“Dark, dark water swelled and lurched against the ice. All the other little penguins dived straight in. Pebble pitter-pattered to the edge. Her heart quivered. Her feathers shivered. She felt so scared, she couldn’t dive in.”

From Oh Yes I Can!

Illustration by Maria Royse


I’m passionate about writing fiction for young adults and children. Black Snow Falling is my debut novel and I’m currently writing a contemporary thriller. I’m also a feature writer for Words and Pictures for SCBWI British Isles. My literary agent is Lindsey Fraser of Fraser Ross Associatesusing my maiden name, LJ MacWhirter.

Black Snow Falling

The black sky empties itself. Shadows tumbling without end…

In 1592, a girl with spirit is a threat.

Ruth has secrets. An old book of heresy belonging to her long-absent father. A dream that haunts her. And love that she and Silas hide from the world.

 When she is robbed of all she holds true, her friends from Crowbury slide into terrible danger. Hope is as faint as a moonbow. Dare Ruth trust the shadowy one who could destroy them all?


An earlier manuscript, Stolen Dreams, was written with the support of a New Writers Bursary from the Scottish Arts Council and reached the Top 14 for The Times & Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize. I then researched the historical context even more deeply, consumed every bit of wisdom I could read and hear on story and character,  and wrote umpteen rewrites as the novel found its true north and I found my voice. It became Black Snow Falling. Long-listed for this year’s Mslexia Children’s Fiction Prize, the MS is now out on submission through Fraser Ross Associates.

The Fairy Pools

A story about a little girl who wants to believe in fairies… and a fairy who wants someone to believe in her.
For young readers, published in the ‘WOW’ anthology by Scholastic, August 2008.

Picture book manuscripts:

When the cat lost her purr
Oh Yes I Can!
Tickle Me!
Today I wannabe…
Um and Em and the Tallest Tree
Um and Em and the Moon