Mrs Preston’s Kitchen

Thank you to Michael Chrobak for inviting me to write a guest post for his blog.

Please visit his link below.


Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings to Everyone


You may wonder why I have a wombat in my photo. This is Waddles. I bought him in Daylesford when I was researching my next book. So what does a wombat have to do with a cozy murder mystery?

My next book, the second in The Thornton Mysteries is set in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, where the Thorntons have a holiday home. It isn’t as grand as Thornton Park but it’s a large house set into the side of Wombat Hill. There’s the clue. Daylesford, in its gold mining days, was called Wombat.

I first went to Daylesford about ten years ago. It’s set in the Macedon Ranges and is a favourite spa town. The area is known for its mineral springs. Mt Franklin, which most Australians know of, is about a twenty minute drive away.

The Thornton’s home is Wombat Hill Manor, and just as I did with Thornton Park, I based Wombat Hill Manor on a real building. It was initially built as a private residence and later sold to the Catholic Church as a Convent.

It’s now The Convent Gallery, beautifully restored as an art gallery and restaurant/cafe. If you go to Daylesford, I recommend going there. It’s about a one hour drive from Melbourne and worth the trip.

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I’ve been to Daylesford twice this year, the first time to do research for my book. The second time was after I finished my first draft and I wanted to check on some details.

This year has been a busy one. The two trips to Daylesford. A trip to Adelaide and the Barossa Valley, which besides being a wonderful holiday, was also research for book three. For those who don’t know, the Barossa Valley in South Australia is famous for it’s wineries. I’ll be starting book 3 early in the new year. You’ll remember from reading The Dragon Sleeps that Benedict’s family own a vineyard in South Australia. There’s a hint about book three.

I’ve not long returned from a trip to Hawaii. It was another fabulous holiday with my family. I thought I can’t go to such a location and not write a book set there. I didn’t have any ideas for a story when I arrived but I had the start of Book 4 before I left. My dilemma was why would the Thorntons want to go to Hawaii. Book two is set in 1928. Book three in 1928 also. So why in 1929 would they want to travel so far? The reason came to me. I was so pleased! Originally, I intended writing three books but now book four is on the schedule.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends and I wish you a Happy New Year.

A Cup of Conversation: Soulla Christodoulou talks with Ellen Read author of The Dragon Sleeps

I was recently asked to do an interview for Soulla Christodoulou’s new series, A Cup of Conversation.

Thank you so much, Soulla.

You can read it here



Review: The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read — Cookie Break

I was so thrilled to receive this wonderful review. Please read on!

“A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. What treasure is worth killing for? It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them. There is a weekend house…

via Review: The Dragon Sleeps by Ellen Read — Cookie Break


The Drowned Tomb


This is a fantastic second book in The Changeling Series. I loved the Isle of Winds, the first book, and I wasn’t disappointed with The Drowned Tomb.

I was excited to get back to Erkling Hall and the Netherworlde to meet favourite characters once again. Robin is as amazing as ever. Henry is a real favourite of mine, with his humour and easy-going manner, as is Woad and his new pet. Karya retains her aura of mystery but we are teased with some hints about her past. 

New characters are added seamlessly into the story. Some intriguing, some evil, some filled with menace. New and old, all are brilliantly written, well-rounded and believable, even the antiheroes.

The development of the story and the world building are superb. When I think of The Drowned Tomb, I think of Lords of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. Like these timeless favourites, The Changeling Series is for all ages.

James Fahy’s writing is witty, sincere, and concise, with a narrative that takes you on a fast and exciting ride, while at other times immerses you in scenes of beauty and magical wonder.

If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend you plunge into The Drowned Tomb soon, ready for Fahy’s third book, which is to be released on 12th June.



The Dragon Sleeps – 5 Star Review on Amazon

I was so thrilled to receive this fantastic 5 Star Review on Amazon from Charlie Edwards.

Thank you so much.


Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

As a huge fan of Agatha Christie and the other masters of crime I went into this book with high expectations and I’m happy to say that those expectations were exceeded! Set in the grandiose estate of Thornton House and taking place in the heart of the antiques trade of the 1920s, The Dragon Sleeps is a clever little novel that keeps you guessing throughout and which is equal parts murder mystery as it is a charming look into the past.

One of the aspects that really stood out for me was Read’s use of music and other well researched parts of the history that brought the 20s setting to life. I found myself googling various pieces of music she mentioned, letting them play as I read the book so that I could fully plunge myself into the story and experience what her characters were enjoying at the same time, an interesting experience which really added to the charm of the book as a whole.

The characters are full of vitality and believable, and the relationship between Lexy and Edie in particular was really charming to experience, not to mention the smooth suave of the ever charming Benedict whom I’m sure is the sort of man that no woman could find fault with.

The mystery itself is well researched and cleverly put together, and of course I won’t spoil it but the solution is not as straightforward as you would initially presume – the twists and turns keep the novel going exactly as a murder mystery should.

An enchanting and engaging novel that sets the stage for murder and intrigue with aplomb, I can’t wait to read more of what Ellen Read has to offer – here’s hoping she is writing more!



YouTube for Authors

My latest news is that I’m on YouTube. I have four videos up. One is a channel trailer. The other three are trailers for my book The Dragon Sleeps.

Please go and have a look.

If you’re an author and like the idea for yourself, please let me know. We can follow each other.


The Dragon Sleeps – 5 Star Review

I was so thrilled to receive this wonderful  5 Star Review on Goodreads  from


Thank you so very much. Reviews are so important to writers, even just a word or two is sufficient to raise the book through the levels to best seller lists.


It was amazing

The Dragon Sleep is set in the 1920s – Australia.

Alexandra Thornton is 21 years old and loves historic objects, because of her passion, she is interested in working in her Dads antique shop – Thornton Antiques.

Alexandra lives in Thornton Park and lives on the family estate. A zoo is also attached to the estate with kangaroos, wallabies, etc.

A mystery murder takes place in Thornton Park and Alexandra takes it upon herself to try and solve it.

I was drawn to The Dragon Sleeps because of the beauty of the building on the book cover, which is an actual building in Victoria, Australia.

Ellen Read loves architure buildings and this was quite evident in her book as she describes the home layout. Her love of flowers which she has a passion for are also a feature in her book, names like, blue salvias, pink petunias, etc.

The mystery murder I touched on very briefly because – Ellen Read Author – has just launched her own – You Tube – channel, that will give you a clue on the mystery.

Thank you Ellen Read, for such a wonderful book, beautifully written, with such amazing details which I felt lost in.

I very much appreciate your hard work that went into making such a little beauty.


IG Author Hop Event
Image by Ann. B Madrise

 Hello everyone!

Head over to Instagram to win some fabulous prizes.

Follow the Hop to meet new authors and get a chance to win a prize!

Today I’m giving away one signed paperback of my historical murder mystery The Dragon Sleeps, including a matching bookmark and one eBook of my novella Love The Gift.

Once you’re on Instagram, please read the instructions below carefully so you’re not disqualified!!!
1. Follow me on Instagram
2. Like this post on Instagram
3. Comment below on Instagram: Happy Spring!
4. Go to my website. Once there, please click on the link to join my Newsletter.

A winner will be chosen at random.

This Hop is open from 20 March – 21 March


IG Author Hop Teaser

I’m thrilled to be a part of this exciting event. Hop over to Instagram to win some fabulous prizes and meet the authors. A wonderful way to celebrate Spring or Autumn if you’re in the southern hemisphere, as I am.

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS! 🎉 Starting this Sunday (because we are spanning the world via Australia, UK, and the US) The IG Author Hop will go live. 🎉 It will run all day Monday, all day Tuesday, and then winners will be chosen on Wednesday. 🎉
WAIT THERE ARE WINNERS!?!? 😄 Yes! You will have 18 chances – you heard correct – 18 chances to win giveways from the list of authors below for ebooks, signed paperbacks, book swag, and more. 💕 Here’s is how you “hop”: starting on Sunday, hop on IG and pick an author from the list below. (There will be a fresh post from all the authors particpating on Sunday) in order to qualify to enter, you will: “Like” that post, “Follow” that author, “Comment” Happy Spring and “Click” on their bio link if they have something they want you to check out. 📚 You can hop around to all 18 authors, each are running different giveways!! Exciting stuff from some of your favorite authors and new ones too!! SEE YOU SUNDAY!! 🎉

Particpating authors: