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
Thornton Park is the Thornton family home and is where the mystery takes place in my book The Dragon Sleeps.
It’s a murder mystery set in the late 1920s.
A Dragon statue. An ancient sword. What treasure is worth killing for?
Alexandra Thornton is determined to discover how these things are connected to the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago. What secret has remained hidden for the last eighty years?
Top left is the main hall, the others are of the drawing room. Far right is my book.
These photos are of the real house that inspired me – Werribee Mansion in Victoria.
You can go through the mansion if you’re visiting Melbourne or Victoria. It’s definitely a worthwhile day.
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…
I was thrilled this week to receive a 5 Star Review from English Author James Fahy. If you haven’t read Fahy’s books, you should hurry and read them. His third book in The Changeling Series is due to be released on 12 June 2017.
Repost from @jamesfahyauthor – The Dragon Sleeps by the wonderful @ellenreadauthor was my Bank Holiday weekend read. What better way to spend a long weekend than with a pot of tea and a period murder? I love the time period this novel is set in. If I had a time machine, the 1920’s is the first place I would go, so this was an indulgent treat for me. Ellen’s story is steeped in carefully and lovingly researched detail, from the music playing, to the fashions, art, etiquette and antiques, I came away feeling like I’d attended the garden party at Thornton myself, and was surprised to find I was not wearing spats. If you’re a lover of Agatha Christie, and a good murder-mystery with a side order of love, sprinkled with some far-east exoticism, I would urge you to give this a try. You won’t be disappointed. Check my full review on Amazon.com/co.uk
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!
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.
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.
I recently interviewed Queensland author, Ellen Read about writing, self-publishing, and what it’s like to undertake research for historical fiction… NLK: How did you first begin writing fiction? ER: I began with reading books. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading and living in a story. As a child I made up fictional […]
Abigail Shepherd is the 29-year-old author of teen historical fiction novel Victoria’s Victorian Victory. Her other work has most recently been published by The Flash Fiction Press, and Mystery Weekly, and she has a regency romance series, Ask Me No Secrets, on channillo.com. She’s hoping her upcoming novel will encourage teenage girls to think about their futures, set goals for themselves, and insist on being treated with the respect they deserve. Her hobbies include fishing, napping, and drinking exceptionally good wine. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter as @abiwriting and blogs at bewritingblog.wordpress.com
I first met Abigail Shepherd approximately one year ago on Instagram, which has a thriving book community of authors and readers. During that time we have become friends.
It has been a pleasure to watch Abigail gain confidence and begin to shine. Now she has just released her new book Victoria’s Victorian Victory, a Young Adult historical novel set in the Victorian era.
I’m so pleased to welcome Abigail Shepherd to my blog as a guest author. Abigail has written the article below, which looks at fashion in the Victorian times.
The Victorian era lasted 64 years and saw almost as many changes in fashion as from the equivalent time today. The difference being, for most of that period, clothes were not purchased ready-made on the high street. Victorian women either paid a dressmaker if they could afford it, or made their own clothes. This meant many changes in fashion tended to involve things that could be added or altered on an existing dress. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why a woman’s silhouette received so much attention.
My new novel The Dragon Sleeps is set in Victoria, Australia in the 1920s. I recently did a post on women’s fashion from that era.
Men’s fashion was equally as stylish. It was influenced by the new heart-throbs of the silent films, although the term ‘silent films’ wasn’t used during that era. They were called ‘the flicks’ or ‘the pictures’.
Rudolph Valentino liked to set a style.
John Gilbert wears the pencil-style moustache that was popular during the 1920s and 1930s. He was known as The Great Lover of the Silver Screen. The Merry Widow launched him to fame in 1925, and by 1928 he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.
Benedict Archer in The Dragon Sleeps looks like John Gilbert, or so Edith claims.
Men in the 1920s wore suits and, at least the highly fashionable ones, wore many accessories. There were so many types of hats (here we see fedoras, straw boaters, and Newsboy hats).
Below shows the Porkpie hat that Sergeant Smith wears when he accompanies Alexandra and Edith to the Victorian State Library.
Canes were popular accessories as well as small rings, tie pins, and collar pins. Three-piece suits were also worn – one for every occassion.
Shoes were very stylish, with examples here of brogues, two-tones, white tennis shoes and the exquisite art deco shoes.
Even the working man and boy liked to don hats, ties and jackets.
The Parry and Brady men in The Dragon Sleeps would have worn similar outfits.
I hope you enjoyed looking at male attire in the 1920s.
I’d love to hear from you. To follow me go on to: