About Me

I’m delighted by the way The King’s Falcon has been received by existing readers and new ones alike – and a special ‘thank you’ to anyone who took the trouble to post a review.

I enjoyed writing Falcon – mostly, I think, because the nature of the historical background gave me the chance to write a little more freely.  This, in turn, has allowed some of the new characters to evolve in a way I neither planned nor expected.  I love it when characters begin to write their own script because I can never be quite sure exactly where we’re all going.  As you may imagine, all my major characters are like old friends.  Ashley Peverell has been living in the house for months now.  Others like Justin Ambrose and Eden Maxwell have been with us for years.  This, for me, is what makes writing fun.

All three books in the Roundheads & Cavaliers series have separate stories but, for everything to make complete sense, they’re best read in the right order.  If you haven’t read any of them, start with The Black Madonna, followed by Garland of Straw and finally The King’s Falcon.  A Splendid Defiance is loosely connected to both Madonna and Garland but is actually a stand-alone novel.

Having taken a break from the Civil War to write The Player (Rockliffe #3), the good news is that my next project is the long-awaited novel featuring Eden Maxwell.  This will not be available any time soon but I’ll try to keep the wait down to less than twenty years!  Unless the book takes an unexpected turn (always a possibility), I’ll be calling it Lords of Misrule.

So what do I do when I’m not writing – which is most of the time, actually. Inevitably, I read a lot. I enjoy dancing – salsa and belly-dancing, mostly; and I’ve had a lot of fun over the years out of amateur dramatics – my favourite role ever probably being Miss Adelaide in Guys & Dolls. My husband and I also travel a lot, both abroad and in the United Kingdom.  Recently, we moved from Shropshire to the lovely medieval town of Sandwich in Kent and are enjoying getting involved in the local community.  I volunteer in the Guildhall Museum half a day each week and really enjoy meeting new people – visitors and locals, alike.

I also enjoy hearing from readers – so please drop by for a chat whenever you please.  You’ll always get a reply.


135 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Stella, I grew up reading your books – they’ve been the subject of much book thievery between myself and my sisters over the years, with each of us practically padlocking our precious, much read and tattered copies of the Black Madonna, Garland of Straw, Parfit Knight and the Marigold Chain to our bookshelves, jealously guarded. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to see them come out on kindle. I’ve re-read every one and now to find a NEW Stella Riley book – it’s a dream come true! Can’t wait to read the King’s Falcon, it’s my treat of 2014. Please do keep writing!!!

  2. Hi Meg,
    Thank you for your kind comments. The image of anyone padlocking tatty copies to the shelf made me smile – but I know what you mean. I once loaned and never got back a copy of possibly my favourite book ever (The Way To The Lantern by Audrey Erskine Lindop), since which time I’ve picked up no less than 3 second hand copies which are never let out of the house.
    If you’ve read the Kindle editions of my back-catalogue, you’ll have noticed some changes which I hope you found added rather than detracted. I hope you enjoy ‘Falcon’. I certainly enjoyed writing it. And if you cared to post a brief review for any of my books, it would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Hi Stella
    Thank you for The Kings Falcon, I loved it. It has been a real treat to have something new from you to lose myself in for the last few days, familiar in one way with the characters, the style of writing and period detail but new and exciting at the same time.
    I have left a review on Amazon and am always telling my friends to discover you.
    Since I found you again, I read A Splendid Defiance when it was first published, I have thoroughly enjoyed The Marigold Chain (love Chloe) and The Mésalliance as eBooks.
    I do hope you write another story and thank you again for coming back!

  4. Thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed ‘Falcon’ – and even more for leaving a review and recommending my work to others. Not being a very high-profile author, this kind of appreciation means a lot. I’m currently working on something new but think I’d better wait a while longer before revealing what it is.

  5. I have just finished reading The King’s Falcon and I, too, have left a review on Amazon. I was thrilled when I discovered you had written a sequel to Black Madonna and Garland of Straw. It was a brilliant read and impossible to put down. Such a fascinating period of history that you have brought vividly to life and such wonderful characterisation – especially Francis and Pauline. Thank you so much for bringing me so much pleasure.

    • Hi Jill,
      I’m glad you enjoyed Falcon and thank you for posting a review. I was particularly pleased that you liked Francis and Pauline because they took on a completely unexpected life of their own during the creation process and I had a lot of fun going along for the ride as they wrote their own scenes.

    • Good Evening, Sir,
      It’s so nice to hear from you. I wouldn’t imagine that any of my output is particularly your cup of tea – but have you read any of them? This is the point where I have to pay tribute to Mr Haslam. No doubt you remember him? He’s the man responsible! The many things I learned from you came in handy when I was teaching and even handier on the amateur stage.

  6. I’m glad you remember me. I own two books, The Marigold Chain and The Black Madonna (signed by you) and have borrowed others from libraries. And yes I have read them. You may not know that Mr Haslam died last year. But I am still keeping an eye on you!!

  7. Of course I remember you! After all the additional help you gave me, how could I not? Also, there are some teachers who are extra-special and you were definitely one of those.
    I’m sorry to hear about Mr Haslam. He is another teacher I always think of with affection.
    I hope you are well and enjoying retirement and am delighted you got in touch.

  8. Hi Stella
    have just finished reading the Kings falcon on my new kindle (Christmas present). So glad you are back writing again. I had just been re-reading your other books prior to Christmas. Enjoyed the Falcon but since i have both Garland of straw and Black Madonna ( the latter picked up while on holiday in Australia) I still think of Tobias and Tabitha as Felix and Felicity. i loved Francis and Pauline combo.
    Are you going to write another about Eden Maxwell… I want to know what happens to him and his family ????
    Perhaps would have liked a few more links back to England in the Falcon .
    A good read The Kings falcon ..look forward to hearing more from you

    Lis Key
    New Zealand

    • Hi Lis
      Thank you for getting in touch and for your various comments. I’m glad you enjoyed Falcon and particularly liked the relationship between Francis and Pauline. Those parts of the book were good fun to write – and also amazingly easy. Yes,I do plan to write Eden’s book – though this will take some time as I’ll have to do the research (1653 to 1656/7) before I can begin it.
      Enjoy your new Kindle and best wishes for the New Year.

  9. Hi Stella I was having a poke about on Amzon and discovered you were there after all these years. I leaped off the sofa shouting Calloo Callay oh frabjous day, and then bought all of them. My copies of the. Black Madonna, The Garland of Straw and A Splendid Defiance are in the nearly read to death category. I did once manage to get the library to locate A Parfit Knight, but the others were Not Available , not even on ABE Books. I too never allowed my precious paperbacks off my bookshelf. I have some others like that… Ira J Morris’s The Troika Belle and The Fortune Hunter both of which turned up in the Hospice Shop and Speculation Miss by Francesca Martin. Elizabeth Goudge is also beginning to appear.
    Welcome back. I couldn’t. be more thrilled. And there is another on the way… Hurray. I would love to hear more of Luciano and Kate…my favourite characters.

    • Hi Anne-Marie,
      Thank you for your kind remarks. As you are probably aware, the original print versions have undergone some revision and/or extension during the course of their transformation into e-books. This is particularly true of The Mesalliance which was cut to the bone in it original incarnation. You will notice changes to the other titles as well – and I hope you enjoy them. If you do, a brief review is always both helpful and welcome.
      I understand exactly what you mean about never letting books that will be difficult to to replace out of the house. I once loaned someone my copy of The Way To The Lantern by Audrey Erskine-Lindop, didn’t get it back and spent years trying to acquire another. Now I have two of them!
      The next book in the Rockliffe series will be available for pre-order quite soon. I’ll be announcing exactly when and giving further information on this website.

  10. Thank you Stella that too is good news. I enjoyed both of the earlier ones immensely, though the period detail is much lighter. A prequel is what I want in this series… Just who was the fascinating and exotic lady who passed her night dark eyes and raven locks on to her descendants and since Tracy was the fourth duke, just why did Charles ll ward him a dukedom…

    • Thanks Vivienne. I hope you enjoy it. To be honest, I turned to Rockliffe for a bit of light relief before tackling Eden Maxwell – for which I’m just starting the research now.
      I get the impression that your own books are doing pretty well – congratulations.

      • Thank you, Stella, for your kind words about my own writing.
        And I’m sure I’ll enjoy the Rockcliffe light relief, even as I eagerly await the return of Eden Maxwell (a distant, if imaginary, kinsman perhaps?).

  11. Sorry the tablet ate one clause… Why did Charles ll award the first Duke of Rockcliffe a dukedom… And was the first duke the one who had the dark lady as his duchess…

  12. Hello Stella – I am so glad you are writing another book in the Rockcliffe series, I very much enjoyed the Parfait Knight and Mesalliance and look forward to more.

    Just as an aside I caught a news item in the East Midlands about a Museum due to be opened this ‘spring’ in Newark dedicated to the civil wars (1603-1688). I wondered whether you had heard about it? It seems appropriate really as Bolsover Castle is not far away which was home of the Earl of Newcastle.

  13. Hi Kate,
    No, I hadn’t heard anything about a new museum – so thanks for telling me. As you say, Newark is an appropriate location what with Rupert’s famous relief of the place when it was under siege and also the King fleeing there when Oxford was under threat etc.
    The Player is now available for pre-order. Hope you enjoy it.

  14. Hello Stella, I had discovered The Player was available and have consequently pre-ordered it, and started reading the Parfait Knight again! Am really looking forward to Eden’s story though, best of luck with the research.

    I would just like to thank you for the hours of pleasure I have had whilst reading your books. I particularly enjoy the characterisations of the protaganists in all your books and love the way you draw all the strands together.


  15. Thank you so much, Kate. I had fun with The Player – just something a little different. Eden, of course, it another matter and at the moment it’s just a slog through some fairly heavy and detailed books. About a dozen of them, to be precise. Until I have the history firmly laid out in my head, I can’t begin to construct the story … if that makes sense?

  16. Hello Stella, that all makes perfect sense to me – I too tend to read around a subject, individual biographies and specific incidents interesting me most. All historical, of course – late medieval to early 20th century mostly.


  17. My first read was The Marigold Chain which is now a tatty paperback having been read so many times.I then borrowed others from the library. I thought you had stopped writing so I am delighted that you have a new book. I will have to read the others again to refresh my memory before ready the new one. Great news

    • Hi Sylvia,
      I did stop writing for quite a long time and, when I started again, it was really only with the intention of re-publishing my back-list. However, once that was done, feedback from readers such as yourself gave me the nudge I needed to carry on and write the long-delayed third part of my Roundheads & Cavaliers series. As for The Player … the idea for that has been lurking at the back of my brain since I re-worked The Mesalliance. I hope you enjoy it – and thanks for getting in touch.

    • Sorry – no. I’ve been asked this quite a few times but remain convinced that there are too many problems with Lucifer to make it worthwhile. I hope The Player will make up for any disappointment!

  18. Hi Stella! I’m a recent addition to your fans and have just arrived back into the world of the living after binging badly for a couple of days on your kindle republications. I still have books 2/3 of the civil war series to go, but I’m just here to gush about you. A lot. I haven’t read books of this caliber, and in this setting, in a long, long, LONG time. Really I can’t thank you enough for writing these books (also for the dashing Justin and Luciano), and my heart just took a flying thump when I realized that you are writing Eden’s book too. I’ve been procrastinating (for days!) on my assignments by reading your books, so I promise to leave reviews on GR after I’m done – but mostly I hope that you’re inspired to keep writing.

    • Hi Alexis,
      It’s always a pleasure to hear from a ‘new’ reader and I’m delighted that you are enjoying the books. I worry about your heart’s ‘flying thump’ in respect of Eden’s story because, at present, that book is still in the planning stages and will be some time coming – though hopefully not another twenty years! Meanwhile, if you exhaust the Civil War series and don’t mind something a little lighter (and shorter) you could try my Rockliffe series. Book 3 – The Player – is due for release very soon.
      As for you posting reviews – these are always welcome, so thank you.

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