Christmas is coming, and as usual, I haven’t begun to deal with it. I do have an excuse. The whole of November has been devoted to writing the fourth book in my series about the Tudor secret service, The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez. Over 100,000 words, so I’m exhausted. The new book is called Bartholomew Fair and centres on an actual event which occurred at the 1589 Fair and caused panic on the part of the London authorities. I have taken it further, and involved Walsingham’s spy network.
To introduce readers to the series, I’m making the first book – The Secret World of Christoval Alvarez – FREE as a Kindle for just five days, 1 to 5 December, so if you don’t have it already, now is your chance to get it free. Usual price: $4.99/£3.10.
The UK link is:
The US link is:
Books make wonderful presents, don’t they? Something to last a lifetime. I still own books I was given as a child and have treasured ever since. Some of them had a major influence on me, as I believe books loved in childhood have on many people. The Woods of Windri by Violet Needham was a Christmas present when I was nine from a dearly loved uncle and aunt, Ken and Kathleen Hand. It made the Middle Ages come truly alive for me in a way no book had done before.
Then, when I once was having lunch with my publisher at Random House, Kate Parkin, we started discussing books that had influenced us as children. When I mentioned The Woods of Windri, Kate leaned excitedly across the table and said, ‘Who did you say the author was?’ It turned out she had read it from the library and had never been able to find it again. At that point it was out of print, but I was able to find a secondhand copy for her. It’s back in print now.
On Facebook I’ve made friends with many fellow novelists, and one group I belong to is the Seventeenth Century writers’ group. It was started by Christy Robinson, who is passionate about the seventeenth century and believes not many people realise how interesting a period it is. She came up with the idea that we should all spread the word about books set in the period.
For all of you who love historical fiction, here is a selection to suit every taste. You’ll notice that Christy has used the cover of one of my sixteenth century Christoval books, but this series will eventually move into the seventeenth century. My novel Flood, of course, is set in the mid seventeenth century – a terrifying period for the people who lived through it.
If you click on an author’s name in the display below, you will be taken to his or her author page on the US Amazon site. I think it was too complicated for Christy to insert links to the UK Amazon site as well. However, if you’re in the UK, you can read about the author’s work and then access the UK site. I’m having one of THOSE computer moments and can’t persuade these to line up properly. Apologies!
|Anna Belfrage — Time-slip (then and now) love and war.||Jo Ann Butler — From England to New England: survival, love, and a dynasty.||Susanna Calkins — Murder mysteries set in 1660s London.|
|Francine Howarth — Heroines, swashbuckling romance.||Judith James — Rakes and rogues of the Restoration.||Marci Jefferson — Royal Stuarts in Restoration England.|
|Elizabeth Kales — French Huguenot survival of Inquisition.||Juliet Haines Mofford — True crime of New England, pirates.||Mary Novik — Rev. John Donne and daughter.|
Donald Michael Platt — Spanish Inquisition cloak and dagger.
|Katherine Pym — London in the 1660s.||Diane Rapaport — Colonial New England true crime.|
|Peni Jo Renner — Salem witch trials.||Christy K Robinson — British founders of American democracy and rights.||Anita Seymour — Royalists and rebels in English Civil War.|
|Mary Sharratt — Witches (healers) of Pendle Hill, 1612.||Alison Stuart — Time-slip war romance, ghosts.||Deborah Swift — Servant girls running for lives, highwaywoman.|
Ann Swinfen — Farmers fighting to keep land, chronicles of Portuguese physician.
|Sam Thomas — Midwife solves murders in city of York.||Suzy Witten — Salem witch trials.|
|Andrea Zuvich — Vampire in Stuart reign, Duke of Monmouth and mistress.|
We have a new addition to the family, a tiny rescue kitten called Maxi. I’ve had cats as well as dogs all my life, but I have never known a cat who could move as fast as this one! Lightning also ran. His mother was accidentally shut in someone’s shed and when found she had five kittens but had nearly starved to death. The lady who found her rushed them all to the vet, who resuscitated mum. She then took them to our local cats’ rescue centre. When the kittens were weaned, she kept the mother. All the kittens were fine and robust, and all have found homes. What could have been a tragedy had a happy ending. An appropriate pre-Christmas story.
Talking of which, I’d better start making that Christmas list. Twenty-two family members, something appropriate and original . . . yikes!
I’ll be sending out an extra blog in December. On the twentieth, I’m part of a Christmas party blog hop, so watch this space.
Till then –