The French know how to make a stylish entrance! And this is what my French publisher, Presses de la Cite has done with their new version of my novel A HANDFUL OF STARS.

A Handful of Stars - French cover

They have called it UNE FEMME INSOUMISE (A Rebellious Woman) which is a fair comment on my ambitious, glamorous yet warm-hearted heroine, Clara.

The cover also conveys the glamour of the 1930s period in which the novel is set:

It’s 1931 and the Depression has brought Tyneside to its knees. Young, pretty Clara Magee is devastated when her father commits suicide leaving secrets behind him and the family is forced to sell their fancy-goods shop to a German couple. Despite her mother Patience’s disapproval, Clara befriends their daughter Rennie and hot-headed son Benny, but her heart lies with their dashing elder brother Frank. Patience thinks businessman Vinnie Craven, who runs the local boxing hall, a far better catch for Clara. When Frank leaves abruptly for Germany, Vinnie single-mindedly pursues the vivacious Clara, determined to make her his wife. Tempted by the glamorous life-style Vinnie is offering and security for her family, Clara buries her feelings for Frank. But she hadn’t bargained for Vinnie’s ruthless nature or growing fascination for Mosley’s Fascist Party. Yet the greatest shock is still to come …


or buy via Amazon

THE TYNESIDE SAGAS are a hit with UK readers!

9781908359391‘Brilliant set of books, gripping’

Kindle readers are giving the thumbs up to a box-set of Janet’s North-East historical novels – and have pushed the compilation up to Number 4 in Historical Romance!

‘Excellent. Well written. Keeps the reader interested.’

‘Very true to life on Tyneside – loved them – all three.’

They helped one reader pass the time when laid up – while another went early to bed to read them!

This is what they are about:

3 dramatic tales of passionate women: pretty Clara fighting her way out of ’30s poverty falls for bad boy Vinnie [A Handful of Stars]; Millie escaping a shameful past, dreams of riches [Chasing the Dream]; fun loving Joe uncovers dark family secrets and makes sacrifices for love [For Love and Glory]. Set in momentous mid 20th century Britain with heartwarming heroines, the stories stir all the emotions.

‘I’ve given 5 stars because I enjoyed reading all three books. Nicely written and very interesting story lines. I will definitely look for other books by this writer.’

‘Couldn’t put down – will look for more like this – great value.’

The box-set is available on Amazon UK at: http://amzn.to/1DlDoxS (as well as all other Amazon sites and on Kobo)

For Love&Glory cover - Copy9781908359308cover - Copy9781908359186cover - Copy


In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike of 1984, I am putting my novel NEVER STAND ALONE on at a special price.

99p on Amazon.co.uk9780956642660

When Carol Shannon, the unruly daughter of Brassbank’s pit manager, falls for young miner, Mick Todd, their defiant relationship causes a storm in the close-knit mining village. For the bitterness between their families runs as deep as the coal seams that are Brassbank’s lifeblood. But the hardest battles are still to come for rebellious Carol. With 1984 dawns the year long Miner’s Strike that divides the nation and sets communities at war. Hardship not only threatens Brassbank’s survival, but pushes Carol and Mick’s passionate union to breaking point, leaving tragedy in its wake. Set against the fascinatingly vivid backdrop of a momentous time, Never Stand Alone is an impassioned novel of a woman’s fight for her community, her family and the man she loves.

‘A tough, compelling and ultimately satisfying novel … another classy, irresistible read’
Sunderland Echo
‘She pulls no punches, tells it like it is and taps directly into your emotions. Excellent’ 
Northern Echo 
‘A vivid picture of courage in the face of injustice…Never Stand Alone ought to increase the author’s growing band of fans’ 
Northern Review 
‘The gritty, unforgettable story of families torn apart by the conflict that divided a nation…a powerful story’
World Books

$1.65 on Amazon.com

$1.78 on Amazon.com.au

CDN $1.76 on Amazon.ca

HERE COMES THE BRIDE! – *New Novel out now*

THE PLANTER’S BRIDE – sequel to THE TEA PLANTER’S DAUGHTER – is now available as an ebook.


The story is partly inspired by my maternal grandparents, having discovered diaries and letters written by them, giving rich detail of their lives in India in the 1920s and 30s. Granddad Bob worked for the India Forest Service and my intrepid Granny Sydney followed him out from Scotland to marry and live the itinerant life of a forester’s wife.

My granny in her wedding dress in a garden in Lahore is featured on the cover!

They trekked through remote parts of the Himalayan foothills – and when they became parents, the kids went too! My mum Sheila, as a baby, was hoist in a pram on poles and carried through the jungles and along mountainous pathways along with the tents and supplies! Mum being carried through foothills of Himalayas



The new novel follows the fortunes of two cousins, Sophie and Tilly, who leave post 1st World War Britain behind and head for adventure in India – Sophie determined to find out the truth behind her parents sudden death in the tea planting area of Assam 15 years previously …


Available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and other Amazon sites, as well as Kobo, Nook, Apple and other tablets and ereaders.


Researching my latest novel, THE PLANTERS’ BRIDES (a sequel to THE TEA PLANTER’S DAUGHTER ) I came across this great collection of old photos of Lahore.


Great inspiration for my novel which is partly set in 1920s Lahore in the Punjab!

My grandparents lived there in the 1920s and 1930s, and many of the places are mentioned in their diaries and letters: they arrived at the magnificent station, were married in the Anglican cathedral off the Mall, stayed at Nedous Hotel, had a friend who was curator at Lahore Museum ….

My mother and uncles at their home in Lahore - my forester grandfather calls them, "Our Forest Nursery"!

My mother and uncles at their home in Lahore – my forester grandfather calls them, “Our Forest Nursery”!

Granddad was working for the Indian Forest Service. After Independence he stayed on to work for the new country of Pakistan and was based in Lahore.

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In 1976, on an overland bus trip to India, we stopped in Lahore and camped for a couple of nights. I wish I had known then the rich details of my grandparents’ life there which I now know from their recently discovered diaries and letters ….! (Above is a game of cricket going on near the Mall in 1976)


TO CELEBRATE THE CENTENARY OF SUFFRAGETTE EMILY WILDING DAVISON I am giving away ten signed copies of my novel NO GREATER LOVE which is inspired by northern suffragettes such as Emily.perf6.140x9.210.indd

All you have to do is follow the link to GOODREADS to have a chance of winning one of the 10 FREE paperback copies.


Good luck!




ANYONE FOR TIGERS AND TENNIS? – forgotten diaries of India in the 1920s


Recently, I have come across old diaries and letters written in India by my maternal grandparents in the 1920s and 1930s, where my granddad was a forester with the Indian Forest Service. Bob Gorrie had been a gunner in the First World War and survivor of trench warfare (one of the ‘mortar-mongers’ as he nicknamed them).  He kept diaries of that ‘adventure’ too, but that’s a whole other story!DSCF1002 - Copy


On his return to Scotland, he trained in Edinburgh at the University – there’s seems to have been a lot of rowing, tea dances and theatre trips in between lectures on tree species and Hindustani – Bob was relishing life post Flanders. There was a whirlwind romance with sophisticated Sydney Easterbrook (a wow on the dance floor) and then he was off to the Punjab, leaving his fiancee to follow a year later …


As a writer and researcher, I am absolutely hooked on my grandparents story – their life in India leaps off the page – and I’m drinking tea, marking trees, auctioning timber, riding under moonlight and playing ‘topping’ games of tennis alongside them!

Oh, yes – and I’m wearing a brooch made out of a tiger’s claw from a man-eating tiger that my grandfather shot and named Gwendoline …

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My next novel – a sequel to the Tea Planter’s Daughter – is taking form and taking my characters back to India in the ’20s. Over the next few months I’ll share slices of that long gone era on this blog – with the help of Bob and Sydney.