Blog Image

Jude Lyon

A post for Halloween…

The Curse of Lecia Posted on Fri, October 31, 2014 15:23:14

Taken from the end of Chapter 10 in “The Curse of Lecia” Takes place on 31st October 1832…

“I picked up the book and shook it in case the torn out pages might fall out. I felt troubled, a sudden unease and apprehension or that the book may reveal something to me that might shock me. The name”Lecia” seemed somehow familiar, and the mention of the wolf scared me. Could it possibly be the wolf that I had seen three times now?

My hands started to shake. Had this been one of the stories Joseph and Sarah had heard of?

“Where did you say you found the book Mary?” I asked, aware that my voice shook.

“In the dresser in my bedchamber, Louisa. I found it when I was putting my brushes away. I noticed a little gap in the bottom, and I pulled it open and found it there. Did I do something wrong, you look a little odd?

I shook my head, and felt suddenly tired and said goodnight to my cousins.

I chided myself as I walked up the stairs. It was just a story from a book, The Lore and Myth of Shropshire. It was not real.

I heard footsteps behind me, and turned quickly, ready to scream.

“Louisa, can I sleep with you tonight? I feel a little afraid.”

I had forgotten that despite all her bravado and confidence, Mary was still only eleven years old.

After Mary had changed into her nightclothes, she joined me. We sat on the bed, and I brushed her hair, which gleamed in the candle light. The texture was like silk and it reminded me of pure clean sand. As I brushed I started to sing the lullaby that Bron had sung at the gypsy camp. I had no idea how I knew he words, I just sang softly, and brushed rhythmically.

““Sleep my baby, at my breast,

’Tis a mother’s arms round you.

Make yourself a snug, warm nest.

Feel my love forever new.”

When I had finished, we pulled the cover over us, and I blew out the candle.

“I know that lullaby,” Mary said sleepily. “The lady in my room sings it to me every night before I sleep.”

I lay stiffly in silence and pondered her words. Before I could ask her to explain she was asleep, a peaceful expression on her face.

I leant forward to plant a kiss on her forehead.

And breathed in the faint aroma of rose and vanilla on her nightclothes.”

New book release…

The Curse of Lecia Posted on Tue, June 17, 2014 16:45:58

Well…I’m back. After some angst and a little rewrite of The Curse of Lecia”, I am happy to say that the paperback and the ebook are now both for sale.
It is available on Amazon and Feedaread, and will soon filter through to Waterstones etc.
I am looking forward to the feedback. Fingers crossed…
I also updated my cover for The Tree With The House In It, to reflect the fact that The Pitchford Chronicles is a series. The similar covers unite the books, I think:)

Chapter Two free..

The Tree With The House In It Posted on Sun, February 09, 2014 13:27:01

I have created a PDF so that you can read the whole of Chapter Two (Noah) for free.
I hope you enjoy, and would welcome feedback


The Tree With The House In It Posted on Sun, February 09, 2014 10:11:27

Here is the trailer for “The Tree With The House In It” , part one of The Pitchford Chronicles trilogy.
The opening music is the lullaby that Louisa hears in her bedroom.


The end of chapter 2 “The Curse of Lecia”

The Curse of Lecia Posted on Sat, February 01, 2014 13:57:21

The day
before the visit, Friday, Papa called Robert, Mary and me into the drawing
room. He was very serious, and asked us to sit, whilst he stood with his back
to the fire.

Robert, Mary and Louisa, there are some things that I wish to impart to you
about our young Royal Princess.”

Mary gave me
a little nudge, as she had told me of some rumours, but I was not entirely sure
they were true.

“Firstly the
Princess is known by the name “Drina” to her family and friends. Her real name
is Alexandrina Victoria, and “ Drina” is a short version of this.”

she … I mean…Her Royal Highness…think on us as friends?” Mary asked, eagerly

Papa smiled.

“I am sure
that she will, Mary. In fact, she refers to me as “Uncle Liverpool.”

I was
surprised to hear this. Papa had never mentioned it. He is known as the Earl of
Liverpool, so that must be why she chose “Uncle Liverpool”. Papa was not in any
way an uncle to Drina.

“Drina is
just thirteen years old, only two years older than you Mary dear, and she
carries a great weight and responsibility on her shoulders.”

“She is to be
the Queen, Uncle Liverpool” Mary giggled at her little joke “May I call you
“Uncle Liverpool” Uncle Charles?”


“Mary, do be
quiet. Let Uncle Liverpool speak,” he grinned.

Papa looked
at Mary as sternly as he could. I think she is his most favourite niece.

“As Drina is
heiress presumptive, Mary, she is required to live by certain rules that must
be adhered to at all times. These rules
ensure her safety.”

“That does
not sound like fun. Do you think that sounds like fun cousin Louisa?”

I shook my
head, and started to feel a little laugh bubble in my throat. Mary could always
be counted on for amusement. Papa cleared his throat.

“First, you
must know that Drina sleeps with her mother in the same room at all times.”

“What?” Mary
said loudly, “at thirteen years old? I should not like that at all. I wonder if
the Duchess of Kent snores. I rather think that she does.”

I could see
Papa’s mouth turning up at the sides. Mary was incorrigible.

“Mary, I am
sure that is disrespectful,” Robert said, and put his hands to his face.

“Perhaps you
should question Catherine,” I said. My sister, Catherine was her Lady in

Papa sighed
and looked at me, raising his eyebrows.

“Secondly, Drina
is never allowed to be alone. At all times there is to be an adult
present…either her governess or…”

“That is so
sad…” Mary bowed her head.” Mamma says that she is thankful when I am …”

“Either her
governess, whom she calls Lehzen,” Papa interrupted, ”her mother, or Sir John

smiled, “Conroy? I have heard of him.” He looked at Mary. “Mary, is he the one that Emily says is a…”

“And thirdly,”
Papa sighed, “our young Princess will not be offered unsuitable reading
material, or allowed to take part in unsuitable topics of conversation.”

Mary stood up
and walked to Papa, and hugged him around his waist.

understand, Uncle Liverpool, I understand perfectly why you have come to us
with this problem.”

Papa looked
confused, and Mary took his hands.

Uncle Liverpool, you need our help, do you not, to save her?”

“Save her,? Dear
Mary, what do you mean save her?”

Mary looked
at Robert and me and smiled.

“You wish
Louisa, Robert and me to help the poor girl. You want us to change her so that
she is more like a girl of thirteen and not a convict that one would send to

Papa made a
spluttering noise and I saw that his face was going red, and not from the heat
of the fire. I threw my head back and laughed. Papa looked confused again and
looked at me for help.

“No, dear
child, I …”

“Do not
worry, Uncle dearest, we shall make sure that Drina enjoys every minute of her
stay here. First, we shall…”

“Mary…no… I
did not…I meant that…”

“Do not be
sad for Princess Drina, Uncle Liverpool. I know how you are all for jollity and
fun. It must break your heart.”

Papa wiped
his forehead with his handkerchief.

“We shall
start by showing her how you can escape from a window by…”

Papa groaned,
“What an enchanting child you are Mary, but really, I … I merely meant that
you should …will…exercise the utmost…”

“Whatever is
the matter, Uncle Liverpool? You look quite ill. Should I call for the brandy?”

Papa made a
sound that sounded like a laugh and a cry and made to leave the room. He looked
at me, in a muddled way, Papa was never very good at remaining serious for too

“Louisa, I
trust you will do the right thing”

“Yes, Papa” I
smiled. “We will be angels.’

He left the
room, and Mary followed him.

“Do not worry
we shall not fail you, dearest uncle.”

With that, she slammed the door behind him. She returned, and we sat for
the remainder of the afternoon by the fire with Darcy and Mrs. Jackson’s scones..

Princess Victoria of Kent

Shropshire Posted on Tue, January 28, 2014 09:11:43

The Introduction to “The Curse of Lecia”



August 1832

I live my life in a cage. Not a cage that one can see or feel, but a cage nonetheless.

Just as real cages assure that their dwellers come to no harm, and halt escape to whatever dangers there may be, my unseen cage ensures that I encounter no harm.

It restrains my body and spirit, so that I will never quite know what dangers there truly are.

My cage is shaped and fashioned by rules.

My cage is arranged so that I should have no waking moment alone.

My cage is styled so that I shall not sleep, walk down a stair, read a book, speak to another or enjoy one second of solitary peace.

You must think that surely I have deserved my fate. You must think that I have done something loathsome or wicked. I can give you surety that I have not, and yet here live like a princess in a fairytale that has been cast with an evil spell.

There is no evil spell

There is no fairytale

Just a Princess.

Aboriginal art

Shropshire Posted on Wed, January 22, 2014 14:49:38

Today my daughter, Samantha’s website has gone live. You will find the link on the top tabs of my website Here
Samantha learned Aboriginal style art when she lived in Australia with us. Check out her website, her paintings have generated a lot of interest on Twitter.
Samantha also writes books for The History Press.

Chapter two excerpt

The Tree With The House In It Posted on Mon, January 20, 2014 22:40:05

Chapter Two
Sunday, 9th September 1832

On our first Sunday in Pitchford, the camp was quiet and drowsy, so I stole away for a walk with Cobweb by my side. It was a golden day, and the harvest sun flickered in the trees, warm and inviting. I walked down to the brook and then found my path to the big house, through the woods.
I was about to turn back to the camp, when something moved and caught my eye. In the clearing I could see that a gardener had brushed the fallen leaves into a large pile, perhaps to burn, or maybe just to make the gardens look tidier. Suddenly a force whirled at the leaves at full speed. They whisked into the air, up and up, falling carelessly to the floor. In the middle of the gust was a girl, or perhaps a young lady. With great abandon she leapt and ran at the leaves kicking them high and picking them up so that they showered her like rain. The girl laughed out loud, a laugh that was light, free and musical. Her laugh was as natural as the trees, the leaves and the sun streaming through the lime trees. Her skirts spun, billowing about. She moved with the grace and charm of a young horse, not yet ready to be tamed. The smell of freshly fallen leaves and rich soil filled the air. I sat down, hidden by the trees, spellbound.
The girl was a free spirit, a sprite or, maybe a witch. Cobweb nuzzled my hand and watched with me, I remained quiet, not daring to breathe.
The girl stood to look at what she had done, and shook her hair. It came loose and fell, long, smooth and burnished over her shoulders and down her back. In an instant, she threw her cape and bonnet to the ground. For a few seconds she disappeared, and then came back with a broom. I could hear her singing as she brushed the leaves back into a pile, adding more and more from around the clearing.
I thought she had done a very good job of the brushing, and that she would make a very good wife for a Gaje man.
Finally the work was done, and she stood for a while looking at the big pile of leaves. I thought that then she would surely leave. Then a wonderful thing happened. The girl ran to the end of the clearing, but then turned and ran back with the force of a charging bull, throwing herself on top of the mountain of leaves.
The girl lay atop the pile laughing, her arms and legs swimming in the leaves. Her hair floated around her and mingled with the Autumn sun. The leaves and her hair were a mass of liquid amber, chestnut, magenta and maple. The gold overhead played between the trees casting shadows of claret copper and wine.
I was captivated, and could not move. In the distance, I heard someone call. The girl lay for a moment, and then rose to her feet with a sigh. Once more she brushed the leaves, singing to herself, cheerfully. As she walked to the edge of the clearing, I felt a longing I had never felt before. I wanted to collect her in my arms, like she had collected the leaves. I wanted to sweep her up, and never let her go .I wanted to rein her in and tame her like a young horse, and keep her for my own. I sensed another movement and a big black and white dog bounced into the newly formed pile of leaves gleefully spreading them all over the clearing.
I heard the girl call out, “Darcy?” and the dog bounded off to after her.
I sat smiling, not able to leave, wishing, aching for her to return. My body sang with joy, my heart enchanted.

My life had begun.

I was in love.

Cast in a spell on a golden Autumn day.

I sighed, and felt tears stinging my eyes, and a pain weighing down my heart.

This could not be so.

For the girl was a lady, a Gaje.

And I am Noah Harper.

A gypsy.

Next »