My new book, King of Kings, has a number of main characters. Meet Lady Eadgifu.

King of Kings has a number of characters, and some might be surprised to find Lady Eadgifu amongst them, but she was an incredibly important historical character, and I couldn’t leave her out of the narrative set at the English court.

Lady Eadgifu was the third wife of Edward the Elder (r.899-924), king of the Anglo-Saxons. Edward the Elder was the father of King Athelstan, and a whole host of daughters, as well as five sons. Lady Eadgifu would, it seems, have been young when she married the aging Edward the Elder, and that meant that she long outlived him, and also, that her three children (possibly four, but I’ve opted for three) were young when their father died. And two of these children were sons, Edmund (born c.921) and Eadred (born c.923). Her daughter, Eadburh, is thought to have been the oldest of the three children, born c.919.

While Lady Eadgifu, from what’s known (and it isn’t much, as there are few surviving charters from the end of Edward’s reign) perhaps had little role to play while her husband lived, other than wife and mother to the king’s children, following his death, she became increasingly significant. She was the daughter of an ealdorman, who perhaps died just before her birth, and her family are said to have had connections with Kent. Indeed, it’s often stated that she brought her husband Kent with their union. By that, what’s often meant, is the loyalty of the Kentish people. Remember, at this time, we’re still just before the creation of ‘England’ as we would now recognise it.

Sadly, very little is known about Lady Eadgifu (and she’s not alone in this – many of the royal women ‘disappear’ at points in the historical record, and on occasion, are entirely lost.) We know about a land dispute she was involved in, and also much more information for after Athelstan’s reign.

Indeed, it has been said that

‘Nor is it surprising that Eadgifu, as the consort of the previous king, served little role in her stepson’s court.[i]

[i] Firth, M. and Schilling, C. ‘The Lonely Afterlives of Early English Queens’, in Nephilologus September 2022, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11061-022-09739-4p.7

However, Barbara Yorke believes that,

‘the enhanced position [of Lady Eadgifu] may also have been developed specifically for the widowed Eadgifu as part of an alliance with her stepson Æthelstan [Athelstan] in which she supported his position and he recognised her sons as his heirs.’[i]


[i] Yorke, B. ‘The Women in Edgar’s Life,’ in Edgar, King of the English, 959-975 Scragg, D. ed (The Boydell Press, 2008), p.146


And it is this option that I’ve decided to explore in King of Kings. Lady Eadgifu was wife to a king. She would have known her worth, even when faced with a stepson as the king of the English, and another stepson, and stepdaughters, who perhaps didn’t share any love for their, potentially, younger stepmother. Will Lady Eadgifu work with or against Athelstan? Read on to find out.

Map design by Shaun at Flintlock Covers

Preorder King of Kings

(released 10th February 2023)

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Happy release day for Murder Lost and Found by Debbie Young #cozycrime #SophieSayers

Here’s the blurb

Sophie Sayers is ready for a glorious summer, but when a dead body is found in the village school’s lost property cupboard the summer holidays take an unexpected turn.

Even more shocking is when the body goes missing. Without a body, the police refuse to investigate. That’s just not good enough.

Sophie is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. She needs to find out who has died and nab the culprit if she’s going to save the village school from the threat of closure.

My Review

Murder Lost and Found continues the Sophie Sayers Cosy Mysteries.

It’s the summer holidays, the school is empty of children, but while the caretaker and office manager try to ensure the school is prepared for the start of term, strange happenings take place.

I really enjoy this collection of stories. They’re light-hearted and a quick, pacy read, and I felt this one was particularly strong with the mystery of the lost property cupboard and the strange notes, making poor Sophie doubt herself, even while she contends with change at Horace’s bookshop.

A fun and entertaining read. Bring on book 8.

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

Purchase Link

https://amzn.to/3JIkJpH

Meet the Author

Debbie Young is the much-loved author of the Sophie Sayers and St Brides cosy crime mysteries. She lives in a Cotswold village where she runs the local literary festival, and has worked at Westonbirt School, both of which provide inspiration for her writing. She is bringing both her series to Boldwood in a 13-book contract. They will be publishing several new titles in each series and republishing the backlist, starting in September 2022.

Debbie Young

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(This review contains an Amazon affiliate link)

My new book, King of Kings, has a number of main characters. Meet Ealdred, Lord of Bamburgh.

King of Kings has a number of characters, and King Ealdred, or Lord Ealdred of Bamburgh is one of them. But who was he, and what was the independent kingdom of Bamburgh?

Now, I think we all ‘think’ we know about Bebbanburg (Bamburgh) thanks to Uhtred of Bebbanburg, Bernard Cornwell’s creation. But events in Bamburgh are complex and not easy to understand, even for someone who might think they know the period quite well.

So what was Bamburgh? Bamburgh is traditionally associated with the kingdom of Bernicia – the far northern Saxon kingdom, which was particularly prominent during the seventh century, so three hundred years before the events of King of Kings, and which was joined to the kingdom of Deira to form Northumbria. Check out my Gods and Kings trilogy for the some of the events of this period.

The iconic castle that stands today is a later building, the oldest part, the keep, dating to the end of the Saxon period, while much of what we see today is the later work of Lord Armstrong (who built Cragside), when he significantly repaired the remains. Indeed, the family still own Bamburgh Castle, although not Cragside, which is a National Trust property. (I’ve written a 1930s mystery set at Cragside).

Bamburgh is slightly unusual in that there are old images of the castle before the 19th century work of Armstrong. I enjoy collecting these antique prints. We often find such buildings falling into ruin, not being ruined and the rebuilt.

Antique prints of Bamburgh Castle

And Bamburgh Castle and its environs are stuffed with archaeology. There were some very famous archaeological investigations undertaken in the 1960s, and there’s now a dedicated team unearthing the treasures hidden beneath the current building. You can follow the teams work at Bamburgh Research Project’s Blog. You might know about Bamburgh because of the seventh century bones discovered in the Bole Hole, and there’s a great book about this, Warrior by Edoardo Albert and Paul Gething – available from all good book sellers. You can also learn about where these bones now lie by checking out Bamburgh Bones.

The well

But, all this is before the events of the tenth-century (or after), as fascinating as it is. So, what was happening in the tenth-century? The easiest way I can describe this is that while York, and much of the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was inundated with the Norse (Viking raiders if you will), Bamburgh was a bastion against this influx, wedged between the growing might of the kingdom of the Scots, ruled by Constantin, and the constantly changing affairs of York, and its string of Norse rulers, often associated with Dublin as well.

Ealdred’s father, Eadwulf is somewhat better attested, with the Annals of Ulster naming him as ‘king of the Saxons of the north.’ He died in c.913 and then Ealdred seems to have had a difficult time of it, his gaze more likely to turn to the Scots kingdom than the known Saxon rulers based in Mercia and Wessex when he was threatened by the Norse Viking raiders.

However, he joined an alliance with Edward the Elder, king of the Anglo-Saxons, in 924.

‘And then the king of Scots and all the nation of Scots chose him as father and lord; and [so also did] Reginald and Eadwulf’s sons and all those who live in Northumbria, both English and Danish and Norweigans and others; and also the king of the Strathclyde Britons and all the Strathclyde Britons.’

(Swanton, M. trans and edit The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, (Orion Publishing Group, 2000 p.104 (A text )

While this can’t be dated any more precisely than 924, it mustn’t have been long before the death of Edward the Elder, which occurred in 924. And this then takes us to the beginning of King of Kings. Will Ealdred continue his alliance with the new king of the Anglo-Saxons, or will he look elsewhere, especially now that the Viking raider, Sihtric, is lord of York/Jorvik?

As to Uhtred himself, of The Last Kingdom fame, he’s even more shadowy than Ealdred, and for that reason, doesn’t feature at all in King of Kings, although there is an ealdorman Uhtred who will appear in subsequent books.

Map design by Shaun at Flintlock Covers

Preorder King of Kings

(released 10th February 2023)

books2read.com/King-of-Kings

Meet Hywel, the king of the West Welsh

Meet Constantin, the king of the Scots

Meet Athelstan, the king of the English

My new book, King of Kings, has a number of main characters. Meet Hywel, the king of the West Welsh.

My new book, King of Kings, is a multi-viewpoint novel telling the story of events in Britain from 925-934. I thought it would be good to share details of the historical people my main characters are based on.

My portrayal of Hywel, better known as Hywel Dda (which autocorrect is determined should say Dad), and which means ‘good’ (a unique epithet in Wales), is of course, fictional, but who was the historical Hywel? Firstly, it should be noted that this epithet is a later invention, not assigned to Hywel until at least the twelfth century, and perhaps, as Dr. Kari Maund has commented in The Welsh Kings: Warriors, Warlords and Princes, a reflection of border events at that period rather than the earlier tenth century. (Dr Maund was one of my university lecturers, so she knows her stuff).

By Unknown author – This image is available from the National Library of WalesYou can view this image in its original context on the NLW Catalogue, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41427788

Hywel has no date of birth recorded, and indeed, like Constantin of the Scots, he seems to have ruled for a long time providing much-needed consistency. Hywel ap Cadell was the grandson of the famous Rhodri Mawr, who’d united the kingdoms of the Welsh during his rule. But, this unity fragmented on Rhodri’s death.

To begin with, Hywel ruled Dehuebarth, probably with his brother, Clydog, (who may have been the younger brother) after the death of their father in c.911. He, his brother, and his cousin, Idwal of Gwynedd, submitted to the English king, Edward the Elder in the late 910s.

‘and the kings of Wales: Hywel and Clydog and Idwal and all the race of the Welsh, sought him as their lord [Edward]’. ASC A 922 corrected to 918 (Swanton, M. trans and edit The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, (Orion Publishing Group, 2000)p.103-4)

Not long after, Clydog died, leaving Hywel as ruler of Dehuebarth. Hywel had also married Elen, the daughter of Llywarch and niece of Rhydderch, the last king of Dyfed, and he was able to use this alliance to eventually claim Dyfed as well.

Hywel’s believed to have been highly educated, and some historians suggest he was particularly fascinated with King Alfred, and all he’d achieved and was therefore keen to emulate many of his actions. This could also be why his name came to be associated with the codification of laws in later traditions. What fascinates me most about Hywel is his decision to ally closely with King Athelstan which will be explored in King of Kings. Certainly, he is a intriguing figure in early tenth-century Britain, and not just because we know he made a pilgrimage to Rome in 928, and still managed to return back to his kingdom and continue ruling it.

Map design by Shaun at Flintlock Covers

Preorder King of Kings

(released 10th February 2023)

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Meet Ealdred, the king of Bamburgh

Meet Constantin, the king of the Scots

Meet Athelstan, the king of the English

My new book, King of Kings, has a number of main characters. Meet Constantin, the king of the Scots.

My new book, King of Kings, is a multi-viewpoint novel telling the story of events in Britain from 925-934. I thought it would be good to share details of the historical people my character are based on.

My portrayal of Constantin, the king of the Scots, is of course fictional in King of Kings, but he is based on a historical individual, Constantin (e) II, so who exactly was he?

Constantin is a fascinating character. Again, and as with Athelstan, his exact date of birth is unknown, but it must have been, at the latest, by 877/8, when his short-reigned father died.

By 900, Constantin was the king of the Scots (we think – there is some confusion about this). This wasn’t yet quite Scotland, but it was getting there. The ancient kingdoms of Cait, Fortriu, Atholl and Dal Riata, were ruled by one king, Constantin. But, he hadn’t succeeded his father, Aed, but rather a man named Domnall II, his cousin. At this time there were two rival dynasties and they strictly alternated the kingship.

Affairs in the kingdom of the Scots often intermingled with those of the independent kingdom of Bamburgh, Strathclyde, and of course, the Norse, or Viking raiders, if you will. Indeed, the entry recording Constantin’s death in the Annals of Ulster, reads as though there was often strife.

Constantinus son of Ed held the kingdom for xl years in whose third year the Northmen plundered Dunkeld and all Albania. In the following year the Northmen were slain in Strath Erenn…And the battle of Tinemore happened in his xviii year between Constantin and Ragnall and the Scotti had the victory. And the battle of Dun Brunde in his xxxiiii year.’ (Alex Woolf, From Pictland to Scotland, 789-1070,p.126)

Constantin, ruling for decades, and I mean decades, seems to have brought much needed stability to the kingdom, as affairs there very much mirrored the emerging ‘England’ to the south.

‘Constantin’s reign has increasingly come to be see as one of the most significant in the history of Scotland. Not only was it very long, at least forty years, but it was also the period during which conflict and diplomatic relations between a kingdom recognisably ancestral to Scotland and one recognisably ancestral to England first occurred.’ (Alex Woolf, From Pictland to Scotland, 789-1070, p.128)

Constantin allied with the rulers of Bamburgh, and York, and also, on occasion, both Æthelflæd of Mercia and Edward the Elder, after her death. But, he seems to have been quite flexible in his thinking, and was prepared to pick and choice as he saw fit.

By the beginning of King of Kings, Constantin would have been in his mid-forties, and he was still to rule for many years to come, and he was certainly a more than adequate counterpart to Athelstan, king of the English, no doubt helped by his sons and grandsons, as his reign continued.

Map design by Shaun at Flintlock Covers

Preorder King of Kings

(released 10th February 2023)

books2read.com/King-of-Kings

Meet Athelstan, the king of the English

Meet Hywel, the king of the West Welsh

Meet Ealdred, the king of Bamburgh

I’m sharing my review for brand new cosy crime A Date to Die For by E.V Hunter #cosycrime

Here’s the blurb

The start of brand-new Cozy Crime series! Welcome to Hopgood Hall.

An unlikely duo…

When investigative journalist, Alexi Ellis, falls victim to cutbacks, she and Cosmo, her anti-social feral cat, head for beautiful Hopgood Hall, where they plan to lick their wounds in the boutique hotel run by her old friends, Cheryl and Drew Hopgood.

A missing woman…

But when she arrives Alexi discovers Cheryl and Drew both distraught. Their close friend, Natalie Parker, who recently settled in the area, has gone missing. Alexi’s sure the woman has just taken a trip somewhere, but she still has a nose for a story and agrees to look into it.

A case to solve!

So too does ex-Met Police detective turned private eye, Jack Maddox. Natalie Parker had been using his sister’s online dating agency and Jack needs to find her before his sister’s business is ruined.

Reluctantly, Alexi, Jack – and Cosmo! – join forces to find out what happened to Natalie. But soon they discover secrets that someone desperately wants to make sure are never revealed!

Purchase Link

https://amzn.to/3HiFHso

My Review

A Date to Die For by E V Hunter is a fast-paced, modern-day cosy mystery.

The two main characters, well three if we include our side-kick, Cosmo, the cat, are well-sketched. Alexi has run away from her old life in the city to her friends in the country. Jack already has a new life in the country. They’re both city bods, suddenly faced with the world of equestrian shenanigans; one a journalist and one an ex-police officer working as a private investigator. And Cosmo, is well, Cosmo. He’s an unusual cat who likes to travel and has no problem being on a leash.

The author has such an engaging writing style. I actually couldn’t believe how quickly I read the pages, the mystery burbling away as the point of view switches between the two main characters so that the reader gets to know them and begins to unravel the mystery of the disappearance of Natalie, the woman who ran a local flower delivery company, but who hasn’t been seen for days.

Events take a slightly darker turn as the story progresses. The mystery itself is well-developed, and while there is one particular scene that might have every reader shouting, ‘No, don’t do that,’ I found the resolution to be satisfying and twisty enough that I’d never have guessed it.

A twisty, tightly-plotted cosy mystery, with a fabulous writing style. Very enjoyable.

Meet the Author

E.V. Hunter has written a great many successful regency romances as Wendy Soliman and revenge thrillers as Evie Hunter. She is now redirecting her talents to produce cosy murder mysteries. For 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.

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(This post contains an Amazon affililate link)

My new book, King of Kings, has a number of main characters. Meet Athelstan, the King of the English.

Athelstan is one of the main characters in my new book, King of Kings, a multiple point of view story, recounting affairs in Britain from 925-934.

Based on a historical person, my portrayal of him, is of course, fictitious, but there are many details known about him. However, we don’t know for sure who his mother was, it’s believed she might have been called Ecgwynn, and we don’t know, for certain, the name of his sister, but it’s believed she might have been named Edith. What is known is that his father was Edward, the son of King Alfred, and known to us today as Edward the Elder. Athelstan is also rare in that he is one of only two Saxon kings for who a contemporary image is available. (The other is Edgar, who would have been his step-nephew)

Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder – MS Royal 14 B VI.jpg
Miniature d’Édouard l’Ancien dans une généalogie royale du XIVe siècle. WikiCommons

It must be supposed that Athelstan was born sometime in the late 890s. And according to a later source, that written by William of Malmesbury in the 1100s (so over two hundred years later), Athelstan was raised at the court of his aunt, Æthelflæd of Mercia. David Dumville has questioned the truth of this, but to many, this has simply become accepted as fact.

‘he [Alfred] arranged for the boy’s education at the court of his daughter, Æthelflæd and Æthelred his son in law, where he was brought up with great care by his aunt and the eminent ealdorman for the throne that seemed to await him.’[i]


[i] Mynors, R.A.B. ed and trans, completed by Thomson, R.M. and Winterbottom, M. Gesta Regvm AnglorvmThe History of the English Kings, William of Malmesbury, (Clarendon Press, 1998), p.211 Book II.133

Æthelflæd image
Æthelflæd as depicted in the cartulary of Abingdon Abbey (British Library Cotton MS Claudius B VI, f.14).
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Æthelflæd_as_depicted_in_the_cartulary_of_Abingdon_Abbey.png
AnonymousUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Why then might this have happened? Edward became king on the death of his father, Alfred, and either remarried at that time, or just before. Edward’s second wife (if indeed, he was actually married to Athelstan’s mother, which again, some doubt), Lady Ælfflæd is believed to have been the daughter of an ealdorman and produced a hefty number of children for Edward. Perhaps then, Athelstan and his unnamed sister, were an unwelcome reminder of the king’s first wife, or perhaps, as has been suggested, Alfred intended for Athelstan to succeed in Mercia after the death of Æthelflæd, and her husband, Æthelred, for that union produced one child, a daughter named Ælfwynn.

There is an acknowledged dearth of information surrounding King Edward the Elder’s rule of Wessex. He’s acknowledged as the king of the Anglo-Saxons. His father had been the king of Wessex. Historians normally use the surviving charters to unpick the political machinations of the Saxon kings, but for Edward, there’s a twenty year gap between the beginning and end of his reign, where almost no known genuine charters have survived. What isn’t known for sure, is how much control, if any, he had in Mercia. Was Mercia subservient to Wessex or was it ruled independently? It’s impossible to tell. And this makes it difficult to determine what Athelstan might have been doing, and also what his father’s intentions were towards him.

Frontispiece of Bede’s Life of St Cuthbert, showing King Æthelstan (924–39) presenting a copy of the book to the saint himself. 29.2 x 20cm (11 1/2 x 7 7/8″). Originally from MS 183, f.1v at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. (Wikimedia Commons)

What is known is that following the death of King Edward in 924, Athelstan was acknowledged as the king of Mercia; his stepbrother, Ælfweard was proclaimed king in Wessex. As with all events at this time, it shouldn’t be assumed that just because this is what happened, this is what was always intended.

‘Here King Edward died at Farndon in Mercia; and very soon, 16 days after, his son Ælfweard died at Oxford; and their bodies lie at Winchester. And Athelstan was chosen as king by the Mercians and consecrated at Kingston.’[i]


[i] Swanton, M. trans and edit The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, (Orion Publishing Group, 2000), D text p.105

But, if Athelstan was raised in Mercia, it’s highly likely he was a warrior from a young age, helping the Mercians defeat the Viking raiders who still had control of the Danish Five Boroughs of Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.

And the events of 924 are where King of Kings begins, and so I will leave him there. By now, he would have been perhaps thirty years old, give or take a few years. What sort of man was he? What sort of king might he be? Do please read King of Kings to find out. And, if this intrigues you, then do please have a look at Sarah Foot’s wonderful monograph on him, Athelstan, from Yale Publishing.

Design by Boldwood Books

Preorder King of Kings now

(released 20th February 2023)

books2read.com/King-of-Kings

Meet Hywel, king of the West Welsh

Meet Constantin, king of the Scots

Happy publication day to Murder in Chianti by TA Williams #cosymystery #NewRelease

Here’s the blurb

The brand new instalment in bestselling author T. A. Williams’ Armstrong and Oscar cozy mystery series!

A brand new cozy crime series set in gorgeous Tuscany…It’s murder in paradise!

Murder in broad daylight…

When millionaire magnate, Rex Hunter is found with his head bashed in on the eighth hole of his prestigious golf and country club in beautiful Chianti, it’s a clear case of murder. Hunter was rich and successful and the envy of many, so retired DCI Dan Armstrong thinks the case will be a hole in one to solve….

A despised victim…

But as Dan and his trusty sidekick Oscar begin to dig deeper into Hunter’s lifestyle, they discover a man despised by many. A renowned womaniser, ruthless boss and heartless family man, it seems no one is particularly sorry to see Hunter dead. And the list of possible suspects is endless…

A murderer covering their tracks.

Dan is determined to catch this clever killer, but it seems every new lead brings another dead end. Will this be one case Dan and his canine companion won’t solve?

Purchase Link 

https://amzn.to/405IRYR

My Review

Murder in Chianti is the second book in the Armstrong and Oscar series of cosy crime stories set in modern-day Italy.

I thoroughly enjoyed book 1, and book 2 is even better. Now that Dan is living in Tuscany and is known as someone the local police can call on for assistance, the story can focus much more on the mystery to be solved.

And what a mystery this one is. For ages, it seemed as though no resolution could ever be found. Everything Armstrong and Oscar uncovered contradicted something else they already knew, and wow, there are many characters that the reader could suspect of the foul deed. There were several ‘big reveal’ moments, and when the ‘big reveal’ moment finally arrived for real, I was annoyed that I’d not thought of it before. After all, and looking back, the clues were certainly there, but very well concealed.

A thoroughly entertaining and well-plotted cosy mystery. Highly recommended.

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

Check out my review for book 1, Murder in Tuscany.

Meet the author

T A Williams is the author of over twenty bestselling romances for HQ and Canelo and is now turning his hand to cosy crime, set in his beloved Italy, for Boldwood. The series will introduce us to retired DCI Armstrong and his labrador Oscar and the first book, entitled Murder in Tuscany, will be published in October 2022. Trevor lives in Devon with his Italian wife.

Connect with T A Williams

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrevorWilliamsBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TAWilliamsBooks

(This post contains an Amazon affiliate link)

It’s my turn on the #Payback by Edie Balylis #NewRelease #blogtour #gangland

Here’s the blurb:

Revenge will come at a price…

With his once thriving casino business now in ruins, Seb Stoker is certain about two things: One – he will rebuild bigger and better than ever. And two – someone will pay for torching his club.

But until that day comes, Seb has bigger things to worry about and a business deal that could make or break them all…

Sam Reynold knows Seb is out for revenge, and she’ll do anything she can to help him. But Sam has her own enemies and battles to fight – ones much closer to home.

With pressure mounting for both of them, tensions run high.

And payback will be deadly.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3DK8Xb2

My Review

Payback is the fourth book in the Allegiance series, but the third one I’ve read (I know, I know, I shouldn’t do that, but it’s book 1 I’ve not read, so I feel fairly up to speed now:). Payback picks up immediately after the events of book three (check out my review here) and is a deftly and tightly plotted sequel, taking into account each and every loose end from the previous book.

It’s fast-paced and well-written, ensuring the reader doesn’t have time to catch their breath as it tumbles towards its conclusion, with the main players seemingly unable to stay away from one another, as they intersect and react, sometimes with deadly consequences, in Birmingham of the 1990s.

This is not at all my ‘usual’ read, but Edie is such a fabulous writer, and while her characters are all, in some way or other, flawed or just downright horrible (and there are many of them who are, quite frankly, evil), I find the world she’s created to be hugely entertaining. I rushed to get to the end of the novel to find out how everything was going to play out. Will Payback come or will revenge go ‘wrong?’

Payback is not for those offended by violence or foul language, but it is a very well crafted novel, and I’m really looking forward to book 5, and seeing how the Allegiance series concludes.

Connect with Edie

Edie Baylis a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood and the first book in her new ganglit series, set in Birmingham, was published in January 2022.

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Welcome to History Writers Day 2022

Welcome to History Writers Day (weekend) 2022, organised by the fabulous @Book2Cover on Twitter. Started last year, this is a weekend of History Writers sharing their books, special offers, and just an opportunity to celebrate all things history and historical fiction. That it just about coincides with the first-year book birthday for The Automobile Assassination is excellent.

So, first, a little bit about myself. I mainly write stories set in Saxon England in the years before the events of 1066. Whereas some authors might write a series in a few different periods, I’ve opted to tell as many stories from the 600 years of Saxon England as possible. Starting in the seventh century, and running up to about the 1040s (at the moment – the series will run up to 1066 when it’s finished), there is so much material to work with. I tend to write about the ‘lost’ characters, and events, and I love battles and politics, and sometimes, a bit of a love story as well. But mainly fighting, and politics. I enjoy a war of words just as much as a war of swords:) And my characters are likely to be a bit ‘fresh’ with their language (The Ninth Century series – I’m looking at you).

And, when I’m after a bit of light relief, I write the odd 20th-century mystery because sometimes I just want my characters to be able to get into a car and not worry about their horse.

For History Writers Day, I have paperbacks for sale on the blog, (which I hope will work), and I’m also running a competition to win a signed copy of The Automobile Assassination and Warrior of Mercia (2 separate prizes). Just sign up for my newsletter, and receive a free short story set after the events of the Gods and Kings trilogy, and I will pick two lucky winners. I will post worldwide! I will close the competition on 1st December 2022, but you will still get the free short story if you sign up after that date.

If the book you’re after isn’t available, please drop me a line at mjporterauthor@gmail.com. I do have other books in stock, but there’s just too many to pop them all on the blog.

Not in writing order, but rather, in chronological order, here are the books I’ve written. The majority are indie published, but I am also working with the wonderful Boldwood Books to bring my Saxon stories to a wider audience. An increasing number of titles are available in audio format and hardback, as well as ebook and paperback. I’m not adding lots of links other than ones for the series on my blog, but you can find my author page on Amazon here. Select titles are also available widely, including The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, the Gods and Kings Trilogy and Cragside, a 1930s mystery.

Tales of Saxon England

Gods and Kings Trilogy (The Seventh Century) The story of the mighty pagan, Penda of Mercia

Pagan Warrior

Pagan King

Warrior Kings

The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles (The earlier Ninth-Century) Boldwood Books

Son of Mercia

Wolf of Mercia

Warrior of Mercia

Eagle of Mercia (May 2023)

The Ninth Century Mercian Series (the later Ninth-century)

The Last King

The Last Warrior

The Last Horse

The Last Enemy

The Last Sword

The Last Shield

The Last Seven

The Tenth Century Series – the forgotten women of the 10th century

The Lady of Mercia’s Daughter

A Conspiracy of Kings

Kingmaker

The King’s Daughters

The Brunanburh Series (with Boldwood Books) mid-tenth century

King of Kings (February 2023)

The Lady Elfrida Books – the tenth century – England’s first crowned queen

The First Queen of England, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The King’s Mother

The Dowager Queen

Once A Queen

The Earls of Mercia Series (the last century of Saxon England through the eyes of the Earls of Mercia)

The Earl of Mercia’s Father

The Danish King’s Enemy

Northman Part 1 and Part 2

The King’s Earl

The Earl of Mercia

The English Earl

The Earl’s King

Viking King

The English King

The King’s Brother (June 2023)

20th-century mysteries

Cragside – A 1930s mystery

The Erdington Mysteries

The Custard Corpses

The Automobile Assassination

As a reader of historical fiction, I also have a very active blog, hosting blog tours, showcasing others writers, and sharing my love of 20th-century Golden Age mysteries and cosy crime.

Do please think about following me on your social media channel of choice, or on the blog. All links can be found here, and yes, I am also on Mastodon.

I hope you enjoy History Writers Day 2022. I know I will.