New fiction titles

9780719817403Avalon Castle by Rosemary Craddock

Avalon Castle is a disturbing place. Built by eccentric Ambrose
Blackwood, and inhabited by the rest of his extended dysfunctional
family, it holds some dark secrets. Rachel visits her half-sister in the Christmas of 1867, finding a house of family feuding, hauntings and disappearances. Ambrose and his brother Nikolas are unnerving hosts, and any chance of festivity is destroyed when a member of the household suddenly dies. Questions begin to pile up: who are the strange Blackwood family, and what skeletons are hiding in their vast Gothic house? With neighbour William Norton’s help, Rachel tries to prove her suspicions of foul play, and get out of the castle alive.

Rosemary Craddock was born in Staffordshire and has lived there
most of her life. She has been writing since childhood and has
published many novels, most of them set in the nineteenth century and
full of mystery, romance and intrigue. Her previous novel The
Lovegrove Hermit was published by Robert Hale in 2013.

Buy your copy of Avalon Castle here.

9780719817571Dark Powers by Raymond Haigh

In freeing a young girl from a secure children’s unit, special agent Samantha Quest is taking on the most powerful men in the country. The sixteen year-old girl has filmed an incident on her mobile phone which could bring down the government. The girl is Annushka Dvoskin, daughter of a powerful Russian oligarch. Unknown to Samantha, his enemies dispatch a team of hitmen to murder her and her charge. In this novel of wealth and corruption, the great and the privileged will do anything to protect their power. As the killers race to find the girls, Samantha and Annushka must outwit them.

Raymond Haigh was born in Doncaster where he went on to work in local government design departments. He is married with four children and seven grandchildren.

Buy your copy of Dark Powers here.

9780719817410Deep Waters by Ann Cliff

Industry in Yorkshire is booming and the cities are expanding.
Which of the rural valleys is doomed to be flooded next to quench
the cities’ thirst? Rachel Garnett is determined to fight against
engineer Roger Beckwith and his plans for a reservoir that will
engulf Firby valley. Firby Hall, where Rachel works, will be demolished when the reservoir is built. She convinces the owner not to sell, but when he dies, sole heir Guy Potts looks set to ruin Rachel’s careful work. Rachel must fight on, before her home is destroyed.

Ann Cliff was born in Yorkshire and brought up in a farming family.
Despite currently living in Australia, she writes frequently about
nineteenth century Yorkshire and her previous novels, which include
Summer by the Sea, Poacher’s Moon and Raven’s Gold, are also
published by Robert Hale.

Buy your copy of Deep Waters here.

9780719817052Moorland Mist by Gwen Kirkwood

Emma Greig has seen little of the world when she leaves school at
fourteen to become a maid at Bonnybrae Farm. The Sinclair family
in turn welcome and reject her: Maggie is kind and warm, and her
brothers Jim and William tease Emma. Mrs Sinclair, disturbed by
her children’s friendship with the maid, resolves to remind Emma of her place. When Emma and William form a close bond, unforeseen circumstances force Emma to be sent away, and William banished from the farm he loves. Will their connection be strong enough to reunite them?

Gwen Kirkwood was born, and educated, in Yorkshire but moved to
Scotland to work. After meeting her husband, a Scottish dairy farmer,
she has spent most of her adult life north of the Border. Gwen has
three children and six grandchildren. With a background in farming
she has also written many family sagas and also romantic fiction
novels. Another Home, Another Love, Darkest Before the Dawn and
Beyond Reason are also published by Robert Hale.

Buy your copy of Moorland Mist here.

Ann Cliff on Raven’s Gold

Raven's Gold by Ann CliffAnn Cliff was born in Yorkshire and brought up in a farming family. Despite living in Australia, she writes frequently about nineteenth century Yorkshire and her previous novels include Summer by the Sea, Poacher’s Moon and Shadows on the Moor, also published by Robert Hale.

Here, Ann talks about the research behind her new novel, Raven’s Gold, and relocating from Yorkshire to Australia.

I’ve always been fascinated by tales of Australia in the nineteenth century, a time of great contrast between the civilized life in prosperous cities and the rough conditions that miners and settlers endured.

Beneath the tranquil waters of the Blue Rock Lake, a reservoir in Victoria, lies a little gold mining town and all its turbulent history. Shady characters as well as honest miners were attracted to Tangil by the prospect of riches, but it was never to become a major goldfield. Some of them went on to clear areas of forest and settle there.

We now live on a farm in this area, on the edge of a forest. Local tales of the gold mining days led me to research the background for my story, Raven’s Gold. This is fiction based on a dramatic time in history, with challenges for both men and women as they came to terms with a harsh environment.

In the story, the Ashby family come to the goldfield in the valley of the Tangil river to repair their lost fortunes. Snakes, spiders, bush fires and wild dogs are hazards of the forest.  Even worse are the bushrangers, the highwaymen of the time like Malcolm Raven, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the gold that others have won from the earth. Jane Ashby is a young woman of independent mind and she has been warned never to marry a settler because the life is too hard. Her first experience of Tangil makes her want to go straight back to the city, but this is not to be.

My experience of coming to this area was at the end of the twentieth century, but at times we’ve had to face bush fires, snakes and wild dogs, so I was well able to imagine the struggles of the early settlers. Life is far easier for us. The contrast with city life is still apparent, but in goods seasons we live among green and pleasant hills – and with the benefit of refrigeration.

– Ann Cliff

Raven’s Gold by Ann Cliff is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

OUT NOW: Raven’s Gold by Ann Cliff

Raven's Gold by Ann CliffAnn Cliff was born in Yorkshire and brought up in a farming family. Despite living in Australia, she writes frequently about nineteenth century Yorkshire and her previous novels include Summer by the Sea, Poacher’s Moon and Shadows on the Moor, also published by Robert Hale.

Raven’s Gold by Ann Cliff

Jane Ashby’s pleasant life in the city comes to an abrupt end when her father and brother decide to take up gold prospecting and she is forced to relocate with them to a small, remote gold field. Stuck in a dirty cottage and surrounded by uncouth neighbours and wild bushland, Jane is warned by a friend never to marry a settler as the farming life is too hard.

When one of the settlers takes her off by force to save her from a night in the bush, she resents being made a virtual prisoner on his farm and longs to go back to city life.

However, the charismatic and dangerous Lord Raven and his gang of bushrangers kidnap Jane and use her to extract ransom money from her brother. Escaping from him twice, Jane fights for her life.

Can she find happiness there? Can she come to terms with this uncivilised country and become a settler’s wife?

Raven’s Gold by Ann Cliff is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

Raven's Gold by Ann Cliff

OUT NOW: Poacher’s Moon by Ann Cliff

Poacher's Moon by Ann CliffAnn Cliff was born in Yorkshire and brought up in a farming family. She writes frequently about nineteenth century Yorkshire and her previous novels include Summer by the Sea and Shadows on the Moor, also published by Robert Hale.

Poacher’s Moon by Ann Cliff – Official Blurb

When nursemaid Kate Cooper rescues poacher, William Thorpe, from a mantrap on her employer, Sir Titus Wiggins’s, land, they are unaware of the consequences of their meeting. Wiggins, a cruel, heartless lecher, dismisses Kate and she is forced to find other work.

She finds it with childhood friend Tom Ridley, a local landowner, and struggles to keep a professional distance from him, aware he is to marry elsewhere.

Healed by his lost love Judith, William joins Ridley on the night of the poacher’s moon when matters come to a head and passion and disaster collide at the Wiggins mansion leaving all searching for answers and the elusive happiness they so desire.

Praise for the author:

‘A beautifully written story… Reading it was an escape into an adventure’ – Historical Novels Review

‘She has lost none of her native honesty and charm’ – Northern Echo

‘A fascinating glimpse into the way of life of these earlier days’ – Wetherby Boston Spa & Tadcaster News

‘A delightful tale of romance and mystery’ – Lancashire Evening Post

Poacher’s Moon by Ann Cliff is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

Poacher's Moon by Ann Cliff