“Novels give you the matrix of emotions, give you the flavour of a time in a way formal history cannot.” ― Doris Lessing

From fantasy to historical fiction is quite a jump. Making it all up versus all that research and getting the facts right would not have been Cheryl’s first choice for future books. Which is possibly why the double-award winning and Amazon best seller, Keepers – her first book solely for grownups – is based on a story and place she knew well, that of her own family in her hometown in Australia.
Cheryl’s taste for historical settings was tempered with fantasy in River Witch (also an award winning novel), while there are occasional hints of magical realism in Who can believe in witches? – a selection of historically based stories.
Explore them all here.

River Witch – historical fantasy/magical realism

SPR Book Awards Finalist

Hester talks to the river, which she knows as Sabrina, goddess. The river nymphs call to her as they ride the white horses of the bore … Aaron is a wise man with the power of herbal healing, and more. When Hester begs Aaron to teach her what he knows, he’s reluctant. He’s been there before.

Read an extract here
Listen to a reading or for just two minutes, listen to my own reading

Watch this trailer here.

The story is inspired by the life of Ellen Hayward, a respected herbalist from the Forest of Dean who was tried for witchcraft in 1906. And acquitted, happily. Initially Cheryl planned to write an historical novel about Ellen, but being a keen reader of magical realism she has turned the book into something rather different.
Find it here! River Witch is also available from Chepstow Books, and Forest Books and Crafts in Coleford.

Book club questions here!

Award-winning tales bound by their roots in history

Who can believe in witches? and other stories

The past comes knocking with accusations of witchcraft. A child miner learns there is value even in cruel, skin-shredding work. A young girl tumbles into a storm from a sinking ship, while hundreds drown in an historic flood.
And more tales, most of them award winners, all inspired by historical events.

Historically based short stories and flash fiction written over the past few years, now collected in one place. Most of these tales have been long- or short-listed, or even been winners. Many draw on the heritage of the Forest of Dean, a rich well of potential stories.

Find Who can believe in witches? and other stories here.

Keepers – historical women’s fiction

Award winning, Amazon US best seller

Book cover on a table with jewellery

In 1950 Australia, Raine believes her unplanned marriage to the volatile Teddy is working out fine.
Until he abandons her.
A grieving and furious Raine faces hard choices – made harder when she discovers she’s bearing their second child.

Read an extract here.

The book came about when Cheryl was mulling over bits of family lore she’d grown up with, and it occurred to her she could over-dramatise reality and get a good story out of these snippets. You can read more about the background here, including research into migrant camps in post WW2 Australia.

What readers say

‘A story that slowly took hold and you could not stop reading until the end when you discovered it was 3 in the morning.’
‘This was a book I read in two sittings, which is unusual for me.’
‘More please Cheryl’
‘Women’s fiction at its best. I was kept guessing till the end. I loved every bit of this book.’

How to buy?
Click on the image or find it here. Also on Kindle Unlimited – read for free.

Find Book Club questions here.

Walking in the Rain – historical women’s fiction, romance

Consistently in the Top 10 in Australian historical fiction on Amazon US

Ever responsive to readers, the sequel to Keepers was released in early 2023. Find it here.

Read an extract here, to whet your appetite.

Much of the book is set against the backdrop of the vast Australian Snowy Mountains Scheme, as was some of Keepers. Read here about this extraordinary engineering feat, which took over 25 years to complete.

The past can wait – historical women’s fiction, romance

Coming April 24! Pre-order available here.

book cover

Maggie and Arthur have always been considered the perfect couple.

Until now …

The past can wait, the second Keepers’ spinoff, takes us back to the Snowy Mountains and the city on the plains to find out what happens when Maggie decides she’s waited long enough for this house – and marriage – Arthur promised her. Re-introducing June’s friend Libby … trouble ahead!


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