Archive for January, 2014

As we do on Fridays, when we schedule an interview, we take a break from the Regency Personality series. It shall of course return. As early as tomorrow.

Today we are fortunate to have with us us J F Ridgley who writes Historical Fiction during Ancient Roman.

1)What moved you to become an author?
Actually, my eighth grade students. I shared stories of King Arthur and the characters they had never heard and said, “Ms Ridgley, DWWillis_blog__finish_docx-2014-01-24-06-00.jpg you should write a book about that.” So I did and, bingo, once the stories began to fly out of my fingertips and onto the computer, I was captivated. Oh, I’ve written stories in my head all my life, but to see that story come to life on a page was unbelievable. Now, I consider myself as the first reader and nothing else happens until I write the next line. I can’t stop. I want to know what happens next.

2) Tell us about your current novel.
My latest book is Threatened Loyalties Friday_Interviews-J_F__Ridgley_author_of_Roman_Historicals_—_The_Things_That_Catch_My_Eye set in Herculaneum, the summer Vesuvius erupts. August 24 AD 79. It deals with the dirty underbelly of Rome’s politics and slavery vs love. While young Marcus Galerius Alexius has been gone, his betrothed, whom he nicknamed Medusa while they grew up together, has turned in to a beautiful swan. Now he will do anything to regain her affections. However, Messalina isn’t making this easy. Messi draws Alexius into a love affair between the most powerful citizen of Herculaneum’s daughter who has fallen in love with a slave and is now pregnant. This unveils an even more sinister plot that lurks the streets of this rich city, threatens the emperor, and even the future of the Empire. Alexius risks everything to save Rome. Then Vesuvius erupts and changes everything.

3) How did the story begin to develop in your mind?
In my research, I discovered a picture of a slave girl’s body protecting a patrician’s baby in the boathouses where many people were boiled alive during the eruption of Vesuvius. She fascinated me. Why was this slave girl protecting this patrician’s child? Then I discovered a centurion’s body who was found face down and buried by the volcanic vomit. Then there was a man who was found face down in a back cell of a temple who was locked in with a chair shoved beneath the outside handle of the door.

Who were these people? What was it like living in this city of the rich who vacationed there? What was it like when what they thought was a mountain blows up before their eyes–that same volcanic eruption that was TOTALLY different in Pompeii? I had no choice. I had to bring all these people and this eruption to life. And did, in Threatened Loyalties.

4) What did you find most challenging about this book?
What challenged me most were these people who walked the streets of this city and this fascinating and horrifying eruption. What helped me understand what they faced was visiting Herculaneum and walking the actual streets, visiting the real homes of my characters, and actually seeing the skeleton of the man trapped in the temple. It all became so real. This really happened!

Then there is the challenge of understanding the Roman legal system, the politics, the expectations put on the children of Romans. You think DC politics are bad. That is nothing compared to Ancient Rome.

5) How did you choose your publishing method?
I don’t think I chose my path to publishing. I think God chose it for me. I started writing what seems a thousand years ago and endured the trail of rejections with traditional publishers. And I can’t disagree that my work need—what shall I say—a little work. However, as my stories evolved, the opportunity of self-publishing emerged and I knew it was the right path for me. I love the challenge of working together with Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphic.org, the best cover designer out there in my book as well as working edits with Cindy Vallar.com who I value beyond measure. I love the entire process.

6) Tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been learning this craft of writing for fifteen years and I don’t see it stopping. I love bringing the ancient world to life. What got me here, as I said, was the legend of King Arthur. However, you quickly learn that Arthur was not a king but a Celtic chief. Then I discovered easily enough that you don’t deal with the Celts without running smack into a Roman’s shield or gladius. When this happened, I was hooked. I never want to leave this world where these two conflict somehow be it ‘Celt vs Roman’ or ‘Patrician vs plebeian’ or ‘dominus vs domina’. I don’t care. I love it. Outside of that, God has blessed me with a wonderful husband, two fantastic kids, and a beautiful granddaughter and so much more.

7) What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.
My next book coming out this year is The Revolt, which is the first book in my Red Fury series on Julius Agricola. It is a story of a fathers’ love for one son. That isn’t a typo. Two fathers. One son. Revolt starts with Julius being present during the entire revolt by Boudica in her attempt to run the Romans out of Britannia. Were both daughters were raped? Don’t be so sure.

After that, I want to get back to Pompeii’s Plague that takes you back to Pompeii right before Vesuvius erupts. If you think that breaking through a glass ceiling is hard for a woman today, imagine trying to break through Rome’s concrete ceiling as Faustina must do to keep her father’s estates.

8) In the current work, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

This is the scene in Threatened Loyalties Friday_Interviews-J_F__Ridgley_author_of_Roman_Historicals_—_The_Things_That_Catch_My_Eyewhere the hero Marcus Galerius Alexius finally realizes what he has gotten into. He has risked everything: his family’s name, his father’s reputation, Messalina’s life and her family’s reputation and even his own life. What the hell has he done and should he continue on with this cover-up.

“Come with us, you filthy fool.”

Guards jerked Alexius’s hands forward and clamped the iron cuffs around his wrists. Another shoved from behind, making him stumble outside his house and onto the stone street filled with onlookers.

“Didn’t your father tell you, you idiot fool, that helping a slave escape made you a slave?” someone barked.
Another laughed. “And you thought you would get elected you, you filthy piece of shit.”

“I didn’t. I didn’t.”

A soldier’s laughter rang in his ears. “Not what I heard. Throw the cur in the wagon.”

Crowds threw garbage at him as the donkey pulled the wagon through the torch lit streets of Rome.

“He is the stench of a low-life latrine.”

“And we almost voted for the filthy leech.”

“Yeah, you filthy leech, you deserve to be a slave.”

“I didn’t. I didn’t.”

The wagon jolted toward the Circus Maximus where a man screamed. “Alexius! He helped me! He knew all about it!”

Alexius knew that voice, but he could not place it. His mind searched helplessly for answers.

The gates opened, allowing the donkey onto the sandy track. Black shadows of the guards lined the way to three lashing posts buried at the nearest end of the spina. The stands were filled with senators cheering, laughing, and pointing at him.

“He is the one. He helped me! He helped me!”

The voice. It came from the lacerated man hanging from one of the lashing poles.


“No. No. I didn’t. I didn’t.”

His father’s shredded body hung limp on second lashing post where three senators waited. Sulla. Pomponius. Balbus.

The three turned, and in one voice, announced, “You are a liar, Marcus Galerius Alexius. The Senate and the people of Rome have found you guilty.”

Balbus pointed a barbed whip toward the remaining empty post. “Tie my new slave, so I may show him, I am his dominus now.”

Alexius burst from his bed and raced to the bedroom window. He threw it open to the cool night air that did little to soothe his mind as the nightmare replayed all too clearly. He saw Balbus, the whip, Pomponius’s jowls bouncing with laughter, and Sulla’s clever smile oozing across the man’s face.

And his father’s torn, mutilated body.

Somewhere in his mind, he heard his own voice. I didn’t. I didn’t.

However, he did know.

Alexius grabbed the pitcher from the nearby table and attempted to pour water into the small glass. His hand shook most of it out. He splashed some over his face and fell back against the wall. Tears choked through him at the image of his father, suffering for what he was responsible for doing.

9) Who do you think influenced your writing, this work?
Colleen McCullough and her PastedGraphic2-2014-01-24-06-00.png Grass Crown series encouraged me to venture into Rome’s captivating world. Steven Saylor, Steven Pressfield… as well as the many members of organizations as Historical Novel Society and Romance Writers of America who have helped me understand this craft. I have to also mention Dr Murochick, professor of geology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who explained so many things about volcanos as well as telling me about the buried centurion found in Herculaneum.

and who do you think you write like?
I really don’t think a writer can write like another even if we are telling the same story. Each voice is different. Each perspective unique. That’s the fun of this craft.

10) Who do you read?
The list is way too long because I have been a reader all my life. However, I love any well-written story during any period that starts with action that never stops as well as falling in love with new characters and having them become lifelong friends.

What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in. The women of Rome.—these dominas were the strong women who influenced the world nearly as much as the men did. They were the first women-libists. They were like the American pioneer woman…basic farmwomen who supported their husbands, tried to please them, but defied them when the society ‘got it all wrong.’ When Rome took on the Greek ideal, that demanded wives cover themselves totally and submit to their father’s then husband’s will. The Roman domina managed to change that over time. They brought fashion to the Roman Empire that included modern France, when it was simply known as Gaul, where fashion still dictates from. They were the model of the Victorian world. They brought the simple wisdoms of practicality as ‘everything in moderation.” Okay, I simply love these women as other women of all cultures.

Another thing… throughout history mankind has not been very nice to each other. Many think Romans and their legions were the worst. This is wrong. Romans brought Pax Romana or Roman Peace too many societies that warred each spring, all summer and stopped in fall. War was constant until Rome came. Then came taxes and government control. And Rome shows us the dangers of that in our world even today.

11) When writing, what is your routine?
My ideal routine is to get up in the morning and do what needs to be done in a normal life and at noon, I become a writer and start writing/editing. That worked ‘once upon a time.’ Now, with publishing and marketing added to the mix of editing and writing….it’s turning into a full time job. This remains a big challenge to this long-time housewife and mother.

12) Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?
I see an artist as a pantser–writing by the seat of your pants–and a craftsman as a plotter–plot out the story and then write it. I’m a blend of both. I discover the story, find the fact to the story, then write the story as it comes to me. Invariably the plot goes off in another direction and I have to follow it. That is the joy of writing for me. I never know what’s going to happen. You know the old saying from Shakespeare…’Best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” But that’s the fun of writing.

13) Where should we look for your work.

Threatened Loyalties Friday_Interviews-J_F__Ridgley_author_of_Roman_Historicals_—_The_Things_That_Catch_My_Eye

Messalina Claudia wants nothing to do with her parents’ arranged marriage with Marcus Galerius Alexius, but her need to find her missing friend requires his help. Their perilous pursuit uncovers the political underbelly of the first citizens in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum.

In order to regain Messalina’s loyalties, Alexius must risk everything– his family’s reputation, future as a Roman senator, and even his life beneath the shadows of a very restless volcano…Vesuvius, where Vulcan’s wrath simmers.

Vows of Revenge PastedGraphic3-2014-01-24-06-00.png

Amid pirates, godfathers, and forbidden love, vows of revenge are made in the unforgiving world of ancient Rome. Aelia Sabina, a patrician’s daughter, and Martino Lucianus Drusus- a simple plebe rise like phoenixes from the ashes of their lives. Aelia’s abusive husband vows to finally destroy this plebe in Rome’s court where patricians rule and plebeians grovel. But will Lucianus grovel? Don’t count on it.
For the Family Screenshot_1_20_14__10_56_AM-2014-01-24-06-00.jpg

Viciria actually lived. In Herculaneum…before this city was buried by Vesuvius in A.D. 79. She was Marcus Nonius Balbus’s mother. But she is known in my novel as The Witch. At title well earned for sure. But why? What can can change such a gentle woman?

This short story is based on the novel Threatened Loyalties.

Amazon author page

Ah this world of writing


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First ECO Agents book available

Those who follow me for a long time know that I also write in other fields aside from Regency Romance and the historical novels I do.

A few months ago, before the end of last year and after 2011 NaNoWriMo, (where I wrote the first draft of another Regency) I started work on a project with my younger brother Douglas (All three of my brothers are younger brothers.)

The premise, as he is now an educator but once was a full on scientist at the NHI and FBI (Very cloak and dagger chemistry.) was that with the world having become green, and more green aware every week, why not have a group of prodigies, studying at a higher learning educational facility tackle the ills that have now begun to beset the world.

So it is now released. We are trickling it out to the major online channels and through Amazon it will be available in trade paperback. Available at Amazon for your Kindle, or your Kindle apps and other online bookstores. For $5.99 you can get this collaboration between the brothers Wilkin. Or get it for every teenager you know who has access to a Kindle or other eReader.


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Five young people are all that stands between a better world and corporate destruction. Parker, Priya, JCubed, Guillermo and Jennifer are not just your average high school students. They are ECOAgents, trusted the world over with protecting the planet.

Our Earth is in trouble. Humanity has damaged our home. Billionaire scientist turned educator, Dr. Daniel Phillips-Lee, is using his vast resources to reverse this situation. Zedadiah Carter, leader of the Earth’s most powerful company, is only getting richer, harvesting resources, with the aid of not so trustworthy employees.

When the company threatens part of the world’s water supply, covering up their involvement is business as usual. The Ecological Conservation Organization’s Academy of Higher Learning and Scientific Achievement, or simply the ECO Academy, high in the hills of Malibu, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is the envy of educational institutions worldwide.

The teenage students of the ECO Academy, among the best and brightest the planet has to offer, have decided they cannot just watch the world self-destruct. They will meet this challenge head on as they begin to heal the planet.


If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot
19 November 1773 – 6 May 1853
Robert Arbuthnot

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot, KCB, was born at Rockfleet Castle, County Mayo, Ireland, on 19 November 1773 fourth son of John Arbuthnot Senior of Rockfleet, Co Mayo. He was a General in the army, a colonel in the 76th Regiment. He was a Brigadier General in the Portuguese Service and was appointed a Knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal (KTS).

He married his first wife, Susan Vesey in Belfast on 1 February 1802 (who died in Teddington, Twickenham on 30 June 1822). Susan was the only child of Colonel William Vesey of Farm Hill. Sir Robert married second at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, 4 January 1826, Harriet Smith (dsp 5 December 1861), daughter of and co-heir of Thomas Smith of Castletown Hall, Lancashire. Sir Robert died in Hanover Lodge, Regent’s Park on 6 May 1853, a house in which Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane and David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, as well as the collector, Matthew Uzielli later lived.

He was awarded the Army Gold Cross, with three clasps, for the battles of Busaco, Albuera, Badajoz, Nivelle, Nive, Orthez, and Toulouse, and the Military General Service Medal, with two clasps, for Corunna and Ciudad Rodrigo.

He was lieutenant-general, was the brother of the Right Honourable Charles Arbuthnot and of Lieutenant-general Sir Thomas Arbuthnot. He entered the army as a cornet in the 23rd light dragoons on 1 Jan. 1797, and was present at the battle of Ballynamuck in the Irish rebellion on 8 Sept. of the following year.

He subsequently served with his regiment at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806, and in South America as aide-de-camp to General (afterwards Lord) Beresford, with whom and the rest of the troops under General Beresford’s command he was made a prisoner of war, and remained a prisoner for eighteen months, until released under the convention made by General Whitelock.

On his return from America, Arbuthnot, then a captain in the 20th light dragoons, resumed his position on General Beresford’s staff at Madeira, and served with him as aide-de-camp, and afterwards as military secretary, throughout the greater part of the Peninsular war.

Few officers have taken part in so many general actions. Besides the battle of Ballynamuck, two at the Cape, and three in South America, Sir Robert was present at the battle of Corunna, the passage of the Douro, the battle of Busaco, the lines of Torres Vedras, the siege and reduction of Olivenza, the first siege of Badajoz, the battle of Albuera, the siege and storming of Ciudad Rodrigo, the third siege and storming of Badajoz, the battles of the Nivelle, Nive, passage of the Adour, and the battles of Orthes and Toulouse.

He received the gold cross and three clasps for Busaco, Albuera, Badajoz, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, and Toulouse, and the war medal and two clasps for Corunna and Ciudad Rodrigo. He also received Portuguese and Spanish orders, including the special star given by the Portuguese government to all English officers of superior rank engaged at Albuera.

He brought home the despatches regarding Albuera, and on that occasion was appointed a brevet lieutenant-colonel. He was created a knight of the Tower and Sword by the government of Portugal, and in 1815 was appointed a K.C.B. In 1830 he attained the rank of major-general, and in 1838 was appointed to the command of the troops in Ceylon, after which he commanded a division in Bengal until his promotion as lieutenant-general in 1841. In 1843 he was appointed colonel of the 76th foot. He lived at Hanover Lodge, Regent’s Park where he died on 6 May 1853.

Sir Robert Arbuthnot was an officer of conspicuous gallantry, and was remarkable for his quickness of eye and readiness of resource. At Albuera he distinguished himself by galloping between two regiments, the British 57th and a Spanish regiment, and stopping the fire which by mistake they were exchanging — a feat which he performed without receiving a single wound. In the same battle, at a critical moment, he was enabled by his quickness of sight to discern a retrograde movement on the part of the French, which Marshal Beresford had not perceived, and induced the latter to recall an order which he had just given for the retirement of two batteries of artillery.

At an earlier period, in South America, when he and General Beresford were prisoners in the hands of the Spanish, and when all the officers were about to be searched for papers, he contrived by a clever stratagem to secrete in an orchard an important document, viz. the convention which had been executed between General Beresford and the Spanish general Linieres, and of which the Spanish were anxious to regain possession.

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Trolling’s Pass and Present Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy. The Trolling series, (the first three are in print) is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities. We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested. We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death. All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify. It is now available in a variety of formats. For $2.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.


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Years since their battles with the Trolls, even on foreign soil, the warriors of the Valley Kingdom of Torahn need something to keep their edge honed. The economy too is beginning to fray a little without the great wars to support. The Leaders hit upon the idea of searching for a path to reach the east side of the continent. The Elves swear that at one time their writings tell of such, the Dwarves swear such a pass across Teantellen is legendary. Teantellen though is filled with races man has never gotten along with well. Goblins, Dark Elves, Trolls, Giants and Dragons. It has been years since the mountain tops exploded, and perhaps that has changed things enough that a way can be found to link the western lands with the eastern lands and increase trade, and prosperity for all. Even should they fail in their quest, as the history of man has shown to this point in time, the attempt will do much to spur the economy. Tens of thousands of gold will be spent by the Council of Twenty-One to pay for such an expedition. Gold that those who are not so scrupulous might choose to pocket as they tried in the Troll Wars. With such shenanigans taking place again, are the hopes of the previous generation, the leaders from the Troll Wars now in retirement, ready to be achieved? Is it time for Torahn, called the Valley Kingdom, but the only Kingdom without a King, to have a King once more?


If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Oxley
1784 – 25 May 1828


John Oxley

John Oxley was born in 1784 at Kirkham Abbey near Westow in Yorkshire, Great Britain. He was baptised at Bulmer in Yorkshire on 6 July 1784.

In 1799, he entered the Royal Navy when he was aged 16 as a midshipman on the Venerable. He travelled to Australia in October 1802 as master’s mate of the naval vessel Buffalo, which carried out coastal surveying (including the survey of Western Port). In 1805 Governor King appointed him acting lieutenant in charge of the Buffalo. In 1806 he commanded the Estramina on a trip to Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania). He returned to England in 1807 and was appointed first lieutenant of Porpoise. He came back to Sydney in November 1808 to take up an appointment as first lieutenant in HMS Porpoise, having sailed out as agent for the Transport Board in the convict ship Speke, in which he shipped goods worth £800 as an investment. In 1809 Porpoise visited Van Diemen’s Land, carrying as a passenger Governor William Bligh, who had been deposed in the Rum Rebellion.

He had obtained an order from the Colonial Office for a grant of 600 acres (240 ha) near the Nepean River, but Lieutenant-Governor Paterson granted him 1,000 acres (400 ha). Oxley had to surrender these in 1810, but Governor Macquarie granted him 600 acres (240 ha) near Camden which he increased in 1815 to 1,000 acres (400 ha) again. This he called Kirkham.

In 1810 he wrote a lengthy report on the settlements in Van Diemen’s Land before sailing for England in Porpoise in May. In London he applied for the post of Naval Officer in Sydney, and then, after paying Charles Grimes to resign, according to John Macarthur, he twice sought that of Surveyor-General. Oxley denied that he had been a partisan of Macarthur when Bligh was deposed, but his letters show that he was on very intimate terms with the rebel leader. In 1812 he became engaged to Elizabeth Macarthur; this was broken off when her father discovered the extent of Oxley’s debts. By that time, through the influence of Macarthur’s friend Walter Davidson, Oxley’s second application for the surveyor-generalship had been successful. In 1811 he had retired from the navy, and in May 1812 sailed for Sydney in the Minstrel to take up his new duties.

In March 1817 John Oxley was instructed to take charge of an expedition to explore and survey the course of the Lachlan River. He left Sydney on 6 April with George Evans as second-in-command, and Allan Cunningham as botanist. Evans had discovered a portion of the Lachlan River west of Bathurst in 1815. Oxley’s party reached Bathurst after a week, where they were briefly detained by bad weather. They reached the Lachlan River on 25 April 1817 and commenced to follow its course, with part of the stores being conveyed in boats. As the exploring party travelled westward the country surrounding the rising river was found to be increasingly inundated.

On 12 May, west of the present township of Forbes, they found their progress impeded by an extensive marsh. After retracing their route for a short distance they then proceeded in a south-westerly direction, intending to travel overland to the southern Australian coastline. By the end of May the party found themselves in a dry scrubby country. Shortage of water and the death of two horses forced Oxley’s return to the Lachlan River.

On 23 June the Lachlan River was reached: “we suddenly came upon the banks of the river… which we had quitted nearly five weeks before”.

They followed the course of the Lachlan River for a fortnight. The party encountered much flooded country, and on 7 July Oxley recorded that “it was with infinite regret and pain that I was forced to come to the conclusion, that the interior of this vast country is a marsh and uninhabitable”.

Oxley resolved to turn back and after resting for two days Oxley’s party began to retrace their steps along the Lachlan River. They left the Lachlan up-stream of the present site of Lake Cargelligo and crossed to the Bogan River and then across to the upper waters of the Macquarie River, which they followed back to Bathurst (arriving on 29 August 1817).

Oxley travelled to Dubbo on 12 June 1818. He wrote that he had passed that day ‘over a very beautiful country, thinly wooded and apparently safe from the highest floods…’

Later in 1818 Oxley and his men explored the Macquarie River at length before turning east. On 26 August 1818 they climbed a hill and saw before them rich, fertile land (Peel River), near the present site of Tamworth. Continuing further east they crossed the Great Dividing Range passing by the Apsley Falls on 13 September 1818 which he named the Bathurst Falls. He described it as “one of the most magnificent waterfalls we have seen”.

He discovered and named the Arbuthnot Range, since renamed the Warrumbungle Range. Upon reaching the Hastings River they followed it to its mouth, discovering that it flowed into the sea at a spot which they named Port Macquarie.

As Surveyor General, Oxley made a close examination of the Tweed River and Port Curtis, and sources connected that investigation, principally the manuscript journal kept by Oxley, and the published Narrative of John Uniack, who accompanied Oxley.

Oxley sailed northwards from the Tweed Area in the Mermaid to explore Port Curtis (the site of Gladstone) and Moreton Bay. He continued to explore the region, which is now known as South East Queensland. With the assistance of some shipwrecked sailors he discovered and named the Brisbane River, the site of the city of Brisbane.

In 1824 Oxley, accompanied by Allan Cunningham returned to the Brisbane River and travelling further up, discovered the Bremer River.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted him 600 acres (240 ha) near Camden in 1810, which he increased to 1,000 acres (400 ha) in 1815. He named this property Kirkham and raised and bred sheep. He was also briefly a director of the Bank of New South Wales. He was one of five members of the original 1824 New South Wales Legislative Council, but was not reappointed when the Council was reconstituted in 1825.

In August 1822, Oxley married Emma Norton, the youngest sister of James Norton who had followed her brother out to New South Wales from Sussex after he had established himself as an attorney in the colony.

Oxley and Emma Norton had two sons. The elder, John Norton Oxley and the younger son, Henry Oxley. Oxley also had two daughters out of wedlock before his marriage: one with Charlotte Thorpe and another with Elizabeth Marnon.

Oxley suffered with illness throughout his service, caused by the difficulties of his expeditions. He finally succumbed to his illness and died on 25 May 1828 at Kirkham.

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The Shattered Mirror For your enjoyment, one of the Regency Romances I published. It is available for sale and now at a reduced price, and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy. Order for yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats. For just a few dollars this Regency Romance can be yours for your eReaders or physically in Trade Paperback.


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Bridget Halifax-Stokes was giddy with the excitement of her season in London. Town had beckoned and her season came on the heels of the end of the war against the tyrant. All the handsome men were returning heroes. What better year to come out. Her father thought it all nonsense. Her mother believed that it would be the best showing of any of her daughters. More lords available and luck that Bridget was just the perfect age. All is fun and frivolity until Bridget literally crashes into Sir Patrick Hampton as he limps along the high street. A man she knew once well, now a stranger with dark and foreboding eyes.


If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Perry
30 October 1756 – 4 December 1821


James Perry

A British journalist and newspaper editor.

Admitted to Marischal College, Aberdeen in 1771, he began studying for the Scottish bar. Forced to abandon his studies after his father’s building business failed in 1774, he moved to London in 1777. He became a reporter for The General Advertiser and the London Evening Post, where he raised sales in 1779 by his court reporting from the Portsmouth trial of Admiral Keppel and Admiral Palliser.

He established The European Magazine in 1782, leaving it a year later to edit The Gazeteer as ‘the Paper of the People’. In 1790 he managed to become owner and editor of the Morning Chronicle. In 1791-2 he reported from Paris on the progress of the French Revolution. His political influence was sufficient for Pitt and Lord Shelburne to offer him a parliamentary seat, though he refused.

His Foxite journalism occasionally led to government prosecution. On two occasions he was acquitted: for printing an advertisement for a Derby meeting of the Society for Constitutional Information in 1792, and for copying a paragraph from Leigh Hunt’s Examiner about the Prince of Wales in 1810. However, he was sentenced to three months imprisonment in Newgate for allegedly libelling the house in 1798.

In August 1798 he married Anne Hull: their eight children included the Indian judge and politician Thomas Erskine Perry .

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Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee

Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series, (the first three are in print) is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities. We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life.

We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested. We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.

All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify. It is now available in a variety of formats.

For $2.99 you can get this 2nd book in the fantasy adventure series of Humphrey and Gwendolyn.


Barnes and Noble for your Nook


Amazon for your Kindle

When the neighboring kingdom of Mah Wee begins to experience the same problems that beset Torahn some years before, they urgently request the aid of the experts in containing a new Troll infestation. But eradicating Trolls is not as easy as exterminating a few rats or mice.

Trolls are bigger than men, they are stronger than men, and then are meaner than men. Humphrey Cutter and his band of mismatched warriors must once again rise to the occasion, but can they without the aid of expertise of Gwendolyn and her particular skills?   

Mah Wee, an ancient kingdom, with a monarch more steeped in the rights of being a king rather than the obligations and duties that a king should be. Here Humphrey and his crew finds that they have more than Trolls to overcome if they are to save Mah Wee from the same or nearly similar problems that they faced before in Torahn.

But, as Humphrey knows, nothing can truly be accomplished if the lovely Gwendolyn is not able to lend her aid as well.


If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Edward James Eliot
24 August 1758 – 20 September 1797


Edward James Eliot

Eliot was born in Cornwall, the son of Edward Craggs-Eliot (1727–1804), politician, created Baron Eliot in 1784.

Edward James went to Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1775, becoming friends with the future Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, and was awarded MA in 1780. He was elected Member of Parliament for St Germans, Cornwall from 1780 and for Liskeard from 1784. He soon became a Treasury minister from 1782, and was a member of the government of the Younger Pitt from 1783, being appointed King’s Remembrancer in the Exchequer of pleas in 1785.

He married Harriot Pitt, the younger daughter of William Pitt the Elder and sister to the Younger Pitt, in 1785. One year later, and five days after the birth of their only child, a daughter named Harriot Hester, Eliot’s wife died from childbirth complications. Eliot never recovered from the grief of losing his wife.

After Harriot’s death, Eliot moved to Broomfield, near Clapham, where he came into contact with the Clapham Sect of evangelical reformers, whose cause he espoused. He had been a friend of William Wilberforce for some years, and the pair of them had accompanied Pitt to France. Now he found himself living close to Wilberforce and other leading members of the group dubbed ‘the Saints’.

He began to take an active part in their reforming causes, including the abolition of the slave trade, prison reform and poor relief, the Proclamation Society, and Bishop Porteus’ Sunday Observance bill. He was active in lobbying the cause of the Clapham Sect in parliament and acted as a mediator between Wilberforce and Pitt in their campaigns.

In 1793, having resigned from the Treasury on health grounds, Eliot was appointed joint commissioner for Indian affairs. He became an investor in the British East India Company stock, and was expected to become governor-general of Bengal. However, he suffered from a recurring chronic stomach disorder which made it impossible for him to take up that office.

Eliot died at Port Eliot, Cornwall on 17 September 1797, and was buried at St Germans on 26 September 1797.

He had remained close to Pitt and Wilberforce, who both lamented his passing. His brother John succeeded to the barony and in 1815 was created Earl of St Germans.

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Special Sale Price!

Jane Austen and Ghosts.

Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but this can take a humorous turn. Some years back, I am sure readers of this blog will be aware that some writers began to take great liberty with Jane Austen and her works. Pride and Prejudice being liberally rewritten with the inclusion of zombies.

Then other books appeared with sea monsters, and werewolves and vampires. President Lincoln has even made it to the big screen where he is intent on sending foul creatures to hell. It occurred to me, even before I read any of this literature, that Jane would probably not appreciate what had been done to her classic piece.

That the tales and her life have become visual spectacles that we enjoy she might not like either, but is perhaps resigned to. That zombies, ghosts and vampires are now used to follow her own plot lines would I think, have her turning over in her grave. Jane Austen and Ghosts is my take on that.

It is now available in a variety of formats. For a limited time it has been reduced to $2.99 for your eReaders and $8.99 for paperback you can get this Jane Austen adventure.


Barnes and Noble for your Nook



Amazon for your Kindle

and in Paperback

In the world of moviemaking, nothing is as golden as rebooting a classic tale that has made fortunes every time before when it has been adapted for the silver screen.

Certainly any work by Jane Austen made into a movie will not only be bankable, but also considered a work of art. That is of course until the current wave of adaptations that unite her classic stories with all the elements of the afterlife is attempted to be created.

That these have found success in the marketplace amongst booklovers may not be quite understood by those who make movies. But that they are a success is understood and a reason to make them into movies.

All that being said, perhaps it would also be fair to say that the very proper Jane, were she present to have anything to say about it, would not be pleased. Of course she has been away from this Earth for nearly 200 hundred years.

But does that mean were she upset enough, she wouldn’t come back?


If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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