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Like most writers, I am always happy to hear from my readers.  If you have a question or would just like to chat, please leave a message here.

Alternatively, you can e-mail me at stellarileyecw@gmail.com – but please head your message with some book reference so it stands out from the general dross.


25 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Dear Stella (if I may!)

    I just wanted to send you a note to thank you very much for all the many hours of pleasure that your novels have given me over the years. I’m delighted that you are re-issuing them – I can’t imagine why they were ever not in print! – and am eagerly awaiting the re-issue of Garland of Straw. The first book of yours I read was A Splendid Defiance which I found quite by chance in my local newsagent’s shop on the Banbury Road in Oxford, under “Local Interest” back in the mid 1980s. I was a post-grad student then with a young son and was looking for a relaxing treat for the weekend. The book looked interesting – I liked the blurb and the cover. So, as soon as I had put my son to bed that evening, I started reading and couldn’t stop! Justin and Abby (and, indeed, all your protagonists) are characters who truly come alive and live in the imagination for long after one has finished the book. I really love the mix of historical research, plot and romance – for me, you get the balance just right – I think your books are beautifully written. I still think that after (oh dear!) nearly 30 years.

    It took me years to track down your other books (greatly helped by the internet in more recent times, I must say). At one stage I bought some second hand out of print books from a lady on the internet – we started talking about our favourite authors, your name came up and it turned out that I had a copy of The Black Madonna and she owned a copy of The Marigold Chain so we did an “inter-library loan” by post, with the books tracked and heavily insured to boot, both ways, so we could try and get second hand copies if the worst occurred and the books were lost (fortunately, they weren’t!) I was lucky enough to find a copy of The Marigold Chain for myself a few months later, so I could re-read it, which was great.

    Excellent books like yours are so important to people’s well-being – a wonderful and comforting escape in bad times, and so engrossing and pleasurable in good times. My son has had a couple of novels published, so I have seen how hard it is to write a book and how much effort goes into it. Thank you! I do hope you are able to carry on your Civil War novels one day – I feel I know all the characters as if they’re real people, and I would love to see them all settled and happy in the end.

    With very best wishes,


    • Julie
      As you may have seen from other replies I have posted recently, I am away from home at present but will have much pleasure in replying to you properly when I get back. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  2. Dear Stella
    I wish to endorse what Julie and others have said. I,too, read your books when they were first published and have re-read them all several times with equal pleasure in the intervening years. I am lucky enough to own print copies of all of them, but have greatly enjoyed reading your ‘revised’ versions, which have added a new dimension to my appreciation of the stories, especially ‘Mesalliance’ which is so much more satisfying in its expanded form. I’m really glad that you are re-visiting your work and that it is bringing you pleasure again. I’d absolutely love it if you were one day able to publish the remainder of the Civil War series in this way, as I have always wanted to know how the story ended (especially what happened to Eden) but even if that isn’t possible I’m pleased to have this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for producing the well-written, well-researched and above all most compelling books which are right up there with the best, as far as I am concerned.

    With good wishes and thanks

  3. I’ve loved all your books and am thrilled at the idea of a new one. Can’t wait! I’ve also been pleased that you’ve put your books out as ebooks-got them as insurance in case something happens to my collection. The only one I haven’t seen is ‘Lucifer’s Champion’ which I borrowed from my library many years ago. Do you have plans to issue this as an ebook too? I’m sure there are a few of us who’d be very grateful!

    Thanks for all the reading pleasure you’ve given me and now my daughter too.

    Best wishes, Jane

    • Hi Jane
      Sorry – but I don’t have any plans to release Lucifer’s Champion as an e-book. The main reason for this is that, being the first thing I ever wrote, it got hacked about prior to publication and ended up being neither fish nor fowl. My own opinion is that it needs virtually a complete re-write – which would involve more time than I think it deserves. I’m glad you enjoyed it but, if you’ve read Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth, you’ll see where a lot of Lucifer comes from!

  4. Hello Stella,

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly and for putting your views on the book so succinctly! I would much rather read a new book from you than for you to spend time on something you don’t rate. I was just being greedy!

    Hope you’re enjoying writing the latest book. I certainly enjoyed the excerpt you let us in on. Looking forward to it!

    Very best wishes, Jane

    • Thanks for that, Jane. Yes – I am enjoying working on Falcon but am rapidly approaching the point where it’s about to become less fun and more like hard work. Still, I hope the results will be worth it.

  5. I’m so delighted to find the ebooks! I read most of the books absolutely years ago (it must be 20 years now!) and always regretted not having got hold of all of them as “real” live books then! I’ve regularly trawled second hand sites for them but now they are ebooks I can catch up with old friends again – and the thought of a new one soon is the icing on the cake! It must be great to be able to create something that stays with people and is so enjoyed for so long. Regards Maria

    • Hi Maria
      I’m glad you’ve found the e-books and hope you like the various extensions/revisions. I certainly enjoyed making them!
      There are some original hardback and paperback copies floating about for sale on the internet. A few of these are reasonably priced but some aren’t. I recently saw a hardback Black Madonna for sale at about £175 – which is quite ridiculous and one of many good reasons I’ve been re-issuing in e-format.
      If you’ve been purchasing through Amazon and felt inclined to post a brief review of any of the titles you’ve re-read, this would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Hi there,
    I’m delighted to see that A Garland of Straw is now available for Kindle. I’ve got the original paperback – are there many changes between the two editions?



    • Hi Georgie,
      There are some changes – though I’d be hard-pressed to put a percentage on it. Basically, all the historical sequences are unchanged – this being a matter of accuracy and not tampering with something that was right in the first place. There are some extended/additional scenes to fill out the relationship between Gabriel and Venetia and some of these contain a little more spice than the original. Over-all though, I don’t think you’d find it that different.

  7. Dear Stella,

    I have just finished reading The Player which I enjoyed very much. I was wondering whether had any plans to write another book about Justin and Abby. I know that they featured in Garland of Straw but I, for one, would love to know what happened to them after that.

    Best wishes Shefa

    • Hi Shefa
      Thank you for getting in touch with me and I’m glad you enjoyed The Player. I don’t plan to write a book specifically about Justin and Abby – though it’s possible they’ll crop up here and there, as they do in Garland. But their time as leading characters was over by the end of A Splendid Defiance. Once a romance is completed and the hero and heroine are married, I find there’s rarely much to say about them.

  8. Stella – having inadvertently picked up a copy of A Splendid Defiance at a library once some 10 years ago, I made it my mission to find ALL and acquire all of your hard-copy published works (that’s all that was available until recently) – it wasn’t easy but I endured. I now have ALL of your work either on Kindle, iBooks or a novel. I’ll continue to purchase anything you publish, thats a given. But the one character that still intrigues me is Giles Beckworth from The Marigold Chain, which oddly enough remains my all time favourite purely because I hold a great interest in the Restoration. I’m not going to ask if he will ever become a hero in one of your novels – I want to say that he intrigues me.

    • Hi Aysha
      You’re not alone in liking Giles – several readers have said the same thing – and, at one time, I did have the vague idea of bringing him back from Jamaica. This has become more unlikely as the years have gone by – but I wouldn’t rule anything out.

  9. Hi Stella,

    I have recently listened to both of your audiobooks and they are both great! I was wondering if there are going to be audiobooks for your standalones and Civil War series? Thanks!

    • Jessamy – so sorry. I’ve no idea why your message slipped the net. Usually, I see them and reply immediately. However … in answer to your question, I’m hoping that Alex and I can get A Splendid Defiance into audio before the end of the year.
      Again, sorry for the delay!

  10. Hi Stella,

    I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the absolute joy your Rockliffe trilogy has brought to me via audiobook. Alex Wyndham is a dream narrator. I had never come across your books before I am sad to say, but am very grateful for their recommendation. I think all the characters are superb, even the dastardly ones. It has been a real highlight listening to each of them (I have just re-read the series again)

    My question is, do you think you might continue the series after The Player? I really feel as if I have got to know this group of friends, and can’t imagine that there won’t be a fourth book. I adore Rock & his friendships, and am sad that their story has ended.

    Fingers crossed for a continuing book…

    In the meantime, a thousand thanks for your superb writing, it has been an absolute pleasure to listen to the recordings.


    • Hi Fiona
      Thank you for your kind remarks – I’m delighted that you’ve enjoyed Rock & Co and yes, I’m hoping to do a fourth in the series. In the meantime, look out for A Splendid Defiance (one of my English Civil War books) in audio later this year and, like the Rockliffe series, again performed by lovely Alex.

  11. Wonderful, something to look forward to. Thanks again for your intelligent, thoughtful writing, an absolute joy to read.

  12. Good Morrow!
    You’ve probably answered this before, but please indulge me. Why did you change Felicity’s and Felix’s names when your books were reissued? I, in common with many others, I read your books when they were originally published and loved them. I have re-read them over the years and was so excited when I discovered that you had taken up your pen again. I’m very glad that I kept searching for you!
    I love both the periods that you write about and, having read Georgette Heyer since a child, I have to say that your period detail is equal to hers!
    Many best wishes,

    • Yes, Belle – you’re not the first to wonder about this. Quite simply, I did it because I’d begun to suspect that, at some point in the future, I might want to put Eden’s younger brother into a more starring role and I couldn’t imagine a hero (or near-hero) called Felix. The name reminds a lot of folk of cat-food, there being a brand of that name. So … Felix became Tobias/Toby which I think works better for the character.
      Thank you for your comments – I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the books. I’m currently working on Rockliffe Four, hopefully for a spring 17 release. And meanwhile, lovely Alex Wyndham has begun recording the audio version of A Splendid Defiance which ought to be out in time for Christmas.

  13. Having recently read ‘The Wicked Cousin’, I wonder if you have thoughts on whether you will write another novel and if so, where your attention will wander.

    • Yes, Sarah, Rockliffe Five is underway – though it’s still early days. As for what it’s about … well, the Nicholas/Madeleine situation has yet to resolve itself. And there will be another story running alongside theirs. Meanwhile, if you’re into audio, The Wicked Cousin ought to be released in the next six weeks or so.

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