The Review Blog – latest review

Well, not one of my reviews but this book is on my To Be Read pile. Looking forward to getting stuck into it!

This is the true story of Aethelflaed, the ‘Lady of the Mercians’, daughter of Alfred the Great and was the only female leader of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom.




Have a read of Sharon Bennett Connolly’s fab review:


Woo hoo … new book deal!





I am very pleased to announce that I will be writing a non-fiction history book for Amberley Publishing.


Non-fiction wasn’t the way I envisaged my writing going but boy, am I pleased it has.  Amberley liked my history posts on this very blog and thought their Secret local history series would be just right for me to write for.  I couldn’t agree more so am now busy researching and learning all about image copyrights ha!


I have found the help of a local history group so far very helpful and am beginning to have my faith in human nature restored – for people with a first-hand knowledge of facts I need to write about and reference, helping so freely is immense.  Will hopefully be doing updates on the book’s progress as and when – unfortunately, I can’t afford to give up the day job but who knows, maybe one day I can cut back on it a little bit and devote more time to the wonderful world of words!

New Book Review – Crime Thriller Genre!

Good Morning … finally back with another review for indie author Jaye Marie!  Jaye has kindly agreed to a free book giveaway for a draw on 12th December.  All you have to do is comment on the blog itself, or the Facebook page (links below).



The Ninth Life was a deviation from my first love of historical fiction but what a read to liven up the old brain cells.  Fantastic story, fab plot and is the first book in a trilogy so more thrills to come.  Read the review here on The Review Blog, where I contribute reviews and occasionally other bits ‘n’ pieces.




Remember, comment on either of those threads on the Ninth Life posts to be in for a chance to win a free copy.  Happy reading!


Abergavenny Castle



Bathed in glorious sunshine on an unusually warm October day, sits the curtain wall remains of Abergavenny Castle, Monmouthshire.  Difficult to believe that this romantic, proud ruin signifies the site of one of the most infamous massacres in the history of the Welsh Marches …


William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber probably goes down in history as one of the cruellest of the Marcher Lords. Christmas Day, 1175.   After luring a Welsh Lord, Seisyll ap Dyfnwal of Gwent – supposedly for blood revenge – to Abergavenny Castle on the pretext of a peace treaty and new beginnings (meaning the Welsh would have lain their weapons at the door and were thus defenceless), William and his men proceeded to cut down the Welsh royalty within the walls like that pictured above.  This included Seisyll’s eldest son and other notable Welsh leaders too; more than likely, a bloodthirsty attempt to weaken Welsh influence around Abergavenny.  Of course, we must always allow for the mindset of the day – nothing like our modern, more socially aware way of life (no, you cannot chop the head off the bloke driving the van that just cut you up on the ring road).  In this case however, as cruel as the massacre was, William – whether partaking himself or commanding his men – rode to the home of the slain Welsh lord before news reached his people, and slaughtered the seven-year-old son of the prince:


“In this case, once the guests were all assembled inside the great hall, the doors were barred and every single man was cut down. William and his attendants then hopped onto their swiftest horses and sped south a few miles to the country of Seisyll ap Dyfnwal, one of the slain. De Briouze arrived ahead of the news of the slaughter, found Seisyll’s wife, executed the youngest son, seven-year-old Cadwaladr, in her arms, and left the wife and mother to a fate unrecorded in the historical legend.”   Haltom, E.A. (2015) The Massacre at Abergavenny [accessed 2.11.16].



Gatehouse, later addition circa 1400 (photo source Emma Powell, Oct 2016)












Further ruins within curtain walls (photo source Emma Powell, Oct 2016).














View from adjacent car park overlooking Blorenge Mountain. The Castle ruins look down on flood plains, aptly named Castle Meadow with it’s rich biodiversity, bordered by the River Usk. (Photo source Emma Powell, Oct 2016).


Beautiful, tranquil and how one can imagine ‘how lovely it must have been’.  Hmmm … violence was abound, it was originally a defensive castle after all but thankfully now a visitor spot on the edge of a bustling market town.  Take time out in the ruins to relax, chill or whatever you please.

At least you know you’re safe!


References and recommended reading:,_4th_Lord_of_Bramber#Abergavenny_Massacre

New Book Review – The Reaper’s Breath

Been a while but I’m back with a new book review for the fab The Reaper’s Breath by the talented author Robert Southworth.  Follow the link to The Review Blog below to enter a comment and be in with a chance to win the free paperback giveaway by the author!



The Review Blog

The Review Blog Facebook Page

The Gatekeeper – my latest review


My latest review can be found on the link below … a really unusual read but, as the blurb says, really absorbing.  The author, Kay Sexton, really knows her stuff.