Today I’m delighted to feature Death in Sensible Circumstances by Riana Everly on the blog #blogtourMissMaryInvestigates #Austenesque #HistoricalMystery #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

I’m delighted to share an excerpt from Death in Sensible Circumstances below.


“You must understand our concern.” The red-coated colonel paced up and down Alexander Lyons’ small office. He paused when he reached the offered chair once more, but did not sit down. He glanced down at the stack of cards on the desk that read Alexander Lyons, Investigator, and gave a brief bob of his head, as if reassuring himself he was in the proper place. Then he resumed pacing.

Alexander considered the man who had come calling a few minutes before. He had not written ahead, but had knocked at the door and hoped that the investigator was available. “You come highly recommended by a fellow officer, name of Fitzwilliam,” the colonel had explained. “He said you had done great service to the family. I hope you can help us, too.” 

The colonel had then introduced himself as Nicholas Brandon of Delaford in Dorsetshire. He was requesting Alexander’s services, he said, not on his own behalf but on that of a certain gentleman whom he knew, but who was too uncertain of matters to make the call himself. He took the offered seat and explained the situation, then rose and began pacing as Alexander considered what he had heard.

“Let me repeat this.” Alexander spoke slowly as thoughts swirled in his head. He knew his broad Scots accent would not deter this stalwart colonel, but poorly chosen words and stumbling sentences might. “Your friend had a falling out with his mother three months ago and was disinherited in favour of his younger brother, Robert Ferrars. That brother had a will that he made last year, upon turning twenty-one.” Alexander looked up for confirmation. Seeing Brandon’s nod, he continued. “That document left everything to his brother Edward. This seems reasonable and quite unexceptionable. Very well. Now this is where matters get sticky.

“This same Robert Ferrars was killed three days ago. To all accounts, he was returning home very late through Hyde Park from a rather exclusive gaming establishment. That is of little import right now, although it may become vital later. What does matter at this moment is that he was beaten, robbed, and left dead at the scene. His estate ought, therefore, to have passed to his brother Edward with no concerns raised.

“But…” There was always a ‘but.’ “But on the day that the terms of the will were announced, a certain person, a lady, came forward claiming that she was, in fact, Robert Ferrars’ wife and that Ferrars’ considerable wealth ought rightly to be hers.”

Alexander rose and moved to a shelf of books that sat against the far wall. He selected a tome and brought it to his desk, where he proceeded to open it and turn the pages until he found the one he wanted. Without looking at the words before him, he continued. “But there is no evidence of a marriage, and even if there were, the rule from Lugg v Luggfrom 1696 is that it requires marriage and the birth of children to effect a revocation of a will.”

Here Brandon interrupted him. “On what grounds would the extant will be revoked? Does the state of marriage annul a previous legal document? Yes, I know from Fitzwilliam that you are a lawyer by training. This is one of the considerations that brought me here today.”

Alexander gave a nod and hoped he looked sufficiently scholarly. Not many men took him seriously, what with his strong brogue (that became stronger or weaker, depending on how annoying he found his company) and his mop of coppery-red hair. He knew he appeared and sounded like a kilt-wearing heathen from the braes, and this was an image he rather cultivated, no matter that it might cost him some business. Now, however, he preferred to project the image of a learned and capable man of letters.

“Just so. I read law at Glasgow, where I did my degree. I do not practise that profession, but I follow the latest judgments. My qualifications remain valid.”

Brandon looked satisfied. 

“Marriage,” Alexander returned to the colonel’s question, “is a fundamental change in circumstance. It is assumed that upon taking a wife and having children, a man necessarily wishes to provide for his family. Therefore, the court should take notice of what is—or ought to be—a clear and obvious intent.”

“But that requires marriage and children…”

“And as you have told me, Lucy Steele, or Lucy Ferrars, should her tale be true, claims to be enceinte.”

“Mmmm.” Brandon was a man not given to unnecessary speech.

“And the question arises as to whether an unborn child has the status of a living child. This has been much about the courts these last ten or fifteen years. In Doe v Lancashire, it was ruled that a posthumous child does indeed hold the same status as a living child, on the condition that the father knew of that expectation. It is understood that he would wish to provide for the child, hence the material change in circumstance. But if he did not know…”

“Then the previous will stands.”

“Just so. Just so.”


A Jane Austen-inspired mystery, set in the world of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, being the fourth novel in the Miss Mary Investigates series.

When Mary Bennet befriends Elinor Dashwood, she expects to become part of the young lady’s circle and be introduced to her friends and relations. She does not expect that one of this circle should die, far too young, and in most unfortunate circumstances. Worse, Elinor is secretly in love with one of the suspects, Edward Ferrars, and he is inconveniently engaged to somebody else. When an investigator is called in to assist, Mary is more surprised still.

Alexander Lyons expects to find death and deceit in his line of work, but he does not expect to come face to face with Mary, who hasn’t replied to his letters of late. What is she doing in London? And how is she involved with this sorry business of murder? Still, despite the tension between the two, they make a good team as they seek to unravel the mystery surrounding them. 

From the elegant drawing rooms of Mayfair to the reeking slums of St. Giles, the two must use every bit of wit and logic they possess to uncover a killer, all the while, trying to puzzle out the workings of their own hearts.

Join Mary Bennet, Lizzy’s often overlooked sister from Pride and Prejudice, and her intriguing and handsome friend Alexander Lyons, as they are pulled into the world of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in this, their latest adventure.

Buy Links:

This title is currently available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Buy Link

Amazon UK:  Amazon US:  Amazon CAAmazon AU: 

Meet Riana

Riana Everly is an award-winning author of romance, both contemporary and historical, and historical mysteries. 

Born in South Africa, she moved to Canada as a child, bringing with her two parents, two younger sisters, and too many books. Yes, they were mysteries. From those early days of The Secret Seven and The Famous Five, she graduated to Nancy Drew, and then to the Grande Dames of classical English whodunnits, including Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. Others followed, and many sleepless nights ensued.

When not matching wits with Miss Marple and Adam Dalgliesh, Riana keeps busy researching those little, but so-important, details for her next fabulous novel.

Trained as a classical musician, Riana has degrees in Music History and Medieval Studies, and enjoys photography, hiking, travelling, learning obscure languages, and experimenting with new recipes. If they include chocolate, all the better.

Connect with the author


Instagram: Book BubAmazon Author Page

Follow the Death in Sensible Circumstances blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

New covers for Kingmaker and The King’s Daughters

Earlier in the year, I shared new covers for The Lady of Mercia’s Daughter and A Conspiracy of Kings, and now I’m delighted to share the new covers for the remaining two books in The Tenth Century series, Kingmaker and The King’s Daughters.

These stories don’t follow Lady Ælfwynn as the first two books do, but she is mentioned in them. Rather, these two books focus on some of the other ‘lost’ women of the tenth century: the third wife of King Edward the Elder, and his many daughters.

I think they look fabulous. Thank you to Flintlock Covers for once more knowing what I want, even when I can’t find the words to describe it:)


This is the tenth century in Early England between the reigns of Alfred the Great and Æthelred the Unready.
As England’s first Viking Age grinds to a halt in a war of attrition that will see Jorvik finally added to the kingdom of the English, one woman will witness it all.

Seventeen-year-old Eadgifu knows little about her new husband; he’s old, he only wants to marry her because she’s so wealthy, he already has ten children, and he’s Edward, King of Wessex. He also hopes to claim Mercia as his own.

That he’s the son of King Alfred, the man credited with saving Wessex from the Viking Raiders adds no mystique to him at all. Many say he’s handsome, but Eadgifu knows they speak of the man twenty years ago. Her mother won’t even allow her to be alone with him before their wedding.

But an old man will not live forever. The mother of his youngest sons can be more powerful than the wife of the king of Wessex, especially in the newly made kingdom of England where king’s lives are short and bloody, and war with the Viking Raiders is never far away.

Lady, wife, queen, mother, king’s mother, grandmother, ally, enemy, amenable and rebellious. 

Lost to the mists of time, this is Queen Eadgifu’s story, Kingmaker.

The King’s Daughters

Four women, all with impeccable pedigrees, and all desiring one thing. A kingdom of their own to rule.

They are the granddaughters of King Alfred of Wessex, but the kingdom they desire is not that of their grandfather’s founding.

These are the unknown stories of King Athelstan’s half-sisters, all wed into the royal families of East and West Frankia during the tenth century.

Eadgifu, the exiled queen of West Frankia, with her son’s kingdom claimed by another man, her husband imprisoned by yet another of his overmighty nobles.
Eadhild, wed to the son of the man who usurped her nephew’s kingdom, but with no heirs to her name.
Eadgyth, married to the legitimate heir of the king of East Frankia.
Ælfgifu, wed into the noble family of the Kingdom of Arles, one that sees West Frankia as an ally, not an enemy.

As tensions reach boiling point between East and West Frankia, between kingdoms and men who should be enemies, not allies, or allies, not enemies, the royal sisters of Wessex are thrust into a political maelstrom, pitted against each other and with only their royal brother, King Athelstan, as a mediator.

Pagan Warrior is on blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club #blogtour – check out the posts for the final day and enter the competition to win the paperbacks

It’s the final day of the Pagan Warrior blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club, and to celebrate I am running a competition to win a signed set of the trilogy in paperback.

To enter, either sign up for my newsletter here (and receive a free short story set after the events of the trilogy), or if you’ve already signed up, drop me a quick email (, and let me know you want to enter the competition. I will post worldwide and the competition will run until May 19th 2023, at which point, I will contact the winner, and announce them (if they are happy for me to do so) on my social media channels. Good luck everyone.

Pagan Warrior is the story of the battle of Hædfeld, fought in the seventh century between the Northumbrians, and you got it, the Mercians – or rather, Cadwallon of Gwynedd but with Penda of Mercia as his firm ally. You can find more details here.

A quick shout out to thank all the blog hosts and Cathie at The Coffee Pot Book Club for organising.

For May 16th, check out a review for Pagan Warrior on

Linnea Tanner’s Official Blog

and a guest post about Mercia’s legacy over on

The Coffee Pot Book Club

For May 9th, check out

The Book Delight

An excerpt on

The Celtic Lady Reviews

For May 2nd, check out the review on

Stuart Rudge’s Official Blog

And a guest post on who King Edwin of Northumbria was over on

When Angels Fly

For April 25th, check out a post about Penda of Mercia.

The Magic of Word(l)ds

Read an excerpt featuring Eowa, Penda’s brother on

Judith Arnopp’s Official Blog

And, read an excerpt featuring Penda on

Carolyn Hughes Official Blog

For April 18th, I answered Paul Walker’s questions on his blog

Paul Walker’s Official Blog

There’s an except over on Wendy J Dunn’s Official Blog featuring King Edwin

Wendy J Dunn’s Official Blog

And a fabulous review on Ruins and Readings

Ruins and Readings

For April 11th, read a guest post about how we know, what we know, about the seventh century.

Deborah Swift’s Official Blog

And a fabulous author interview over on

The Writing Desk

For April 4th, read an excerpt on

Elizabeth St John’s Official Blog

And read about warfare in the Saxon period on

Brook Allan’s Official Blog

For March 28th, check out a fabulous review on

A guest post about Mercia in the later eighth century on the Historical Fiction Blog.

And, the post that perhaps gave me the most fear to begin will but which was fun when I remembered all the little details, five fun facts about writing the trilogy.

For March 21st check out a post about two of the royal residences of Bernicia at the time, Bamburgh and Ad Gefrin (Yeavering). (There are lots of photos, thank you to Helen Hollick for uploading them all).

Let Us Talk of Many Things

And a review from

Candlelight Reading

From March 14th, check out my author interview over on Archaeolibrarian.


I’m sharing an excerpt over on The Historical Fiction Company.

The Historical Fiction Company

I’ve written a piece about the historical background on Pam Lecky’s official blog.

Pam Lecky’s Official Blog

I’m delighted to share my review for The Body at Carnival Bridge by Michelle Salter #historicalmystery #cosycrime #highlyrecommended

Here’s the blurb

How deadly is the fight for equality?

It’s 1922, and after spending a year travelling through Europe, Iris Woodmore returns home to find a changed Walden. Wealthy businesswoman Constance Timpson has introduced equal pay in her factories and allows women to retain their jobs after they marry.

But these radical new working practices have made her deadly enemies.

A mysterious sniper fires a single shot at Constance – is it a warning, or did they shoot to kill? When one of her female employees is murdered, it’s clear the threat is all too real – and it’s not just Constance in danger.

As amateur sleuth Iris investigates, she realises the sniper isn’t the only hidden enemy preying on women.

 Purchase Link

My Review

The Body at Carnival Bridge is the third book in the Iris Woodmore series, and it is going from strength to strength.

Some time has passed since the tragic events of book 2, and Iris is perhaps a little out of sorts with herself, but no sooner has she made contact with her old friends than tragedy strikes, and Iris is compelled to investigate the death of a young girl.

What ensues is a well-reasoned and intriguing mystery, highlighting the social inequalities of women in the aftermath of World War I and also referencing the harsh realities of the lives of women unable to access birth control. The author really excels in placing the reader in the period without overloading the narrative., and always with an eye to moving the mystery onwards.

The Iris Woodmore mysteries are fast becoming some of my favourites. The mystery is always reliable, the author has an eye for detail, and Iris herself is a likeable character, as are those surrounding her.

A fabulous mystery well-grounded in the period’s events without overloading the reader.

Check out my review for Death at Crookham Hall and Murder at Waldenmere Lake.

Meet the author

Michelle Salter is a historical crime fiction writer based in northeast Hampshire. Many local locations appear in her mystery novels. She’s also a copywriter and has written features for national magazines. When she’s not writing, Michelle can be found knee-deep in mud at her local nature reserve. She enjoys working with a team of volunteers undertaking conservation activities.

Connect with Michelle  




Bookbub profile

It’s my turn on the blog tour for A Contest to Kill For by E V Hunter #cosycrime #blogtour

Here’s the blurb

The competition is fierce…. Desperate to try and rebuild the reputation of Hopgood Hall, owners Alexi Ellis and Cheryl and Drew Hopgood agree to host a realty TV baking show, spearheaded by their arrogant but enigmatic head chef Marcel Gasquet. Hopefully the ratings will bring in bookings to the struggling hotel and Cosmo, Alexi’s antisocial feral cat, is hoping to get a starring role too!

The temperature is high… Fiery and hot-headed, Marcel’s antics makes for brilliant television, but off-screen trouble is brewing. One of the contestants, femme fatale Juliette Hammond, makes it clear that she will do anything to secure the winning prize – even if it means sweetening up the prima donna chef. The results are deadly!

So when Juliette is found dead, all eyes turn to Marcel. Has his fiery French temper got the better of him or has someone else fallen victim to Juliette’s devious ways? With the reputation of the hotel in tatters and Marcel’s liberty on the line, Alexi needs answers and fast.  And the only person she can turn to for help is her old friend and private eye Jack Maddox.  Jack’s working his own case, but he can’t refuse Alexi and he knows more than anyone that this murder could cost them everything!

Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Frances Evesham and Emma Davies.

My review

A Contest to Kill For is Book 2 in the Hopgood Hotel mysteries. I have read book 1 and think it helps to have read it when heading into book 2, not for the main part of the mystery, but when the mystery becomes tighter and more twisty.

Alexi and Jack, our ‘will they, won’t they’ couple, find themselves flung back together when one of the stars of the cookery competition is found dead in her bedroom. With everyone being recorded almost 24/7, how could someone have been murdered and it not been witnessed by these cameras?

As events escalate, Marcel, the grumpy chef, becomes the prime suspect while the TV company distances itself from the allegations. Over to Alexi and Jack to clear his name, if they can.

As with Book 1, this is a twisty mystery, and nothing is quite as it seems as it nears its conclusion. This is an engaging read, and once again, I failed to guess the culprit, which is always a sign of a good story.

Check out my review for book 1.

Meet the author

Evie Hunter has written a great many successful regency romances as Wendy Soliman and is now redirecting her talents to produce dark gritty thrillers for BoldwoodFor the past twenty years she has lived the life of a nomad, roaming the world on interesting forms of transport, but has now settled back in the UK. 

Connect with Evie

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I’m delighted to welcome Charles Moberly and his new book, Try the Leopard’s Mouth to the blog #Thriller #Romance #1970s #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Here’s the blurb

AFRICA. 1970

Briony and Tom, both in their twenties, are very different characters. But opposites attract. In business, as in love, they complement each other.

They buy a farm and discover a rare drug. Tom grows it and Briony markets it. At first, they are oblivious of their responsibilities to the land and its people. But gradually they realise that they have been supporting a racist and colonialist regime.

The onset of the Rhodesian – Zimbabwean War of Independence tears at the couple’s relationship. Misunderstandings arise from their conflicting personalities and from external pressures. Events pull them apart, but also bind them together.

Try the Leopard’s Mouth is a romantic thriller set in Africa. It is also a historical novel, grounded in real events in the period 1970-80.

Buy Links

This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Link 

Amazon UK  Amazon US  Amazon Canada  Amazon Australia 

Meet the author

Charles Moberly has written three novels to date: The Scrotum Toad, a satirical comedy (Winner of a Chill with a Book Reader Award); The Corncrake, a historical novel set in 1909-10 and 1914-15 (Winner of a Chill with a Book Premier Award).

In The Corncrake, four members of a family share the narration, which passes between them approximately 300 times throughout – this powerful technique allows the reader to enter the minds of the characters as they react to events, so that love, conflicts and misunderstandings are conveyed immediately. This is only possible if the voices of the characters are so strong that they are identifiable the moment they speak. 

Try the Leopard’s Mouth is a romantic thriller with a firm historical base. 

Charles lived and worked in Africa for two years, which explains why two of his novels are set there.

In his writing, he loves tension and how cultural differences can tear people apart, yet unite them through a common humanity. He believes that no two characters should ever have the same voice. He writes in the vernacular of the time and place, using slang where appropriate. 

He now lives in the UK.

Connect with the author

WebsiteAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Follow the Try the Leopard’s Mouth blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Happy Release Day to Steve Jones and his debut, Call Time. #fantasy #newrelease

Here’s the blurb

The enthralling debut novel from Channel 4 F1 presenter Steve Jones – it’s Sliding Doors meets High Fidelity

Bob Bloomfield is, in the words of his best friend’s wife, a ‘selfish, arrogant a*sehole’, who hasn’t spent a great deal of time making friends in his 49 years on earth.  

But what if he could change? What if Bob could stop the very thing that has made him the man he is, the death of his younger brother, Tom in 1986.

If he could save Tom, could he save himself? 

. . . And what if all it took was a phone call?

Purchase Link

My Review

Call Time by Steve Jones is an entertaining and engaging read. I admit, I was a bit, ‘Oh another celebrity novel,” but I do love Steve Jones as a presenter, and the premise was interesting, so I thought, ‘Why not.’ And I’m so pleased I did.

Our main character, Bob, is not a pleasant individual. His best friend’s wife is correct when she labels him an arsehole, and for much of the first 40% of the book, the reader only knows about Bob ‘the arsehole.’ We don’t really know what makes him tick other than being a bit of a dick. But then, something changes, and from then on, the book is fast-paced and somewhat of a rollercoaster.

I really enjoyed the cultural nods to films I might have watched from the 80s, and while some might argue that the pretext of some of the ripples from changing the past is a bit flimsy, this is a story of redemption in the most unusual of ways. I don’t want to give anything away, so it’s quite hard to explain all the bits I liked, but yes, this is a book for fans of time-altering novels, and I think the last 20% of the novel is unexpected, and all the more enjoyable for that.

A fun novel that contends with that age-old issue of, ‘Would you change the past if you could?’ And if you did change the past, how might that change your present?

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my review copy.

Meet the Author

Steve Jones’ first job was in a petrol station. It was also the first job he was fired from for putting diesel in Dai-The-Milk’s petrol truck.
From there he gained employment in a printing factory before setting off for distant shores to “find himself”. He subsequently found a mediocre career in modelling which thankfully segued into a fairly successful twenty year (to date) career in TV presenting. His cherished accomplishments: He was crowned Welsh Rear Of The year in 2002. His suitcase has come out first at the airport on no less than two occasions, and now, he has written Call Time. Which he very much hopes you will enjoy.

Today, I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Amy Maroney and her new novel, The Queen’s Scribe to the blog, and to share a fabulous post about Queen Charlotte of Cyprus #HistoricalFiction #TheQueensScribe #RoyalHistory #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

I’m delighted to welcome Amy Maroney to the blog. I always love to hear about the historical research for author’s novels. So here we go.

Uncovering the story of Queen Charlotta of Cyprus, a forgotten heroine

My new novel, The Queen’s Scribe, features a fifteenth-century monarch with an extraordinary story of ambition, courage, and dedication to her kingdom. Just who was Queen Charlotta of Cyprus, and why was she so mesmerizing that I wrote a book about her?

As is often the case with women in history, very little information remains about this queen (she was baptized ‘Charlotte’, but may have referred to herself as ‘Carlotta’; I call her ‘Charlotta’ in the novel). Most scholars agree that she was born about 1444. 

Charlotta was the only surviving child of King Jean II of Lusignan and his wife Eleni Palaiologina, princess of Morea. The following image is said to portray Charlotta, her mother, and her sister (subsequently deceased).


Charlotta’s father, King Jean, was a genial but ineffective ruler who loved hunting, hawking, and spending money. The glory days of the kingdom ended abruptly when his grandfather King Janus was taken captive by Egyptian Mamluks and subsequently ransomed for 200,000 ducats, which put the kingdom in deep debt. By the time of Charlotta’s birth, three centuries of lavish living coupled with a weak military presence had crippled the once-powerful Lusignan dynasty. 

Within the royal court itself, animosity festered like a battle wound. Queen Eleni was a proud Greek and a dominating personality. She purportedly bit off her rival Marietta’s nose when she found the woman in bed with her husband (some sources say she cut it off). Jean and Marietta’s son, Jacques (also known as Jacco the Bastard) was the apple of his father’s eye. A handsome, charismatic bully, he became Charlotta’s protector before his desire for the throne soured their relationship forever.

Thanks to her mother’s influence, Princess Charlotta was thoroughly Greek and her understanding of French was rudimentary at best. Though her father was French and many of the ruling nobility claimed French roots, the French spoken in Cyprus at the time was so distorted that native speakers visiting from Europe could not understand it.This fact underpins the plot of The Queen’s Scribe, which features a fictional French heroine whose skills as a scribe and interpreter become essential to Queen Charlotta.


When she was about 13, Charlotta was married to the Portuguese Prince João of Coimbra. The young couple moved from the royal palace to a house elsewhere in the Cyprus capital of Nicosia, angering Charlotta’s mother and delighting the Western European (‘Latin’) members of the court. Tensions grew between the two camps until Prince João suddenly died under mysterious circumstances; the queen’s chamberlain—who was like a brother to Queen Eleni—was blamed.

In a royal tit-for-tat, the queen’s chamberlain was then killed by Sicilian associates of Jacco’s. Palace gossips said Charlotta had asked her half-brother to arrange the murder. Before he could be punished, Jacco fled for the island of Rhodes and the hospitality of the Knights Hospitaller. 

Meanwhile, Charlotta grieved her dead husband and awaited a new betrothal, this time with her first cousin Louis (of the French-speaking Duchy of Savoy). Queen Eleni, who had been disabled by what might have been a paralytic stroke in early adulthood, slowly lost her health. Still, she fought the betrothal with every ounce of her strength, for in the Greek Orthodox tradition, marrying a first cousin was an unforgivable sin.

In 1458, both Queen Eleni and King Jean died. At 15, Charlotta was crowned queen. Soon afterward, Jacco sailed to Egypt, intent on gaining the sultan’s support for his campaign to seize his half-sister’s throne.

Meanwhile, the powerful barons who had served her father as council members now whispered in Charlotta’s ear. Some of them truly believed in her; others cared only for their own self-interest and survival; a few displayed breathtaking treachery. 

Rumors began swirling that Jacco had charmed the Sultan of Egypt and was building a massive army of Mamluk warriors. Charlotta desperately needed help to preserve her throne, and naturally looked to her new husband, Louis, for support. But far from being the strong partner she’d hoped for, he was a disinterested and weak leader, more interested in fine food and amusements than strategizing for war. 


Less than two years after her coronation, Charlotta moved her court to the seaside fortress of Kyrenia, where they survived a massive siege by Jacco. A few months later, she left Louis in the fortress and sailed around the Mediterranean beseeching allies to help save her crown.

I chose to tell Queen Charlotta’s tale through the eyes of fictional Estelle de Montavon, daughter of a French falconer. In The Queen’s Scribe, Estelle—a talented scribe and linguist—becomes as valuable as gold when the royal court retreats to Kyrenia Fortress and civil war looms. When Queen Charlotta voyages across the Mediterranean Sea entreating French-speaking allies for help, Estelle is at her side, witnessing every triumph and disaster along the way. 

Like so many other women in history, Queen Charlotta has been lost in the shadows for too long. I hope The Queen’s Scribe plays a role in bringing her story back into the light.

Thank you so much for sharing. She sounds that an intriguing character, as does her mother:)

Here’s the blurb

A broken promise. A bitter conflict. And a woman’s elusive chance to love or die.

1458. Young Frenchwoman Estelle de Montavon sails to Cyprus imagining a bright future as tutor to a princess. Instead, she is betrayed by those she loves most—and forced into a dangerous new world of scheming courtiers, vicious power struggles, and the terrifying threat of war.

Determined to flee, Estelle enlists the help of an attractive and mysterious falconer. But on the eve of her escape, fortune’s wheel turns again. She gains entry to Queen Charlotta’s inner circle as a trusted scribe and interpreter, fighting her way to dizzying heights of influence. 

Enemies old and new rise from the shadows as Estelle navigates a royal game of cat and mouse between the queen and her powerful half-brother, who wants the throne for himself.

When war comes to the island, Estelle faces a brutal reckoning for her loyalty to the queen. Will the impossible choice looming ahead be her doom—or her salvation?

With this richly-told story of courage, loyalty, and the sustaining power of love, Amy Maroney brings a mesmerizing and forgotten world to vivid life. The Queen’s Scribe is a stand-alone novel in the Sea and Stone Chronicles collection.

Praise for the Sea and Stone Chronicles:

Island of Gold is a nimbly told story with impeccable pacing.”

Historical Novel Society, Editor’s Choice Review

Sea of Shadows is stunning. A compelling tale of love, honor, and conviction.”

Reader’s Favorite Review

Amy Maroney is the author of the award-winning Miramonde Series, the story of a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern day scholar on her trail.

Buy Links:

This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Link

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAAmazon AU

Meet the author

Amy Maroney studied English Literature at Boston University and worked for many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. She lives in Oregon, U.S.A. with her family. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. 

Amy is the author of The Miramonde Series, an Amazon-bestselling historical mystery trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Amy’s award-winning historical adventure/romance series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus. 

An enthusiastic advocate for independent publishing, Amy is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Historical Novel Society.

Connect with Amy



Book BubAmazon Author PageGoodreads:

Follow The Queen’s Scribe blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Happy Release day to The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence #fantasy #highlyrecommended

Here’s the blurb:

All books, no matter their binding, will fall to dust. The stories they carry may last longer. They might outlive the paper, the library, even the language in which they were first written.

The greatest story can reach the stars . . .

This is the start of an incredible new journey from the internationally bestselling author of Prince of Thorns, in which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned…

Evar has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.

Livira has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.

The world has never noticed them.

That’s about to change.

As their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time, each will unlock vast secrets about the world and themselves. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another.

My Review

The Book That Wouldn’t Burn is the beginning of Mark Lawrence’s newest trilogy. Now, he’s said this isn’t related to the previous trilogies, which were all interconnected, but I’m not at all convinced, and perhaps neither will you be when you read some of the chapter headings – which are all taken from made-up books, and perhaps, written by characters from those previous books.

The Book That Wouldn’t Burn, like all Mark’s previous offerings, sucks the reader in almost immediately. It might not quite have Red Sister vibes ‘When killing a nun it’s important to ensure you have…’ but it’s not long before you can’t put the book down.

And yet, as with many of his stories, it can feel as though you’re not entirely sure why you’re enjoying the story so much, and so invested in the two main characters. This isn’t a complaint.

The narrative, skipping between two points of view, moves at odd intervals (again, not a complaint), and just when you might be considering putting the story down, there is a new development, and I warn you all now, without giving away any spoilers, there is one development that will have your jaw dropping in delicious delight.

As with all Mark Lawrence’s books, The Book that Wouldn’t Burn will leave you both satisfied and demanding more. It is a magnificent addition to his already magnificent collection of stories, and I can’t wait for the next instalment. It will also take you some time to reconcile what you’ve read. It’s taken me a good few months to write this review, because to begin with, all I could think was that my mind had been blown.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy. I have ordered the limited edition hardback as well, and it will go, pride of place, next to my other Mark Lawrence editions.

Check out my previous reviews for Mark Lawrence.

Red Sister, Grey Sister, Holy Sister

The Girl and the Stars, The Girl and the Mountain, The Girl and the Moon

One Word Kill, Limited Wish

For those who don’t know, my obsession with Mark Lawrence’s books began when I was given a free copy of his first book when I preordered the last GRR Martin book in the Game of Thrones series. As of yet, I’ve not finished reading that book, because I want to wait for the next part, but I have read all of Mark Lawrence’s books since then.

Connect with Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence was born in Urbana–Champaign, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, THE BROKEN EMPIRE, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy. Following The Broken Empire is the related RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. THE BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR trilogy is set on a different world and is followed by the related BOOK OF THE ICE trilogy. There is also THE IMPOSSIBLE TIMES trilogy, a D&D/sci-fi work set in London in the 80s. All of these trilogies can be read in any order. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.




Today, I’m welcoming Melissa Addey and her novel, Beneath the Waves, to the blog #bookreview #historicalfiction #highlyrecommended

Here’s the blurb

The Colosseum is being flooded. And emotions are rising to the surface.
Rome, 80AD. The Emperor orders the Colosseum to be flooded. There must be vast battles, spectacular props and epic storytelling. Meanwhile Emperor Titus must somehow be persuaded to give up his love affair with the Jewish Queen, Berenice.

Marcus, manager of the amphitheatre, must face the dangers, mistakes and emotions of the watery depths as new members join his team. His scribe, Althea, must find out what she wants from life, now that she is a freedwoman, but a woman’s choices are not always free.

Words may be dangerous, but desires must be spoken out loud. As the backstage team takes on new challenges, a change is coming.

Beneath the Waves is the gripping second novel in the Colosseum historical fiction series. If you enjoy immersing yourself in the past and finding characters you care about, then join the Colosseum’s tough, loyal and quick-witted backstage team.

Trailer Link –

Purchase Link

My Review

Beneath the Waves is the thrilling second part of The Colosseum series by Melissa Addey.

Picking up the tale of Althea, a Greek slave woman, from where we left her at the end of From the Ashes, this is the story of the ending of the 100 days of Games, begun in From the Ashes, and also takes the reader through to the second year in the life of the Colosseum.

Our much-loved characters reappear in Beneath the Waves, along with a few new additions. While From the Ashes focused very much on surviving the events of Vesuvius, the plague and the fire that our characters suffered, book 2 is perhaps less filled with huge peril for everyone, as instead, it focuses on the peril our main characters experience. Their humanity is very evident. They are people. They don’t always do the right thing. They are perhaps beset with irrational fears. And they also perhaps do what they’re supposed to do when we, as a modern audience, would demand alternatives. Althea and Marcus are characters of their time, which is one of the huge strengths of the novel.

I adore the descriptions of the Games and the minutiae of day-to-day life, and this second novel builds very much to an impressive and potentially dangerous ending for Marcus, Althea and their young charge.

I so look forward to book 3.

Read my review for From the Ashes here.

(And, if you’re a fan of Simon Turney as well, then reading this series alongside his Domitian, will ensure you know what’s happening to the toffs as well as the plebs.)

Meet the author

Melissa Addey writes historical fiction set in Ancient Rome, medieval Morocco and 18th century China. She is a full time self-published author and runs workshops for authors wanting to be entrepreneurial. Her books have been selected for Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society and won the inaugural Novel London award. She has been the Leverhulme Trust Writer in Residence at the British Library, has a PhD in Creative Writing and works with the Alliance of Independent Authors on their campaigns. 

If you’d like to try her writing, visit to pick up a free novella, The Cup.

Connect with Melissa Addey where readers can get a free novella that starts another series (medieval Morocco).