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Historical Fiction Spotlight ~ The Judas Blade (Betsy Brand Mystery Book 2) by John Pilkington


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon USLondon, 1671. The threat of war with Holland looms. And King Charles II is becoming increasingly unpopular.HER FATHER'S FREEDOM OR HER LIFE?Spirited actress Betsy Brand is pulled away from the stage to help her father. The bailiffs are threatening to put him in debtor’s prison. Desperate, she turns to enigmatic spymaster Lord Caradoc for help.He will save her father, but it may cost Betsy her life.A PERILOUS MISSIONBetsy must travel to Delft, Holland, to spy for her country.What starts out as a simple fact-finding mission soon becomes a deadly game. Betsy will need all her acting skills to come out of it alive.She meets Captain Mullin, a reckless fellow ag...
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Special Guest Interview with Louise Fein, Author of People Like Us


New on Amazon UK and Amazon USLeipzig, 1930s Germany: Hetty Heinrich is a perfect German child. Her father is an SS officer, her brother in the Luftwaffe, herself a member of the BDM. She believes resolutely in her country, and the man who runs it. Until Walter changes everything. Blond-haired, blue-eyed, perfect in every way Walter. The boy who saved her life. A Jew. Anti-semitism is growing by the day, and neighbours, friends and family members are turning on one another. As Hetty falls deeper in love with a man who is against all she has been taught, she begins to fight against her country, her family and herself. Hetty will have to risk everything to save Walter, even if it means sacrifi...
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Historical Fiction Spotlight ~ After The Fire (Betsy Brand Mystery Book 1) by John Pilkington


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon USBefore Jack the Ripper, there was the Salamander.London, 1670. The Great Fire is all burned out. Now the city lies in ruins and a series of chilling murders is playing out on the London stage.SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES . . .Betsy Brand is an actress performing in Macbeth at the new Dorset Gardens Theatre. Every night she watches Joseph Rigg, the company’s most dazzling talent, in the throes of death as Banquo.UNTIL ONE NIGHT HE STOPS PLAYINGBetsy watches in horror as Rigg collapses mid-performance, poisoned. London’s theatre world turns upside down as more deaths follow.The authorities are baffled. But Betsy is determined to get to the bottom of it al...
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Setting up Amazon Author pages #AuthorToolboxBlogHop


Your Amazon page should be an important part of your ‘author platform’, as readers like to find out more about the writer behind a book – yet many authors are so busy writing they don’t have time to keep their page up to date. The good news is this only takes a moment once you have an Amazon Author account and at least one book published on Amazon. All you need to do is visit https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/ or https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ (US) and follow the instructions. You probably have a short author ‘bio’ and a suitable picture somewhere already. (I’ve seen research suggesting that readers like to see a picture of the author, so try to resist using a book cover, as I have seen ...
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Book Review ~ The Runaway: a gripping family drama by Linda Huber


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon USBad things happen in threes – or so it seems to Nicola. The death of her mother-in-law coincides with husband Ed losing his job and daughter Kelly getting into trouble with the police. Time to abandon their London lifestyle and start again by the sea in far-away Cornwall.This fast paced psychological thriller is the perfect weekend read, with a great location which I knew well, and believable characters with complicated back stories. The subject is any parent's nightmare, and the sense of helplessness is convincing. I guessed the harrowing outcome early in the book, but then couldn't wait to find out if I was right. I particularly liked the way Linda Huber...
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Guest Post by Annie Whitehead, Author of Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England


Available for Pre-Order from Amazon UK and Amazon USMany Anglo-Saxon kings are familiar. Æthelred the Unready is one, yet less is written of his wife, who was consort of two kings and championed one of her sons over the others, or his mother who was an anointed queen and powerful regent, but was also accused of witchcraft and regicide. My new book, Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England, features over 130 named women. The last time Tony invited me to his blog I wasn’t quite sure how to choose which women to feature, so I went with an acrostic, using the initials of the book title.Since Tony has kindly invited me back again, I thought I’d do the same thing, this time using the initials of the ...
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Special Guest Post By Hana Cole, Author of The Devil's Crossing


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US1212. The Chartrain, France. A band of shepherd boys have set off on crusade, believing they can free the Holy Land. Gui is a troubled priest who has been shielding his secret family for years. Agnes, his beloved, is a falsely-accused heretic he rescued from the Inquisition’s pyre.Their son Etienne, unaware of his father’s true identity, is coming of age. Tired of his lowly shepherd’s life, he seeks adventure. The Crusade is the perfect opportunity to prove himself to the world.  He has no reason to suspect the men offering him passage overseas are not what they seem.Discovering that Etienne has been sold into slavery, Gui and Agnes set off to find him. If...
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Special Guest Interview with Natalia Richards, Author of The Falcon’s Flight


New from Amazon UK and Amazon USAnne Boleyn's life is threatened, intrigue, gossip and treachery abound, and her destiny is finally revealed.Hello everyone, before I go any further, can I just say thank you so much to Tony for inviting me to be interviewed on his blog. I am delighted to be part of 'The Writing Desk' as it is such an interesting site.Tell us about your latest bookMy latest novel is called 'The Falcon’s Flight’. It is part two of the story ‘The Falcon’s Rise’ and both books cover the early life of Anne Boleyn. In this second book, Anne is aged 14 as she travels to Paris to join her sister as a maid-of-honour to Princess Mary Tudor. The princess has just married old King Louis,...
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Guest Post by Mark Turnbull, Author of Allegiance of Blood: 17th Century Historical Fiction


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon USSir Francis Berkeley strives to protect his wife and family from the brutal effects of the English Civil War. But aside from the struggle between king and parliament, the allegiances of family, friendship and honour entangle him at every turn and prove to be just as bloody.I have been a fascinated follower of the British Civil Wars since the age of ten, and this passion spurred me on to write my first novel called, Allegiance of Blood, which is set during the war. When considering a guest post for Tony’s excellent blog, I decided to mark the upcoming 375th anniversary of the Battle of Naseby. A turning-point battle, it marked the beginning of the end of th...
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How to create 3D Cover images for your books


You don't need any software or graphic design skills, simply follow this link to DIY Book Design: https://diybookcovers.com/3Dmockups/#All you do is choose a template from their library then upload your cover. These book mock-ups and 3D devices look great for social media or website use, and can be arranged as you wish. This tool is 100% free, with no need to sign up. and couldn't be easier to use.Original link
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Book Launch Guest Post By Lauren Robinson, Author of The Boy Who Saw In Colours


Available for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon USWhat if colours could speak? The Boy Who Saw In Colours: A raw novel, set amid Nazi uprising, chronicles the life of a boy who dared to dream...  As his family collapses and Josef and his brother are sent to one of Hitler's elite schools, Josef learns to express his grief and feelings of growing up in the only way he knows how - painting.The question "where did I get my inspiration?" cannot be easily explained. It came in pieces. The first was a photograph I saw when I was back in high school, depicting a young boy crying when he was captured towards the end of WW2. Why was he crying? What did he see? What was he told? Even at a young age, I ...
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Book Review ~ The Du Lac Curse: Book 5 of The Du Lac Chronicles, by Mary Anne Yarde


New on Amazon UK and Amazon USGod against Gods. King against King. Brother against Brother.Mordred Pendragon had once said that the sons of Lancelot would eventually destroy each other, it seemed he was right all along.At last, the much anticipated saga of the Du Lacs continues in book five, The Du Lac Curse. Darker and more brutal than the earlier books, this is no romantic Arthurian tale, but a fast paced and often harrowing story of betrayal.Every character carries the scars of their past, both physical and mental, and there are many references to earlier events - but these complex layers are the secret of the appeal of this series. As with Game of Thrones, don't be too surprised if your ...
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Book Launch Guest Post Kindred Spirits: Ephemera, by Jennifer C Wilson


Available for pre-orderfrom Amazon UK and Amazon USIn this collection of stories, we follow kings and queens as they make important (and history-defying) visits, watch a football game featuring the foulest of fouls, and meet a host of new spirits-in-residence across the British Isles and beyond.Kindred Spirits: Ephemera – Can a short story collection be greater than the sum of its parts?Hello everyone, and thank you so much, Tony, for inviting me back onto your blog today.I’m really excited to be talking about Kindred Spirits: Ephemera, my first collection of short stories, set in the world of Kindred Spirits, where the ghosts of historical characters haunt contemporary settings. The concept...
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Blog Tour ~ The Road to Liberation: Trials and Triumphs of WWII, By Ellie Midwood


New on Amazon UK and Amazon USSix riveting stories commemorating the end of WWII, from USA Today, international bestselling and award-winning authors comes a collection filled with courage, betrayal, hardships and, ultimately, victory over some of the most oppressive rulers the world has ever encountered.Crowds gathering in celebration at Piccadilly Circus, London during VE Day in 1945.On May 8th 2020, Europe will be celebrating the anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe, also known as VE Day, or Victory Day in Europe. It was on this day that the German delegation with Gen. Alfred Jodl signed the unconditional surrender in SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) headquarter...
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Book Review ~ The Mirror and the Light (The Wolf Hall Trilogy) by Hilary Mantel


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon USEngland, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happinesswith his third queen, Jane Seymour.I feel like I’ve been on quite a journey, which began in 2015 with a visit to Wolf Hall, and ended on page 875 of Hilary Mantel’s literally heavyweight finale. In turns whimsical, chilling, funny and thought provoking, I’m going to miss carrying ...
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Book Launch Guest Post By Sharon Bennett Connolly, Author of Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England


Available for Pre-Order fromAmazon UK and Amazon USLadies of Magna Carta focuses on the roles played by the women of the great families whose influences and experiences have reached far beyond the thirteenth century.Matilda de Braose and Magna CartaWhen reading about Magna Carta, the story that has always jumped out at me is that of Matilda (or Maud) de Braose. The only person to speak out against King John’s murder of his own nephew, Arthur, she suffered the ultimate punishment for her tenacity and went down in history as the inspiration behind clause 39 of Magna Carta itself:“No man shall be taken, imprisoned, outlawed, banished or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prose...
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Guest Post by Saga Hillbom, Author of City of Bronze, City of Silver


Pre-order from Amazon UK and Amazon US431 BC. Greece is torn apart by war. The city states split into leagues: one headed by the militarized Sparta, the other by the sophisticated Athens. Alethea, a young Spartan woman, leaves her home to accompany her brother on the military campaign. Taken prisoner by the enemy and enslaved in an Athenian household, Alethea’s heart is set on revenge. However, her feelings are complicated as she is drawn to her abductor’s amiable cousin, Eucleides. Meanwhile, Efigenia, a child bride and Alethea’s new mistress, struggles to navigate in a world dictated by men. The rigid norms she lives by are consuming her little by little. Can the arrival of the Spartan hel...
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Book Launch Guest Post By Steven Veerapen, Author of Succession: An Elizabethan Spy Thriller


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US1603: The Virgin Queen is dying. She has yet to nominate an heir. The crown looks set to fall to James of Scotland. But it is far from inevitable. Gowrie, a sinister Scottish traitor, has arrived in England. On him is a document containing a shocking secret that will compromise King James.We all know that Elizabeth I, England’s Virgin Queen, died childless, and that her throne passed to her Scottish cousin, James VI. However, it’s often easy to forget that people at the time didn’t know how smoothly the succession would go. Throughout Elizabeth’s reign, her ministers and parliamentarians had pressed her to name a successor. To her dying breath, she refused to do...
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Book Launch Q & A with Olivia Longueville and J. C. Plummer, Authors of Robin Hood's Widow (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 2)


Available for pre-orderfrom Amazon UK and Amazon USRobin’s duty to his king sends him on an odyssey that will unfold from the streets of Paris to the banks of the Danube.  From incredible triumphs on the battlefields of the Crusade, to harrowing sea voyages, to a desperate dash across the frozen landscape of Central Europe, Robin Hood must ensure that King Richard safely returns to England.Meanwhile, the outlaws of Sherwood Forest rise again under a new leader—and she is unwavering in her pursuit of justice against the tyranny of Sheriff de Argentan.  Marian endures the heartbreak of widowhood only to find strength and purpose as she leads a small band of devoted men in her quest for vengean...
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Guest Interview with Fi Phillips, Author of Haven Wakes: The Haven Chronicles: Book One


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon USWhen his uncle – Rex Haven, founder of the globally successful Haven Robotics Corporation – is murdered, Steve finds himself the new owner of an artefact called the Reactor and the target of dangerous, unknown villains. With his parents unreachable, Steve joins with his new magical friends to discover the truth about his uncle’s death and in a battle to keep the Reactor out of the hands of those who would use it for their own evil purposes.I'm pleased to welcome author Fi Phillips to The Writing Desk:Tell us about your latest bookMy debut novel Haven Wakes was published by Burning Chair in October 2019.  It’s a futuristic fantasy novel – think magic and ro...
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