Counting down the days to many things.

Today is the due date for my students’ final assignment of 2020 – which means, I will be starting this Wednesday on my final round of marking for the year. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. I find myself describing it in S words: surreal, scary, stressful, sorrowful and s%@&&y. Tutoring in a pandemic year has been akin to sailing on stormy seas in a leaky boat. More than ever, I am so looking forward to marking the last student’s essay and reaching the end of another university year. I want more time to spend with my two small grandsons – as well as time to reboot my efforts to claim a more active and healthier me.

And I have come to a decision. I want to focus on my own writing until at least May next year. I have a very neglected work in progress – which still managed to gain a shortlisting for a 2021 fellowship at Varuna: The Writers’ House – and a nonfiction work to complete. Plus, All Manner of Things will be stepping out into the published world on January 15th. I think I would wise to be freer at the start of the year to do what I need to do to promote my new novel.

Talking of which, here is another pre-publication review for you to read:

As always, I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well.


All Manner of Things:
Review Spotlight


Maria and Catalina are cousins and best friends. As young girls, they vow never to be apart – but that promise is tested when Catalina is sent to England to make a favourable marriage to England’s future king. Exiled together from their beloved Spain, the two women face prejudice, betrayal and loss. The Tudor court is a place of danger, ambition and desire where even the most powerful women must subjugate themselves to men’s wills. At times, the women’s friendship and support of each other is their only salvation, their shared love for their home country a dream which unites them even when disaster threatens. Forced to defend their faith – and their friendship – against an English alliance determined to engineer their downfall, Maria and Catalina’s fates are hopelessly entwined. Can they survive?

In vivid, sparkling prose Wendy Dunn breathes life into this heartbreaking tale of female friendship. Seen through the eyes of Maria, her beloved companion, Catalina is a spirited heroine who did not deserve the trials she ultimately faced at the hands of her her duplicitous husband. This book is a beautiful and fitting end to Wendy Dunn’s popular series Falling Pomegranate Seeds. In fact, it is her best book yet.

— Lauren Chater


See more reviews for All Manner of Things here.

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Don’t forget to save All Manner of Things to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ list here, or follow me on BookBub here.

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