This is my favourite page. It’s about fun characters and thought-provoking locations. The greatest compliment I receive is that a reader added a place to their bucket list because they fell in love with it in one of my novels.
Below, you’ll find a little bit about each story, the inspiration behind it, and a quote from it. I hope you discover your ‘home’ among the passport pages.
Thanks for travelling with me.
What’s a heart to do when family and home are continents apart?
Sam knows exactly where she wants to spend her life: Exmoor, England. Its heather-clad moors and stunningly beautiful coastline own her heart and soul. She imagines no better existence than the life she leads with Dunster—her handsome and loyal, though always hungry, Exmoor pony. Why would she ever leave?
One transatlantic relocation, two decades, and an empty nest later, Sam desperately needs an answer to that question. An unexpected request from her American husband awakens the crushing realisation she may be living the wrong life in the wrong country. Her apprehension is compounded by the discovery of an ancient Cornish word: hireth. Its meaning—a deep yearning for home with a sense of loss—sends her tumbling through the longitudinal cracks of an expat life, crash-landing in national-identity-crisis territory. Second-guessing decisions made years earlier, she must determine where her heart truly resides. But will the answer force her to choose between her husband and her homeland?
Told with humour, deep reverence for England, and compassion for the human-equine bond, Dunster’s Calling speaks to world travellers and homebodies alike of the love between a girl and her pony, and a woman and the country she left behind.
Inspiration for the book
Dunster’s Calling was my attempt to cure my own bout of hireth—a Cornish word meaning homesickness for a home you cannot go back to, maybe a home that never was. As I contemplate returning to England after nearly thirty years in the United States, Dunster encouraged me to look deeper into what I thought I was returning to. The revelations left me both laughing out loud at long-forgotten memories and sobbing into my keyboard at all I’d missed during my time away. Writing this novel was a more emotional journey than I’d originally planned to take.
Quote from Dunster’s Calling
‘The little colt with a mealie muzzle and soft eyes stared at Sam, unblinking. They’d met before. Sam’s presence was acknowledged with the same interest as a breeze or a view or a starry night, and she knew what it was to be a truly naturalized citizen.’
MORE OR LESS ANNIE
My second novel, MORE OR LESS ANNIE, is due for release in 2019. Look for the book cover reveal soon!
Discovering home isn’t home and you aren’t you is no walk on the beach.
Life’s turned out just as Annie expected. Unfortunately. Low self-esteem, abandonment issues and a twenty-year-old marriage that’s going nowhere trap her in a dull existence. Browsing luxury travel websites is her only pleasure but escape from her gossipy English village seems nothing more than an internet reverie. That is, until Luck launches a new window and whisks her away to Casa Luna.
Taylor controls everything about her penthouse Chicago life until scandal sends her tumbling down Luck’s corporate ladder. Unemployed, and unemployable, she packs her Louis Vuitton suitcases full of vengeance and heads to Central America. There, her former boss is rumoured to be setting up a new venture. If she’s going down, he’s going with her.
Annie and Taylor collide in the exotic waters of Costa Rica, where life becomes anything but a walk on the beach. Why has a tabloid reporter followed Annie to paradise? And what’s a fifty-year-old cold case got to do with it? As Annie’s past slides into shocking focus, Taylor smells opportunity. Annie has a decision to make: Give up control of her life once and for all ‒ or wrestle command from past demons.
Spectacular tropical beaches and luxury villas beckon as MORE OR LESS ANNIE sweeps the reader along on a journey of hope and self-discovery. Join Annie as she fights for a new identity ‒ one piña colada at a time.
Inspiration for the book
Anyone who’s been to Costa Rica will understand the choice of location for my second novel. It’s a beautiful country, eco-friendly, quiet and full of exotic plants and wildlife. It’s exactly the kind of place you’d go if you could go anywhere. Annie’s character came to me during a discussion about what I would do if I could do anything. We want to believe if money were no object, life’s problems would dissipate. Deep down we know better, and Annie finds this out in no uncertain terms when a windfall signals the beginning of a whole new set of problems. No matter where you go, your old baggage travels with you.
Quote from ‘MORE OR LESS ANNIE’
‘Annie stared at everything that should feel so strange: the flowers with huge waxy heads that would never last through an English frost, the speckled islands surrounded by shimmering skirts of azure and turquoise. None of this should make sense. Yet somewhere in her soul, it all settled like a handful of glitter thrown into still air. That soul had been looking for home since the day she’d been born into a false family on the wrong continent. A new beginning, yes, but with the promise of roots.’