I was born and grew up in the north of England. From an early age, my parents were heavily involved in Scouting, so I spent many weekends and school holidays camping and sailing. My family holidays were spent in the north west of Scotland. I suppose this is where I get my love of wildlife and countryside.
Luckily, I met an amazing man who loved the countryside as much as I do and in the early 1990’s we sold our house and moved to the Isle of Mull. We didn’t have anywhere to live, just an address of someone who had a spare annex to his house! We lived there for approximately ten extremely happy years. Life was fabulous. We lived basically on the side of a hill, collected our wood to burn and our water supply came from the closest ‘burn’. We both learnt many life skills and discovered that we could achieve many things.
We were both offered work as custodians of a castle on the island. Our skills came in very handy and we found we enjoyed caring for the owners and visitors and the castle itself.
I studied and gained diplomas in hospitality, housekeeping, tourism etc. I was asked to join the UK’s Housekeepers Association.
The owners of a local country house asked me to join their staff as Housekeeper. From then, the country house was awarded 10 stars with the Scottish Tourist Board for Housekeeping and Front of House Management. I was asked to become a Hotel Inspector for the Scottish Tourist Board – but I declined. A few years later the owners of the country house unfortunately decided to retire but my husband and I were approached by a local landowner of a 1440 acre shooting estate just off the island to run the estate for him.
So started our amazing life ‘in service’. We were lucky enough to live a very privileged lifestyle and travelled with our employment. We have met and worked for famous and very wealthy people but after 20 years we decided to take early retirement. So, it was out with the Louboutin’s and in with the Gummies!
Our widebeam barge is the first canal boat we had been on. We travelled around Europe looking for the ‘perfect’ boat to be our home and then found her by accident at Reading!
Luckily, I have loved every minute of it. Living on the water brings you so close to nature and you can see such wonderful and amazing things that nature shows us. Our ‘community’ of fellow boats all have their own history and reasons for living on the water. I think we all have a healthy respect for each other. The sense of community is wonderful. This is something I feel, has been sadly lost in ‘normal’ life.
We continuously cruise on the canals and are still finding new villages to explore. We are always ready to move within the 14 days, neither my husband nor myself could now imagine going back to living in a house again!
My writing started one day as we walked along the canal towpath with our dog. The idea came to me of a very small magical canal boat that was huge on the inside, taking children on adventures along the canals started to work into a story.
In the ‘Mouse’ books I have tried to describe the thrill of seeing your first Kingfisher as it flies along the canal as straight as an arrow or the beautiful sight of a mother duck and her brood of ducklings following behind her as they make their way along the canal. The stories help children use their imaginations as they encounter life on the canals. The first time I saw a Kingfisher is something I will never forget. In the books I have tried to include many of the boats that we see. Whitwell 695, Isamard and the only ‘baddie’ in the collection of stories is called ‘Black Bart’ and that is after a boat called Black Bartholomew!
I had never written a book before so when the manuscript was accepted by a publishing house, no one was more surprised than me! Unfortunately, the publishers took over a year to get the book ready and their ideas of marketing, advertising etc were not what I had hoped for. Their web site was not exactly truthful either, so I fought to have my contract cancelled.
Thankfully, my books are now my own again and self funded. I write and send them to a wonderful editor who can make sense of it all and put everything together for me.
The fourth ‘Mouse’ book in the collection was released in November 2019. The books have received fabulous five-star reviews on Amazon and other selling sites. People we meet on our travels tell us how their children have read their copies several times. The books are written in plain easy to understand English and have been likened to the style of Enid Blyton.
I have been busy writing other children’s books and more to come....
Willowwood Snug is the most sunshiny happy place you could wish to go to.
Tippy & Tilly are identical twins who live with their brother Niblick and their grandparents in Willowwood Snug.
Tippy & Tilly are excited about starting school.
Come into Willowwood Snug and meet all the lovely animals and meet all the Snugers.
This is an enchanting small book for 'little one's'. It deals with the excitement of children's first day at school.
Available as ebook on Amazon
Eddi doesn’t expect much out of life. Unlike her best friend Chloe, she’s no beauty. Her biggest talent seems to be messing up and getting into hilarious scrapes.
But Eddi has no idea that her future has been foretold by an old tale in her village.
As she is the third daughter of a third daughter of a third daughter unbeknown to her, she must now complete a set of trials to reach the goal.
So, this is the story of a naive and clumsy Eddi and the unforeseen challenges she faces to achieve her destiny.
Available on Amazon as ebook £1.99 - FREE on Kindle unlimited
6 March 2019
Brilliant story - excellently told. I took to Eddi straight away and felt for her when things went wrong. My favourite was the tennis game!
Review from Jessica Dec 2018 - I loved it, will there be another book? The cover (& writing) is stellar!!!!
REVIEW FROM NAYU'S READING CORNER
It is an extremely funny reading, taking on elements of fairy stories and putting them in a modern girl's life with amusing consequences.
Eddi's grandmother was my joint favourite characters with Eddi: her schemes are epic, and she is determined that Eddi has no clue about her heritage or what her future is believed to be. It was so lovely seeing the story unfold: it was often embarrassing for Eddi, but she does end up with a prince, something I picked up on early on in the tale. Eddi is quite different in character to me in how she views and lives her life, yet I instantly liked her, and enjoyed her crazy journey. I truly hope there may be another book continuing Eddi's fairy tale story, because I'm sure it's going to be as eventful as this first story was! It's definitely on my reread shelf for when I need a laugh.
16 June 2019
Loved this story, wanted it to carry on x
Whilst on a camping weekend with the Cub Scouts, Tom and Beth come across ‘Mouse’ the magical Canal Boat. They embark on a magical adventure where they meet wonderful new characters, including Hairy Heather the Horrible Witch and the fabulous MacMoffat brothers and they really do find their pot of gold at the end of their adventure! But there is an even bigger surprise for Tom that changes his life forever!
ebooks available on Amazon £1.99 - FREE on Kindle Unlimited
'It’s the start of the school summer holidays and Fred and Lottie are looking forward to a promised trip to Disney World, but there is a problem. Their dad has suddenly been made redundant and their parents feel there is not enough money for extravagances, so instead they are going to stay in a borrowed static caravan in Yardley Gobion - 'where's that?' ask the children, and what will they find to do there?
Arriving there they are determined to make the most of the situation and set off to explore the area.
To their surprise their exploration takes them onto a canal boat 'Mouse' which leads them into a magical adventure where they are transported back in time, trying to solve riddles to take them to a hidden treasure'.
ebooks available on Amazon £1.99p - FREE on Kindle Unlimited
Sam and Lucy are taken on a canal boat holiday by their parents, but they find it rather dull. One day whilst out walking they came across a girl and her dog who are lost. They decide to help get Myrtle and her dog Mompy get home again. The three children end up having the most amazing adventure on 'Mouse'. They visit a Frog circus and meet the King and Queen of the Frogs! They meet mystical characters who help them solve the clues to find their promised treasure and it means a whole new life for all the family – and a wedding!
ebook available on Amazon £1.99p - FREE on Kindle Unlimited
As usual, Peter and Emma are sent to their Grandfather's for the school summer holidays and as always it will be the same old things to do and the same old places to go!
But this year is different, they discover a small canalboat called 'Mouse'.
This leads them to a magical journey on the canals where they meet amazing mystical characters like Bob who plays the saxophone, Tippy & Tilly from Willowwood Snug and their brother Niblick.
Their journey also includes a meeting with 'Black Bart' who tries to steal 'Mouse' but is stopped by the quick thinking of Sophie (the most beautiful black cat) from The Protectors of Magical Mouse (P.O.M.M.)
They finally find their treasure, but it is better than expected and changes their lives forever!
ebook is available on Amazon at £1.99p - FREE on Kindle Unlimited