It’s a very long time since I read the children’s classic (by Frances Hodgson Burnett) that this adaptation is based on. Slightly more recently, but not much, I watched the famous 1970s BBC version. But I’d still forgotten most of the finer detail, beyond a vague recollection of little Mary Lennox, orphaned in India and … More The Secret Garden review
There was a sudden cold snap last week, with a couple of snowfalls and a lot of nasty black ice. By Sunday, although it wasn’t brilliant, it had warmed up just enough to melt everything away, so we donned boots and our special northern ‘big coats’ and went out for a walk. At the moment, … More Two go for a toddle
We had snow overnight last night, which has given the frogs on the birdbath little snowy hats, but it’s bitterly cold out and to add to our woes, Cumbria has been placed in Tier 4 of the Covid regulations which means no more trips out, anywhere, for the foreseeable future. All I can do is … More Happy/ier 2021
I hope everyone has as good a Christmas as they possibly can in difficult circumstances, particularly after such a rotten year. And here’s hoping for much better things, and a return to a more normal way of life, in 2021! See you all soon… x
We discovered at the weekend that Rheged was open again. This is a venue near Penrith which has a few posh shops, a cafe doing artisan food, a cinema, and an exhibition space. It’s a slightly odd mix (especially in what looks like a cross between an underground bunker and a motorway service station) but … More Two drive through a lake
I’ve always been a fan of Mary Stewart, and in particular her quieter, magic-infused romances. Today I have a guest post on friend and fellow author Ally Lester’s blog talking about that love, and how it may well have influenced my writing in general, and December Roses in particular. Do head over and TAKE A … More The magic of Mary Stewart
Thinking about buying my latest book December Roses but not quite sure what to expect? Well, now there are two different excerpts available to help you decide. The first is at STONEWALL WRITERS & READERS. It’s a nice long piece from where main character Nat first meets Richie, the maddeningly elusive man he falls in … More December Roses excerpts
If you fancy trying your hand at a Tolkien-inspired drinking game, then head over to my good friend JAY MOUNTNEY’S BLOG to find out how. As I explain in my post, while I was writing December Roses, I sneaked a whole load of references to Lord of the Rings into it. From Mordor to balrogs, … More A Tolkien drinking game!
Fans of the vampire genre in general, or Dracula in particular, should definitely try to track this BBC4 documentary down. Hosted by writer and horror buff Mark Gatiss, it’s a definitive history of not just the Bram Stoker book, but the myths and legends that inspired it, the various film and stage adaptations, and Gatiss’s … More In Search of Dracula
Most of my books are inspired by things I’ve seen and read, or the places I’ve visited, and December Roses was no exception. The book grew from my love of reading books about gardens (especially those with secrets or mysteries) and my other love of visiting beautiful, lost or mysterious gardens. In particular, one childhood … More What inspired December Roses?