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!

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

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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!!

  14. 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!

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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 …

  23. 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.

  24. Thanks so much for your reply…Christmas will be good–a little present to myself. Hopefully we will see Rockliffe Four in 2017. I know how everyday life sometimes gets in the way! No matter what, just keep writing please. Thanks again.

  25. Thank you for your comments, Kathie – and I’m really glad you enjoyed Eden’ story.
    As for the audio of A Splendid Defiance … unless something completely unforeseen happens, it should be out before Christmas as Alex is starting work on it later this week.
    And Rockliffe Four (having been seriously delayed by other stuff) is still in its infancy but will hopefully now start to progress.

  26. Hello Stella,
    Could you give us an update of when “A Splendid Defiance” will be released in audio by the wonderful Alex Wyndham? I have read it (and loved it) but would like to have the audio version as well. Also, how is Rockliffe 4 coming along? I have read all of your books so far, except for the “Marigold Chain” which I am saving for an upcoming vacation. And, by the way, I am an American and I was perfectly happy with Eden’s story and Lydia as his choice. I figured as long as Eden was happy, so was I. He deserved a HEA. Thank you for providing many hours of reading pleasure!

  27. Then you may be surprised to learn that The Kings Falcon was the first one I found in the library, which lead me to Defiance, Madonna and Garland. They (Suffolk Libraries) also have Lords of Misrule too so I have just reserved it and hope the current borrower finishes reading it early as I am already getting withdrawal symptoms! (still there is Poldark back on tv to look forward to) I have nothing against electronic communication (obviously!) but do prefer a “real book” when reading for pleasure. I am a passionate believer in the importance of public libraries, and it breaks my heart to see how denuded our libraries shelves have become. I suspect your books are all recently purchased as they were all in very good condition. I shall look out for your other titles.

  28. Dear Stella, I have been confining most of my fact and fiction reading to the seventeenth century for the last couple of years, so was delighted to find the first four of your Civil War novels in my local library. They have kept me spellbound for the whole of August! I now hope they have the fifth too as I didn’t know it existed until happening on your blog. The characters have all become very real and it is both comforting and exciting to know the story hasn’t yet ended. I find the complexities of the politics of the period fascinating as they have for me so many echoes with our own times. May the past continue to inspire you!

    1. If you’ve found copies of any of my books in your local library, Sarah, you’ve done well! Most original copies are now in pieces, I suspect. However, I’m assuming the 4 titles you refer to are Marigold, Defiance, Madonna & Garland. Since I’m now publishing independently, you won’t find the 2 more recent ECW titles – The King’s Falcon and Lords of Misrule in the library. The books are only available from Amazon – in both e-format and paperback. On a separate note, if you like audio-books, look out for Defiance later this year. It will be narrated by lovely (and ridiculously talented) Alex Wyndham who has already performed my Rockliffe series. Thanks for getting in touch. Always a pleasure to hear from my readers.

  29. Dear Stella. Thank you so much for the Roundheads and Cavaliers books. I can appreciate how much effort, energy and time has gone into this series from the very thorough historical research you undertake and then how seamlessly you incorporate historical fact with your storyline. Your very deft touch reminds me of Georgette Heyer – are you a fan of hers too? I absolutely love your work – please make it two books and not one on our journey to the Restoration!

    1. Thank you Melanie – so glad you’ve been enjoying the series. At present, I’m working on Rockliffe Four whilst also preparing A Splendid Defiance for transformation into audio – so no real thoughts about further R&C books. And Heyer? Yes, many moons ago. Doesn’t everyone respect her work?

  30. Hi Stella, I have loved your latest book Lords of Misrule, lovely to see what happens to all your characters as times goes by, Will you ever revisit any of the main characters in A Splendid Defiance? ( the first of your books I ever read and still my favourite ) Thank you for continuing to write 🙂

    1. Hi Gillian
      So glad you enjoyed Misrule – in many senses, a tricky book to write. As for revisiting previous characters, it’s difficult to say. Sometimes they reappear naturally; sometimes not. At present I’m working on Rockliffe Four. But later this year you’ll hopefully have the opportunity of hearing Defiance performed by lovely (and incredibly talented) Alex Wyndham.

  31. Dear Stella (If I may?)

    I have been loving your books for years – even contacting your then agent JP periodically for news of the next ones back in the 80s – so I am SO glad you are writing again. I’m also loving the revisions (Mesalliance always felt a bit unsatisfying in places – as if pieces were missing – and it is very good to see what they were!). I’m writing now as I went to Smashwords to buy some more and found that Garland of Straw and The Black Madonna are not on there. I am not a fan of Kindle versions (my IT has a constitutional objection to it) so I was wondering if they will ever be on Smashwords?

    Best wishes


    1. Hi Jane
      I’m glad you enjoyed the revised version of Mesalliance and hope you also liked The Player. Alex Wyndham has done a brilliant job on all 3 Rockliffe audios and will be narrating A Splendid Defiance later this year depending on his schedule.
      Regarding Smashwords, I sell so few books there (particularly the R& C series) I find I’m better off sticking with Amazon – but the new R&C book, Lords of Misrule is available there now for a short time. And all my titles are also available in paperback from Amazon and Createspace.
      Hope this helps.

  32. I read Black Madonna earlier this year and became hooked on the series. Except for A Splendid Defiance, I have the others in quick succession. I finished Misrule this evening. I enjoyed catching up with the Maxwells. Kate and Luciano remain my favorite couple although I like the others as well. Although she was a minor character, I did feel sorry for poor Verity. After saving Nick, she lost him to Phoebe. Perhaps, there will be a happy ending for her yet. I will read Defiance next (I know-out of order) and then check out your other series. Keep up the good work. Finally, could you identify the cover art for these books? I would like to know whose portraits are on the covers. Thanks.

    1. So glad you’ve enjoyed the R&C series – thank you for your comments. Re the covers … here goes.
      Madonna – Frances Stuart , Duchess of Richmond. This the only one not perfectly true to period. It’s a few years too late but the gown looked like the one the Queen gave Kate! Painted by Lely.
      Garland – Sir William Compton, school of Lely. Meet Will again and for longer in Defiance.
      Falcon – Mounted Cavalier by Messonier.
      Misrule – unknown 17th century Dutch lady who I felt would pass for Lydia.
      Defiance – Rupert of the Rhine by Jan Mytens, owned by Banbury Town Council. Banbury is where the book is set.
      The Rockliffe series are much lighter and shorter. The audios are wonderful – Alex Wyndham is amazingly talented!

  33. I finished Lords of Misrule just over a week ago (loved it) and immediately read Black Madonna again. It is still my favourite and the start of a long journey for all your fans. A very satisfying finish for Eden and I must agree that a final book in the series would be a real treat. Here’s hoping….

    1. So pleased you enjoyed Misrule, Carol and liked Eden’s HEA. It is interesting that British readers (I’m assuming you’re one!) agreed with you and understood that Lydia was the right woman for him – whereas American readers took a very different view. Thank you for your comments.

  34. Loved the Rockliffe audio books, any plans to write a book about, Cassie, Madeleine, Nicholas, all three would be great characters in a new book

  35. I have just finished The Lords Of Misrule… I never did like Old Wart on His Nose and always have found the internecine squabbling of the Roundheads deeply depressing so many congratulations on making such an entertaining novel out of such a gloomy stretch of history. You cannot leave us in limbo though, we need to get to the Restoration before we bid this series farewell. I have a feeling that might need two more volumes. We need book five about the Sealed Knot and its betrayal…and the then the Restoration. Toby would be an interesting hero but unless he gets involved in Luciano’s banking and shipping interests possibly not politically involved enough for the main character. I should like him to have a happy ending though. Ned Moulton is an interesting thought and I have always wanted to know more about tbe Royalist family Eden was billeted on… Weren’t the children there twins? Another person I have always been curious about was Susanna’s son by her husband. Other than being saddled with Isobel we know notbing about him but he must have potential as a hero witb a tragic past.

    1. Not just gloomy, Anne-Marie – but totally lacking in highlights. Truthfully, I found the whole period a struggle and was quite glad to see the back of it. As for all the other points you raise … they’ll take some thought. All being well, I would like to get as far as the Restoration – though two books of this magnitude may be a stretch. However, at present I’m at the opening stages of Rockliffe Four, so all my focus is on that.

  36. Stella–read Misrule very quickly so need a new fix ASAP! I have been reading the other comments and agree that Toby needs exploring!! As for Rock 4!! I love Rock! Can that nice girl Cassie ( Nell’s friend–I think its Cassie) have a happy ending???

  37. I am so glad that Lords of Misrule is now available in print. I have ordered it. I can understand you would like a little relaxation now but the thought of more R & C to come in the future makes me very happy! Many thanks for the hours of pleasure you have already given me to say nothing of the pleasure to come. I can now start Book 3 knowing I still have a book in reserve! Viv.

  38. Or in my opinion – I rather thought Ned Moulton’s character would be worth exploring – he seemed to have a good time in Misrule. But then Stella, you are doing the writing and one never knows where the story lines will take you. The protagonists in future books may be people we have not yet encountered. I too look forward to Rockcliffe 4 – I so enjoyed Adrian and Caroline’s story. I would like to thank you again for the hours of enjoyment you have given me since I fist bought Marigold Chain in the 1980s!

    1. Ned Moulton? That’s an interesting idea. He’s just an also-ran I didn’t expect anyone to remember him – let alone think him worth putting in the lead.

  39. Hi Stella, it’s me again, yes, I do think Toby is hero-material and also young enough to get to the restoration with a womaniser’s reputation, go for it!

    1. I reckon Aubrey would make a good hero too – he needs to be redeemed after his behaviour in Misrule!

        1. I reckon he has hidden depths, Stella. There has to be a reason he behaved the way he did towards Eden. Especially after Eden saved his hide. And then he wasn’t at the second wedding! I’m always suspicious of anything you leave hanging without any sort of explanation.

  40. I have just finished Lords of Misrule – thank you for any fantastic read (and I will make sure I do another Amazon review for you). I discovered your books as a teenager over 20 years ago and was delighted when you started writing again.

    I am not in the slightest surprised to hear that you are moving back to the Rockcliffe series – I can only imagine the amount of research needed to complete one of the R&C books. However….are you contemplating any more? I would love to see what happens to everyone following the Restoration.

    1. Thanks for your kind remarks, Catherine – and also offering to review. That’s always helpful. (Well, nearly always!) At present, my focus is on Rockliffe Four (no title yet as it’s in its infancy) but yes – I think it would be nice to round off the R&C series by arriving at the Restoration. Toby seems to have acquired a few fans … but is he hero-material?

  41. Thank you Stella for all your hard work. It cannot be easy to write novels that give the reader a love story, a mystery/suspense story, and both historical detail and scope. Your story-telling invites the reader to move back in time and live with the characters, and I for one am always reluctant to leave them when the book is finished.

    As much as I’ve enjoyed the love stories and the development of the family dynamics, I’ve found the history completely engrossing and compelling. Your descriptions of both the early efforts at Parliamentary decision-making and the character of warfare at the time of England’s first standing army are fascinating. We are a contentious species, are we not? And the way you write about both kings, allows us to experience them as men and not only a caricature or a simple emblem of kingship. In fact your writing elevates and ennobles most of the characters whether king, merchant, soldier, or war-widow.

    I discovered your books on Kindle and, having just finished “Lords of Misrule”, I have read them all now. I’ve also listened to the Rockliffe trilogy on audio even though I’d read the books in print probably a year ago. I listened because I knew Alex Wyndham would do justice to all your characters.

    Given how complex your books are, I imagine you need a break from writing after completing “Lords of Misrule” but I do hope we will be able to read more from you in the future. I will also watch for more of your books becoming available in audio format.

    Thank you again for spending all the time and concentrated effort it takes to produce fiction that pulls the reader in, twirls us about, then sets us down on the other side both entertained and better informed.

    1. Thank you so much for contacting me, Karen. I found your views and obvious insight very interesting – and think others would too if you packaged them into a brief review. However … yes, finishing an R&C book is always a bit of a milestone. A milestone that, in many senses these days, is responsible for my decision to continue with the Rockliffe series. They’re lightweight in comparison and I can write them for fun and my own entertainment. As for Alex, he’s wonderful, isn’t he? Working with him is a privilege and a pleasure – and I’m looking forward to hearing what he does with A Splendid Defiance.
      Thanks again for getting in touch and delighted that you enjoyed Misrule.

      1. I am REALLY looking forward to A SPLENDID DEFIANCE 😊 I’m assuming that he’s all yours now that he’s completed Lucinda’s Salt set?

        1. Yes, Wendy, I believe he is – though one can never rule out a sudden, surprise acting job. However, the dates are now fixed and, all being well, we’ll have a December release.

          1. I can’t choose a favourite, Stella. I love everything you write but you know I have a real soft spot for my ‘first Stella’, MARIGOLD! I just love that misunderstood young man, Alex 😋

  42. Are there plans to have your Civil War series in audio? If there are, As someone who likes historical fiction with love stories and who also likes to read audio books I’m sure these would be up my alley in both cases. I’m also going to buy them on Kindle. I In fact, I first saw your name when my Audible recommendations said that I would like one of your books.

    1. Yes – though maybe not all of them. Later this year, Alex will be starting work on A Splendid Defiance – my only stand-alone English Civil War novel. The actual R&C series of books are all VERY long – paperbacks run to roughly 620 pages – therefore audio is something to be considered very seriously from my point of view. However, thanks for contacting me and, if you haven’t read any of my work, I’d suggest you give it a go before deciding where to start.

  43. Stella- I have the Cavalier series since they came out. Do the new paperbacks have the reworking in them that you have done for the ebooks? Is the Marigold Chain the same as it was or has that been reworked? I was thinking of ordering the new design paperbacks as a late birthday present! the old ones are getting a bit worn! Plus i have all of your books on Kindle!

    1. The new paperbacks have all the same extensions and changes as the Kindle editions. If you do consider buying them, I’d advise you to put Defiance on hold for a few weeks as I’m in the process of replacing the cover to bring it in line with the e-version.

  44. I have been waiting patiently to hear the date I can buy Lords of Misrule in paperback form. Are we any nearer on a date? Many thanks Viv.

  45. You didn’t really expect me to give any secrets away, did you Susana? Sorry – but you’ll have to be patient a bit longer. I’m glad you’re enjoying lovely Alex. He has an amazing talent and is a pleasure to work with. All being well, we will be bringing A Splendid Defiance to audio later this year.

    1. I knew you wouldn’t so I will have to wait until May. Thank you for your prompt reply and look forward to A Splendid Defiance in audio. Regards, Susana.

  46. Hi Stella, can’t wait to read Lords of Misrule, is Nicholas Austin getting together with Phoebe? I know I should wait to read the book but I can’t think of anyone else. I have already pre ordered it and I’m loving the Player in audio book. I didn’t think I would like audio books as I prefer the written format but you are right, there is something very special about Mr Whydham. Regards, susana

  47. I have pre ordered the new book as well. I have read the synopsis and was a bit sad that Eden appears to not get together with Phoebe.

    1. It would never have worked with Phoebe, Lesley. Her life is at Ford Edge in Yorkshire. If Eden had wanted to be a country gent (which he doesn’t) he has lands of his own in Oxfordshire. But don’t worry about Phoebe. And that’s all I’ll say!

  48. So glad that Eden’s story is coming out soon. I have already pre-ordered on Amazon and can’t wait to see what happens. My favourite is definitely Garland of Straw as I love Gabriel’s characterisation. Can’t wait for May when the book should be delivered.

  49. I was delighted to get the E mail saying that Lords of Misrule is available for order on Amazon. I was very disappointed to find there was only a Kindle version and I am a book buyer! Any chance of a paperback version before long? There’s no pleasing some people is there!1 Many thanks Viv.

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