The Life of Indentured Servants in Colonial Barbados

The English Commonwealth in 1651 had a challenge on their hands. During the third English Civil War, their commander Oliver Cromwell defeated the forces of Charles Stuart (the future King Charles II) first at Dunbar, and then precisely a year later, at Worcester. But Parliament was left with a pressing concern: What to do with the thousands of Scottish prisoners that they had captured?  Catch and release, even with exacting a promise not to raise arms against them again, wasn’t a viable option, and Parliament didn’t have the resources to keep thousands of Scottish prisoners indefinitely. After the Battle of…

Severed Knot is available on NetGalley – News for #bookbloggers #bookreviewers #SeveredKnot #NetGalley

If you are a book blogger or a book reviewer and enjoy historical fiction or historical romance, this announcement is for you! Severed Knot is available on NetGalley for the next month. If you are a NetGalley user and are willing to provide an honest review, request an ARC copy of Severed Knot today. Read it before everyone else does. To request your ARC, click on the image below. Thanks for reading!

Severed Knot: #NewRelease Coming Soon

At long last, my second novel, Severed Knot, is ready to hit online shelves on June 7th! You can pre-order the eBook of this romantic historical adventure through online retailers: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Google Play, Apple Books, and for those in Australia, Angus & Robertson. The paperback will also be available online through all the same retailers. Severed Knot follows Iain Johnstone, a Scottish moss-trooper and officer in Charles Stuart’s Royalist army. Iain first appeared in Traitor’s Knot with his company of moss-troopers when he tried to steal horses from James Hart, a highwayman. Iain Johnstone always had a great deal of cheek (still…

How the second novel is like a middle child

Advice to the parent writer Works of creative fiction are really like children. The first novel, aka the debut novel, is a big miracle. It’s a wondrous burst of creative energy and an absolute marvel when you finally hold the finished product in your hands. It started out as a wee kernel of an idea, and it was just you and that kernel for so long (cough…seven years). Some writers share their kernel with anyone who will ask—baristas, busboys and the counter girl in the bakery—while others keep it close to their chest until it’s nearly ready. You can get…

Sugar Production in 17th century Colonial Barbados

Part of researching my next novel, The Severed Knot, included learning about sugar production in 17th century Barbados and how this sweet substance transformed the island. Sugar wasn’t just a luxury commodity. It served as the chief form of currency on Barbados (slaves and servants were paid for in pounds of sugar) and fuelled British colonization in the Caribbean. Colonial Barbados was at the centre of the sugar trade going back to the mid-17th century and was known as the Sugar Island. Colonizing Barbados The earliest English settlement was established in 1627 through a private venture corporation headed by the Courteen…