The Summer Book by Tove Jansson In was an early, very warm morning in July, and it had rained during the night. Khaki Town by Judy Nunn There was a tap at the north-east door. The True Colour of the Sea by Robert Drewe Don dropped dead on the sand and that was that.
It is 1920 and the Great War ended two years ago. Seventeen-year-old Lily Pears had done her best to ignore it. She is a chorus girl with a beautiful voice, who performs under the stage name Lily Valance. Her widowed mother has poured all her dreams into her daughter. Helen Pears runs a shop on … Continue reading Book Review – Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory
Whether it is the opening line, the first paragraph or the first few pages, the beginning of a story must draw a reader in, entice her or him to read on, to sink deep into the world the writer has created. Each of the following books opens in different way be it philosophical musing, lyrical … Continue reading Openings
Londoners are crowding into the streets, celebrating, watching the river procession as Elizabeth Tudor makes her way by barge to the Tower of London in preparation for her coronation. Meanwhile, in the backstreets of Southwark, a kindhearted prostitute with pale skin and red hair is brutally murdered. Nineteen-year-old Kate Haywood is the daughter of a … Continue reading Book Review – Murder at Westminster Abbey by Amanda Carmack
1549. Edward VI, the eleven-year-old son of Henry VIII has been on the throne two years. The country is effectively run by the Lord Protector, Edward Seymour. The preceding decade has seen war with Scotland, inflation, unemployment, rising rents and declining wages. A sense of grievance is swelling among the common people against the imposition … Continue reading Book Review – Tombland by C.J. Sansom
Set in the fictional village of Oakham, Somerset, The Western Wind starts on Shrove Tuesday 1491. This is Day 4 of the story as this novel is told backwards over four days from Shrove Tuesday to the previous Saturday. It is the first person narrative of the parish priest, John Reve, a gentle and compassionate man … Continue reading Book Review – The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey
The Innocents is set in the American West in 1868. 'The Innocents' are Nat Quinn and Jake Conroy, a nephew and uncle team, who rob only banks and railways and are courteous to the ordinary people they may discommode during the course of a robbery. Abigail McKay, a Scottish woman, has spent weeks travelling by … Continue reading Book Review – The Innocents by C A Asbrey
A year ago today I published Forsaking All Other, an Elizabethan love story set against the war in the Netherlands abroad and Catholic plots at home. Forsaking All Other has been almost continuously in the top 50 bestsellers in Amazon’s Tudor Historical Romance Category for the last eight months – and for a brief shining … Continue reading It’s My Book’s Birthday!
The Heir’s Tale is the first book in the series, The Soldiers of Fortune, tracing the fortunes of the sons of the Earl of Somerton following the Battle of Poitiers. In 1357, Ancelin Montfort, the Earl’s second son, returns home bringing with him the news of his elder brother John’s death in that battle. Ancelin … Continue reading Book Review – The Heir’s Tale by April Munday
Call of the Curlew begins on 30 December 2015. 86-year-old Virginia Wrathmell has known for years that one New Year’s Eve she will walk onto the marsh and meet her end there. She has been waiting for a sign. The sign has now appeared on her doorstep in the form of a fragile curlew’s skull. … Continue reading Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks