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.