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The Mrs MacKinnons cover

The Mrs MacKinnons

England, 1799

Major Matthew Southam returns from India, hoping to put the trauma of war behind him and forget his past. Instead, he finds a derelict estate and a family who wish he’d died abroad.

Charlotte MacKinnon married without love to avoid her father’s unpleasant choice of husband. Now a widow with a young son, she lives in a small Cotswold village with only the money she earns by her writing.

Matthew is haunted by his past, and Charlotte is fearful of her father’s renewed meddling in her future. After a disastrous first meeting, can they help each other find happiness at last?

Winner of a Discovered Diamonds Award, and a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award:


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Download book club discussion questions here (pdf):  The Mrs MacKinnons Book Club Questions


Review from Mary Kingswood’s blog

Excerpts (click heading for full review):

“…a beautiful slow-build romance, with the underlying theme that even grevious war injuries needn’t define the rest of your life. I loved the main characters, I loved their first kiss…”
“A great read, and highly recommended for anyone looking for something a little more meaty than the average frothy Regency. Five stars.”


The Marstone Series

Many of my stories will have some characters in common, although each will be stand-alone and the stories can be read in any order. The series is named after the 9th Earl of Marstone, who plays a part in all the stories, although in some cases the role is very minor.

The Mrs MacKinnons is part of the series, but there will be several books before it if you are reading chronologically. However Marstone plays only a very minor part in the plot of The Mrs MacKinnons, and the story can be enjoyed on its own. It was published first because it was ready first!

Sauce for the Gander

Book 1 of The Marstone Series, publishing late 2018 or early 2019

England 1777

William Stanlake, Viscount Wingrave, whiles away his time gambling and having affairs, thwarted in his wish to serve his country by his father’s control over his life. Then he is caught with someone else’s wife, and her enraged husband challenges him to a duel

Constance Charters is an unwanted daughter, relegated to keeping house for her impoverished but socially ambitious father. She doesn’t want a title—just a husband who will respect, and love, her for herself. When the Earl of Marstone wants a bride at short notice for his errant son, her father eagerly accepts the match.

Both are coerced into the marriage. Can they learn to get on with each other and forge the lives they want for themselves, or is Will’s wish for revenge on his father going to harm his wife as well?


Work in progress – Development editor comments put in, and now with critique partners (and ‘alpha’ readers) for fine tuning. Waiting for feedback before doing draft 3.

Bella’s Choice

(working title) Book 2 of The Marstone Series, publishing early 2019

England 1784

This one is just an idea at the moment, so I’m not even working on draft 1!

Playing with Fire

Book 3 of The Marstone Series, publishing late 2019

France 1793

Phoebe Deane is the poor relation in the Calvac household, unwillingly accompanying her aunt and cousin on a journey into revolutionary France. Now France has declared war on England, they need to get home as soon as they can. Her aunt’s imperious manner almost gets them arrested, but a fellow traveller comes to their aid.

Alex works alone and uses many names. An impulse leads him to help the red-head and her family, but can he get them to the coast without endangering himself and his mission?

The story of a young woman using her wits and courage, gaining the confidence to choose the life she wants for herself.


This one is almost ready, but won’t be published until Sauce for the Gander and a possible follow up novel or novella are ready. However if you can’t wait, and fancy being a beta reader* for it, get in touch via my contact page.

*Beta readers read manuscripts before they are finalised. In the case of Playing with Fire, you would be getting a near-final version of the story, but it will not have been copyedited, so there may be some typos and other small errors. The feedback I’d like can be anything from whether or not you liked it, to reactions on each chapter. Particularly helpful are comments about any parts of the plot you did not understand (so I can explain it better), inconsistencies, etc. What you don’t need to do is to check my spelling and grammar – someone will do that at the next stage.