The women in my novels are without exception strong and determined characters. They may not always appear so and it may take extreme circumstances for them to display their strength, or other people to recognize it… as a result they may be underestimated by others.
- Deke Colefox in ‘Farholm’ has always been strong and independent but grief and bereavement deal her a terrible blow from which she struggles to recover; when her life is in danger and the lives of others, she shows that she is tough and resilient… however, her tendency to tackle problems on her own nearly leads to a tragic conclusion.
- Rosa Czekov describes herself as ‘ordinary’; no-one can understand why her husband Luke ever married her… the truth is simple, he loves her, adores, her and is devastated when she puts her life at risk. No-one really knows Rosa, and unfortunately for her, she doesn’t really know others as well as she thinks she does. In ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ it is not only the stalker who is revealed, the real Rosa is put in the spotlight.
- Tyche Kane, Rosa’s distant cousin is her exact opposite; physically Rosa was pale and slightly plump with close-cropped dark hair, her grey eyes were her most striking feature. She seems calm and passive and quiet; Tyche is loud and strident and does crazy things. Tyche is slim blond and blue-eyed, a fitness fanatic and is supremely fit… what others don’t realise is that she is building up her strength and stamina so when she finds the stalker she will survive the encounter.
- Aislin McManus in ‘Loving Judah’ is, like me, an ex-teacher; she however, has given up work to help her husband restore the lovely old house they have bought. Aislin was a great natural teacher, fearsome, yet loved and respected by her students. She adored her step-son Judah, and his death completely devastates her; how her bereaved husband Peter behaves is totally unexpected and Aislin has to rethink her own life and future. The toughness she showed as a teacher of challenging students is needed to contend with not only emotional and personal difficulties, but when she faces physical challenges too.
- Beulah Cameron, like most of my heroines, is an ordinary person who displays unexpected courage and determination when put in an extraordinary situation in ‘Night Vision.’ Beulah is a wife,a mother, and a lecturer in Manchester; she adores her husband, Neil, but as he tries to become more controlling, she has to fight to keep her independence, and in doing so discovers that Neil has his own secrets, secrets which could destroy him.
- ‘The Double Act’ is another of my Easthope stories and is about Lance and Genet MaCauley. Genet is the quietest and seemingly most passive of her group of friends;
One drunken night the five women had played truth games. Monique was voted the most outrageous, Rina the most secretive, Chrissie the most fun, Toni the most reliable, Lyndsey the most innocent and Genet – Genet was the nicest.
“Nice? I mean, nice? What is nice? Nothingy, insipid, characterless – nice! I bet you asked Heath about me, I bet he said I was nice, I bet everyone said I was nice – I bet even Gawain said I used to be a nice little thing.” she was bitter and angry.
Then she behaves totally out of character, and from that one action a ripple of consequences spread out. Genet and her friends seem to be the target of a mysterious and dangerous vandal… and then Genet’s cousin and a disabled woman disappear from a blood-stained bungalow.
- Jaz Paul in ‘Flipside’, is a half Indian woman who has had to deal with casual racism most of her life; she thinks she has found the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with… until he is accused of a series of gruesome and disgusting murders. Is Jaz strong enough to stand by him… or is she foolish enough?
- Mal Starling, the heroine of ‘A Strong Hand From Above’, is an artist and illustrator who returns to her family home when her studio and flat are burned down in an arson attack. She can’t understand why she should be targeted in this way, and then a series of ‘accidents’ begin to convince her that her life is in danger. Her step-brother accuses her of being ‘an arty-farty, wishy-washy self-centred eccentric,’ however she is made of tougher stuff and her spirit and endurance enable her to survive a dreadful kidnap experience.