Welcome to Stella Riley’s Books


The Book Excellence Awards is an international book awards competition dedicated to helping authors and publishers increase their visibility, credibility and book sales. Authors who have entered our awards program have been featured in media such as ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Forbes, the Huffington Post and more. 


I am delighted to announce that Cadenza has been awarded the Book Excellence Award for 2021 in the category of Romance.

Cadenza – Romance (bookexcellenceawards.com)


Click on the B.R.A.G. Medallion for a complete list of awards or the covers below to the individual books.























B.R.A.G. (Book Readers Appreciation Group) brings together a large group of readers located throughout the United States and in ten other countries around the globe in search of talented self-published authors and help their work achieve the recognition it deserves.


And 2019 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award for: Cadenza




Readers’ Favourite,  a fast-growing book review and award contest site, has earned the respect of renowned publishers such as Penguin, Random House and Harper Collins.  It has won “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors and is fully accredited.

About Me

I wrote my first novel, Lucifer’s Champion, to find out if I was actually capable of writing  a book . It turned out that I was … but that I had a lot to learn.  Consequently, by the time poor Lucifer was finally published, it had been through so many incarnations it was neither fish nor fowl – which is why I will never re-issue it.

After Lucifer,  came The Marigold Chain.  The version currently available, is not the 1983 original.  It was an early work and changes were needed so I used the opportunity to make them.

Next came A Splendid Defiance – the first of my Civil War novels and possibly, still, the one dearest to my heart.  Banbury made the perfect backdrop – a town full of Puritans and a castle held by the Cavaliers for four years and through an epic fourteen-week siege.  It was a wonderful opportunity to tell  the true story of just one English castle and the real men who defended it.

Inevitably, Defiance led to my Roundheads & Cavaliers series:-
The Black Madonna, Garland of Straw, The King’s Falcon and Lords of Misrule.
The series begins in 1639 and, by the end of Misrule, has reached 1655. There may be one more book to come, featuring Toby Maxwell and the Restoration … but only time will tell.

Part-way through writing the R&C books, I decided I needed a change of pace – hence The Parfit Knight and The Mésalliance.

So why the mid-Georgians rather than the Regency?
I could be flippant and say I’ve a fondness for men with long hair … which would be true but isn’t by any means the whole story.  I find the period more robust and less constrained; and the fashions in general – but particularly for the men – were much more flamboyant and, in my opinion, sexier.  The Rockliffe series has grown with the addition of The Player ,   The Wicked Cousin ,  Hazard,  Cadenza

Along the way, I decided to venture into the world of audio books.  As a result, all seven  Rockliffe books and also A Splendid Defiance   and  The Marigold Chain are all available in audio, narrated by superbly talented Alex Wyndham.

All titles are available in paperback and e-versions can be purchased from  Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and i-Tunes.

Happy reading!

431 thoughts on “Welcome to Stella Riley’s Books”

  1. In the past 10 days I’ve listened to the whole Rockcliffe series, A Twist of fate and am halfway through The Black Madonna. I love the depth of detail, it reminds me of Georgette Heyer, my favourite author for the past 50 years, your books are so good. I love your characters, they really do feel like people you’d like, not cardboard cutouts, easily forgettable. Thank you for taking the risk to move to audio, I would never have found you otherwise and I would have missed a real pleasure.
    As for the narration, Alex Wyndham was an inspired choice. Wonderful.

    1. Thank you, Elisabeth. I’m so glad you enjoyed Rock & Co and are now moving on to the 17th century titles. You don’t mention A Splendid Defiance but, if this one is yet to come, you’ll find it sort of criss-crosses with The Black Madonna – Banbury, 1644. Alex’s narration of it is particularly good. You’ll be pleased to hear (if you haven’t already!) that he is currently recording Garland of Straw and we hope this will be released next month – delays at Audible permitting. If you could find a few moments to post a brief review on Audible both Alex and I would greatly appreciate it. Many thanks for listening!

  2. I just finished reading A Splendid Defiance. First, I must preface this by saying I absolutely adore the Rockliffe series and was not sure how I would like this book. However, I fell in love with Justin and Abigail. I was wondering if you ever plan to do a sequel to their story? I would love to know how their lives continued once returning to Trent.

    1. No sequel, I’m afraid Karen. Couples who have already achieved their HEA only ever feature again in some other characters’ story. But there is a further episode of Justin and Abby’s lives in Garland of Straw – though it would be best to have read The Black Madonna before embarking on that book.

  3. Many thanks for some great reads! Really enjoyed both R&C series and Rockliffe novels. Two very small but key points for your sales: (1)the Amazon print on demand copies have very poor definition cover prints (like terrible!) , and (2) the typeface is calibri rather than a more “historic “ form such as Times New Roman – the modern typeface really jars. Not sure if you were aware but they’re not difficult to fix .

    Best wishes, Ginny

    1. Ginny … with regard to your remark about poor quality cover art, this was the first time I’d heard this complaint and so I got in touch with other readers who have purchased the paperbacks. No one else had a problem with them. It was suggested that perhaps you were talking about the old covers not the current ones?
      As for the use of Calibri – this is currently the standard font, being considered the most easily readable in any format. I’m sorry you find it jarring and hope it didn’t impair your enjoyment.

  4. Okay, I am almost done with The Marigold Chain, the last book I see available on audible. I just want to say, I am going to need the rest added ASAP. LOL I haven’t cried and laughed so much in a long time. Love your character developement. Thanks for the priceless jewels!

    1. Did you mean Marigold Chain, Eileen – or did you, as your mention of jewels suggest, mean Madonna which has only been out for ten days or so? Either way, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my work – whether in book form or narrated by lovely Alex. If you had a moment to spare to review either on Amazon or Audible, it would be hugely appreciated.

      1. Here is a high compliment, Splendid Defiance is my first repeat listen on Audible. I have been a member for years…I miss the characters. I am debating on buying the hard copies for the rest of the series not available on Audible (I need to hear Eden Maxell’s story. He needs an HEA.) or I am just going to re-listen to the Roxton series until the next audios are released. I have not read a hard copy successfully in a few years… So I am nervous.

        1. You may want to wait a little while before buying paperbacks of the remaining R&C series, Eileen. Alex Wyndham is about to start recording Garland of Straw – so that one should be along fairly soon. But as to The King’s Falcon and Lords of Misrule (that’s Eden’s story) it’s impossible to say at this stage when they’ll become audios. All I can say is that it will happen. i’m glad you enjoyed Defiance enough to listen to it again. Thank you!

    2. I received a notification from Fantasticfiction that “Max” will be available on 25th October (goodee) but there is no blurb. Can you give us an indication of the direction of travel for this novel?

      1. I don’t know how Fantastic Fiction collect their info. However, A Trick of Fate is on pre-order at Amazon now and is due for release on Oct 25th. A post here on my website announced that last week. For the latest and most accurate info, this is your best bet.

    3. Given that I try not to buy ebooks from Amazon and Kobo (which is now little better than Amazon) has become very tardy in delivery of pre-orders (ie they don’t download and it takes their support 48 hours to respond), I find that Fantasticfiction is the best way to get notified about authors I am likely to buy and it reminds me when one is available. I would throw my phone out of the window if I got newsletters from every author I read. In fact, Max’s book might very well be the last ebook I buy from either of those sellers and just buy the ones that are availble at Hive (who do sell self-published ebooks). I have come to a similar conclusion to giving up eating beef and lamb that buying ebooks from an honest seller, is, if only a small gesture to the problems of our times, it shows I care.

      1. I take your point re Amazon, Eileen but as an independent author the bulk of my sales are made there. As for Hive, I’ve just looked at it on-line and can see no way to deal with them directly as an author. If you know something I don’t, please pass it on.

        1. According to Hive all their ebooks are supplied through Gardners should you wish Gardners to consider stocking your book please see the “selling to us” section of their website, http://www.gardners.com for details of how to submit a review copy. I know they do deal with self-published books because a friend of a friend self-published and the book available from Hive.

          1. I’ll take a look at this when I get some time, Eileen – but a lot depends on terms and conditions. Thanks for the information!

          2. LOL. An1 is not me. 🙂 But thank you for using my name. I have to say, Ms. Riley. You have beat my favorites. Your characters are engraved in my heart.

          3. I meant Rockcliff, sorry. It has been a while since I read those. and I think Roxton is charachter in the civil war series, so there is that.

  5. I bought the audio of The Black Madonna, and left a comment on the Audible website and on the post announcing it, and I hope enough read it for the others to be released in that format. Will there be a book five of Roundheads and Cavaliers?

    1. R&C book 5? Maybe. I’m still undecided. The historical background is unexciting – much political wrangling of the sort I already wrote in Garland.

    1. Not internet links, Diann – no. But on the Extras page is a brief audio snippet of some of the pieces – click on the harpsichord for that. Also,on the same page, there is the complete concert programme along with catalogue numbers, where available. You can hear all of the pieces on YouTube. Use the catalogue numbers to find them – eg. J.S.Bach BWV815. You ought to be able to hear Jean Rondeau play virtually all of them.

  6. Hello, I just wanted to say that your Rockcliffe series has brought me such joy. They are pure pleasure from start to finish, and the choice of Alex Wyndham as narrator makes them even better. And yes I have left reviews on Audible but I want to make sure you hear me: THANK YOU and…. MORE PLEASE!

    Thank you for writing real romances, that are charming and witty and delightful. I love the descriptions of the homes, and the proposal scenes, and how hard those handsome men fall for their ladies. And I am completely in love with Alex Wyndham….well, his voice anyway!

    1. Thank you so much, Donna. I am delighted that you have enjoyed spending time with Rock & Co – and pleased to be able to tell you that the first book of the Brandon Brothers Trilogy is beginning to take shape and should hopefully be out later this year. As for Alex – naturally, I entirely agree with you. He not only has a remarkable talent but is also a pleasure to work with. And thank you for reviewing the audios. It means a lot to both of us.

      1. How lovely to have that to look forward to. You two are a perfect pairing and deserve much success. I recommend these books to everyone I know.

        Each book you write, I think, “ah, this is my favorite hero” and then the next one comes along and then he becomes my new favorite. Julian though really touched a place in my heart, because I have a son who is also incredibly artistic and passionate and intense about his art. And with that comes a bit of awkwardness and social uncertainty. Where you describe how Julian transforms from shy and awkward to confident and in control while he plays is exactly what happens to my son when he is creating. I even talked to my son about a book I was reading….and he said, wow, that is exactly like me! It was quite touching.

        When you have a difficult writing day, I hope you’ll remember how you made a brilliant but unconfident sixteen year old boy in Texas feel that much better about himself, and that what you are doing matters.

        Best wishes!

        1. Julian is particularly dear to me as well, Donna. It was lovely to write a hero who isn’t the typical alpha male but isn’t without strength and, at bottom, is an absolute sweetheart. If something about him struck a helpful chord with your son, that’s wonderful. Jean Rondeau – the French virtuoso whose playing and choice of music was a large part of my research – has things other than talent in common with Julian. I’ve heard him play live and met him twice. He’s quite shy. He also has no interest in looking the part but walks on to the platform with his hair standing up on end and wearing whatever came to hand when he got dressed that morning. As you can imagine, having already set Julian’s characteristics, it was a weird experience coming face to face with a 21st century equivalent.

  7. The below entry isn’t from the blog I have under my name, but it is a review I wrote of A Splendid Defiance which I loved. I’m posting the link here for you to read. I also read the Marigold Chain and loved it too, but haven’t posted a review anywhere yet. I still wish the Roundheads And Cavaliers books would be in audio even though I know that isn’t going to happen probably. I first read books on audio since Braille can be expensive/inconvenient, and while I have gotten comfortable with e-books and am so glad they exist, the first format is still my favorite.


    1. Thank you for reviewing A Splendid Defiance, Stefanie – and I’m so glad you enjoyed Marigold as well. You may have seen in other comments/replies here that The Black Madonna is destined to become an audiobook in the not-too-distant future. I can’t, however, promise that the other 3 R&C books will follow it.

          1. I have just discovered your books this week, starting with the Parfit Knight and now into the fourth in the Rockliffe series. So well written, love the witty conversations, real emotions and flawed characters that I fall completely in love with. Each new book in the series gives me snippets of what happened to my favourites as they appear in the new stories. This makes me very happy. I am an audiobook lover as it allows me to get on with my sewing at the same time, however my kindle is an indispensable tool as well. I particularly love finding a new author with a large catalogue of works – it’s like opening a new big box of chocolates ?.

          2. Thank you for your extremely kind comments, Gail. It’s always a special pleasure to hear from someone newly come to my work and enjoying it enough to continue through the series. I am currently taking a side-step from Rock & Co to write the Brandon Brothers Trilogy – you’ll meet the first of them (Max) in Cadenza. It will go on pre-order quite soon.Follow me here and sign up for my newsletter to get the latest. And if you can spare a few moments to review, it woul be much appreciated!

  8. Recently I came across what seem to be a rare copy of the book ‘Lucifer’s Champion’ (published 1988) in a second hand items shop. I enjoyed reading it but when I tried to locate information about other books you have written it was not listed under your name but rather under the name Juliet Blyth (a pseudonym?) Lucifer’s Champion (published in 1989). Both books have the same cover art on the dust jacket. When I went to clarify the dates/names confusion I discovered that the book by Juliet Blyth sells for a large amount of money on web sites like Abe books and Amazon. But no copies of Lucifer’s Champion that l can locate under the name Stella Riley.
    I’m curious to find out why.

    1. First off – three cheers for you for finding Lucifer at a reasonable price! As for those folk selling it for a silly one, I don’t imagine anyone is stupid enough to pay that kind of money. Before I put a stop to it by re-issuing my back-catalogue in e-format and print, most of my other books were being marketed at similar figures. Lucifer is the only title I’ve refused to re-issue – so it’s the only one this can still happen with.
      As to the copy you have under the name Juliet Blyth, I imagine it’s an American edition – of which I have no recollection whatsoever! The only copy of Lucifer in my possession is the 1988 edition published by Severn House under my own name. And to be honest, I wish it wasn’t.
      Your next question – since you were kind enough to say that you enjoyed it – will be why I refuse to re-issue it. Quite simply, it was the first thing I ever wrote and it was highly derivative. It was also hacked about in the editing process with the result that it falls far below the standard of my other work – some of which was originally published before Lucifer finally was. These days, I have a reputation to protect. But however much I try to ignore him, Lucifer still surfaces from time to time – along with that truly awful cover-art. As for my other books, since you’ve found me here you must also have tripped across those.

    2. Hello Stella
      I agree with your comment about the cover of ‘Lucifer’ I actually thought that the cover art was probably enough to put people off buying the book.
      It made me think twice . As I don’t know what your original manuscript was like I can’t see what the editor did to it but I did enjoy the story so I am going to buy more of your books.
      Thank you.
      Chris Jobson

  9. I have just finished the Marigold Chain. Alexander Deveril and Chloë remind me of Lymon and Philippa of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymon Chronicles. It makes me believe that there is at least one book about Deveril before The Marigold Chain, and maybe two. Stories of how he became the person we find him to be in the Marigold Chain — who he was before the loss of his father ( his mother too) and his birthright, how he became the accomplished mercenary that he is and why he retains the capacity for compassion and honor that he does. I hope you have a prequel planned, or if you have already written it, please share the title. Thank you for interesting and complex characters.

    1. I am guessing that you quite liked Mr Deveril, Katherine … but, sad to say, there is no prequel and nor is there likely to be one. The reason for this is that his background is largely covered (retrospectively) in Marigold and he gets his HEA there as well which means that he is no longer a viable leading man. However, I have been asked many times for Giles Beckwith’s story … and at some point, I may write that. If so, Mr Deveril would undoubtedly be part of it. Meanwhile, even if you do not usually listen to audios, you might like to make an exception for Alex Wyndham’s performance of The Marigold Chain which – like all his performances – is exceptional. I would be happy to send you a free Audible download code for it.

  10. I am so hoping that on the web site or in the next book !?!? there might be a family tree or interconnections between the novels, as just a few other great authors do. I know it is a different time span and different feelings (except for the excellent prose in my opinion) but Mary Balogh does do this.

    1. As I said in the e-mail, Marina, I’ll take a look at this. But I suspect it may get a bit complicated since, while some characters are related by blood or marriage, some aren’t related to anybody at all!

  11. So very excited about your new release. Congratulations!
    I do hope it goes as well as you would like.
    Just wondering if you are printing a paperback version and if so, when will that be available?
    Can’t wait to read it.
    All the very best,
    M Dobbs

      1. I have just finished re-reading all 5 Rockcliffe novels ready for the sixth one coming to my Kindle tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it. I enjoyed the re-read as much as the first time round!

          1. Thank you, Jane – glad you enjoyed it. If you cared to spend a few minutes writing a brief review, that would be brilliant!

          2. Have done- with 5 well deserved stars! Looking forward to more books in the future.

      2. The Black Madonna was first published by Headline in 1992 and owes nothing to any author other than myself. As for use of Christian names … they are not and can never be the personal property of an author.

    1. Gabriel has always been my favourite of your heros but, boy, does Julian come close. This is my favourite of all your novels since you took up your quill again. Love the Brandon connection. I am led to believe that this is the last of your Rockcliffe novels and that you are considering a Toby novel which I very much hope will happen as the ECW are my major interest. However, I am firmly convinced that Max also has potential

      1. Thanks, Nell – so glad you enjoyed Cadenza. I had a lot of fun writing Julian – who is totally unlike any other hero I’ve ever written – as much through his relationship with the children as through the music.
        No set-in-stone decision yet on what I’ll do next but, having done the basic research on 1659-60 for a Toby novel, I was left with the depressing feeling I’d strayed back into 1648 with the same old Army v Parliament power-struggle. And the way to the Restoration leads right through it. As for Max Brandon … yes, he has potential. Deliberately so.

        1. I have always thought that you write relationships well: Gabriel-Jack, Eden-Francis, Luciano-Richard, etc, etc. And, yes, it was Julian’s relationship with the children that did if for me. I am less depressed about the road to the Restoration than you appear to be although depressed about the sad end for John Lambert but role of Fairfax and Monk interest me, particularly the restoration of those members excluded by Pride. Good luck – I really hope you do go ahead with it. Of course, like many (despite essentially being a parliamentarian), I have a soft spot for Charles II, one of several points on which I disagree with Mr Schama. Or as someone said (probably John Morrill), ‘more to be admired as a man than a monarch’.

          1. I’m throwing the possibility of R&C Five out completely, Nell. And I totally agree with you about both Monck and Lambert. I always liked Lambert and found the end of his story miserable; but Monck’s ability to keep everyone guessing strikes a lighter note. However … I’m also considering doing something with Max Brandon and so am taking time to weigh up my options. Any chance of a review of Cadenza? Julian’s developing relationship with the children became a primary focus for me whilst writing – so it’s great to hear you say it struck a chord with you.

        2. Yes, it was Julian’s relationship with the children that got me. I do hope the Toby novel proceeds but am less depressed by the restoration situation than you are apart from the sad end for John Lambert. Although the involvement of Fairfax and Monk and the return of the purged members has fascinated me. Despite being a parliamentarian at heart, like many others, I admit to having a soft spot for Charles II (so there, Mr Schama).

        3. Sad to hear no more R&C. I was looking forward to it as there are few novels written for that period that I can tolerate and I have been following yours for decades. I hope the younger Brandons work out for you and fortuitously you created three brothers.

          1. As you and most other regular readers have guessed, the Brandon brothers were introduced with an eye to the future. So yes … Max’s story is likely to come next.

        4. You say “for Max Brandon … yes, he has potential. Deliberately so.” In which case, and if that means what I hope it means, you might want to comment on the Amazon page for Cadenza in some way, as multiple reviews now state as fact Cadenza is the last you will write in the series…… Not a great marketing basis for a further novel in the series if you plan one! Loved Cadenza by the way, but I seem to be in a minority in finding the Ralph story more interesting than the Julian one (which I also be much enjoyed she hastens to add!). Jane

          1. Max’s story will not be a Rockliffe book, Jane. It will hopefully be the first of the Brandon Brothers trilogy. But since I have established a Rockliffe connection, it isn’t a complete departure – all the existing characters are still there and might re-appear at any time. Only time will tell.

          2. I have to agree with Jane W: I found Julian and his music very attractive but would definitely have liked to have had more emphasis on Ralf and his wedding and the development of his marriage and relationship with the more established characters in the Rockliffe circle. A final book to explore Ralf and his rakeshell brothers please⁉️
            Kate HS

          3. I’m glad you liked Ralph, Kate – but he isn’t the leading man in Cadenza. Julian is. After his behaviour in Hazard, Ralph had to be redeemed but without turning him into a different person. And so, although he was redeemed, we have to accept that though a man’s character may change over time, it doesn’t do so in the space of a handful of weeks.
            As for Ralph’s imbecilic brothers … I doubt if even Shakespeare could write anything worth reading about them.

    2. I have left a rather garbled review at Amazon which might, or might not, get posted as I do not, if at all possible, buy ebooks or hard copy from them any more. In fact, it is only my commitment to your novels that has me buying from any of the sources you list but I appreciated that self-publishers do not have as much same scope as others. I have also included a rather barbed criticism of Amazon that might get it excluded anyway. If it doesn’t appear within a couple of days then I will try and re-post it excluding the element they might object to.

      1. I’ll keep an eye out for your review, Nell – rather hoping Amazon do post it and in its entirety. Obviously you’re by no means alone in your criticisms of Amazon. Unfortunately, although I don’t restrict myself purely to them, the bulk of my sales come from there. However, thanks for your support and loyalty – much appreciated.

        1. Yes, I do appreciate that Amazon really has to be a first resort for self-publishing authors. But does it not annoy you that when googling ‘Stella Riley’ the Amazon page comes up before yours. Even those authors who publish through conventional methods have to live with the fact that their publishers advertise selling their ebooks, through Amazon, Kobo, iTunes etc – whereas little-old Hive (the only tax-paying British ebook seller does not get a mention). I am seriously thinking of writing to JK and pointing this out to her.

        2. Review is posted Don’t be offended by the 4* as generally my highest score for a modern book I really like is 3* because if I use 5* I have to ask myself what is left for Shakespeare and Milton. Not that they care about my reviews.

  12. Hello Stella
    I’ve just found this site having re-read for the umpteenth time ‘The Mesalliance’ on my Kindle while on holiday and followed by ‘The Player’ (on the train) and ‘The wicked cousin’. I’ve loved your books since I found ‘The Marigold Chain’ in the library and have collected them ever since (even Turkish one in another name!). I was kind of sad when I read the Kindle version of TMC as you changed it a bit – a couple of my favourite bits have gone so I go back and read the battered paperback again as well. I too would like to know what happened to Giles. In fact, when i can’t sleep, I start doing a sequel for myself!! It often helps!
    I was fed up when I read the first 2 titles in the R&C series all those years ago and then no more appeared. I even wrote to the publishers at the time and was told there was no call for historical novels. Luckily my friend, who I had introduced to your books, found that they were being supplied by Amazon so we’ve stocked up from there being ‘Rupert groupies’ although being a Libran my other hero is Thomas Fairfax (thanks to Rosemary Sutcliff!)
    Looking forward to your new books when they come out. BTW I quite like ‘Lucifer’s champion’ although I suppose there are similarities with ‘These old shades’.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Jane – it’s always good to hear from people who enjoy re-reading my books. As you’ve probably seen, Cadenza (Rockliffe #6) will be released on Nov 22nd and soon after that Alex and I will be working on the audio. Even if you’re not into audio, I recommend popping over to Audible and listening to the free samples. Alex Wyndham is extraordinarily talented and really does bring a new dimension to mu work.

  13. My wife read about your books in the Times and thought she would like some for her birthday. Despite my best efforts with booksellers your books only appear to be available on Amazon, an organisation I detest for its trickery on the website to make you sign up for things you don’t want.
    Where can I order and buy your books please?

    1. Unfortunately, if you want print editions, Amazon is your only option. Ebooks can be purchased from other suppliers such as Kobo but my paperbacks are produced through Amazon – with whom it would seem you have had an unfortunate experience at some time. You can try e-bay or look on-line for used copies. No help to the poor author, of course and quite often a rip-off (price-wise) to the customer. Sorry I can’t be more help, David.

  14. I have loved the whole Rockliffe series and all the participa in it. Just having finished Hazard I beg you Stella to please add some more bookz to the series. I want to return to those that have become my “friends” 250 years ago. Please…

    1. Fear not, Magnus – Rock & Co will be back soon in Cadenza. I’m hoping to put it on pre-order some time next month. So glad you’ve enjoyed spending time with my guys and gals.

  15. Hi Stella,
    I’ve just read that you are working on the final “Rockcliffe” book. Something to look forward to.
    I’d be interested in joining “Historical Hussies”, if you can send me an invitation by email.
    Thanks Fiona

  16. Over the last few weeks, I’ve worked my way through all the but the last of the available audiobooks…

    Anyhow, I wanted to let you know that I loved them all, especially MC and SD.

    Thanks for taking the time to share them with us!

    1. Thank you, Sana. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my books and particularly pleased that your favourites were Marigold and Defiance. There is, of course, a great deal more history in them than in the Rockliffe series. I am currently listening to the audio version of Hazard – it only arrived with me this morning, so it will be with me for some days yet before being sent to Audible for release. That also can take up to a fortnight. But … soon.

  17. Hi Stella I have only just discovered your Rockcliffe series. A friend bought The Parfit Knight as a treat because I have been off work with a broken wrist.
    I loved it so much, so immediately bought the other four. Please say you will write a sixth sometime in the future. I have the original 1983 version of The Marigold Chain. A comfort read!!

    1. Rock Six is under way, Shelagh, though it will be a while yet. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the series. As for Marigold, it has recently been released as an audio, narrated by brilliant Alex Wyndham. Even if audios aren’t your thing, pop over to Audible and listen to the sample.

  18. Have just binge read your Roundhead and Cavalier series.
    Love the spirit of freedom running through your novels.
    Good reading in the snowy weather and welcome antidote to
    the mangerialism now ruling academia.
    I like how you strive to get your characters to tell in each what is happening politically, and give us, your readers, the historical background in ways integrated into the plot.
    I’d like to join your Facebook group.

    1. Thank you, Vanessa. I’m glad you enjoyed the R&C books and particularly pleased that you liked my technique for imparting facts and events that might otherwise have been difficult to include. If you could spare a few minutes to review – any or all and however briefly – it would be greatly appreciated.
      Stella’s Historical Hussies (about 22 strong at present) are a lively and friendly group. They are all readers I’ve ‘known’ for some time through FB and their reviews and they are now getting to know each other – which is the point of the group. If you’re on FB, I can invite you directly from SHH – just need to know what name to put in. If not, I can do it be e-mail. Let me know which suits.

  19. Hello Stella, just ordered my print copy of ‘Hazard’, I do enjoy a good book in the old fashioned form! Many thanks shall look forward to re-reading it again.

    1. Glad you’ve got your print edition, Kate. It’s been touch-and-go these last few days – Amazon blaming Createspace and vice versa as to why it was so difficult for readers to find. Fortunately, after my extremely firm e-mails of first thing this morning, somebody got their act together!

  20. Thanks for the invite to the Hussies, Stella. And Margo Winchester is my online persona. There’s only one problem – when are you going to have time to write?
    And is Terry who I think he is? I went to put the cygnets, Full Page, Facebook disappeared and all I had was the hysterical laughter. I did get it column version, but then the whole PC crashed! Dangerous. I love your graphics for the group. Oh, and the latest cover for ‘Parfit Knight’ – are you going to do the whole series?

    1. I couldn’t find you on FB as Margo Winchester so I sent you an invitation by e-mail. I haven’t been on SHH yet this morning but I’m hoping you got it.
      Terry is the cygnet on the right – hope it wasn’t that which crashed your PC. It shouldn’t have been – it’s a U Tube clip and has done the rounds before.
      As for the Rockliffe covers – yes, Anna is doing them all but because Hazard was due out so soon, we started with that one, then began again at the beginning. Anna is currently working on The Mesalliance. Do you like them so far? She also did the covers for A Splendid Defiance (which won cover of the month in a BRAG affiliated competition in January) and The Marigold Chain.
      As for time to write … ahem.

      1. I think invite came through both ways – I did a Facebook Search and my page came up, but as this is one of the originating ‘puters, (?)
        There are 2 of us in Dunedin as well, though since Margo (2) has married she is now Margo Reid. But as I adopted the name early 1960’s, and so pre-date my cousin, I’m keeping it!
        And I really like the new “PK” cover; I will be interested to see what she achieves with “Mesalliance”. Rockliffe and The Trojan? Two gorgeous males! Just an idea.

        1. Well, no matter how the invite came through, you got it. They are a nice bunch and, though I’ve only ever met two of them, I know most of the others pretty well through FB and the face that they read and review. It’s also an interesting mix. 2 Americans, 1 Canadian, 1 New Zealander (you!), 1 Green and 1 Hungarian … as well as folk dotted all over the UK.
          Re The Mesalliance cover, getting an image that looks anything like a specific character – particularly Rockliffe – is a non-starter. It can’t be done and is a stupid thing to try because what words for one person won’t work for another. So we’re going down a different path and I’m happy with it. Glad you like the PK cover, though. And Hazard?

          1. So far I’ve liked all her covers. and it was just an idea ( I love black horses). I glanced through Carol Cork’s page – absolutely beautiful photography. I’ll have to include some of my scenery on my page, though can’t compete with some of the architecture. Are the backdrops behind Terry, Mediterranean? The SHH’s is a great group – many met on your other sites, through Comments – nice to put a face to them. My child and pony was a snapshot at a show – just a reminder for acquaintances I met when I was doing equestrian photography years ago. Bye for now, and thanks again.

          2. Without going back to look, I imagine the scenery behind Terry is the bay of Kas in southern Turkey. We rent a villa overlooking that view every year. Meanwhile, I’ll look forward to seeing some of your photos.

  21. I will read whatever you write, usually withi a week of its publication date! I’m always happy to return to the Rockliffe universe, so I’m glad to hear you are thinking of at least one more. I know Amberley and Rosalind have had their HEA, but I would so love for them to get to be active secondary characters in another novel. I miss them!

    1. It’s very early days for Rock Six and I have several new characters to establish before getting the ‘old gang’ back together. But Amberley and Rosalind are on my radar – as much as anything because I’m a bit of a Round Robin nut.

      1. Further to previous, I now have a closed FB group if you’re interested, Margali – Stella’s Historical Hussies. Apply to join if you feel inclined.

        1. Thank you, I would love to join. Best way is to send an invite to my email address. Thank you so much!

  22. So glad you are continuing to write! I tore my way through Hazard in 2 days, and am considering a reread of all the R & C books next month. I am one of your readers who dearly loves both the R&C books and the Rockliffe series both. The Parfit Knight remains my favorite of all, and Amberley my favorite hero. (Though, since I read the book in its original hardback form, he will always and forever be Denzil to me!). I’ve been sharing my Goodreads reviews through Facebook, so hope to introduce some of my friends to your work. Thanks again for all the reading joy you bring me and all your other fans!

    1. Thanks, Margali – glad you’re still enjoying Rock & Co and thanks for writing (and sharing) reviews. I tend not to see comments on Goodreads as I rarely go there but I’ll make an effort in your case.

  23. Hello Stella
    First, let me say I loved “Hazard” – it gave me a very happy couple of hours, and I look forward to your next book.
    Second, I had a dig around and found the negative reviews you mention. I don’t agree with them, and I think one of the reviewers is confusing social history with fiction. I won’t identify them any further. I would say your books are extremely entertaining, and I like all the detail in them. I hope you will continue writing (I am one of the readers who trawled second hand bookshops looking for a copy of “The Black Madonna”, which I originally got from the library. I cheered when it was published on Kindle.)
    Third, have you read “Treason’s Daughter” and “The Tyrant’s Shadow” by Antonia Senior? If not, I recommend them, particularly “The Tyrant’s Shadow”, which I raced through.
    Back to the reviews. I am a bookseller, so I talk to people about books and recommend titles. Sometimes people agree with my recommendations, but not always. It seems to me that the negative reviews are very much in the minority, so whilst I understand that it is baffling and upsetting, it is just an opinion.
    Finally, I too would like to read Giles Beckwith’s story!

    1. Thank you, Fiona. I recognise that one can’t please everybody and that, as far as reviews go, it’s necessary to take the rough with the smooth. But occasionally something just smacks me between the eyes and I’m left thinking ‘Where did that come from?’
      Thanks for the recommendation to Antonia Shaw who I haven’t previously come across but now check out.
      I’ve been chatting with various folk about setting up a FB closed group for readers and there has been some debate about what to call it. I don’t know if this would interest you, Fiona. But since I’m aware that some site-visitors read new comments as they appear, I’ll take this opportunity to say that we have 2 front-runners. Stella’s Merry Minxes and Cavaliers & Courtesans. Votes, please!

  24. I have loved all your books but A Splendid Defiance is up there with best. Read and reread too many times!
    Separately Rockcliffe is as beguiling a character as Avon in Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades. More of him please.
    I am happy to read that you might return to Giles Beckworth. his poignantdeparture made me cry.
    Thank you for giving me so much pleasure in reading your books and keep on writing.
    p.s. please note that there were quite a few typo errors in Hazard.

    1. Thank you for your comments re my books and I’m glad you have been enjoying them. With regard to your comment about Hazard, perhaps you could specify? No other reader has raised this issue.

      1. Blimey! Re the type set errors. There are too many instances of a “to” missed out. A better proof reader should have picked them out. It’s commonple in kindle books and I mind only because because I know your writing to be meticulous.
        I am lucky to have a few of the originals in hardback and the same books are very poorly proof read in the kindle edition.
        The same is true of the divine Heyer. I downloaded her The Grand Sophie and could not believe the errors and omissions in the script of an author revered for the purity of her language. You too write wonderfully well and I mind that kindle type errors mar your books.
        I’ll post proof read for no charge at all!

        1. Thanks, Ranji but, following your comment, I set two people to re-read Hazard and hope that we’ve now picked up all the errors. (Not at all sure how they crept in through!) Alex is due to start recording next week so the revised script has to be with him by close of play tomorrow. However, I do thank you for your offer – much appreciated.

  25. Stella Riley, my thanks is not nearly enough to express the pleasure I receive listening to your books. The ‘Parfit Knight ‘ was my introduction to your outstanding talent as an authoress.
    Thanks again for this website, for choosing audible, and Mr. Wyndham as your narrator. You are young as I am 4yrs your senior, and your adept skill translating a long past era through history and romance is amazing. I just had to let you know I will not get enough of your novels, and I look forward to a future that will include as many as possible.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Florence – so glad you are enjoying Rock & Co and lovely Alex’s incredible talent. If you don’t already do so, might you consider reviewing, perhaps? Every one counts – no matter how brief!

  26. Hello Stella. Thank you for another wonderfully uplifting story. I really enjoyed “Hazard” and loved how we found out more of Aristide and Genevieve’s back story as the novel progressed. It was also great to get a glimpse into the ongoing lives of Rockliffe’s set – especially Cassie in “full Valkyrie mode” and, of course, to find out if and how Nicholas and Madeleine reached their HEA. I think you may have read my review on Amazon – I do hope you are encouraged (but not pressurised) by all the positive reviews to continue to write. Best wishes, Jill

    1. Thank you so much for reviewing, Jill – obviously I’m delighted that you enjoyed Hazard and pleased that it is doing so well in its first week – at least, in the UK. The positive reviews encourage me to carry on. They also make it possible to shrug off the negative ones -and in the last few months, I seem to have attracted a troll or two. As for the future … some folk seem to feel that Rock & Co have run their course; others are asking for one more. What do you think?

      1. Please do not worry about the trolls – there will always be negative people who just like to pick holes in everything. Take heart from the positive reviews and the majority of your correspondents on this site who seem to speak with one voice – of love and approval. While the R&C novels are my very favourites of your books (I think there is a lot of hero potential in Toby and in Jude??), I do love the Rockliffe stories too and would always be happy to read more. There are a few questions as yet unanswered: Does Rock get his male heir? What is Bertrand’s back story? Do Philip and Isabel manage to have their own child? Is there any redemption for Diana Franklin once she has grown up a bit? What kind of person does Olivia DeLa Haye become? These are just my idle musings – please ignore as you see fit but the loose ends could be rounded up in one more story, possibly set a couple of years later than “Hazard”. In any case, you may well want a much-deserved rest for a while!! Just a quick question: will “Hazard” be out in paperback soon? Love my Kindle but can’t beat a physical book. Thanks.

        1. I should never have mentioned negative reviews. I’ve collected one today for Madonna which has baffled me completely. However, with regard to Toby and a final R&C novel taking us to the Restoration – I would hope to do that eventually. I’d also like to write – less a sequel than a companion novel – to The Marigold Chain; I think of it as The Giles Beckwith Story. But I think one last Rockliffe book first, while I’m still in that particular zone. The print edition of Hazard will be out fairly soon – a slight delay was caused by my forgetting to insert the credit to the cover designer. But I’ve already seen a proof and, though I probably shouldn’t say so, it looks wonderful. You’ll know when it’s out, Jill – I’ll be announcing it here on the website as soon as it’s available on Amazon.

          1. I really do hope you do a final R&C, I find the period immediately leading up to the Declaration absolutely fascinating particularly the changing of sides although very sorry about John Lambert and feel that I have many years invested in Felix/Toby so would like to know how he fares. With regard to typos, I find that if the story is engrossing enough they don’t tend to impede me but bad English does and I don’t particularly remember a huge number of typos in Hazard so I was obviously into the story. The problem with the most recent Heyer imprints, is that they were obviously scanned without any proof-reading at all and that is down to the publishers. I recently read a downloaded (from a college library) ‘When Gossips Meet’ (which is absolutely fascinating) but there were mistakes on nearly every line that were obviously not typos but due to there having been no clean up of the scan — it wasn’t just spelling mistakes but completely incorrect words, sometimes laughably incorrect words. It was so bad that I emailed the publishers who then wanted me to send them a marked up version. There were so many that I really don’t have the time at the moment. These things happen a lot with e-books and in most cases hardly worth mentioning.

          2. Hazard was proof-read again(by two others as well as myself) and re-loaded very quickly so should now be fine! As for another R&C – it’s on the cards but I don’t know when.

        2. Further to previous, I’ve now set up a closed readers group on FB – Stella’s Historical Hussies. I don’t like adding folk without their permission or in-putting e-mail addresses as FB suggests. So if you’re interested, Jill – please do apply to join. Love to have you there.

          1. Now that is a good title, Stella. (H H) Please add me to your list. I did send in a Hazard review but was requested to revise. As I’m an Amazon.com.au customer, it will hopefully appear (and has) on their site. But not on Amazon.com. Still, the Amazon.com.au site does include the Amazon reviews.
            I’m not sure how it happened, but your Stella Riley Books has popped up on my Facebook page, maybe as a result of my spreading out more on Mobile Android and it syncs with my PC’s (both running Google Chrome)? Because of Jill’s Comment and Goodreads’ March newsletter has popped into my Inbox, I had a look at their reviews – some repeats and some new and lots of 5 and 4 star ratings without review. It seems a lot of your readers are Goodreads people!
            RE Ranji’s Comments
            There appear to be more errors than usual – mostly ?missing prepositions. May be Kindle – I haven’t hardback copies of the Rockliffe series – but if you’ve had the Kindle editions revised they should have updated? My K for PC is on ‘auto’ for that and I picked up several in the last couple of days when rechecking for my review.
            Re the Pantheon, sort of how I envisaged it – interesting about the Hagia Sophia inspiration, it was something I wondered about when reading Dorothy Dunnett’s “Pawn in Frankincense”.
            Re Rockliffe 6 – do Caroline’s half-sisters progress enough – I thought Sylvia in particular had possibilities – and I know Nicholas, in particular, disliked Mr Penhaligon, but he wasn’t completely beyond redemption? Bertrand needs someone – just so the others can get their own back!
            Thank you for producing another great read, I dive back in to the selection whenever I’m tired of ‘might be’s’ – even “Lucifer”! :))

          2. Hi Margo
            If you’re on FB, I can send you an invitation to SHH. I’ll try putting in Margo Winchester – if that’s wrong, you’ll have to let me know.
            I’ve had Hazard proof-read (yet again) and have re-loaded EVERYWHERE. This had to be done ASAP because Alex is due to start recording this week. Truth is, the exec producer at the audio company rushed me a bit to send the script and, once I’d done that, I didn’t re-proof because all copies have to agree. A lesson for next time!
            I’m not handing out clues about Rock Six just yet because it’s very early days (only 16,000 words so far) … but when I do, it will be on SHH so it will be nice if you can join us there. We have a really nice group – about 18 members so far – mostly ladies but including two gentlemen-hussies.

          3. Hi Stella. I would love to join your Facebook group. Apologies for the delay but I have only just found the invitation. I am intrigued by Julian Langham and looking forward to finding out more. Thanks, Jill

  27. Thank you, Stella. I actually read Caz’s review of “Hazard” before indulging myself; started about midday and have just finished. I even read it straight through, instead of cheating. I did have a brief break to watch the final fifty minutes of the first of this season’s Super Rugby matches on TV, but didn’t see the beginning as too engrossed in the book! And i enjoyed your variation of pace.
    I did wonder whether Henrietta would be included in the HEA’s, so I was half right, but I hope you have a few more loose ends hidden away, so we can indulge ourselves once more. You are definitely addictive.

    1. Another speedy reader – though being in NZ does give you a head start on the Brits. You say you read Caz’s review, Margo. Do you mean the one on Romantic Historical Reviews yesterday? Or the one on All About Romance which I didn’t think came up until this morning? I ask because I had certain issues with the RHR review and would be interested in your opinion – now you’ve read the book yourself.

      1. Hi again, Stella. I’ve just read the second review and there are a few changes, but as it’s Lotto day here I’ll probably get back to you re both and where I diverge after I’ve completed a re-read. And if I like it (mine) I’ll post it as review on Amazon as I feel this bridges your style between Rockliffe and R&C books. And yes, definitely a Desert Island keeper. Margo

        1. Lotto Day? What is that? But if you have time, please do post a review for Hazard, Margo. Every one helps and is important to the author – but getting them often feels like pulling teeth. Interesting comment about Hazard ‘bridging the gap’ by the way. What made you think so?

  28. Hi Stella
    So pleased to find you have started writing again. I first read The Marigold Chain in the 80s and have lost count of the number of times I have reread it. I have loved the Rockcliffe series. Now starting again with The Black Madonna. However in my very old edition, the Maxwell twins appear to be called Felix and Felicity, rather than the Toby and Tabitha Maxwell in the Lords of Misrule. Did I miss something? Thank you

    1. I changed the names of the twins quite a while ago because I began to suspect that I’d need Eden’s younger brother as a hero at some point – and I couldn’t envision a hero called Felix. I haven’t actually written that book yet – it will be the last of the series – but it’s on my to do list. Meanwhile, The Marigold Chain was released as an audio yesterday and Rockliffe Five – Hazard – is due for release in a fortnight.

  29. I like your idea of Georgian men versus their Regency counterparts. I enjoy the more flamboyant clothing and behaviour, too – although some aspects may appear as effeminate to our eyes, the wildness and robustness makes up for it, to be sure. More room for exciting duels, too – although I’m not really a history expert and my ideas may be influenced by the fiction I read. What a lovely new area to explore through your books!

    1. You’re spot on, Agnes. All the elements you mention are precisely why I would choose mid-Georgian over Regency any day of the week. Plus – and this is also true of my English Civil War novels – I have a weakness for men with long hair.

      1. I have a question related to the era. There is a scene in The Parfit Knight where Amberley takes Rosalind to dance the minuet. I understand that the way he was holding her was considered scandalous, but was the dance normally danced in pairs (the couple remaining together for all the duration) or also in formations of more than one pair and/or exchanging partners? In Regency stories, usually it is a point that the waltz is scandalous because in this new dance the couple stands closely together almost embraced, and they stay together for all the dance -which is unlike other more traditional dances. So I’m now curious how the minuet ought to have been danced in your era – just how scandalous was Amberley’s action?

        1. There are many versions of the minuet – probably because it was so popular for so long and continued to evolve. But it would usually be danced in sets of six or eight and the only physical contact was hand-to-hand. I haven’t seen any form of it that was progressive (changing partners) but couples did separate frequently – sometimes all ladies together for example or to complete weaving patterns through other couples. It is possible for a couple to dance it alone (though that wasn’t the norm) so equally, it was possible for Amberley to teach Rosalind a sequence of steps they could perform together. The scandalous bit – as you’ve realised – was that he had to guide her with an arm around the waist; and contact of so personal a nature in public was simply not done. Does this help?

          1. Oh dear. Now that I finished A Splendid Defiance, I can see why Regency and the gentlemen in it might seem tame to you. Georgian era seems to be a transient middle ground…
            I have read stories set in roughly the same era but in other parts of Europe (my own country, Hungary battled the Ottoman Empire at the time and there is a lot of heroic-patriotic literature about it, and I also recollect Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz’s historical trilogy). It was strange to see the art of warfare being so similar but the entire political and religious and wide cultural background so different. I enjoyed the experience!

          2. Of all my books, Defiance remains the one dearest to my heart. Despite Banbury’s strategic importance, the story of the great siege of 1644 remains virtually untold. And without Alfred Beesley’s 1847 History of Banbury and a bit of help of the then current Lord Saye & Sele, I couldn’t have told it either. There is a particular joy in finding and featuring the men history has forgotten but without whom events would have turned out very differently. In England today, 99 folk out of 100 have never heard of Sir William Compton – I know this because I’ve tested the theory. Yet, Will crops up again in Garland of Straw at the siege of Colchester and yet again in Lords of Misrule as one of the 6 founder members of the Sealed Knot. I’ve got to know him so well over the years, I even own a portrait of him. If you pop over to the Who’s Who page, you’ll find a potted biography entitled The Godly Cavalier.
            I don’t know how you’re doing it – and so fast! – but I can’t thank you enough for the reviews. I wish there more readers like you, Agnes!

  30. Hi Stella
    If I am lucky enough to win the audiobook give away, please could I have Mesaillance? I adore Rock and love his story, especially the glimpses of his vulnerability. I am so excited about the forthcoming publication of Hazard and can’t wait to read it in February. Thanks once again for all the joy your stories bring.

  31. Really like the new website Stella and just finished A Splendid Defiance which I found fascinating. The English Civil war has not been one of the events in history that particularly captivated me but you changed my mind with this book. What a great story and a great couple. Of course as usual Alex narration of it was spectacular. I also really enjoyed The Wicked Cousin and can’t wait for the next narrated story. Thanks for all the enjoyment and enter me in your audio giveaway.

    1. Thanks, Beth. I’ve literally just finished reviewing The Marigold Chain audio and Alex has done a sterling job, as usual. Meanwhile, I’ve entered you for the giveaway which will be open until February 5th.

  32. I love the new site because it’s so clear and easy to navigate and I particularly like the historical details provided in the Who’s Who. I’m gradually reading through those.

  33. Hi again, Stella.
    A great big “Oops”! I was so distracted by La Pompadour I missed REALLY working through the site. It seems to incorporate a great deal of your WordPress site, but far easier to navigate. And much faster. Of course, it gives your loyal readers more ideas to suggest for future novels. One of which I noted in a Comment – and thought a period you could perhaps use to link with the really standalone “Marigold Chain”? – the Sealed Knot debacle because you hint that Giles and Alex were involved – and then it sort of segues to the Restoration and George Monck? I read Churchill’s biography of Cromwell so many years ago I have forgotten all the details, but I thought the end of the Protectorate became so muddled that the Restoration came with a combined sigh of relief from all parties. Unfortunately we’re a very contentious lot – but it can make for grist for writers’ mills.
    Regards Margo

  34. I love your new look, Stella. It’s as classy as your books!

    Reading through some of your many lovely comments, are you hoping to attend the HRR in 2018? I’ll be there for sure if you do.

    1. Thank you, Wendy. It’s taken a while but I think it’s been worth the wait. As to HRR 2018, I haven’t really given it much thought yet. At present, my life is revolving around Hazard – which finally seems to have gathered its own momentum.

  35. Hi Stella
    I should have started at the end, then worked my way up through the comments. In some ways they are as eloquent as any reviews as they show how involved we become with your characters and want to know what comes next! Reviewers like Wendy and Caz do such a good job without exposing the meat of the story, that they intimidate me and increase my very real writer’s block when it comes to writing reviews. I am a reader!
    I agree with one of your correspondents re English titles mangled by so many American writers, though some of them tell their stories quite well otherwise. The most cringe-worthy is ‘Sir’ followed by surname. And the proliferation of dukes!
    But this is an opinion of your new site. I like it, though as I have a constitutional dislike of Twitter – it reminds me of all those ineffectual, irritating ladies that fluttered their way through so many period novels, driving the heroines to distraction. It was always so difficult to feel sorry for them – so that section is superfluous for me – however when the world’s events are instantaneously conducted on and by Twitter?
    And does Mme de Pompadour still have a head or did you cut it off deliberately?
    I found the comment re your covers interesting. I must admit that I prefer the original covers for Rockliffe 1 and 2, and felt the cover of “Lucifer” was out of period. More late Regency than Georgian given the descriptions of the clothes. Not that there are many who will be able to pick that out! I still like the book.

    1. Thanks for dropping in Margo – as you can see, you’re the first! To answer your various comments, yes – readers remarks and reviews mean a lot and are often enlightening. And yes again, La Pompadour does have a head but the image isn’t about her so much as the time period. I’m not sure where you’re coming from re Twitter; for me, it’s just an additional advertising space – a place to put recent news, so I’m not a regular visitor there. However, glad you liked the new site overall and it’s always a pleasure chatting to you.

    2. If by any chance I’m the ‘Wendy’ you’re referring to, Margo, I’m extremely flattered. Stella’s stories are terrific aren’t they? I’m a massive fan so reviewing her books is the greatest of pleasures. Carol Cork (Rakes and Rascals) and I recommended her books to the great Mary Balogh at the HRR last year. Ms. Balogh downloaded The Parfit Knight that same night and started reading it immediately. The next morning she thanked us for pointing her in the direction of a great author.

  36. What an interesting story of your writing life, Stella. Whichever one of your books I’m reading/listening to at the time is always my favourite. But I love them all. ASD is rather special though,,especially with AW narrating. Incidentally, my sick hubby is enjoying listening at present. I agree with you about the Georgian period and your men are certainly sexy!

    1. Thank you, Wendy. As you know, Defiance is particularly close to my heart. My best wishes to you and your husband. I hope he continued to enjoy listening to lovely Alex.

  37. Thank you for another lovely story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am only sorry that the pleasure of reading a new Stella Riley novel is over for now. However, I plan to re-read The Black Madonna and listen to a Splendid Defiance over the next few months. I have left a review of TWC on Amazon. I am so glad that you are writing another Rockliffe novel but hope you are still enjoying the process and not feeling pressure from your readers! We are a voracious lot but very appreciative of your writing and storytelling. I hope you have a lovely summer. Best wishes, Jill

    1. So glad you liked it, Jill – and thank you very much indeed for a great review. You were spot on with your reference to Dorothy and Richard Maxwell. As the scenes between Sebastian and Charles developed, I could see echoes of a similar relationship between Richard and Luciano del Santi.

  38. P.S. Maybe the next book can show where Miranda ends up. Hanging is just too good for her.

  39. Are there any plans to finish Nicholas and Madeline’s story? We saw it develop in The Wicked Cousin, but were left hanging. I thoroughly enjoyed The Wicked Cousin and look forward to any more stories you have in the works.

          1. I have faith!! Plus a further R&C ? My goodness! you will be busy…just wish it was with me now so I could read it tomorrow during the 16hr day that is being a Poll Clerk!!

  40. You mean Harry Caversham – not Jack. And yes. Although it’s never been necessary to explore Harry’s background, if I had done so he would probably have been the younger son of a reclusive Marquis.

    1. Sorry Stella chronic intermittent brain dysfunction strikes again…I did indeed mean Harry. Such a nice man and it’s so nice to have books that get the titles right and don’t drive me to throwing the book across the room muttering ‘And how difficult is it to look this up in ‘Correct Form?’ I’ve spent too many moons as the protocol witch for various organisations to be tolerant.

      I loved The Wicked Cousin and I am now going to get the whole series for my sister. She spent our childhood dressing our Tressy dolls in costumes based on the covers of Georgette Heyer novels and now makes historical costumes for a living…she’ll love this series too.

      1. I know what you mean, Anne-Marie. I see horrendous mistakes in HR writing all the time and now have a list of novelists I just can’t read. I’m glad you enjoyed TWC. A courtship story involving not just the protagonists but also their families is unusual these days and probably not to everyone’s taste. Perhaps you could review? As to your sister’s line of work – brilliant. I’ll be needing someone like her if I make it to the HR Retreat in the US next year!

  41. Just finished The Wicked Cousin and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am hoping that one day there might be another. One thing I have always been curious about is Jack Caversham’s title. Lord Jack implies that he’s the younger son of a duke or marquis…is he?

  42. Thank you for your comments, Fiona. I’m really pleased that you enjoyed Sebastian’s story and a review will be much appreciated. As for Adrian and Caroline, I couldn’t resist including the arrival of Grandpa Maitland. Like a lot of other folk, I always wondered how his first meeting with Adrian go.

  43. Finished “The Wicked Cousin” last night. It was extremely enjoyable, Sebastian really is gorgeous, and it was good to catch up with characters from earlier novels such as Adrian and Caroline.

    About to leave a review on Amazon.

  44. Still have my original paperback copy of A Splendid Defiance. It was one of the few bits of my original library that made it into the shipping container when I migrated from California to Australia. I tended to re read it every couple of years or so and try to imagine the next stage in Justin’s and Abby’s life together. I have enjoyed all the other books on kindle as I have found them. But I still want to know if Justin has managed to avoid plots and uprisings! Perhaps some day you will tell the rest of their story. Or maybe they are just so ‘happily ever after’ there is no story to tell.

    1. If you’ve read Garland of Straw, you read a further installment in Justin and Abby’s story. Once a couple have achieved their HEA, they only ever appear in the extended cast – never as a hero and heroine because their time for that is done. However, since I’ve yet to reach any firm conclusions about how to finish the R&C series, I suppose anything is possible. Meanwhile … I’m assuming you’re entering the giveaway? I’ll be notifying winners tomorrow!

  45. Hi Stella,

    I was very excited to see The Wicked Cousin coming out at the end of the month! Can you tell me if there’s yet plans to release it on audio with the delicious Alex Wyndham reading, hopefully?


    1. Yes, Lisa – Alex will indeed be working his magic on TWC. We haven’t nailed down the time-frame yet but I’m hoping for an August release. Meanwhile, do you already have the audio of A Splendid Defiance? If not, enter the giveaway!

  46. Hello, could you please publish the new book in paper back. Please!!! I’m not able to stay on device s for long therefore I’m unable to read e-books! Please get back to me ASAP

  47. Hello Stella. So excited to see your new book will be with us shortly. I too have ordered a copy. Thank you for coming back to writing – your books bring me great joy. They are my “go to” stories when I need to escape, be uplifted and entertained. The historical background is endlessly fascinating and on rereading them I always find something new to think about. As for the love stories – they are just perfect! Best wishes for a fabulous summer.

  48. Hello Stella
    Delighted to see ‘The Wicked Cousin’ available to pre-order on Amazon – I have ordered my copy! Will leave a review after it has been read, as I am anticipating it will be as enjoyable as all your other books I am really looking forward to reading it.
    Thank you for the hours of enjoyment I have received from your hard work in writing such interesting factual books …

  49. Thank you for your novels – I first read the Marigold Chain many many years ago and was lucky to then find a copy of a Splendid Defiance – after that, a drought! Have recently found and purchased from Thriftbooks, The Mesalliance, Garland of Straw and the Black Madonna. I really enjoy your story lines and characters – and am looking forward to tracking down other novels you have written. Thank you for hours of enjoyment and mental stimulation…..

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, AC – and Merry Christmas. As you may or may not be aware, all my titles are available in paperback from Amazon and now the Rockliffe series and A Splendid Defiance are also audiobooks.

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