|place of birth
||Historical Fiction, Thrillers,
about this author
How do you make God laugh? Make a plan. I studied classical theater (Shakespeare, Shaw, Moliere, Congreve) at the National Theater School of Canada, planning a “distinguished stage career," and then spent the next twenty years acting mostly on television in made-for-TV movies, series, sit-coms, and soap opera. But I thoroughly enjoyed all that TV work, and I did use my stage training too, performing in dozens of plays across Canada and in the US. I loved being an actor.
It felt like a natural extension of my acting to create characters for fiction, and in 2008 Kensington Books published my first historical novel, "The Queen's Lady". Set in the court of Henry VIII, "The Queen's Lady" features Honor Larke, a (fictional) ward of (the real) Sir Thomas More. More was a brilliant scholar and a loving father, but as chancellor of England he banned books and burned men. My story turns on Honor's passionate conflict with her once-beloved guardian as she tries to save More's victims, enlisting rogue ship-captain Richard Thornleigh in her missions.
Readers found these characters so engaging, I wrote a sequel, "The King's Daughter," (2009)featuring Honor and Richard's daughter, Isabel. When Henry VIII's bitter daughter, Queen Mary, launches her reign with a vow to annihilate heretics, Isabel Thornleigh must act quickly to save her family. Determined to rescue her father from prison, she entrusts her mission, and herself, to a ruthless soldier of fortune, Carlos Valverde.
The third book in this "Thornleigh" series is "The Queen's Captive" (2010). When Queen Mary releases her 20-year-old sister Princess Elizabeth from the Tower, hoping she'll make a false move and condemn herself, Honor Thornleigh returns from exile with Richard and their seafaring son, Adam, to help Elizabeth in the fight of her life. Playing a dangerous game as a double agent, aware that a false move of her own will expose her past as a condemned heretic, Honor finds her task made harder when Adam and Elizabeth fall in love. To save her family and Elizabeth, and herself, Honor must turn a headstrong princess into a queen before "Bloody Mary" destroys them all.
Next in the "Thornleigh Saga" is book 4: "The Queen's Gamble" (2011). Isabel, the Thornleighs' daughter, returns to London from the New World with her Spanish husband Carlos Valverde and their young son, and is swept up in the first international crisis of the young Queen's Elizabeth reign: the French, who control Scotland, have landed troops along England's border, threatening an invasion. The Queen recruits Isabel to take money secretly to aid the Scottish rebel faction trying to drive out the French. But when Carlos is sent to Scotland as a Spanish military adviser to the French troops, he and Isabel find they are on opposite sides in this deadly war - and the Queen has made their little boy her hostage.
"Blood Between Queens" (2013)is Book 5. Mary, Queen of Scots, has fled to England hoping her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, will grant her asylum. But Mary has her sights on the English crown, and Elizabeth enlists her most trusted subjects to protect it. Justine Thornleigh, Honor and Richard's ward, is sent to serve as a spy in Mary’s court. But bearing the guise of a lady-in-waiting is not Justine’s only secret. She fears revealing to her fiancé that she is in truth the daughter of his family’s enemy. Duty-bound, Justine must sacrifice love as she navigates a deadly labyrinth of betrayal that could lead to the end of Elizabeth’s fledgling reign.
And for something quite different ... Set in Alberta, Canada, my contemporary novel "Entrapped" is a thriller of high stakes - life and death, love, and oil.