Lovely review of By Sword and Storm

Thank you to Jessica at The Bookworm Chronicles

 

https://thebookwormchronicles.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/new-read-by-sword-and-storm/?unapproved=16891&moderation-hash=9cf695a45e7f8e3aa3982038e286f93d#comment-16891

For a lovely review of By Sword and Storm

Two sentences really stood out and encouraged me – ‘Each time the narrative switched, I found myself emotionally torn, as I was rooting for them both.’ and ‘All in all I thought By Sword and Storm was another wonderful, historical rollercoaster ride, that had me gripped from start to finish.’

The splitting of the story over two countries and timelines was a bit of a gamble in case folk wouldn’t engage with that (and technically challenging to mesh them together and still remain true to the historical dates when specific events happened) so I was very pleased that it worked for her. Here’s hoping it works for others!

It was also the first time that I’ve seen what the title page of By Sword and Storm looks like on a kindle… The publisher has sent me files, but for some reason I haven’t managed to access them properly and haven’t got round to asking for them to be re-sent.

That was interesting because I use the same font for the chapter headings in the Katharina books – the second of which, Fortitude, is due out at the end of July and I was totally unaware until very recently that kindle readers don’t get the benefit of that wee refinement because the kindle programme has limited fonts at its disposal. – That makes me a little sad. For those who mightn’t know the font I’m referring to it is called Morpheus and is a rather lovely ‘church-style font, which suits the subject matter of Katharina ideally.

It was found by my cover designer – well done him! Here it is:

 

Katharina: Fortitude is currently with my editor and two days ago I got a lovely preliminary sentence from him – ‘I’m loving what I’ve read so far. The writing is so rich, so distinctive and so evocative. I’m looking forward to this journey.’ It is always a scary time when waiting for an initial reaction from a professional, who really knows their job, so this is extremely encouraging. I’m looking forward to the end of July now…

Finally! By Sword and Storm.

Many of you will know that I began By Sword and Storm in February 2016 at Hawthornden Castle – in atmospherically chilly conditions, when the central heating broke down – it was one of the most productive months of my life.

The ebook has been available for a week now – it has the publisher’s choice of cover – and I have been having a little bit of fun collecting screen shots of it sitting near or next to various Sharpe novels in the Amazon rankings.

 

 

 

 

Next week I expect to receive the print copies. Here’s a wee preview of the cover from The Book Depository pre-order service and suggestions of accompanying books from them and from Waterstones Online

 

 

– it seems they’re placing me in good company!

The print will be officially launched in September – but it’s rather nice to know that it’s already available to pre-order – the discount on the pre-order was a new and unexpected bonus.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

You want me to go to the execution?’

Kate shut her mind against the horror of it, said,

‘I shall scream with the rest.’

 The French Wars of Religion are drawing to an end, the Edict of Nantes establishing religious freedom in all but Paris.

For the exiled Adam and Kate Munro, the child Kate carries symbolizes a new life free from past troubles; despite a lingering nostalgia for Scotland and the friendship of the Montgomeries.

When Adam foils an attempt on the French king’s life his reward is a place at court for the whole family. But religious tensions remain high, and Paris holds dangers as well as delights.

For the Munros and Montgomeries alike, these are troubled times…

And a wee taster from the opening:

By Sword and Storm

Chapter 1.

At first it was no more than a whisper, carried on the breeze. The King is coming. A priest crossing the cathedral close heard it and, shaking his head, boxed the ear of the urchin who dared give it voice – a malicious rumour, surely, Mercoeur’s flag still fluttering above the chateau, but no less dangerous for all that. For a rumour once started could travel like flame through the city, trailing destruction in its wake. The boy, one hand clamped to the side of his head, retaliated with a well-aimed kick, before darting through the gate leading onto the Grand Rue to melt into the crowd that thronged there, his excitement undiminished.

It was not rumour, not a flame; rather water, a trickle become a stream, slipping through the dense alleyways, lapping at the doors of the narrow half-timbered warren of houses jostling each other as they stretched upwards to find a sliver of sky. It gathered momentum, flowing southwards to the Rue des Jacobins and La Fosse, to the hôtels of the merchants who grew fat on the spoils of commerce. It reached the Maison de Tourelles, and the ears of André Ruiz, who, so the story went, had once entertained an emir with capons and truffles, frangipane and apricot tartlets, custards and cheeses and succulent curls of artichoke, washed down with the finest of wines from the Loire. Ruiz regarded the messenger with narrowed eyes, his fingers raised to his lips and pressed tight together in contemplation. After a pause in which the messenger studied the floor, awaiting dismissal or the flare of rage of which the merchant was on occasion capable, Ruiz nodded twice and thrusting back his chair called for his cloak. If the tale should prove to have substance he would take care to ensure he was among those who greeted this king, for what use wealth if gain could not be made of it.

Extract from an early review:

“There are colourful individuals, opulent settings and clashes of personality aplenty. There are thoughtful and level headed characters as well as those who let their tempers get the better of them. There are relationships which work and those that are destined to fail. The result is a hugely satisfying read which leaves this reader, in particular, hoping that there will be another book in this excellent series.”   Undiscovered Scotland.