Monday 25 February 2013


Can you see Taniu and Owain meeting here? Today we scouted more locations for the cover of Bride of the Spear. This is Carrock Beck on the Caldbeck Fells. Next Candidate is Roughton Gill- also on the Caldbeck Fells but further west.
Meanwhile, I'm delighted to announce that I have been able to pay a substantial cheque to Carlisle Overseas Aid Trust for e-book royalties, earned by Moon in Leo and The Once and Future Queen. Kathleen elected to have her royalties paid to a charity.
PS The Once and Future Queen is now available for Kobo too!

Wednesday 20 February 2013


Arthur, the last High King of the once civilised Roman province of Britannia, has been dead for fifty years. The last British kings of the North are fighting for survival in a welter of feuding and treachery.

Taniu, neglected and unloved daughter of King Loth of Lothian, is out gathering herbs when she meets a handsome young huntsman, unaware that he is Prince Owain of Cumbria. The two promise to meet in the spring, but when the awaited time comes and the King of Cumbria applies to Loth for the hand of his daughter, Taniu refuses, never connecting huntsman and prince.  Tragedy, bloodshed and separation follow, but there is a satisfyingly upbeat ending.

At last, Kathleen Herbert's Heroic Age books, long out of print, are to be published in their correct order. They have been variously known as The Northumbrian Trilogy and The Cumbrian Trilogy. They have a much wider geographical setting than either suggests, ranging from Lothian and Strathclyde, through Deira and Gwynedd to Mercia so I think they deserve a more inclusive overall title.

Sunday 3 February 2013



Ghosts of Camelot  is a book which we found, half written, and completely planned, amongst the many notebooks and boxes of papers which we rescued when Kathleen's house was sold. The book is set in Cumbria in the early 14th Century in the reign of Edward II. Trifolium Books' editor, Mike Jensen, is working on reconstructing it, and we hope to publish this exciting new find during the coming year.

 We took advantage of an unusually bright winter's day to take some photos of places which are important in the book. The heroine is Julian le Bret, a retainer of the powerful Clifford family, whose stronghold, Brougham Castle, plays an important role in the story. Just as we are fascinated by the Arthurian legends today, so were people in the 14th Century. Our characters even enact  scenes from the much loved stories, and, living as they did near Eamont Bridge, they had the perfect theatre for their pageant:

This ancient earthwork predates Arthur by at least 2000 years, but it has always been known as King Arthur's Round Table. In the picture below, by kind permission of the landlord of the Crown Hotel, Eamont Bridge- just across the road from his inn, we can see that it was a perfect circular amphitheatre.
After the Arthurian celebrations, Julian finds her way to near-by Mayburgh Henge, another impressive ancient Cumbrian earthwork.

The entrance to Mayburgh Henge.  The distinctive shape of Saddleback can be seen between the ends of the 3 metre high walls which surround the huge arena.
The massive standing stone which remains inside the henge. Originally there were at least four

Looking West- a gap in the wall opposite the entrance reveals Saddleback
Looking East to the Pennines

The keep of Brougham Castle. Julian looks out from the top floor to gaze at the Western Fells 
The sun was setting over the Lake District fells as we left, full of excitement about The Ghosts of Camelot, and feeling we knew a little bit more about Julian, Roger Clifford, and the other characters who lived their lives in this part of the Eden Valley.