26 July 2017

An Irish Fiction Omnibus, by Orna Ross


New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

An Irish Fiction Omnibus is a collection of three bestselling novels from Orna Ross, perfect for fans of The Irish Heart series by Juliet Gauvin and An Irish Family Saga series by Jean Reinhardt.

After the Rising, book one in The Irish Trilogy is a historical murder mystery of love, revenge and redemption.

Twenty years ago, Jo Devereux fled Mucknamore, the small Irish village where she grew up, driven away by buried secrets and hatreds, swearing never to return

Now she is back and wants to uncover the truth…

What really happened between her family and their friends, the O’Donovans, during the Ireland’s bitter Civil War?

The consequences of that bitter division in the 1920s carried down into Jo’s own life, shattering her relationship with Rory O’Donovan, the only man she ever loved, and driving her to leave Ireland.

Now, Jo’s estranged mother has died, leaving her a suitcase full of letters and diaries that seem answer some questions about the past.

Over the course of a long hot summer, Jo is astonished to read about her grandmother and great-aunt, their part in Ireland’s fight for freedom and the repercussions that echoed throughout their lives.

She has learned how the passion of rebellion sweeps people up but what happens after the rising?

Her Secret Rose is the first book in The Yeats-Gonne Trilogy, chronicling the passionate relationship between W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne.

Willie Yeats was 23 years old in 1889, when Maud Gonne, six feet tall, elegantly beautiful and passionately political, came calling to his house and “the troubling of his life” began.

He spread his dreams under her feet, as they set about creating a new Ireland, through his poetry and her politics, and their shared interest in the occult.

Packed with emotional twists and surprises, Her Secret Rose is a novel of secrets and intrigue, passion and politics, mystery and magic, that brings to life 1890s Dublin, London and Paris, two fascinating characters — and a charismatic love affair that altered the course of history for two nations.

Blue Mercy is a literary family drama, with a murder at its heart, full of emotional twists and surprises

When Mercy Mulcahy was 40 years old, she was accused of killing her elderly and tyrannical father. Now, at the end of her life, she has written a book about what really happened on that fateful night of Christmas Eve, 1989.

The tragic and beautiful Mercy has devoted her life to protecting Star, especially from the father whose behavior so blighted her own life. Yet Star vehemently resists reading her manuscript.

Why? What is Mercy hiding? Was her father's death an assisted suicide?

Or something more sinister?

In this book, nothing is what it seems on the surface and everywhere there are emotional twists and surprises.
Will you side with mother or daughter?


Praise for Orna’s novels:


“A highly ambitious, engaging and evocative novel and a hauntingly captivating read.” — Sunday Independent

“The sort of massive book you could happily curl up with for the entire winter, an impressive canvas interweaving a contemporary story of love, emigration and loss with the complex world of civil war politics, emerging women's rights and buried secrets… in literary, lyrical language, while still being a captivating read.” — Irish Independent

“This expertly crafted novel is an important work in terms of Irish social history, but it will also be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates intelligent and profound family sagas that make the reader count his own blessings.” — Historical Novel Society

“Epic sweep...ambitious scope... an intelligent book”. — Sunday Tribune

“A riveting story...vividly brought to life.” — Emigrant Online

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About the Author

Orna Ross writes novels, poems and the Go Creative! books and has been described as "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" (The Bookseller) for her work with The Alliance of Independent Authors, an association of the world's best self-publishing authors and advisors. Born and raised in Wexford in the south-east of Ireland, she now lives in London. Find out more at Orna's website is www.ornaross.com and find her on Twitter @OrnaRoss.


23 July 2017

New Book Spotlight: The Tyrant's Heir (Desertera #3) by Kate M. Colby


Pre-Order on Amazon US and Amazon UK

Should a king elicit love or fear? Lionel inspires neither… and it could cost him everything.

Lionel Monashe believes he's a terrible king. After ordering his father's execution and taking the throne, he struggles to reconcile his royal duties with his innate compassion. His insecurity and inconsistent ruling lead prominent subjects to challenge his authority.

Chief among his adversaries is a self-proclaimed prophet, whose religious zealotry launches the kingdom into economic crisis and civil unrest. When Lionel attempts to make peace, he sparks even more discord and ignites the greatest tragedy in Desertera's history.

Blame for the disaster falls on the king, sending Lionel in a desperate pursuit to find answers before he loses his crown… and possibly his life.

The third book in the Desertera series, The Tyrant’s Heir portrays a desperate power struggle in an equally desperate, steampunk dystopian world. This political thriller will keep readers guessing until the end.

Will Lionel save his crown? 

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About the Author

Kate M. Colby is an author of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. Her first series, Desertera, consists of steampunk fantasy novels with themes of socio-economic disparity, self-empowerment, romance, and revenge. Kate’s writing contains everything she loves about fiction – imaginative new worlds (the more apocalyptic the better), plots that get your heart racing, and themes that make you think. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Creative Writing, and Sociology from Baker University, which she uses to marry her love of the written word with her passion for the human experience. When she is not writing or working, Kate enjoys playing video games, antiquing, and wine tasting. She lives in the United States with her husband and furry children. You can learn more about Kate and her books on her website: www.KateMColby.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter @KateMColby.


The Desertera Series

22 July 2017

Guest Post by Anthea Syrokou, Author of Eventually Julie


Available on Amazon UKAmazon US

Join Julie and her delightful and witty friends on a journey of fun, adventure, and passion. Set in and around Sydney, as well as London and Paris, Eventually Julie is a “finding yourself” romance that deals with being stuck in a rut and eventually finding the right ingredients
to live a life that is true.

Pinpointing the reason that I decided to write my novel, Eventually Julie, initially seemed like an arduous task. The character of Julie had been on my mind for some time, so the words just typed themselves at first. A writing plan soon followed, with many deflections and re-planning along the way, and a great deal of revising and editing.

As I look back, however, I recognise that it was during my counselling studies that many realisations occurred to me that inspired me to write Eventually Julie. I learned that we often place restrictions on ourselves. We may shy away from accepting who we truly are as individuals, and live our lives according to other people’s values instead of our own. This is where the character, Julie, was born.

There is often a passion; a zeal for life that is within many of us that is often repressed; needs that we aren’t even aware of that remain hidden. We often ignore our natural instincts, and choose to listen to our “automatic negative thoughts” without challenging them. We swallow these negative thoughts whole, without chewing the information and breaking it down to question its validity. We often fail to treat each thought like a hypothesis that needs to be tested and challenged. These thoughts are rapid and can be easily missed. Only by recognising that they exist can we challenge them before they begin to control our behaviour.

These are the concepts that were in the back of my mind when writing Eventually Julie; the fact that many of us can fall victim to our negative thoughts which contain many “shoulds", “oughts”, “musts”, “ifs”, and other debilitating inferences and introjections. Such restrictive language can form false beliefs and affect our choices in life — if we believe them to be true.

When writing this novel, I wanted to create a protagonist that feels so restricted with her choices; one that has so much passion within her but needs to find a way to reacquaint herself with the little girl inside — the girl who has so much confidence. Eventually Julie delves into this phenomenon; where we often mistrust our instincts and instead place obstacles in our own paths, sabotaging our dreams and our self-growth. Once we remove these obstacles and begin to rely on our internal locus of control, we discover our true selves and we can make informed choices and find meaning in life.

Similarly, the novel touches on “unfinished business” which can deter us from living in the “here and now”, as it hovers around in the background and prevents us from thinking clearly and attaining self-awareness. The protagonist, Julie, finds herself in this plight.

Nature and travelling have always inspired me. I believe that the environment can have a negative or positive effect on our state of mind. My writing is inspired by the environment I find myself in at a specific moment in time. I am constantly thinking and observing and striving to find beauty in life.

Beauty can be many things. It can be a career, travelling, a cup of coffee, music, writing, reading, art, nature — anything that inspires an individual and enriches his or her life.

Eventually Julie highlights the importance of beauty. The purity and rawness of the vineyards, one of the settings featured in the novel, has echoes with the idea of being true. The beauty of the cities in different parts of the world, and their unique and bold architectural styles, symbolise a person’s need to reach their true potential.

Eventually You is the delightful shop that features in the novel and sells organic products which all encourage acceptance and healing. The healing qualities in products such as candles, incense burners, and soaps, also highlight the theme of being true to our values.

Of course, this is all done with a dash of humour, a sprinkle of romance, and wonderful characters.

Set in and around Sydney, as well as London and Paris, Eventually Julie is a “finding yourself” romance, and is relatable to people who are stuck in a rut and are afraid or neglect to pursue their dreams and steer their own path. Julie’s career and relationship struggles will resonate with readers on a global level.

Anthea Syrokou

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About the Author

Anthea Syrokou is an author who grew up and resides in Sydney, Australia. Anthea’s love for writing was planted at a young age when she studied Greek mythology. Her love for literature continued well into her teenage years where she enjoyed reading novels from many of the great English writers. Anthea has a BA degree, majoring in Psychology and Industrial Relations, and a diploma in Counselling. She also studied Greek Literature at university and has worked in Direct Marketing, and Insurance and Investments. Anthea is currently working on her new novel, and is also writing articles and posts on everyday issues. When she isn’t writing or reading, Anthea enjoys travelling, yoga, spending time with her family, and escaping to the vineyards. A quiet house with some jazz playing in the background, surrounded by a few scented lit candles is her idea of relaxation. She lives with her husband and their two sons, and often jokes that she may be the only writer who doesn’t own a cat. Find out more at Anthea's website https://antheasyrokou.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter @antheasyrokou.

21 July 2017

Interview with Stephanie Churchill, Author of The King’s Daughter


Available for pre-order
on Amazon US and Amazon UK

In this gripping sequel to The Scribe's Daughter, a young woman finds herself unwittingly caught up in a maelstrom of power, intrigue, and shifting perceptions, where the line between ally and enemy is subtle, and the fragile facade of reality is easily broken.

Today I'm talking to Stephanie Churchill about her second book, The King’s Daughter, a sequel to The Scribe’s Daughter.

There may be readers who haven’t read the first book yet, so why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about it?

The Scribe’s Daughter is fantasy, though it will appeal to historical fiction readers because everything about it echoes the historical without actually being historical.  I used my comfort and familiarity with history and historical novels to recreate a world that would be similar in feel.

At the beginning of the novel, we meet Kassia, a seventeen year-old orphan who is faced with a tough decision in her daily quest for survival.  She is a younger sister but finds herself in the position of providing for both herself and her older sister, Irisa.  The sisters cannot afford to pay rent, and when their landlord gives them an ultimatum -- pay up or become whores -- Kassia must make a difficult decision.  Events become complicated when very soon after, a stranger shows up at her doorstep to hire Kassia for a job that is ridiculously outside her skill set.  Not seeing any other choice, she takes him on.  Before long, Kassia finds herself swept away on a sometimes treacherous journey where she must use her resourcefulness and every measure of witty bravado to survive.  Along the way, mysteries of the sisters’ family history, a history they never knew existed, are realized and revealed.

Tell us a little bit about The King’s Daughter.

Much of this book overlaps the timeline of the first book as the sisters’ perspectives weave together to form a more complete view of what readers learned earlier.  Kassia and Irisa part ways early on in The Scribe’s Daughter.  The first few chapters of The King’s Daughter follow that overlapping timeline as Irisa learns about the same mysteries her sister did in the first book; however, Irisa’s story continues on from there, and she discovers even deeper mysteries than Kassia ever knew existed.  Facts are twisted sideways so that the mysteries take on new life.  Ultimately it is a character-driven book.  Irisa grows and develops as a person, but in her strength, she helps the development of the other significant protagonist in the story as well.  All of this is wrapped in mystery, political intrigue, a little love story, as well as action and adventure.

Your book reads like historical fiction.  Did you base any of the plot or characters on any real figures from history?

Without giving too much away for the sake of the plot, I’ll say that Edward IV and his daughter Elizabeth of York, who married Henry Tudor, were probably the biggest influences on two of my characters, though only loosely.

Did you plan to write multiple books when you started The Scribe’s Daughter?

When I began work on The Scribe’s Daughter, I had no long-range plan.  It was simply an experiment in writing first person.  Once I started writing Kassia however, I fell in love with her character and couldn’t stop.  Irisa was originally just a sub-character, and I had no real plan to develop her.  Once I got nearly half way through writing the first draft though, I realized that Irisa had a tale of her own to tell, and it was going to be very compelling.  I was intrigued by the idea of perspective and the differing views multiple people can have of the same events.  This was really the seed idea for the second book.  Once I got writing it, I discovered another selfish perk: I found that I missed Kassia terribly, and creating a book for Irisa allowed me to revisit the same world while taking off in a new direction even while inventing new people and places.  I can totally understand now why so many authors write a series!

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are there necessary connections between each book?

One of my advanced readers thought The King’s Daughter could be read as a stand-alone.  It’s hard for me to judge that as the author since I can never read the book with new eyes.  I would say however, that if a person wants to read it without having read the first one, it’s probably doable.  My caution would be though, that they would miss out on a lot of depth.  The second book weaves many tiny details from the first book: characters, places, mysteries, back stories, etc.  In fact, there are so many connections that many of the details may even be missed by most readers!

I have a plan for a third book, the story of Naria, Irisa and Kassia’s mother.  I left some dangling threads at the end of The King’s Daughter, and I really want to tie those up for readers.  This third book will have even more connections, ties, and connections to characters and events from the first two books.

Who should read your books?

I have found that my audience is more women than men, but both audiences have very dedicated fans.  The books were written for adults, though I tried to be sensitive to a wide audience so wrote it with that in mind, including teens.  Genre is difficult to pin down.  As I said earlier, the books read like historical fiction but are no doubt fantasy, even if not traditional fantasy.  There is no magic, no dragons or other fantastical beasts.  Everything is based in reality.  Readers of historical fiction should feel right at home with the books however, because I love history and historical fiction and attempted to inject the feel of that genre into my writing.  I often tell people that my books echo historical fiction even if they aren’t history.  More than that though, if you love deep characters, evocative settings, and a good plot, it doesn’t matter what genre you read.  You’ll enjoy the books!

The King’s Daughter will be released on September 1 and can be ordered from Amazon.

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About the Author

Stephanie Churchill grew up in the American Midwest, and after school moved to Washington, D.C. to work as a paralegal, moving to the Minneapolis metro area when she married.  She says, 'One day while on my lunch break from work, I visited a nearby bookstore and happened upon a book by author Sharon Kay Penman.  I’d never heard of her before, but the book looked interesting, so I bought it.  Immediately I become a rabid fan of her work. I discovered that Ms. Penman had fan club and that she happened to interact there frequently.  As a result of a casual comment she made about how writers generally don’t get detailed feedback from readers, I wrote her an embarrassingly long review of her latest book, Lionheart.  As a result of that review, she asked me what would become the most life-changing question: “Have you ever thought about writing?”  And The Scribe’s Daughter was born. Find out more at Stephanie's website www.stephaniechurchillauthor.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter @WriterChurchill.

20 July 2017

Guest Post by Dylan Callens, author of Interpretation


Available for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Interpretation is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.

Dreams.  We all have them but we don’t really know what they are. Scientifically speaking, the explanation is pretty lame.  According to WebMD, “Dreams are basically stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. Dreams can occur anytime during sleep. But most vivid dreams occur during deep, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when the brain is most active. Some experts say we dream at least four to six times per night.”

That’s great and all.  But it doesn’t help us to understand our dreams. Many people put great stock in their dreams, believing them to be linked to daily events or some hidden truth about life.  But maybe they mean nothing at all.

According to an article in Time (Why Dreams Mean Less Than We Think, 2009), countless experiments have been conducted that link the way we feel to external data.  We make dumb choices based on things that we see all the time.  For example, in one study, people were asked to guess at how many African nations were members of the UN.  The researcher then spun a wheel of fortune which landed on a random number between zero and one hundred.  Respondents typically picked a number that was close to whatever number was on the wheel, even though it was obviously not tied to the question.  This suggests that what we see may have an impact on what we think, especially when we are not conscious of the association.

Even if that is the case, wouldn’t our dreams still mean something?  The external data that we see every day, the stuff that we are not even aware of, helps shape who we are.  It’s also not clear if the waking mind and sleeping mind necessarily processes that information the same way.

In my novel, Interpretation, there is some examination about dreams and what they could mean.  In one part, an artificial intelligence examines Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections in search of creating its own plan for a dreaming humanity.  In his book, Jung says, “…In addition, I discussed her dreams with her. In this way I succeeded in uncovering her past, which the anamnesis had not clarified. I obtained information directly from the unconscious…”

According to Jung, he was able to interpret this patient’s dream and uncover details about her past that otherwise weren’t known to the patient.  Can this actually be done?  Do our dreams reveal secrets that we’ve hidden away in our subconscious?

In another part, Jung says, “…dreams with collective contents, containing a great deal of symbolic material...”  The collective contents in this case are those things which are common to mankind as a whole.  Although it’s not entirely clear what things these are, Jung believes that we inherited these ideas from our early origins and are hardwired into our brain.  While we might not be aware of what these things are in our day to day lives, these ideas exist at an unconscious level.

“…These dreams show that there is something in us which does not merely submit passively to the influence of the unconscious, but on the contrary rushes eagerly to meet it, identifying itself with the shadow…”  In Jungian psychology, the shadow is the stuff about ourselves of which we are not necessarily aware.  Jung wrote, "Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is."  While these are typically things that are negative and we don’t want to admit to ourselves, it is possible that we are not aware of our positive attributes.  For example, people with low self-esteem may not be able to identify what they are good at.  Dreams, then, are a way for us to see what is in that shadow.  Dreams let us reconcile some of the traits that we are unaware of, yet are heavily influenced by.

Whether you see dreams as revealing more about yourself, entertainment, or a waste of sleep, is obviously up to you.  I just enjoy incorporating them into writing.  In writing, they present an opportunity to let the imagination run wild and have fun.

Dylan Callens
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About the Author

Dylan Callens lands cleanly. That would be the headline of a newspaper built with an anagram generator. And although Dylan is a Welsh name meaning god or hero of the sea, he is not particularly fond of large bodies of water. His last name, Callens, might be Gaelic. If it is, his last name means rock. Rocks sink in the sea. Interestingly, he is neither Welsh nor Gaelic, but rather, French and German. The inherent contradictions and internal conflict in his life are obvious. Find out more at Dylan''s website www.cosmicteapot.net and find him on Facebook and Twitter @TheNitzsch.

19 July 2017

Echoes – a journey: Guest Post by P.J Roscoe


Echoes is due for release July/August 2017
and is available for pre-order from
https://squareup.com/store/doce-blant-publishing/item/echoes
and will be available through www.doceblantpublishing.com,
B&N, Gardner’s, Ingrams and Amazon. 
A signed copy is also available through www.pjroscoe.co.uk

‘Echoes’ the award-winning novel due for re-release this summer has had one hell of a journey since I first began to write it twenty years ago. It began as ‘Ruined Echoes’ a short story of a woman as she travelled through time and how she survived as a 21st century woman in medieval Britain – been done to death, so changed it and changed it again to become, ‘Echoes’, a paranormal historical thriller moving between present day and the Tudor period when Henry Tudor won the battle of Bosworth. Bronwen Mortimer moves to the secluded village of Derwen to escape her past, but when she witnesses murder and becomes a serial rapist’s next target, she must face her past to have any chance of living in the present as the echoes of history move through time.

Echoes first began in June 1997 following the sudden death of our unborn son, Jac, my husband had to return to work and I was left alone, pondering how I was going to get through the rest of my life. I remember vividly, sitting at my kitchen table, a mug of coffee going cold beside me and a pencil in my hand as I stared into space, tears flowing down my cheeks. At some point, I began doodling on an old A4 scrap of paper and an image came into my head. With the image, came words and within an hour or so, a short story had emerged. The next day, when I realised I had survived a day without my son, I ran out and bought a new pad of A4 paper and began expanding the story. Within eight weeks I had a novel and was pregnant again.

With my pregnancy came a new surge of writing. I wrote short stories for magazines, historical articles for a Welsh magazine, ‘Country Quest’, but Echoes remained untouched for years, as my new daughter had special needs and needed my full attention. Many years later, I started an online writing course and was asked about a novel, Echoes resurfaced and worked on and my tutor encouraged me to send the first three chapters off to agents. Rejections were forthcoming, yet my enthusiasm did not wane and I persisted. Working on it, expanding it, changing it, all the time knowing it had to be read.
By 2008 I self-published on LULU, yet I was so self conscious,

I held a book launch, without any books!! I figured if they liked the copy I had, they would order it online – 13 people did. By 2012 I re-did Echoes and launched it on Amazon and held a proper book launch at a local theatre. 24 people came. That year ‘Echoes received an Honourable mention in the new England book festival. In 2013 it won the e-book category in the Paris book festival and in 2014 it was awarded an Honourable Mention in the London book festival and received five stars from Reader’s Favourite.

By this time I was ecstatic and trusted a publisher with my novel. Alas, she was a fraud. However, it got me in touch with another author who had begun her own publishing company, Doce Blant publishing and through her, I have had support and brilliant editing, a book cover and Echoes is at its full potential for the world.

And so, although Echoes was born of sorrow, it taught me strength, resilience and courage to see my own true path is to write.

Thank you

P.J Roscoe
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About the Author

P.J Roscoe lives in Wales with her husband Martin and daughter Megan. Starting out as an author of several historical articles published in 'Country Quest' a Wales & Border magazine, she moved onto writing short faerie stories for her daughter whilst penning Echoes following the death of her son at birth. She worked for Cruse Bereavement care as a trainer and volunteer whilst qualifying as a person-centered counsellor. She is a holistic therapist, a Chakradance facilitator and a drumming facilitator along with being a medium and mother to a child with Autism and Dyspraxia and it is these experiences that have helped to shape her stories. Find out more at her website www.pjroscoe.co.uk and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @derwenna1

18 July 2017

Guest Post by David Ebsworth, author of Until the Curtain Falls, a new thriller set during the Spanish Civil War.


Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

October 1938, and foreign correspondent Jack Telford is on the run in northern Spain, territory now controlled by Franco’s fascists. And he’s killed somebody close to the Generalísimo’s heart. Telford’s a hunted man, and hunted by three different and deadly enemies. In a climactic chase from Madrid to the Republic’s last outpost, in Alicante, during the closing days of the Spanish Civil War, Jack will learn hard lessons about the conflict between morality and survival.

“The image of the woman Telford had just killed would not leave him. He was almost sure she deserved to die. And, if he hadn’t drowned her first, he was fairly certain that he himself would now be dead.”  

I suppose that Spain and its civil wars are in my blood. An ancestor, Francis Crook Ebsworth, died there in 1837, fighting for the liberal Isabelino faction against the more reactionary Carlists. And then, as a trade union activist from the early 1970s onwards,

I worked closely with men who had volunteered to fight as part of the International Brigades – Merseysiders, like Jack Jones and Frank Deagan – on behalf of the Spanish Republic in the terrible conflict from 1936 until 1939, which was, itself, the opening chapter of the Second World War. That struggle began when, in July 1936, four insurgent generals, including Francisco Franco, launched a military coup to overthrow the elected Popular Front Government.

Three brutally cruel years followed, and sadly ended with Franco’s eventual victory and the establishment of yet another dictatorship for Spain, one that would last until 1975.

Meanwhile, I’d grown close to our ‘extended Spanish family’, many of whom had themselves supported the Republican cause. And so, when I was thinking about writing my second novel, during 2012, it seemed natural to think about the Spanish Civil War as the background – though I was obviously keen to find a “new angle” for the tale.

I began researching different aspects and, through sheer serendipity, came across a paper by American Professor Sandie Holguin, in which she’d uncovered the bizarre story of Franco’s Battlefield Tours, organised from mid-1938 onwards, while the outcome of the war was still in the balance – tours which attracted thousands of international tourists between 1938 and 1945. That’s right, all the way through the Second World War.

The result of all this was the publication of The Assassin’s Mark in 2013 and, this year, its sequel, Until the Curtain Falls – although, to be honest, Until the Curtain Falls can just as easily be read as a stand-alone story.

Between the two novels, I’ve been able to tell some generally untold and “stranger than fiction” stories of the Spanish Civil War: about the way that Franco used Battlefield Tourism and the Camino de Santiago as international propaganda tools; about Franco’s lair in Burgos and the barbarity of the neighbouring prisoner-of-war concentration camp at San Pedro de Cardeña; about the final months of the two-and-a-half year Siege of Madrid; about the secret story of Britain’s dirty involvement in the war’s politics; and about the tragedy of the closing chapter, in Alicante Province.

Then I needed some major characters through whom these stories could be told: left-wing correspondent for the weekly Reynolds News, Jack Telford; Franco’s Irish tour guide, Brendan Murphy; Jack’s mysterious travelling companion and fellow-journalist, Valerie Carter-Holt; Republican army Captain Fidel Constantino; and, in Madrid, the British consulate’s staff member, Ruby Waters.

I like to know my protagonists very well before I start writing and then, with only the most flexible of plot outlines, let them loose on the historical timeline – the “stranger than fiction” incidents I mentioned earlier – to see where their characters take the yarn.

In this case they rewarded me with enough material to fill the pages of these two thrillers: a suspicious accident in San Sebastián; a hostage siege in Spain’s most holy sanctuary; assassination attempts; an unexpected murder; mayhem in Burgos; enough guerrilla activity to rival For Whom The Bell Tolls; espionage and skulduggery in Madrid; a life-and-death chase to Spain’s Mediterranean coast; and twists galore during the finale in Alicante and beyond. Hopefully, Until the Curtain Falls will live up to its reputation as “a roller-coaster” ride, as a simple thriller, but might also serve – as historical fiction should always do – to bring this important period of history to a wider audience.

David Ebsworth
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About the Author

David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer Dave McCall, a former negotiator for Britain’s Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool but has lived in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife Ann since 1981 – though they now spend a significant part of each year in Alicante, Spain. Each of Dave’s six novels has been critically acclaimed by the Historical Novel Society and been awarded the coveted BRAG Medallion for independent authors. His work in progress is a series of nine novellas, covering the years from 1911 until 1919 and the lives of a Liverpudlian-Welsh family embroiled in the suffragette movement. Until the Curtain Falls is also the first of Dave’s books to be translated into another language, with the Spanish edition due for publication in November this year. For more information on the author and his work, visit his website at www.davidebsworth.com. and find him on Twitter @EbsworthDavid.

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