IT'S GUEST AUTHOR SATURDAY!! Please welcome my lovely online friend and saga author Tania Crosse....

Hi Tania! I am so happy to welcome you back to my blog and have the chance to hear more about your latest releases THE DARTMOOR GIRL & THE GIRL AT HOLLY COTTAGE. I hope you are well and keeping busy!
Okay, over to you...

First of all, I must thank Rachel for inviting me back to her blog to talk about the latest two sagas in my Devonshire series to be united under the one umbrella of Joffe Books.

When asked to set a couple of stories on Dartmoor in the 1950s, I wondered what I could base them on. Although it remains a hill-farming region and the prison is still in use, all the other industries I had written about in the past were long gone and only one major quarry was still operational. So I began to consider the changes that had taken place and draw inspiration from them instead.

So many of the small farmsteads on the moor had been abandoned and fallen into ruin. Many of the workmen’s cottages were by then left empty, and the few that were still occupied condemned in the 1950s as unfit for human habitation. Thus in The Dartmoor Girl, Lily and her estranged father are the only people left inhabiting the cottages at remote Foggintor that had featured as family homes in The Quarry Girl. Holly Cottage was also condemned in the 1950s. Imagine what it would have been like to be thrown out of one’s beloved lifelong home! The history of other local properties also came into play, as did Princetown itself, which at that time had far more facilities, shops and even a townhall.

Talking of transport, the Princetown Railway, a lifeline for so many, closed in 1956, to be compensated by a slight increase in the infrequent bus service. This was a real blow for those who relied on public transport, and its demise finds its way into both stories.

I then cast the net wider. With both world wars not long in the past, people were suffering from traumatic legacies with many secrets to hide. Lily comes to Dartmoor to discover the truth, while Anna in The Girl at Holly Cottage goes there to hide from it. And of course, many young men were drawn into the Korean War and its horrors through their National Service.

All these ideas went into the melting pot and the books have been described as gritty but full of love and hope. Although the latest in the series, they can be read as stand-alone stories. And I’m delighted to say that a brand new addition is on its way!


It is 1952. Britain is slowly emerging from the darkness of the Second World War, but the conflict still casts its shadow over the lives of many.  London born and bred, fifteen-year-old Lily Hayes is looking forward to a carefree future in the capital. She is devasted when an unexpected tragedy reveals a secret that will throw her life into turmoil. She is forced to choose between a children’s home or going to live with her estranged father – a man she never knew existed – in a primitive cottage on the wilds of Dartmoor. For Lily, there is no contest. She is determined to discover the full truth and packs her bags for Devon.

She finds Dartmoor an awe-inspiring, savage yet beautiful place, a totally different world that holds challenges and mysteries and the legacies of ancient cults. Her father, Sidney Latham, is dour and sullen and has a temper on him, but Lily vows to make the best of things. As Sidney’s gruff manner gradually thaws, Lily learns a little more about her family’s past – and discovers that some secrets are best left hidden.

Lily’s life might have taken a dramatic turn for the worse, but there are some things she is grateful for – meeting the handsome and charming Edwin Franfield being one of them. But who is the mysterious stranger she meets out on the moor? What is going on at the ancient burial grounds? Will Lily discover her true identity and find happiness among the dramatic wilderness of Dartmoor, or will the forces of the past drive her back whence she came?

A dramatic and poignant tale of one girl’s quest to find the truth.



Plymouth 1954. The future seems rosy for Plymouth schoolgirl, Anna Millington, as she studies for entry to teacher training college. But Anna’s life isn’t all that it appears. Her family hides a cruel secret that resulted from the worst night of the Plymouth Blitz back in 1941, a night Anna remembers all too well as a small child cowering in a bomb shelter. Now the devastating consequences erupt again in tragedy. Fearing for her own safety, Anna is compelled to abandon her dear friends and career hopes, and flee for her life to nearby Dartmoor.

She has fond memories of the moor from when she was evacuated to Tavistock after the bombing raid that was to change her life for ever. But will her return to its vast open wilderness bring her hope or further problems? Along the way, she encounters various other victims of fate who have their own secrets to tell. Will they all have the courage to seek out the happiness they deserve, and will Anna be able to help them – or herself?

An compelling tale of secrets and betrayal, friendship and trust, and the legacy of war set in the city of Plymouth and on the wilds of Dartmoor in the 1950s.


BIO: Tania Crosse was born in London, but at a young age, moved to Surrey where her love of the countryside took root. She wanted to be an author since childhood, but after obtaining a degree in French Literature, life took over. It wasn’t until her children were older that she began writing seriously. She has now had published nine historical novels set on her beloved Dartmoor, while The Street of Broken Dreams, the last of four Twentieth Century sagas set in London and the south east, won Best Saga in the 2020 awards of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Two of her Devon titles have obtained Best Selling status on Amazon.


Twitter:  @TaniaCrosse

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