Sunwise (Widdershins II) out in audio, ebook and print

Sunwise cover reveal

‘There is a madness come upon England of late.’

Following the Newcastle witch trials, where sixteen people were hanged for witchcraft, Sunwise continues the story of women’s struggle for survival in a hostile and superstitious world. Spurred on by the successful execution of sixteen proven witches, the witchfinder travels to Berwick, where he continues his quest to rid the world of evil. But will he hoodwink the Berwick authorities as easily as those in Newcastle?

Inspired by real events, Sunwise is the sequel to Helen Steadman’s best-selling historical novel, Widdershins. Sunwise begins just after the Newcastle witch trials as Jane Chandler’s lover, Tom Verger, returns from the navy to find her unhappily married to his betrayer.

Jane is caught in an impossible situation. Still reeling from the loss of her mother at the hands of the witchfinder, Jane has no choice but to continue her dangerous work as a healer while keeping her young daughter safe.

But, as Tom seeks a way for him and Jane to be together, the Scottish witchfinder is still at large. Filled with vengeance, John Sharpe will stop at nothing in his sworn mission to free the world from the scourge of witchcraft.

The Historical Novel Society said of Sunwise: “The novel is rich in fascinating details: Jane’s remedies and the village customs, partly Christian, partly pagan. Ancient names for plants and festivities, both seasonal and Christian, add colour to the narrative. Jane’s story is based on true events, and Jane represents the many women whose healing gifts made them victims of superstition and violence.”

Recommended for anyone who has enjoyed Stacey Halls’ The Familiars, Beth Underdown’s The Witchfinder’s Sister, AK Blakemore’s The Manningtree Witches, Elizabeth Lee’s Cunning Women, Louisa Morgan’s A Secret History of Witches, Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate, Madeline Miller’s Circe, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, or Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches.

Sunwise cover: black background with a frame of white elderflowers, candles and hawthorn leaves and the silhouettes of Jane and Rose Driver and John Sharpe, who is holding a knife.


Audiobook available from Audible, Amazon and Apple Books / iTunes.

Sunwise is the sequel to Widdershins. It’s available in many independent bookshops, such as Forum Books. Also available from your local library or larger booksellers such as: Amazon, Blackwell’s, Book Depository (who deliver worldwide, free of charge), Foyles, Waterstone’s and WH Smith.

Available in major and independent bookshops.

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