Susanna M. Newstead News Though I write just what I like

Though I write just what I like

My latest Savernake Novel is out!

I could never have imagined that I would write so many (though I did have a few of the books written years ago), in this series. And I carried on writing them after number five was published. I thoroughly enjoyed and do enjoy writing everything. And I am gratified to see that you like reading it.

We are now at 21 and counting. 13 are out already and there are also two in a different series (The Kennet Valley Tales) and one to be published soon – an historical fantasy with no timeslip, no dragons and nothing of the ‘usual’ paraphernalia usually associated with the genre – fantasy. But fantasy it is…firmly grounded in history and folklore.

So I think I can honestly say I am writing something for everyone.

And if anyone would care to add their name and email to my mailing list I would be grateful. In this way you’ll never miss a post here and will always know what’s going on, quite apart from the other things I write here – little snippets of novels, interesting articles about history and social life in the 13th c. etc.

Here’s a snippet of Though I Live Not Where I Love…number 13 (all are named for old British folk songs except number one Belvoir’s Promise.)

This is a song of loss and betrayal, possibly and absent love, certainly.

A young woman arrives at Durley village claiming that her unborn child has been fathered by one of the villagers, a young man called Tom Potter. He denies it… read on…

Later that afternoon, towards evening, Agnes Brenthall my housekeeper and wife to my chief wood warden John, came scratching at the door.

“Sir, I just thought you’d like to know. Joan says the young woman we found by the lytch gate yester eve has just been delivered of a boy child.”

“Thank you Agnes.” I looked up from my work.” Is all well with them?”

“The child is weak. Joan thinks that he will live but he will need some careful nursing.”

“And the mother?”

Agnes shrugged. “ It’s been a difficult birthing sir. She is exhausted, quite apart from all the  walking she seems to have done, she doesn’t seem to have had much to eat lately either.”

“Yes, she struck me as all skin and bone when Hubert lifted her up to bring her down to the manor.”

“She’s a poor piece sir, when all’s said and done.”

“Do we know any more about her?”

“No more than we did yesterday.”

“Her name and where she comes from.”

“Aye sir. She hasn’t the strength for talking.”

“Well, we shall have a word with her when she recovers. Do we think that we might need the help of Dr. Johannes?”

“Bless you sir, I don’t think so. Old Joan and Alice Reeve know what they’re doing. I think she’ll be fine in their hands.”

I nodded. “ Good.”

Agnes cocked her head to one side. “ Of course, the thing she kept saying was that Thomas was the father of her child.”

“Our Thomas Potter denies it Agnes.”

“He is very popular with the girls on account of his good looks…”

“Yes, that’s true. However he denies it and I am inclined to believe him. If the girl came from Hereford, our Tom has never been there.”

“Of course, he will be popular, he’s a nice lad. We know there’s many a girl in the village gone doe eyed over him, but he doesn’t seem to care about it.” said Agnes quietly.

“He’s twenty five and can chose to ignore the village girls or to engage in a flirtation with them if he wishes, Agnes. I can’t stop him. He’s a free man.”

“Aye sir. I know. I was just thinking out loud.”

I gave Agnes a sidelong smile. “ I remember a young lady who was besotted with a young man in Wooton village, who ignored her for ages Agnes….when I was ooh…ten or so?”

Agnes laughed out loud. “ Made him notice me eventually though didn’t I?”

We both laughed.

“So you think that the girl is lying sir?”

“No not necessarily. It might be one of the forest lads called Thomas.”

“She swears he said he was a Durley boy and besides sir, all the Thomases I know out in Savernake are tied to the land. None of them will have been to Hereford….wherever that is.”

“No. That’s probably true. At best I think the girl is mistaken.”

“It’s a long way to come sir to be mistaken.”

“Yes, it is indeed.”

“Sir. Far be it from me to interfere….”began Agnes.

“Doesn’t usually stop you Agnes.” I chuckled, leaning back in my chair.

“Oh whisht, Sir Aumary….”said Agnes a smile splitting her face, “it’s just well, if we could get the girl to look at Thomas without him knowing, maybe we could convince her that it’s not him.”

“If we do that Agnes, it will be with the full cooperation of the young man involved. I don’t want anything done behind his back.”

“No sir.”

“And I’ll have no idle speculation nor gossip around the village. Leave it till the girl is well and then we shall see what can be done.”

“Yessir. And if it is him?”

“If it can be proven and for the life of me I cannot see how, unless he confess, then we shall have a wedding in Durley shall we not?”

“And if it isn’t?”

“Then we shall make further inquiries. The girl may stay until we get to the bottom of this mystery.”

“Yes sir.”

“Close the door Agnes.There’s a fearful draught coming in. And can you shut the outer door too please?”

“Aye sir.”

And that was the end of that.

Except it wasn’t…the end, Paul my scribe. For by the close of that day, the poor girl Cille, who I’d allowed to stay in one of the guest rooms on the southern wall of the manor courtyard – was dead.

And what’s more, she was murdered.


Anyone who’d like to write a review and enter the competition to win a free copy of book 13, please go to and write your comment.

Your name will then be entered into the ‘draw’.

Carry on then….




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One thought on “Though I write just what I like”

  1. I am hooked on your Savernake series! I have to read them in ebooks format, and have just finished “Bushes & Briars”. However, I can’t seem to find 12 – Though I live… in ebooks, although 14., Worldes Blis is. Will 12 & 13 (& the rest) be published as ebooks please? I do hope so!

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