Meet Karen Charlton
Karen was born in Sheffield but grew up in Leeds. She obtained an English degree from Hull University. After a few years roaming between various jobs in Harrogate, Ripon and Scarborough she finally settled in Teesside, where she was invited to stay and improve the gene pool. It needed improving. 'Catching the Eagle' is the true tale of her hubby's notorious criminal ancestor.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Easter Monday, 1809: Kirkley Hall manor house is mysteriously burgled. When suspicion falls on Jamie Charlton, he and his family face a desperate battle to save him from the gallows.
When £1,157 rent money is stolen from Kirkley Hall, it is the biggest robbery Northumberland has ever known. The owner sends for Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street magistrate’s court in London, to investigate the crime. Suspicion soon falls on impoverished farm labourer, Jamie Charlton, and the unpopular steward, Michael Aynsley.
Jamie Charlton is a loving family man but he is hot-tempered and careless. As the case grows against him, it seems that only his young brother, William, can save him from an impending miscarriage of justice.
But William is struggling with demons of his own. Desperate to break free from the tangled web of family ties which bind him to their small community, he is alarmed to find that he is falling in love with Jamie’s wife.
Set beneath the impenetrable gaze of a stray golden eagle whose fate seems to mirror that of Jamie's, Catching the Eagle, the first novel in the Regency Reivers Series, is a fictionalised account of a trial that devastated a family and divided a community.
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Michael Burr moved to New Zealand when he was eighteen years old where he fully indulged his passion for playing rugby. He went on to train as a primary school teacher. Since 1981, he has specialized in teaching history with brief forays into educational administration, teacher training and school review.
Synopsis from Goodreads: In the dead of night, a band of Vikings ravage a lonely convent on the Brittany coast –and their fearsome leader makes a decision that will eventually lead to his downfall.
Ranulf de Lannion is fifteen years old. Crippled, deformed and abandoned by his family to the charity of the convent, he is seized by the Vikings during a midnight raid. Contemptuously nicknamed 'The Scraeling" by his captors, his future appears grim.
Harald Sigurdsson, or 'Hardrada' as he will come to be known, is the leader of the Viking band. A violent mercenary with designs on the throne of Norway, Hardrada abducts The Scraeling on a whim.
Ranulf grows into an invaluable asset, smoothing Hardrada's path over their thirty-five years together from mercenary to commander of the Varangian Guard, all the way to king of Norway.
But all is not as it seems in the heart of Ranulf de Lannion. Having sworn secret revenge upon Hardrada for the murders at the convent, he vows to end the day of the Viking forever. When the king of Norway launches an attack against the Anglo-Saxon throne of England in 1066, what role will The Scraeling play in bringing the age of the Viking to an end?
Meet James Conroy
James Conroy is a former business executive currently self-employed in logistics consulting. He also writes full-time and tutors in English literature, basic composition and creative writing. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in over one hundred internationally respected literary journals.
A collection of his poems was published in 1997 and two novels in 2001 and 2007 respectively. After living in New York and Chicago, Conroy currently resides with his wife in Newport, Rhode Island.
He is a frequent contributor to local publications and an active community volunteer.
Synopsis from Goodreads: In the midst of the Great Depression, one man must do battle against corruption with nothing but his wits and a host of great literary figures... Amos Jansen is merely a clerk. He is not a crime fighter, the next great writer, or a man of privilege. He is the humble employee of a Chicago literary society. That is, until he is arrested for murder. The scapegoat of a perfidious lieutenant, Jansen stands wrongly accused while his idols rally around him. Literary personalities the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nelson Algren, and H.L. Mencken, as well as civil liberties war-horse Clarence Darrow, join Amos in his search for the real murderer of both the society's vice-chairman and his own father. Will the pen prove mightier than the pistol? Will mercenary police, politicians and money-barons meet with justice? Or will Jansen fail to solve the mystery and wind up literally dead?
Meet Evan Ostryzniuk
Evan Ostryzniuk was born and raised in western Canada, where he attended the University of Saskatchewan. After graduating with a B.A. in History and Modern Languages and an M.A. in Modern History, Evan did post-graduate work at the University of Cambridge, concluding five years of research with a doctoral thesis on the Russian Revolution. He eventually found his way to eastern Europe, where he took up positions as a magazine editor, university lecturer and analyst in the financial services sector before finally settling on writing as a career. He currently resides in Kyiv, Ukraine. Of Faith and Fidelity: Geoffrey Hotspur and the War for St. Peter’s Throne is his first novel.
Synopsis from Goodreads: As the papal wars of the Western Schism rage across Europe, a young man takes his first step on the journey of a lifetime.
Geoffrey Hotspur dreams of knighthood. As an English orphan-squire bonded to the court of Sir John of Gaunt, uncle of the English King Richard II, his prospects are few.
An inveterate gambler already deep in debt, young Geoffrey accepts an invitation to participate in a raid on French lands. His plans go awry, however, after a deadly street brawl results in his banishment from court. As further punishment, he is ordered to join a royal commission bound for Florence.
Accompanied by Jean Lagoustine, a mysterious Frenchman whose intentions towards the young squire are not all they appear to be, the ship upon which they journey is waylaid by corsairs. Barely escaping with their lives, Geoffrey and Jean find themselves forming part of a company of Catalonian crossbowmen en route to enlist with the Roman papal army.
Intrigue and betrayal dominate the war between the two popes, and the young squire's understanding of faith and fidelity are soon challenged. The need to do right inspires Geoffrey to take a personal stake in the outcome of the conflict. With little more than his wits and a sword, the young squire must find a way to fulfill his duty to his lord, to his faith and to himself. As the war culminates in the final battle for the throne of St. Peter, will Geoffrey find that a knighthood is worth the risk to his honor?
Meet Annmarie Banks
Annmarie Banks spent twenty years as a buyer and seller of used books. She knows firsthand the excitement of uncovering a treasure among piles of dusty old books. Her first novel, The Hermetica of Elysium, draws upon that feeling of discovery as her protagonist travels through Spain and Italy in the time of the Spanish Inquisition on the hunt for forbidden manuscripts.
She grew up all over the eastern part of the United States because her father was a search-and rescue pilot for the Coast Guard. She moved every four years to a different city along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Because she changed schools and friends often, she was somewhat shy. When one is always the "new kid" , a lot of time is spent sitting on the sidelines at lunch and recess. She used that time to read books from the library, mostly history and natural science. By the time she graduated from college with a degree in English, she felt she wanted to spend her life with books. She promptly got a job in a bookstore and over twenty years worked her way to inventory manager.
Synopsis from Goodreads: 1494 Barcelona. As Torquemada lights the fires of religious fervor throughout the cities of Spain, accused heretics are not the only victims. Thousands of books and manuscripts are lost to the flames as the Black Friars attempt to purge Europe of the ancient secrets of the gods and the bold new ideas that are ushering in the Renaissance.
Nadira lives a dreary life as servant to a wealthy spice merchant until the night a dying scholar is brought to the merchant’s stable, beaten by mercenaries who are on the hunt for The Hermetica of Elysium. To Nadira, words are her life: she lives them as her master’s scrivener and dreams them in her mother’s poetry. She is pursued as passionately as the fabled manuscript for her rare skill as a reader of Ancient Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew that makes her valuable to men who pursue the book to exploit its magic.
Kidnapped by Baron Montrose, an adventurous nobleman, she is forced to read from the Hermetica. It is soon revealed to her that ideas and words are more powerful than steel or fire for within its pages are the words that incite the Dominicans to religious fervor, give the Templars their power and reveal the lost mysteries of Elysium.
As Nadira begins her transformation from servant to sorceress, will she escape the fires of the Inquisition, the clutches of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI and the French king, Charles VIII? And will Montrose’s growing fear of her powers cause her to lose her chance for love?
These books all look so good that I don't even know where to start! :)
All coming to Amazon 8 December 2011!