Saturday, March 7, 2020


PLEASE NOTE: This blog is currently inactive. It may not stay that way forever, and there's still plenty of good stuff to read here, but for the moment, most of the activity is happening elsewhere.

Specifically, on my Facebook author page, where every Friday I post my feature The Medieval Italian Woman of the Week, or on my website.

You can also find me (and my books) on BookBub and on Goodreads, and I have an Amazon author page.

Another option: go to my website (see above) and sign up for my monthly newsletter, which will come to you on the ides of each month, with a variety of news, ramblings on medieval and/or writerly topics, and whatever else pops into my mind. If you do this, you will receive your free download of my short book of character sketches, vignettes, diatribes, and reminiscences entitled Cantilena for Seven Voices: Dante's Women Speak. This book is not available elsewhere.


Since this blog went on hiatus, I published my second novel, Lady of the Seven Suns: A Novel of the Woman Saint Francis Called Brother, and I republished my debut novel, A Thing Done, with a new cover. If you are interested in either of those books, my website and my Facebook author page both include buy links to various online retailers, and you can order the paperbacks through your local bookstore.

Here are the paperback covers (many thanks to Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Fiction Book Covers for these, which I really love!). Happy reading!


A powerful noblewoman or a humble follower of the holy man from Assisi? All the rules say Giacoma cannot be both.

But rules are made to be broken.

Rome, 1210.
 After tragedy shatters Giacoma’s world, Francesco intervenes to save her sanity, her life, and her soul. She owes him everything. Her gratitude is boundless – but now she must thread her way between duty and faith, always striving to be worthy of Francesco’s affectionate name for her: “Brother Giacoma.”

No longer locked into the power struggle among Rome’s noble families, still she cannot turn her back on her sons, her household, and Rome’s poorest citizens who depend on her charity. As a woman she is not free to share the brothers’ life of sacred poverty, begging for her daily bread. Nor is she destined for Clare’s cloister. A new path, as yet unexplored and unsignposted, lies ahead for Giacoma dei Settesoli. If she finds it, will she be brave enough to follow it?

Based on a true story, this is an absorbing historical novel of one woman’s stubborn quest for grace. If you like strong women in the past who insist on making their own way in a patriarchal society, you’ll love Lady of the Seven Suns.

”To read Lady is to savor that rarest of reading pleasures: you will live another person’s life to the full, vicarious time travel at its empathetic best.” Judith Starkston, Fantasy and Magic in the Bronze Age


Juggling is easy – until you’re juggling two sides of a lethal vendetta.

Florence, 1216: Corrado the Fool’s prank-for-hire began it, but where is it going to end? Florence’s noble families are up in arms, and Corrado is pressed into service by both sides against his will. A peacemaking marriage could still quiet the outraged factions, but that fragile alliance may crumble under pressure from an interfering woman, a scorned bride, and a demand for revenge. And only Corrado, the reluctant messenger, is in a position to see it all taking shape.

He doesn’t care who comes out on top, but he does care a lot about surviving and about protecting those he loves, and he'll do whatever he must to prevent the enraged nobles from destroying his city. Will his famous wit and ingenuity be enough? Will anything?

Inspired by real events, A Thing Done tells of a hapless David caught between warring Goliaths. Corrado's story makes it clear that the rich and powerful aren't the only ones who can make history.

”… a wonderful job of demonstrating how minor, insignificant acts can have far reaching consequences while weaving a great tale grounded in historical events. This is a must read.” - medievalists.net

A Thing done won the 2014 Sharp Writ Book Award for Fiction.

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