The Deserter's Daughter is a saga set in 1920s Manchester. It follows the lives of two half-sisters, who are very different not only in their personalities but also in their social standing, as they strive for respectability after their late father is revealed as having been a deserter.


With its intertwined plot-lines, exploration of relationships and strong female characters, The Deserter's Daughter is written for saga readers who enjoy character-driven books with an accurate historical setting and satisfying emotional content.



1920, Chorlton, Manchester.


As her wedding day approaches, Carrie Jenkins is trying on her dress and eagerly anticipating becoming Mrs Billy Shipton. But all too soon she is reeling from the news that her beloved pa was shot for desertion during the Great War. When Carrie is jilted and the close-knit community turns its back on her, her half-sister Evadne and their mother, the plans Carrie nurtured are destroyed.


Desperate to overcome her private troubles as well as the public humiliation, Carrie accepts the unsettling advances of the well-to-do antiques dealer, Ralph Armstrong. Through Ralph, Evadne meets the aristocratic Alex Larter, who seems to be the answer to her matrimonial ambitions.


But the sisters have chosen men who are not to be trusted and they must face physical danger and personal heartache before they can find the happiness they deserve.



The audio version of The Deserter's Daughter is published by Isis Soundings.



You can hear a snippet from it here.



On Amazon



At Isis Soundings



The Deserter's Daughter is published by Allison & Busby.



Amazon UK


Amazon US


Amazon Canada


Amazon Australia


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Places in The Deserter's Daughter


 The Lych-Gate


The lych gate, with its distinctive octagonal bell-tower, was built in 1888 and these days is a listed building. It commands the entrance to the old, long-gone St Clement’s Church. The new St Clement’s Church up the road was in use well before the novel opens, which is why, in the book, the Armstrong family requires special permission to hold a family burial in the old graveyard.




Jackson's Boat





This photo, taken in 1915, shows Jackson's Boat - the bridge across the River Mersey that forms a link between Chorlton in Lancashire and Sale in Cheshire.


As Ralph reflects in the book: ‘Presumably somewhere back in the mists of time, there had been a boat and it had been rowed to and fro by a bloke called Jackson, but for as long as anyone could remember, Jackson’s Boat had been a bridge.’




Chorlton Green




If you imagine standing with your back towards the lych gate, you would face the green. The building in the background is The Horse and Jockey pub.


In the book, Chorlton Green is where the locals have created a temporary memorial for those who lost their lives in the Great War. It is also one of the places that features in Carrie's flight through the fog when she is running for her life. That tree on the left-hand side of the photograph is at the corner of the road Carrie came down in the fog to get to the green.

 Libraries: Archives & Local History.)

(The photographs above are reproduced by arrangment with Manchester Libraries: Archives & Local History.)



Wilbraham Road



This shows half of a big crossroads. Stretching away in front of you in the picture (and also behind you) is Wilbraham Road. The road that crosses it is Barlow Moor Road. The antques shop is on the part of Wilbraham Road that is behind you. Up in the distance on the left hand side is Chorlton Station, beyond which is where Mr Weston lives. On the right hand side, roughly where the motor car is parked, is Quarmby's, the stationer's outside which Billy tries to persuade Carrie to run away with him.






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Writing The Deserter's Daughter


How Carrie and Evadne got their names.


Setting the story in Chorlton.  



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Reviews of The Deserter's Daughter


Review by Catherine Boardman on the Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays website.


Review by Tara Greaves on her After the Rain website. 


Review by Julie Boon of Boon's Bookcase.  



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Bits and Pieces


Publication Day


Publication day in 2017 was just wonderful. To celebrate, we held an afternoon tea for friends in the beautiful Imperial Hotel on Llandudno's promenade, with my talented husband providing musical accompaniment. (Yes, he was allowed to stop and eat.)


Some of my friends presented me with a fabulous flower arrangement - complete with an S in pink roses; cotton-wool flowers created by the florist (cotton = Manchester, the setting for The Deserter's Daughter); and all housed in a genuine 1920s mixing bowl, for my 1920s story.


The Deserter's Daughter at the library




I couldn't resist sharing this with you. You may have heard of the PLR. This means that when books are borrowed from the public library, the authors and illustrators and the readers of audio books receive a small fee. The PLR year runs from July 1st to June 30th.


Since The Deserter's Daughter was published on June 22nd 2017, it was in the PLR year for the final week of the 2016-2017 year. In FEbruary 2018, I received the statement of its loan record. That figure at the end of the line is the number of loans - 179 in one week. One week!


I am chuffed to bits. Thank you to everyone who got The Deserter's Daughter off to such a winning start.


Something that writers are very proud of is "shelfies" - photos of their books on the shelf in the library or bookshop.


Here is my first shelfie!


The picture was taken in Llandudno Library early in 2018.