Thursday, November 22, 2012


Do all ex-girlfriends have to be nasty? I was wondering about that while writing my latest novel.
I don't think it's necessary. In Tilly's Trials my hero has a new girlfriend. She is, I think, justified in being very wary of Marsh's ex-wife. She isn't popular with his family but that is to do more with them realizing that she isn't right for him. I don't think she is particularly nasty just human,.we have all been there I'm sure!

My next book out has a real humdinger of a love rival. She is a genuine nasty piece of work.I loved thinking up the tricks she got up to. However, was that also her nature? Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca was an unpleasant woman, her malign presence, even though she is dead, haunts this novel, she is kept alive by the equally horrid Mrs Danvers. These women can really take over a novel. Care is needed to sometimes reign them in.

Is my rival for Lander's affections justified in being an arch manipulator? Of course not. Certainly she could be hurt and upset but she takes it much further. She is selfish and unkind and not only to my heroine but to her daughter as well. There is no excuse for her behaviour.

However, it can be tedious if all our love rivals are downright wicked. In Beloved Deceiver the hero's ex-girlfriend has a generous nature.At first I was nervous about how it would work but fortunately the novel was well received and I think everyone liked Fabia. Of course even Fabia hadn't to outshine the heroine, or why else would Mars Collingwood choose Flora?  That was not difficult to do. I won't tell  you how I did it, find out yourself!!

On the whole though my love rivals have not been particularly nice. Sometimes it is not that they are still in love with the hero. Sometimes they just can't help themselves, like Maddy's twin sister Milly, in Eden's Child. Upbringing, lifestyle choice and an inbred instability make it impossible for Milly to be anything other than malign.

Let's face it really bad girls are fun to write about - rather more enjoyable than bad men - but that's only my opinion  What do you think?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Saddest Month

T S Eliot wrote that "April is the saddest month" I don't understand why he did that. For me April is new beginnings, it is early Spring, all around new life is coming forth. There are daffodils along the hedgerows and by the Lakes in the magical Lake District. A primrose peeps up in a wood. Buds are on the trees. It can be cold and blowy, it is possible for snow to descend but there is never anything sad about April for me. Of course there is Easter and Good Friday if you are a Christian, and that is a very sad day but there is Easter Day with the promise of life and all good things.

For me the saddest month is November. It has nothing to do with dark nights (although they can really make you feel miserable) or the fact that the leaves have all but left the trees and lie in soggy piles on pavements. No, it is none of these. I think of the 11th November. The day the Armistice was signed. A recent television programme related the little known fact that because the signing was at 11.00 a.m. young men were still being killed on that day. Stupid generals were insisting their men still fought on. I think the last soldier to die was a young American at around 11.00 a.m.

November makes me feel so sad, it always has. I think of my grandfather and other lads like him fighting in a war that brought them nothing. Remembrance of the First World War should never be forgotten, even though it is for me the reason that November is the "saddest month."

I remember going to Ypres and to the daily ceremony at the Menin Gate. There were lots of school children there, chatting in the way they do and I thought oh what a shame they don't realise the significance. Me of little faith - the moment the Fire Brigade band came they fell silent and respectful. They were wonderful.

Let's think of all service personnel this month. We send them to war zones I never hear them complain. In the words of a cheerful song "Bless 'em All."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

John Lindermuth

Hi John Lindermuth is visiting us today - I am sure you will enjoy his
What is the working title of your book?
A Burning Desire

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I think it may have originated with hearing a song on the radio.
What genre does your book fall under?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Whoa! Let’s get the book published first.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
An enemy from the past stalks a detective and his lover.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully, by the publisher of previous books in the series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Six to eight months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d prefer not to be seen as derivative. If you like mysteries set in a small-town environment, centered on character and plot twists, you might like my stories.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Sticks Hetrick, my main character, who is always jiggling more ideas.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
In addition to the mystery element, readers of romance might be interested in the growing relationships of Sticks and Anita and Sticks’ protégés Flora and Harry.
I was tagged by:
Margaret Blake.
I tag: [3 other published writers ]

Practice To Deceive (August 2012), Whiskey Creek Press
The Limping Dog (March 2012), Whiskey Creek Press
Fallen From Grace (March 2011), Wild Oak

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My writer friend Beth Elliot sent me these very interesting questions, so rather than plot a blog this month, I thought I would answer them here. It's much more fun.
 What is the working title of your book?
I have just completed a book and have had it accepted called Under a Grecian Moon.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was sitting looking out of my window on a cold, wet, miserable Tuesday morning. I wished I was somewhere warm and sunny and there you go - I thought I will take myself to a Greek island, and what do you know it all kicked off.

What genre does your book fall under?
Romance with a little mystery but not a romantic suspense.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The man would be difficult, he is in my head and does not remind me of anyone I have ever seen or known. Yes, he is that gorgeous. I'd like to play the heroine - yes, I know I am too old, but Judy Dench when she was young would be perfect. However, I do like Rachel Stirling.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Their lives were full of secrets and lies.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book will be published by Whiskey Creek Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I never write drafts. My mind doesn't work that way, I never know how things are going to work out. I just go with it and plot as I go along. I could not have a draft and then write around it, it would be too technical for me, but I do know it works for lots of people, just not me.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I like to think it's unique.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I said in the beginning, I wanted to be somewhere warm and sunny so I took myself off to this wonderful island. While I was there I met this gorgeous Greek but there had to be so many complications!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The heroine, she is strong and gutsy. She has had to learn to hide her feelings.

I was tagged by: BETH ELLIOT.

I tagged John Lindermuth.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

King Richard the Third

Much excitement is being generated at the moment. There is an archaeological dig in the town of Leicester - they are looking for the body of King Richard, who was killed at nearby Bosworth Field. The last English King to die in battle.

We admirers of the King are very excited about this. Could our beloved Richard at last be given a burial he so rightly deserves. Of course Tudor propaganda keeps sneaking in. Talk of a "hunchback" etc. which just was not true. Even if those who believe it speak of Richard being the creature created by Shakespeare, they must concede that if he were like that, how come he was known to be so fearsome in battle? It does not make sense.

Although the heinous crime of his being responsible for the murder of his nephews is wildly thought to be true, there is much evidence to show that he was not indeed responsible for this crime. Lots of counter evidence can be found with careful research. I loved Josephine Tey's novel "The Daughter of Time, which was where I first discovered a different Richard from Shakespeare's. That was what inspired me to look into this very enigmatic man, and I don't mind admitting, to fall a little in love with him.

Richard inspired my first novel and a later one, I have much to thank Richard for - and of course Josephine Tey too for introducing me to the truth.

Dangerous Enchantment available on kindle and in print from and www.whiskey creek press.
A Sprig of Broom available on kindle at and in libraries in hardback print.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back Again

I am back in circulation now, coming out of a nasty bout of shingles which left me unable to do very much. It's great to feel that my brain is ticking over again. There is nothing worse than having to sit around reading the newspapers, listening to the radio and watching television when you know that you want to be doing something else. You might think it would be good to have little distraction and therefore be able to plot the next novel but even this seemed to be impossible. I felt like a blob and looked pretty disgusting too. Ah well, the end is nigh as they say and today the sun is shining, I feel quite cheered. I also received a super review for Tilly's Trial - available at Just a little excerpt to wet your appetite : An emotion-packed tale, TILLY’S TRIALS, the latest novel by talented author Margaret Blake, is a poignant contemporary romance dealing with secrets, misunderstandings and second chances. Once I started reading this story, I became so absorbed in it that I found myself reading late into the night to see how it would turn out. Although Marsh and Tilly fight their feelings for each other due to problems and misunderstandings from their past, they soon find the fight futile. The characters are well-drawn and their problems are believable. I could not help rooting for them to reunite. With humor, clever banter, danger, PTSD, counseling, romance and true love, this story is captivating. I highly recommend this wonderful story and look forward to reading more of Ms. Blake’s works! Romance Junkies Review Cheers folk - and remember, have a lovely day!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tilly's Trials

I really like to try to ring the changes with romantic novels. However, it is difficult. After all A loves B - eventually - how do you make that different? Conflict.It's a conflict that has to be resolved and you can delve into your mind and come up with different kinds of conflict. It can be a struggle sometimes, however sometimes it just comes to you. Coming up with an idea of conflict for Tilly's Trials was very easy. Marsh and Tilly had been in love previously, they had even married but the marriage failed. Tilly puts down the failure to Marsh's alleged misbehavior with the hot and sexy Mariel Hopkins but wasn't Tilly to blame too? Oh yes, and until Tilly realizes that, the two are never going to get together. Lots of my readers have said how much they like Marsh. Good. That's what we aim to do, I could not have my main man disliked by the readers, and if I am not in love with him too, how can I expect any reader to fall for him as well. Falling out all the time can get a tad tedious, don't you think? So you can't be too heavy handed with the conflict, if a couple are squabbling throughout the book I would think it would be very boring. But sometimes it is like walking a tightrope. Sure they must have disagreements but agreements too. It helped me that Marsh and Tilly had had a past. Tilly had a huge crush on Marsh when they were at school. He was only two years ahead of her but he was known as the coolest kid in the school. But Tilly had a past too and a not very pleasant one, she has to find her way through that before
ever finding lasting happiness with Marsh. Put that into the pot, as well as running a business and I think you have a good brew. Why not sit down, put up your feet, pour that cup of tea and just...well you know what you have to do. Tilly's Trials available from Details on my website -

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Welcome to Pauline Holyoak.

Today I am happy to give over the blog to the wonderful writer Pauline Holyoak. I am sure you will all make her feel very welcome.
About me - I grew in Southeast England, in a coal mining village lovingly nicknamed, “The place that time forgot.” Go to my website, click on ‘Articles’ and find out why. I immigrated to Canada when I was 21 in search of adventure and a new life. I currently live in Alberta with my sports crazy husband, adorable sheltie dog and cantankerous ginger cat. I am the proud mother of two grown children and one grandchild on the way. Yay! About my trilogy - Merryweather Lodge, was inspired by my own experiences in a remote and mysterious little cottage near Stonehenge. This cottage was called Scotland Lodge and belonged to my aunt and uncle. We would spend our summer holidays there when I was a child. It was my fairytale kingdom but it had a sinister twist. The memories of my summers at Scotland Lodge stayed with me, as a sort of nagging unsolved mystery all my life. A few years ago I revisited my childhood wonderland and was lead to concocting this story and writing this trilogy. This wonderland and my childhood fantasies were the catalyst for my writing career and the inspiration for my trilogy. The first book in my Merryweather Lodge trilogy Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge, was the Readers Favorite 2011 Silver Award Winner for paranormal fiction. Book two, Merryweather Lodge – Malevolent Spirit, is a Readers Favorite finalist. Winners will be announced in September. I have also written two children’s books and had twenty five articles published. For aspiring novelists. A novel is a story about people; it’s as simple as that. It has a beginning, middle, an end, and a whole lot of conflict in between. The author creates the people, involves them in the conflict, and justifies their reason for being there.Writing a successful novel depends on four things –a little talent, lots of determination, a vivid imagination and skill. No one can teach you the first three but skill is something you ‘can’ learn. The average reader demands several things of a novel – a strong plot, action, well developed and colorful characters, believable character motivation, a well defined back ground, a strong style that brings vivid images to mind, and good grammar. Readers want to be entertained and if you can put emotion, dreams, and desire on paper, you ‘can’ write a novel. Writing a trilogy or series is not an easy task. You have to keep your story line alive, long enough, to warrant three or more full length novels, and make sure that your characters do not perish from exhaustion, before they arrive at their destination. Each book must stand alone for readers who haven’t followed the previous books yet and you can’t bore those who have, with repetitive details of earlier events. You have to make your first book so compelling, that your readers will be anxious for the next one, and get the second one finished, published and out there, while the first one is still fresh in their minds….Writing a trilogy or series does have it’s advantages though. One already knows the characters, has done the research, established tone, point of view and motivation. ‘And’ if your first book is successful it’s almost a guarantee that your publisher will accept your next one. Find your niche, find your genre and write the sort of book ‘you’ want to read. Rejections - I have leaned that rejections, are part of the writing life, how to cope with them and how to move on. At first they were like nagging little gremlins, suggesting that I didn’t measure up. I had to learn how to distinguish myself from my work, to set up boundaries between myself and my creation. My writing was like a child to me, but like my own children, I had to send it out into the world to succeed or fail on its own merit. We all get rejections, JK Rowling’s received 14 rejections before finding a publisher for Harry Potter. I wonder what ‘their’ thinking now? Steven King first book Carrie was tuned down 31 times, it took him ten years to get it published. And look at him now. Perseverance, patience, and bold determination are what most published authors have in common. Excerpt from: Merryweather Lodge – Malevolent Spirit I scampered up the stairs, guided by the light from the half-opened kitchen door. Just before I reached for the door, it closed suddenly - as if someone had shoved it. My breath caught in my throat. My fear exploded into panic. “Help! Auntie Em!” I shoved the pendant into my pocket and twisted the brass handle. It wouldn’t budge. I pounded on the door. “Auntie Em! Auntie Em. Please!” The blackness was closing in on me, choking me with its foreboding grip. I couldn’t breathe. I stood, perfectly still, too afraid to turn around, my hand throbbing from beating on the rough wood. Just breathe and relax Emily. She’ll come looking for you soon. Unless…. No! That’s unthinkable. “Meow! Meow!” “What is it Winston? What’s wrong?” The cat growled and then let out a harrowing shrill. Something touched my arm. I dropped the bottles grabbed the pendant out of my pocket, put it up to my lips and prayed.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tilly's Trials

My new novel Tilly's Trials is published this week ( initially as an ebook but shortly into paperback. TT is what I would like to call an old fashioned romance but it does have a twist. I thought long and hard about this novel because I was writing about a fairly sensitive issue - and no I am not going to tell you here what that is! Tilly has been divorced from her husband Marsh Masterson for some time. They meet again when, after part inheriting her mother's chain of tea shops, Tilly's father invites Marsh to come in and run things. A definite storm in a teacup. Marsh a working class boy has done really well becoming a successful business man so it isn't exactly a bad idea. However, Tilly is furious. The scene is set for many a confrontation. And really, does Tilly's father not realise this, or has he his own agenda? Perhaps too that agenda has nothing to do with hoping that Tilly and Marsh will get together again. I loved writing about Tilly and Marsh, I really liked them both and Marsh is the kind of man any girl would like to meet - believe me! Try it and see if I'm wrong.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review for The Longest Pleasure

Review The Longest Pleasure I have received the following review from Romance Junkies and just had to share it with you. "A thrilling tale, THE LONGEST PLEASURE, an exciting romantic suspense by gifted author Margaret Blake, will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat and eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next. I read this story in one sitting, unable to put it down. At first, Viola has trouble trusting Jed, afraid that he may turn out to be like Vic. After all, Vic had tenderly wooed her too in the beginning of their relationship. But before long, Viola sees that Jed is nothing like Vic and the sparks begin to fly. The chemistry between the two is combustible, and not even well meaning family meddlers can keep them apart. Brimming with emotions, danger, murder, deceit, steamy situations and romance, this is a story that you will still be thinking about long after the last page is read. I highly recommend THE LONGEST PLEASURE and look forward to reading more of Ms. Blake’s works. Do not miss it! " Cheers, Margaret.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Welcome to John Lindermuth

John is an acclaimed writer of historical novels and thrillers, also finding time to write intriguing short stories that always have a surprising twist in the tale. He certainly has been prolific and successful and I am so pleased to have him as my guest this week. I do hope that many of you will stop by and say hi to John, as well as take up his books, you will not be disappointed, I promise.

Hello Margaret. Thank you for this opportunity to tell readers about my latest novel, The Limping Dog. This is my 10th, and the sixth with our mutual publisher, Whiskey Creek Press.

Unlike my other novels, all of which have been set in Pennsylvania, The Limping Dog takes place on the rugged and beautiful New England coast. The setting was inspired by a journey I made some years ago to the wonderful Cape Ann region of Massachusetts.

Delia “Dee” Cutter, a reporter, comes home after a failed romance to find her father accused of having stolen the secret to an innovative computer system. Gavin Cutter, an eccentric artist, has no interest in computers and the situation might have been laughable if not for a series of mysterious events.

Cutter had been among a small group of witnesses to the crash of a sailing ship onto a reef. The first aboard the wreck, he rescued a dog—the only living creature on the vessel. Ron Myers, wealthy owner of a growing computer firm, and the crew were gone without a trace.

Myers is alleged to have developed a radical new microprocessor system. Some believe it lost with its creator. Others believe it exists and have devious plans to profit from the invention.

When TJ Flood, an insurance investigator and former policeman with a hidden past, questions Cutter and other witnesses he discovers a sheriff’s deputy denies knowledge of a woman the others say was also present. Dee is attracted to Flood and they team up to investigate.

Flood watched her, ignoring his own food. The sun coming through the windows behind him made a glowing aura around her. Despite the delicious aroma of the food, Flood was oblivious to hunger, the sight of her all the sustenance he desired for the moment.
Noticing, she blushed. “Aren’t you going to eat?” she asked, putting a napkin to her lips.
A clock gonged eight somewhere in another room
Embarrassed, Flood reached for his fork, mumbling, “Sorry. I didn’t mean to stare. I was just wondering…”
“I don’t know a thing about you.”
She touched him with one of those delightful smiles that told him his gauche behavior was forgiven. “What do you want to know?”
She laughed. “That’s a lot to ask over breakfast.”
It was his turn to smile. “You did invite me. And the day is young.”
“We were discussing business.”
“I hoped we might get beyond that.”
“Your eggs are getting cold,” she told him, then added, “We still might.”
Optimistic, Flood attacked his food.
“It is a lot of money,” Dee said after a moment. “Don’t you think it’s odd she’d offer all that money when it wasn’t even her dog?”
Flood nodded. “To us. I guess not to her. Like I said, she’s supposed to have a real soft spot for animals and people who treat them right.”
“Who is this Mrs. Myers anyway? What’s she like?”
“I’ve never met her. All I know is what my supervisor told me. She’s old money—a ton of it. From what I hear, her and her husband are—were—total opposites. They met in college. She was a latter-day flower child—peace, love and all that, including acid-tripping in her younger years. Her husband was the total nerd in school, a computer whiz.”
“Opposites attract, so they say.”
“Yeah. Anyway, her father, Nathaniel Haviland, approved of the match. Maybe he thought marriage to a suit and tie conservative would put her on an even keel. Whatever his reasons, Haviland put up the money for Ronald Myers—that’s the husband—to start his company. Myers Dynamics has become one of the biggest computer firms in New England. Sandra narrowed her eccentricities to animals and causes related to them. They had no kids but, from all reports, the marriage was otherwise normal.”
“Until the husband decides to go sailing and disappears with his crew. Sounds like a story to me.”
“I’m a reporter.”
“Ah, so I learn something about you. Where?”
“Never mind. Go on.”
“A small daily upstate. Come on, did she have him offed?”
“You’ve been watching too much television,” Flood said with a laugh. “For what? I told you, she had all the money. Daddy left her everything, including controlling interest in Ronald’s company.”
“Maybe he didn’t like that, or got tired of all her pets. Maybe he ran off with his mistress.”
“And took the crew along?” Flood shook his head. “There was no mistress as far as we know. His going sailing is puzzling, though.”
“How’s that?”
“The Sandra Haviland was the old man’s boat…”
“It was named for her?”
Flood shook his head. “Her mother. Nathaniel used to race it when he was young, practically lived aboard later. Ronald Myers, on the other hand, hated sailing. They say he got sea sick walking across a bridge.”
“Then there is something…”
“Strange? Yes. That he went sailing. Yes, that he and the crew disappeared into thin air. But not about Sandra Haviland Myers wanting to give your father the claim. There’s something else I didn’t get to explain to him last night.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What's in a Name?

My contemporary romantic suspense "The Longest Pleasure" is published now in print and e-book form. It had me musing about the hero and heroine. The heroine is the more intriguing as she starts off as Olivia and becomes Viola. Top marks for getting that I stole those names from one of my favourite Shakespearean plays "Twelfth Night" I love both women in that play, especially Viola who has to make a new life for herself. Not only that but she disguises herself as a boy too, making for a lot of confusion and fun. Viola in my novel has to make a new life for herself too. Originally she called herself Olivia because the Police had advised her that if she changes her name, change it to something that is familiar to her. It had me thinking about names and why we choose them. The late actress Beryl Reid always said she could not get into a character until she found the right shoes. I can sympathize with that. I can't write a word until I have the names of my main characters. Olivia/Viola was easy but my male character was a little more problematical.I wanted a manly name but something short and memorable too. I don't know where the name Jed came from. Is it short for Jedadiah? Who knows? I never have to get into that.Jud I know is short for George but what could Jed's full name be? The first correct answer can obtain an e-book copy of the novel. In the main I do like old fashioned names. I have a Saul and an Edward, and also Jesse. I am particularly fond of Jesse from A Poisoned Legacy, and similarly Saul from His Other Wife. Oh be truthful girl, I am fond of all my heroes, that's what they are heroes. Also I am fond of rather old fashioned names for my gals too. Girls like Belinda, Flora, Roxanne and Charlotte. It might be fun to try and match the names to the books - a visit to either or will give you the answer. Happy reading!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Longest Pleasure

The Longest Pleasure is due for release in March, and I so wanted to share the beautiful Nancy Donoghue cover with you. Nancy again captivates the essence of the story and I am so delighted with this. A friend and colleague, Paula Martin, was doing an interview the other day, one of the topics was titles and where they came from. It was affirming to see that Paula, like me when stuck for a title, reverts to quotations. I was really stuck on what I should call The Longest Pleasure, as it is a duel edged story. I went into my quotations book and came up with the perfect one - by Lord Byron, himself quite a rogue! "Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure. Men love in haste but they detest at leisure." Lord Byron.
It is so perfect as The Longest Pleasure is about love and hate and revenge. I am so happy that I found it. Considering what Paula had written about, I looked at my other titles and mused over when I had used quotes before. "Fortune's Folly" straight out of Romeo and Juliet and perfect for that book. However apart from a book I wrote years ago "Fond Deceiver" I realized that I had not actually used that many quotations. Coincidentally Paula revealed that she too had written a book some time ago called Fond Deceiver and dang it but she had found the same quote too. Great minds thinking alike. At the moment I am reading the proofs for The Longest Pleasure, it is serving to confirm to me that the title is more than perfect. Finding that quote was a stroke of luck!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

25th January 2012

This is a special day. It's Robert Burns' birthday. All over the world people celebrate this wonderful poet with a special supper. The menu always has haggis, and there is a toast to this simple but delicious dish. Its wonderful when someone reads "An Address to the Haggis" in a rip roaring Scottish accent. There are lots of other things to eat too and last but not least, there is the Immortal Memory, where someone will talk about Robert Burns.
This is my first year without a Burns supper to go to. Last year I went up to Scotland and stayed at a lovely hotel and enjoyed a Burns Supper and dance with lots of like-minded souls. It was wonderful. When John was here we used to have our own Burns Supper We had regular guests who came every year and we also invited two new people. These people only came once but it made each Burns Night different and special. I know that everyone enjoyed it.In our little house there was no room for "the dance" but there was lots of good, Scottish music and the food was wonderful, all prepared by John.
It was John's idea to have a Burns supper many, many years ago. He maintained that things went flat after Christmas. He loved Scottish dancing and used to be good at it too. His dad was in The Black Watch Scottish regiment, hence his love of all things Scottish. I had a closer connection to Scotland coming from a long line of MacLennan and MacDonald and McKechnie.
Burns deserves this remembrance, he was a brilliant poet, who can forget his wonderful poem A Man's a Man for All that which has such relevance today. He was a handsome devil too and a man for the lassies too. I visited his family home in Alloa what a tiny cottage it was and yet it is full of atmosphere. If you are ever visiting Scotland this is a place you should visit.
So for the sake of Auld Lang Syne have a toast to Rabbie Burns.He deserves his place in literature.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review at Amazon

I am conscious that I have not been keeping up with this blog.However, I was in Florida for Christmas and that is my good excuse. Basking in the warmth of that lovely Florida sun, but importantly, basking in the company of my family. The latter always the very best thing about my trip.

While I was away I was contacted by a reader who had read A Sprig of Broom and who had also been kind enough to put up a review on Amazon. Such a treat and one for which I am very grateful to AC and especially for the five stars. I thought I would share the review with you here.

In the meantime please let me with you all a very Happy New Year.

5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE VERY BEST IN THAT GENRE !!!, December 29, 2011
AC - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Sprig Of Broom (Kindle Edition)
One more time Margaret Blake delivers a powerful tale full of danger at every corner. The action takes place at the end of the civil war between two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York; one of them won. Now is a time of reckoning, there will be no mercy for traitors. In these very uncertain times the life of a man means nothing, and the life of a woman even less.

This is the story of a noble young woman, Lady Cecily Hadfield, courageous, strong but also willful; who like many other women at that time is only a little pawn on a big chessboard, where no matter what happens, men always win. Power and greed is their creed. Caught in the world of political ambition and intrigue she tries desperately to navigate on troubled water.

The new king "gives" her to a Welsh barbarian, Thomas Cadwallader, and she can do nothing about it. She is utterly powerless and quite alone, no one will come to her rescue. The only thing she can do is to stay true to herself no matter what. She will have to be the wife of that man, there is no way out of it. He will own her body but he will never own her mind and her soul, never! She sees this new king and her new husband as murderers and usurpers, nothing more, nothing less.

Cecily and Thomas clash at first and this is an understatement. She taunted him each and every day tirelessly. I was not sure at the beginning if I was going to like her or not, but on the other hand I could understand why she acted this way. All I can say is that Thomas's tolerance to his wife was pretty high but only up to a point! Behind his cold demeanor Thomas is a good person but his pride is often a hindrance.

Page after page something happens, there is no rest. Each time Cecily says something outrageous to her husband, he reacts of course and it is an unending spiral opened to anything. Tension is very high!

Cecily will learn the hard way that willfulness is never a solution, on the contrary it can be extremely dangerous.

Margaret Blake created captivating characters. She has become an expert at mixing fiction with history, each time craftily balanced. This book is an action-packed plot full of twists and turns. What a wonderful book.