Cover of The Bear and the Wolf

Written with SJA Turney – A short story of love and danger on the Empire’s most hostile frontier.

Senna, a native Briton married to a Roman auxiliary, accidentally uncovers a dreadful plan by the rebellious northern Maeatae tribe. Her husband Brigius, a Briton who now serves Rome, is torn when the imperial prince Caracalla arrives in northern Britannia with his unit of vicious, dangerous Numidian cavalry, causing trouble and endangering the couple’s once peaceful life. Heedless of the danger to both them and their world, the pair see only one way to ensure the continuation of peace in the north, and it carries a horrifying risk.

This is a story Simon Turney and I put together for the Alderney Literary Festival, where we took opposite sides in a Romans v Britons debate – but to be honest we both knew it was much more complicated than that! And thus The Bear and the Wolf was born: a tale of a small family caught up in a big crisis.

It’s available as a short ebook from:

Amazon UK

Amazon USA



A Year of Ravens

Cover of A Year of Ravens

Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire. A red-haired queen named Boudica led her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome, an epic struggle destined to consume heroes and cowards, young and old, Roman and Briton . . . and these are their stories.

A calculating queen foresees the fires of rebellion in a king’s death.

A neglected slave girl seizes her own courage as Boudica calls for war.

An idealistic tribune finds manhood in a brutal baptism of blood and slaughter.

A death-haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people.

A conflicted young warrior finds himself torn between loyalties to tribe and to Rome.

An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final battle against the legions.

A pair of fiery princesses fight to salvage the pieces of their mother’s dream as the ravens circle.

A novel in seven parts, overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers, queens and slaves, Romans and Britons who cross paths during Boudica’s epic rebellion. But who will survive to see the dawn of a new Britannia, and who will fall to feed the ravens?

Ruth’s is the second story in the book, following the fortunes of Ria, a slave in the royal household.


Cover of Seaglass anthology (photo of seaglass collection)

An anthology of North Devon writers, both amateur and professional, writing in short and flash fiction and poetry, even a song, inspired by the challenge of getting published in North Devon. Short stories, very short stories and flash fictions rub shoulders with poetry, song and memoir. Contributions from Pamela Kaye, Rachel Carter, Rebecca Alexander, Ruth Downie, Gillian Kerr, Nora Bendle, Colin Z Smith, Ben Blake, Mike Rigby, Chris Hodgson, Sue Somerville, Michelle Woollacott, Rosemary Alves-Viera, Aidan James, Tori Jeffs, Sherrall Davey, Helen Robinson, Susan Smith, Anne Beer, Russell Bave, Carey Bave, Maxine Bracher, Iain Shillito, Angie Robbins, Jessica McKinty, Pat Fricker, Diane Eilbeck and Susannah Ecclestone.

Ruth contributed a short memoir and enjoyed reading all the submissions and drinking lots of Rebecca Alexander’s tea while discussing them. Although her name is on the cover, other people did all the things that were difficult or complicated.

Bodies in the Bookshop

Bodies in the Bookshop

A literary Showcase of Crime Stories from 20 masters of the genre, edited by L C Tyler and Ayo Onatade.

Investigate the killer plots of twenty mysteries – nearly all specially commissioned and all with a literary flavour – published in honour of Heffers and independent bookshops everywhere.

Chase down the criminals in new stories featuring Carole & Jude, Gary Goodhew, the Good Thief, and the redoubtable Baroness “Jack” Troutbeck, by their respective creators: Simon Brett, Alison Bruce, Chris Ewan, and Ruth Dudley Edwards.

Uncover further misdeeds, with enticing offerings from Kate Charles, Ann Cleeves, Judith Cutler, Ruth Downie, Stella Duffy, Martin Edwards, Christopher Fowler, Michael Gregorio, Susanna Gregory & Simon Beaufort, Elly Griffiths, Jenna Hawkins, Suzette A Hill, Peter Lovesey, Michelle Spring, Andrew Taylor, and L C Tyler. Their works, collectively, feature every crime in the book.

Ruth’s story is ‘The Strange Affair at Sheepwash’, in which two stock characters of crime fiction finally exact revenge on their creator.