About Me


293 thoughts on “About Me

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

    • 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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 πŸ˜‹

  10. 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.

    • 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?

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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???

  15. 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.

    • 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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….

    • 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.

  18. 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.

    • 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!

  19. 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


    • 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.

  20. 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 πŸ™‚

    • 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.

  21. 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!

    • 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?

  22. 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!

    • 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  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. 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.

  27. 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…..

    • 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.

  28. 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 …

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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?


    • 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!

  32. 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.

    • 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

  37. 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.

  38. 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

    • 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.

  39. 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!

    • 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.

  40. I have just finished reading your R&C novels and have thoughrely enjoyed them.
    These are the best fictional Civil Wars books I have read since I finished Robert Neill’s Crown and Mitre series back in the 80s.
    Thank you so much.
    I hope you feel able to continue writing them at least until your characters help His Majesty begin the Restoration.
    I still have Marigold to read and have thought I would save it to enjoy on holiday but not sure Ill able to wait.

    • Hi Pat
      Thank you for taking the time to get in touch and also for your kind remarks. I’m very glad you’ve enjoyed the R&C books – and yes, in due course, I do hope to add one more book to the series though at present I’m still enmeshed with Rockliffe & Co. As you’ll appreciate, the R&C novels involve a serious amount of time and effort in both research and construction; more, if I’m honest, than their popularity with readers justifies. However, if you’ve read A Splendid Defiance you may enjoy the audio version, brilliantly performed by English actor, Alex Wyndham. Even if you don’t care for audio-books, I’d recommend popping over to Audible and listening to the free sample. Alex really is extraordinary.
      If you have reviewed any of the books, thank you. If not, perhaps you’d consider doing so – however briefly. Reviews are hugely valuable to both authors and other potential readers.
      Enjoy your holiday – with or without The Marigold Chain.

  41. Do you have any news or updates on the audio version of Wicked Cousin? I have the e-book version but have managed to hold off reading it because I do love listening to your books in audio narrated by Alex Wyndham.
    The news of Rockliffe # 5 is very exciting. I know it’s still very early, but it’s nice to know it’s in the works.

    • It’s always hard to predict release dates for audios. What I can tell you is that Alex has just finished recording AWC but I haven’t received the files yet. All I can say is it shouldn’t be too long, Andrea.

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