Ball Scenes – a guest post by Ankaret Wells

Today is a very exciting day at Guillotine Towers as it marks the release of my lovely friend Ankaret Wells‘ latest novel, Firebrand which she has described as ‘a steampunk fantasy romance inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s Angria novelettes, and featuring airships, plaid, a mechanical birdcage, de jure princesses, evil stepdaughters, and war by means of teapot.‘ Who could possibly resist? […]

Fields of the Nephilim’s Halloween gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire

There’s no point denying it. I’m a goth. Always have been and always will be. Oh woe is me. Hand/staple/forehead. I’ve loved Fields of the Nephilim ever since I was a sad little redheaded seventeen year old goth grumping my way around Colchester in an array of dishevelled velvet flounced skirts, jingling mirror embroidered tie dye dresses and pointy little […]

Ten books to see you through the Downton withdrawal…

Another series of Downton Abbey has drawn to a close and I’m sure we’re all feeling a bit bereft right now. It’s taken me three series to fully get into this show and I am a bit miffed that it’s coming to an end just as the weather is beginning to turn truly wintry as it makes perfect snuggling under […]

Keeping your characters under control – a guest post by Delilah des Anges

Polly Mazlowsczy attacks Nancy Oakes, by B.L. Becotte. A scene from one of Delilah’s novels. “Write me something about writing,” Melanie said, about six months ago. “I will when I’ve thought of something,” said I. Bearing in mind how slowly my brain apparently works, it’s probably not a good idea to take this too seriously: realism and its effects on […]

The Georgian House, Bristol

I spent a lovely hour wandering around the Georgian House Museum in Bristol on my birthday. To my shame, I don’t visit often enough even though I am struck every single time that I DO go by the cosy loveliness of the building’s interior. I took some ropey photographs with my iPhone while pottering around, which I thought some of […]

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore

Gina Bramhill and Orlando James as Annabella and Giovanni in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. Photo: Bristol Old Vic/Cheek by Jowl. When I was younger one of my all time favourite things in the whole world was a trip to the theatre. My grandmother took me to see my first play – Tom Baker playing Mr Hardcastle in a production […]

Reign – new Mary Stuart drama?

Mary Queen of Scots, unknown artist, c1560-1592. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, London. I’m actually pretty excited to hear that the US television network CW are apparently developing a new series called Reign about the teenage years of Mary, Queen of Scots. Even the fact that it’s been described as ‘Game Of Thrones meets Marie Antoinette — if Marie Antoinette had […]

New cover for Before the Storm…

Before the Storm, my novel of posh doom, bittersweet romance and iniquity in the lead up to the French Revolution, has a lovely new look! I’m really REALLY pleased with how well it turned out. Unable to attract suitably aristocratic suitors in London, a group of beautiful, wealthy and extremely ambitious English heiresses decide to try their luck in Paris […]

Portraits of maternal bliss, Tate Gallery.

The Cholmondeley Ladies, unknown artist, Tate Gallery. Photo: my own. When I recently went to the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Tate Gallery, I made sure that I had a good wander around the now seemingly sadly depleted ‘Historical Gallery’ as well. I’m sure there used to be loads more paintings in that bit but there were still enough out to […]

1950s Housewife Project

Photo: my own, scanned from the Coronation Day edition of Queen magazine. I can finally reveal that the Top Secret Project that I’ve been making occasional oblique references to on here is a commission to write a book about being a housewife in the 1950s. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this project as I love domestic […]

CSI: Georgian Gown

I’m up to my EARS in writing and editing right now (as well as sneaky breaks to read the latest Agatha Raisin novel!) so haven’t had enough spare time to write some new blog posts. I know, I know. I suck and am rubbish. HOWEVER, instead, I thought I’d share a golden oldie with you today to make up for […]

Mercredi 16th Octobre 1793.

The woman appears much older than her thirty seven years, dressed in a shabby rusty black gown with a patina of faded mould around the hem and a crumpled fichu arranged around her shoulders, she looks exhausted and pale as she slumps on the rough wooden bench. Her prematurely grey hair falls in untidy ringlets from beneath her white linen […]

Portraits de Femmes – Olivier Blanc

I got many splendid presents (Spitalfields Life! Upstairs, Downstairs season two! Desperate Romantics! L’Occitane Ambre!) for my birthday but chief amongst them has to be a brand spanking new copy of Portraits de Femmes: Artistes et modèles à l’époque de Marie-Antoinette by Olivier Blanc, which is simply one of the most superb books ever written. In fact if a book […]