Contact

Like most writers, I am always happy to hear from my readers.  If you have a question or would just like to chat, please leave a comment.

58 thoughts on “Contact”

  1. How can I register on your website and receive updates and newsletter and be part of the community ?

    1. Look on the right-hand side of nearly every page on the web-site. Do you see Subscribe to Blog by e-mail. Just put in your e-mail address – and it’s done.

  2. Dear Stella
    I have come to your books fairly recently and read all those in the Rockliffe series and very much enjoyed them. Although I read a lot of regency I do prefer the Georgian era and accordingly have read everything that Lucinda Brant and Elizabeth Hoyt have written. However notwithstanding that I love history I knew little of the period covered in the Roundheads and Cavaliers series and so was slightly hesitant about reading them. I have however now done so and would like to thank you not just for the fact that all contained wonderful love stories but also the historical content was so educational but in a totally accessible way.
    Although I am Scottish I was pretty unaware of the degree of the Scots involvement in the civil wars and subsequently. I knew Charles II had been crowned at Scone (near my home town of Perth) but did not know that Perth itself had been occupied. Your knowledge of Scotland and its history is extremely impressive and has prompted me to do some further research of my own.
    I am just about to start reading The M arigold Chain and then I will be up to date with all your books. I have just returned from a short break in south west Scotland and spent yesterday in a place called Rockcliffe which seemed quite apt given my love for the Duke of Rockliffe( not quite the same spelling).
    Thanks again for two wonderful series.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments, Kate. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed Rockliffe and have been brave enough to dive into the R&C series. (Many aren’t!) As for Scotland, my husband and I have visited many times over the years, so researching the country’s history was a pleasure. I am currently striving to complete the first draft of Rock Six – working title, Quadrille. Meanwhile, enjoy The Marigold Chain.

      1. Dear Stella
        I have now finished The Marigold Chain and found it incredibly moving. In fact it made me cry at several points( Danny’s fate and its aftermath and the reasons for Giles’ departure). Giles is such an engaging character and one’s heart breaks for him and the fact that Chloe is unaware of his regard for her. So sad. I am sure many of your readers would welcome his story should you ever feel it was appropriate to write it.
        I read in one of your responses that you would choose Joseph Millsom to play Justin Ambrose. I totally agree. He is a wonderful actor. I loved him in Banished and had the privilege to see him in Apologia on the stage in London when we visited last year. He would do great justice to Justin.
        I very much look forward to the next book in the Rockliffe series and also hopefully to Tobias’ story in the Roundheads and Cavaliers series.
        I am so glad you have been able to visit Scotland in the past and hopefully you will manage to do so again in the future. It would be interesting to know which are your favourite parts.
        Please keep writing your wonderful stories.
        Kate

        1. Hi Kate
          Re Scotland, we’ve always enjoyed the Borders – Kelso, Jedburgh etc – but the absolute favourite has to be Edinburgh. Many happy visits there – often for the Fringe but equally often in the dead of winter. Always a pleasure.
          I am so glad you enjoyed Marigold and found it a worthwhile experience. I don’t know if you ever listen to audios but Alex Wyndham has done a sterling job with it – as, indeed, he has with all the other books. As for Giles’ story, it’s on my radar but I’ve no idea when. Rockliffe Six is taking rather longer than usual and I can’t see past it yet.
          I also thought Joseph Millson was brilliant in Banished – such a pity the BBC dropped it without making the second series which I understand was already partly written. But I also saw Mr Millson in Mr Foote’s Other Leg at the Haymarket a couple of years ago – a facical 18th century romp. Now … back to my own 18th century harpsichord virtuoso. If you haven’t listened to Jean Rondeau on the Extras page yet you’re missing a treat. I actually met the man last week before his recital in the Cadogan Hall. Naturally, I’m a huge fan!

  3. Dear Stella I have just finished listening to splendid defiance and found this to be a wonderful captivating story , and was left with a great desire to hear more of Justin and Abby’s story, I know from your previous blog comments that you do not generally write a second book about your main characters in a book. But Their story seems to have ended as if there was more to write about their struggles in making a new life at Trent. I hope that you might re consider writing this story as I am sure a lot of your readers would love to have these wonderful characters brought back to life, can’t wait for book 6 in the Rockliffe sereies to come out, any glues at to who this might be about and when we might have the delight of reading/listening to if

    All the best. CHRISTINE London Uk

    1. Hi Christine
      I am on holiday at present and have only just seen your messages. I have no plans for a sequel to Defiance – Abby and Justin featured in Garland of Straw, if you recall.
      Rockliffe 6 (Quadrille) is not finished yet and it’s difficult to predict when it will be due to further weeks away and the major revision awaiting me at home because I’ve thought better of the last 3 chapters I wrote before coming here for a month!
      As for clues … there’s one on the Extras page at stellarileybooks.co.uk My new hero – Julian – is a harpsichord virtuoso. Go and listen to his modern-day equivalent on my site.
      Stella

  4. Hello stella,
    I am a great fan of our tremendous works and have bought all your books both hardcopy, kindle and also on audible, mostly because I love to listen to Alex Wyndham (who doesn’t?) especially playing Alex Deveril.
    A hearty congratulations for all your recent and well deserved awards. And thank you for the scores of hours of joy you have given many!
    I just thought to advise that upon receiving the hardcopy of Hazard I was disappointed to find it has been printed upside down and back to front! I know it will be replaced but I’d hate to think you have paid for Amazon to print a load of them all incorrectly.
    Also, as I am coming to the end of writing my first book, can you kindly offer any suggestions regarding publication?
    All the best,
    M Dobbs

    1. Hi Ms Dobbs,
      Many thanks for your kind comments – I’m delighted you enjoy the audios as well as the books.
      So sorry you got a bad copy of Hazard and hope it has been replaced. The books are printed on demand by Createspace (Amazon owned, like pretty much everything!) and this is the first time something like this has happened. However, I’m glad you let me know. I will take the matter up with Createspace directly – though it might need to wait a while. I’m on holiday at present and – arrived here yesterday – and not back in the UK for a month.
      Re publishers, I began conventionally but now choose to go independent with Amazon and Smashwords. The latter deliver to Kobo, Apple and Nook etc. Indie publishing is easy when you get the hang of it but it is vital that you check your content and formatting with a fine tooth comb because if you don’t, no one else will and you open yourself to painful criticism. Getting someone (who has a good command of English and who understands your genre) is helpful.
      If you have specific questions, I’ll be happy to try to answer them when I’m back at my desk.

  5. Hi Stella
    Many congratulations on your Cavalier and Roundheads series. Is it a remote possibility that the wonderful Alex would do audiobooks on this series? I have listened to the Marigold Chain and A Splendid Defiance at least three times now! I have also found the Rockcliffe series highly satisfying. Just heard Hazard, are there more in the pipeline?

    1. I’m delighted that you’ve enjoyed the R&C series, Carol but, due to their length and limited appeal (they don’t sell well in the USA) audios are unlikely. As for Rockliffe, I’m currently working on Rock Six – Quadrille – and there will definitely be an Alex audio of that!

      1. Many thanks for your response Stella, having read all of the R&C books I just thought audios of them would be the cherry on the top so to speak! However I love the Rockcliffe series and look forward to Quadrille.

  6. Hi Stella,

    I review for USA Today Happy Ever After. Would you please email me keira @ keirasoleore.com?

    Thanks,
    Keira

      1. Thank you
        I have really enjoyed all the Rockcliffe books they are very well written with real depth to the characters. I am looking forward to the next one but in the meantime have started on the Roundheads and Cavaliers series.
        I never thought I would say this but thank goodness for e books and ipads!

        1. Yes. A few years ago I was adamant about not wanting a Kindle. Thankfully, my husband ignored this and bought me one. If he hadn’t I might not have re-published my back-catalogue – let alone written 5 new titles.

  7. Hello Stella,
    I’ve just been reading the first editions of The Parfit Knight and The Mesalliance again and, though the kindle editions are easier to access when away, I much prefer your earlier works. They seem to have more depth to the stories and this includes the R&C books as well. Now the books seem to have their content padded out with unnecessary personal details. When the story requires it that is fine but your early books were appreciated without it. You have sometimes been compared with Georgette Heyer and she never included it in her works so why do you include it so much in your later novels.
    On another issue, if you do ever write another Rockcliffe title have you ever thought of including Adeline’s cousins? I often think it would be interesting to know what became of Tom Franklin and also Diana. I have actually recommended your R&C books to my niece who’s doing that period for A-level and not finding it particularly interesting and, as a result, she has become a fan of yours as well.

    1. I’m not sure why you think the stories have ‘more depth’ in the original editions than in the current ones. They are exactly the same – no changes to story-line or character whatsoever.
      Mesalliance was hacked about by a publisher more interested in number of pages than quality so, when I re-published it, I restored it to what it ought to have been. Yes, Madonna and Garland do have a handful of additional scenes – and yes, they are of a personal/romantic nature so I am assuming it was this that you did not like. Unfortunately, one can’t please everybody.
      Finally, although some readers have compared my work to Georgette Heyer, I’ve never wanted a GH tag. Although I admire her books and enjoyed them when I was much younger, tastes change and I write with my own voice.
      I’m glad your daughter is finding the R&C series a palatable addition to her A-level studies – and delighted the civil wars have made it on to an exam syllabus somewhere.
      As for Tom and Diana Franklin – sorry, but no. I’m writing Rockliffe Six now – it will be the last – and the characters you mention are not in it.
      Thanks for getting touch – and best wishes.

  8. Your books are my absolute favorite, all that I can find on audio! I enjoy all the male lead characters, thanks in part to Alex W, I’m sure, but so well written…not just “formula” characters. You give them such personality! Looking forward to more!!
    I’ve given them all 5/5 stars

    1. Thank you, Amy. Alex is currently recording Hazard – so it should be available in early May. And Rockliffe Six is my current work-in-progress. So glad you’ve enjoyed the series!

  9. Dear Stella
    Please can you tell me where I can purchase a paperback copy of Hazard please.
    I love your books!
    Kind Regards
    Sue

    1. The print edition of Hazard is ready for release and I’d hoped to do this during the course of the next week. However, at present I am having difficulties with Createspace – a problem which they have created and have so far not resolved. Until they do, I’m afraid Hazard will remain on ice. Sorry, Sue. Once I do release it, it will be available on Amazon, as usual.

  10. Dear Stella,

    I have just finished listening to The Marigold Chain and Alex Wyndham was a joy to listen to. I first read the book in the 1980s when it was first published, and have hunted out your books ever since. I was so pleased when you started reissuing your books and they are a must buy for me. Now I have discovered audio books, buying all your titles and have really enjoyed them, discovering new details through Alex Wynham’s excellent narration.

    I have a question though. As I was reading my copy of Marigold Chain whilst listening to the audio version, I came heard a sentence that was clearly different to the one in the book. In Part 3: Chapter 2 when Alex is first talking to Chloe, there is a passage that states:

    “He forgot that it was late, that he wasn’t entirely sober, that he’d meant to wait for a better time. He forgot everything except that, though uncertainty was killing him, the possibility of a rebuff was worse.”

    But the audio version is slightly different, where “wasn’t entirely sober” has been replaced by “too weary to think clearly”. I wonder which version is the one that you prefer? Both are appropriate but it seemed such an odd, purposeful alteration with tiredness replacing sobriety as the mainspring of Alex’s clumsy attempt to persuade Chloe of his love.

    1. First of all – thank you for your comments and I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying Alex. He really is incredibly talented, isn’t he?
      Now … in answer to your question, I don’t recall exactly when that alteration was made though I’d guess it would have been when I was preparing the audio script. This, as you may imagine, requires a fine tooth comb – which naturally also makes one think very carefully about the precise wording, here and there. (I should say that though the audio and e-book are always identical, this won’t always be true of the print version because it will very much depend on when the book was purchased.) What I do remember is deciding that ‘wasn’t entirely sober’ wasn’t quite accurate and that ‘too weary to think clearly’ described Alex’s condition at that time better. However, I hope the change didn’t spoil your enjoyment of the book – and find it interesting that you noticed it!

  11. Just finished Hazard and I liked it best of all the Rockliffe novels. However, this seems to tie up all the ends for characters previously introduced. Do you have plans for more novels in this series?

    1. Thank you – I’m so glad you enjoyed Hazard. If you could do me the huge favour of reviewing on Amazon, it would be very much appreciated. And yes … I am toying with the idea of Rockliffe Six but can’t guarantee it yet.

  12. Hello! It was suggested that I contact you here and I have been fan girling so much. I just didn’t know what to say. Here is my attempt. Be prepared for run on sentences ! I do so enjoy your books. I love this beautiful glimpse into the lives of the characters … these friends .. this family of people. How everyone is not black and white. How just like us they don’t always say what they mean or feel and how relatable this is. How you paint this story among actual places and events that cause me to go reading up on history and looking at names and maps. The language is just WOW ! I learn new words which is something fantastic to me. Your stories are a showcase of what loving is about (family,friends and romantic) . Thank you so much for all of this. I ADORE all of your books and look forward to everyone of them more than holidays and good chocolate!

    1. Hi Bethany – nice to hear from you! And may I say that I think your ‘alias’ is quite brilliant. Thank you for your many kind remarks, they really do mean a lot. Of course, today is Hazard’s birthday so I’m awaiting readers’ reactions with baited breath! As I said to you previously, the Hazard audio will probably be out in early May and I’ll be happy to send you an Audible download code for it. It’s the least I can do for my little group of extremely loyal readers. Meanwhile, you can drop in here for a chat any time – I enjoy talking to folk and try to reply to everyone.

  13. Good Morrow!
    You’ve probably answered this before, but please indulge me. Why did you change Felicity’s and Felix’s names when your books were reissued? I, in common with many others, I read your books when they were originally published and loved them. I have re-read them over the years and was so excited when I discovered that you had taken up your pen again. I’m very glad that I kept searching for you!
    I love both the periods that you write about and, having read Georgette Heyer since a child, I have to say that your period detail is equal to hers!
    Many best wishes,
    Belle

    1. Yes, Belle – you’re not the first to wonder about this. Quite simply, I did it because I’d begun to suspect that, at some point in the future, I might want to put Eden’s younger brother into a more starring role and I couldn’t imagine a hero (or near-hero) called Felix. The name reminds a lot of folk of cat-food, there being a brand of that name. So … Felix became Tobias/Toby which I think works better for the character.
      Thank you for your comments – I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the books. I’m currently working on Rockliffe Four, hopefully for a spring 17 release. And meanwhile, lovely Alex Wyndham has begun recording the audio version of A Splendid Defiance which ought to be out in time for Christmas.

      1. I adore Justin Ambrose. I have re-read ‘A Splendid Defiance’ so many times I have lost count and each time I melt, catching my breath like Abigail each time he appears and hanging on his every word. It is just a beautiful story, I even made a pilgrimage to Banbury even though the castle has long gone. This week I purchased a kindle edition and then saw I could have Alex Wyndham read it to me and LOVE it!
        Stella, I wanted to ask who you would choose to play Justin if ever the BBC realised what a gem this story is and decided to produce it for TV…better still if a film was made.

        1. Thank you! Naturally enough, I love all my guys (if I don’t, who will?) but I’ve always had a particularly soft spot for Justin – intolerant, impatient and abrasive as he frequently is. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been working with Alex Wyndham for some time now; The Marigold Chain was released just over a week ago and in a few weeks’ time, Alex will be starting to record Rock Five, Hazard – due out the day after tomorrow.
          As to who might play Justin in the very unlikely event of A Splendid Defiance ever being filmed … that’s a difficult question. For acting capabilities and serious good-looks – though he doesn’t exactly resemble Justin – I think I’d have to go for Joseph Millson. And since lovely Alex is an actor as well as a book narrator, I’d insist on him playing Sir William Compton.
          Who would you cast in the leading roles?

  14. Wonderful, something to look forward to. Thanks again for your intelligent, thoughtful writing, an absolute joy to read.

  15. Hi Stella,

    I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the absolute joy your Rockliffe trilogy has brought to me via audiobook. Alex Wyndham is a dream narrator. I had never come across your books before I am sad to say, but am very grateful for their recommendation. I think all the characters are superb, even the dastardly ones. It has been a real highlight listening to each of them (I have just re-read the series again)

    My question is, do you think you might continue the series after The Player? I really feel as if I have got to know this group of friends, and can’t imagine that there won’t be a fourth book. I adore Rock & his friendships, and am sad that their story has ended.

    Fingers crossed for a continuing book…

    In the meantime, a thousand thanks for your superb writing, it has been an absolute pleasure to listen to the recordings.

    Fiona

    1. Hi Fiona
      Thank you for your kind remarks – I’m delighted that you’ve enjoyed Rock & Co and yes, I’m hoping to do a fourth in the series. In the meantime, look out for A Splendid Defiance (one of my English Civil War books) in audio later this year and, like the Rockliffe series, again performed by lovely Alex.

  16. Hi Stella,

    I have recently listened to both of your audiobooks and they are both great! I was wondering if there are going to be audiobooks for your standalones and Civil War series? Thanks!

    1. Jessamy – so sorry. I’ve no idea why your message slipped the net. Usually, I see them and reply immediately. However … in answer to your question, I’m hoping that Alex and I can get A Splendid Defiance into audio before the end of the year.
      Again, sorry for the delay!

  17. Stella – having inadvertently picked up a copy of A Splendid Defiance at a library once some 10 years ago, I made it my mission to find ALL and acquire all of your hard-copy published works (that’s all that was available until recently) – it wasn’t easy but I endured. I now have ALL of your work either on Kindle, iBooks or a novel. I’ll continue to purchase anything you publish, thats a given. But the one character that still intrigues me is Giles Beckworth from The Marigold Chain, which oddly enough remains my all time favourite purely because I hold a great interest in the Restoration. I’m not going to ask if he will ever become a hero in one of your novels – I want to say that he intrigues me.

    1. Hi Aysha
      You’re not alone in liking Giles – several readers have said the same thing – and, at one time, I did have the vague idea of bringing him back from Jamaica. This has become more unlikely as the years have gone by – but I wouldn’t rule anything out.

  18. Dear Stella,

    I have just finished reading The Player which I enjoyed very much. I was wondering whether had any plans to write another book about Justin and Abby. I know that they featured in Garland of Straw but I, for one, would love to know what happened to them after that.

    Best wishes Shefa

    1. Hi Shefa
      Thank you for getting in touch with me and I’m glad you enjoyed The Player. I don’t plan to write a book specifically about Justin and Abby – though it’s possible they’ll crop up here and there, as they do in Garland. But their time as leading characters was over by the end of A Splendid Defiance. Once a romance is completed and the hero and heroine are married, I find there’s rarely much to say about them.
      Sorry.

  19. Hi there,
    I’m delighted to see that A Garland of Straw is now available for Kindle. I’ve got the original paperback – are there many changes between the two editions?

    Thanks,

    Georgie

    1. Hi Georgie,
      There are some changes – though I’d be hard-pressed to put a percentage on it. Basically, all the historical sequences are unchanged – this being a matter of accuracy and not tampering with something that was right in the first place. There are some extended/additional scenes to fill out the relationship between Gabriel and Venetia and some of these contain a little more spice than the original. Over-all though, I don’t think you’d find it that different.

  20. I’m so delighted to find the ebooks! I read most of the books absolutely years ago (it must be 20 years now!) and always regretted not having got hold of all of them as “real” live books then! I’ve regularly trawled second hand sites for them but now they are ebooks I can catch up with old friends again – and the thought of a new one soon is the icing on the cake! It must be great to be able to create something that stays with people and is so enjoyed for so long. Regards Maria

    1. Hi Maria
      I’m glad you’ve found the e-books and hope you like the various extensions/revisions. I certainly enjoyed making them!
      There are some original hardback and paperback copies floating about for sale on the internet. A few of these are reasonably priced but some aren’t. I recently saw a hardback Black Madonna for sale at about £175 – which is quite ridiculous and one of many good reasons I’ve been re-issuing in e-format.
      If you’ve been purchasing through Amazon and felt inclined to post a brief review of any of the titles you’ve re-read, this would be greatly appreciated.

  21. Hello Stella,

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly and for putting your views on the book so succinctly! I would much rather read a new book from you than for you to spend time on something you don’t rate. I was just being greedy!

    Hope you’re enjoying writing the latest book. I certainly enjoyed the excerpt you let us in on. Looking forward to it!

    Very best wishes, Jane

    1. Thanks for that, Jane. Yes – I am enjoying working on Falcon but am rapidly approaching the point where it’s about to become less fun and more like hard work. Still, I hope the results will be worth it.

  22. I’ve loved all your books and am thrilled at the idea of a new one. Can’t wait! I’ve also been pleased that you’ve put your books out as ebooks-got them as insurance in case something happens to my collection. The only one I haven’t seen is ‘Lucifer’s Champion’ which I borrowed from my library many years ago. Do you have plans to issue this as an ebook too? I’m sure there are a few of us who’d be very grateful!

    Thanks for all the reading pleasure you’ve given me and now my daughter too.

    Best wishes, Jane

    1. Hi Jane
      Sorry – but I don’t have any plans to release Lucifer’s Champion as an e-book. The main reason for this is that, being the first thing I ever wrote, it got hacked about prior to publication and ended up being neither fish nor fowl. My own opinion is that it needs virtually a complete re-write – which would involve more time than I think it deserves. I’m glad you enjoyed it but, if you’ve read Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth, you’ll see where a lot of Lucifer comes from!

  23. Dear Stella
    I wish to endorse what Julie and others have said. I,too, read your books when they were first published and have re-read them all several times with equal pleasure in the intervening years. I am lucky enough to own print copies of all of them, but have greatly enjoyed reading your ‘revised’ versions, which have added a new dimension to my appreciation of the stories, especially ‘Mesalliance’ which is so much more satisfying in its expanded form. I’m really glad that you are re-visiting your work and that it is bringing you pleasure again. I’d absolutely love it if you were one day able to publish the remainder of the Civil War series in this way, as I have always wanted to know how the story ended (especially what happened to Eden) but even if that isn’t possible I’m pleased to have this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for producing the well-written, well-researched and above all most compelling books which are right up there with the best, as far as I am concerned.

    With good wishes and thanks
    Hazel

    1. Hazel
      Thank you for your kind comments. Briefly – as I am still struggling with an iPad! – I do hope to continue the series but only time will tell.
      Stella

  24. Dear Stella (if I may!)

    I just wanted to send you a note to thank you very much for all the many hours of pleasure that your novels have given me over the years. I’m delighted that you are re-issuing them – I can’t imagine why they were ever not in print! – and am eagerly awaiting the re-issue of Garland of Straw. The first book of yours I read was A Splendid Defiance which I found quite by chance in my local newsagent’s shop on the Banbury Road in Oxford, under “Local Interest” back in the mid 1980s. I was a post-grad student then with a young son and was looking for a relaxing treat for the weekend. The book looked interesting – I liked the blurb and the cover. So, as soon as I had put my son to bed that evening, I started reading and couldn’t stop! Justin and Abby (and, indeed, all your protagonists) are characters who truly come alive and live in the imagination for long after one has finished the book. I really love the mix of historical research, plot and romance – for me, you get the balance just right – I think your books are beautifully written. I still think that after (oh dear!) nearly 30 years.

    It took me years to track down your other books (greatly helped by the internet in more recent times, I must say). At one stage I bought some second hand out of print books from a lady on the internet – we started talking about our favourite authors, your name came up and it turned out that I had a copy of The Black Madonna and she owned a copy of The Marigold Chain so we did an “inter-library loan” by post, with the books tracked and heavily insured to boot, both ways, so we could try and get second hand copies if the worst occurred and the books were lost (fortunately, they weren’t!) I was lucky enough to find a copy of The Marigold Chain for myself a few months later, so I could re-read it, which was great.

    Excellent books like yours are so important to people’s well-being – a wonderful and comforting escape in bad times, and so engrossing and pleasurable in good times. My son has had a couple of novels published, so I have seen how hard it is to write a book and how much effort goes into it. Thank you! I do hope you are able to carry on your Civil War novels one day – I feel I know all the characters as if they’re real people, and I would love to see them all settled and happy in the end.

    With very best wishes,

    Julie

    1. Julie
      As you may have seen from other replies I have posted recently, I am away from home at present but will have much pleasure in replying to you properly when I get back. Thank you so much for your kind words!

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