Today, I’m welcoming Paul Walker to the blog with an excerpt from A Turbulent Peace #blogtour #histfic

Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from Paul’s new book, A Turbulent Peace, set in 1919.

We arrived at the junction that led to Avenue Beaucour and paused. Two children were playing with hoops and sticks by a doorway twenty paces from us, but the remainder of the street was deserted. We strolled past staring children to the arched entrance in a plastered and whitewashed wall of about twenty feet in height. The door was old, formed of thick, dark wood panels ribbed with iron straps and a large keyhole that looked as though it had survived several centuries. Adam turned the iron handle. It was locked and we headed off to locate a parallel street to discover what was on the other side of the wall.

The only way to exit Avenue Beaucour was to retrace our steps. It was a short walk to Rue Daru, which ran in the same direction. We stopped at the location, approximating a direct line through to the ancient doorway.

‘A church.’

‘Not any old church,’ I replied. ‘It’s Russian Orthodox.’ A faded and paint-blistered wooden board displayed its name – Cathédrale Saint-Alexandre-Nevsky. Even without a sign, it was unmistakably Russian with its colourful domes, golden cross and the icon of a Christ figure above the central arch. ‘Ahhhh.’ An involuntary rush of air escaped my mouth. ‘The name. That’s it.’

‘What do you mean? Whose name?’

‘The name scrawled by Arthur on a piece of paper next to the Rue Gustave Courbet address. It was an abbreviation for church followed by Nevsky – not a misspelling of Chersky, as I thought. This church must be connected in some way to their murder.’

INSERT IMAGE EX08 Cath A Nevsky Paris.jpg

Adam pushed at a small iron gate, and we started down a stone path towards the church entrance. The main door was closed. Adam inclined his head, and I followed him around the side. There was little ageing to the stone, and the church was clearly a relatively recent construction. Its clean vertical lines lent a dominant air with spires reaching above the tops of the buildings on either side. Did the land it occupied stretch back to Avenue Beaucour? We rounded a corner and viewed the wall, about twenty feet high, marking the rear boundary. Surely, the same wall, but I couldn’t see the doorway. The middle part of the bottom half of the wall was blocked by a squat, dilapidated construction of darker stone detached from the body of the church, and sunk into the ground with only small, shuttered windows. Much older than the church itself, I guessed it was probably used for storage.

‘The doorway will be behind this old storehouse,’ I said, pulling Adam’s sleeve to follow me.

There it was. With only a ten-yard gap between the high wall and the building, it could only be seen close up. We retraced our steps to an open space and surveyed the scene. The old, sunken structure was the only one in the grounds with a roof apart from the church itself. Whatever was taken from the cart was likely to have been stored in there. We edged around the wall until we found the door, down a flight of stone steps. I was about to descend and check the lock on the door when Adam caught hold of my arm.

‘Someone is coming.’

Two men were making for us in a manner that suggested they were not pleased. One, wearing long black robes and a white headscarf, was short, slight and bespectacled. The other, at least twice his size and with wild, staring eyes, was brandishing a large cudgel as though impatient for its use. Adam flexed his shoulders and edged forward to meet them. The two men were shouting, threatening. It looked bad. How could we avoid a bloody encounter? Quickly, I pushed past Adam and performed an elaborate curtsey.

I said, ‘Bonjour messieurs, veuillez excuser nos mauvaises manières,’ offering my sweetest, most innocent smile. They stopped, unsure how to react to this unexpected show of contrition. I continued, ‘My boss here is an architect from America. He is most interested in the beauty of your Cathedral and wishes to incorporate some of its features into a commission he has in Texas. I realise we should have sought your permission before entering these grounds, but – he is American, doesn’t speak French and has rather rough manners. Our humble apologies for any offence we may have caused.’

The clergyman held out his arm to halt the progress of his burly companion. He adjusted his spectacles, then examined Adam and me in turn before replying.

‘You must leave this sacred precinct directly. Your intentions may be blameless, but this place is a target for thieves and delinquents.’ His partner grunted and pointed his weapon at Adam. ‘If you wish to study or sketch our church, you should put your request in writing. It will be considered in due course.’

I bowed my head and murmured thanks for his understanding. Reaching behind, I took Adam’s hand and led him away, hoping he was also adopting a submissive and meek attitude. When we had gone far enough to be out of earshot, I hissed ‘Don’t look behind,’ in English. He squeezed my hand and laughed.

‘I understand enough French to appreciate your genius as an actress. That was well done, Mary.’

Here’s the blurb:

January 1919.

Following the armistice, Mary Kiten, a volunteer nurse in northern France, is ready to return home to England when she receives a surprise telegram requesting that she report to Paris. The call comes from her Uncle Arthur, a security chief at the Peace Conference.

Within minutes of arriving at the Majestic Hotel in Paris, Mary hears a commotion in the street outside. A man has been shot and killed. She is horrified to earn that the victim is her uncle. The police report the attack as a chance robbery by a known thief, who is tracked down and killed resisting arrest.

Mary is not convinced. Circumstances and the gunshot wound do not indicate theft as a motive. A scribbled address on Arthur’s notepad leads to her discovery of another body, a Russian Bolshevik. She suspects her uncle, and the Russian, were murdered by the same hand.

To investigate further, Mary takes a position working for the British Treasury, headed by J M Keynes.

But Mary soon finds herself in the backstreets of Paris and the criminal underworld.

What she discovers will threaten the foundations of the congress. 

Buy Links:

This book is available to read on #KindleUnlimited

Universal Link: mybook.to/ATurbulentPeace

Amazon UK: https://amz.run/5nFO

Amazon US: https://amz.run/5nFM

Amazon CA: https://amz.run/5nFS

Amazon AU: https://amz.run/5nFT

Meet the author

Paul lives in a village 30 miles north of London where he is a full-time writer of fiction and part-time director of an education trust. His writing in a posh garden shed is regularly disrupted by children, a growing number of grandchildren and several dogs.

Paul writes historical fiction. The William Constable series of historical thrillers is based around real characters and events in the late sixteenth century. The first two books in the series – “State of Treason” and “A Necessary Killing”, were published in 2019. The third book, titled “The Queen’s Devil”, was published in the summer of 2020.

Travel forward a few hundred years from Tudor England to January 1919 in Paris and the setting for Paul’s latest book, “A Turbulent Peace”. The focus of the World is on the Peace Conference after WW1 armistice. Add a dash of Spanish Flu, the fallout from the Russian Revolution, and you have a background primed for intrigue as nations strive for territory, power and money. 

Connect with Paul

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LinkedInAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Don’t forget to follow the blog tour for A Turbulent Peace with the Coffee Pot Book Club

I’m delighted to welcome Nicola Matthews to the blog with a post about her new book, Kitty Canham #blogtour

Woman, Then and Now 

Nicola Matthews is the author of the historical fiction Kitty Canham. The real life of her protagonist, who lived in the same part of Essex 300 years earlier, inspired her to write. 

There is a theme in Kitty’s life that echoes a theme that has run through my own life. A theme that is not so often written about, because it is not exciting or enlivening. It is the theme of inevitability. Kitty says that life, ‘is like an inevitable river flowing with or without her consent.’ For too many women in Kitty’s era, as in my own, fighting the flow of the current that was the inequality that women faced, proved too strong. We become worn by its pull and allowed ourselves to drift in its inevitable flow. Kitty often finds herself in such a place. She struggles to make her way amid the conventions that restrain her, but when she expresses her anger, it only seems to confirm her weakness as a woman. Kitty was born into a society where women were expected to present themselves well, in order to receive a good proposal for marriage. That was the sole purpose of so many women in Kitty’s time. 

In the eighteenth century women could not inherit easily and were certainly not expected to enjoy the hard graft of a farming life, which Kitty relished. She finds herself in the happy position of becoming the inheritor of her father’s farm, until a boy appears, born to her father out of wedlock but now welcomed into the home by her mother. The boy dispossesses her. 

I was born in the late 50’s. It was post war Britain when women’s brief foray into the world of work during the world wars, had come to an end. So many of my friend’s mothers spent their time keeping home for their working spouses. The atmosphere often seemed drab and devoid of conversation. Although my own upbringing was rather more bohemian, and certainly a lot of fun, a woman was still there for the gaze and service of their husband. My father was a well-known actor. My mother was the perfect hostess and a star in my father’s firmament. She fitted it well. I remember watching films in Home Economics, where we were told, by a smiling woman in a 50’s dress and pinny, how to keep house and cook! That was to be our lot, whether it fitted us well or not. Too many women were forced into positions to which they were wholly unsuited. 

My character, Kitty, had no interest in presenting herself appropriately for a good marriage. But she too often finds herself caught in the current that was the society of the day. With few options and when all else is closed to her, she agrees to marry Alexander, a rector in the local parish. He is a good man, but still a man of his time, unable and unused to expressing himself to a woman. When she comes home from helping old Jacob with the lambing at the farm, dressed in breeches with blood on her hands, Alexander is angry. He tells her in no uncertain terms that she is an embarrassment and will have to change. Kitty bows to inevitability once more, though she finds her passionate and restless nature will not allow her to settle as she hoped. Eventually she finds a course of happiness, but one that comes at great cost both physically and emotionally. As we know, things have improved for women immeasurably since Kitty’s time. However, we are not there yet. 

Thankfully, for my generation, the 60’s/70’s brought change. Though the male gaze had not changed. It was the era of the Carry On movies when a wolf whistle was seen as a compliment. Both my sisters were older than I and were actresses through the sixties. My sister Debbie, ten years my senior, became known as a ‘blond bombshell’ – an image which she was never fully able to break away from and which led her into difficulties as she grew older. Although I was younger than my sisters, the shadow of the expectations I grew up with, lived on in my own soul. 

Kitty’s life story was very different to my own, and my struggles were far less keen, but in writing Kitty Canham I found myself expressing, through her, my own anger against the restraints that I felt in my younger years, restraints so often in my own mind, rather than in those around me. In giving Kitty a feisty nature, I found I was able to give expression to my anger, not for myself so much, but for those women, the world over, who’s fight for equality has barely begun.  

Nicola Matthews is the author of Kitty Canham (Hall House Press, £8.99, eBook: £2.99), available now from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lCKLxj

Nicola Matthews was inspired by the ragged North Essex coastline, where she lives with her husband, to write Kitty Canham’s story. She was an undiagnosed dyslexic until her mid-forties and has worked as a sculptor and in the theatre, writing and producing community productions. She is also the author of Anxt and Other Poems, a poetry anthology. It was the unexpected gift of lockdown that gave Nicola the time and inclination to finally write her debut novel, Kitty Canham. Find out more: www.nicolamwrites.com/novel

@NicolaMatthewsAuthor

@nicola_author

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting Essex Dogs by Dan Jones on the blog #blogtour #newrelease #TheHundredYearsWar

Here’s the blurb:

July 1346. The Hundred Years’ War has begun, and King Edward and his lords are on the march through France. But this war belongs to the men on the ground.

Swept up in the bloody chaos, a tight-knit company from Essex must stay alive long enough to see their home again. With sword, axe and longbow, the Essex Dogs will fight, from the landing beaches of Normandy to the bloodsoaked field of Crécy.

There’s Pismire, small enough to infiltrate enemy camps. Scotsman, strong enough to tear down a wall. Millstone, a stonemason who’ll do anything to protect his men. Father, a priest turned devilish by the horrors of war. Romford, a talented young archer on the run from his past. And Loveday FitzTalbot, their battle-scarred captain, who just wants to get his boys home safe.

Some men fight for glory. Others fight for coin. The Essex Dogs? They fight for each other.

My Review

Essex Dogs by Dan Jones, despite its girth, coming in at nearly 7500 lines on my Kindle and 450 pages in hardback, is a really easy-going read. It has a light writing style, and therefore, it’s not an onerous read for anyone worried that it might just be that little bit longer than they’re used to. (I never used to consider the length of a book, but now I do, when there are so many books to read and so little time).

The opening scene, the landing on the beach for the invasion of France, is very well told, and draws you into the world that the Essex Dogs live within. The action then slightly backs off, as we learn more about the men behind the invasion and the details of what’s planned. And there are many little details that slowly draw the reader into the scenario the Dogs face, as just one of many bands of warriors, commissioned for their 40 days of service, to fight on behalf of a lord, who’s in turn beholden to the king or the prince of Wales.

While the Hundred Years War is not ‘my’ time period, I’m not a stranger to it. If you’ve read other books set in the period, as I have, then this feels very close to those books. In no time at all, I was remembering some of the historical details, and I felt right at home with the ‘Dogs.’

This, as the blurb says, is the story of the Essex Dogs, and not the king and lords. The prince, Northampton and Warwick are the most notable members of the nobility to get a decent-sized portion of the story but only in relation to the way the Essex Dogs’ lives mingle, merge and separate with them. You can almost smell the dust and heat, the stink of the rivers, and not for the first time when I read books like this, I’m left considering why the English king was so determined to claim a province that was so hostile to him.

The story, not without tragedy, slowly builds to an intriguing finale, on the field of Crecy, where we follow the efforts of young Romford as he attempts to stay alive.

There is blood and gore in this book, but not tonnes of the stuff. There is some pretty strong language, but not tonnes of it (if you’ve read my The Last King series, it will feel a little tame). My overwhelming feeling on finishing it is that the games kings play affected the men who fought for them more than them, and I more than imagine that this is what Dan Jones is hoping to make us feel. And so, an engaging and well-told tale, not without moments of tragedy and comedy, and one certainly worthy of picking up and devouring.

About the author

Dan Jones is the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of ten non-fiction books, including The Templars, The Colour of Time and Powers and Thrones. He is a renowned writer, broadcaster and journalist, and has for many years wanted to write authentic but action-packed historical fiction. His debut novel, Essex Dogs, is the first in a planned trilogy following the fortunes of ten ordinary soldiers in the early years of the Hundred Years’ War. He lives near London with his family.

Purchase link

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3cNE9LN

Follow Dan

Twitter: @dgjones

Instagram: @d_a_n_jones
TikTok: d_a_n_jones

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Twitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Today, I’m delighted to spotlight The Muse of Freedom by Jules Larimore #blogtour #historicalfiction #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Here’s the blurb:

First in the series from The Cévenoles Sagas is THE MUSE OF FREEDOM.

Brilliantly told, a story that will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page . . . fresh and compelling, as relevant now as it was then.

~ Janet Wertman, award-winning author of The Seymour Saga trilogy

A French Huguenot apothecary’s legacy of secrets, a mystic healer’s inspiration, a fateful decision.

In the mysterious Cévennes mountains of Languedoc, France, 1695, Jehan BonDurant, a young nobleman forcibly held in a Dominican prieuré as a child, comes of age only to inherit a near-derelict estate and his Huguenot family’s dangerous legacy of secrets. While he cherishes his newfound freedom apprenticing as an apothecary, his outrage mounts over religious persecutions led by King Louis XIV’s Intendant Basville, who is sent to enforce the King’s will for “One King, One Law, One Faith”. 

The ensuing divisions among families and friends and the gradual revelation of his own circumstances lead Jehan to question his spiritual choices. A journey deep into the heart of the Cévennes in search of guidance, unfolds in a way he least expects when he enters the enchanting Gorges du Tarn. There he discovers his muse, Amelia Auvrey, a free-spirited, mystic holy woman who reveals ancient healing practices and spiritual mysteries.

Together they quest for peace and spiritual freedom by aiding the persecuted until the Intendant’s spy reports their activities and the King’s dragoons are sent out after them. To retain their freedom, they must choose to live in hiding in a remote wilderness, join a festering uprising against the persecutions, or flee their cherished homeland with thousands of other refugees in search of hope.

Inspired by the true story of Jean Pierre Bondurant dit Cougoussac, distilled and blended with Cévenole magic lore, this is an inspiring coming of age story and family saga of courage, tenacity, and the power of love in a country rife with divisions under the control of an authoritarian king obsessed with power. 

Fans of Poldark, Magic Lessons, The Lost Apothecary, and The Huguenot Chronicles will find thematic elements from those stories melded into this thrilling and obscure slice of French history.

Buy Links: 

Universal Link:  https://books2read.com/u/b5jMXp

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAAmazon AU

Meet the author

Jules Larimore writes emotive, literary-leaning historical fiction to inspire positive change for the oppressed and refugees, and to encourage an intimate relationship with the natural environment.

Influenced by a background in freelance travel writing, Jules uses captivating historical settings as characters. Then distills and blends them with a dose of magic, myth, and romance to bring to life hopeful human stories. A previous career in marketing offered an outlet for creative writing used to romance brands with mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.

With a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University, Jules has studied medieval history, ancient Greek culture, anthropology, folklore, narrative composition, and architectural design, and has trained under writing geniuses Libbie Hawker/Olivia Hawker and Roz Morris. While investigating the ancestor who inspired The Muse of Freedom, Jules researched late 17th century Languedoc customs, politics, and spiritual traditions specific to the little known Cévennes mountains of south-central France, culminating in a rich repository to feed future novels about the Cévenol people and culture.

Jules lives primarily in Ojai, California, with time spent around the U.S. and in various countries in Europe gathering more treasures in a continued search for authenticity.

Connect with Jules:

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

InstagramPinterestBook Bub

Amazon Author PageGoodreadsYouTube:

Don’t forget to follow The Muse of Freedom blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Today, I’m delighted to be reviewing Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds and there’s also a competition to enter #blogtour #historicalfiction #historicalromance

Here’s the blurb:

Flora Flowerdew has a secret. The former Florrie Gubbins, music hall dancer, is now Madame Flowerdew, one of London’s most renowned spirit mediums. But it’s actually her beloved Pomeranian dog, Chou-Chou, who can see the ghosts.

One of her most lucrative seances, for the wealthy Petrie family whose daughter is about to marry a handsome young duke, goes chaotically awry. The duke’s late, and very irate, grandfather demands Flora and his grandson Benedict find the long-missing family diamonds—even the search becomes littered with mayhem and murder! Can Flora discover the jewels before she loses her career, her sanity—and her heart?

Sparks fly as Flora, Benedict, and Chou-Chou pursue the truth of the diamonds’ disappearance in this lighthearted, cozy historical mystery set in foggy, gas-lit London

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowerdew-Mystery-Diamonds-Victorian-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B09ZSWGXYS/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Flowerdew-Mystery-Diamonds-Victorian-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B09ZSWGXYS/

My Review

Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds is a delightful, light-hearted Victorian mystery. For all that, it is stuffed with all the elements we would expect to find in a novel of the period, including the always needed addition of the reticule, as well as hansom cabs, wonderful clothing and period detail.

Flora is a delightful character, a woman on the up as she makes her name, not as a chorus girl, but as a spirit medium, with her collection of allies, including a female news reporter for the local newspaper. And of course, there’s a hint of romance along the way; as well as stories of intrigue and mystery, an intrepid explorer, and strange goings-on.

The mystery is engaging, and I think we can all agree, that the inclusion of an irate ghost is particularly fitting for the time period.

An enjoyable, light-hearted read, perfect for those wanting to dip their toe into Victorian London.

Meet the author

Amanda McCabe wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

She’s never since used algebra, but her books (set in a variety of time periods–Regency, Victorian, Tudor, Renaissance, and 1920s) have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in New Mexico with her lovely husband, along with far too many books and a spoiled rescue dog.

When not writing or reading, she loves yoga, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. She also writes as Amanda Allen…

Please visit her at http://ammandamccabe.com

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Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds & a Victorian necklace (Open to US Only)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494520/?

*Terms and Conditions –US entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Follow the blog tour for Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds

I’m delighted to welcome Helen Steadman to the blog with her new book, God of Fire. #blogtour #historicalfiction

Here’s the blurb:

‘Love was surely the greatest punishment of all’

He’s a rejected immortal. But can this magical blacksmith fight against fate and overcome the darkness of his past?

Hephaestus fears he’ll never be accepted. Cast down from Olympus and raised by a powerful sea witch, he sets out on a quest to discover his unknown father’s true identity. But he struggles to be taken seriously by the other gods who only want him for his ingenious inventions.

Convinced that solving his paternity will help him earn the love he seeks, the god of fire traps his mother and refuses to free her until she reveals a name. But when he uncovers a terrifying truth, he finds himself with more enemies than allies amongst the wrathful Olympians.

Can Hephaestus unlock buried secrets and prove himself worthy?

God of Fire is an imaginative standalone historical fantasy. If you like forgotten legends, fantastic beasts, and dark tales punctuated with humour, then you’ll adore Helen Steadman’s fascinating expedition into mythology.

Buy God of Fire to unravel the mysteries of ancient Greece today!

Recommended for fans of Mythos, Song of Achilles, Circe and Pandora’s Jar.

Buy Links: 

Universal Pre-order Link

Amazon UKAmazon US:  Amazon CAAmazon AU

Barnes and NobleGoogle PlayWaterstones

KoboiBooksiTunes

Audio

Meet the author

Dr Helen Steadman is a historical novelist. Her first novel, Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise were inspired by the seventeenth-century Newcastle witch trials. Her third novel, The Running Wolf was inspired by the Shotley Bridge swordmakers, who defected from Solingen, Germany in 1687. Helen’s fourth novel will be published on 13 September 2022. This is God of Fire, a Greek myth retelling about Hephaestus, possibly the least well-known of the Olympians. Helen is now working on her fifth novel.

Despite the Newcastle witch trials being one of the largest mass executions of witches on a single day in England, they are not widely known about. Helen is particularly interested in revealing hidden histories and she is a thorough researcher who goes to great lengths in pursuit of historical accuracy. To get under the skin of the cunning women in Widdershins and Sunwise, Helen trained in herbalism and learned how to identify, grow and harvest plants and then made herbal medicines from bark, seeds, flowers and berries.

The Running Wolf is the story of a group of master swordmakers who defected from Solingen, Germany and moved to Shotley Bridge, England in 1687. As well as carrying out in-depth archive research and visiting forges in Solingen to bring her story to life, Helen also undertook blacksmith training, which culminated in making her own sword. During her archive research, Helen uncovered a lot of new material, and she published her findings in the Northern History journal.

Connect with Helen:

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

InstagramBook BubAmazon Author Page

Goodreads:  YouTubeSoundCloud

Follow the God of Fire blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Things what I have written about Saxon England :)

This post is just a quick summary of where you can find a few articles I’ve written in the last few months, in case you’ve missed them (in no particular order).


I wrote a feature for Shepherd about the five books that led to my obsession with Saxon England.

https://shepherd.com/best-books/that-led-to-my-obsession-with-saxon-england


I wrote a feature for The Coffee Pot Book Club about Lady Elfrida, England’s first crowned queen. Is she the stereotypical wicked stepmother?

https://thecoffeepotbookclub.blogspot.com/2022/08/historicalfiction-author-m-j-porter-is.html


And sticking with all things Saxon, I’ve written a piece all about Saxon England for this month’s interactive Historical Times magazine. (this link will take you to the sample – sign up to become a member – the magazines are always stuffed with fabulous content)

https://online.1stflip.com/dssx/3jpe/


And if you’ve not yet read The Last Seven, you can read a short excerpt here, on The Coffee Pot Book Club.

https://thecoffeepotbookclub.blogspot.com/2022/08/have-sneak-peek-between-covers-of-m-j.html


Phew, I hope you find something fun to read. Thank you.

Happy Release Day to The Last Seven – book 7 in The Ninth Century series

I can’t quite believe it’s been a year since the release of The Last Shield, but it has, and finally, I’m excited to share The Last Seven with my readers. I confess, the title started as a bit of a joke, but it was just too good not to use:)

Here’s the blurb:

He sent twenty men to infiltrate three hundred. It had to be enough.

While Archbishop Wulfhere of York begs for assistance against Jarl Halfdan, now living in Northumbria, Bishop Smithwulf of London is eager for Coelwulf to forge an alliance with King Alfred of Wessex. And the three Viking raider jarls continue to hold Grantabridge. Yet, Coelwulf has so far managed to dismiss all of these concerns, consumed with worry for his missing warrior, Pybba.

But while searching for Pybba, events overtake Coelwulf, his men are murdered, and his aunt taken, but by which of his enemies?

If Coelwulf fails to rescue his aunt alive, what hope does he have for keeping his kingdom secure?

The year is AD875, and the men of Mercia must once more ride into the fray. The future of Mercia depends on them. 

For the first time, I’m releasing the original version, and the Cleaner Version of The Last Seven on the same day. (For those who haven’t encountered the different versions before, the major difference is the absence of a certain word in the Cleaner Versions – I think we probably all know what that word is.)

The paperback and hardback will also be available for the original version. The book will also be available to read with Kindle Unlimited.

I really, really, really, hope you enjoy being back with Coelwulf and his men as much as I loved writing the book. But, a warning, I want you to read the book and enjoy it, but my plan is that book 8 will not be available until this time next year. So, take your time, if you can. And, if you can’t, then don’t forget there’s also a short story collection, Coelwulf’s Company, Tales from before The Last King, and of course, Icel’s story is the basis for The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles. Hopefully, there will be enough for you to read, until the release of the next book.

And, I’ve written a new short story for The Last Seven. If you sign up to my newsletter, I will be sharing the short story with my subscribers first. (I send a monthly email on the 1st of each month.)

Thank you to everyone who has preordered the new book. I hope you all love it, and appreciate the new map I’ve had made for the book.

Check out previous release day posts.

The Last King

The Last Warrior (apart from The Last Warrior, which doesn’t seem to have one!)

The Last Horse

The Last Enemy

The Last Sword

The Last Shield

TheLastKing is #Free on #AmazonKindle for the next few days.

To celebrate the coming release of The Last Seven, the first book in the series is free on Amazon Kindle for the next few days.

If you’ve not yet discovered Coelwulf, and his warriors, then here’s the blurb;

They sent three hundred warriors to kill one man. It wasn’t enough.

Mercia lies broken but not beaten, her alliance with Wessex in tatters. Coelwulf, a fierce and bloody warrior, hears whispers that Mercia has been betrayed from his home in the west. He fears no man, especially not the Vikings sent to hunt him down.

To discover the truth of the rumours he hears, Coelwulf must travel to the heart of Mercia, and what he finds there will determine the fate of Mercia, as well as his own.

The Last King is available in 2 versions – the original, which is stuffed with foul language, and the ‘cleaner’ version which is missing some of the stronger language, although there’s still many examples of bugger and arsehole, as well as a few others. The battle gore hasn’t been toned down in the cleaner version.

mybook.to/TheLastKing (original version)

https://books2read.com/TheLastKingCleaner (cleaner version – without some of the stronger language)

It’s short story week. Coelwulf’s Company and The Mercian Brexit are both 99pUK/99cUS on Kindle

Sometimes, when I’m writing a scene, I just have to write something to go with it, a side story, a prequel, just something that ties up loose ends between one book series, and another, and so, Coelwulf’s Company, a collection of short stories from before the beginning of The Last King. Have you wondered what all our fierce warriors were up to before The Last King? How Coelwulf came to command his warriors? Hopefully, you’ll find some of the answers here in my first collection of short stories featuring the characters from The Last King, and also one character from Son of Mercia!

And, if you’ve read the Chronicles of the English, and are wondering where to go next, then The Mercian Brexit, is an attempt to bridge some of the gap between that trilogy and the Lady Elfrida books. At 15,000 words, The Mercian Brexit is one of my longer short stories, but equally, not as long as some of them have ended up (Cnut was supposed to only ever be 50,000 words but ended up over 100,000 – so not so very short after all.)

Both books are also available to read with a Kindle Unlimited Subscription.

These aren’t my only short stories. You can also find one in The Historical Times magazine from July 2022, and there are also a couple on my author platform with Aspects of History, and I plan on writing many more as well.