Liz Fenwick's Blog

May 7, 2015

Sometimes home is where you least expect it…

In UNDER A CORNISH SKY Liz Fenwick weaves another deliciously irresistible tale set in the heart of her beloved Cornwall.

Demi desperately needs her luck to change. On the sleeper train down to Cornwall, she can’t help wondering why everything always goes wrong for her. Having missed out on her dream job, and left with nowhere to stay following her boyfriend’s betrayal, pitching up at her grandfather’s cottage is her only option.

Victoria thinks she’s finally got what she wanted: Boscawen, the gorgeous Cornish estate her family owned for generations should now rightfully be hers, following her husband’s sudden death. After years of a loveless marriage and many secret affairs of her own, Victoria thinks new widowhood will suit her very well indeed . . .

But both women are in for a surprise. Surrounded by orchards, gardens and the sea, Boscawen is about to play an unexpected role in both their lives. Can two such different women find a way forward when luck changes both their lives so drastically?

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Published on May 07, 2015 06:14 • 6 views

May 6, 2015

Today Under a Cornish Sky is out. The first reviews are in and are good. You can take a peek on Vulpes Libris  and here Shaz’s Book Boudoir 

I have really enjoyed these top three lists and have discovered some new books as well as remembering some old favourites. I’ll try and put together a list compiled from them all.

Henriette brings us our final three…

“Rebecca’s Tale” by Sally Beauman

“House on the Strand” by Daphne du Maurier

“Crossing the Tamar” by Elizabeth Hawksley

51+6OyDZ4aL._AA160_Her latest book is “The Highwayman’s Daughter”

Is it a crime to steal a heart?

Hounslow, 1768. Jack Blythe, heir to the Earl of Lampton, is a man with great expectations. So when his carriage is held up by a masked woman, brandishing a pistol and dressed as a gentleman of the road, he wholly expects to have his purse stolen. And when he senses something strangely familiar about the lovely little bandit, Jack also expects to win his cousin’s wager by tracking her down first.

But as Jack and the highwaywoman enter into a swashbuckling game of cat and mouse, uncovering an intricate web of fiercely guarded family secrets, the last thing Jack expects to have stolen is his heart.


Thanks for following these posts…do you have any to add that we’ve missed??

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Published on May 06, 2015 21:10 • 12 views

May 5, 2015

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

Here’s what Essie had to say…

Thanks for the opportunity to choose my favourite books set in Cornwall, Liz – although it’s very hard, because once I started to think about this I realised just how many wonderful novels are set there, and how many of them are also my favourite all time reads. Here are just a few …




I can still almost smell that fragrant grass and see its slope down to the edge of the cliffs that drop to the glittering sea below. This is the captivating story of five cousins who gather at their aunt’s idyllic Cornish home to spend a last dizzying, simmering summer before the outbreak of the Second World War. The story does move to a war-torn London, but always at its heart and those of the central characters is the house with the camomile lawn.


THE HOUSE ON THE STRAND by Daphne Du Maurier


I love all of Daphne Du Maurier’s books, but this one is quite different – and perhaps the one that haunts me most. It’s said to be her sixties ‘psychodelic’ novel, and it’s the story of Dick Young who visits a house in Cornwall’s Kilmarth that belongs to his biochemist friend, Magnus. Magnus has been developing a new drug and when Dick becomes his guinea-pig, he finds himself ‘tripping’ back into the past – as far back as the fourteenth century, where he experiences the turbulent loves, deceits and tragedies of people now dead, but who were once strongly connected to the house. As Dick becomes more immersed in those lives, to the point of endangering his own, the novel takes on an increasing sense of dramatic suspense, confusion and peril.


INGO by Helen Dunmore


I adore Helen Dunmore’s writing so much that I found myself reading her YA Ingo as well, and was entirely seduced by the enchantment of place that she creates through her graceful, vivid prose. This is a mermaid tale with an absolute foothold in the reality of everyday ‘land’ life too, as a child struggles with the loss of her father, and the discovery of a heritage that means the only way she’ll ever find him again is by daring to search beneath the sea.




51ojsexRNUL._AA160_Essie Fox writes Victorian novels. Her first, The Somnambulist was featured on the Channel 4 TV Book Club and was shortlisted for the National Book Awards. Her latest The Goddess and The Thief is a gothic oriental set in Victorian England and India.




Please drop by tomorrow for Henriette Gyland’s top three books set in Cornwall…

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Published on May 05, 2015 21:32 • 3 views

May 4, 2015

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

Here’s what Jenny had to say…

I have to admit that I’m a bit scared of Cornwall – it seems so involved with the sea, for one thing, a place of danger to a soft inland creature like myself. And then there is the natural magic and the mists of Merlin; where history weaves in and out of myth; where nothing is ever quite what it seems and quite a lot of it will eat your soul.


I’d also better come clean and admit to a positive recoil from Daphne du Maurier, an author whose ability to call up nastiness off the page is, well, magical. There’s never any comfort in her books. They take you somewhere ba-a-a-ad and leave you there, small and shivering.


So my top three Cornish books are all more than a bit unsettling but with a bonus of some human comfort in there too.


OVER SEA, UNDER STONE by the wondrous Susan Cooper – the very first story of what became THE DARK IS RISING, to which she returned ten years later. It’s all there: brave, careful, enquiring children, unreliable grown ups, moral choice, the power locked into myth and history – and the forces of the Dark. The point where two apparently friendly grown ups reveal themselves to be something entirely different is almost unbearable. But the Dark doesn’t win. Really exciting stuff. So glad that she went back and went even deeper.


THE CAMOMILE LAWN by Mary Wesley – this is a family story, bearing comparison Rosamund Pilcher’s novels set at Nancherrow and Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles. Set in Cornwall and London, from the outbreak of war, it charts lives ended, ruined and saved, to a final, healing reunion 40 years later. The two faces of Cornwall are there – the endlessly sea and welcoming, scented camomile lawn and the frightening cliff path, where bad things happen and, even more, the family challenge the elements. It is also very sexy, very funny, and one of the clearest-eyed stories of the Second World War I’ve ever read.


JACKDAW by K J Charles – fantasy, alternative history and, according to the author, ‘a kind of love letter to Looe’ this new book jumped straight into my top three for sheer story telling verve and power of writing. The dark stuff here is magic again, misused and powerful, exacting a toll of its users. The gay lovers are profoundly moving – including the one I really didn’t like at all for a good third of the book. And the human comfort comes straight out of people behaving well – eventually. This is not just the lovers, but their pursuers and, wonderfully, a whole damn village. Even sexier than Mary Wesley, though, so approach with care.


51ib4Odtz7L._AA160_My latest novel is TO MARRY A PRINCE by Sophie Page – no magic but alternative history. Princess Charlotte and her baby survived, the Kensington Museum is the Leopold and Charlotte and the twenty-first century heir to the throne meets an ordinary girl in a lantern-lit garden . . .



Please come back tomorrow to read Essie Fox’s selection….

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Published on May 04, 2015 21:25 • 3 views

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

Here’s what Amanda had to say…

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier has intrigue, suspense and secrets. Du Maurier has a meticulous attention to detail and her sense of place and descriptions of Cornwall are breathtaking. I remember first seeing a mini series on TV in 1979 starring Joanna David as the second Mrs de Winter, Anna Massey as Mrs Danvers and Jeremy Brett as Maxim de Winter. I was so captivated by it that I bought the book and loved that even more, it has become one of my all time favourites.

Escape for the Summer by Ruth Saberton is the perfect feel good read. Three friends going through a rough time in their lives head for a holiday in Cornwall and after a series of unpredictable twists and turns, finally find happiness.

A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick I read my signed copy of this book last summer after attending Liz’s lovely launch. From the first page to the last, Liz Fenwick’s beautiful descriptions of the Helford River area are enchanting, while the intriguing story kept me turning those pages. Each character is carefully and realistically drawn, and as such engenders feelings of empathy and compassion. I was kept guessing until the very end – loved it.


One of my books also out last year – Somewhere Beyond the Sea is a mystery suspense set in Cornwall. Dr Tristan Ainsworth, his wife Karen and their young family move from Swindon to Cornwall, Tristan’s former home where a new post has become available. However once there, Karen becomes withdrawn, depressed and agoraphobic. Tristan can’t understand why this has happened and his wife certainly won’t tell him. Then, as a tide of blackmail and betrayal is unleashed to threaten the foundations of their marriage, Karen and Tristan face a difficult question. Is their love strong enough to face the truth when the truth might cost them everything?




Amanda’s latest book is Cross Stitch It should be the happiest day of her life. Despite past heartache, Sarah Yates is finally marrying her true love, John Needler. But Sarah and John can’t pretend they’re an ordinary couple. They’re time travellers and where time travel is involved, nothing runs smoothly. One minute Sarah is saying her vows and the next she is hurtled back in time to a country that is on the cusp of war, and into the company of the bad-tempered Veronica Ratchet. Newly-wedded bliss is certainly not on the cards for Sarah as events see her travelling from the British punk era to 1950’s America. And even when she returns home she can’t escape Veronica. But when the past and the present collide, that’s when the real problems start … Sequel to A Stitch in Time   You can find out more about Amanda’s books on her blog or follow here on Twitter @akjames61

Please come back tomorrow to discover Jenny Haddon’s top three…

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Published on May 04, 2015 01:00

May 2, 2015

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

Here’s what Emylia had to say….

One of the things I love most about Cornwall is its art and artists, so when thinking about my favourite books set in that part of the world I’ve added a second filter – ‘must contain brushstrokes’.

Notes From An Exhibition – Patrick Gale

The artist Rachel Kelly is a fascinating, complex, volatile creation, and as the story unfolds we comprehend the effect she’s had on those closest to her. It’s a compulsive and heartbreaking read. Barbara Hepworth makes a star turn, and the Penwith art community is painted with aplomb.

An Equal Stillness – Francesca Kay

A fictionalised biography of painter Jennet Mallow, which moves between London, St Ives, Spain and Yorkshire. It’s beautifully poetic and the time spent in Cornwall, while not the most influential for Mallow’s art, remains a delight for the reader – deeply lyrical, infused with sun and sea and other temptations.

The Cornish House – Liz Fenwick

Trevenen, the titular Cornish house, is a place of new beginnings, but the inescapable past pervades the story. The setting is so evocative, the wonderfully dilapidated house and the surrounding countryside invite the reader in, while artist Maddie, and her step-daughter Hannah, are hugely relatable characters.

Actually, I have to add a fourth – because it’s impossible to talk about Cornwall without mentioning du Maurier – even if it does mean stepping away from the art crowd…

Jamaica Inn – Daphne du Maurier

While Rebecca is one of my all-time favourite novels, when it comes to resoundingly Cornish settings, for me, Jamaica Inn trumps it. Landscape looms large – there are black nights on cliff tops, moorland lost in fogs and bogs, the clamour of Launceston on market day, and it’s all contrasted with Mary Yellan’s nostalgia for the greener and more pleasant spot she left behind. It’s the kind of story for tucking up under the bedclothes with, and for which the phrase ‘rip-roaring yarn’ feels invented.

51aUMFT3eJL._AA160_Emylia has her own Cornish story, The Sea Between Us, coming out in August and it’s wonderful (I just finished it yesterday). She weaves her love of art, the sea and Cornwall onto the pages…

In a remote Cornish cove, on one of the last days of summer, Robyn Swinton is drowning. She is saved – just – by local boy Jago Winters, and it is a moment that will change both of them forever.

Over the next seven years, Robyn and Jago’s paths lead them in different directions, to city streets and foreign shores. Will the bond forged that day Jago dragged Robyn in from the sea be strong enough to bring them back to one another, or has life already pulled them too far apart?


You can find Emylia on twitter @EmyliaHall


Please pop by tomorrow to find out Amanda James’s top three books set in Cornwall…


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Published on May 02, 2015 21:50 • 3 views

May 1, 2015

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

Here’s what Christina had to say…

Apart from your own lovely books, my top three stories set in Cornwall are:-

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier – I know, predictable, but such a wonderful story (apart from the ending which I would have liked to be different)!

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt – used to love her novels, read every one and they’re all wonderfully Gothic and romantic. In this, her first one, the setting was as important as the characters themselves and I think this was when I first fell in love with Cornwall.

The Memory Garden by Rachel Hore – a wonderful time slip featuring a beautiful garden!

51UvSaXBFdL._AA160_My latest book isn’t set in Cornwall, alas, but the next best thing – Devon. The Soft Whisper of Dreams is a contemporary romance with some paranormal and suspense/thriller elements. The heroine, Maddie, finds out she’s adopted and an old nightmare comes back to haunt her. When she visits friends in Devon to recover from the shock, she meets dangerously handsome Alex, has a disturbing encounter with a gypsy fortune teller and, terrifyingly, her bad dreams seem to be coming true …

You can find out more about Christina’s books on her website: or on

FB: or on twitter:


Please pop back tomorrow to see Emylia Hall’s top choices…

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Published on May 01, 2015 22:19 • 1 view

April 30, 2015

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

Here’s what Janet Had to say…

Apart from your books, Liz – I will say….

Daphne Du Maurier, one of my favourite authors, wrote many books set in Cornwall. Rebecca is top of my list, but there was also Jamaica Inn and, well, too many to list.

Victoria Holt wrote fabulous books set in great gothic mansions, usually on the cliffs of Cornwall. Penmarric is one that leaps immediately to mind. It had me wanting to visit Cornwall before I had even come to the U.K.

Susanna Kersley also writes a wonderful mix of historical and timeslip – her novel The Rose Garden is set on Cornwall. I loved it. It was haunting and beautiful.

5116BjSGaSL._AA160_My latest book is The Wild One. Just as you have Cornwall as your particular setting –I have Australia. This book is the second in the Coorah Creek series, set in a small outback town.



Please come back tomorrow to see Christina Courtenay’s top three books set in Cornwall….

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Published on April 30, 2015 21:09 • 1 view

April 29, 2015

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

I had a little chat with Julia and here’s what she said…

‘My favourite Cornish books have to be : ‘Rebecca,’ Patrick Gale’s ‘Rough Music’, and ‘The Shell Seekers.’ I interviewed Rosemund Pilcher years ago, and she was a darling.’


51Iadd0f9kL._AA160_-2Julia’s latest book is ‘Jasmine Nights’

JASMINE NIGHTS is a tale of decadence and destruction, of love and of danger. It is the captivating love story set in an extraordinary world.


Please pop by tomorrow to see Janet Gover’s top three books set in Cornwall…

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Published on April 29, 2015 22:49 • 3 views

April 28, 2015

To celebrate the paperback release of A Cornish Stranger on the 23rd of April and Under A Cornish Sky of the 7th of May I’ve asked several of my favourite authors to share their top three Cornish reads.

Here’s what Dinah had to say…

‘I tend not to have favourite books as such, as I have such a butterfly memory. But the three books set in Cornwall that come to mind, apart from your own that is, are Rosamund Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers, Mary Wesley’s The Camomile Law and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. All of them elicit the same response and that’s the longing to be there. There are others and I did enjoy the original Poldark books all those years ago. I’d say Rebecca is my absolute favourite, because of its mystery and darkness.


While in my memory, Cornwall is a place of blue skies, blue seas and wonderful coves, it does have a dark history too: the wrecking, the mine closures and so on. And what I love most about Cornwall are the cliffs, the wild seas, and the stormy skies, even though they can be bleak and overwhelming. I love to sense the way Cornwall must have been in the past, stuck right there at the end of the world: ‘Here be dragons’. And, for me, Daphne du Maurier captures some of those qualities and the darkness in Cornwall’s history in Rebecca and Jamaica Inn.’


51n3sltEVKL._AA160_Dinah’s latest book is The Separation

A country at war with itself,

a family divided and betrayed,

a bond that can never be broken…


You can find out more about Dinah and her work at


Please stop by tomorrow and discover Julia Gregson’s top three…

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Published on April 28, 2015 21:25 • 5 views