Books and stories have always held a special place in my heart. One of my earliest memories is a birthday present from my grandfather. An illustrated copy of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. I couldn’t read, I could hardly balance the book on my lap, but it opened a world beyond my drab existence in post war London. A world of fantasy and dreams, a world I’ve escaped to many times over the years. The stories I write always have a basis in fact. They spring from a titbit overheard, a person I met, a place I visited or they fill an unrecorded gap in history. They tell of secrets and memories, of mysteries and passions. Come, step into my world—you are most welcome.
out now THE FOSSIL HUNTER
A fossil discovered at London's Natural History Museum leads one woman back in time to nineteenth century Australia and a world of scientific discovery and dark secrets in this compelling historical mystery.
Wollombi, The Hunter Valley 1847 The last thing Mellie Vale remembers before the fever takes her is running through the bush as a monster chases her - but no one believes her story. In a bid to curb Mellie's overactive imagination, her benefactors send her to visit a family friend, Anthea Winstanley. Anthea is an amateur palaeontologist with a dream. She is convinced she will one day find proof the great sea dragons - the ichthyosaur and the plesiosaur - swam in the vast inland sea that millions of years ago covered her property at Bow Wow Gorge, and soon Mellie shares that dream for she loves fossil hunting too... 1919 When Penelope Jane Martindale arrives home from the battlefields of World War 1 with the intention of making her peace with her father and commemorating the death of her two younger brothers in the trenches, her reception is not as she had hoped. Looking for distraction, she finds a connection between a fossil at London's Natural History museum and her brothers which leads her to Bow Wow Gorge. But the gorge has a sinister reputation - 70 years ago people disappeared. So when PJ uncovers some unexpected remains, it seems as if the past is reaching into the present and she becomes determined to discover what really happened all that time ago...
'An infectious fascination with the past.' Sydney Morning Herald Her writing is transcendent and she brings the times, characters, locations and world to life in such a visceral way.' @littlebutfiercebookdiary ‘The narrative skill to weave multiple timelines into a satisfying whole…smartly edited, cleanly written…easy to devour.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘Cooper is a welcome inclusion to the rising ranks of female-centred historical Australian novels.’ The Herald Sun