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Chinese visitor

The Mysterious Chinese Diplomat Who Stole the Show 

As I’m working on my romantic fantasy novel series (Fae of the Crystal Palace) set around the Great Exhibition, I wanted to share some interesting stories I’ve uncovered during my research. Here is the story of a fascinating uninvited guest. The Great Exhibition of 1851 was, in no uncertain terms, the biggest event of the year – the century perhaps …

Victorian England’s Fairy Palace

As I’m working on my romantic fantasy novel series (Fae of the Crystal Palace) set around the Great Exhibition, I wanted to share some interesting stories and facts I’ve uncovered during my research. Here is the story of the The Crystal Palace and its creator. The Crystal Palace The Crystal Palace was a remarkable architectural achievement that was designed and …

Sailing Through Time: A Chinese Junk Ship’s Voyage to Victorian England

As I’m working on my romantic fantasy novel series (Fae of the Crystal Palace) set around the Great Exhibition, I wanted to share some interesting stories I’ve uncovered during my research. Here is the story of the Keying. In the vibrant tapestry of the 19th century, the Chinese Junk Ship Keying emerges as a captivating tale, carving its way through …

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Jilnguungga: Flash Fiction

‘…A tree is only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.’ The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben The undergrowth crackles deliciously under Jaany’s bare feet. Each step is practised, honed by the teachings of her uncles and aunties, guided by the ancestors with whom she walks. Her steps are light yet sure. Beneath her carefree exterior is a …

Bull statue

Running with the Bulls: Flash Fiction

Bullheaded clients full of hot air and BS were her bread and butter.  It was a typical day in the life of PR Queen, Lydia Spinney. She was the maestro of crisis communication, image enhancement and turning setbacks into comebacks.  If you gave Lydia a lemon she wouldn’t turn it into lemonade, she would have you convinced it was a …

Discoveries of the Delightful & Gruesome Kind: An Excerpt from The Charmed

The massive structure, three times the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, towered over the surrounding parkland. A feat of engineering and design, its shining glass panels, iron pillars and arched ribs reached for the sky, catching and reflecting the sun’s rays in a dancing kaleidoscope of light. Symmetrical plate glass walls extended either side of a domed transept, also made …

two cats leaping the air

The Aerial Princess: Flash Fiction

‘Are you sure it’s safe?’ Ignatius Pobblewell III stands in the centre ring of the circus tent, his top hat askew, wringing his gloved hands. The grand opening of his ninja cat circus is mere hours away, and they are far from ready. He stares up at the death-defying trapeze that is one-and-a-half times higher than any other, as well …

Imperfect Goddesses: Short Story

Ms Murphy values perfection above all things – at least when it comes to the things she can control. When it comes to the things she can’t control, she finds it prudent not to acknowledge their existence. Unfortunately no-one had informed the universe, which is why the goddesses and gods, and perhaps even God themself, had something entirely different in …

abandoned circus tent

Drum Roll Please: Flash Fiction

Ignatius Pobblewell III was born to run a circus…until the day he wasn’t.  The era of the great circus showmen was over. The strongman took a pay rise to become a WWE wrestler. The bearded lady discovered laser hair removal. And WorkSafe banned launching people out of cannons. The final straw was the last It movie – now everyone was …

Question marks in various colours

Riddle Me This: Flash Fiction

‘Do fish have eyebrows?’ I was in the middle of a budget meeting on Zoom when my three-and-a-half-year-old son, Sam, popped up in the background and asked the question. My boss laughed politely at my son’s unexpected appearance and gave Sam a small wave.  “Cute kid,’ she said with a strained smile. ‘…So back to the profit and loss sheet—’ …