Daffodils in Paperback

Just signed Daffodils off with www.feedaread.com for the paperback version.  Will have to check the first copy and then can offer it for sale. Somehow holding your own book in your hands is much more exciting than an ebook for me – and that\’s pretty exciting!  It will feel so good to hold the physical version and stare at it for a few hours until I convince myself it\’s real.

The Rose Trail

I am getting excited about my new story, #The Rose Trail. It is  a ghost story set against the backdrop of the Civil War but also in the present day.  There is humour and tragedy and the action takes place once again, in the county of Wiltshire that I know so well.
I\’ve posted the first few chapters on #www.youwrite.on.co.uk which is a website for peer review for burgeoning writers. The first review was favourable and I can feel the energy rising to write the remainder of the story.
I\’m deeply engrossed in an A level textbook on that period. It makes fascinating reading , not least because so much of our Parliamentary process is defined by the events that took place then.
It\’s going to be  a while, but The Rose Trail is on its way.


Latest review for Daffodils

I\’m thrilled, gratified, satisfied and generally chuffed to bits with this latest review. Yes, I\’m grateful for 5 stars but more than that, this reader really got what motivated me to write this story.  It was an ambitious aim – to show how country life in the depths of Wiltshire was irrevocably changed by this massive war. How no family, high or low born, was untouched. How life was tough for the working classes and how the gaps between them and their employers narrowed through the crisis caused by global conflict.  THis is an intelligent review by a thoughtful reader.

Here it is:

5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing story 20 April 2013

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

Daffodils is set in the time of World War 1. At the beginning, the heroine, Katy Beagle, attracts the attention of the son of the big house where she works as a maid. It seems the story will follow a well-trodden path from here but instead Charles goes off to war and Katy\’s childhood sweetheart, Jem, stands by her. They marry and have a daughter. I won\’t give away any more of the plot, suffice to say that life and the Great War have many bitter blows to deal Katy and Jem, as well as happy times.
Alex Martin has clearly done her research and she uses it skilfully. For me one of the great strengths of the novel is the way it brings out how at first the war seemed far removed from the concerns of the insular, parochial life of an English village in Edwardian days. As time went by, however, the juggernaut of war broke down the protective barriers of lives that had changed little in hundreds of years. It is also interesting to see how much the horrors and sacrifices of the war led the lower social orders to question and doubt the time-honoured authority of their \’betters\’. The scenes in France are particularly good in this respect.
I enjoyed The Twisted Vine, Alex Martin\’s previous romantic novel. In Daffodils, she has taken on a much more challenging subject and made a very good job of it. It will be interesting to see what she tackles next.

Kindred spirits connect across the world – Interview with Prue Batten

Meet my friend Alex from the grandeur of South Wales…


It was a real joy to meet up with Prue Batten.  Prue is a fantasy and historical fiction writer who lives in Tasmania, the island state of Australia. She and her husband farm a woolgrowing and cropping property southeast of Hobart. They farm merino sheep and produce a clip of the famous Australian superfine wool that is sought after in Europe and China. When she\’s not working with her husband in the paddocks and sheepyards, her less professional interests are embroidery which she calls her sanity saver, gardening, her dogs, boating, kayaking… in fact anything to do with the sea. A university graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Political Science and History and post graduate qualifications in librarianship, in a past life she was a TV and Radio researcher/presenter with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Currently working on the second in the Gisborne series, Book of Knights, Prue has four books published – three fantasies, all part of The Chronicles of Eirie and one historical fiction – the first in the Gisborne series, entitled Gisborne: Book of Pawns.


Highly commended in 2012 Golden Claddagh Book Awards earning honorary judging reviews.

Two people drawn by lust and a lost inheritance in 12th Century England
where status means power and survival depends on how the game is played.
Guy of Gisborne – a man of dark secrets accompanies Ysabel of Moncrieff – a woman of prominence, on a journey that rewrites history.

‘The storytelling is mesmeric and exact, taking the reader on a spellbinding ride of unpredictable twists and turns.’ John Hudspith.

Book Two Gisborne: Book of Knights to be published in May 2013.


Daffodils is selling steadily I\’m happy to report, despite my wobble over the blurb.

This is the version I\’ve finally settled on:

Daffodils follows the varying fortunes of three people through the turbulent time of the First World War, as Edwardian England’s rigid class structures crumble under its weight.  Katy is frustrated as a domestic servant and longs to escape.  Jem loves Katy but cannot have her.  Lionel, fresh from missionary work in India, is ambitious, arrogant and full of radical ideas.  War affects them all in very different ways and each pays a high price for the changes they are forced to make.


Comments welcome!

Now for the paperback…

new 5* review for Daffodils

This one came from the States:

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, April 1, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase(What\’s this?)

This review is from: Daffodils (Kindle Edition)

Just could not put it down. A wonderful story leaving me wanting to read more. I loved The Twisted Vine also, could not put that one down either , so now I am really, really, looking forward to her next.

Lost in France

Absence due to holiday in France. We booked this week off in February, hoping that some warmth and sunshine would buck us up. It was so cold the first night when we camped at the dockside that the gas bottle froze. We had no electricity so we froze too.  It stayed cold until yesterday (and I mean icy) when we had a storm with hailstones and violent winds that brought down tree branches.  We have one day left so now it\’s warming up a bit – the heady heights of double figured temperatures – yes about 12 degrees – wow.  The sky is still grey but there are hints of blue. Just hope the sea is smooth for tomorrow\’s ferry crossing!
Still the coffee is good and the food and we are staying next to a beautiful lake surrounded by well managed woodland and wildlife. The birdsong is amazing.  It has been very peaceful and a good rest.

Blurb writing

I have struggled and struggled to write the Blurb for Daffodils. It\’s not an easy book to encapsulate into a few crisp words and so far I have not yet hit on the right note.  WW1 was a big event and the story is ambitious. It seems at first to be a simple love triangle but aims to show how society changed and in doing so, became the springboard for the way we live today. Women\’s roles were reversed by necessity as so many men were killed in battle. Little villages like Upper and Lower Cheadle were devastated by the loss of a whole generation of young men and divided over conscientious objectors.

here\’s my latest effort:

Set in WW1 when Edwardian England’s stiff social structures were rent asunder, Daffodils follows three people through this turbulent time. Katy, frustrated as a domestic servant and longing to escape; Jem who loves Katy and cannot have her; and Lionel, fresh from missionary work in India, ambitious, arrogant and full of radical ideas. War affects them all and changes their lives forever.

Comments would be welcome.