Books, Christian Writer, Dealing with Fear, Faith, Lessons from life, Medieval Fiction, New Author


It has been incredibly busy week. We have packed up our lives, and moved lock, stock and dog into my parents’ house, so that the builders can start the much anticipated reconstruction of our home. It has been stressful, and exhausting, and frustrating at times. There have been moments of hilarity and also the odd raised voice. We are so grateful for the use of the self- contained flat at the top of Mother’s seafront Victorian house, but that means stairs – lots of them – and that is a challenge for both me, with my limited mobility, and for the old, confused, arthritic dog!

Mother’s seafront flat

The feeling that has been there in the background, for me, during the whole of this process, and finally came to the forefront last night, is fear. I know, as a ‘good’ Christian I shouldn’t let fear overwhelm me (I even wrote about it in my book!) but honestly, it does sometimes. Before I had ME I was pretty fearless about most things, but one of the by- products of my condition is fear (mostly irrational). In the early stages of my illness I became hypersensitive and had strange reactions to things like shampoos, body lotions and some foodstuffs. It has left me very careful and controlling about what I use on, or let into, my body! It is not as a controlling fear as it was – it is one of the things God has been working on with me. A couple of years ago I would not have contemplated the huge changes that are happening in our lives right now. So that is good! Really good.

So what got me so fearful? The jab. Yep, the Covid vaccination. Not facing the needle – as an ex- nurse, they don’t faze me – but actually having a foreign substance injected into my arm. The rational me knows the facts – how safe and important the vaccine is. The irrational fear panicked me about what effect the vaccine might have on my body – would I have a severe reaction, or long lasting side effects? ‘You may feel tired, experience headaches, have flu-like symptoms’ – well that just about describes every day living with ME! I don’t need any more of those type of symptoms, thank you!

Empty house, confused dog

Fear is real. Even irrational fear. And it can very easily overwhelm our minds, hearts and emotions. It is not wrong to be fearful. It is a natural human response and I refuse to be condemned, as though experiencing fear is some sort of sin or failure. Instead I need to learn how to respond to that fear. I knew that I needed to get some God truth in me to build my faith and fight back. Funnily enough I was prompted to read something I had written myself…

It’s amazing how the things around us can either make us feel at peace inside, or can steal our peace. Storms without can cause storms within.’

‘It is true,’ Hywel replied. ‘The kind of peace I want more and more is the kind that Jesus had, that He promises can be ours. A peace that stays true despite our circumstances.’

‘The peace that Jesus experienced during that storm; how do you think He came by that?’ Philip was keen to know the answer. Was that a kind of peace available to him, he wondered?

‘Several things, I think. It was a gift from God, obviously, but I believe Jesus accessed it by His own will. He trusted God to protect them. He knew enough about God’s plan for His life to know that it wasn’t His time to die, and also that God had a reason for wanting Him on the other side of the lake. He had a God-designed destiny, and a God-arranged destination, and an appointment with a demon-possessed man needing to be freed. He also knew who He was, and that He had the God-given authority to calm the storm. He chose to believe in those things, and not the evidence to the contrary that the storm seemed to present.’

‘So,’ Philip thought out loud, ‘inner peace comes from faith in God.’

‘Yes, I would say so. We choose to have faith in who God says He is, and what He is capable of. We can also take courage from who He says we are, His sons. We can trust that He has plans for our lives, and He has the power to accomplish those things for us.’

‘Were you afraid on the ship?’

‘Honestly? Yes. Fear in itself is a normal human reaction. You would expect to feel fear every time you entered a battle?’ He glanced over at Philip who nodded in response. ‘I was afraid, but I have learned to do the things God requires me to do, even when I feel fear. He promises to ride the storm with me, every time.’ He continued, ‘I prayed the whole time that God would help me, to not let my fear become greater than the faith I had in Him to keep us safe. My mind was eventually able to find a degree of peace, unlike my stomach.’ He smiled wryly.

The Healing , Chapter 7, pp 94-95

I wrote that because I know it is the truth, but it is a truth that I am still learning! Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t. Today I read it again before we left for our appointments, and His peace went with us. We got our jabs, all is well, and even if it gets a bit rough over the next day or two, I know that He will be with us. That fear thing? It’s not going to win.

The Healing was published by Instant Apostle on 19th March 2021, and is now widely available in both paperback and kindle format.

Signed paperback copies are also available direct from me at for £9 including UK postage.

The website also has more about me, the story behind my books, and some historic background which you might find of interest.

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Lessons from life, Medieval Fiction, New Author, Uncategorized


We’re still packing and shifting, sorting and skip filling, and the date the builders are due to start is getting uncomfortably close. I’m also still trying to keep up with my book marketing and writing. I have written two guest blogs this week; one that will appear on my wonderful publishers’ website later this week, and one for the ICFW (International Christian Fiction Writers) which is due out in April sometime. What a great privilege to be asked to write about my book! I have uploaded the fabulously edited video recording of my Book Launch Party (if you missed it – the link to the video is on my website), and sent a few more signed copies of the book out. But probably the most exciting thing I have done this week is published another book!

I know! How awesome is that? If a bit greedy, I guess, when I have only just launched the first one! But actually this one has been ready to go for some time, and I so wanted it to be out there as a companion book to The Healing. So I am really pleased to announce that THE BELOVED is now also available, and I am over the moon to introduce you to it.

The Beloved is a novella, and a short one at that. Just four chapters. It is a love story, but not your typical romance. Set in the years following the events of The Healing, it does feature some of the same characters, and a similar setting, without giving too much away. This is the blurb I wrote for it:

When love whispers, will the heart respond?

A young woman unsure of herself and not ready to open her heart. A young man sure of his feelings but clumsy in his approach. Both have a lot to learn about the true nature of love. This story takes them on a journey of discovery, which causes them both to come to a place of understanding, that will ultimately alter the direction of their lives. It isn’t only an understanding of human love that needs to touch their souls, but the realisation of the unconditional love that God offers them.

Margam Abbey

 So where did the inspiration come from for the story? I wanted to write a short story to provide a snapshot of the world of The Healing, perhaps to encourage new readers, definitely to satisfy those clamouring for more, and to give me a bit of breathing space to finish the other novel (more on that another time!) Who to base it on? A character barely mentioned in The Healing caught my attention, and they became my person to build a story around. I knew what the person looked like and their character traits already, because of their parentage. And I saw a great deal of myself in them too, as writers often do in their character creations. I knew it was going to be a love story, but I’m not a romance writer, and I didn’t want it to be sloppy or fluffy. I also knew I wanted it to teach spiritual truths, as The Healing does.

Then the idea began to formulate, because again it was based on my own life experience, and the convoluted courtship my now husband and I embarked on many moons ago. The feelings and the frustrations, the questioning and the confusion, as described in the book, are true to life, if the setting and exact events differ somewhat! I will leave it there to not too give much more away. I wrote it some months ago, and then got the manuscript copy edited by the incredible Sheila Jacobs, and a stunning cover designed by David Salmon. The same people who had worked on The Healing were kind enough to invest in The Beloved too. So the two books sit really well together.

I do hope you will get yourself a copy of The Beloved and enjoy reading my little love story. It is currently only available in Kindle format. It is free to download if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, and will cost you less than the price of a cup of coffee if not. You will find it here

It is also available on Amazon sites worldwide.

If you do read and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review of the book on Amazon.

I am still taking orders for signed paperback copies of The Healing via my website, where you can also sign up to receive my email newsletter.

The Healing was published by Instant Apostle on 19th March 2021 and is also available on Amazon, in paperback and kindle formats, and from other online book sellers worldwide.

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Lessons from life, Medieval Fiction, New Author


I realise with horror that it is over two weeks since I last wrote a blog post! Needless to say, life has been hectic. The last two weeks, leading up to and including my book launch were a roller coaster ride, in the sense that each day seemed to hurtle by, sweeping me along with excitement, a definite adrenaline rush. It all went so well! The blog tour was AMAZING and I am so grateful to all of those who wrote such glowing reviews, and designed such creative interviews. And the Book Launch went better than I could have imagined, with my high class tech team beside me. It was a truly lovely evening and so many came! I was left feeling well and truly launched!

This week is a whole other kettle of fish. We have long planned to have extensive building work done to the house, but as with most things recently there have been delays, and more delays. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, a builder was available and willing to start at Easter! So panic stations have ensued. We agreed… ‘let’s get the book launch out of the way, and then it is all systems go’. The whole ground floor has to be emptied or packed away. So we have been hurriedly packing, and sorting and shifting. Yesterday we finally emptied the kitchen cupboards and hubby started to demolish them…with relish! It is a very old kitchen and desperately in need of updating.

I hastily took some pictures so that we could have some for the obligatory before and after pictures, once the work is completed. The reality is that will be some weeks before I have a proper kitchen back. It has been a dilapidated kitchen, and a quirky one, but it was my kitchen, and I have managed to feed my family from it successfully for over 10 years (we thought we would be replacing it long before now!) Now the kitchen is a true mess, and the next few days before we are forced to move out, will be a bit like cooking whilst camping.

Transformation is always an unsettling and often uncomfortable process. It can get very messy in the middle. It might be that we know that change is necessary, and it will be worth it, but the pain of the process can be daunting, off putting even. So it is spiritually. God is in the business of transformation. We come to Him with all our imperfections, functioning ok maybe, but definitely with room for improvement. And He begins a transformation process that bit by bit makes us more and more like Him. And this process can be messy, painful, unsettling, but we need to allow Him to make those changes, and not resist or hold back out of fear of the process. We need to trust Him and allow Him to do what He needs to do in us. The mess will be worth it.

Another thought struck me as I took those photos of my half demolished mess of a kitchen. I can picture what the new kitchen will look like, imagine the shiny new cupboard doors and silky smooth worktops, the flashy new stove and the wood effect floor. I am trusting that what I picture in my mind WILL actually become a reality. When God looks at messy old me, He doesn’t see the flaws and imperfections that I see, instead He already sees me as He has designed me to be. In His eyes I am already perfect. The finished article. Because when He looks at me, He sees Jesus.

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Medieval Fiction, New Author

‘BLOG TOUR’ or ‘A newbie’s adventures in publishing land’… Part 11

As I understand it, 1000 or more new words are added to the Oxford English Dictionary every year. Language changes, and new words and phrases find their way surreptitiously into our vocabulary, and often these are indicators of wider societal changes. So after more than a year of the pandemic, many new words or new meanings of existing words have become normal and common place, and no doubt have already made their way into the OED; ‘Lockdown’, ‘furlough’, ‘self-isolation’, ‘break- out rooms’, ‘zoomed out’ to name but a few.

What I didn’t appreciate upon entering the world of writers and publishing, was that I would have to learn a whole new vocabulary here too – ‘blurbs’, ‘bios’, ‘marketing tools’, ‘email sign-up’, ‘WIP’ (you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to actually work out what those initials stood for! 😊) So today I am going to introduce you to another of those new words/phrases – new, both because of the current situation, and because of my new author status – and it is ‘blog tour.’

What is a ‘blog tour’? Well, again I have been learning on the hoof here, but my understanding is that it is a nifty way of getting your book some widespread publicity leading up to it’s publication date. In different times a new author, supported by others, might be invited to do a book tour – signings in book shops, talks and presentations – anything to introduce as many people as possible to your work, and hopefully generate sales! As the restrictions of the pandemic made that impossible, so in the publishing world the ‘blog tour’ idea began to appear.

There are many bloggers out there in cyber land. People who write to inform, inspire and entertain others, and who gather followers. I am privileged to know some wonderful bloggers through the amazing world of the ACW (Association of Christian Writers) and some of those lovely, kind people have signed up to be a part of my blog tour. Every day, from 11th March, and up to the day after publication on 19th, one of them will blog about The Healing. Some of these blogs will be a straightforward review of my book (which they have all read!). Others will take the form of author interviews, or focus on a particular theme from the book. One will be a guest blog written by yours truly. I have seen sneak previews of some of them and I am thrilled with the variety and warmth of writing. So very thankful for their support in this.

So here I am announcing my fabulous blog tour and inviting you to be a part of it. I will post the links to the blogs on my social media each day – they won’t be overlong reads – and I would love it if you read the blogs, and like and comment on them if you feel able to. This will support the bloggers who have graciously given of their time and energy to do this for me.

One word that will never change it’s meaning for me, whatever else changes? ‘Blessed’! That is not just how I feel as I navigate this publishing adventure. It is the reality. I am so blessed.

You can order your own signed pre-publication copy of The Healing now at now.

You can also sign up to receive my newsletter, with sneak previews of the story, and special offers, on the website. If you enjoyed reading this blog please consider following me.

The Healing will be officially published by Instant Apostle on 19th March 2021.

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Medieval Fiction, New Author


Today is World Book Day. For many years those words struck terror. It meant scrabbling around for hastily cobbled together costumes, for two particularly unenthusiastic school aged children, and thrusting them out of the door clutching a copy of a book. Which hopefully they had read… daughter… probably, son… not so likely.

But today I see World Book Day differently. The kids are long grown and gone from home. Now, having written and published a book myself I have a new appreciation for this day, and all that it means. Promoting books is a really good thing and not just for children! We need to buy books, read them, and appreciate them.

I was tempted to find a character costume and dress up for you today, but instead I have decided to celebrate some of the books that I have recently discovered and to recommend them to you. I now know that, as an author, any shout out you can get is gratefully received!

So if you are looking for a good book, here are my suggestions:

For children :      The Treasure Man by Joy Vee                                   

A beautiful, simply told tale that teaches powerful truth. This is a must read for children and parents, and anyone wanting to know more about how God feels about them, and what it means to hear His voice.

For teenagers and Young Adults:               Walled City by Maressa Mortimer

A young man embarks on a perilous mission into a closed dystopian society, in order to bring them a message of hope. Fans of fantasy will love this, and it has a great missional message.

For an easy read:     

Miss, What does Incomprehensible Mean by Fran Hill                                

The Diary of Isabella M Smugge by Ruth Leigh

Both these books are laugh aloud funny but also deal with real – life issues and emotions. Fran draws on her own experience to write a diary style year- in- the- life of a menopausal English teacher.

Ruth introduces us to the world of the modern, perfectly portrayed social media influencer, whose real life is nothing but. Both books I read in 48 hours and were hard to put down.

For lovers of crime thrillers:                         Killers Countdown by Wendy H Jones

Introduces us to DI Shona Mackenzie and her murder squad team, solving bizarre and unusual murders set against the backdrop of the City of Dundee. Great characters and good story lines, this is the first in a series of six books, and I’m currently devouring the fourth.

And if you like historic fiction, especially a story with a strong redemptive message… there is always my little book!

You can order your own signed pre-publication copy of The Healing now at now.

You can also sign up to receive my newsletter, with sneak previews of the story, and special offers, on the website. If you enjoyed reading this blog please consider following me.

The Healing will be officially published by Instant Apostle on 19th March 2021.


Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Medieval Fiction, New Author

D- DAY! or ‘A newbies adventures in publishing land’… Part 10


Very early in the morning of June 6th 1944 thousands of brave men and women prepared to play their part in a day that would eventually turn the tide of the war in Europe. From what I have read, they faced this day with mixed feelings. Many were actually excited, relieved that the day had come at last, full of anticipation, trained and ready to do their bit. Mixed with that of course the apprehension, the sheer terror, the fear of the unknown, and inevitably the resignation that they might not survive.

Today is my D- Day of sorts. My Delivery Day. It would be insensitive to compare myself in any way to our heroic predecessors, but I admit to experiencing a measure of all the emotions they must have gone through. The last few days, weeks, months, have all built up to this point, and my feelings have ridden the highs and lows of the choppy voyage. Today my books arrive. It is delivery day. No going back. Today I get to hold the book, look at it lovingly, feel it, caress it, smell it (yes, Ruth Leigh, I will smell it!) gaze at wonder at this miracle of a book baby, and it will be REAL. I will finally be able to say ‘I am a published author of adult fiction. Look my name is on the book!’

I am overwhelmingly excited, have been for a long time, and it has absolutely reached it’s peak today. Anticipation of this day has been a constant drain on my emotional energy, and I am incredibly relieved that it has finally come! I am ready for it. The mailing lists, the packaging, address labels, fancy wrappings, perfectly designed postcards. We are ready, poised, our hands ready to wrap, and our car ready to deliver! But I am also ever so slightly terrified too, because today marks the day when my precious baby of a book will actually go out to the far flung corners of the nation (yes, even Scotland!) and people will actually be able to READ it. It is so unsettling, waiting to know if what you have written is going to be considered worthy of the price paid for it. Whether it really is good enough to sit squarely on a bookshelf among other real books. Whether it will bless and encourage, or frustrate and bore. This is the fear of the unknown, and I will take a deep breath with every padded envelope I fill, and pray that the book wings it’s way into the hands of someone who will love it. Or who needs to read it. There is also resignation. I can’t go back now. I have done it. I have written a book, had it published, sold and sent out copies. Whether it is loved or whether it is hated is out of my control. And I will survive. Exhausted maybe, but very much alive!

This day might well mark a turning point in my life, only God knows that, but it certainly feels significant. And I intend to enjoy every moment of it, as I wait and see what might come next. Thank you for being my ally.

You can order your own signed pre-publication copy of The Healing now at three weeks before the booksellers have it.

You can also sign up to receive my newsletter, with sneak previews of the story, and special offers, on the website. If you enjoyed reading this blog please consider following me.

The Healing will be officially published by Instant Apostle on 19th March 2021.

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Medieval Fiction, New Author

‘A newbies adventures in publishing land’… Part 9


Today is the day that I was supposed to be holding the long awaited first printed hard copy of my book The Healing in my hands. In fact several boxes of copies of the book were due to be delivered to my doorstep today – until I got the disappointing news last week that due to the Suffolk snow, there would be another week to wait. It’s a wild, wet, windy day here in North Wales, so probably a good thing that the books aren’t coming. I do have great respect for all postal workers and couriers, especially on days like this.

I’ll admit to feeling a bit flat this week, the excitement and anticipation ebbing somewhat. But when people worldwide are suffering so much loss and hardship, what is the delay of a few (hundred) books, in the bigger scheme of things? So today I am choosing to focus on the positives about this journey in publishing, and there are so, so many. A huge thing that I am becoming more and more thankful for is the people this adventure has brought into my life.

In all the best adventure stories, the hero or heroine might be crucial to the success of the mission, but not without the help of others. The Lord of the Rings would not be so magnificent a story, if Frodo did not have his Samwise, and Gandulf, and the fellowship of the ring, and the elves, dwarves, riders, trees… you get my point!

 Now, I’m no hobbit, although I do have quite big feet (not hairy ones!) but like Frodo, I have realised that my adventure is not just about me, and I really can’t do to this on my own. I have those in my life like Samwise – special close friends, family, those who have known and loved me a long time, and have been so good at encouraging me, praying for me, giving me a kick when I’ve needed it, sticking with me. I have also discovered a whole new world of writer friends, through the Association of Christian Writers, History Writers and just by reaching out to other authors in the same boat as me. One of those new friends emailed me when she heard my books had been delayed and suggested a zoom call to commiserate and pray together. So lovely! These things make this adventure so much richer and are priceless to me. Wordy chats, FABCHOW, Instagram pods – if these sound like a foreign language, they would have been to me once – now they are just evidence of a growing number (not quite hoards, but almost) of people who are wanting to be involved in my journey. Add to that the wonderful people at Instant Apostle, who have made this adventure possible, my social media followers, and you precious ones who have signed up to my email newsletter! I am truly surrounded by lots of wonderful, genuinely lovely, people.

So THANK YOU – to all of you, whatever role you have taken in this adventure. Thank you for the messages, texts, zoom chats, calls, prayers, invitations to share. Thank you especially if you have believed in me enough to already pre-order a copy of the illusive book! And thank you God, who started me out on this amazing adventure and has stayed close every step of the way. I could not have got this far without you – all.

The Healing will be published by Instant Apostle on 19th March. You can pre-order your own signed copy now at, and these will be available (hopefully!) from 26th February. You can also sign up to receive my newsletter, sneak previews of the story, and special offers on the website. If you enjoyed reading this blog please consider following me. Elves, dwarves, hobbits, wizards – all welcome!

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Medieval Fiction, New Author


Have you ever found yourself signing up to something you didn’t intend to? Maybe to take part in some ridiculously crazy charity fundraiser? Of to run or host an event? Or to sit on some committee or other? Often we find ourselves unintentionally committing ourselves to things we later regret. Perhaps we were ‘volunteered’ by a well meaning friend, or felt bad because no-one else was offering, or perhaps we just couldn’t find the words to say ‘no’. A simple word, but one very many of us have difficulty enunciating.

I once found myself signing up to cater for a friend’s wedding reception. I have no experience in professional catering, nor am I an events planner. But I do have organisational skills and I can delegate quite effectively. This particular wedding reception was provided by our church and actually involved getting others to sign up to provide dishes for a buffet (this was before the days of hygiene certificates). It also involved setting up the hall, laying the tables and decorating them, providing staff to wait on tables, and clearing up afterwards. It went well enough, and everyone helped magnificently, but it was still an extremely stressful and exhausting day. I swore I would never do it again. A year later, I was asked by another friend to organise his wedding reception along similar lines… and found I could not say no… except when he asked if his guests, dressed in all their wedding finery, could be served Spaghetti Bolognese!

I have great admiration for those men and women who signed up to follow Jesus. What did they actually know about Him when He called them? What was it that made them leave their homes, families, and jobs to wander from one end of the country to the other with Him? Was what they experienced with Him, the things they heard Him teach, the miracles they witnessed, the amazing things they did themselves under His anointing, worth all that it would cost  them – loss of security, wealth, reputation and for many of them, ultimately their lives. I think they would have said yes! It was worth it all, just to be with Him, to journey with Him. Witnessing His resurrection, and His ascension. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that He was their Messiah, their Saviour, their King. And Jesus called them because He needed them, to learn from Him, but also to be His friends.

Today, I want to ask you to consider signing up to something. I am not going to bully you, or blackmail you, and it won’t cost you anything. You won’t have to leave your home or your security, nor will you be overwhelmed by the stress of the commitment you have made. What you will do, is find yourself part of my journey. I would love you to become a follower of mine! I’m not anyone special, but I do need the support of my friends as I navigate this new journey of becoming a writer. If you want to travel with me I would like to invite you to visit my website, and sign up to receive my newsletter. I have set this up so that my team of subscribers will be the first to hear updates about my book and my writing, and the first to have access to special offers. To celebrate the launch of my book, when my subscriber list hits 25, I will select a subscriber randomly to receive a free signed copy of The Healing. In the first few emails you receive from me you will also receive exclusive sneak previews of extracts from the book, to whet your appetite. You will receive regular emails but not so that they overwhelm you; if you regret signing up – you can just unsubscribe!

So can I ask you? Please Sign up, Sign up! 😊

Books, Christian Writer, Faith, Medieval Fiction, New Author

‘A newbie’s adventures in publishing land’….Part 2

The Contract

Sending off your manuscript is like standing at the school gate, watching the child you have brought into the world, nurtured and protected, wander away from you towards the schoolroom, to the start of a life no longer fully dependant on you. You have to let go, but it is with a mixture of emotions; pride and joy, yes, but tinged with loss and anxiety. Will they be ok? Will I be ok? A work written from your own heart is a piece of you, and it is a weird thing, giving your ‘child’ into the hands of strangers, knowing that it might come back to you changed. It took a great deal of determination to actually press the send button on that particular email to the publisher. But then it was gone, and I was left adrift slightly. Wandering around aimlessly for the next few days, wondering what to do with myself (apart from the housework, cooking and ironing, of course, which never miraculously disappeared, unfortunately).

But I needn’t have worried. My child was cherished and taken good care of. I received a reply in little over a week after sending the manuscript in. ‘We feel that the manuscript has real potential, and we would be delighted to offer you a contract for publication…’

What?! No! Really? I must have read that email three times, before shouting up to my husband in his home office – ‘I think I might have been offered a publishing contract!’ I don’t know what I expected to feel. I thought I would be overjoyed, elated, dance around the room happy. Instead, I felt suddenly overwhelmed and terrified, and confused, and perhaps ever so slightly excited. And then just thankful! As I acknowledged to God, that this was His doing, completely, and I would submit to His will, with a growing amazement at His goodness to me.

A few phone calls later, with a very patient and understanding editor, and the contract was signed. My dearest friend witnessed my signature. ‘Look,’ she said…’under where you have to sign is the title ‘Author’. You are a real author now!’ She was so excited, but it still hadn’t quite sunk in for me…