Friday, August 29, 2014


Hi everyone,
My friday freebits is taken from my novel Falsely Accused.
Don't for get to check out the other authors' Friday Freebits


I’m going to see if they’ll let me speak with the surgeon,” Maryanne said.

“What’s the use, I’m going to die.” Libby started retching again.

“No you aren’t. Remember our pact. We will survive. Come on.” She took hold of the Irish girl’s hand. “Repeat after me. We will survive. We will survive.”

“Oh God, not feeling like this I won’t.”

“You will.”

Puddles of vomit squelched under Maryanne’s feet. The ship pitched and swayed even more dramatically, so as not to lose her footing, she grabbed on to the berths and edged along sideways. Fortunately, they were fairly close to the hatchway otherwise she never would have made it.

“Guard, are you there?” she yelled.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


For my Friday Freebits, I would like to present you with more of my historical romance novel, Falsely Accused.

Please check the other participants in the Friday Freebits at

I’m not hungry.”

“You soon will be. This is a feast compared to what you get on the prison hulks.” Libby pulled two coarse looking biscuits out of her pocket and Maryanne forced herself to nibble on one.

“Where did you get these from?” she asked the Irish girl.

“A friend.”


“I bought them, along with a few other things. You can buy extras if you’ve got coin in your pocket.” Libby gave a mirthless laugh. “I’ve got nothing left now; I’ve been here eight months.”

“Eight months, and you’re still waiting for a ship?” Maryanne wondered fearfully how long she would be able to survive in this dreadful, disease-ridden place.

“Yes, when my coin ran out, I bartered the only other thing I possessed. I mean to survive, no matter what I have to do.”

“I’ve got nothing to barter with. All I possess is this old rag I’m wearing.” Maryanne glanced down at the filthy black taffeta gown she had worn for weeks. No wonder she felt so dirty and degraded.

“I know. That’s why I felt sorry for you when they dumped you off here, you had absolutely nothing. Most of us carried something when we came in, even if it was just a bundle of rags.”


Thursday, August 14, 2014


Friday Freebits. Check out other Friday Freebits.


“Thou shall not commit adultery.”

The nausea rising up in Maryanne’s mouth soured her stomach as her father, the Reverend Silas Watson, pounded on the pulpit with a clenched fist.

“The evils of the flesh, the wantonness of women in a world tainted by debauchery. The time has come for us, the chosen of God, to purge and cleanse ourselves of such evil. Mark my words, the wrath of the Lord is upon us, and our day of reckoning is nigh,” he ranted.

Maryanne wanted to get up and denounce him as a fiend. Only the threat of what Fiona might have to endure later stopped her. There wasn’t a God. No God would allow such depravity to go unpunished.




Friday, August 1, 2014



For my Friday Freebits I thought I would give you the introduction to this special collection of 3 novels all set during World War 1, to mark the centenary of the start of this terrible conflict.

Stories of my family’s involvement in the 1st World War fired my interest, and after having access to a relative’s diary, it became a passion with me. I read as many books as I could about this terrible conflict then visited the battlefields in France and Belgium.

One of my relatives died of wounds in the military hospital in Rouen, France in 1917. He was a married man in his thirties, who felt duty bound to fight for the Empire. He left a wife and two small children behind. Another relative was only twenty one when he died in the Turkish campaign on Gallipoli in 1915. He was a young adventurer who wanted to see the world.

I wanted to write about what it would have been like for the wives and sweethearts of men like these.  How did they cope if their man came home wounded? Or if he didn’t come home at all? Could they find happiness a second time around?

To mark the centenary of the start of the 1st World War, I thought it an appropriate time to draw attention not only to the brave men who fought, but the loyal women who faced hardship and loss at home.

Red poppies growing in Flanders mud
Nurtured by a soldier’s blood.

 Please check out other Friday Freebits at Ginger Simpson's blog

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Hi everyone,
From my recently released novel, Falsely Accused from Books We Love.

Below decks, the fetid air smelt foul with the stench of excrement, dirty bodies and unwashed monthly rags. Through the dimness filtering out from a couple of lamps her frightened eyes noticed two tiers of berths, one on either side, large enough for perhaps half a dozen people to lie side by side. She judged the heights between decks to be eighteen inches or so higher than her five feet two inches. How could she bear it? Already the confined space closed ominously around her

“Here, Libby, I saved a place for you next to me.”

“Thanks, Bridget.” Libby pushed Maryanne toward the closest berth to the hatchway.

“We’ll get more air here,” Bridget went on, as they put down their pitiful bundle of belongings.

“Maryanne meet Bridget.” They exchanged greetings as Libby rattled on. “I’ve taken this young miss from the parsonage under my wing.”

“Ah, another of your lame ducks,” Bridget said in husky, not unpleasant tones.

“Except for getting more air, the back part is better, closer to the men. There are only a few planks separating us. Some women have already worked out a signal system for communication.”

“Now harlots,” a fat guard growled. “Your leg irons will stay on till we lift anchor, hatches will remain closed, too. If I got my way, I’d keep you filthy whores chained below decks for the whole voyage.”

Check out Ginger Simpsons blog to read other exciting snippets from participating authors in Friday Freebits

Thursday, July 17, 2014



Another short excerpt from my Books We Love, Historical Romance. Falsely Accused.

Maryanne lay down on the cold hard floor. It was horrible having to listen to hacking, consumptive coughs, and women fornicating in the darkness. Finally she slipped into an exhausted sleep.

“Wake up, we’re leaving.” Libby shook her vigorously.

“What!” She rubbed the sleep from her stinging, watery eyes. “Where to?”

“The docks. This is it, Maryanne, we’re on our way to Sydney Town.”

They were ordered to wash in a trough filled with cold, black water. There was only one piece of coarse, hard soap, and Maryanne quickly washed her hair and body. Fortunately, they were amongst the first, thanks to Libby elbowing and pushing them to the front.

They gave her a drab, brownish/grey gown, made from canvas in the prison sewing shop.

“Keep your other gown,” Libby instructed. “It is good quality, might be handy later on if you get a chance to wash it.”

How humiliating having to lift up her skirt and expose her bare ankles and legs so a ferret-faced turnkey could clamp fetters around her ankles. His vile comments made her cringe inwardly, but Libby’s silent warning forced her to stand still and endure the indignity without complaint. Finally, they were loaded into an open wagon in groups of ten, chained together like rabid dogs.


Thursday, July 10, 2014


Hi everyone,
My Friday Freebits is taken from my historical romance novel, Falsely Accused.

  Screams spewed from Maryanne’s mouth. Silas charged into the room and his backhander sent her sprawling at the foot of the bed.

“You killed her. Murderer,” she screamed the words out over and over.

Three vicious slaps administered in quick succession almost decapitated her, but she struggled upward and threw herself at him, fists and legs flailing.

Sarah entered the room brandishing a large kitchen knife. They struggled over it like starving animals fighting over the one prey. As Maryanne grabbed the point aimed at her face, she felt the blade slicing through her palm.

She twisted and turned trying to escape. Sarah suddenly gave a blood-curdling scream as the knife plunged into her shoulder. Silas lunged forward. He rained blows all over Maryanne’s face. Grabbing a handful of hair, he drove her head into the floor, again and again until she lost consciousness.




Thursday, July 3, 2014



Maryanne’s fingernails gouged into her palms as she sat on the hard wooden pew with her teeth clenched so tightly together her jaw ached. Even a dog should not have been left alone in such a distraught state, yet Silas Watson claimed to be a man of God.

At least once a week, their father found reason to beat them on their bare buttocks. His clawed, birdlike hands were as strong as those of a blacksmith as he ferociously wielded his cane.  Sarah stood there, watching it all, with that pious expression Maryanne loathed.

They must get away, but how? Could she perhaps get a position as a domestic? Slaving away in a London factory, living in some slum or even the workhouse had to be better than living in a quaint little village that nurtured such evil. As soon as Fiona recovered sufficiently, they would leave. I’ll do anything to get us away from here.

Maryanne, like a dutiful daughter, stood next to her father and Sarah while the congregation filed out of the church. Her heart felt so full of hatred and loathing, she wondered why it did not explode.


Thursday, June 26, 2014



“You no-name trollop.” Hazel Palmer’s strident tones ripped into Abby. “You tricked my son into marriage by getting pregnant. He never should have taken that posting to Australia.”

“Robbie and I loved each other,” Abby yelled back.

“Stop this shouting.” Bob Palmer’s cold voice sliced into the fraught atmosphere of the kitchen. “I will not tolerate it.”

“I want this tramp out of my house.” Hazel marched around the kitchen like a demented witch.

“Lower your voices,” Bob growled. “The neighbors might hear you.”

“And we couldn’t have that,” Abby shrilled. “They might find out how you treat your son’s widow.”

“You listen, my girl.” Bob grabbed her by the arm, his fingers pinching her skin as he shook her. She would have bruises on her arm tomorrow.

“If you don’t like it here in Englandyou can leave,” he continued his eyes hard and pitiless. “But Rosie stays with us.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

ALLISON'S WAR:  The war news went from bad to worse. The French, outnumbered and outgunned, retreated towards Paris. Belgium had fallen and was occupied by the Germans, but for her, Allison shuddered. It was spring, a time for new life, and a new life grew inside her, callously put there by Phillip.

Rolling up newspapers to start the fire, pure chance had her staring at the social pages. Blood pounded through her veins as she read the few devastating lines: “Queensland society wedding of the year. Phillip Ashfield, only son of Lord and Lady Ashfield of Yorkshire, England, married Miss Isobel St. John, only daughter of Colonel and Lady St. John formerly of Herefordshire, England, now residing in Queensland.”

The room tilted, and she clung to the table until it righted itself again. She stared at the wedding party. Six attendants. What did she care that the bride wore a white silk gown adorned with imported French lace? The bridal couple was returning to England immediately, as Phillip Ashfield, a graduate from Sandhurst, was anxious to join his father’s old regiment.

Well, Miss St. John was welcome to him, but the sheer vileness of it overwhelmed her. Even as he forced himself on her, he had planned to wed another woman. How could a man be so heartless?

It was terrible being so desperate and alone, Jim and Tommy away, her father hardly home and then never sober. She rode recklessly, moved and lifted heavy objects, took scalding hot baths, but nothing happened.

Maybe she should go to the police and tell them what Phillip had done, but who would believe her now? What good could it do? Would the minister know of a place where girls in her predicament could go? Visions of slaving away in some terrible workhouse rose up like pictures on a canvas. Abortion? The word gave her the shudders. Some backyard butcher? Vomit rose up in her throat.

Dishin It Out - Ginger Simpson