Contraband Heart available for pre-order

After an extraordinarily long time, there is finally another Age of Sail novel from me! The trouble was that after writing a naval voyage to the Arctic (in False Colors,) and another to Australia (in Blessed Isle,) I’d got to the point where I felt there was nothing fresh left to do. I was wrong about that, obviously, since there were plenty of places around the world I hadn’t written naval adventures in. Still, something had to change in order for me to feel interested again.

What changed was that I was asked to write another Porthkennack book, and that meant the story had to centre around our shared-world Cornish town. I couldn’t go galavanting across the world this time. The sea was still there, though, and still vitally important to the Cornish setting.

You know what else was important to the Cornish economy in the 18th Century? Smuggling.

I was initially reluctant to write a novel about the cat and mouse romance of a smuggler and an Excise Man, because I thought “the Cornish smuggling novel has already been done. I don’t want to compete with Daphne du Maurier!” But then I re-read Jamaica Inn and was surprised by how sinister her smugglers were, when my research showed that the Cornish people tended to regard successful smugglers as Robin Hood types, who robbed from a rich and uncaring government to give to the poor and starving locals.

Add some Methodists and some miners, and the French Revolution giving an uncanny mirror to current politics, and I was happy that I could come up with something very different, but hopefully equally entertaining. I hope it’s worth the wait 🙂

I can’t show you the cover art yet, but I can assure you that it’s the most romantic cover I’ve ever seen. More on that later!

Contraband Heart is available for pre-order here

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6 years ago

Exciting news!

Sandra Lindsey
6 years ago

Ooh, you may’ve persuaded me to finally start reading Porthkennack stories!

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