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Life’s good and busy!

I’ve had hospitality from Hazel Grove’s Inner Wheel, at a celebration lunch where I was the guest speaker. We shared notes on the stories of strong women both in teh Inner Wheel and in my novels. Then I spoke to the ’58 club in Knutsford where my talk also resonated with the women who founded their group.

In January I’ll be reading the poems I wrote for the Peterloo Centenary commemoration, run by Paul Morris at Central Library . Its anthology, published by Seven Arches Press, will be launched officially on January 18th when I’ll be joining the other poets, for readings or recitals.

And to cap it all, I’ve just heard that I’ve won a joint prize for a short story, ‘Happy Families’, in Orbis magazine !


Telling The Suffragettes’ Story at Shree Hindu Centre, Birmingham

A wonderful day at the Shree Hindu Centre

What an inspirational day I spent last week-end in Birmingham, hosted by the local Hindu Community. They put on a whole day of presentations about inspirational women and their empowerment. About 200 people attended including many men; it was attended by the Mayors and other local dignitaries .

I was to speak on The Suffragettes’ Story so, although the organisers found me through my book writing website, I became a historian for the day and enjoyed it so much. The audience was so attentive and receptive; all the people were friendly and interested in everything and made a lovely lunch – which gave rise to chats about Jewish and Hindu dietary laws, so I wore my Interfaith hat for a while.

I even sold a few of my books, which I had not expected at all and will always remember the warmth of the welcome I received. I hope to put up some photos of the event soon.

Upcoming: Talk to Manchester Luncheon Club

So lucky – people are still interested in hearing about issues raised in my poetry and my novels, ‘Not in our Hands’ and ‘The Purple Rose‘ (and in reading them.)  All the groups who invite me to speak choose different talk titles, which keeps me on my toes! Talk at the Manchester Luncheon Club on Jan 14th is called ‘Unravelling the threads’. Another, popular title is ‘From Suffragettes to spaghetti’ but it’s great to be able to share my stories with so many, different people.

Why haven’t I posted anything for ages?

That’s easy – I’ve been very busy, taking my novels to many lovely places around Cheshire and Manchester to tell people how my books have taken me on a journey, from suffragettes to spaghetti. With the centenary of women’s suffrage, ‘The Purple Rose’ has taken on a new life! In between I’ve performed some poetry at some open mic evenings,a lively one at Coco’s Altrincham . Apart from book talks at clubs and groups, I’ll be presenting at the Mellor Lit Fest on June 30th. This link : will allow you to sign up for more info as it comes out. There are many, great sessions planned and I’ll be talking about and signing ‘The Purple Rose and ‘Not in our Hands’, as well as putting on a fun writing session for children. See you there?

2018 marks 100 years since votes for women!

So what better time for people to read a novel with an authentic suffragette backdrop set amongst present day family conflict and ask: Is a liberated woman ever truly free? Does my first novel, The Purple Rose hold the answer? And what about the next generation? How did the suffragettes actions affect their children, grandchildren and even the great grandchildren?

In Not in our Hands, my second novel, you’ll see what kind of a young man one such great grandchild became. But you’ll also be with him as he discovers Tuscan secrets, beautiful Umbria and forbidden love.

The Event at The Pankhurst Centre

My book talk on March 2nd, at this very special place was a great thrill – it was a privilege to speaking in the Pankhursts’ home. Considering the evening traffic and parking difficulties there was a wonderful turnout, for which I was very grateful. Max, my husband did a great job with refreshments which included honey cake (as eaten in The Purple Rose) and amaretti (as eaten in Not in our Hands) but the real icing on the cake was the quick tour that Gail, of the Pankhurst Centre, gave to our guests. It set my talk in context , together with anecdotes told by another family member about Grandma, the real suffragette. It was the fist time that I found a real connection between my two novels: food and family ties.Thanks also go to Levenshulme radio, too, for their interview ‘plug’.

Great News for 2017

On Thursday, March 2nd 2017, at 6.30, I am very lucky, as the granddaughter of a suffragette, to have been given space at The Pankhurst Centre, Nelson St Manchester, to talk about why and how I came to write The Purple Rose, my first novel. With a suffragette back story, the novel poses the question ‘Is a liberated woman ever really free?’

Entry is free. There will be refreshments and books on sale.

To be able to talk in that particular house is so special and it’s not that tricky to get to: Approach Grafton St from Upper Brook St; turn into it and left again to the NHS multi-storey car park, & you’ll see the Centre on the right, on Nelson St.

Please book by

A late summer awakening!

My novels and I have lain dormant for the summer, yet now, people have suddenly woken up and a few ‘speakers’ secretaries‘ have invited me to give a book talk to their groups . I’ve a few new catchy titles and I’m delighted to say that, among those invitations, Trafford Libraries are hosting me at Altrincham Library on October 5th. ‘Suffragettes and Spaghetti’ is their popular title choice, which forges links between the two novels. October is not as far off as it seems! Here’s to a sunny end to August.

Baking for Books

Made my best SFRATTI yet, yesterday, ready for my three approaching book talks, next week. To read about sfratti see: P91 in my 2nd novel Not in our Hands. Sfratti are rolls of pastry, baked, once filled with boiled honey and nuts, flavoured with orange peel and cinnamon. The recipe has been passed down from the 16th Century, devised by Jews living in the ghetto of PITIGLIANO (often called ‘Piccola Gerusalemme – Little Jerusalem). Sfratti means ‘evicted’. Why? Because the Jews of Rome were evicted by Papal representatives who banged on the homes of Jewish homes with wooden sticks, to tell them to leave their homes whence they were sent to live in ghettos like Pitigliano. This sweet pastry imitates a wooden stick and is often eaten at Rosh Hashanah, when sweet food is traditionally eaten.So from tragic to joyful. I was so so lucky to find them, freshly baked, in 2014, in  a shop in Pitigliano where the shopkeeper knew all about their origins.I found the recipe on a website. So I brought a 500 yr old recipe, back to life.Yum!