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I also write historical fiction under pen-name Deborah Swift.

Click the button to go to my main historical fiction website and my award-winning blog.


England 1955

The day Rhoda Middleton opens a letter from another woman, she becomes convinced her husband, Peter, is having an affair. But when Rhoda tracks the mysterious woman down, she discovers she is not Peter’s lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster. There is only one problem - Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.

Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out why Peter has kept this friendship a secret for so long. Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter’s wartime experiences she must wrestle with painful memories of her own. For Rhoda too cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, PAST ENCOUNTERS explores themes of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive.

Includes bonus material for reading groups

Click to see reader reviews:  US   UK

 ‘a compelling story about love and heartache and forgiveness and war’ – Library Educated Blog

‘Past Encounters is a story of love, betrayal, guilt and forgiveness in threads that seamlessly weave the lives of four individuals together. Nothing is as simple or straightforward as it seems and the author skilfully unveils the lives of each of the characters so that the reader feels empathy with them and understands how their lives have taken the paths that they have. It is a complex and engrossing story and I would heartily recommend it to both historical fiction and general fiction fans.’ 

Author Dianne Ascroft

'a beautifully written and thought-provoking story' -- Lancashire Evening Post 

‘For lovers of history and drama, this book is a perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon’


‘Where the novel shines, however, is in its underlying themes. The questions it poses about patriotism and duty, love and honor. . . Emotional, but highly recommended. Reminiscent of The Railway Man, Past Encounters is a brilliant exploration of the psychological effects of war and their lasting impact’ 

Flashlight Commentary Blog

‘Her writing style invited the reader into another world that I was totally immersed in . . . delicate and graceful’ 

Just One More Chapter Blog

‘Past Encounters is a really tightly-focused and strong narrative that supports and explores varying themes from duty to love and more against the backdrop of WWII in England.’ 

Ageless Pages Blog 

‘it really makes you think about the relationships you have in real life and the choices you make. This story really hit home for me and gave me a lot to think about…Highly recommend’ 

Layered Pages Blog

Davina Blake also writes under the pen name Deborah Swift

Praise for Deborah Swift:

 ‘stellar historical fiction’ Ann Weisgarber

'compelling' Westmorland Gazette

The past comes alive through impeccable research...and the sheer power of descriptive prose'

Lancashire Evening Post

PAST ENCOUNTERS  paperback & ebook

Want to know more? Find more on my MAIN WEBSITE

PAST ENCOUNTERS has been awarded a B.R.A.G Medallion, a mark of quality in independently published books. One of the criteria is whether the reading panel would recommend the book to their best friend. 

Find other highly rated books on their website

I would love to hear from you. Please use the form below to contact me or to join my mailing list. 

I am also available for talks to your W.I., your library or your reading group about researching WWII in Lancashire, or about my writing life. 

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