Dorset, while waiting for her MOT to be done, and ‘contemplating how cover design has developed over the decades’. She was looking at an entireContinue reading “The Lure of a Country House Library”

Book Review ‘The Shadowing’ by Rhiannon Ward

Today, I’m pleased to share with you my review of another of my Christmas book gifts: a gothic novel published in 2021 by Orion Books. The Shadowing by Rhiannon Ward is both a captivating read and a learning experience. I read this book in one evening and it gripped me throughout. Variously described on AmazonContinue reading “Book Review ‘The Shadowing’ by Rhiannon Ward”

The Love of British Folk Tradition: Coventry and Kenilworth Morris at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning

I love Morris dancers, and at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning, all those who had braved the icy winds and crisp chill of the atmosphere were treated to several dances by the Coventry Morris and the Chinewrde Morris Dancers of Kenilworth. Male and female dancers entertained us while we were fortified with hot chocolateContinue reading “The Love of British Folk Tradition: Coventry and Kenilworth Morris at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning”

Book Reviews: The Poppy Denby Murder Mystery Series by Fiona Veitch Smith

Today, I’m delighted to bring you my reviews of a six book series I highly recommend, having just thoroughly enjoyed reading book six. The Poppy Denby series is widely available online and through bookshops. I’ve enjpyed meeting and chatting to the author Fiona Veitch Smith at writing events, and have followed her writing and publishingContinue reading “Book Reviews: The Poppy Denby Murder Mystery Series by Fiona Veitch Smith”

Book Reviews: ‘1066: What Fates Impose’ and ‘In the Shadows of Castles’ by GK Holloway

Today I am pleased to share with you my reviews and thoughts on two works of historical fiction by GK Holloway which open up for us the years leading to the Norman Conquest of England, and the aftermath. They are ‘1066: What Fates Impose‘ and ‘In the Shadows of Castles.’ Historical fiction gives us aContinue reading “Book Reviews: ‘1066: What Fates Impose’ and ‘In the Shadows of Castles’ by GK Holloway”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #12 Binna Burra, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland

This is the twelfth of my Highlights: a visit to the mountain eyrie of Binna Burra, location of the heritage-listed lodge where I have in the past spent happy days and weekends. Binna Burra occupies a lofty peak in the Gold Coast hinterland with panoramic views of Lamington National Park and it fell victim toContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #12 Binna Burra, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #10 Leura, The Blue Mountains, and the Gold Mining Town of Sofala, New South Wales

This is my tenth Highlight; we have arrived in the beautiful town of Leura, full of quirky shops, white blossom trees, pretty houses and cafes. Here we stayed for two nights. We were now in the Blue Mountains, with majestic views of cliffs and rainforest canopy. At the lookouts – Echo Lookout and Sublime PointContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #10 Leura, The Blue Mountains, and the Gold Mining Town of Sofala, New South Wales”

Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #9 Kiama, the Illawarra Film Festival and the Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, New South Wales

This is the ninth of my Highlights and includes some of the most outstanding experiences of my Australian trip. First, Kiama, which is down the coast south of Sydney. This was a base from which we planned to visit the Illawarra Film Festival in the Phoenix Theatre, Coniston. We were there because my daughter AbigailContinue reading “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #9 Kiama, the Illawarra Film Festival and the Norman Lindsay Art Gallery, New South Wales”

Book Review: ‘The Last Princess’ by Shelley Wilson

Today I’m pleased to be reviewing this excellent Young Adult novel by Shelley Wilson: The Last Princess. The Last Princess was published in May 2022 by BHC Press. Loosely based on what is known of the period when Vikings regularly raided Northumbria, this novel is strong and dramatic; in particular, the first few chapters areContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Last Princess’ by Shelley Wilson”