I just wanted to announce that my entire back catalogue is now available on Kindle Unlimited. You can find my books at the following links:
I’ve had a chance to do a little organising over on Pinterest, and have put some photos of buildings and cities into their appropriate categories, if anyone is curious as to what place inspired which city!
If you reckon you can connect any of the buildings to the ones they inspired in the book, feel free to drop me a mail and I’ll confirm if you’re right!
You can get to my Pinterest page by clicking below:
My Christmas viewing revolved around a few box sets and some stuff on Netflix. First off was an A/B session of ‘Borgia’ and ‘The Borgias’. Coming to the European-made Borgia from the US-made The Borgias was a bit jarring, and initially I wasn’t at all impressed with the former. I like Jeremy Irons as an actor, and think he’s one of those actors who has gravitas to burn. However, after a few episodes, I thought John Doman—despite an American accent I gather a great many viewers were put off by—was far better suited to the role of Rodrigo Borgia/Pope Alexander VI. As my esteem for him grew, so to did my opinion of Borgia as a whole.
The supporting cast were excellent, if they can be called that. Any of the major parts, from Cesare and Lucrezia to Alessandro and Giulia Farnese, could be considered leading players. Across the board, I thought the actors in Borgia were far stronger, and far better suited to the parts they played.
Both shows portrayed the period well, although once again I felt Borgia got it a bit closer to the mark. I like watching shows like this in an attempt to immerse myself into that atmosphere, as it is, broadly speaking, the period that the Middle Sea world is set in at the time of The Tattered Banner and The First Blade of Ostia. My inspiration files for weapons, clothes, and architecture are filled with pictures of things from the 1450-1650 period.
Overall, I think both series are worth watching, but if you only have time for one, I’d go with Borgia. This is the area of history that most interests me, and I can definitely see myself watching Borgia again in the not too distant future.
I also watched the new Netflix show ‘Marco Polo’ which I really enjoyed. We go from an area of history that I know quite a bit about, to one I know very little about. I’ve not made anything more than a cursory reading of Asian and Mongol history, which is something I’m going to have to rectify this year, as it really is fascinating. A very good show, with solid acting across the board—I thought Benedict Wong playing Kublai Khan was particularly excellent—and one which I’m eagerly anticipating the second season of.
I have the first season of the recent BBC version of The Three Musketeers next in the queue, which I’m looking forward to. I’ve mentioned before I think that The Three Musketeers is one of my favourite stories, so I’m interested to see what they do with it. From the bits I’ve seen, it looks pretty encouraging.
As a reminder, there are still signed copies of The First Blade of Ostia up to be won over on Goodreads. You can enter the competition by clicking here.
Well, I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and is having a very happy new year!
The First Blade of Ostia is now available in paperback. I recently received my proofs and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out. Of my covers so far, I think this one is my favourite.
As usual, I’ve included the paperback in Amazon’s matchbook program, which means if you buy the paperback, you get the Kindle version for free.
To mark the arrival of the paperback, I’m also running a giveaway over on Goodreads to win a signed copy. You can enter it here.
Don’t forget there’s still a giveaway running for signed copies of The Tattered Banner, which you can enter here.
Otherwise, I hope everyone is all set for Christmas, and you all have a really great holiday!
I’m happy to announce that The First Blade of Ostia went on sale last Friday. To be notified as soon as I release a new book, you can sign up for my New Release Newsletter.
The First Blade of Ostia is set a little more than a decade before The Tattered Banner, so you’ll see some familiar faces (albeit younger!) and some new and interesting ones also. It follows a young man called Bryn as he embarks on a duelling career after graduating from Ostenheim’s Academy. He’s accompanied on this path by his best friend, a young aristocrat named Amero…
Here’s the back cover copy for the upcoming ‘The First Blade of Ostia’.
The ‘First Blade of Ostia’ is an accolade few will achieve. In Ostenheim, a city obsessed with duelling, it is one that nobody forgets.
Bryn’s earliest memory is of watching duels in the arena. His earliest dream is of taking his place there.
Amero has no dreams. His life has been about fulfilling the expectations of others. In search of a path of his own, the dreams of others are too tempting to resist.
After years of sacrifice and hard work, Bryn is finally a professional duellist. Becoming the First Blade of Ostia no longer seems the childish fantasy it once did. To find the man standing in his way is also his best friend will test him in ways he would never have believed.
Cover design is progressing well, and I’m really happy with the initial concepts, which are being tweaked as I write. Hopefully they’ll be ready for a cover reveal in the next week or so!
Well, that’s the title reveal for my next book taken care of! Set about 12 years before The Tattered Banner, The First Blade of Ostia is a stand alone novel set in the highly competitive world of Ostenheim’s professional duelling circuit. Those who have read the Society of the Sword trilogy will recognise a few of the characters involved, who are joined by a few new—and I hope—interesting individuals. I hate committing to firm release dates before I have everything ready to go, but all things being well, it will be available before Christmas!
Stay tuned for the back cover copy, which I’ll post here in the next few days. Cover reveal and excerpts will hopefully follow shortly afterward!
In other news, I was delighted to see that Maureen O’Hara, the female lead in many of my favourite swashbuckling movies (The Black Swan, The Spanish Main, Against All Flags—anyone remember this series of posts?) has finally been awarded an Oscar!
I hope everyone is well!